AUTO REVIEW—Leave it to Volkswagen to arrive fashionably late to the electric car party. It was one of the last of the major manufacturers to offer a hybrid (choosing to equip it with a turbocharger). The same was true with its SUV line (choosing to partner with Porsche). For its new e-Golf, Volkswagen had plenty of time to think about how it should be designed. It also had the time to work off of a new platform—one that’s designed from the ground up to be an electric car. The result is the Volkswagen e-Golf, and it’s one of the best electric cars in its class.
BOOK REVIEW—Jason Vines’ “What Did Jesus Drive? – Crisis PR in Cars, Computers, and Christianity” could easily be confused with a number of fictional heroic protagonists. There are whiffs of Zelig, Horatio Alger, Balso Snell, Odysseus, Forrest Gump, and Icarus that flicker out of the pages. Published as a novel, it would be hard to believe that one man could have been involved in so many high profile, high drama, high stakes automotive (and other) industry events. I read it almost like the diary of some old time swashbuckling adventurer. But this is no novel.
AUTO REVIEW—On first blush anything or anyone can make a good impression. Hell, even on a first date the lowest Cretan can come off as something other than sub-human. Autos often seem sweet as sugar, but after an extended outing they leave a sour taste in one’s mouth. The BMW 428i X Gran Coupe squeezes itself between the 3 and 5 Series, and takes its fastback looks from the 6 Series Gran Coupe. It might seem like the 4 is almost redundant. Is there more to this than meets the eye? One-way to find out is a take-no-prisoners road trip to the City of Lost Wages!
AUTO SHOW—Did you hear the roar? With auto sales topping 16.5 million in 2014, the mood at this year’s North American International Auto Show (AKA the Detroit Auto Show) was both upbeat and optimistic. Automakers and analysts are predicting that sales will continue to climb and reach 17 million in 2015. Yes, Detroit is on a roll. Further cementing the importance of NAIAS, is the continued resiliency of the U.S. economy the demand for cars and trucks. Here’s a summary of the top world debuts at this year’s show.
GALLERY—Once the domain of audiophiles, adult videos, and every manner of gizmos and gadgets, the Consumer Electronics Show has crossed into the automotive world. For 2015, the car companies were well represented at this annual Las Vegas mega-event, to show off everything from infotainment systems to autonomous vehicles. LA Car Editor John Grafman was there to memorialize the highlights through digital imagery.