Camaro Gets New, New Face

It’s interesting to contrast the Big Three American auto manufacturers’ approach to their pony cars.

Ford invented the segment with the Mustang and stuck with it throughout the years. It was adapted to changing markets, and there were definitely some growing pains (looking at you, the Pinto-based MkII), but they have generally stood by the idea of keeping a rear-drive coupe in their line-up.

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VW to Yeet Golf from North America?

We just reported that Mercedes-Benz would be pulling from the Smart brand from US shores. While it’s sad to see any offering leave the market: variety is great! Even terrible options are still options (see: politics.)

Now reports suggest that Volkswagen may stop bringing the standard Golf and SportWagen variant to North America. Dwindling sales haven’t built a strong economic case for continued sales.

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Daimler Make a Smart Decision

In a surprise move, Mercedes-Benz has announced that they’ll be pulling the Smart car from North America. Surprising in that they still build those things?

Introduced in 1994 in Germany and didn’t cross the pond until 2008. Looking much the same then as it does now (embarrassing) it promised to be the future of urban transportation. That made sense as the financial collapse of ’08 saw trucks and SUVs forever banished for their preposterous fuel consumption, size, and general gaudiness.

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Lexus Done Messed Up

Like wearing pajama pants to Costco, minivans, whatever their utility, broadcast a message to those around you: shame doesn’t live here. It’s an emphatic statement delivered with the strain of someone out of breath from climbing a flight of stairs. An exclamation mark at the end of a hastily-scribbled sentence.

Still, minivans serve a purpose. Whether you had too many kids or you want to be prepared should you decide to abduct someone, it can meet the needs only met by, oh, I dunno, a station wagon. Or adoption.

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Audi Avant: Car Journalist Edition

If there’s one thing car journalists are known for, it’s our love of wagons. In the face of preposterously overpowered sports car, dynamically designed sedans and utility-driven trucks, the humble wagon is the hill we die on. A badge proudly proclaiming we-know-something-you-don’t.

Now, that’s largely in part because wagons are better. They ride like a car (get outta here, crossover), yet have the functionality of a van (eat shorts, Grand Caravan.) It’s everything great about cars in one package.

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FCA to Pay Tesla to Avoid Paying Fines

Fiat has found a novel way to avoid paying some massive corporate fines in the EU. With the 2021 deadline looming for Europe’s push to cut down carbon emissions, Fiat finds itself unprepared to hit the new targets. This sets them up to pay billions if not for a partnership with Tesla.

The new carbon emission targets are set to be a 40% reduction on 2007 levels. For each gram of C02 produced, there will be a 95 euro fine, multiplied by the number of vehicles the manufacturer sells. Market-wide penalties are expected to hit $14 billion euros, with Fiat on track to face $2 billion euros in fees. Continue reading “FCA to Pay Tesla to Avoid Paying Fines”