Episode 1087 – Navistar Hires Ex-GM Exec, Mustang Gets 4-Banger, Alpine Back at Le Mans

March 8th, 2013 at 11:36am

Runtime: 9:01

One of the former executives from the old General Motors lands a big job. The Ford Mustang is getting a 4-cylinder engine …again. For the first time in 35 years, iconic sports car brand Alpine will be returning to endurance racing. All that and more, plus Autoline Daily correspondent Seamus McElroy takes us for a few laps around Austin Texas’ brand new Formula 1 track in the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT.

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All right, it’s Friday and I for one am looking forward to the weekend. We’ve got another great Barn Find coming up later in the show, but before we to to that,let’s get to the news.

One of the former executives from the old General Motors just landed a big job. Troy Clarke was named the CEO of Navistar International, the big commercial truck company. Under former-CEO Dan Ustian the company bet on the wrong kind of emissions technology for its diesel engines and racked up huge fines and posted big losses. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn threw Ustian out, brought in three of his own board members, and now they appointed Clarke to run the company. Clarke was pushed out of GM right after the bankruptcy when he was president of GM North America, the same job now held by Mark Reuss.

I‘ve heard of all kinds of sales gimmicks before, but not this one. GM Korea will now allow owners who get in an accident to come back to the dealership and pick out a new car. As you can imagine there are a few caveats. You have to make any swap within the first three years of ownership, the owner must be 50 percent or less responsible for the accident, and the repair cost must be at least 30 percent of the vehicle’s purchase price. The damaged vehicle must be repaired at the owner’s or insurer’s expense at a certified Chevrolet service facility and then returned to a dealer before getting a new car.

Well the Ford Mustang is getting a 4-cylinder engine…again. Many of you may remember the Mustang SVO from the mid-80’s that had a turbocharged 4, and others may remember the ill-fated Mustang II from the 70’s that was fitted with a 4-cylinder lump that came right out of the Pinto. According to a report from Edmunds, the 2015 edition of the pony car will get a hopped-up version of the 2.0 Liter EcoBoost engine that is currently the Focus ST. But this option is for European eyes only. Displacement will be 2.3 Liters, it will put out 300 horsepower and will get 23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. European customers will also have the option of Ford’s 5.0 liter V-8. That leaves me asking, why can’t we get their engine if they can get ours?

Last year Renault announced it’s reviving the iconic Alpine sports car brand. The first car won’t be available until 2016, so in the meantime, the brand will return to endurance racing for the first time in 35 years. Alpine will race in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the 2013 European Le Mans Series with a prototype car powered by a 500 horsepower Nissan engine. Alpine won many class victories in the 1960’s and took the overall win in 1978.

A consortium led by researchers at the Technical University of Munich created a lightweight EV know as the Visio.M. Thanks to a monocoque carbon-fiber body this 2-seater EV only weighs 1,100 lbs and can meet all crash standards. It is powered by a 15 kW, 20 horsepower electric motor that is mated to a prototype transmission that is 15 percent lighter than conventional designs. Other participants in the consortium are BMW, Daimler and Continental, so maybe we will see some trickle down effect in future vehicles.

It’s time for another edition of Barn Finds where we feature some of the coolest vehicles you’ve discovered. Today’s submission is a Three-fer — scratch that — FOUR-fer. Chris Orchard spotted these trucks outside of a business in New Lenox, Illinois. At first glance it looks like a trio, but on closer inspection, there’s actually a fourth cab perched behind the middle rig. And, if you’re curious as to what these rust buckets looked like new, here, through the magic of Photoshop, is what you’d see if this GMC got a little TLC. Don’t these trucks remind you of the GM Futurliners used in the company’s Parade of Progress tours? Very cool find, Chris. If you think you’ve got a good pick for an upcoming Barn Finds segment, shoot an e-mail to viewermail@autoline.tv.

(Video and interviews for the SRT GC can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Thanks for that report Seamus, that SRT GC looks like a blast to drive. You know? I’d love to see Jeep make a diesel version of the SRT. Now that would be awesome!

Anyway, that wraps up this weeks reports. Go have a great weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

77 Comments to “Episode 1087 – Navistar Hires Ex-GM Exec, Mustang Gets 4-Banger, Alpine Back at Le Mans”

  1. ColoradoKid Says:

    The Akerson Report pt III

    Its up today ( TTAC ) and probably the best of the three

    ( take special notice T Bejma … the articles praising y’all … the employees …. while condemning Akerson’s actions … just as it should be :-) )


    Mustang 4 cylinder . It was a bust round one ( Mustang II ) even worse round two ( SVO .. great motor … even better chassis … but it was overpriced and nobody here understood it ) and is destined for failure once again with round three … especially because …. the Euro’s don’t want no solid rear axel .. too big for their roads Mustangs … of any kind ….. and I’d place good money IF Ford did give us the 4 cylinder Mustang … once again ….. no one would buy it ( there is something fundamentally wrong with a 4 Cylinder Mustang IMO )


    Alpine and Renault – This one gets more curious with each and every new announcement . First Renault reviving the moniker … then letting Caterham buy into it ( despite Renaults tie in with Lotus F1 ) .. then the rumors Renault may be dropping Red Bull F1 in the future ( despite the Infiniti / Nissan / Renault tie in ) … and now this announcement of the Alpine moniker returning to LeMans .

    Very strange . And getting stranger by the minute IMHO .

  2. HtG Says:

    Viva Ferrari Drivers!

    Since John did a collision story, here’s a link to a vid some kid in Italy did showing a day old 458 stuffing itself.

    …I cannot go on…


    SRT in Austin

    You’ve made me a very jealous desk cowboy, Seamus

  3. ColoradoKid Says:


    Madonna Mia ! Another MMtB ( more money than brains ) Stronzetto bites the dust ;-)

  4. GM Veteran Says:

    CK, that Mustang will be the all-new 2014 model that has already been confirmed to have an independent rear suspension, not a solid axle. It will be interesting to see how well it sells, but I doubt that Ford would go to the expense of launching it in Europe unless they have some pretty good intel and forecasts that it will sell.

  5. Duke Says:

    CK, and here you like to portray yourself as informed and the self-appointed roving reporter of all of the auto rags/blogs . . . and yet you do not know that the ’15 Mustang will have an IRS?

    Oh wait . . . there are probably a handful of more posts to come yet today.


  6. ColoradoKid Says:


    The Ford Mustang selling well in any guise in the EU/UK

    Like to place any bets on that ? You’ll lose . Guaranteed !

    As far as Ford possibly deluding themselves into thinking something will work is concerned …. allow me to direct your attention to the current debacle that Lincoln had become .

    In truth methinks Delusion has become an all inclusive epidemic in the auto industry of late . With some ( like Marchionne , Musk etc ) being worse affected/ infected than others

  7. ColoradoKid Says:

    Duke – Pardon moi for not caring what the 2015 Mustang will or won’t be …. seeing as how there’s been more conflicting info than facts released about it of late .

  8. Bradley Says:

    “Very successful people with some leisure time.”

    I find that to be an interesting statement.

    I’d rather see a 60 mpg Dart than a Cherokee on performance enhancing drugs. As the customer segment implied by that statement, is becoming smaller and smaller.

  9. Brett Says:

    Sixty-four grand for a Jeep??? Good lord…

  10. ColoradoKid Says:

    2015 Mustang on the net ;

    Hmmmmn . In answer to my current raft of naysayers I took a cursory glance around the net to see what was being said about the upcoming Mustang replacement .. including C&D the Mustang forums etc . All 2/13 and later .

    So far I’ve found ;

    The Mustang is getting IRS
    The Mustang MAY be getting IRS
    Some Mustang models will get IRS
    The US is getting the 4 cylinder Mustang
    The US is NOT getting the 4 cylinder Mustang
    The new Mustang is narrower
    The new Mustang is wider
    Eight different visions of what the styling will look like

    etc etc etc .

    So yes . Pardon me for NOT paying attention to the rumors and the hype …

  11. Feldman Says:

    Will the 4 cyl Mustang still have a “live rear axle” and a suspension as up to date as that in the late great Charlton Heston’s chariot in “Ben Hur”?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

    Navistar: Good luck with the ex GM exec… not that he can do much worse than his predecessors there. That company has been in a coma for more than a decade. I remember directing a consulting project with them, we did a site visit in their facility in some small town in IN, they didn’t even have coffee to offer us… and I made the mistake to ask an employee for a recommendation for lunch, and it was one of the most dreadful meals I ever had in a restaurant…

  12. Feldman Says:

    #11 PS I guess the Mustang is the “sports car” for the adventurous Secretary, in the sense that the Corvette has been called the car of the successful (and probably retired, judging by the Demographics) Plumber.

    (now don’t yall shoot me, I did not come up with either of the above!)

    Yesterday I went to our friendly mega-bookstore, grabbed the latest Auto Enthusiast Mags, and looked at the latest.

    Czaba Czere, the Brilliant (now retired) former Editor in Chief of C&D, had a very detailed article about what I very precisely called “VOO DOO” EPA MPG calcs and adjustments many times here. He pointedly wrote that the EPA refused to meet with him, by saying that even GM’s CEO is more accessible than the worthless fools at the EPA. Apparently they are basing their calcs on some silly, obsolete 50 MPH tests and then try to “adjust them” to figure out the MPG at 75 MPH… What nonsense.

    It is in the latest (April) issue of CAR AND DRIVER, which arguably is the best of the lot (MT, Automobile and R&T) if you are not much into track. I looked at the Web for a link but they were outdated, they had the March issue.

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    The death knell of the EV ?


  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just remembering driving that awful Mustang 2 with its anemic 4 cyl engine makes me cringe, good thing the new gen of engines are nothing like those lawn mower 4 cyl of yesteryear, still Ford will not sell them here, wonder why? I guess the bitter taste of that mess is still too fresh in the mind of the auto enthusiasts.

  15. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ 13: Hardly a surprise here on this board,lol.Battery tech is still pretty much in the dark ages in terms of what the ‘greens’ are looking for.Great for cities except if your a cliff dweller with no place to charge.Add to that the now “REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE” with ev’s in temp extreme climates,you’d be lucking to get to work and back.Bring on the diesels,roll back the epa for a while,invest in bio-diesel and our country could really get by without foreign oil too.

  16. Feldman Says:


    Consumer Reports picked its top ten, and because there were no domestics in these ten, it made up another top ten list for domestics only! (I wonder if this includes Ford Fiestas or Fusions made in Mexico ..LOL)

    So is this how the once great domestics have fallen?

    Having their cars flunk the top ten lists, and then be treated like special needs kids or athletes?

    Is this the Automotive Equivalent of the Special Olympics?


  17. W L Simpson Says:

    more VISIO


  18. ColoradoKid Says:

    16 Much as I hate to admit it ….

    Yup !

  19. W L Simpson Says:

    When an auto oddity appears , it’s because design
    was told—–”you gotta do something! , even it’s wrong! “

  20. W L Simpson Says:

    I owned 3 1st series Mercury Capri’s w/german version of the later mustang 2 engine . It was a performer, for it’s day.
    The addition of pollution controls, maybe is what
    killed the II
    I’m on my 3rd GM 2.4 ,never owned a better performing engine, must be the balance shafts,
    and the 6spd.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    Here come all the CR haters accusing them of anti-American car bias for this report, just when we were led to believe that US cars were just as good as anything else out there.

  22. HtG Says:

    I could take issue with CR’s choice of the 328i as best sports sedan. ATS seems to have impressed a lot of other people. If I actually read CR, I’d have felt more license to have added some snark in this space.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    I guess they did not pick the ATS due to its unknown reliability, first year American cars seem to continue to suffer from issues, just look at the Fusion and Focus, even Cruze had issues as well.

  24. HtG Says:

    more on CR

    Did I miss it? Where’s their best truck?

    Ah, here’s the quote from the CR page.

    “No pickup was chosen because GM’s and Chrysler’s full-sized models have been revamped and we haven’t yet tested them.”

  25. HtG Says:

    24 As Jake and Elwood said, “Boston’s not a big college town.”

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    The past catching up to Ford, recalling 2004 minivans for a rust issue that could loosen the third row seats in the snow belt, in 2018 they will have a massive recall of their turbo engines for premature wear and eventual death.

  27. ColoradoKid Says:


    …… let us not forget about Subaru and their 47,000 cars now being recalled due to ……. Self Starting ?

    24 – Or maybe unlike the rest of the US automotive media CR saw thru the thin veil that is the ATS … calling it what it really is …. a decent car … but far from World Class and Not Ready for Primetime .

    Heck . Even agenda laden CR is bound to get it right now and again .

  28. HtG Says:

    What took ya, CK? Slow connection?


  29. ColoradoKid Says:

    Anyway if memory serves me correctly J.D. Powers didn’t exactly place the American auto manufactures at the Top of the Pops in their latest surveys either …. so there’s no justification pointing fingers at CR over this .

  30. ColoradoKid Says:


    Sometimes HtG ;

    ” I’m Not There ” ….. or here … or what ever 8)

  31. ColoradoKid Says:

    So HtG

    You’re a bigger fan of Red Bull F1 than I . Any clue what the heck is going on with them – Renault … as well as Renault with this Alpine/Caterham but favoring Lotus F1 thing ?

    I’m truly … dare I say it …. Dazed and Confused over this one ;-)

  32. HtG Says:

    no idea, really. It’s about the tires and learning how to manage them at real temps. Testing so far has either been on highly abrasive Jerez or cool Spain.

    As far as Renault, I only read that they would like more recognition for their engines. But I guess they’re pretty upset about the FIA stepping in last year to take away their engine mapping solutions. Next year the engines will have more prominence.

  33. HtG Says:

    Getting deep deep, teams have at least learned how the new sidewalls will flex, which affects the efficiency of the exhaust blowing. Also, Ferrari have use of a proper wind tunnel, so their checks on the car are better matching calculations and models.

  34. ColoradoKid Says:

    F1 Coverage ( NBC Sports ) 2013

    ( watched the season preview show )

    Same faces

    Same schtick

    Same motus operandi ( 1 guy live at the track … other 3 in the US studio )

    Yet somehow …. a little more …. vapid and inane .

    Hmmn .

    ( I may be hitting you up for the keys to the kingdom before long HtG )

  35. HtG Says:

    Here’s some inside F1 I picked up from Coulthard’s book; Martin Brundle is/was DC’s business manager. To see them on the grid politely competing for interviews is weird, as Brundle does the SKY gig. As far as your viewing, I’ll have to be quite oblique.

  36. T. Bejma Says:


    GM did get 4 out of 18 of the awards from JD Power…


    And the top 3 in the truck catagory…

    “Additionally, General Motors products are the three highest-ranked models in the Large Pickup segment, with the GMC Sierra HD (2500 and 3500) models leading the GMC Sierra LD (1500) and the Chevrolet Avalanche.”

    That CR even considers all of the Honda versions the best when they were #1 or #2 in total recalls the last 6 years (with only Toyota swapping spots with them) screams of favoritism…

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    The reports do not reflect recalls, rather how the vehicles perform on their tests and predicted and actual owner-reported reliability. Everybody has recalls, specially when they demand so much from suppliers, I don’t blame suppliers, I blame the pressure the oem’s place on them, cut costs w/o cutting quality, fat chance of that happening.

  38. cwolf Says:

    My wifes first car, as she entered college, was a Mustang II, so we have a soft spot for it. I remember vividly when the muffler strap broke on our way home for the weekend. I tied the muffler up with my belt. A year or so later it caught fire when parked in down town Bowling Green. After a frantic call, I drove from the University of Toledo to see if it could be saved. With a wad of wire from my tool box and connectors from the hardware store, she drove it to her apt. and lasted until it was sold a year or so later. After dying the top white again and putting on a good wax job, I think we sold it close to the price her parents paid for it. I don’t mean to bore anyone,but recalling this event just brought back one of those fond memories of growing up.

  39. Brett Says:

    With regard to EVs. Does everyone willfully ignore just how insanely expensive, impractical, fragile, and finicky the internal combustion automobile was when it was first introduced?

    How dare the EV not spring forth into the market place perfected!

    I can practically hear some of our amateur pundits calling “Get a horse!” from the seat of their buggy as they plod past the hapless pioneer fussing over the engine of his stranded Duryea…

  40. GaryPaul Says:

    Long Comments Here: Skip if you don’t wanna look!

    Regarding the new 2015 Ford Mustang which will likely be introduced to the world in April of 2014 (for the 50th anniversary):

    –The new Mustang (S550 platform) is 100% certain to have an IRS (independent rear suspension)

    –Regarding the traditional Mustang buyers who love the heavy-duty, easy to modify, & solid live rear axles (I am one of them and have owned them), and the normally aspirated engines , that’s fine but the time for change is now and I look forward to welcoming the IRS and I can accept the turbo
    …the “average” Mustang owner in fact may not even know if his car is front drive or rear drive or awd or a V6 or a turbo-4 or has IRS, or 3 squirrels running in the engine compartment to make it go. Don’t think so? Ask the average owners randomly–they don’t know! So they won’t care if its a turbo 4 cylinder–they might even like it and brag about it even if it doesn’t perform any better–all they care about is if the thing starts and operates properly for its role & looks the part–and it likely will. Personally i generally like simpler normally aspirated engines, solid axle, rear drive vehicles whether they are sedans, economy cars, or trucks, but i recognize that the masses want the latest smoothest ride and handling, so for Ford at this time the change to an IRS makes sense. Engineer them well and they will hold up alright.

    –Regarding the next Mustang being still too big for sales in parts of Europe…Well that would likely be true if they do nothing to reduce the weight by 200-300 lbs. I can’t imagine that this won’t be the case but Ford may be concerned over use of the platform for a Lincoln model and that may check any really serious weight loss. The fact that the vehicle is really being seriously updated with the end of retro style and with what is supposed to be an impressive interior for the price point, etc…. would all be a big help to getting a toe hold across the pond. We just have to wait and see.

    –Regarding the new 4 cylinder for the Mustang….What is interesting about the upcoming 4-cylinder turbo is that although the city mpg is significantly improved over the present day base V6, its highway mpg seems low, especially compared to the heavier and less aerodynamic 2011-2014 base engine (V6) model years –shouldn’t this future base Mustang be getting about 33-34 highway mpg at least for the automatic (which has higher highway MPG)? Or is Ford, stung by the hit over its overly ambitious mileage estimates–especially on the hybrids–therefore being more conservative with its latest MPG figures, John?

    Regarding the 1984 SVO–I recall seeing one on Michigan’s I-275 back in I think December of 1983. I recall that at that time it was an incredible sight with its fat tires and dual Spoilers out back–it really made an impression, as we were just getting out of the pathetic engine performance dry spell from the mid 70s through the early 80s. It was cool and powerful but what really killed it was the significantly cheaper Mustang LX 5.0 Liter (not well known about back then) and the Mustang GT either of which could clean the clock of the SVO in 0-60 and ET. Although not as keen on handling (and rather weak on braking) the 5.0 V8s were hard to beat for low cost fast fun power.

    –Regarding the Lincoln Brand being a “debacle”. With Ford in the mess that it was in back 10 years ago it was a minor miracle that Mulally could put the broken Humpty Dumpty back in order again. This was a herculean task and there have been hiccups along the way but getting rid of “chimneys” and in house fighting, pushing the One Ford idea, bringing more engineering in house, eliminating Mercury (the walking dead brand), selling all the other brands, getting the cash needed, Saving an American Icon etc) has saved Ford. With all the attention placed on FORD, Lincoln was clearly neglected during this turnaround, but Ford is pouring Billions into it now and the new Lincoln products are just starting to trickle out. The 2014 MKZ (No, I do not agree with the LMNS, Letter Menagerie Naming System) is the first of these—and no one can say it looks like the Ford platform it is based on, or that the interior is the same, or that everyone will know it’s a Ford, etc, etc. in other words it’s too early to call the Lincoln resurrection a failure. It might fail–there are no guarantees–But lets see what happens in a few years before we throw it under the bus.

  41. Drew Says:

    What the Mustang REALLY needs to do is:

    #1–go on a diet and get rid of 300-500 pounds of FAT.

    #2–revised rear-end styling. Concave taillights similar to the 1967 model would be welcome.

    #3–AVOID that turbo 4-cylinder that is more complex but does not provide any power or fuel consumption advantage over their existing 6-cylinder.

  42. ColoradoKid Says:

    Maybe this is the attitude I need to adapt


    ( March 9th if you look a day or two later )

    Anyway … big blow coming our way …. the only concern being the ol back holding up .


    GaryPaul – Nice fantasies and dreams there …. but not much reality to be seen …. Lincoln has become a parody as well as a financial pariah …. the ‘ new ‘ Mustang will more than likely LOSE more customers than it’ll ever gain …. and a 4 cylinder Mustang here or in the EU is destined for abject failure

    But like I said . Nice bit of dreaming ….. unfortunately Reality will come crashing thru those Dreams … sooner than later I’m afraid

  43. ColoradoKid Says:


    Now there’s a man who ‘ gets ‘ it when it comes to the Mustang

    + 1 Drew !

  44. ColoradoKid Says:


    Do your history . EV’s and ICE’s went head to head …. with the EV’s winding up on the scrap heap .

    Do your research . EV’s by any and all standards are an abject failure …. needing $$$$$$$$$ of government funding just to stay afloat …. because the things are worthless and anyone with a modicum of common sense and a scoshum oof engineering knowledge ….. knows that

    So quit making up excuses …. face the facts as they are ( rather than the revisionist history you seem to subscribe to ) a

  45. ColoradoKid Says:


    Just a little more if I may

    1) There is absolutely NOTHING new about todays current raft of EV’s . Same old technology – Same old problems – Same end result …. with a bit of computers stuck on to make things worse ( drain the batteries ) and Li batteries to add to their problems . So any excuses as to their failure goes out the window . If they couldn’t get them right going on 100 years now …. they never will .

    2) The BURDEN of financing of both those early ICE’s as well as EV’s fell squarely on the shoulders of the individuals creating them and what ever individuals chose to willingly INVEST in them …. whereas todays EV’s would not even exist if it were not for the Governments FORCING their tax payers to shoulder the financial burden .

    3) And a reminder ( assuming you’ve missed this ) Audi – Mercedes Benz – BMW and now Toyota and even Ghosn with Nissan/Renault are saying ….. point blank I might add ;

    EV’s have no long term future

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    And yet another contradictory report on the ‘ New ‘ Mustang ;


    Is it Is or Is It Aint ?

    Methinks I’ll wait till the car’s actually ‘ Officially ‘ released before believing any of the details about the 2015 Mustang seeing as how no one can seem to agree on much of anything about it

  47. Feldman Says:

    #22 HtG “I could take issue with CR’s choice of the 328i as best sports sedan.”

    #23 Pedro “I guess they did not pick the ATS due to its unknown reliability..”

    The above is probably half the reason why. The ATS is a good try, but falls short in other areas as well. Note the above “SPORTS SEDAN” category. The ATS has plenty of “sports” in it, but not much of what any sedan NEEDS, ie rear room and especially TRUNK SPACE. The 328i has an amazing 17 cu ft, the ATS, with the same external dimensions, has only 10 cu ft, which is just UNacceptable.

    So the 328 is the rightful winner because it has plenty of SPORTS (Legendary Handling etc) AND is an excellent, roomy sedan for its size group.

    If one did not want “Sports”, but just entry level luxury sedan, the C-class, which actually sold more units than the 3 (which everybody is targeting), which I like a lot, and even the Camry-Buick-Lexus ES, would qualify.

    #29 “GM did get 4 out of 18 of the awards from JD Power…”

    JD Power is a JOKE. You guys (GM and other makers) PAY JD Powers to do these studies. How can they be impartial? Nobody pays CR, though, so Bejma’s claim that it “favors” some imports over the domestics is laughable if it implies any sort of Bias.

    CR makes a point to never accept ads from automakers, AND buys their cars retail, and never accepts them as gifts or loans from the makers. What else could it do to prove beyond any doubt that it is 100% UNBiased????

    #40 Re Your Lincoln comments: Lincoln is the worst brand in the entire US market as of now, and there is ZERO hope it will improve, since it has ZERO (repeat, zero) vehicles that are not CLONES, much more expensive and much uglier looking, of FORD models.

    I believe Mulally, if he is the genius he is purported to be, has left Lincoln to die a slow death. IMHO, he should either make a MAJOR effort, or shut it down. THIS is worse than either of these options.

  48. HtG Says:

    47 Where’d BMW get that 7ft of trunk volume? The ATS is so similarly sized except for height and an inch of wheelbase. But how much should trunk volume be weighted in a sports sedan comparo?

  49. Feldman Says:

    48 HtG Says:
    March 9th, 2013 at 11:38 am

    47 Where’d BMW get that 7ft of trunk volume?

    You should ask why the idiots that designed the ATS were SO INRDEDIBLY DUMB as to lose 7 entire CUFT. AND the 3 is not alone, every other car in its class has a FAR bigger trunk than the silly 10 cu ft of the ATS.

    ” But how much should trunk volume be weighted in a sports sedan comparo?”

    If it was a sports COUPE, both rear seat and trunk would be insignificant. If it is a coupe you want, buy a coupe. They always look much better than the sedan versions.

  50. HtG Says:

    I dunno, Feldman. I see that the Merc and Audi have 12.4 cu ft. How’d BMW get their figure? Maybe a taller or deeper trunk? It’s impressive.


  51. Feldman Says:

    #50 I’m surprised the Merc and Audi have so small ones-although still larger by 2.5 cu ft than the ATS.

    In addition, Mike Karesh in his thorough review also said that the 17 is not big just on paper, but also in reality, useful space is just as bigger than that in the ATS.

    Rear room is also much smaller in the ATS than the 3 and probably also the other two.

    Still, I like the exterior styling of the ATS almost better than the 3, even tho it has been the same styling in all Caddy models the last 12 years or so.

    I’ll say the ATS is far better than anything LINCOLN has to offer.

  52. Drew Says:

    Why do I not hear much complaints about the Cadillac ATS being SO DAMNED SMALL INSIDE?!?!
    I can barely fit in it in the front….impossible in the back!

  53. Feldman Says:


    Above is Mike’s review of the ATS. I paste a couple sections:

    “Rear seat room & comfort

    The latest 3-Series has a roomy, comfortable back seat. Cadillac didn’t see this coming, and sized the ATS to compete with the previous-generation BMW. Consequently, the Cadillac’s rear seat is considerably tighter than the BMW’s or the Infiniti G37′s, a little tighter than an A4′s, about even with that in a C-Class, and roomier than that in a Lexus IS. If you want adults to be comfortable in back, the ATS isn’t your car, but neither are most of the cars it competes with.

    Cargo capacity & towing

    The latest 3-Series also has a far larger trunk than the ATS’s, 17 vs. 10 cubic feet. When optimizing the ATS’s rear suspension for handling, space efficiency was allowed to slide. (While the ATS’s trunk compares worse than its back seat does, I have put the back seat first on this list of “why nots” because more people will probably care about it.)”

  54. Feldman Says:

    #52 There have been plenty of complaints here. I did not know that even the front seat was tight, though.

    Anyway, remember the ATS is the smallest Caddy. Its class is almost CIvic-Corolla small, and sure smaller than Accord-Camry size.

  55. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Edmunds list the BMW cargo capacity at 13 (don’t know who’s right) but interesting discrepancy.

  56. Feldman Says:

    #55 I checked the BMW site but they did not bother to give trunk volumes or interior dimensions. I then went to the EPA 2013 Fuel Econ Guide, and surprisingly it lists the 328 sedan as 96/13 (passenger-cargo space) but the 328 COUPE as … 88/16 (!!!).

    If I had to bet, I’d bet that the EPA made a typo, copied by Edmunds. Mike Karesh is way too careful to make such a mistake, usually.

    The same site lists the ATS (Sedan) as 91/10.


  57. HtG Says:

    The BMW site says it’s got 17cu ft. I won’t embarrass myself by speculating about rear roll center choices and trunk capacity. Looks like I’ve got one more reason to go to the NY show.

  58. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I don’t think a typo (on EPA); they (BMW) traded interior for trunk space in the coupe (88/16) and the sedan has (96/13); now that makes sense. Of course my comment is conjecture (as I truly don’t know for sure).

  59. Feldman Says:

    #58 the sedan and the coupe have much different total volumes, the sedan is much bigger due to bigger height and more square roofline.

    If the BMW site gives it as 17, and if Mike Karesh in his review says it both is and, more importantly, really feels huge, then I’d stick with 17.

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    Ford planners need to decide which way are they taking the Mustang, continue its pony car power, weight and size to go against the Ca and Ch or do they go on a Weight Watchers diet and go against the FR-S BR-Z and Genesis group. A smaller, lighter Mustang with crisper handling, better interior space and more power than the Japanese duo could easily beat them at their own game.

  61. XA351GT Says:

    Pedro @#60 I hope they continue against the Camaro and Challenger/Cuda as is threatened to be coming. They are it’s natural competition. Let the imports fight it our amongst themselves. That said nothing wrong with giving someone the choice between V8 muscle and turbo 4 revs.

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe the new 4 cylinder turbo Mustang will be called “Mustang SVO II.”

    It sounds like all of the “pony cars” will be downsizing, at least somewhat, in their next generation. To me, the biggest news might be seeing how the Mustang sells, as it moves away from the seriously retro styling of the recent cars.

    The current 3 series took a big step from “sport” to “luxury” with the recent redesign. The new car is bigger, the interior is nicer, and yes, the car is “softer” than the old one. As far as the ATS, it seamingly competes more directly with the previous 3 than the current one. Maybe Cadillac didn’t have very good spies, and assumed the F30 3 series would stay about the same as the previous one, or maybe they deliberately made the ATS “sportier” to compete with the previous 3.

    For what it’s worth, CR lists the ATS as having 1.5-2.0 more “rear seat fore-aft room” than the C-Class, IS, and A4, but an inch less than the 3 series. CR doesn’t list trunk volume; they show the number of large suitcases and duffel bags that will fit. By that measure, the trunks of the 3, C, and ATS are the same, while the IS and A4 hold one more suitcase. As everyone says, though, I’m sure the current 3 has a larger trunk, but it doesn’t hold CR suitcases efficiently, leaving lots of extra space for other things.

  63. pedro fernandez Says:

    The young gen looking at the Mustang as an option could care less about its origins or how cool the original ones were and just want the type of sporty driving they’re getting from the likes of Veloster, ugly MOFO is selling very well around these parts, I have meet a couple of owners of the turbo and they basically got it for the fun to drive vs cost factor and both bypassed the ‘Stang due to its size and sloppier handling.

  64. ColoradoKid Says:

    F1 News


    What with rumors of Red Bull switching to Honda etc …. the plot thickens


    ‘New’ Mustang – What Americans want from an American Car … IS an American car ….. not another EuroJap Wanna Be with a US moniker

    Funny thing is …. spend a little time with the EU/UK car buff’s and they’ll tell you thats what they want as well

    In their words ” Why buy an underwhelming US built EuroJap wanna be for far too much money when we can get the real thing for less thats so much better ? ”

    ( hint ; It aint our current car culture thats booming across the planet …. its our past )

    Thats the one lesson none of the ( not so ) Big Three can get thru their thick , obstinate , buried in the sand … heads .

  65. pedro fernandez Says:

    CK speaking of which, MW tested out the Camry powered Lotus Evora with an automatic Toyota tranny and it sells for over $85k WTF??? I can have an real sports car like a Porsche for that kind of money, makes no sense.

  66. HtG Says:

    64 M’excuse, Alain. Those Renault lumps were down on power and their generators were failing the cars out of points and wins.

    CK,check out Joe Saward’s column on G Williams. Sad.

  67. T. Bejma Says:

    Interesting story on Japan, the Yen and their unfair advantage in the Auto Industry…


  68. T. Bejma Says:

    I think it was cwolf talking about this Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (The TPP is a free trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and 10 other Pacific-rim countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam) the other day and how it seems to be going on with out any word in the news…


    Could have quite an affect on farming and the auto industry…

  69. HtG Says:

    One drive, a long whine

    Here’s why I just don’t know;

    Sunday morning fruit and veggie run.
    1 Porsche Turbo trapped by two bears on the highway at the tail end of a twisty section.
    2 Woman in black walking with traffic. Apple headphones, and gabbing on phone function.
    3 Woman exiting fruit and veggie stand blocks both lanes, front wheels turned full lock to left. After waiting for car after car to pass, she turns right. No signal

    This crap happens every time I drive, and is a strong reason that I don’t buy something nice. I’m not even going to go into the crazy I dealt with on the West Side Highway earlier today. It’s tiresome.

  70. HtG Says:


    2 Woman in black walking in traffic with back to cars. This road has blind spots and brows.

    I needed to make that clear. What is that?

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, a while back, I figured they might re-brand the engines as Infiniti, since they are now trying to make Infiniti a global brand.

    They need to get a handle on that alternator problem, though. Those failures would not be good advertising for a “premium” brand.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    One would think Renault/Nissan would enjoy the success Red Bull is having with their engines, even though RB is not their “house” team. Maybe not, though.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yes, sadly, it is really hard for a car enthusiast to enjoy driving these days.

  74. ColoradoKid Says:

    How things have changed – the Racing edition

    We’ve all been bemoaning how things are changing in the automotive world and this weekend I was confronted by another one

    Perusing my automotive library I pulled out my book on the Peugeot 205 T16 ( the WRC car ; ” Peugeot 205 The Story of a Challenge ” Jean Todt w/JL Moncet ) and out fell a letter I’d almost forgotten about

    Turns out in the 87 I’d heard thru the grapevine that Peugeot was bring over their monster version 205T16 for the Pike Peak Hillclimb …. so I’d written the company ( not any individual ) to confirm so’s I could make plans in advance to attend if they were coming ( I’m a big fan of Ari Vatanen )

    Well …. I’d gotten a hand written and signed reply from …….. non other than Team Principal himself ….. Jean Todt … not only confirming their appearance …. but inviting me to join them for a dinner one evening .

    Now lets be clear if’n you’re wondering . I was ( and still am ) not a famous person ( recognized by some yes … far from famous ) nor a wealthy person ( comfortable sums it up ) …. yet I still got this incredible letter …. from the boss of a then major international racing team

    ( turns out JT was fascinated and curious to meet a US rally fan )

    Fat chance anything like that happening today

    Now days you pay good money just to stand in line for an autograph


    69 I feel your pain/frustration/anger/disgust etc … Even outside the city its getting all but impossible to unleash the potential of even a family hatchback … never mind a performance car .

  75. Brett Says:

    Talk is cheap. “Get a horse!”

  76. John Clor Says:

    Oh, John!
    Didn’t expect YOU to rehash urban legend! The “ill-fated Mustang II?” Tho most enthusiasts haven’t embraced it (or many cars from that era), the Mustang II was an unquestioned sales success — 3 of the 5 years it was made remain in the top-10 best sales years for Mustang! And it was NOT “fitted with a 4-cylinder lump that came right out of the Pinto” — the Pinto used a pair of very good euro I-4′s, and actually borrowed the 2.3L from the Mustang II in ’74! I’ll be happy to appear on your show to dispel any Mustang myths, especially with the 50th coming up … and you can appear on my new Cable-Access show — “Cars In Context” … let me know!

    e ras but you mgmg aei

  77. GaryPaul Says:

    Please excuse the late comments–been really busy…

    #76: Yes you got right, John. The mid 1970s 4 banger Mustang did sell well. Yes I wish it had more guts in its base engine then especially, but Ford and GM and Chrysler were all struggling to get something out that would rapidly increase mpg not only to meet upcoming more stringent EPA emissions and MPG mandates but also because the price of gas had shot up to more than double the price combined with gasoline shortages for a while & serious inflation–remember that? And we did not yet have the computer to help bring our engines into compliance with emissions, increase hp, & help increase mpg the way that little box does today!

    And incidentally to anyone to compare the new upcoming 2015 Mustang 4 cylinder turbo with the 1974 4-cylinder –Why it’s rather like comparing a Panda bear to a Grizzly! Besides–and this is a critical point–what were Ford’s base engines back when it first was introduced. Solid and dependable 6-cylinder engines–but you could hardly call them sporty! And the car did not sit on the lots because of that engine. DO I wish they had placed a more powerful base engine in the original 64 &1/2 vehicle–sure! And that’s what Ford has done –finally!–with the 2011-2014 models. If they keep a similarly powerful engine (hp per lb) for the 2015 model with good performance characteristics then the vehicle will likely sell.

    And speaking of the 2015 Mustang–lest any of the folks out there forget– The 5.0 V8 will still be there on the GT to compete with upcoming new Chevrolet Camaro V8 models (which are likely to are to arrive–downsized on the Alpha platform–for their 2016 model year intro).

    The upcoming competition between the Mustang and Camaro should be terrific and hey–isn’t it fantastic that these 2 vehicles are tackling all the sometimes draconian regulations thrown at all vehicles nowadays here in USA (and Europe) and still offering us performance levels (0-60 and ETs for the V8s 7 the base engine) that are dollar for dollar the best in the world or near it? And combined with handling and braking and livability that were a pipe dream 45 years ago.

    And speaking of what made an American car an American car back in the 1950s and 1960s–Relatively big strong usually undersquare V8s(compared to so much of the rest of the world), relatively strong rear wheel drive-trains, relatively simple to work on and modify, good bang for the buck. All those things were great & I was a part of it and still am, and with the rear-drive V8 solid axle performance cars I have owned, I appreciate their attributes. But frankly today’s vehicles have more ways to hit high performance than only with a V8 or only with a V6 or only with a solid axle. Ford is on the right path moving relentlessly toward being a true world car company–if it wants to remain alive that is. It’s time to get on with a new fresh Mustang that pushes the edge of the Mustang Envelope a bit even if that means using a 4-cylinder turbo for Europe or here in USA. For example:

    The new 2015 Mustang will need to keep a few Major Styling Themes that every updated Mustang has done over the last 50 model years: Long hood-short deck lid or fastback; a Running Pony Emblem; and the side cove. –But full retro styling is O-U-T. I don’t want to see a new 1971 Ford Mustang!

    Nevertheless it should keep the good it has had during most of those 50 years: A relatively powerful, normally aspirated V8 engine (such as the 5.0 Liter it has now, yet with hopefully 20 more hp, perhaps through direct injection), a fastback theme (or near fastback) for the non-convertible models, and keeping a relatively powerful engine for the base model as it introduced for the 2011 model year. It can then capitalize on keeping the 3-per-side tail-lights image (even though they were not always separate individual lights) which it had during the first 6.5 model years and uses today and combine it with the sequential turn-signals (which evolved originally from the mid 60′s Thunderbird and then the 67 Mercury Cougar (and were then ignored for a long time as any part of a Mustang theme but are an important part of the Mustang Image now). Regarding the front end style themes –remember the present Mustang is pretty pathetic in its present aerodynamics and Ford has to do something to fix the front-end & underside air flow (a topic that almost no one mentions–the present vehicle’s poor cD!). Together these themes: sequential rear turn signals, the long hood/short deck, the side cove, the running pony, the powerful V8 and a powerful base engine, set the guidelines for the outside! Of course it needs to have the best interior (quality, seating, design) relative to anything in its class-PERIOD!