2021 Lincoln Nautilus: Same looks, swanky new interior – Roadshow

Lincoln's signature Perfect Position, 30-way-adjustable front seats are not offered in the 2021 Nautilus. They do, however move in up to 22 different ways, so it's hardly a privation.

Read the article

Published:Caption:Photo:Lincoln

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

GM issues a recall for ‘overcured’ tires – Roadshow

If your GM vehicle has Continental tires, keep an eye out for a possible recall notice. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Much like a tasty salami or Italian prosciutto, tires need to be cured. But instead of salt and spices, this process involves heat and pressure. A critical part of the manufacturing process, this step is what gives tires their final shape. But they can also be overcured, and on Nov. 5, GM issued a recall for that particular problem.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), certain 2020 model year Buick Enclaves, Cadillac XT5s, GMC Acadias and Chevrolet Traverse crossovers, as well as 2020 to 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks, are affected by this action. Check to see if your utility vehicle or pickup is fitted with Continental rubber. They may be defective.

The issue with these tires is that, due to the overcuring, they could experience a sidewall break. Yep, this is as bad as it sounds and can lead to a sudden loss of air pressure and an equally unexpected loss of control. Belt-edge separation is another potential issue that could result in a crash.

The good news is, only around 7,500 vehicles are affected by this action, and it appears no crashes or injuries have occurred because of it. For reference, the GM number for this recall is N202319030, while the NHTSA ID is 20V684000. If it applies to your ride, the automaker will notify you to take it to a dealership for a free inspection. Tires that are found to be from the defective manufacturing batch will be replaced free of charge. For more information, check out the NHTSA website or call customer service. For Buick owners, the number is 1-800-521-7300. Cadillac drivers can give the company a ring at 1-800-458-8006. The Chevrolet number is 1-800-222-1020. GMC's digits are 1-888-988-7267. Finally, the NHTSA safety hotline is 1-888-327-4236.

Now playing: Watch this: 2019 Cadillac XT4: Style, features and luxury

5:04

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

2020 Maserati Levante Trofeo: Falling short of expectations – Roadshow

Delivering staggering performance, top-shelf Trofeo models feature a Ferrari-sourced V8 engine that delivers 590 horsepower.

Published:Caption:Photo:Craig Cole/Roadshow

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

2022 Ford E-Transit electrifies vans with with 126 miles of range – Roadshow

Ford is readying a whole bunch of new electric vehicles, including the 2022 E-Transit.

Ford

After Ford teased it a couple weeks ago, the 2022 Ford E-Transit is making its debut on Thursday. Along with the forthcoming Mustang Mach-E SUV and all-electric F-150 pickup truck, this battery-powered commercial van is a vital part of Ford's electrification push, an $11.5 billion investment through 2022. With plenty of clever features, the promise of much lower maintenance costs and cavernous amounts of interior space, the E-Transit looks poised to get commercial customers and fleet managers all hot and bothered.

When it goes on sale late next year, this van will be available in a range of different flavors, with three roof heights and three different lengths. Chassis-cab and cutaway variants will be on the menu, as well. About the only version that won't be offered, at least at launch, is a passenger wagon -- you know, like an airport shuttle.

Providing the juice is a lithium-ion battery, similar to what's used in the Mach-E. It, along with the rest of this van's drivetrain, is mounted underneath the floor, so there is zero intrusion into the cargo area. Helping achieve this, "We engineered a completely different independent rear suspension," said Yaro Hetman, global marketing director of electric trucks and commercial vehicles at Ford. Yep, you read that correctly. The E-Transit features an independent rear suspension. The way its powertrain was designed, a driveshaft is not needed, and since there's no internal-combustion engine up front, Ford mounted the full-size spare tire under the hood.

2022-ford-e-transit-12

A massive 12-inch touchscreen is standard equipment in the new E-Transit.

Ford

This amped-up Transit's battery pack will offer 67 kilowatt-hours of usable capacity, which, in a low-roof cargo van, provides an estimated driving range of 126 miles. In a world where companies such as Tesla and Lucid are offering vehicles with 400 or even 500-plus miles of range, this seems like a laughable figure, but it's actually not, and here's why.  

"If you're driving 50 miles on an average day, why in the world would you ever pay for 500 miles?" asked Hetman. Fleet customers, who watch every penny, are unwilling to pony up for any capability they don't absolutely need, and Ford has plenty of data to back this up. According to Hetman, the average commercial van drives just 74 miles a day. This means the E-Transit's range is pretty much where it needs to be for many customers. Of course, Hetman acknowledges that some people will fall outside that window, but they can always grab a conventionally powered Transit or wait a little longer. "This is the start for us," he said. In the future, "We will have more capability [and range]." He wouldn't confirm it, but it sounds like an all-wheel-drive version of the E-Transit is in the works, too.

This van's battery pack can be replenished in a variety of ways since it supports both AC charging and DC fast charging, with the port being mounted in the middle of the grille, right underneath the Ford logo. The included mobile charger can supply juice at either 120 or 240 volts. Plugged into the latter, the E-Transit can gain about 10 miles of range per hour, however, if you hook it to a 115-kW DC fast charger it can recoup about 30 miles in just 10 minutes.

2022 Ford E-Transit

Commercial customers should love this electrified van.

Ford

Putting those electrons to good use, the E-Transit is powered by a motor that delivers an estimated 266 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. All that twist should give this van decent around-town scoot, even when loaded up. These figures are still preliminary, but expect this van to have a maximum payload capacity of 3,800 pounds, or 4,290 pounds in cutaway form. Protecting customers for the long haul, the E-Transit's electric-vehicle components are covered by an 8-year or 100,000-mile warranty. Further sweetening the deal, on average, the new E-Transit is estimated to have 40% lower maintenance costs than a comparable gas-powered 2020 Transit over that time period or distance.

Another way customers can tap into the battery's energy reserves is with an available feature called Pro Power. With a series of plugs in the cargo area, this basically turns the E-Transit into a mobile generator, one that provides up to 2.4 kW of juice, enough for you to run various power tools like an air compressor or circular saw. This means people won't have to buy a separate generator or an aftermarket inverter. With its somewhat limited range, this feature may sound like a non-starter, but that's not the case. Hetman said, doing three hours of work at max power, something few people would likely ever do since, for instance, if you're working with wood you make a cut and then shut the saw off, would only consume around 7 kWh of power. "[And] realistically, that's just under 11% of the battery capacity," he noted, which is a "very manageable impact."

Further helping commercial customers, the new E-Transit will offer a range of connected-vehicle services. "We've given them … the software tools to monitor the charge status of all the vehicles [and] how the vehicles are being charged," said Julius Marchwicki, chief operating officer of Ford Commercial Solutions. Users will also be able to remotely pre-condition their E-Transits while they're plugged in to help preserve driving range. This van will also allow managers to monitor off-hours use and know whether a vehicle has been towed or moved when it's not supposed to be. "We're launching on E-Transit," explained Marchwicki, but these features will be available on other vehicles as well.

2022 Ford E-Transit

The charging port is mounted in the grille, right beneath the Ford logo.

Ford

In addition to EV-specific features, this van will also offer an in-cab driving coach. The system can keep track of acceleration and braking events as well as speed and, through the voice assistant, guide the user to operate the vehicle in a more desirable manner. "That just-in-time feedback to the driver helps improve their performance over time," said Marchwicki.

The new E-Transit offers some interesting tech. Just like the regular model, a range of standard and available features makes living or working with one of these vehicles much easier. Features like lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking will be included at no extra charge, while amenities including blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera system and adaptive cruise control will be optional. Another nifty standard feature is a Sync 4 infotainment system with a gargantuan 12-inch touchscreen. For added convenience, this multimedia array includes a 4G LTE modem and supports over-the-air software updates.

The new E-Transit is set to arrive at dealerships in late 2021 and should carry an entry-level price tag of less than $45,000. A global product, it will be offered in North America, throughout Europe and even in New Zealand. The automaker is not releasing any sales projections for the E-Transit or even what percentage of overall Transit deliveries it's expected to make up, but with a reasonable base price and plenty of clever features, it should be just the ticket for plenty of fleet operators. 

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Best torque wrenches for cars in 2020 – Roadshow

Is it worth buying a torque wrench? If you do any serious automotive work, you're going to need one. It's not enough just disassembling a car's front suspension, pulling a cylinder head or swapping out wheels and then putting everything back together correctly without any leftover parts. No, to do any of these jobs properly, you need to make sure all the fasteners are appropriately tightened, and this is where a torque wrench comes in.

The upper control-arm bolts on your Dodge Challenger may require, say, 55 pound-feet of twist, whereas the aftermarket head studs for a Subaru BRZ engine you're building might take 115 pounds plus an additional 90 degrees of rotation to be properly fastened. In these cases, and countless more, it's mission-critical to have a torque wrench. Available in a range of sizes and types, torque wrenches enable you to tighten fasteners to a specified torque value, which is extremely important, especially in fields like aviation.

Best Torque Wrenches

There are plenty of great torque wrenches to choose from; here are a few of the best.

ACDelco/EPAuto/Gearwrench/Tekton/Tooluxe/Craig Cole/Roadshow

Tightening nuts and bolts to a manufacturer-recommended torque range enables specific components -- and the vehicle itself -- to function as designed. Not following these specs can result in damage to your car or truck, shortened component life and many more headaches down the road. Properly tightening head bolts to a specific torque setting, for instance, is critical. You don't want to go through the aggravation of replacing a head gasket just to have it blow out again two weeks later because you didn't use a good torque wrench.

All this sounds both complicated and expensive, but luckily, it's neither. There's a wide range of available torque wrenches on the market today for every application and budget, from simple beam-style torque-wrench models that cost but a few bucks to electronic torque wrench units that are super accurate. Here are a few of the best torque wrenches available today, with our recommendations based on personal experience and buyer reviews. We'll update this periodically.

EPAuto

The EPAuto torque wrench is an easy recommendation. A click wrench unit, you set the desired proper torque and start tightening in a clockwise direction. When the preset torque measurement amount is reached, it clicks to let you know. For added versatility, it works between 10 lb-ft and 80 lb-ft, which makes it ideal for a large number of tasks, automotive and otherwise. For added versatility, this click torque wrench has a 3/8-inch drive end, meaning it fits midsize sockets, though it also comes with an extension, but that's not all. Two adapters are included, too, allowing you to use ¼-inch and ½-inch sockets as well.

Ensuring the EPAuto torque wrench lasts, it's made from a hardened, chrome vanadium steel alloy. It also comes with a plastic storage case. Making this product a cinch to use, its adjustment barrel, which easily turns to change how much torque it applies, is clearly labeled in both foot-pounds and Newton meters, plus it has a knurled handle so you don't slip, even if your hands are greasy or dirty. You could do a lot worse than this EPAuto torque wrench, which costs just $25 and has a 4.5-star rating out of 5 stars after more than 2,300 user reviews.

Lexivon

The next torque wrench on this list is burlier and more expensive than the EPAuto model listed above, but it's still very reasonably priced and even more versatile. The Lexivon unit highlighted here features a ½-inch drive end and is a click-type torque wrench. Like many other torque wrenches, its adjustment barrel features a knurled handle for a nonslip grip and its numbers are clearly marked -- a high-contrast yellow over black. This is a pretty stylish click torque wrench!

But looks are irrelevant; functionality is what counts, and this mechanical torque wrench unit offers plenty. It operates from 25 lb-ft up to a whopping 250 lb-ft of torque range. This gives you a huge torque setting range to work with, making it great for heavy-duty applications from engine and front-end service to tightening the lug nuts on a commercial truck. For added versatility, Lexivon offers several other torque-wrench models with ¼-, 3/8- and ½-inch drive ends. This unit is super versatile and affordable to boot, at just $56. But the icing on the cake is this product's 4.7-star rating after nearly 2,000 customer reviews.

Gearwrench

Quality costs money. If you want the best, be prepared to spend more. Case in point: The Gearwrench ½-inch drive digital torque wrench. Sure, it stickers for $144 (it's cheaper at time of publication), but that's money well spent if your livelihood depends on a tool like this or if precision is paramount. Having personally used Gearwrench products myself, it makes great stuff, so you shouldn't be disappointed. This tool's operating torque range is between 20 lb-ft to 250 lb-ft, plus it should be accurate to within about 3% for the jobs that require precise torque.

But are digital torque wrenches better? The short answer is yes and no. They're easier to use and arguably more accurate, but tend to cost more. Setting this product apart from the other torque wrenches highlighted here, it is electronic. Rather than a clicking mechanism or a bar that bends as you apply force, it features circuits and sensors. You easily set the desired torque level using a series of buttons and the handle vibrates, a buzzer sounds and an LED shines when you reach that target torque amount, so there's no excuse for over-tightening any fasteners. For extra flexibility, it can be set in lb-ft, Nm, kgf-m and kg-cm. Keeping this precision instrument safe and secure, it comes with a plastic carrying case. This Gearwrench torque wrench's 4.6-star rating doesn't hurt, either.

Tooluxe

If value is important and simplicity a top priority, consider this Tooluxe beam torque wrench (gotta love a punny name). This type of torque wrench is less convenient to use than either the click torque wrench or digital counterparts, but they are cheaper and dead simple. With no settings or mechanisms to deal with, you simply tighten fasteners in a clockwise direction while observing the indicator. When it points at the desired torque setting, you're all set.

This beam wrench is 18 inches long and operates from a torque value of zero to 150 lb-ft. Made of steel for long-haul durability, it's treated to a bright chrome finish that will look good in anyone's toolbox. For added versatility, it comes with a ½-inch drive end plus a 3/8-inch adapter. For less than 25 bucks, you can't go wrong here.

Tekton

Thanks to its blend of versatility, value and excellent user reviews, this Tekton ½-inch drive torque wrench is our best overall recommendation. This clicking-type torque wrench can accurately tighten fasteners anywhere from 10 lb-ft to 150 lb-ft of torque value. It's made of durable steel, comes with a storage case, has easy-to-read scales and features a reversible ratchet head that drives in both directions, handy if you ever need to tighten something with a left-hand thread.

Another benefit of this Tekton torque wrench is precision. It's accurate to +/- 4%, which is hard to argue with. As for pricing, you can own all this goodness for a mere $40. And if buyer ratings are any indication, it should work extremely well, having earned a 4.7-star score from more than 7,000 reviews.

ACDelco

Finally, if you need a torque wrench but don't have a place to put one, consider a digital torque adapter, like this nifty ACDelco unit. This tool clips onto the end of a ½-inch-drive socket wrench you already have, so you don't have to make room in your toolbox for another piece of hardware. Like the Gearwrench one listed above, this tool is digital. It can also be set between 25 and 250 lb-ft of set torque. When the desired torque is reached, three LEDs illuminate and an audible sound chimes, a digital way of saying, "Whoa there, partner. That's enough."

A precision piece of hardware, this tool is so accurate, the manufacturer says it can be used to calibrate other torque wrenches. For added peace of mind, this ACDelco tool comes with a one-year warranty and is highly rated. Not too shabby for $60. If you need a 3/8-inch-drive torque adapter, the company offers one as well, priced at $50.

Comparison of best torque wrenches for cars


Torque Wrench Price Torque Range Other Features
Best budget torque wrench EPAuto 3/8-inch drive $25 10 lb-ft to 80 lb-ft Clicking-style torque wrench; includes carrying case; includes ½-inch extension plus ¼-inch and ½-inch adapters
Best clicking-style torque wrench Lexivon ½-inch drive $56 25 lb-ft to 250 lb-ft Clicking-style torque wrench, high-contrast scales, accurate to +/- 4%
Best digital torque wrench Gearwrench ½-inch drive $116 20 lb-ft to 250 lb-ft Digital; vibrating handle; accurate to within +/- 3%; reads in lb-ft, Nm, kgf-m, kg-cm
Best beam-style torque wrench Tooluxe ½-inch drive $24 0 lb-ft to 150 lb-ft Includes 3/8-inch adapter, bright-chrome finish
Best overall torque wrench Tekton ½-inch drive $40 10 lb-ft to 250 lb-ft Clicking-style torque wrench, includes carrying case, easy-to-read scales, accurate to +/- 4%
Best digital torque adapter ACDelco ½-inch drive $60 25 lb-ft to 250 lb-ft Audible and visual alerts, one-year warranty

4 things to know about torque wrenches

  • Manufacturers specify a torque rating for everything, whether it's a taillamp housing, wheel lug nut or a critical component like a cylinder-head bolt. Every component needs to be properly tightened -- but not overdone -- to work as designed and last as long as intended. This is why torque wrenches are so important.
  • Yes, you can fudge things when tightening fasteners, that is, skip using a torque wrench because some automotive parts and systems are more important than others. If you're reattaching a piece of interior trim that should be torqued to 12 inch-pounds torque limit, you can probably just guess and nothing bad will happen. But if you're doing brakes, working on a steering system or tightening main-bearing caps, using a torque wrench and following the manufacturer's recommendations are mandatory.
  • Torque wrenches are offered with different ends. These typically include ¼-, 3/8- and ½-inch sizes, though larger ones are offered. For many applications, a 3/8-inch unit is perfectly fine. For added versatility, many torque wrenches also come with adapters so they can be used with various sockets.
  • Digital torque wrenches are probably the easiest to use. Just set the desired torque and they will alert you when you hit that amount. There are a few downsides, including that they require batteries, are more complex and tend to be a touch costlier than their analog counterparts. On the flip side, beam-style torque wrenches are incredibly simple, with basically no parts to break, but they're far more cumbersome to use. Splitting the difference are the clicking-style torque wrenches. 

A smart thing to have in your toolbox

Torque wrenches... nope, they're not sexy, but they are super important. If you're planning on tackling automotive repairs, you'd be wise to have one of these in your toolbox. And the good news is, all versions are very affordable, easy to use and should be plenty accurate. It just boils down to personal preference. Do you want a simple one that's a bit more difficult to use, would you prefer a clicking-style torque wrench or are you all digital, all the time? Really, you can't go wrong with any of these tools, but you could certainly go wrong by not having one.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Porsche and Embraer make a perfect pair both on road and in the air – Roadshow

Porsche/Embraer

This looks like a match made in heaven.

Porsche/Embraer

Some things were just made for each other, like hammers and nails, roasted meat served with Barolo wine, and sports cars and private jets. Wait, what? On Thursday, Porsche announced a unique partnership with Embraer, a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer. Well-heeled socialites who purchase a limited-edition Phenom 300E aircraft will also get a matching 911 Turbo S sports car.

Called Duet, this collaboration aims to bring together two of the highest-performing vehicles in their respective segments. Certainly, the 911 Turbo S is one of the swiftest, best-driving cars ever made. With 640 turbocharged horsepower provided by a rear-mounted boxer-six engine, it can rip from zero to 60 mph in a palpitation-inducing 2.6 seconds.

This Porsche will probably beat the Embraer off the line, but the Phenom 300E takes the crown for outright speed. Among single-pilot jets, it is the fastest and offers the longest range. Its high-speed cruising velocity is 464 knots (534 mph), and its five-occupant range is 2,010 nautical miles (2,313 miles). A pair of Pratt & Whitney jet engines provides just shy of 7,000 pounds of thrust and enables this aircraft to fly at up to 45,000 feet.

Adding greatly to passenger comfort, the Phenom 300E has the largest windows in its class, the highest pressurization among light aircraft and even a private lavatory. Cabin staff are, unfortunately, not included.

Porsche/Embraer

Aside from a sports car and a private jet, you also get a set of matching luggage.

Porsche/Embraer

Both machines feature a two-tone paint job with platinum silver metallic up top and jet gray metallic on the bottom. Trim strips rendered in chrome and blue liven things up a bit.

A special logo was designed for this partnership. It's a combination of a stylized aircraft wing and the rear spoiler of a 911 Turbo S fitted with the Sport Design package. This emblem is used throughout both car and aircraft.

A number of unique touches make this 911 even more special. Its corresponding aircraft's individual registration number is found on the underside of its rear wing and on the sides of the key fob. The red-illuminated door sills read "No Step," another aviation callout. That special logo appears on a B-pillar-mounted emblem, which also has 10 small rectangles corresponding to the number of Duet sets that will be sold. Naturally, this insignia is repeated on the aircraft.

These limited-edition 911s roll on special alloy wheels that are painted silver and feature blue accents on the flanges. The cars' side air intakes and window trim are rendered in brilliant chrome. Inside, the driver and passengers are treated to a cabin handcrafted by Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, one that is not offered in the normal production range. This gets you a two-tone color scheme consisting of black and chalk leathers accentuated by blue stitching. The steering wheel is also two-tone, its contrasting hues arranged to make it vaguely resemble an aircraft control yoke. An Alcantara headliner and carbon-fiber decorations on the seats further gussy things up.

Porsche/Embraer

The 911's two-tone steering wheel is designed to resemble an aircraft's yoke.

Porsche/Embraer

The 911's front trunk is hand finished, lined with sumptuous leather. Really, it's the perfect place to stick the matching luggage that comes with Duet. This includes a pilot's case and two weekend bags. You also get a special-edition 1919 Globetimer UTC watch. Why? Well, why not?

Just 10 limited-edition Duet sets will be offered. If you like what you see, they're taking orders now, with deliveries beginning in 2021. Pricing for this pair of thoroughbred machines isn't listed, but you can imagine it ain't cheap. On its own, the Porsche 911 Turbo S starts at more than $200,000.

Now playing: Watch this: What was the Porsche 911 going to be called?

6:38

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Ford to build a new 6.8-liter V8 engine in Canada – Roadshow

A smaller version of Ford's 7.3-liter "Godzilla" V8 could find its way into the F-150 and Mustang.

Ford

Could the Ford F-150 pickup truck and next-gen Mustang sports car be getting a new V8 engine? If Unifor, the Canadian auto union's latest three-year collective agreement is any clue, the Blue Oval could be developing an exciting new powerplant.

This contract, which was approved by 81% of Unifor members, mentions several important investments. Ford's Oakville assembly plant just outside Toronto, Ontario is getting $1.4 billion ($1.8 billion Canadian). This outlay will be used to retool the factory to produce new electric vehicles. Yes, you read that correctly: Vehicles, plural, which will include a crossover.

The Windsor engine plant is getting some love, too, and this is where things get interesting. The automaker is spending around $112 million ($148 million Canadian) to spruce the place up. According to Unifor, this outlay includes a commitment to build new "6.X-liter" engines. Ford's Windsor plant is currently where the 7.3-liter, pushrod "Godzilla" V8 is produced, a slick new engine family that's used in the Super Duty pickup range and is capable of producing crazy power with minor modifications. In stock form, it cranks out an impressive if not insane 430 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque. A smaller version of this large-capacity V8, one reportedly displacing 6.8-liters, would be right at home in the Mustang. It'd be great in an F-150, too.

Pushrod-actuated valves are simple, make for a compact engine and should be much more affordable than competing overhead-camshaft configurations.

Ford

Aside from the upcoming Mach-E SUV, Ford's iconic pony car is offered with a range of powerplants, from a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder on the low end, to a supercharged, 5.2-liter, 760-hp V8 in the range-topping GT500 model. Between these extremes, several versions of a slick-running 5.0-liter V8 is available. According to the Unifor deal, these engines and any derivatives will be sole-sourced from the company's Essex engine plant in Ontario. The addition of an old-school, 6.8-liter engine is both exciting and intriguing -- exciting because new engines are always fun to experience, and intriguing since this move seems a little out of step as the automotive industry pushes to an electrified future.

Naturally, Unifor did not immediately return Roadshow's request for comment, and neither did Ford. Automakers almost never talk about future product or rumors, and this is, unfortunately, no exception.

Now playing: Watch this: The 2020 Ford F-Series Super Duty gets new engines and...

3:09

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Ford E-Transit electric van to debut on Nov. 12 – Roadshow

2022 Ford E-Transit

Electric delivery van coming your way.

Ford

Back in March, Ford confirmed plans to build an all-electric Transit van. This high-roof hauler should offer plenty of versatility and zero tailpipe emissions, making it perfect for commercial customers, particularly delivery companies, which are working overtime during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's been a while since we first heard about this van, but on Thursday, Ford confirmed its all-electric Transit will finally be unveiled on Nov. 12 and the automaker shared its name: the E-Transit. Not the most original thing, but so goes it.

This 2022-model-year vehicle should offer plenty of smart features, from 4G connectivity and lane-keeping assist to automatic high beams and pedestrian detection. Unfortunately, it's still too early to say what range this battery-powered schlepper will offer or what sort of power it'll have, but we should know a lot more in just a couple of weeks. If this amped-up Transit is half as good as its combustion-powered counterpart, it should be pretty swell.

To get a feel for what people are looking for in the future, Ford, in partnership with Google, recently conducted a survey of customers, including 1,000 in the US and another 1,000 in both the UK and Germany. Surprisingly, more than 60% of Americans and some 68% of Britons care about their carbon footprint, specifically the environmental impact of having products delivered to their homes. Hey, Amazon Prime is convenient, but free two-day shipping isn't always a good thing.

If price and shipping times were the same, around half or those surveyed by Ford said they'd be open to using more environmentally friendly delivery companies. Finally -- and this is a bit surprising -- nearly half of Americans and Brits would be willing to wait longer for their products to be delivered if they came via a zero-emissions vehicle. Clearly, people are aware of -- and open to -- electrically operated commercial vehicles.

The battery-powered 2022 Transit van, which will be built in America, is another part of Ford's $11.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles, which includes other models like the Mustang Mach-E SUV and ever-popular F-150 pickup truck.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

2021 Toyota Sienna costs $35,635 and gets 36 mpg – Roadshow

The new Sienna practically sips fuel like a Prius. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The numbers are in, and the Toyota Sienna is a blockbuster. According to the EPA, all-wheel-drive models should return 35 miles per gallon city, 36 mpg on the highway and 35 mpg combined. Naturally, front-drivers are even more economical, at 36 mpg across the board. That's not bad for a minivan that starts just above $35,000.

Not surprisingly, those figures absolutely annihilate the 2021 Honda Odyssey and the front-drive 2020 Chrysler Pacifica, non-hybrid rivals that are both rated at 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. Of course, Chrysler also offers a plug-in hybrid version of its stylish minivan, which has an electric-only driving range of 32 miles. When running solely on battery power, the 2020 Pacifica hybrid stickers at 82 MPGe. After its electron reservoir is depleted, this van operates as a conventional hybrid. As such, it's rated at 30 mpg combined, still well behind the new Sienna.

The key to this Toyota's phenomenal fuel efficiency, among other things, is its hybrid drivetrain. Behind that massive grille is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. With some electric motors thrown into the mix and a 1.9-kilowatt-hour nickel-metal hydride battery pack mounted underneath the front seats, this combo delivers an acceptable 245 horsepower, a good bit less than you get in either the Odyssey or Pacifica. No, the Sienna's performance isn't quite as good as what those rivals provide, but the efficiency gains are well worth it.

There's plenty of standard tech in the 2021 Toyota Sienna.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

This Toyota is offered in five different trim levels: LE, XLE, XSE, Limited and Platinum. For added appeal, all-wheel drive is available on every model. As for pricing, an entry-level version with front-wheel drive starts at $35,635, including $1,175 in destination fees. Grab a Platinum-grade Sienna with all-wheel drive, pile on the options and you'll have no trouble pushing this van's price tag into the mid-50s.

From its superb fuel efficiency to its lounge-like interior to its generous standard tech, there's a lot to like about the 2021 Toyota Sienna (make sure to read our full review!). If you want to park one of these redesigned minivans in your garage, you won't have to wait long. They should be available at showrooms next month.

Now playing: Watch this: 2021 Toyota Sienna first-look video

6:34

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group merger greenlit by EU – Roadshow

Peugeot 208

Could this merger mean we get more small cars in America? Future product questions are tough to answer right now.

Peugeot

We've known for almost exactly a year now that Fiat Chrysler and French automaker PSA were flirting with a merger. This potential tie-up could help both companies grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and likely save them huge sums of money developing new vehicles, particularly more eco-friendly all-electric models.

Well, Reuters reported on Monday this corporate hookup is one step closer to becoming a reality. The European Commission has given this $38 billion transaction the go-ahead, an important hurdle to clear.

The all-share deal would create a new company called Stellantis, which sounds like the home planet of some alien race in a science-fiction franchise. What's not fantasy, however, is the money this combined entity could save. It's estimated synergies between the two automakers, which own popular brands like Jeep, Ram Truck and Maserati on the FCA side of the ledger, as well as Peugeot and Opel in PSA portfolio, could save as much at $6 billion annually. It's projected 20% of that total could come from areas like logistics and marketing, while the remaining 80% could be realized in product-related areas and purchasing.

Combined, these two companies could form the fourth-largest automaker in the world.

FCA/PSA

But perhaps more importantly, those savings could, reportedly, be realized without closing any manufacturing plants, something that's always a contentious issue, raising the ire of unions and governments alike.

Naturally, there are still some antitrust concerns and plenty of other loose ends to tie up regarding things like vehicle servicing, but the die appears to be cast. The merger between FCA and PSA could be completed as soon as the first quarter of 2021. Once the financial dust settles, newly formed Stellantis could be the fourth-largest automaker in the world.

Now playing: Watch this: Jeep Grand Wagoneer concept: The fanciest Jeep around

2:20

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read More
Page 1 of 612345»...Last »