Episode #083 – Race On Tony Swan

Episode #083 – Race On Tony Swan

 
 
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This week Sam drives the latest Mazda6 which is still his favorite midsize sedan while Dan samples the Hyundai Kona and Toyota Sienna with all-wheel-drive. As the auto industry changes, Mercedes-Benz considers paring down niche models while GM and Honda team up on automated driving and mobility. Finally, we bid farewell to Tony Swan. Links The Passing of Tony Swan Mercedes-Benz prepares to cut low volume models GM and Honda team on Automated Driving`


Episode #082 – Coupes, Convertibles, Chargers and Separate Development

Episode #082 – Coupes, Convertibles, Chargers and Separate Development

 
 
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This week, Brianna Wu returns to the show to talk about her Porsche Cayman, Sam drives 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Ultimate and Dan shares his feelings on the Ford Mustang Convertible. Lucid follows up on their big Saudi funding round with a deal with Electrify America to provide charging for the upcoming Air electric sedan. The crew also discusses the lack of togetherness between BMW and Toyota in developing the new Z4 and Supra. Links Lucid teams up with Electrify America BMW and Toyota mostly stop talking  


2019 Audi e-Tron Quattro Makes Global Debut In San Francisco

Tesla has won. Not in the sense that the Silicon Valley electric vehicle maker has taken over the industry because they haven’t and probably won’t. But in the sense that the ultimate goal of the founders was to push the industry to electrification. Regardless of whether Tesla’s share price goes to $4,000 or zero, virtually every major automaker is or will soon be selling very compelling zero emissions vehicles. Joining the party this week is Audi with its new e-Tron quattro which got its global reveal today in San Francisco. Read the full story


The Quietly Luxurious 2019 Lincoln Nautilus

Earlier this decade, Ford had to make some tough decisions about the future of the Lincoln brand. Over at least the past ten years, the entire brand has consistently been outsold by most of the Ford nameplates including Mustang. The powers that be in Dearborn decided not abandon the brand, but to focus on a theme of quiet luxury rather than taking on the German heavyweights directly. The latest weapon in Lincoln’s battle to bring serenity to the world is the refreshed and rebranded 2109 Nautilus. Read the full review Add the RSS Feed to your favorite podcatcher – http://wheelbearings.media/feed/podcast […]


2019 Cadillac XT4, Is Being Competitive Enough In 2018?

Since the turn of the current century, Cadillac has struggled mightily to transform its brand image from a purveyor of old-school American land barges to a creator of engaging drivers cars. In that time, particularly the last half decade, GM’s premium brand has created some excellent cars. Unfortunately, the market is increasingly disinterested in sedans. In response, Cadillac is expanding its crossover utility lineup, slotting in the compact XT4 at the leading edge of the spear. Is it sharp enough to win over customers? Read the rest of the review  


Episode #081 – New Premium SUVs Including an Electric Audi

Episode #081 – New Premium SUVs Including an Electric Audi

 
 
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After a hectic week of travel for Sam while Dan was making an emergency commercial, the guys are back with a bunch of vehicles they’ve driven. Sam spent time with the BMW 230i and Kia Rio EX while Dan was in the BMW X2 and the VW Beetle convertible for a last hurrah before it rolls off into the sunset. Sam also drove the Cadillac XT4 and Lincoln Nautilus and attended the global reveal of the Audi E-Tron Quattro. Also J Mays emerges from retirement to design something new. Links 2019 Lincoln Nautilus First Drive 2019 Cadillac XT4 First Drive […]


Episode #080 – SUV Extremes, Hybrid Hauling, Mercedes Goes Electric and We Lose Focus

Episode #080 – SUV Extremes, Hybrid Hauling, Mercedes Goes Electric and We Lose Focus

 
 
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Since the last regular episode, Sam has been in the new Jeep Wrangler with a 48V mild hybrid and a Nissan Kicks. Meanwhile Dan has been hauling stuff in the Hyundai Ioniq and picks up the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Mercedes-Benz revealed the new EQC this week and the Ford Focus Active isn’t coming to America. Links Navigant Research webinar on the Data Driving Automated Vehicles The Data Driving Automated Vehicles white paper 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 2.0T  2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC Trade Ware Kills Focus Active for America  


2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara – More Civilized, Still an Off-Road Beast

From time to time, certain vehicles come along that attain an iconic status to such a degree that not only does the model stay in production for decades, but even the fundamentals of the basic design are retained even as the mechanicals evolve. The Porsche 911, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Mini and of course the Jeep Wrangler. For 2018, the Wrangler with its updated internal code of JL is all-new and yet it remains as ever a direct descendent of the utility vehicles utilized by the U.S. Army beginning in 1941. Read the rest of the review on Forbes


Episode #079 – Larry Burns Talks About Autonomy

Episode #079 – Larry Burns Talks About Autonomy

 
 
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In this special episode of Wheel Bearings, Sam sits down with Larry Burns, retired SVP of R&D and Strategic Planning at General Motors to talk about his new book, Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car—And How It Will Reshape Our World. Since retiring from GM in 2009, Burns has been an educator and consultant including working with the Google Self-driving car project and Waymo since 2011. The book is a great read for anyone interested in learning more the history of the DARPA Grand Challenge and development of automated vehicles in the past decade.