America faces a growing shortage of truck drivers, with the latest figures saying more than 50,000 drivers are needed. The problem filling the gap is that company truckers — as opposed to owner/operators — work their heinies off far from home for low pay, which is why industry turnover last year was 96 percent. A story in the Los Angeles Times reports on an unlikely group helping to keep that situation from growing worse: Sikhs.
The retail versions of the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Valhalla remain a ways off, but carmaker CEO Andy Palmer but has given us something to look forward to beyond the flagship hypercar and its baby brother. Palmer told Australian outlet Car Sales that the Vanquish would be offered with a manual transmission. There's at least one potential caveat with this: The seven-speed dogleg manual transmission recently released for the Vantage AMR forced a reduction in power numbers.
Business Korea reports that Hyundai is piecing together a prototype on the South Korean carmaker's Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Suppliers have been asked to provide parts, and according to "sources in the automobile industry," the first working example will be ready come this December. Part of Hyundai's assault on this year's Consumer Electronics Show was the Elevate "walking car" concept — a Transformer that turns into a "Star Wars" AT-AT.
BMW wants enthusiasts of all kinds to be able to interact with the Vision M Next in ways no automaker has yet permitted. At the same time as the reveal, the Munich carmaker published a page with a 3D-printing data set, wallpapers, a poster, and a sound file of the Vision M Next under acceleration. BMW didn't restrict the scale, so anyone with an industrial-sized printer could create a life-sized model.
Volvo has put a price on the 2020 V60 Cross Country: $45,100 plus $995 for destination, making $46,095. Checking about all the boxes will get you beyond $60,000, but Volvo's baked in so much standard kit that the options really do feel optional.
Another one recently happened in Denver, Colorado, the snafu composed of one part Google Maps, one part mud, and one part impatient, heedless drivers. When a crash on Peña Boulevard near Denver international Airport caused a traffic delay, drivers asked Google Maps for a detour to the airport. Connie Monsees was almost one of those drivers, on the way to DIA to pick up her husband.
Hans Zimmer has scored movies for nearly 40 years, from the quiet drama of "Frost/Nixon" to the "Bayhem" of Michael Bay's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," and won every major award for his work. BMW has drafted the German-born composer to help create the sounds for the automaker's coming electric vehicles and concepts, starting with the Vision M Next. Working with BMW acoustic engineer and sound designer Renzo Vitale, the pair will begin to create the sound library dubbed "BMW IconicSounds Electric." That's the brand name for the range of audio intended to create an emotional bond between a driver and his electric car.
On one hand, there's isn't much life left in the Audi R8, the once-sidebladed super-coupe not expected to last into a third generation. On the other hand, there's a ton of life left in the R8, the race version just having won the Nürburgring 24-hour race for the fifth time in eight years. Vital signs look good on the street-legal side, too, Audi Sport boss Oliver Hoffman telling Piston Heads his division is working on a road-going version of the GT3 car.
The Audi SQ8 TDI is here, wrapping the same diesel-hearted powertrain from the SQ7 TDI in a more lissome package. That means a 4.0-liter V8 oil-burner with two sequential turbochargers terrifying the roadways with 429 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.
The headlines go something like, "X automaker working on a vehicle to fight the iconic Y." The Y cars are the Porsche 911 and the Jeep Wrangler. For this story, the X automaker is GM. Car and Driver writes that GMC might take another shot at a Jeep challenger, this time by rebirthing a body-on-frame Jimmy SUV.
Rumors at the beginning of 2018 predicted an XJ EV on our doorstep by the end of 2018, the 50th anniversary year of the XJ. Now, Automotive News Europe reports that during Jaguar Land Rover's Investor's Day presentations, the automaker said it would debut a "large SUV and a large premium sedan" on its Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) suitable for EVs, hybrids and traditional ICE-powered cars. The sedan in question is the next-gen XJ.
The Ferrari SF90 is the newest foal in the Maranello stable, and Ferrari continues to parade it for the crowds. A new video shows how the plug-in hybrid's four powertrain modes work, controlled by buttons on the lower left side of the steering wheel.
Lexus is back at it with innovative lighting technology. The BladeScan module inside the Lexus lights holds the number of LEDs down to 10 on each side of the RX, which Lexus says is a more cost-effective solution. In fact, BladeScan uses fewer LEDs than Lexus' most recent adaptive high-beam system, which has 24 LEDs on each side.
Japan's Best Car magazine has what appears to be a whopper of a rumor. The mag said it scooped Mazda's development of a straight-six engine that Mazda only revealed in March, the carmaker having buried the information in a financial statement. The first appearance for the straight-six, predicted to come in at a hair under 3.0 liters, is the Mazda Atenza/Mazda6 successor coming around 2022.
The Kia Seltos has had an unusual gestation, with two concepts, exterior sketches, interior sketches, an effective reveal during a photo shoot, a christening via mythology and more teasers. The overall lines are familiar, however, Kia designers have worked to make those lines lyric instead of prosaic. Kia says there will be an available eight-inch heads-up display on a glass panel behind the steering wheel.
The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe barely needs an introduction, but we're here to give you one anyway. The rear-wheel drive 840i and 840i xDrive are both powered by BMW's 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 335 hp and 368 lb-ft torque. The M850i xDrive gets a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 523 hp and 553 lb-ft. All 8 Series Gran Coupes wear bodywork distinct from the coupe aft of the A-pillar, and dimensions stretched wide enough in the back that the "four-door coupe" has the widest track of any BMW car.
The Supercar Blog has heard from its VIP sources that Bugatti has a new special-edition offering planned for debut at Pebble Beach. The Molsheim brand enjoys playing to its deep-pocketed crowd at the annual Northern California fest, having introduced the special edition $5.8M Divo there last year, and regularly hosting Grand Tour driving events around the concours. TSB didn't get details on the coming model, but it was told that part of its production run has already been sold.
Almost ever since the BMW M1 went out of production in 1981, fans have had one question: When will the M division produce such a beast again? Thirty-eight years later, the question still hasn't been answered, but the drumbeat of intention continues inside BMW. Note that Flasch qualified that a potential model may be a product of M division, as opposed to based on a BMW offering, but that is of course the primary interest for enthusiasts.
At this point the only audiences left out of the "Fast and Furious" franchise are kids, nonagenarians and insomniac pets who need some late-night deep-channel ASMR to get through the night. One of those groups gets the attention it's been waiting for when Netflix debuts the animated series "Fast & Furious: Spy Racers" later this year. The show comes via the partnership between the streaming service and Dreamworks Animation, and the 30-second teaser clip just dropped.
Around the same time as Toyota was on its way to winning the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, the automaker posted video of its coming Le Mans racer on track. Toyota announced the GR Super Sports concept at Le Mans last year, and just announced that it would campaign the race version of that car in the so-called Hypercar class created for the 2020/2021 World Endurance Championship. Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda shared wheel time with factory driver Kamui Kobayashi, both men running the prototype between the kerbing at Japan's Fuji Speedway.
The Nürburgring and Le Mans are both race tracks, but each represents a different side of the automotive coin. When an automaker wants to prove it can build an all-around road car, it goes to the Nürburgring. Today, it's unimaginable that a high-profile racing game wouldn't include the 'Ring from the off.
Toyota intends to further enhance the safety of its 2020 models with two new customer protection features for the North American market: automatic engine shutoff and automatic park. Toyota didn't specify how long is "a pre-determined time." Nor did it explain if this will operate when the car is idling but there's a driver in the vehicle, or if it's only when the car detects the driver leaving.
In Munich not long hence, BMW will reveal the next step in its mobility plans, the Vision M Next. Unlike the Vision iNext concept, which seeks to make the transportation experience easier and more relaxing for a driver and occupants, the Vision M Next wants to make that experience more exciting. BMW calls it an opening to "a new era of Sheer Driving Pleasure," and it will be known by its Boost mode rather than an Ease mode.
Elon Musk turns to Twitter when it's time to spread the Tesla news. The Danish-American designer took to FB once more to tease his coming electric crossover, this time showing a slice of the rear three-quarter. The aperture appears small in view of Fisker promising us that pressing a button will open the roof to create "an extended open-air atmosphere;" so we expect there's another opening over the front seats.