Blog Archives

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

AAH #277 – Small Jeep, Global Footprint

March 6th, 2015 at 2:29pm

Audio-only version:

Download MP3

UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Sorting through February sales
- Will Nissan be able to make a run at FCA when it has a full-size pickup?
- It’s supercar mania at the Geneva Motor Show
- Toyota’s North American executive shuffle

SPECIAL GUEST: Art Anderson, Chief Engineer, Jeep Renegade

All that and much more with Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Joe Szczesny, Oakland Press; Brent Snavely, Detroit Free Press.

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!

Geneva Motor Show 2015 – John McElroy on the Road

March 3rd, 2015 at 12:15pm

Geneva-Motor-Show-Poster

The Geneva Motor Show is among the biggest and most extravagant automotive expositions in the world, always delivering eye-popping concept cars and striking global debuts. This year, as the show celebrates its 85th edition, John McElroy is traversing Geneva’s seven sprawling halls to turn up the most interesting cars and trends. Here are his insights and discoveries from day one of the show; be sure to follow @Autoline on Twitter for all the latest updates.


continue reading »

AAH #276 – Ford Performance Pushes the R&D Envelope

February 27th, 2015 at 9:43am

Audio-only version:

Download MP3

*PROGRAMMING NOTE: Starting March 5, 2015, Autoline After Hours will begin broadcasting at its new time, 3PM ET/12PM PT/20:00 GMT*

UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Why are impressions of the Honda HR-V embargoed for TWO months?
- J.D. Power‘s and Consumer Reports‘ “Best” Cars are totally different. What gives?

SPECIAL GUESTS: Jamie Allison, Ford Racing and Dave Pericak, Director, Ford Performance
- What’s behind Ford’s big push into racing and performance?

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

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!

AAH #275 – At Volkswagen Schmidt Happens

February 20th, 2015 at 3:38pm

Audio-only version:

Download MP3

*PROGRAMMING NOTE: Starting March 5, 2015, Autoline After Hours will begin broadcasting at its new time, 3PM ET/12PM PT/20:00 GMT*

UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- What is Apple up to?
- NASCAR becomes the WWE of motor racing.
- Can station wagons make a comeback?

SPECIAL GUEST: Oliver Schmidt, VW
- Where do automakers need to place their powertrain bets?

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

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Henkel

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 Land Rover Discovery Sport

February 19th, 2015 at 3:44pm

IndusSilver_145

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: Tata
Make: Land Rover
Model: Discovery Sport
Type: SUV
Competitors: Audi Q5, BMW X3, Volvo XC60
Price: Base = $37,995, Top = $46,495
Made in: Halewood, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Drivetrain: 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine w/direct injection mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission
EPA Ratings: 20MPG city/26 highway/22MPG combined

Final Impression:
DiscoverySport_Interior_005Land Rover had a successful 2014 with sales increasing 9% globally compared to the year before. And with the all-new Discovery Sport going on sale this year, the company believes its success will continue.

We just got the chance to drive the new SUV in Iceland and here are our impressions. In addition to driving the vehicle in typical situations, like on the highway and in the city, we also got to drive it on snowy and icy roads. And as you would expect from a Land Rover, the Discovery Sport was up to the task in those less than ideal road conditions. But we did benefit from using studded tires. And for those who need a vehicle for more than just normal driving, there’s four driving modes to choose from. One for regular driving, one for snow and gravel, another for mud and the last one helps the Discovery Sport perform in the sand.

continue reading »

Seat Time: 2015 Bentley Flying Spur

February 17th, 2015 at 10:52am

Bentley Flying Spur

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: VW AG
Make: Bentley
Model: Flying Spur
Type: 4-door sedan
Competitors: Rolls-Royce Ghost
Price: Base MSRP $195,100. Price as tested $253,865
Made in: Crewe, England
Drivetrain: 4.0 L V8 wtih 8-speed automatic transmission and AWD
EPA Ratings: 14 mpg city/24 highway/17 combined

Final Impression:
Bentley Flying Spur InteriorI have a hard time getting myself to simply call the Flying Spur “a car.” A vehicle of this magnitude and heritage is more appropriately referred to as a “motor car.” It offers a comforting blend of traditional features and nostalgic trappings, fully modernized for the present day.

And talk about presence. More than 17 feet long, over 7 feet wide and nearly 5 feet tall, its sheer size alone will turn heads. Add to that its classic proportions and it’s safe to say this car has few peers on the road today.

Thanks to a self-leveling air suspension and continuous damping control the ‘Spur seems to breezily float down the bumpiest roads. But there’s nothing like 120 inches of wheelbase and more than 5,300 pounds of mass to make any car ride smoothly. Even if it just had steel springs and hydraulic shocks it would ride well

continue reading »

AAH #274 – Nissan Murano Rolls the Design Dice

February 13th, 2015 at 3:29pm

Audio-only version:

Download MP3

*PROGRAMMING NOTE: Starting March 5, 2015, Autoline After Hours will begin broadcasting at its new time, 3PM ET/12PM PT/20:00 GMT*

UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- We nominate ourselves to the GM Board
- Life Beyond Fuel Cells

SPECIAL GUEST: Chris Reed, Overseas Chief Vehicle Engineer, Nissan Murano
- Murano gets a sexy makeover inside and out

All that and much more with John McElroy, Autoline.tv; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Joann Mueller, Forbes.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Henkel

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!

Nissan LMP 1 Race Car Experiments with Flybrid Power

February 12th, 2015 at 4:51pm

by John McElroy

Nissan-LMP-1-Main-Art

Nissan LMP 1 (left) and Nismo Global Motorsport Director Darren Cox (right)

I managed to snag a telephone interview with Darren Cox, the Global Motorsport Director at Nismo, about the Ben Bowlby-designed Nissan LMP 1 which will race at this year’s 24 Hour of Le Mans.

Cox said that Nissan is doing this car because it wants to associate itself with breakthrough engineering. It wants to make a big statement about its innovative capabilities and is using motor racing to make that statement. This ties in with Nissan building advanced production vehicles such as the Leaf and GTR. And it shows that Nissan’s involvement in motor racing is very comprehensive, with its GT Academy helping to identify young driving talent all around the world.

Surprisingly, the LMP 1 is being developed in Indianapolis. “The racing infrastructure around Indy is as good as it is in the UK or in Cologne,” Cox says. This program is being developed very quickly and they were able to round up a group of highly-talented Indy guys who essentially had a lot of off-season free time on their hands between October and April. Even so, despite the LMP 1 effort being based in the US, “This is a global project backed by Carlos Ghosn, it’s a NISMO project.” He notes that in addition to the Americans there are 25 engineers from Japan and a sprinkling of Brits, including Mr. Cox himself.

continue reading »

Seat Time: 2015 Toyota Prius

February 12th, 2015 at 7:00am

2012_Toyota_Prius_029

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: Toyota Motor Corporation
Make: Toyota
Model: Prius
Type: Sedan
Competitors: Ford C-Max, Honda Insight
Price: Base MSRP $28,435; price as tested $36,564
Made in: Tsutsumi, Japan
Drivetrain: 1.8-Liter 4-cylinder, with permanent magnet synchronous motor, nickel-metal hydride battery, and CVT
EPA Ratings: 51 mpg city/48 highway/50 combined

Final Impression:
2015_Prius_Persona_004Driving this car made me not like it. And the longer I drove it the worse it got. That took me by surprise. I had very much looked forward to my drive in a Prius, which I hadn’t tested in years.

Now before you think me a hybrid-hating hard-core car enthusiast, my prior impressions of this generation Prius sedan were always very good. I have friends and family who own Prius’ and love them. My expectations going into this test drive was of getting into the world’s best-selling hybrid honed better by years of Toyota kaizening. Well let me tell you.

continue reading »