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.


Episode #078 – Refreshed Jeep, Affordable Car and Some Unaffordable EVs

Episode #078 – Refreshed Jeep, Affordable Car and Some Unaffordable EVs

 
 
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            This week Dan records his end of the show from the new Kia Rio which proves an affordable new car doesn’t have to be cheap junk. Sam is at home after having driven the 2019 Jeep Cherokee and the 48V mild hybrid Ram 1500. The guys discuss the wisdom of Jaguar building electric restomod E-types, Audi’s new Pebble Beach electric supercar concept and whether Elon Musk has outlived his usefulness to Tesla Links First Drive of the 2019 Ram 1500 eTorque Jaguar commits to building electric E-Types Audi PB18 e-Tron concept  


2019 Ram 1500 eTorque, Getting Mildly Hybridized

At the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Fiat Chrysler’s Ram Division unveiled an all-new generation full-size light-duty pickup truck with a bit of a surprise. Along with the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, the 2019 Ram 1500 is adopting a 48V mild hybrid system, the first such systems on high volume vehicles in North America. In an American market where consumers regularly respond to surveys that they want better fuel economy, but rarely act with their dollars to that effect, adding a 48V system and branding it as eTorque may well be the route to truck buyers hearts. Read […]


Episode #077 – Hybrids, Some Affordable, Others Not Plus Casey

Episode #077 – Hybrids, Some Affordable, Others Not Plus Casey

 
 
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Lots of electrified vehicles this week as Sam discusses the Lexus LC500h and Honda Clarity Fuel Cell while Dan gets his hands on the new Honda Insight and the Ford Expedition Max Platinum. Casey Liss is also back to talk about the VW Golf R. Everyone’s favorite 80s and 90s near vaporware is trying to make a comeback as Vector offers up a couple of old prototypes to kickstart a revival. Links Casey On Cars – 2018 VW Golf R 2018 Lexus LC500h – Is the Hybrid Tour Still Grand? Accidental Tech Podcast  


2018 Lexus LC500h, Is The Hybrid Tour Still Grand?

When I first drove the Lexus LC500 nearly a year ago, I came away with the impression that it was an incredibly striking and surprisingly engaging grand tourer. This impression was reinforced when I had a chance to lap the big V8-powered coupe at Road America earlier this year and found it to be remarkably capable when thrashed on one of the country’s greatest race tracks. Since Lexus is the premium brand of Toyota Motor Corporation, it should come as no shock that there is also an electrically-augmented version of the LC with an h suffix. Does it live up […]


Episode #076 – EPA Rollback, Autonomous Safety, Car & Driver Layoffs, and lots of Listener Questions

Episode #076 – EPA Rollback, Autonomous Safety, Car & Driver Layoffs, and lots of Listener Questions

 
 
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This week, Sam describes his time with the impressive Honda Accord Hybrid – perfected just in time for the sedan market to dry up – and Dan gets charmed by the Ford Raptor and Expedition Max. We talk abut the looming fight over relaxin or even rolling back fuel economy standards, SAE working to define safety tests for autonomous vehicles, and the layoffs that just happened at Car & Driver. Sam found and fixed an error with our feedback form, and so we spend a good amount of time answering a backlog of listener emails, too. Links EPA Rollback AV […]

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2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring, A Stylish Midsize Sedan With A Mild Thirst

  Despite the ever growing number of hybrid electric models available in the U.S. market, the share of these dual powered vehicles has remained stubbornly flat, at least in part due to relatively low fuel prices. Despite only accounting for about 2% of total sales, Honda is expanding availability of electrified propulsion in its vehicles with more options to come in the near future. With the new Civic-based Insight just starting to hit American Honda dealers, the brand’s currently best selling hybrid remains the midsize Accord which I just took on a road trip to northern Michigan. Read the rest […]