Old And New Mazda Miatas Demonstrate Why Driving Matters

In the span of my time so far on this planet, I’ve seen a lot of “sporty” car models come and go. Few have lasted for more than a couple of product generations and they have often evolved into something far different than the original design brief as manufacturers have tried to appeal to a broader market. For many, the carmaker simply couldn’t make the business case to justify the engineering expense to keep it around. The one exception that has somehow stayed remarkably true to its original premise despite coming from a comparatively small brand is the Mazda MX-5 […]


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Episode #034 – AMG Roadtripping, More Miata Love and EV Frustration

  This week Dan takes his turn in the Mazda Miata RF while Sam does a road trip to the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars in the Mercedes-AMG E43. While at MBS Sam talked with Nvidia’s director of automotive, Danny Shapiro, heard Mazda SVP Robert Davis extol the virtues of internal combustion and saw his friend Bob Gritzenger struggle with EV charging infrastructure in northern Michigan. Links Mazda Miata RF  Charging an EV on Blue Highways Mazda Dissing EVs Sam’s new monthly column for Automotive Engineering


Episode #033 – Faster, Slower, Fix It Now or Fix It Later

This week Sam is in the slightly quicker Civic, the Si sedan, Dan stays on-road in the off-road Jeep Compass and the guys delve into fixing diesel Volkswagens, regulations for automated driving and whether anyone will ever make any money on self-driving software. Also, Waze comes to Android Auto, the end of big cars and a contemplation on how to fix Lincoln. Links The automated driving economy turns into the app store economy Who’s ultimately responsible for fixing recalled Volkswagen diesels Will automated cars cost $400,000? Spoiler alert, no.


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Episode #32 – Convertibles, Hybrids, Not Self-Driving and Comcast Hate

This week Sam has driven Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and compares the latest Mazda Miata to the original. Dan spends the week with a very different kind of convertible, the Mustang GT. When the new Nissan Leaf arrives this fall, it will have e-pedal for strong regenerative braking and ProPilot Assist which is automated but not self-driving. Before some listener questions, the guys dive into the latest ploy by Comcast to remain the most hated company in America. Links Nissan ProPilot Assist Preview – It’s Automated But Not Self-Driving We Should Welcome The E-Pedal In The New Nissan Leaf, But It’s […]


Episode #31 – Absolutely Mainstream to Utterly Extreme

  This week Sam and Dan discuss the merits of the Subaru Impreza vs the Mistubishi Outlander Sport, the Merccedes-AMG GLA45, the all-new 2018 Honda Accord, the Aston Martin Valkyrie and a preview of the 2017 Concours de’Elegance of America.  Don’t forget to join the Hespen Rally if you are in Michigan on August 6, 2017. Links Concours de’Elegance of America 2018 Honda Accord and more on the Accord Aston Martin Valkyrie Hespen Rally  

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If You Are In Detroit August 6, Join the 2nd Hespen Rally

If you are in the Detroit area on August 6, 2017, please come join the Hespen Rally to honor the memory of Patrick Hespen and help raise funds for research into a cure for cholangiocarcinoma , the rare cancer that took Patrick’s life way too soon. There were will be lots of cool cars and Patrick’s friends, family and colleagues. Register at http://hespenrally.com/


Episode #30 – Crashing and Electrifying

As we head into the second half of 2017, Dan and Sam have a bunch of stuff to discuss including spending time with the Chevrolet Bolt and the air conditioning capacity of the Mazda CX-9. In the news topics, Tesla responds badly to IIHS crash test results, Volvo adds electrons to its full lineup and sales of the Kia Niro and Hyundai Ioniq reflect the changing character of the automotive market as a whole. Finally, if you are in the Detroit area on August 6, 2017, please come join the Hespen Rally to honor the memory of Patrick Hespen and […]

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Episode #29 – Big Sedans, Servicing Autonomous Vehicles, Racing Old Cars

This week Sam drives a couple of big American sedans, the Buick LaCrosse and Lincoln Continental and Dan samples the Mazda CX-9. This devolves into a chat about Chris Lattner and working with/for Elon Musk and using rental car companies to service fleets of autonomous vehicles. Then Sam goes all analog with a visit to the Great Race stop in Ypsilanti, Mich. Links The Great Race The Great Race comes to Ypsilanti Chris Lattner bails on Tesla’s AutoPilot program after less than 6 months of working for Elon Musk Avis to Service Waymo’s Autonomous Vehicle Fleet  


The Great Race 2017 Visits Ypsilanti 1

The Great Race is an amazing annual road rally for vintage cars sponsored by Hemmings Motor News and Hagerty Insurance. This year, the newest cars that were allowed are from 1972 with that year being represented by a first-generation Nissan Skyline GT-R and the oldest being a century old 1917 Peerless driven by Hagerty VP Jonathan Klinger. This event epitomizes the best of car culture. Despite their age, these machines aren’t museum pieces, they were built to be driven and that’s how they are being used today. Herewith is a sampling of the field as they made a stop in […]


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Episode #28 – Luxury Econocars, Big Trucks and Malaise vs Autonomy

This week Dan and Sam return to the Ford F-250 Super Duty which Dan is now driving and compare it to the Chevy Silverado 2500. They also talk about BMW’s $100,000 economy car, the 740e plug-in hybrid. Topics include the departure of Travis Kalanick from Uber, the 2017 edition of J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study and a bunch of listener questions including a recommendation of the Mazda6 and contemplation of which is worse, the malaise era or the coming autonomy era? Links 2017 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study Results