Blog Archives

2016 Lexus RX Pushes the Envelope with Radical Restyling – New York Auto Show 2015

April 1st, 2015 at 11:32am

Jeff Bracken is the Group Vice President and General Manager of the Lexus Division. He talks with John McElroy about the reveal of fourth-generation Lexus RX, arguably the most important vehicle in the the luxury brand’s lineup. Bracken comments on the vehicle’s major styling overhaul and the importance of hybrids to Lexus.

Coming Soon: Autoline on the Road from the New York International Auto Show

March 31st, 2015 at 11:00am

Web-Post-AOTR-NYIAS-2015

Join John McElroy as he tours the floor of the 2015 New York International Auto Show! Autoline will be bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of the latest reveals and biggest automotive newsmakers on April 1st!

Keep checking back throughout the day 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:

Lexus Group VP & GM Jeff Bracken with Lexus RX
Global Chevrolet Cars Exec. Dir. of Design John Cafaro with Chevrolet Malibu
Scion Division Group VP Doug Murtha with Scion iA & iM
JLRNA General Manager, Product Planning Rob Filipovic with Jaguar XF
Kia Motors America VP, Product Planning Orth Hedrick with Kia Optima
Cadillac Chief Engineer Dave Leone with Cadillac CT6

Ongoing New York Coverage
April 1, 2015
Autoline.tv

AAH #280 – 2nd Gen Volt, 1st Rate Car

March 27th, 2015 at 2:25pm

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Reviewing the Cars.com’s top ten most annoying features in cars. What are your picks?
- Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson gets the boot. Where will he land?

SPECIAL GUEST: Andrew Farrah, Chief Engineer, Chevrolet Volt

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Frank Markus, Motor Trend.

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

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

Auto Tune: “Pacific Coast Highway” by Burt Bacharach

March 25th, 2015 at 3:00pm

Driving, riding, roads and of course cars themselves have all been immortalized by writers, composers and musicians around the world. Auto Tune is our way to spotlight a unique transportation song to celebrate these “ridden” gems along with the artists or composers who crafted them. Some you may know, many we’re sure you don’t.

Burt_Bacharach_Make_it_easy_on_yourselfI love Burt Bacharach. Part of perhaps the greatest songwriting team of the 20th century (and yes, I’m not overlooking Lennon & McCartney), his greatest hits are almost a soundtrack of the ‘60s and ‘70s with a few from the ‘80s tossed in for good measure. The majority of his songs were accompanied by the brilliant lyrics of Hal David, however, there were a few instrumentals that Burt composed on his own and “Pacific Coast Highway” was one of the early ones. From his 1969 album “Make It Easy On Yourself,” this love letter to the PCH captures the essence of a ride from Santa Monica to Malibu. In fact, Burt told the LA Times that his inspiration for the composition was the drive he experienced in his late ‘60s Yellow Corvette Convertible up and down the PCH. Just listen to the light, mellow and melodic vibe of the song and you’ll be transported to the parking lot of Duke’s Restaurant in Malibu as you pull out onto CA 1, make a left and head up the coast to do a little grocery shopping at the Malibu Country Market. Ahhh, I’ll grab a coffee and meet you on the patio.

- Chip Drake, Executive Producer, Autoline

Seat Time: 2015 Ford Transit 250 HR

March 23rd, 2015 at 3:13pm

Ford Transit

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: Transit 250 HR
Type: Full size cargo van
Competitors: Daimler Sprinter, Ram Promaster, Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, Nissan NV400
Price: Base: $30,560. As tested: $46,930
Made in: Kansas City, Missouri
Drivetrain: 3.2 liter I-5 diesel; 6-speed automatic
EPA Ratings: NA; observed: 20 mpg

Final Impression:
2014 Ford TransitWho would have ever thought that driving a Namu-sized van could be so much fun? All you enthusiasts out there owe it to yourselves to test drive the Transit at some point, because this van will definitely surprise and delight you.

The driving dynamics are better than you’ll find in many passenger cars. The on-center steering feel is precise, the effort is direct and you’ll sense the feedback through your hands. The brake pedal effort is directly proportional to the deceleration you’ll get out of it and is easily modulated. And while the acceleration of the I-5 diesel will not exactly snap your neck, it will more than easily keep up with traffic.

Go ahead, push it hard through one of those long, circular off-ramps. Hustle it through your favorite set of esses. Pick any apex and clip it every time. I found myself shaking my head in amazement and almost giggling. How can a vehicle with a 148-inch wheelbase, a 10-foot tall roof and over 400 cubic feet of interior room handle so well?

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AAH #279 – Ford Sharpens its Edge

March 20th, 2015 at 2:52pm

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- What’s all this talk from FCA’s Sergio Marchionne about a merger?
- Russia is in a sales tailspin. Will anyone notice outside the luxury brands?
- Up close with Jeep‘s new Moab concepts

SPECIAL GUEST: Scott Smith, Program Manager, Ford Edge

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Aaron Bragman, Cars.com.

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!

Auto Tune: “5ive Gears in Reverse” by Elvis Costello

March 18th, 2015 at 3:00pm

Driving, riding, roads and of course cars themselves have all been immortalized by writers, composers and musicians around the world. Auto Tune is our way to spotlight a unique transportation song to celebrate these “ridden” gems along with the artists or composers who crafted them. Some you may know, many we’re sure you don’t.

Elvis_Costello_-_Get_Happy!!Arguably one of the most mislabeled artists to come out of the punk movement in the ‘70s, Elvis Costello is a lot of things, but perhaps what he may value the most is the title songwriter. And when it comes to songs there wasn’t a topic he wouldn’t touch. “5ive Gears In Reverse” has long been one of my favorite tunes from his 4th album 1980’s “Get Happy.” And though its title may have a little Beach Boys/Jan & Dean flair to it — as do select automotive nouns & verbs in the body of the song — it’s far from what you’d consider a car tune. Check it out and see what I mean.

- Chip Drake, Executive Producer, Autoline

Seat Time: 2015 BMW 228i

March 17th, 2015 at 11:33am

BMW_Convertible_Animation

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: BMW AG
Make: BMW
Model: 228i
Type: convertible
Competitors: Audi A3 cabriolet, Lexus IS C, Infiniti Q60 convertible
Price: Base: $38,850, including destination charges. As tested: $43,100.
Made in: Germany
Drivetrain: 2.0 L 4-cylinder turbo, 8-speed DCT automatic
EPA Ratings: 27 mpg city/34 highway/27 mpg combined

Final Impression:
BMW 2 Series ConvertibleAnyone who is attracted to convertibles will easily fall in love with this car because it’s so easy on the eyes. Its twin round-shaped headlamps, peering from behind aerodynamic covers, maintain something of a traditional look. And the highly-defined bone line that runs unbroken from the front wheel all the way to the rear of the car, around the back end and up the other side, makes it look tautly compact and elongated all at the same time. With the top down, the passenger compartment is outlined in a way that gives this convertible something of a boat-tail look. Put it all together and to my eyes it’s definitely prettier than its competitors.

BMW 2 Series Convertible

Better still, the beauty is more than skin deep. BMW engineers went to great lengths to make sure this car is very comfortable to drive with the top down. As long as you have the windscreen raised there is barely any buffeting at speeds up to 80 mph. However, they did miss one detail. The seat belt will noticeably flutter against your shoulder unless you raise the window about 2 inches. But that does take care of the problem.

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AAH #278 – From Z06 to Zee-Oh… What?

March 13th, 2015 at 5:13pm

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Could nanoFlowcell technology be the future of propulsion?
- Harman’s Sound Zone speakers may change how you experience infotainment

SPECIAL GUEST: Tadge Juechter, Chief Engineer, Chevrolet Corvette
- Is he already working on the next-gen Vette? Is it rear mid-engine?

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Todd Lassa, Automobile.

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!
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Auto Tune: “Touring” by the Ramones

March 11th, 2015 at 3:00pm

Driving, riding, roads and of course cars themselves have all been immortalized by writers, composers and musicians around the world. Auto Tune is our way to spotlight a unique transportation song to celebrate these “ridden” gems along with the artists or composers who crafted them. Some you may know, many we’re sure you don’t.

Ramones_-_Mondo_Bizarro_coverIn this edition of Auto Tune we spotlight the Ramones “Touring.” That’s right, that faux family of brothers from the borough of Queens — who all have curiously passed on far too young — gave us this 3-minute gem about the joys of touring. From the group’s 12th studio album called “Mondo Bizarro” released in the early ‘90s, the song captures the essence of bouncing around the world as a touring rock ’n’ roll band be it in a plane, train, bus or boat. If you haven’t listened to the Ramones lately, or worse yet have never heard of them, do yourself a favor and check out one of their albums or at least listen to “Touring” by clicking the video above. I just wouldn’t use it as a Rand McNally replacement (give it a spin and you’ll know what I mean).

- Chip Drake, Executive Producer, Autoline