On this week’s edition, Dan and Sam discuss whether Fiat might have a better Miata than Mazda with the 124 Spider and whether midsized pickups like the GMC Canyon Denali might be too compromised to be truly useful. Volkswagen has some interesting new ads aimed at attracting buyers to the new Atlas SUV and the brand in general as it tries to recover from the diesel emissions scandal. Sam expounds on why stand-alone ride-hailing services are probably doomed and then the team ponders why Delphi is splitting itself up to leave powertrain systems behind. Dan interviews one of the masterminds behind GM’s latest 6.6-liter Duramax V8 and we address a listener question about diesel particulate filters.
This week Dan has been driving the Dodge Charger Rallye AWD and finds that despite the age of the platform the big FCA sedans are still surprisingly good. Sam finds the Toyota Corolla is a solid car that provides basic but utterly uninspiring transportation. For 2018, the Ford Mustang gets a mid-cycle update with design, powertrain and technology changes and Sam chats with vehicle engineering manager Tom Barnes. Mazda looks to dump the spark plug for its next generation SkyActiv engines and we provide a gentle reminder to bring your key fob along even if you can start your car from your smartphone. Finally, Sam talks with Delphi VP engineering Jim Zizelman about dynamic skip fire technology and autonomous driving.