hybrid


Mazda’s Engine of the Future is Here in 2019 – SkyActiv-X Preview

There is no shortage of people around the world today who seem pretty certain that the days of the internal combustion engine (ICE) as the primary form of propulsion for transportation are effectively over. Mazda North America senior vice president Robert Davis and his colleagues are not among that group. In fact, Mazda staff seem to be pretty certain that humans driving ICE-powered vehicles will be around for some time to come. They even have a brand new engine that they are showing off as evidence, the SkyActiv-X with spark-controlled compression ignition (SPCCI). Read the rest of the article on Forbes […]


Episode #050 – Phil Berg Stops By To Talk About Garages and Cars

Episode #050 – Phil Berg Stops By To Talk About Garages and Cars
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  We’ve got another special guest this week as the great Phil Berg visit’s Sam’s basement to tell some stories talk about cars of the past, present and future. In the garage, Phil is driving the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Sam disses the Toyota Prius C and Dan shifts gears in the Toyota Corolla SE. In the discussion we solve the problem of distracted driving by declaring that everyone must drive manual transmission Mazda Miata. We ponder the refreshed 2019 Jeep Cherokee and the revival of the Honda Insight name. Finally, a reminder to make sure that if you get a […]


Episode #048 – LA Auto Show, Driverless in San Francisco, What Is A Station Wagon

Episode #048 – LA Auto Show, Driverless in San Francisco, What Is A Station Wagon
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After a hiatus while Sam finished off a flurry of travel, the team is back for episode 48. Sam drives the 2017 Mazda CX-5 while Dan gets the Hyundai Ioniq and Mitsubishi Outlander (is it just me or does it seem like Mitsubishi has sent its entire press fleet to New England for Dan to drive?). While in Napa to drive the new Nissan Leaf, Sam talked with Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky about what defines a station wagon and picks up the conversation with Dan. Lincolns have names again, VW is building EVs, Sam rides in automated Chevrolet Bolt and Infiniti […]


Episode #047 – Hybrids Galore, Trashing Tesla and Uber

Episode #047 – Hybrids Galore, Trashing Tesla and Uber
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The guys are back with some Thanksgiving car chatter after a week of travel for Sam. It’s a full slate of hybrids in the garage. Since the last show, Sam has driven the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the fuel-cell Toyota Mirai. Meanwhile, Dan gives his take on the Toyota Prius Prime and the new Volvo XC60 T8 Twin-Drive. From there, the conversation devolves into complaints about touchscreens in cars and the future of voice recognition. Then we take on the king of the car touchscreens with the launch of the Tesla Semi, a new Roadster and production problems. Finally, the […]


Episode #045 – Plugged-in Cadillac and Casey Falls In Love

Episode #045 – Plugged-in Cadillac and Casey Falls In Love
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This week a special guest joins Dan and Sam. Casey Liss of the Accidental Tech Podcast and Analog(ue) stops by to share his thoughts on the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and Volvo Sensus. Sam ponders the Cadillac CT6 Plug-in and his experience visiting Waymo’s secret test track in the California desert. Links Safety First As Waymo Wants To Be ‘Enablers, Not Disruptors’ 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio – One Spicy Italian! Liss is More


Toyota Prius Prime Gets The Plug-in Hybrid Right, Now About That Design

Ok, let’s immediately deal with the elephant in the room. The Toyota Prius Prime is not an attractive vehicle. In fact, to my eyes, it’s quite homely. Now that we have that out of the way, I’ll leave the aesthetic judgements to your own tastes and move on to how Toyota’s sophomore effort at a plug-in version of its icon works. While the first-generation Prius PHV was a bit of a swing and a miss, the functionality this time is in most respects a home run. Read the rest of the review at Sam’s Thoughts


Episode #043 -Form Way Behind Function, Cheap New or Better Used?

Episode #043 -Form Way Behind Function, Cheap New or Better Used?
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This week, Sam talks about driving the Prius Prime which if you can get past the design is a really good and fuel efficient car. Dan ponders Mitsubishi Mirage GT and whether it’s really worth buying a new car when you can something slightly used that’s way better and then transitions to the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.  Volvo launches its first dedicated car for the Polestar brand, a 600-hp plug-in hybrid coupe, Audi rolls out a second-generation A7 and Tesla fires a whole bunch of people. Dan explains why he doesn’t watch Star Trek Discovery and Sam gives his verdict and […]


Special Episode – Zooming Toward An Electric Car Future

Special Episode – Zooming Toward An Electric Car Future
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Following the big electrification announcements from General Motors and Ford this week, Sam was invited to join host Tom Ashbrook along with Forbes Detroit Bureau Chief Joann Muller, Michael Dunne of Dunne Automotive and Pam Fletcher, executive chief engineer for Global Electric and Autonomous Vehicles at General Motors to discuss the EV future during NPR’s On Point.  http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2017/10/04/electric-car-ford-gm


Episode #038 – Grand Touring, Fun Hybrids, Frankfurt and Mazda Cleverness

Episode #038 – Grand Touring, Fun Hybrids, Frankfurt and Mazda Cleverness
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The guys return after a week away with Dan getting his turn at the Kia Niro while Sam tours in the Lexus LC500. We review the highlights of  the Frankfurt Motor Show plus the hideous BMW X7, discuss what the NTSB had to say about a fatal Tesla crash, ponder stolen VW diesels and marvel at the creativity of Mazda’s engineers. We also answer some really old voice mails. Links Mazda SkyActiv-X Tech Stolen VW diesels NTSB on Tesla and automated driving Slimmed down federal guidelines on automated driving Frankfurt 2017 Highlights Lexus LC500 Review Kia Niro Review  

Wheelbearings Podcast episode 38

Episode #037 – Hot Hondas, Acuras, Hyundais, Pizzas and A Not-so Hot Mitsubishi

Episode #037 – Hot Hondas, Acuras, Hyundais, Pizzas and A Not-so Hot Mitsubishi
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This week we talk about lots of the vehicles we’ve recently driven. Sam samples a pair of very different Acura hybrids with some shared hardware. He then heads to the track to play with the hottest Civic ever the Type-R and talks with product planner Rob Keogh. Dan gets in the decidedly mediocre Mitsubishi Outlander GT. The Hyundai Elantra GT Sport is one of the most refined cars yet from the ever-improving Korean brand but is it better than a GTI? Finally, Ford and Domino’s hook up to try out autonomous pizza delivery. Domino’s Takes High-Tech Pizza Delivery To Level […]