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.
This week Sam and Rebecca both discuss their experience with the Nissan Murano. Rebecca has also been in the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV while Dan drives the Honda Pilot.
In the news, four decades of tilting at mid-engine wind mills finally pays off for Don Sherman as GM confirms the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will debut on July 18, 2019. Tesla really doesn’t want to sell any $35,000 Model 3s and the gang discuss the challenges of updating a 50 year old airplane for the 21st century.
As Wheel Bearings breaks into triple digits we have one more two part show with Rebecca still in the sub-continent. In the first half of the show, Sam and Rebecca talk more about transportation in India and the challenges of deploying electric vehicles there. Sam has been driving the Genesis G70. Then Rebecca and Sam dive into some of the highlights of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show including the Honda E prototype, a new era of coachbuilding based on electric vehicle platforms like the VW MEB, the Alfa Romeo Tonale and some new Aston Martins.
Meanwhile Dan has been driving the 2019 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. Dan and Sam dive into the new plug-in hybrid versions of the Jeep Renegade and Compass coming next year and Tesla’s new Supercharger V3.
For automotive engineers and developers that want to develop their skills in AI and working with Nvidia processors we have a 20% discount code for the Nvidia GPU Technology Conference Silicon Valley. Check out the sessions at https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/gtc/topics/automotive-and-transportation/ and use the promo code MCXNAVIGANT when you register for the savings.
The American automotive market is more about trucks and utilities than ever before. Sam and Dan look at a couple of bookends with the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and Ford EcoSport. GM CEO Mary Barra makes the tough call to end production at five factories. Meanwhile at the 2018 LA Auto Show, there was lots of new product many of them with plugs. Some highlights include the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, 2020 Mazda3, 2020 Porsche 911, Audi e-Tron GT concept and the new Kia Soul with a battery that should go 250 miles or so.
This week Sam drives the new Volkswagen Jetta and Dan spends time with the Acura RDX and VW Golf Sportwagen.
Out in the real world, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Chairman of Nissan is arrested for alleged financial malfeasance and the future of the Alliance is in doubt. With snow and ice now on the road, it’s time again to think about winter tires. Land Rover unveils the second-generation Evoque with electrified powertrains and Tesla owners are experiencing Supercharger issues. Sam also interviews Pete Rander and Brett Browning of Argo AI.
Since we last turned on the mics, Sam has been in the Ford F-150 King Ranch diesel and the Kia Niro plug-in hybrid. Dan has been sampling Subaru’s new big SUV, the Ascent. The automotive world loses big names to the inevitable.
The delay between episodes is always Dan’s fault. Most of the miles were put on this week via 737-700s and a rental Kia Soul. Sam was busy paying attention to all of the automotive goings-on, including leadership shuffles at General Motors, and Ford’s latest real estate investment in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, while also finding time to drive the 2019 Honda Insight. Because it’s been a while, there’s also a plethora of cars we’ve been driving. Sam was in the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the 2018 Nissan Leaf while Dan tried out the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie and the 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label.
This week Sam really likes the third-generation Acura RDX, Dan likes the Mazda CX-5 and then they try hard not to talk about Tesla and mostly succeed although you can see more of Sam’s opinion on the subject at the link below. The guys also talk GM and Softbank and the upcoming product plans for Chrysler and Dodge. Just kidding on the last part, there are no known product plans for Chrysler and Dodge but Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo and Maserati are all getting new stuff.
Sam spends time with the Range Rover Velar and laments touchscreens that can’t be seen through polarized sunglasses. Dan continues to be impressed by the Genesis G80 and lauds the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as a great family hauler that is also really efficient. Rolls-Royce follows the crowd and launches and SUV named after what else? a massive diamond. The guys lament the deather of the Cadillac ATS. Waymo is learning to see through snow, Uber can see but doesn’t know what to do and battery fires don’t always stay extinguished.
After a week off, the guys are back with lots of stuff to talk about. Since the last show, Sam has been in the Mini Countryman Cooper S E (where do they come up with these naming conventions?) and the BMW 530e xDrive while Dan has found himself surprisingly enamored with the Toyota Camry Hybrid. While electrification is the future, it’s not the only solution for improving efficiency, especially in the big trucks that Americans favor. That’s why Ford is launching a diesel engine in the F-150. Someday we may not be actively driving anymore but we’re still a long way from that being commonplace. Sam compares the hype for automated vehicles to the currently reality and the hype just doesn’t hold up. Oh and Amazon can deliver packages to your trunk.