Episode 1024 – D.O.E. Announces EV Project, 2013 NASCAR Chevy SS, 2014 Mazda6 Diesel

November 30th, 2012 at 11:53am

Runtime: 9:06

The U.S. Department of Energy is set to announce a new project to develop low-cost batteries for electric vehicles. Chevy unveiled its new race car for NASCAR and says it will closely resemble the production car. The 2014 Mazda6 will be the first vehicle in Mazda’s line-up to feature its SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine. All that and more, plus John talks with Lincoln’s John Clinard on why it decided to showcase classic cars from its past at the LA Auto Show.


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Hello and welcome to another episode of Autoline Daily. It’s the last day of November and I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, hijacking the Autoline airwaves once again while John is out of town.

By the way, if you still haven’t caught Autoline’s live webcast from the LA Auto Show, you can get the whole enchilada right now at Autoline.tv. Check it out, amigos. But let’s get to the news.

Chevy unveiled its new race car for NASCAR. The rear-drive Chevrolet SS will debut next year in the series and is powered by the company’s iconic small-block V8 engine. The company says the NASCAR version will closely resemble the production version which will hit showrooms late next year. It will be the first time in 17 years Chevy has offered a rear-drive sedan in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Energy is set to announce a new project to develop low-cost batteries for electric vehicles. According to the Detroit News, the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago will be the home base for what is known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research. It will include a consortium of 40 labs, universities and businesses around the country. The $120 million project will develop technologies to reduce the size, weight and cost of batteries to make EVs more affordable.

While most automakers are showing off their latest and greatest cars in LA. Lincoln decided to showcase classic cars from its past. So why did the brand decide to this? John spoke with Lincoln’s John Clinard to get the answer.

But let’s get back to the new stuff. Mazda took the wraps off the all-new 2014 Mazda6 sedan yesterday at the LA Auto Show. The 6 will initially be equipped with a 2.5 liter gasoline engine that produces 184 horsepower and 185 foot-pounds of torque. But what’s more intriguing is that the 2014 Mazda6 will be the first vehicle in Mazda’s line-up to feature its 2-stage turbo SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine. EPA fuel economy numbers are not available yet as well as performance estimates for the diesel. Either engine can be mated to a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. The gasoline version will go on sale in January of 2013 with the diesel following shortly behind in the second half of the year.

And that brings us to this week’s Autoline poll. It’s simple. Which automaker stole the LA Auto Show? We’re leaving this one open ended, so just provide an automaker name and, if you want, a reason why. To make your vote count, click the link under today’s show. Johnny will reveal the results when he’s back in the saddle next week.

Coming up next: The “driver’s” Porsche.

Porsche has taken the wraps off its new Cayman at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. The third generation of the mid-engine Cayman now occupies a unique place in the Porsche lineup, a lineup that has clearly evolved over the years. From a company that was founded on the idea of making pure sports cars – and sports cars only – Porsche now offers sports cars, the Boxster, Cayman and 911; GTs – the Panamera; and SUVs – the Cayenne and upcoming Macan.

The iconic 911, Porsche’s touchstone car, has evolved into a bigger sports car. It’s still outstanding, make no mistake about that, but there’s no doubt it isn’t the taut little sports car that it once was. As a matter of fact, when equipped with the PDK gearbox, it errs ever so closely to being a GT, which is a decided – and in some cases alarming – shift for most hard core 911 enthusiasts.

Which brings me to Porsche’s smaller and edgier sports cars, the Boxster and the Cayman. I love the Boxster, in fact I think it’s the finest open-air, high-performance motoring experience you can get. But if you grew up loving the old-school 911s, the Cayman has become the “driver’s” Porsche. The Cayman’s compact overall size is damn near perfect. The handling, steering and braking capability of the machine is superb, as a matter of fact the “feel” of the Cayman makes it simply the most satisfying driving experience you can have behind the wheel of a Porsche. And that is, after all, what the Porsche driving experience was and is supposed to be all about, right?

So don’t despair 911 enthusiasts, just get down to a Porsche showroom and check out the Cayman.

When it comes to modern Porsches, it’s driving in its purest form.

And that’s the High-Octane Truth for this Friday, November 30th, 2012.

And that’s also the end of today’s show. Once again, I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the autoextremist, thanks for watching and I am outta here.

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56 Comments to “Episode 1024 – D.O.E. Announces EV Project, 2013 NASCAR Chevy SS, 2014 Mazda6 Diesel”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Not a surprise that Lincoln is showing their old stuff.Their new stuff sux.

  2. HtG Says:

    Et tu, Pietro? Why have you not told the world about Mazda’s new i-ELOOP capacitor energy recovery system?

    “i-ELOOP is the world’s first capacitor-based brake energy regeneration system to provide power to all the electrical mechanisms in a vehicle. Other capacitor-based systems have been used to provide electricity to a single vehicle component or motor. Compared to systems utilized in hybrid vehicles, i-ELOOP avoids the need for a dedicated electrical motor and battery, making the system more efficient, compact and lighter than traditional systems.”

    PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1viR0)

    Sombody is going to be buying HtG dinner. I’ll cover wine and gratuity.

    Over and out

  3. ColoradoKid Says:

    The DOE & E/V’s ;

    When for the love of anything good is the US Government going to finally wake up , smell the rotten roses and get the _____ out of the E/V business in particular and the automotive business in general ? Bailouts are one thing . Direct involvement and an overwhelming attempt to manipulate the automotive market is something else entirely .

    Lincoln – All well and good showcasing their past but where the heck is their future ? The fact that their past was the only thing they could come up with for the LA Show seems to indicate there is no future for Lincoln . Sorry .. but I see this exercise in futility as a negative and not something to be proud of .

    Boxster/Cayman paternal twins – Certainly they’re both entertaining and fun to drive , but with both of their prices rapidly approaching that of a basic 911 along with the rapid depreciation of both the Paternal Twins on the used car market IMHO makes both the Twins a bit less desirable . At those prices I’d like to hope I’d get something back when it comes time to sell , but with the Twins thats not going to happen . Add in the 911′s capabilities as a daily driver vs the Paternal Twins and IMO the choice between the two is a no brainer . Go for the Gold standard . Buy a 911 .

  4. ColoradoKid Says:

    AutoLine Poll ;

    I think it’d be easier to vote if the Poll was for the biggest loser at the LA Auto Show .

    That one’s easy . Lincoln . By a full Colorado country mile .

    Biggest winner though ? Was there one ? Not IMHO . A couple of Also Rans for certain . But a winner ?

  5. ColoradoKid Says:

    #2 I’m buying . Biker Jims . Forget the wine and grab some good micro brews instead . Mystery meat in a bun going much better with beer than wine ya knows ;-)

  6. HtG Says:

    + ;)

  7. Bradley Says:

    Lincoln, right there. That is your starting point for the future. Forget about 1970-2012, make your heritage the future.

  8. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC reports that AAA asked the govt NOT to approve E 15 cause most new cars cannot handle it and will start having mechanical issues, to which the govt will most likely reply: ” Good this way we can sell more cars and employ more techs”

  9. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t know about any winner, but one big loser: the future car buyer, paying more for plastic computers on wheels.

  10. ColoradoKid Says:

    Fisker News ;

    Ain’t got no batteries

    Ain’t got no sales

    Ain’t got no production

    Ain’t go no future

    End of Story .. hopefully

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    Uh oh ! This can’t be good news for GM or its shareholders ;


  12. C-Tech Says:

    Lincoln has a great display for a Concours or Custom car show event, however when everyone else is showcasing their latest and greatest, it makes you wonder where is Lincoln’s newest? It’s sad for Ford to let a great brand wither.

  13. W L Simpson Says:

    In the beginning, Cadillac & lincoln were the top
    of the line, not all things to all people.
    Discount ego pandering has ruined both badges.

  14. The Autoextremist Says:

    HtG: I’m thrilled for them (Mazda). Other than that, I couldn’t care less. The onslaught of new technology is never ending. Has Mazda built a better mouse trap? It’s still a giant “we’ll see.”

    ColoradoKid: I was wondering, have you driven the new 911? Have you owned Porsches in the past?. I just sold mine (991) and I’ve owned several of the “old school” 911s too, so it’s something I’m more than a little familiar with. And FYI: The average transaction price of the new 911 is approaching $100,000. That is considerably more than the Boxster/Cayman pricing. So “buy a 911″ sounds like a plan, but resale performance is only one measure of ownership. if you’re looking at a Porsche and it’s all about driving satisfaction, the Cayman offers the biggest bang for the (still considerable) buck.

    Thank you for all of your comments.


  15. HtG Says:

    I also want to see if Mazda can pull it off. Capacitors are such a different beast than other solutions(Porsche’s adaptation of a flywheel as kinetic storage is too cool) which are banging through batteries’ weight and charge limits. Capacitors are lightning. Maybe I’m romantic, I’d like to see the SkyActive suite show everyone up.

    ps You SOLD your 991? It’s a fast car, but whoooboy!

  16. HtG Says:

    “I believe it(Panamera Sport Turismo shooting brake) perfectly complements the Porsche brand that stands for combining sportiness and performance with functionality. I think this type of car is the essence of this vision.”

    -Porsche’s Head of Design, Michael Mauer, as interviewed in PistonHeads.com


  17. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 16 Other than the hybrid hype underneath it , that Panamera Sport Turismo has my undivided attention . We’ll see if and when they produce it what it winds up having under the hood .. cause maybe …

    #14 Yes , Yes and we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one . Thanks for the reply though .

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #15 and others,
    It will take some really fancy electronics to use capacitors, with their voltage constantly changing through a wide range, but their charge/discharge efficiency is much better than batteries. It’s cool stuff, and I hope they can make it work.

  19. aliisdad Says:

    It was kind of sad to see the interview with the Linclon guy and look at the GREAT cars of Lincoln in the past…It reminded me of how far down they have come…In fact, it is a brand that I often forget even is available…However, when I see that new style Lincoln grill, I can see why they are not what they used to be…It is a shame, and I hope they can get there again…but, I kind of doubt it after all these years of just OK cars…
    Also, it will be interesting to see how the Mazda diesel sells…I really hope it is a success and inagine it will be a nice package in the 6..Just wish they still kept the wagon in the US…I am one of the few who still like wagons…It looks to be a direct competitor of the Chevy Cruze diesels…Again, I like the idea of offering diesels, and it will be interesting to see how customers respond…What do you folks think here at the website??

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If the Cayman and Boxster depreciate quickly, then those who want one, who care about depreciation loss, should buy them used. The same applies to a lot of other cars. Yeah, you’ll have to wait a couple years to get a used gen 3 Cayman.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m another one who likes wagons, and hatchbacks.

    I also like small diesels, and had a 1.9 Jetta TDI wagon. There are down sides, as I mentioned yesterday, but they get great highway fuel economy, good city fuel economy, and if like a “relaxed feeling” low rpm engine, diesels are your thing. If you are only looking for low operating costs, the best of the hybrids, mainly from Toyota and Ford, will do better. If diesel fuel cost the same as regular gas, the equation could change, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

  22. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 20 – Or better yet . Buy a used 911 ( for the cost of a new Cayman/Boxster ) That’d be my recommendation . The ‘ Twins’ are as was stated the best bang for the buck .. but the 911 is by far the best 24/7/365 all arounder .. especially in its Carrera 4 guise ( what can I say ? I like using my cars year round and this is Colorado )

    # 19 Diesels . Wouldn’t buy one myself but its an idea who’s time in the US is way overdue . Wagons ? Thats why the Panamera Sport Tourismo has my attention . Even better would be a genuine ‘ Shooting Brake ‘ ( 2 dr wagon based on a ‘ performance ‘ sport coupe ) I’m nuts over real ‘ Shooting Brakes ‘

  23. HtG Says:

    22 You think the engine woes of the early Boxsters are overdone?

  24. HtG Says:

    Afterhours, non-automotive

    California is likely to be hit by a long period of extreme rain according to Scientific American. If so, the auto angle is on public perception of climate change.


  25. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ # 19: Not only are diesels long overdue here in the states,they are desperately needed for some (most) OEM’s to bring up the fleet mpg.Also,diesels are making their way into mainstream general aviation with some terrific designs and innovations.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    Truedelta reports that the 500′s reliability is getting worse and it ages, I knew this 500 honeymoon could not last long and Fiat legendary lack of durability would show itself.

  27. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: Fiat’s lack of durability is showing itself very well with the Jeep Wranglers too.I would have thought that with the new Pentestar and interior improvements that the JK’s would finally be almost worth what they cost…….WRONG.Brand new 2013′s with 1k miles or less on them are vibrating at 60+ mph,loose heat shields,electrical gremlins etc.”Too big to fail”,what a joke.

  28. XA351GT Says:

    Well today I was looking at the magazine rack in the supermarket. What do I see on the cover of not 1 ,but 2 different magazines? 2013 Car of the Year winner the Tesla Model S . More like BS. Gee lets pick another car that no one will but (VOLT) It costs what nearly 100K? These magazines are truly ridiculous picking cars that no one will want let alone buy. There were so many other cars that are being considered for purchase that got left out for this Hi tech pile that will no doubt become a rolling BBQ like nearly every other EV.

  29. cwolf Says:

    Can anyone recall just how many auto makers have, for so many years, promised a diesel in their line-up, only to delay,change their mind,or restricted them to the EU market? Don’t be surprised if Mazda delays, as well. When you see a maker offering a small diesel that will be introduced/offered in several models to be made available, then you’ll know the company will have enough projected volume to justify and produce the engine.

    Lincoln lost its customer base and the majority will likely not return. All Linc.’s interiors are way too narrow, rear seats too confining and hard, plus, does not offer the expected bang for the BIG bucks! Simply said, any loaded Ford will duplicate most of what Lincoln has to offer, but thousands cheaper…. and without the grill!

    The Chevy SS rocks!, but at what cost? Is’nt the virgin model the new Impala having a MSRP of $40 grand? When comparing to the Taurus, the choice is a no brainer. Guess the Mustang GT fits the pocket book a lil’ better.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC published its Truedelta results and even though they work with small numbers, the results are what you expect from the diff car makers, VW continues to do real bad, the Jetta is almost off scale with all its problems.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t know what the Chevy SS has to do with the Taurus, or even the upcoming Impala, but the Impala will cost a lot less than $40K. The NY Daily News says:

    “Reuss said it (the SS) will be higher than the front-wheel-drive Chevy Impala’s base price of $27,535.”

    Lincoln made a big mistake in dropping the Town Car, rather than just updating it. Heck, the people who bought it, and would buy another, don’t even car about the solid axle in the back or other such things. It’s being big, and reasonably quiet is about all they care about.

  32. XA351GT Says:

    The Chevy SS is the new Holden Commodore. As the G8 was the last generation Commodore the SS is the next Gen. That’s why it’s rwd the Impala is fwd . It is not the police car from Holden that is based on the long wheel base Statesman.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    All makers sell diesels in Europe, because they make up 40% of the market, or nearly so. I’m not sure how many were promised for the U.S. market, but Honda promised some, and backed out.

  34. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Even Subaru some years back was going to bring in their diesels…..yawn.Wake me when someone other then vw brings in something ;}>

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Honda promised some diesels for the U.S. market a few years back, but cancelled out.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sorry, I’m being redundant.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How is a 911 a better daily driver than a Cayman, unless you are driving in ice and snow, where the 911′s available 4wd could be an advantage?

    Just asking….

  38. ColoradoKid Says:

    Bailouts and Tax Breaks for Automakers ;

    What we get in return ;


  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that governments have “bribed” corporations forever. When I first started working for GM in the late 70′s, and the company was doing well, they threatened to move a manufacturing expansion elsewhere if the city would not improve the roads near the factories.

    Corporate bribery became more obvious, to me at least, when the transplants started arriving. All of the companies, from early arrival Honda, to Hyundai, Daimler, and the others, go for the “best deal” as far as cash payouts, tax exemptions, and “free” infrastructure. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why pick on automakers only, how about the airport that the govt built for Walmart near their gigantic distribution center in Ark. so plane loads of Chinese goods could land there and be shipped out all over the US, I believe this was done during the Clinton era.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, it seems that everyone is in on it. Apple has received $119 million from three states, and, by all indications, they are doing quite well.


  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    And their main manufacturing facilities are in China, nice! No wonder we’re going down faster that the Titanic.

  43. ColoradoKid Says:

    Methinks you guys missed the point of the article . That being after receiving all those lovely incentives ( to go along with the billions in bailouts ) GM etc then turns around and closes the plant they got the incentives to keep open . They wind up smelling like a rose with us ending up the fertilizer

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I got the point, but I expanded on it a little, in that very healthy companies ask for, and receive bribes from governments. Some of those non-automotive companies “change their minds” too, often moving their operations a lot farther than from Michigan to Tennessee. In GM’s case, most of these plants were shut down because the capacity wasn’t needed.

    While I thought the federal “bailouts” of GM and Chrysler were the right thing to do, I never liked the practice of states competing against each other with “incentives” for companies to place facilities that might, or might not be around long term. Yes, GM has probably been among the worst in this regard.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    VW’s Westmoreland, PA plant is a prime example of a state’s probably not getting its money’s worth on the incentives. The plant never ran at full capacity, and only operated for about 10 years.

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    Looks like Ford named these car right ;


    e.g. You’ll be lucky to ‘ Escape ‘ from the one alive while most likely being ‘ Fused ‘ ( Fusion ) to the other .

  47. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit – Lately I’m seeing a whole lot more companies holding the communities their factories are in for ‘ Ransom ‘ rather than the communities ‘ Bribing ‘ the factories to move/stay there . My favorite recent example being the GM factory that is now demanding the Mid West community its in ‘ Build ‘ them a brand new paint shop and give GM the land to do it on or they’ll shutter the doors . No promise of new jobs mind you . Not even a guarantee the present job numbers will remain intact . Just ” Build us our paint shop or we’ll close the joint down “

  48. HtG Says:

    46 I want to know why on earth the engines are overheating. What is this, the 80′s? Mario Andretti can’t drive that many cars at the same time, either.

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    How about covered engines and under engines as well for the sake of aerodynamics and to make a pretty engine bay,higher compression rates, turbos, more plastic where it should be metal and more electronics, just sayin’,

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just read the article, yep, too small of a displacement asked to put out too much power, folks, you cannot change the laws of physics, not even Mullaly can do it! this is the same reason these new-fangled engines will have real bad durability issues, imagine one of these babies pulling an Escape on a hot summer day in the SW region going uphill with a full load, the concept sends hot flashes all over my body, and I’m not even menopausal anymore.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, I’ve seen close to that kind of thing happen in my home town in Indiana, both recently, and many years ago. The community didn’t build the plant, but they bought the land, probably with no guarantees.

  52. pedro fernandez Says:

    That has happened for years, in a nearby town, called Homestead, the county and city build a small baseball stadium cause the Indians were gonna move there for spring break and then reneged on the promise and now we have a never used, decaying white elephant sitting there for years.

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe those 1.6 turbos need an oil cooler, and don’t have one, or maybe the cooling system is undersize. Could that be?

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    It’s no wonder the American car industry takes a couple of steps forward and then something like this happens and causes it to take one backwards.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I remember “engine fires” in Fieros being the result of the engine running out of oil and stuffing a connecting rod through the side of the block. Then, the mist of the residual oil caught fire when it hit the exhaust manifold. I wonder if they knew that would happen when they named the car.

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It would seem that a performance version of the Fiesta might be a better application for that 1.6 turbo than a ~3700 pound Escape. In a Fiesta, the engine would be running at full power only occasionally, for spirited acceleration, rather than minutes at a time, as with the Escape climbing a grade.