Coming Soon: Autoline on the Road from the LA Auto Show

November 18th, 2014 at 12:25pm

Web-Post-AOTR-LA-2014

Join John McElroy as he tours the 2014 LA Auto Show! Autoline will be bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of the latest reveals and biggest automotive newsmakers on November 19th and 20th!

Keep checking back throughout these two days as we update Autoline.tv with the most recent interviews and vehicle previews hot off the show floor. Just a few of the personalities and cars already scheduled to appear:

Chrysler Brand President & CEO Al Gardner with the Chrysler 300
BMWNA CEO Ludwig Willisch with the BMW X5M
Mazda NA Design Director Derek Jenkins with the Mazda CX-3
Audi of America President Scott Keogh discussing Audi Design Language
Ford Explorer Chief Engineer Arie Groeneveld with the Ford Explorer
Honda Sr. VP, Sales & Marketing Jeff Conrad
Jaguar/Land Rover CEO Dr. Ralf Speth

Ongoing LA Auto Show Coverage
November 19th and 20th 2014
Autoline.tv

AAH #266 – Magna’s CTO Talks Tomorrow’s Tech for Today’s Cars

November 14th, 2014 at 4:17pm

Audio-only version:

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Ford’s Farley goes to Europe.
- Hack Attacks! Your car is more vulnerable than you thought.
- Motor Trend chooses the VW Golf family as Car of the Year.

SPECIAL GUEST: Swamy Kotagiri, Chief Technology Officer, Magna
- What are the hottest technologies OEMs are asking for?

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Drew Winter, WardsAuto.

Thanks to our sponsor who makes Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone

Subscribe to the free podcast version of Autoline After Hours:

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Thanks to our partners and friends AutoFieldGuide.com and WardsAuto.com for embedding AAH!

6 Wireless Ways to Hack into a Car

November 13th, 2014 at 2:00pm

Hacked-Car

Once hackers gain access to a modern car’s controller area network (CAN) bus, they can pretty much control any feature on a car, including the engine, brakes and in many modern cars, even the steering. The CAN bus is the electronic nerve system of a car. There are at least six wireless ways to gain access the CAN bus as identified by researchers at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Washington. The following examples are short range wireless entry points that can gain access to a car from 5 to 300 meters away.

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Seat Time: 2015 KIA Soul EV

November 11th, 2014 at 3:15pm

Kia Soul EV

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Chip Drake
Manufacturer: KIA
Make: KIA
Model: Soul EV
Type: Urban Crossover
Competitors: Nissan Leaf; VW eGolf; Fiat 500e; Ford Focus Electric, BMW i3; Chevy Spark
Price: Soul EV Base $33,700; Soul EV Plus $35,700 Destination Charge; $800
Made in: Gwangju Manufacturing Plant,South Korea
Drivetrain: 81.4 kW AC synchronous permanent magnet motor — 109 hsp. & 210 lb-ft
EPA Ratings: MPGE: 93 miles (EPA Estimated Range)

Final Impression:
2015 Kia Soul EV Interior The perfect college car just got a little more perfect. Meet the Kia Soul EV.

If you caught my earlier Seat Time review of the I.C.E. Kia Soul, I couldn’t contain my gush for this urban crossover vehicle. From the design to the interior digs to the digital attitude, I thought this vehicle had it all when it comes to the Millenial community; and even though I’m older than my younger brethren, I liked it as well.

But now Kia has upped its game by giving the car some electric guts and national exposure. And with the way the company put the package together, the other electrics had better watch out.

The engineers started with a lithium-ion polymer, gel-electrolyte battery that features a nickel-cobalt manganese cathode and a carbon graphite-base anode. What all that means — as best as I can determine — is that Kia is trying to increase the capacity and durability of the battery while reducing weight. So equipped with the car’s regen braking system, Kia says it has a combined range of 105 miles while the EPA estimates it’s about 93. Either way, pretty much better than any EV other than Mr. Musk’s expensive sled.

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AAH #265 – Taking a S.W.O.T. at NASCAR

November 7th, 2014 at 3:21pm

Audio-only version:

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- A major melee breaks out at a NASCAR race.
- SWOT Team: an analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing the six biggest car companies.

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Joe White, Wall Street Journal; Scott Burgess, Motor Trend.

Thanks to our sponsor who makes Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone

Subscribe to the free podcast version of Autoline After Hours:

Stitcher-Icon-1 YouTube

Thanks to our partners and friends AutoFieldGuide.com and WardsAuto.com for embedding AAH!

Seat Time: 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

November 6th, 2014 at 3:00pm

2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Chip Drake
Manufacturer: Daimler
Make: Mercedes-Benz
Model: Sprinter
Type: Van (Cargo, Crew, Cab Chassis, MiniBus & Passenger)
Competitors: Ford, Chevy, GMC, Nissan
Price: Ranges from (on the low end) 3500 Cab Chassis $35,310 to (high end) Sprinter 2500 Passenger Van $46,180 (options: V6–$985; High Roof $2495) D&D: $995
Made in: Dusseldorf, Germany (vans manufactured, disassembled & shipped); Ladson, South Carolina (U.S. assembly plant)
Drivetrain: Standard Engine: 4-cylinder Turbodiesel (161 hp/266 lb-ft); Optional Engine: 3-liter V6 Turbodiesel (188hp/325 lb-ft)
EPA Ratings: Mercedes Estimates: 4-cylinder Highway– 28-29; V6 Highway–24.9

Final Impression:
2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter InteriorI remember being enthralled with the lunar rover. You know, that dune buggy on steroids that our Apollo astronauts drove around the moon. Just imagine what it would be like to get behind the wheel of that thing: no roof, oversized wheels and the original satellite system that would take you anywhere… well, anywhere – that is — you could go on the moon. At that time in my young life, that was that darnedest
thing I’d even seen a vehicle do.

Well, last week Mercedes-Benz went ahead and practically destroyed those memories when it showed off its 2015 Sprinter. Ouch! Did I really just write that? Indeed I did.

Now I don’t want to claim that this oversized Lego on wheels is the second coming of those ultra-cool lunar rovers, but what I saw these vans do at a media drive last week was uncommon to say the least.

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Seat Time: 2015 Ford Expedition Limited 4×4

November 4th, 2014 at 3:00pm

2015 Ford Expedition

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: John McElroy
Manufacturer: Ford Motor Company
Make: Ford
Model: Expedition Limited 4×4
Type: Full-size SUV
Competitors: Chevrolet Suburban, Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada
Price: $53995
Made in: Louisville, Kentucky
Drivetrain: 3.5 L V-6; 6-speed automatic
EPA Ratings: 15 city/20 highway/17 combined. Observed: 17.4 mpg

Final Impression:
2015 Ford ExpeditionFord did a pretty good refresh of the Expedition, just in time to compete with the all-new redesign of the Chevrolet Suburban. Though Ford’s changes are far more modest than the clean-sheet approach that Chevrolet took, it got a lot of bang for its buck.

Returning buyers will be very pleased with the way the new Expedition drives. The Ecoboost 3.5 liter V-6 easily outperforms the bigger 5.4 liter V-8 that it replaces. And it’s not just that the new engine is faster, it feels better. You’ll find that accelerating onto highways, passing on two-lane roads, or simply tipping into the accelerator to pick up speed seems to happen effortlessly. It just makes dealing with traffic that much easier, which truly improves your driving enjoyment. Better still, the 2015 Expedition is quieter than before. Even at 80 mph the cabin is reasonably quiet, though obviously that depends on the quality of the road surface. Nontheless, this is a vehicle that is very comfortable on long trips.

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Seat Time: 2015 Dodge Charger

November 3rd, 2014 at 3:00pm

2015 Dodge Charger R/T

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Seamus McElroy
Manufacturer: Fiat-Chrysler
Make: Dodge
Model: Charger
Type: 4-door sedan
Competitors: Ford Taurus, Chevy Impala, Nissan Maxima
Price: Base price – $28,990, SRT Hellcat – $64,990
Made in: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Drivetrain: 3.6L V6, 5.7L HEMI V8, 6.4L HEMI V8, 6.2L HEMI V8. All engines mated to 8-speed automatic transmission
EPA Ratings: 3.6L V6 – 19 city/ 31 hwy. (RWD) 18 city/ 27 hwy. (AWD). 5.7L, 6.4L, 6.2L – N/A.

Final Impression:
2015 Dodge Charger R/TThe first thing you’ll notice about the 2015 Charger is its new design. Most notably, the familiar Dodge crosshair is not as prominent as it was on the previous car or it’s been eliminated depending on the model. And it also features new headlights that are pushed to the corners to help give the car a wider look. Pretty much everything on the exterior is new, the roof and the rear door are the only carry over body parts from the previous Charger. And the high performance models all come with unique front and rear fascias and side sills specific to the model.

The interior also features new styling, including a 7-inch customizable driver info display, a new center stack and a new steering wheel that’s available with paddle shifters. Speaking of the shifter, that’s all new too, thanks to the new 8-speed auto transmission. Overall, I liked the interior thanks to its simple layout. It can be overwhelming sometimes with all the buttons in new cars but the Charger’s are kept to a minimum which makes it easier to locate the button you are looking for.

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