/Interests/ Last Updated: Wed, Apr 24th, 2019 @ 8:50pm EDT

Motor Trend Blog

Alisa Priddle

Incoming Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius Talks Mercedes EVs and Future of Diesel

There’s a new sheriff in town. Ola Källenius, 49, takes over as CEO of Daimler AG on May 22, replacing longtime boss Dieter Zetsche, who faced mandatory retirement but will return as chairman of the supervisory board in 2021. Zetsche, CEO for 13 years, helped groom the Swede who becomes Daimler’s first non-German CEO. We recently caught up with Källenius as he prepared to take over an automaker working to reinvent itself in an age of electrification, ride-sharing, autonomy, and...

Motor Trend Blog

etahaney

2019 Ford F-150 RTR Package Can Be Yours for $12,750

If you like the most recent Mustang RTR, chances are you’re going to love the new Ford F-150 RTR package, which seeks to spice up the already tough-looking truck with more off-road-ready equipment and plenty of style. The look and its mission are inspired by Vaughn Gitten Jr.’s personal F-150 Ultimate Fun-Haver and the RTR Muscle Truck concept from 2017. Ford Performance says the package is available for all F-150 trim levels except the Raptor; if you like it, budget an additional...

Motor Trend Blog

cgolden

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Is a 211-MPH Drop-Top Super GT

You knew it was coming. After all, if Aston offers something in coupe form, the open-air variant is never far behind. Well, that, and we’d already spied loosely-camo’d prototypes running around last fall. Regardless of our level of surprise, the new Aston Martin DBS Superleggera continues this trend, offering the same stunning good looks and hair-tousling performance as the coupe.

There isn’t much to unpack here, considering it’s essentially a roofless DBS Superleggera. To that end,...

Motor Trend Blog

Zach Gale

EXCLUSIVE: Can a 2019 Tesla Model S Make it from SF to LA on One Charge?

Tesla’s flagship Model S sedan blindsided the industry as the upstart winner of the 2013 MotorTrend Car of the Year award—largely due to its previously unheard-of long-distance driving range from its battery pack. Until then, electric vehicles were fortunate to reach triple-digit miles on a single charge. Tesla obliterated that “range anxiety” myth, then added Superchargers to refute the “it’ll take all night to recharge” shortcoming.

But the competition is catching up in EV...

Motor Trend Blog

Alex Nishimoto

2019 Tesla Model S: 5 Important Updates You Should Know About

When it was introduced in 2012, the Tesla Model S blew us away with its luxurious interior, surprising driving dynamics, and usable all-electric range—so much so that we named it our 2013 Car of the Year. Tesla has made continuous updates to the car over the years, introducing larger battery packs and dual-motor all-wheel drive, among other features. But the electric-vehicle moonshot of making it from California’s Bay Area to Los Angeles on a single charge remained out of reach. Not...

Motor Trend Blog

Collin Woodard

Long-Haul Testing With the Updated Model S… and a Tesla Semi?

Recently, we got the opportunity to take the updated 370-mile-range 2019 Tesla Model S for a drive to test how far it can actually go on a charge. To read more about that, you’ll want to go here. But while we were driving, we came across a Tesla Semi on an evaluation loop of its own. According to Tesla, its Semi-truck team was conducting chassis and powertrain tests with a heavily loaded trailer on its way to Los Angeles. Interstate-5 is a major trucking corridor, and the steep climb to...

Motor Trend Blog

Zach Gale

2019 Honda Insight EX Long-Term Update 1: The 1,100-Mile Road Trip

One of the challenges of living close to work (less than 3 miles) is getting enough mileage on a long-term vehicle throughout the year. This leads me to have to wheedle and bribe farther-commuting staffers into piling on the miles for me. This wasn’t hard when I had a Nissan GT-R, BMW M3, and even Jaguar F-Pace, but I expected a challenge with the Insight. Not so! Shortly after its arrival, Scott Evans asked me if he could borrow it for a 1,100-mile road trip in support of a 70th...

Motor Trend Blog

Collin Woodard

2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e First Test: Get A(ll-wheel) Grip

It’s almost impossible to write about the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e without mentioning snow. From the beginning, Toyota’s been up front about the fact that it developed the all-wheel-drive Prius for snowy climates, even going so far as to show the car driving on snow in most of its press photos. It then launched the Prius AWD-e with a drive event on snow to drive home the point.

If you want to be cynical, it would be easy to dismiss the Prius AWD-e as an unnecessary addition to Toyota’s...

Motor Trend Blog

Erika Pizano

Twinster-Crazy: AWD-Based Tech That Improves Driving Fun and Fuel Savings – Technologue

Global regulations are driving the vehicle fleet toward econobox efficiency and/or increased electrification. But to succeed in a cheap-gas economy, these fuel/electron sippers will need to be as fun and comfortable to drive as our current favorite carbon spewers. GKN Driveline recently showed off several “life hack” technologies for preserving driving fun as the carbon screws tighten—including riffs on the company’s Twinster all-wheel-drive system, which gave the Ford Focus RS its...

Motor Trend Blog

Kelly Pleskot

Ford Invests $500 Million in Electric Truckmaker Rivian

Ford will invest $500 million in Rivian, aligning the maker of the industry-leading F-Series pickup line with an upstart that’s electrifying gas-guzzling trucks and sport utility vehicles.

The second-biggest U.S. automaker also is forming a partnership with Rivian, which Amazon.com backed with an investment announced in February. Ford will build a vehicle using the platform that Rivian founder R.J. Scaringe said last week he plans to share with several companies.

Ford plans to bring a...

Motor Trend Blog

Kelly Pleskot

Ford Files for Bronco Scout Trademark in the U.S.

Ford has made the public very aware it will focus on SUVs and trucks moving forward, but many of its plans still remain a mystery. We know Ford will introduce a Bronco and baby Bronco, but official details haven’t been released. Now, new trademark applications add fuel to the fire.

On April 15, Ford filed trademark applications for “Scout” and “Bronco Scout” in the U.S. According to the applications, both names are intended for motor vehicles, with the “Bronco Scout” getting...

Motor Trend Blog

Collin Woodard

Longer Buick Encore GX Will Likely Be Sold in the U.S.

At the Shanghai auto show last week, Buick revealed a redesigned version of the Encore, as well as a slightly longer version called the Encore GX. Since Buick already sells the Encore here in the U.S., we assumed the redesigned version would be sold in our market, but that the longer GX would be something GM had cooked up exclusively for the Chinese market. Now, it sounds like it’s probably the other way around.

Automotive News reports that according to unnamed sources familiar with GM’s...

Motor Trend Blog

Collin Woodard

Car Fires in China Spur Investigations by Tesla, Its Rival NIO

Tesla Inc. and its Chinese competitor NIO Inc. are looking into fires involving their vehicles, as videos of a car bursting into flames circulate on social media in the world’s largest electric auto market.

A white sedan bearing Tesla’s logo was caught on a video taken from a closed-circuit camera emitting smoke from both sides Sunday evening, before catching fire. A team from Tesla has been sent to Shanghai to look into the incident and is in touch with local authorities, the carmaker...

Motor Trend Blog

Collin Woodard

Audi R8 Successor Will Reportedly Go All-Electric, Make 650 HP

If you’re in the market for a supercar you can drive daily, it’s hard to go wrong with the Audi R8. It’s comfortable, offers great ride quality, and in an era where forced induction is becoming increasingly common, it packs a fantastic, naturally aspirated V-10. But when Audi introduces its replacement in a few years, don’t expect that V-10 to stick around.

According to U.K. magazine Car, the Audi R8’s successor will be an electric supercar called the E-Tron GTR. And while it...

Motor Trend Blog

Kelly Pleskot

Elon Musk Claims “Full Self-Driving” Computer Is Unlikely to Fail

At a meeting with investors today, Tesla detailed its full self-driving computer that is now in production. As usual, CEO Elon Musk offered some newsworthy tidbits, saying that the system is unlikely to falter.

“Any part of this can fail, and the car will keep driving,” Musk said. He added: “The probability of this computer failing is substantially lower than somebody losing consciousness. That’s the key metric, at least an order of magnitude.”

Tesla has officially switched from...

Motor Trend Blog

Collin Woodard

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Calls Out Panasonic on Twitter

Elon Musk has engaged in Twitter spats with a long line of folks, from rival automakers to short sellers and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He’s at it again, but this time the stakes could be even higher. He’s in a rare public dispute with a critical supplier: Panasonic Corp., the company that makes all of the lithium-ion battery cells that power Tesla Inc.’s electric vehicles.

The rift started with reports the companies are tempering expansion plans at their jointly operated...

Motor Trend Blog

Alisa Priddle

2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR First Drive: Flipping Fun

This doesn’t feel like an SUV. It’s far too much flipping fun. Pop, snort, burble. Quick turn-in, followed by a long sweeper on some epic roads through the mountains from St. Tropez to Nice. Life is good behind the wheel of the 2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR.

When Jaguar showed its first SUV, the F-Pace, at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show, the compact utility vehicle quickly garnered fans. It proved to be a business-savvy move in an SUV-crazy world, quickly becoming a best-seller for the British...

Motor Trend Blog

Alisa Priddle

2020 Jaguar XE First Drive: More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

Jaguar had its work cut out for it. The XE compact sedan must compete with a new-generation BMW 3 Series that seeks to regain more of its mojo, a strong Mercedes C-Class, the ever-improving Audi A4, and other contenders in a crowded and diverse field that range from the Alfa Romeo Giulia to the Volvo S60.

The XE launched with great promise in 2015, but it had a lot of hard plastic packed into an otherwise beautiful shape. It’s hardly a sales contender, selling about 4,700 in the U.S. last...

Motor Trend Blog

Kelly Pleskot

2019 Volvo XC60 T5 AWD Long-Term Update 4: Interior Touches

More expensive cars typically eclipse mainstream cars in countless areas, from improved performance and ride quality to better materials and more creature comforts. But infotainment usability doesn’t seem to be one of these areas. We’ve seen plenty of luxury cars with difficult interfaces, for instance, and plenty of mainstream cars with functional ones.

As we touched on in a previous update, the infotainment system in our long-term Volvo XC60 is OK. But as we live with it longer, its...

Motor Trend Blog

Zach Gale

2019 Ford Fiesta ST Review: The First New Ford Car Americans Won’t Get

The all-new European-spec 2019 Ford Fiesta ST is the answer to questions few Americans seem to be asking. Like, “What’s the best car for shredding a narrow, crowned, potholed country lane?” Or, “Which car is easiest to squeeze through ancient alleys and street-park in small villages?”

Even, “Which car sips gas while delivering a rousing, muffler-bypassed exhaust note?”

If these were critical factors in the U.S., home of wide-open spaces, wide roads, and typically available...

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