Hi there listeners. So far, Dan and I have been supporting Wheel Bearings ourselves but at some point it might be nice to get a sponsor or two to help out. One thing that help us do that is if you were to take a couple of minutes and answer some survey questions. That will help us understand who’s listening and if we do get sponsors we can try to make them more relevant to you.
This time around Sam and Rebecca sat down on the rooftop of the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge where they were staying while attending the finale of the 2018-2019 FIA Formula E season. Our duo talks about driving the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro and the Nissan Leaf Plus. After the garage talk they dive into electric racing with the Jaguar i-Pace e-Trophy series and Formula E. The show wraps up with a talk Rebecca recorded by Allan McNish, team manager of the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team.
Sam and Dan catch up on Goodwood, where the Volkswagen I.D.R broke the speed record, and then did it again the next day, too. Sam gives impressions of the 2020 Hyundai Palisade, and we wrap up with the news of Ford, Volkswagen, and Argo.ai announcing a collaboration on EVs and autonomous driving development.
This week’s cars:
• 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI S
• 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan SE
Dan is back and talking about the BMW X2 M35i that he used to shuttle his kids around on a family trip. Rebecca goes beyond the infotainment of the Lexus RC350 F-Sport and Sam swaps a Rav4 with flaky bluetooth for a Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE. In the news, the crew discusses GPS spoofing and high-definition maps. Rebecca and Sam went to the Fiat Chrysler What’s New event and talked with Transmission and powertrain head Jeff Lux about electrification and brand management. Speaking of electrification, the new Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a plug-in hybrid with a front-wheel-drive electric mode.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UConnect marketing manager Mike Novak gives Sam and Rebecca a demonstration of the Market feature coming to FCA vehicles over the next few months. UConnect market gives drivers access to partners like Dominos, Shell and parking providers to order pizzas, pay for gas and reserve a spot right from the in-vehicle screen.
Dan was traveling on family business this week so it’s just Sam and Rebecca. Sam sings the praises of the 2019 Mazda 3 and laments bluetooth causing the infotainment system in the Toyota Rav 4 to crash. Speaking of bluetooth issues and Toyota adjacent vehicles, Rebecca had issues trying to connect to the Lexus RC350 F Sport but very much enjoyed driving the new Hyundai Palisade. The crew also discusses designing the technology for consumers and how to help them understand what it can and cannot do before finishing up with news of the BMW Vision M Next concept.
This week Rebecca and Sam had very different hybrid experiences on opposite coasts. Rebecca has been enjoying the thrill of the Acura NSX while Sam got to sample the 2020 Ford Explorer. They also both to sample the third generation Kia Soul in faux crossover flavor and find it continues to be a favorite small car. Meanwhile Dan has been getting around in the latest Nissan Altima.
GM is reportedly considering reviving the once gas guzzling Hummer brand to build EVs. Aurora Innovation is shifting alliances and taking on new partners to develop automated driving systems and Mazda is eschewing touchscreens, something two-thirds of trio wholeheartedly approve of.
This week, Dan has been driving the Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet. Sam drove the refreshed 2019 Hyundai Tucson before heading off to Manhattan to ride subways. Rebecca has been driving the Cadillac Escalade around southern California. From there we dive into the failed Fiat Chrysler and Renault merger and where it might go next including hooking up with Volkswagen. Finally, VW launches a new ad campaign that apologizes for diesel as they shift to electric vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler and Renault Merger Off
This week the crew drives a bunch of different flavors utility vehicles and a convertible. Rebecca and Dan both sampled the new Kia Telluride. Dan also tried a blend of old and new school with the Mercedes-Benz G550. Sam’s utilities were both electrified with the Lexus UX250h F-Sport giving way to the new Range Rover P400e plug-in hybrid. In the news our intrepid trio talks about the prospects for a merger of FCA and Renault, the impact of new potential tariffs on the auto industry and new “sport” sedans from Cadillac. Rebecca also discusses her time at the Heels and Wheels event in California. Finally, Sam made a video answering questions about autonomous vehicle technology.
The crew is back with the Chevy Blazer, Ford Ranger and Mazda Miata RF. Sam has been driving the Audi E-Tron Quattro in northern California. Amy Marentic talks Ford Icons, Mazda is bringing back inline sixes and GM Cruise gets more cash.
Leo Laporte and Sam try out the 2019 Kia Niro EV, an impressive compact electric crossover with a 239 mile range