The sounds of racing

Audio specialist IXOOST from Italy, in conjunction with Pirelli Design, has launched a unique Bluetooth wireless speaker that’s a scaled-down version of a Pirelli P-Zero racing tire. The half-scale replica is the same size that Formula One teams use for wind-tunnel testing. The P-Zero Sound Speaker is available in nine different trim colors that reflect […]

Charged up about washing

The Norshire is a handy device that can act as a powerful pressure-washer for those times when you’re not near a water tap. The unit comes with the necessary attachments for washing your vehicle, including an adjustable spray nozzle and brush. You can use the Norshire with just about any water source, whether a lake, […]

Audi electric SUV deliveries begin in early 2019:

Audi said it would begin taking orders online for the all-electric E-tron utility vehicle on Sept. 17, the same day as its production unveiling in San Francisco, Calif. A $1,000 deposit will be required, after which customers will be able to track when their vehicles will be built, shipped and delivered, beginning in early 2019, […]

Harley-Davidson eyes new market with two-wheel EVs:

The American motorcycle maker has announced a growth plan describing “the first in a broad, no-clutch ‘twist and go’ portfolio” of electric two-wheelers designed to establish the company in the electrification of motorcycles. Earlier in 2018 Harley-Davidson teamed up with electric motorcycle maker Alta Motors and served notice its first electric motorcycle would come to […]

Ford-hotrod headquarters

If you have ever considered building your own hotrod from scratch, Brookville Roadster should be on your radar. The 30-year-old company specializes in all-steel recreations of 1928-’32 Ford models. This includes seven different body styles, including coupes, roadsters and pickups, with or without fenders. Brookville can supply just about every possible component you might need […]

Exits made easier

Some older drivers and their passengers, as well as anyone with mobility issues, can have a difficult time getting into and out of a vehicle. As the name implies, the Swivel Seat from My Belief Supply allows you to back into the vehicle seat, then rotate your body without undue stress or strain. In the […]

Light at the end of the . . . wrench

When it comes to wrenching in tight spots, KC LED Light Gloves can come in handy. The breathable, waterproof material and adjustable wrist closures are designed to provide a comfortable fit, while the built-in lithium-ion-powered lights on each glove have high and low settings to let you see exactly what you’re working on. The two […]

It’s Ralph Lauren time

Other than designing and manufacturing his line of clothing, fashion guru Ralph Lauren is known for collecting an exquisite array of classic automobiles. One of his prized rides is an ultra-rare 1938 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic Coupe, which served as an inspiration for the Ralph Lauren Automotive Watch. This 39-millimeter-diameter self-winding timepiece features a […]

Hyundai is composing a new Sonata:

A source for the Spymaster indicates that the Korea-based automaker is planning an overhaul of its midsize sedan for the 2020 model year. Word has it that the next Sonata will be in part influenced by Hyundai’s Le Fil Rouge concept model that was shown to the public this past spring at the 2018 Geneva […]

Jaguar plans a new cat:

Reports from The Sleuth’s operatives indicate that the Britain-based automaker is looking to replace the XK-series coupes and convertibles, which were discontinued after the 2014 model-year, with a single model labeled the J-Type. It’s expected to be a mid-engine vehicle that’s positioned at the premium end of the lineup, and will likely use some form […]

Michelin works on wood-based, 3D-printed lifetime tires:

As the world’s tire business looks for ways to shed its use of oil, Michelin says it will have a new tire within two years, the construction of which will be largely made up of wood. Wood will become the major ingredient for a sustainable future, predicts Britain’s Motoring magazine, which reported that in addition […]

Street-light grid could solve urban EV-charging issues:

A program testing the installation of public charging points in streetlamp posts is under way in the London, England. It could help remove a hurdle to mass electric-vehicle adoption in high-density and urban environments: lack of access to charge points. Charged Electric Vehicles Magazine reports London startup Char.gy is demonstrating its open-access charging technology. It […]

Electric VW obliterates Pikes Peak record:

Volkswagen’s battery-powered entry driven by veteran racer Romain Dumas didn’t just break the Pikes Peak “Race to the Clouds” record in Colorado on June 24, they flat-out shattered it, breaking the eight-minute barrier in the 14.4-mile (19.9-kilometre) climb to 14,110 feet (4,300 meters) above sea level. That’s more than 16 seconds faster than anyone else. […]

Audi tests overspray-free, multi-colored body-paint process:

Audi is testing an application system that allows it to paint vehicles more than one color at a time in one pass, without any overspray between different-colored panels. Unique to the industry, it’s being tested at a pilot paint shop in Ingolstadt, Germany, painting vehicle roofs black to contrast other body colors. Painting a car […]

A helpful deflection

Convertibles are mostly about fun-in-the-sun touring, but they’re not much fun when your hair is constantly blowing in your face or you’re forced to wear a ball cap. Then there are the wind gusts that force you to shout at your driving partner and/or crank up the audio-system volume to be heard. A solution is […]

A cure for deflation

Finding yourself with a flat tire and no spare — or without the means to install one — can be a serious, perhaps even life-threatening problem. FlatterUP can get you going again by taking air from the three inflated tires and equalizing their pressure in all four tires. This is done by connecting the product’s […]

Sergio Marchionne was a driving force:

The death of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ CEO at age 66 on July 25 has shocked the automotive world. It was the sweater-wearing Marchionne, a Canadian at the helm of Fiat, who engineered a turnaround strategy that restored the former Chrysler Corporation from bankruptcy to profitability. This, after seeming indifference under Mercedes-Benz’s control, followed by years […]

Ford transplants Raptor engine for 2019:

The market for luxury pickups is booming these days, along with the sky-high prices being charged for them. To that end, The Sleuth is not that surprised that Ford will make available the 450-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 from the off-road Raptor model in the premium four-door F-150 Limited SuperCrew for 2019. The engine was originally introduced […]

Nissan, Mercedes-Benz small-car project is dead:

The Spy Guy’s sources are hearing that the rumored project that would have seen both automakers collaborate on the creation of a compact sedan using the same platform and engine(s) has been shelved. Apparently the main reason is said to be a major shift in buyer interest toward tall wagons. The cancellation shouldn’t affect the […]

The Ford Fusion will become a…sport wagon:

Yes, that’s what The Sleuth’s sources have discovered. Apparently the Blue Oval automaker has the popular Subaru Outback wagon in its sights and plans to create a similar model with standard all-wheel-drive and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, or an optional V-6. Rumor has is that the Fusion name is being retained due to pressure from […]

Jaguar Land Rover boosts EV spending:

The England-based builder of luxury, speed and beauty, said it will increase spending on electrification for future vehicles by 25 percent to US $18 billion, reports the Bloomberg news service. The luxury automaker stated that the catalyst for the increased spending was failing demand for diesel-powered vehicles across Europe. JLR announced in 2017 that all […]

California utility to make EV charging convenient everywhere:

A pilot program by utility Southern California Edison (SCE), which recently installed its 1,000th charging point in the Golden State, wants to spend an additional $760 million to expand it by another 48,000 outlets. SCE’s Charge Ready program will have as part of its focus making charge points available at apartment buildings and condominium complexes […]

Sit on your chest

A tool chest that also doubles as a rolling stool sounds like a great idea. That’s obviously what the folks at Mychanic thought when they created the Sidekick Stool. The unit comes with a padded seat that can support up to 450 pounds. There are two cabinets for storing your tools and other essentials, while […]

Hitch up your camper

The Hitch Hotel was designed as a more practical and affordable alternative to pop-up trailers. The 240-pound fiberglass shell, which attaches to your vehicle’s Class III hitch, can transport larger valuables, such as bicycles, in 60 cubic feet of space. However it also expands to create sleeping quarters for two adults (you supply the mattress), […]

Auto preservation

Author/radio host Thomas Torbjornsen’s book, entitled How to Make Your Car Last Forever, is a valuable resource for keeping your vehicle on the road. Torbjornsen has accrued a wealth of information on all facets of vehicle operation and what you need to do to keep it in peak running condition. His simple and straightforward explanations […]

Keep the crud off the floor

Keeping your garage floor clean is particularly important if you have interlocking tiles, an epoxy-type coating or some other stylish high-buck finish. Less water and mud also means a slip-free garage floor and less grime being tracked all over the place. For that, you need a Clean Park Garage Mat. This protective catchall is available […]

Porsche intends to make a Cayenne coupe:

Well why not, says The Sleuth. Many luxury-vehicle makers have already created fastback versions of their utility vehicles, starting with the BMW X6 many years ago. Apparently it’s a virtual certainty that Porsche will introduce a four-door “coupe” version of the popular Cayenne utility vehicle. The new model, which is expected to launch sometime in […]

Self-leveling motorcycle headlight solves corner blindness:

BMW’s new K1600GT motorcycle has a feature virtually unknown in the industry: a self-leveling headlight. As the rider tips the bike into a corner, a conventional headlight redirects itself downward on the side the rider is steering into, leaving the turn ahead largely unlit. The ALLight (for Always Level Light) is a simple bulb replacement […]

Dodge ‘Challenges’ you to take the Redeye:

The 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is out of production, but The Sleuth believes its replacement is a more well-rounded athlete. The 2019 Challenger SRT Redeye has a Demon-based 797-horsepower supercharged 6.2-litre V-8. That compares to the 2018 SRT Hellcat Challenger’s 707 horses and 650 pound-feet of torque, which gets a 10-horse bump to 717 […]

EV auto-racing tech powers electric boat to new world-speed record:

Developed in partnership with Jaguar, an electric speed boat using Formula E racing technology has set a new world record of 88.61 mph. Jaguar Vector Racing smashed the previous record of 76.8 mph, more than 10 mph faster on a water course in England. The electric boat was designed and constructed by Jaguar Vector in […]

Volvo’s new lightweight supercar:

Most people probably haven’t heard of Polestar, but The Sleuth believes it won’t take long before that changes. The first car from Volvo’s recently announced spinoff division is a two-door coupe called, appropriately enough, Polestar 1. Among its unique features is a carbon-fiber body that Polestar claims is stronger and more than 500 pounds lighter […]

Some insight on the new Honda Insight:

The Spy Guy recently scored some seat time in the automaker’s newest gas-electric model, and found it to be leaps and bounds ahead of the previous Honda Insight that bowed out after the 2014 model year. It was thrifty enough, but was ultimately overwhelmed by Toyota’s highly successful Prius. This time around, the Insight is […]

How much longer will the Dodge Grand Caravan stick around?

The Spymaster keeps seeing reviews by automotive writers complaining about how out of date Dodge’s minivan is and how its retirement can’t be too far off. Although there’s no news as to a departure or replacement date, it doesn’t seem the Grand Caravan is leaving anytime soon, other than from showrooms into the driveways of […]

Coming soon, a speedier MX-5:

The Sleuth has received official word that Mazda’s two-seat roadster will get a power infusion for the 2019 model year. The MX-5 Miata’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine will produce 181 horses and 151 pound-feet of torque, which is up from 155/148. To get nearly 20 percent more power, Mazda reduced the weight of the pistons and […]

The Nissan Kicks is a winner, but it has its flaws:

The Sleuth recently drove the automaker’s new entry-level small utility rig and it’s good, despite a few notable shortcomings. The small-but-roomy wagon’s electric power steering assist (EPAS) feels too amped up, resulting in a numb feel. It reminds The Sleuth of older EPAS systems from other automakers, although those systems that have since been improved […]

New BMW X5 is about to hit the streets:

The Spy Guy’s take on BMW’s newest “sport activity vehicle” is that it’s a bolder, better model than the previous generation. Most noticeable is an enlarged version of BMW’s grille that also sits quite upright. The new platform that was originally developed for the automaker’s big 7-series sedan gives the X5 a longer, lower and […]

Fiat Chrysler reveals plans for Jeep:

Although perplexed at the lack of info forthcoming regarding FCA’s strategy for the Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat brands, The Spy Guy thinks the future looks bright for Jeep and Ram. For Jeep, there will be a redesigned Renegade for the 2019 model year, including new front and rear styling and a refreshed interior. Mechanically, it […]

The risks of going keyless:

The Sleuth recently experienced a problem that he suspects is more common than you might think. He parked a car outside but did not push the “start” button to turn it off, returning four hours later to realize the engine was still running. Other than wasting fuel, there was no apparent harm or foul, but […]

A hot Kona could be heading this way:

Hyundai’s size-small utility wagon is in line to receive the N performance treatment. This will likely mean the installation of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 275 horsepower, compared to the Kona’s non-turbo base 2.0-liter engine that makes just 147 horses. The Kona N isn’t expected before 2020, one year after the electric Kona. […]

New Lexus is in the ‘Q’:

The Sleuth’s sources report that Toyota’s luxury division will launch a new utility vehicle for the 2020 model year. Apparently called the LQ, the midsize model will be based on the California-designed LF-1 Limitless concept that broke cover at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., in January. It was positioned as a […]

Help for reaching your roof

Roof-rack systems are handy for moving cargo, canoes, bikes and sports equipment. Loading and unloading is difficult without a ladder, however, as is washing the roofs of tall vans and utility vehicles. The Utility Step hooks to the front door latch of virtually every car and truck made over the last 40-plus years, which literally […]

Toys that go against the grain

Candylab Toys is no friend of plastics, especially when it comes to the company’s model cars that are designed to be played with by kids and adults alike. The company specializes in stylized versions of yesteryear classics from the 1940s to the ’60s. All are made from solid beech wood — with rubber tires — […]

How to avoid dust-ups

Keeping your vehicle’s interior clean is an ongoing process that can be made a bit easier with The Carrand AutoSpa Interior Car Detail Duster. This handy item’s chenille microfibers are specially designed to get into tight spots such as cup holders and pockets and can also tackle larger surfaces. They’re also designed to grab and […]

An affordable Bugatti

If $3 million for the Bugatti Chiron is a bit out of your price range, perhaps a $350 version from Lego Technic that you build yourself will do the trick. Still, the 1:8-scale Chiron is made up of a mind-boggling 3,600 pieces, including body panels, interior, wheels, active rear wing and the 16-cylinder engine (with […]

Sedan abandonment’s continue:

The Sleuth’s sources report that General Motors will follow Ford’s lead and reduce the number of sedans (plus others) in its lineup over the next couple of years. The endangered-species list includes the automaker’s line of full-size sedans, including the Chevrolet Impala, Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS, all of which share the same platform. As […]

Toyota takes autonomous-vehicle development to the track:

The Spy Guy doesn’t mean a racetrack, but rather a research-and-development test course in Michigan that’s slated to be completed later this year. The property has been designed for engineers to conduct emergency maneuvers involving other vehicles and pedestrians in simulated urban and extra-urban traffic environments. With a small but occasionally lethal number of incidents […]

Off-roading in a Miata?

Exomotive has created an off-road buggy called the Exocet that you can build at home. All you need is a surplus 1990-2005 Mazda MX-5 (Miata). After the body panels and interior have been removed, the Excocet parts bolt onto the Miata drivetrain. Other items, including the floor, front and rear bulkheads, plexiglass side panels, fiberglass […]

Bluetooth for older cars

People who own older-model automobiles are no longer stuck playing their worn-out cassettes through the original-equipment audio systems. A modern solution is at hand with the Cassette Adaptor Bluetooth from Ion Sound Experiences. The system looks just like a regular audio cassette, but when inserted into the appropriate slot, it’s Bluetooth receiver, so long as […]

Ford’s next Escape will break free of its small stature:

The Sleuth has it on good authority that the Blue Oval automaker’s popular compact utility vehicle won’t be quite so compact when the next-generation model arrives for the 2020 model year. Apparently Ford wants to match a number of the Escape’s peers, including the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Volkswagen Tiguan that have all grown […]

Something completely different for Rolls-Royce:

The Cullinan is the name of the largest diamond ever found and is part of the British Crown Jewel collection. Cullinan is also the name of the BMW-owned automaker’s ultra-luxury sport-utility vehicle. And other than traversing unpaved laneways or perhaps brief forays into tall grass whilst their owners are pheasant hunting, Cullinans will likely remain […]

The automotive hands of time

If you’re like Eric Clapton, who sang about ’57 Chevys in the song “Rock ’n Roll Heart,” Brian Pearson has something you might appreciate. He puts a new clock inside an actual headlight bezel from a vintage 1957 Chevrolet. Of course none of these original-equipment bezels are in mint condition, but they’ve been cleaned up […]

Better sounds for your Jeep

Many 2007-’17 Jeep Wrangler JK owners have their off-roaders equipped with the optional downward-facing speakers positioned between the roll bars to enjoy better audio. When standing outside the vehicle, much of the audio integrity is diminished. KrankItUp! From Angular Concepts solves the problem with a special set of pivoting metal brackets that allow the sound […]

It looks like only current Ford ‘cars’ to survive will be the Mustang and Focus hatchback:

A few weeks back, The Spy Guy reported the imminent demise of the Ford Taurus and he also mentioned that the futures of other models-with-trunks were “on the bubble.” Those bubbles have since burst with the announcement that the Fusion is going away after 2019 and that the next-generation 2019 Focus will only be available […]

Special delivery, to your vehicle:

The Sleuth wonders how many owners of late-model General Motors and Volvo vehicles will sign on to the Amazon Key in-car’s parcel delivery service. This program allows authorized delivery personnel to unlock your car’s hatch or trunk and place whatever you’ve ordered inside. Of course Amazon Key includes a number of safeguards and smart-phone monitoring […]

Land Rover is adding a two-door Range Rover line:

If you had your heart set on buying a new Range Rover Evoque two-door, but were saddened because that model is no longer in production, The Sleuth has good news for you. For 2019, a Range Rover SV coupe will be available, loaded to the gills, and with a supercharged 5.0-litre V-8 that puts out […]

Get ready for a new Focus RS:

Ford recently announced that the 350-horsepower all-wheel-drive version of the Focus hatchback would cease production in the first quarter of 2018. Although the hot-hatch-loving Sleuth took the news hard, his sources are telling him not too worry: The next-generation Focus that will launch for the 2019 model year will eventually include an RS model. Rumour […]

No more rotten bodies

If you’re thinking about building a classic Model T and Model A Ford kit car, consider ordering one from a company with more than 30 years in the business. Brookville sells steel coupe, roadster and pickup bodies, along with the necessary bits and pieces to complete your project. The company will also sell you a […]

Old clothes in fashion

Laid-Back of Victor, Idaho, sells an assortment of old-school-style products, including signs, accessories and vintage-look apparel. Although the themes vary, the company’s passion is clearly automotive-focused, judging by the variety of men’s, women’s and children’s T-Shirts. The company has recently released its 2018 collection that includes classic pickup trucks, Bonneville salt-flats racers and the Pontiac […]

It looks like a monster Ram — with the 707-horsepower Hellcat engine — could soon be joining the fleet:

The Sleuth’s intel file contains info about Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Ram truck division concocting a special high-performance pickup that could be on the market for the 2019 model year. Dubbed the Rebel TRX Hellcat, the truck will be fitted with the same supercharged 707-horspower V-8 that’s used in the Challenger and Charger Hellcat cars as […]

Is a new supercar about to enter the ring?

It certainly appears that way, sayeth The Spymaster. Brabham, a long-revered name in Formula One auto racing, has been regularly tickling The Sleuth’s fancy since mid-February with fuzzy images of what appears to be a high-end sports car. Unlike manufacturers of similar exotica from the likes of Koenigsegg, Pagani and Spyker, to name just a […]

Old-style radio, new sound

RetroSound sells old-look radios that are filled to the gills with modern electronics. Keeping up with times, the Long Beach series’ 25-watt units also come with Bluetooth connectivity, which allows for hands-free phone use and wireless audio streaming. There are also two USB ports for plugging in your music, plus two additional auxiliary inputs. The […]

Your bikes hitch a ride

Some of the easiest bicycle racks to install are the ones that take advantage of your vehicle’s trailer-hitch receiver. The Curt tray-style racks are compatible with 1.25- or 2.0-inch receivers and can handle two bicycles with a total weight of up to 90 pounds (double that amount for the four-bike model). The tilting feature gives […]

Makeover madness at Chevrolet:

It’s normal for an automaker to update one or two of its models each year. The so-called mid-cycle refresh mostly involves minor body changes, new wheels and paint schemes, and possibly powertrain changes. Mild stuff, really. However The Sleuth notes that GM’s Chevrolet division has chosen to update a whole slew of passenger cars at […]

Ford does a re-Focus for 2019:

With the apparent demise of the subcompact Fiesta after 2018, The Sleuth’s eyes were glued to the totally new Ford Focus that was recently unveiled to the press. To the point, this car’s a total stunner, with knife-edge lines practically everywhere you look. In Europe, the car will be available with a choice of a […]

Load up your pickup

Toting your motorized toys is no problem if you have a 4Loader. The unit replaces your short- or long-bed truck’s tailgate and is ideal for hauling motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles since it extends the load floor by close to four feet. The 4Loader attaches to your truck’s two-inch receiver and comes with built-in folding eight-foot-long […]

Drag racing to scale

Not every action game involves plugging into a console. For example, the Legends Quarter Mile Drag Race Track Set (product code: SRS308) requires a 31.5-foot-long straightway (your driveway or similar flat surface will work) and of course a handy wall plug to operate the two electric slot cars that come with the set. As the […]

Cadillac line gets Super Cruise ahead of other GM brands:

General Motors’ new semi-self-driving system will be available in every Cadillac model after 2020 before moving into other GM brands, the company said June 5. Super Cruise is GM’s effort to develop self-driving vehicles. The company said it intends to commercialize self-driving cars in 2019; its self-driving car subsidiary, GM Cruise, recently received an investment […]

Michelin is close to having a 300-mph tire:

Made for modern, exotic hypercars that are approaching the daunting 300-mph barrier, new Michelin tires under development must be able to attain and perform under such speeds not once, but repeatedly, according to automotive-lifestyles webmagazine, Motor Authority. Michelin product manager Eric Schmedding recently confirmed to Bloomberg news service that the company is working to develop […]

The bell tolls for some Ford and Chevy nameplates:

The Sleuth is saddened, but not surprised, with the news that some large and small vehicles in the Ford and Chevrolet fleets will be eliminated. In the full-size class, the Ford Taurus that has survived in one form or another since the 1986 model year will be retired this year. Its primary customers have been […]

Cadillac goes small with a new tall wagon:

The Spy Guy is liking the luxury brand’s new XT4 wagon that goes on sale later this year and sees it as a critical addition to the lineup. This model offers plenty of space, especially for second-row passengers. The standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque) should prove powerful and […]

Brighten up your drive

Swapping out your vehicle’s old headlight bulbs for a set of LEDs is a good idea, especially if you do a lot of highway driving at night. The more light, the better. A pair of Stoofs claims that its Hi-Lo Auto Headlamps are easy to install and will illuminate the way forward far better than […]

How do your tires stack up?

Storing an extra set of tires and wheels, such as snow, summer or racing tires, takes up valuable garage space and they’re a pain to move once they’re stacked. That is unless they’re on wheels, of course. The TruStack Tire Dolly allows you to move your rubber donuts to wherever spot is most convenient. Designed […]

Four-cylinder engine can run on just one:

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine set to power some 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks will run on all four cylinders or on as few as one, depending on driving demands. The 2.7-liter turbocharged engine can deliver full power – 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque – to accelerate or haul loads, but […]

Apple, VW collaborate on self-driving shuttles:

Apple, once intent on developing its own self-driving car, has signed a deal with Volkswagen to develop an autonomous shuttle for use by Apple employees on its California campuses, reports the New York Times. The self-driving T6 Transporter vans aren’t expected to hit the roads until next year, by which time they’ll be retrofitted with […]

Audi vehicles communicate with stoplights:

The company’s Traffic Light Information system (TLI), now operative in 10 United States cities, marks the official start of what’s to come, digitally, for automobiles and their connected future. As a precursor to the integrated technologies, this one shows the potential of vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. Select 2017-’18 Audi vehicles can now use the system at 2,250 […]

Solo certified in U.S. market:

On the heels of announcing it won U.S. certification in May, Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp. of Vancouver, Canada, delivered its first Solo single-passenger electric commuter vehicle to an unidentified customer in Los Angeles, Calif. Legally regarded as a motorcycle, the fully enclosed three-wheeled Solo has a 100-mile range between charges and sells for about US […]

Nissan shakes up the midsize-sedan class with AWD:

The Sleuth was not the only one caught completely off guard with the news that the 2019 Nissan Altima sedan will offer all-wheel-drive. He casually mentioned the news to a senior executive of a competing brand whose jaw then proceeded to literally drop. None of the Altima’s immediate competitors have all-wheel-drive. Said exec immediately reached […]

Is VW going trucking?

It sure looks that way after the automaker rolled out a fully finished pickup concept at the New York International Auto Show in March. The four-door Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak (based on the Atlas utility-vehicle platform) was shown alongside the stylish five-passenger Atlas Cross Sport concept, which is a virtual lock for the 2019 model year. […]

Armrest easy

People who spend considerable time in their late-model Ford F-150, Super Duty, Flex or their Ram pickups can now give their elbows a break with the SnapRest by Redline Automotive Accessories. In fact, as many drivers and their passengers will attest, the product is practically a necessity on long trips. The padded cushion pops onto […]

Custom fit at a universal price

All-Fit Automotive sells an inexpensive universal material to create front and rear lower lips as well as side skirts. The flexible product comes in various lengths and in 1.5-, 2.5- and 3.5-inch widths in black, silver, pink, red, dark gray and white. Installation involves using 3M’s peel-and-stick Heat Bonded Tape along with screws and washers […]

The Z-car might not be on life support after all:

It was assumed that the 370Z sports car was headed for retirement, and without a replacement. But the Sleuth’s trusty sources are hearing that a new 400Z is in the works for the 2020 model year. That name seems appropriate since the car will run with a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 culled from Nissan’s Infiniti […]

Cadillac heats up the CT-6:

The Sleuth can’t help but be impressed with the brand’s performance efforts over the past few years. The latest (and hottest) version of Caddy’s V-Sport nomenclature will be attached to the full-size 2019 CT6 sedan. The executive chariot will have a new twin-turbocharged 4.2-liter V-8 (the first General Motors vehicle to get it) with 550 […]

Keep your gear in its place

There are simple solutions to prevent your groceries, paint cans, plants and other items from rolling loose in your trunk or utility vehicle’s stowage area. Stayhold sells a variety of plastic cargo holders designed to keep all your stuff secure. The line includes Velcro-backed organizers plus straps specifically designed for carpeted surfaces. There are also […]

Sleep in a rooftop nest

For campers who would prefer sleeping above ground level, Roofnest has a number of solutions. For example, the Sparrow pop-up hard-shell tent attaches to the roofs of most small and midsize utility vehicles and station wagons. And its 80-inch length, 53-inch width and 37-inch height (when opened) means it will comfortably sleep two adults. When […]

GM bracket is the first of many 3D-printed components to come:

General Motors and San Francisco, Calif.-based Autodesk showed the first of what will be many 3D-printed parts used in the production of future GM vehicles. The stainless-steel seat bracket is 40 percent lighter, yet 20 percent stronger than a conventional cast-steel bracket, GM said in early May, and bodes well for improved safety, durability and […]

Hydrogen EV rigs could soon deliver beer:

Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser beer, is getting in on the electric-vehicle bandwagon, announcing May 2 it will buy up to 800 hydrogen-electric-powered tractor trucks made by the Nikola Motor Company. The order would replace nearly all the company’s U.S. fleet. The deal, however, has a caveat that makes it contingent on Nickola’s promise to install […]

A garage built for two

Car buffs with an extra vehicle (or more) to store in their garages might want to look into the Autostacker PL-65R parking lift. The galvanized-steel unit’s hydraulic cylinders can lift and support up to 6,000 pounds, and the manufacturer claims the 200-square-foot footprint takes up less space than competing models. The Autostacker is also available […]

An ideal place to Nest

Since 1936, Airstream has been building uniquely shaped travel homes. The company has used aluminum in their construction since the 1950s, but the latest model is the first one to have a fiberglass body. The 3,400-pound back-entry Nest is 16 feet long and comes with a sliding screen door, skylight, wet bath, toilet and a […]

Road in Sweden charges electric cars as they drive:

A two-kilometer (1.2-mile) stretch of electrified road that resembles a slot-car track, and works in much the same way, has opened in Sweden. The project incorporates electric rails embedded into the road surface to power EVs through a contact arm that lowers from beneath the car, reports emerging-technologies webmag New Atlas. The arm extends and […]

Toyota touts alternative to 5G cellular communications:

Toyota and Lexus vehicles will soon be able to communicate with each other and with other cars and the surrounding infrastructure, the automaker announced in mid-April. The Toyota brands use V2X technology (combining vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle systems) through dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology. System-wise, Toyota foresees a single standard developed for all automakers to “ensure […]

Mercedes-Benz gets an ‘A’ in its class:

The Sleuth can now confirm the rumors that the Germany-based automaker finally has its sights set on the lower end of the North American luxury market and will bring the A class here in late 2018 as a 2019 model. Already well-known in Europe, the fourth-generation A class will reportedly arrive as a four-door sedan […]

Cadillac will replace the ATS and CTS with one new model:

The Spy Guy’s sources report that the ATS sedan and coupe, as well as the CTS sedan, will be phased out in 2019, replaced by a single midsize sedan wearing the CT5 label. In addition, the front-wheel-drive XTS that’s built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Impala is also not long for this world […]

Bentley plant embraces solar power:

Construction has begun on a 10,000-unit solar array to cover a parking lot at the Bentley production plant in Crewe, England. Once completed, the ‘solar-farm parking lot’ will deliver about one quarter of the plant’s entire energy needs with about 2.7 megawatts of power, reports automotive-lifestyles magazine Motor Authority. Including a 20,000-plus solar panel rooftop […]

Waymo autonomous taxis envelop Phoenix:

Autonomous-car technology company Waymo’s first commercial self-driving taxi service will be able to operate 24/7 within the city of Phoenix, Ariz., later in 2018. It will cover a ‘geofenced’ area of 100 square miles. Waymo head John Krafcik said in April that members of the public “will be able to take our cars anywhere in […]

The GMC Sierra will be completely new for 2019:

Following the announcement of an all-new Chevrolet Silverado, General Motors’ GMC Sierra pickup will receive similar treatment, but with a more distinctive appearance and features to distance it from its sibling. Chief among them is an optional carbon-fibre cargo bed that’s claimed to be lighter and sturdier than Ford’s highly touted aluminum construction, and eliminates […]

This Jaguar is visually electrifying:

The Sleuth has viewed the automaker’s new all-wheel-drive I-Pace electric hatchback that heads to market later this year as a 2019 model, and he’s rather keen on the car’s slinky styling and quasi-practical shape. Forget any notion of tameness as this Jag’s twin electric motors (one for each axle) collectively produce 394 horsepower and 512 […]

British car history

When considering historical automobiles from Great Britain, most people think MG, Mini and Austin Healey, but there are a number of other makes that one way or another were imported to North America. “Triumph & Standard Cars 1945 to 1984” by Kevin Warrington, provides a pictorial history of each brand plus a brief description and […]

Head-up display for all

If your vehicle wasn’t equipped with a head-up display (HUD) system at the factory, there’s still a way for you to add it at a reasonable cost. Car Dash Cam Pro sells a universal phone holder that, when mounted to the dashboard behind the steering wheel, can project GPS navigation, speed, road information and other […]

No Jeep model left behind:

With Ram truck and Jeep brands selling like proverbial hotcakes, The Sleuth notes that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is going all out to update and revamp both lineups (unlike the seemingly forgotten Dodge and Chrysler four-door family cars). In particular, the Jeep Cherokee and Wrangler are each refreshed for 2019, the 2018 Grand Cherokee can now […]

Now that’s a watch

You could easily drop 15-20 grand (or more) for a fancy Rolex wristwatch that all your friends will probably think is a knock-off anyway. But you could also spend that same portion of your inheritance on a super-cool timepiece from former British specialty-car builder Devon Motor Works (now called Devonworks) and be really different. For […]

Espresso yourself

The lineup for your favorite hot beverage has just been reduced to one. Handpresso of France makes this portable 140-watt espresso machine that fits in your vehicle’s cupholder and plugs in to a 12-volt receptacle, such as a lighter socket. The $200 unit takes most E.S.E (Easy Serving Espresso) coffee pods and brews up the […]

Could Dyson clean up on the electric-car business?:

The company headed by 70-year-old Sir James Dyson of England is well known for making vacuums, bladeless fans and other household items. However, according to The Spy Guy’s sources, Dyson is planning to enter the automobile business. He has reportedly earmarked $2.7 billion to develop electric vehicles and plans to hire 400 employees. Much of […]

Virtual reality speeds vehicle development:

Audi is testing a virtual-reality ‘holodeck’ for assessing the design of new car models. It creates a workable, virtual environment with a three-dimensional image of a car that allows engineers to gain a “realistic overall impression” of a new model and its proportions at an earlier stage, the company said in a statement. The idea […]

Porsche prints new parts for old cars:

Porsche division Porsche Classic has begun 3D-printing parts for re-build and restoration purposes. Using traditional methods to make a few copies of rare out-of-production parts is slow and expensive, it said, citing the case of a clutch-release lever for the Porsche 959 model. With only 292 cars ever produced, the clutch part is no longer […]

Jaguar I-Pace tested in the Arctic:

Promising “an electric performance SUV like no other,” Jaguar’s all-electric I-Pace will deliver both rapid charging and performance when it goes on sale in the United Kingdom in March. That means 45-minute recharge times with sports-car like performance and utility-vehicle practicality. The I-Pace, which will premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland on March […]

Mazda says new combustion engine could be as clean as EVs:

Mazda’s next-generation SkyActiv internal-combustion engine will be clean burning and efficient enough to compete with electric motors, in terms of environmental impact, said the company’s officer in charge of powertrains. Mitsuo Hitomi told business publication Automotive News that the SkyActiv-3 engine will have about 27 percent greater thermal efficiency than the upcoming SkyActiv-X iteration that’s […]

‘Hellcrate’ under the hood

Skilled do-it-yourselfers can now install some serious mind-bending muscle their Dodge, Plymouth or Jeep project cars (or many other vehicles, for that matter). Fiat Chrysler’s Mopar parts division will sell you the same 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 that’s installed in the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcat models, as well as the Jeep Grand […]

Off-roading to scale

When it comes to piloting radio-controlled models, arguably the most fun you can have are those with giant knobby tires and trick suspensions for tackling rocks, sand and gravel. Redcat Racing has a vast assortment of such vehicles, plus all the necessary parts and accessories you’ll need to keep them running. The company also specializes […]

New Lexus utility model embodies tiny luxury:

The Sleuth received a report from his sources a few months ago about a new small utility wagon that was in the works from Toyota’s up-market division. He can now confirm that the Lexus UX is indeed production bound and is slated for a 2019-model-year introduction. The UX will be based on the new-for-2018 Toyota […]

Hyundai reveals a new Santa Fe with an even larger utility vehicle to follow:

The Sleuth is more than a little impressed with the design of the next-generation Santa Fe utility wagon that launches later this summer as a 2019 model. At first glance he thought he was peering at something more upscale (an Infiniti or Lexus, perhaps) instead of a moderately priced conveyance. The five-passenger version will be […]

Kia to fill another niche:

Now that Hyundai’s subsidiary is adding a premium sports sedan to the stable (the Stinger), The Sleuth’s sources are reporting that Kia will also introduce a full-size utility wagon with three rows of seats. It’s expected to arrive by the first quarter of 2019 as a 2020 model. Word also has it that the vehicle […]

The Avalon travels on with a new shape:

Despite a bloating in the utility-vehicle category, there remains plenty of interest (and demand) for traditional mid- and full-size family sedans. The most recent example is the 2019 Toyota Avalon. Despite the car’s massive grille, the automaker has created the sleekest Avalon yet. Overall length is up by close to an inch, while the distance […]

‘Climate-neutral’ plant opens in Sweden:

Volvo Cars has opened its first ‘climate-neutral’ manufacturing plant. The company’s engine factory at Skšvde, Sweden, switched to renewable heating on Jan. 1. Volvo Cars plans for all its manufacturing operations around the globe to be climate-neutral by 2025. In Skšvde, the local energy provider ensures that all heating supplied to the plant is generated […]

Infiniti Motor Co. is on a path to electrification, says CEO:

Nissan luxury/sports division, Infiniti Motor Co., will offer electrified powertrains in all new models from 2021, said CEO Hiroto Saikawa. He said 2021 will also be the year in which the automaker will launch its first fully electric vehicle. Saikawa told the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, Mich., in January, that by 2025, electrified […]

For rolling around the shop

Hobbyists and professionals who need to move their project cars around the shop can get some assistance with the Uni-Dolly from RD Enterprises. This tool is far more useful than individual dollies since the system’s two-inch-by-six-inch casters can be adjusted apart, from 30-60 inches. They’re also height adjustable, 14-21 inches. Uni-Dolly can be used regardless […]

Exaggerated auto art

Terry Ross (based in Warwickshire, United Kingdom) conveys automotive and motorcycle passion through his Speed Freaks sculptures. His pieces pay an exaggerated homage to hot rods, dragsters, sports cars and equally classic North American Chopper-style motorcycles. Some of Ross’s subjects (the ones that are recognizable) include a 1965 E-Type Jaguar (pictured here), Chevrolet Camaro and […]

Own a Willys clone

Mahindra USA Inc. sells light- and medium-duty tractors, primarily for agricultural duty. Recently, the India-based company added a strictly off-road model called the Roxor, a two-seat four-wheel-drive convertible that slots somewhere between a side-by-side ATV and an actual World War II-era Willys Jeep. The 3,000-pound body-on-frame Roxor runs with a 2.5-liter turbo-diesel engine that makes […]

A must for gusts

A strong wind can cause your car cover to flap in the breeze (scuffing the paint and trim) or even detach itself from the vehicle. Prevent this from happening with the Gust Guard. Each set comes with four specially designed clamps that securely attach to each corner of your cover. There’s also two bungee cords […]

The XC40 will be first all-electric Volvo utility wagon:

Volvo’s first fully electric model will come in the form of the 2019 Volvo XC40 small utility vehicle, expected to go on sale in North America in mid-2019. The plug-in battery-electric will be a model option, as will a plug-in hybrid option, though not in all markets initially. The XC40 rides on new architecture specifically […]

Toyota, long a proponent of hydrogen power, loads up on battery-electric vehicles:

The company said in mid-December that it will launch 10 new electric vehicles by the ‘early’ 2020s, and will add electrified-model options to its complete lineup by 2025. “We need to expand our offering of electric cars,” said Shigeki Terashi, executive vice president. To reach the company’s earlier stated goal of selling one million battery […]

Performance is alive and well at Subaru, but what about design?:

Many times before, Suburu has produced excellent design studies/concepts, only for them to be disappointingly watered down when they hit production. The Sleuth thinks that the recently revealed Subaru Viziv Performance STI Concept is an absolutely stunning design, but will Subaru learn the lesson of past follies? The Viziv has an aggressive front end and […]

Two new automakers will soon debut in North America:

As if the automotive landscape isn’t competitive enough these days, it will get even more crowded with the arrival of GAC Motor of China and France-based Peugeot. GAC attended the recent 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Mich., its fourth time at the annual event. This time it showed three current models […]

The Shelby GT500 is returning:

It has been four years since Mustang buyers could opt for this powerhouse Mustang, but Ford says the wait will soon be over. The forthcoming super snake is now in the final testing phase and will arrive sometime in 2018 as a 2019 model. The previous GT500 was fitted with a supercharged 5.8-liter V-8 that […]

Is Subaru getting out of the ‘boxer’ engine business?

That’s a distinct possibility, according to intel being forwarded to The Sleuth’s electronic in-basket. All the automaker’s current offerings come with horizontally opposed (boxer) engines (one bank of two pistons fires 180 degrees to the second bank of two pistons, with the crankshaft in the middle). Word has it that the next-generation Subaru WRX and […]

New-tech garage creeper

The FastBack from Creepex has a unique three-wheel design with a built-in soft polyurethane headrest above the front wheel. The body is made of lightweight hard plastic with two built-in tool trays, supported by two seven-inch-diameter wheels. The Fastback weighs 17 pounds (but can support up to 500) and is light enough to hang on […]

This chair is for work or play

It’s referred to as a gaming chair, but in reality the RapidX Finish Line an ideal office chair for automotive enthusiasts. The checkered pattern will stand out in all surroundings and the well-bolstered sport-bucket design is inspired by racing seats. The armrests are fully adjustable, the recline mechanism is similar to what’s used in most […]

Hyundai seeks Level 4 autonomy by 2021:

Korea-based automaker Hyundai has joined with autonomous-vehicle (AV) technology provider Aurora to bring fully-self-driving vehicles to market by 2021, integrating its self-driving technology with Hyundai vehicles. Starting in ‘smart’ cities that have the appropriate infrastructure, Hyundai and Aurora will work to commercialize autonomous vehicles worldwide over the longer term. The partnership’s goal ‘is to deploy […]

Honda shows new Insight ahead of late-summer launch:

Honda is bringing back the Insight name for its next-generation midsize hybrid sedan, showing the 2019 model ‘premium compact’ at the 2018 Detroit auto show in Michigan. The Insight will be EPA-rated at 50 mpg (combined highway/city numbers), the automaker said, noting it will be the company’s first dedicated-hybrid platform to be assembled in the […]

Gauge your tire depth

The minimum legal tread depth for motor-vehicle tires typically ranges between 2/32 of an inch and 1/8 (4/32). Most drivers have no way of telling if their tires are in compliance with the law, however. The S448 tire-depth gauge from Milton Industries will indicate wear as well as possible alignment problems once you measure the […]

Cover and admire the view

Most car covers do a good job of protecting your automobile, but for indoor coverage that keeps away dust and dirt, but still lets you see what’s underneath, check out the translucent ViewShield by Covercraft. Each lightweight, machine-washable and mildew-resistant cover is custom-shaped to fit your specific vehicle. As well, the ViewShield’s nylon fabric is […]

A stick-up for your bike

No two auto bike racks are exactly the same, as evidenced by the Talon bicycle rack from SeaSucker. The product’s extra-strong vacuum suction cups hold your two-wheeled ride firmly on top of your vehicle’s roof or trunk, or hanging from the liftgate window. But the best part is that the Talon attaches without the need […]

Keep a neat seat

It’s often difficult keeping the interior of your vehicle clean and free from assorted messes, spills and pet hair. However with kids and the family pooch often riding with you, that’s not an easy task. The Solvit Deluxe Back Seat Cover has been designed to fit over the rear bench on most cars, trucks vans […]

Torque for American muscle

Cool wheels can set your vehicle apart from the crowd. There are certainly plenty of choices, including a selection from California-based Vision Wheel. The Torque model, pictured, is part of the American Muscle Legend series (a line of 26 wheel types) that comes in a gunmetal painted finish with a machined lip, plus an optional […]

Desks for mobile offices

Diversified Products assists people who do business from the driver’s seat by offering a variety of in-vehicle desks. For example, the RoadMaster Auto Exec car desk provides plenty of space for laptop and tablet-style computers and its adjustable pivoting 25.5-by-21.25-inch surface provides enough room for writing/editing documents. There are slots for hanging-file folders, places for […]

Brembo, what’s stopping you?

Most people know that GM dealers have a selection of parts and accessories, from running boards to wheels, for you to supplement and customize a new-vehicle purchase, but few people know that Bembo brake systems are now part of that inventory. Fewer still would know that they can add Brembo brakes to their full-size trucks […]

Have a backup plan

If your vehicle lacks a backup-warning system, there’s now a way to acquire one. The FenV1 Smart Wireless Parking Sensor from FenSens provides backup assistance for literally any make, model, or year of car, truck or van. The unit consists of a Bluetooth-enabled license-plate bracket with sensors that can detect objects up to 10 feet […]

Gearhead fashion

Cyberoptix TieLab produces neckties and bowties that display a variety of interests, including automotive. For example, the gearshift motif lets everyone know you’re into manual transmissions. Other tie styles depict racetrack layouts, racing stripes, vintage auto brands and auto parts, etc. Prices vary depending on the product and material. The gearshift tie sells for $30 […]

Picture Steve McQueen

For many people, actor/racer Steve McQueen has yet to be topped as the coolest cat who ever lit up the screen, or a racetrack. Sonic Editions, a company specializing in all kinds of classic images, sells limited-edition Steve McQueen photographs from the Michael Ochs Archives of Los Angeles. Ochs took most of them back in […]

Single device makes both fuel and electricity, according to a UCLA study:

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), researchers say they have combined a supercapacitor and hydrogen fuel cell into a single hybrid unit that’s run by solar power. In addition to having a battery’s usual positive and negative terminals, a third electrode can be tapped to either store electric energy “or use it to split water […]

GM eyes carbon fiber for Silverado beds:

Once so exotic and expensive it could be found only in Formula One racecars and high-end performance vehicles, carbon fiber is going into pickups. Aiming to outdo Ford’s aluminum F150, a carbon-fiber bed is expected to be among the changes in materials content for the next-generation full-size Chevrolet Silverado, according to sources close to the […]

The New BMW 8 series will stay true to the concept:

The luxury-focused automaker previously indicated that its hot-looking 8 Series concept coupe would form the basis for an actual production version. The Sleuth’s sources are now confirming this and also that the car won’t be a watered-down version of the curvy concept. The new four-seater will go on sale in 2019 as a 2020 model. […]

CES has a distinct automotive element to it:

This early-January technology show in Las Vegas, Nev., has definitely become the primary launch pad for new electrified and autonomous vehicles. Along with a keynote address from Ford CEO Jim Hackett, Hyundai revealed a new hydrogen-fuel-cell utility vehicle and Kia trotted out an electric version of the NIRO. Then there’s China-based startup Bytom, which showed […]

No more rim shots

Scuffed wheels (commonly referred to as curb rash) can ruin the look of an otherwise pristine vehicle. One way to prevent such occurrences is by installing Rimskins. When fitted along the wheel’s outer lip, Rimskins offer a significant measure of protection and are designed to keep the wheels themselves undamaged, hit after hit. A single-wheel […]

Pickup some wine

A cool novelty item for the wine (and truck) lover is a classic carrier from The Busted Knuckle Garage that can hold most standard-size bottles. The plastic-resin models are made to resemble Chevrolet and GMC pickups from the early 1950s. There are also protective pads attached to each wheel so they won’t scratch table surfaces. […]

Ford prepares an edgier Edge:

The Blue Oval automaker has performance versions of many of its models, from the Focus (Focus ST) to the F-150 (Raptor). The Trenchcoated one’s sources are hearing that Ford will take a similar approach with the Edge, which will be available in a new ST trim level. That model, which launches for the 2019 model […]

Hyundai considers a sports car:

The Sleuth figured that it was only a matter of time before the Korea-based automaker filled an obvious void in the current lineup. After announcing that it would launch a pickup in North America, Hyundai is giving the go-ahead for a two-seater model that’s expected to resemble a concept called the PassoCorto (first revealed in […]

(Power) Wagons, ho!

Production of the original Dodge Power Wagon ranged from 1945-’57. However, Legacy Power Wagon of Jackson, Wyo., takes the bones of original models and rebuilds them to be modern, with either Chevrolet V-8 engines, or Cummins six-cylinder turbo-diesels. Also included are modern front and rear axles, locking differentials, four-wheel disc brakes, Bilstein-brand shocks and 16,500-pound-capacity […]

Smartphone attachment

Most cell-phone mounting brackets are designed to attach to your vehicle’s dashboard, where they can be annoyingly intrusive and present a temptation for thieves. A less obvious, yet still effective placement approach is to use the Mountek’s Grip+ Slot Mount. As its name implies, the unit attaches to the compact disk opening of your car’s […]

An Xterra minus the ‘X’:

The Sleuth’s sources are reporting that Nissan is planning an all-new body-on-frame model that will replace the loved-by-some, truck-like Xterra wagon. That off-road-capable vehicle was retired after the 2015 model year and was thought to never return. It appears that Nissan believes there’s still a market for a fresh interpretation of the Xterra and will […]

Jeep moves the Cherokee in a less radical direction:

It was a shock for many Jeep Cherokee fans when the automaker introduced a brand new version for the 2013 model year that ended up being completely modern rather than square, like the original. For the 2019 model year, Jeep is reeling in that design to more closely resemble the larger Grand Cherokee and the […]

Nissan gets its Kicks:

The Sleuth applauds the automaker for its entry into the small-and-tall-wagon market. If you weren’t already aware, this category is quickly growing with relatively affordable products such as the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3 and the upcoming Ford EcoSport. The new Nissan model, called the Kicks, will differ in a […]

No more lagging behind, says Volvo:

The Spymaster is excited to hear that the Sweden-based automaker has come up with a simple, yet effective solution to once and for all rid turbocharged engines of lag, that dead-pedal feeling when you first hit the accelerator. Volvo’s solution, called Power Pulse, involves using an air compressor attached to an electric motor. When the […]

Take it from a car guy

Comedian and former talk-show host Jay Leno is also well known for his collection of cars and motorcycles that numbers in the hundreds. Now he has allowed his name to be used for line of car-care products. They include the usual washing and polishing liquids and sprays/gels for paint, chrome, tires and wheels, plus interior […]

Lighter and faster

Speedkore specializes in making carbon-fiber components and performance engines for Ford Mustangs. For a hard-core weekend racer with a Mustang, the company can provide a Carbon Series kit, including Mustang Shelby GT350 body and performance engine (worth 750 horsepower), performance suspension, brakes, radiator and a wheel-and-tire package. Speedkore also includes a Carbon Series interior with […]

Expand your cleaning reach

It’s pretty easy to spray-clean your car’s windshield and rear glass from the outside. The job becomes more difficult, however, when attempting to remove grit and grime from the inside (and even the outside of certain cars and tall trucks). The Reach & Clean glass tool kit from Invisible Glass can save you considerable grief. […]

Raise and roll

Casters are great for easily moving your car within the confines of the garage. If space is an issue, just put the car on rollers and move it right against a side wall. The only problem is that you first have to jack up each end of the vehicle to slide the casters beneath the […]

Mazda ads kick to the 6:

The Spymaster hears that a revised version of the automaker’s most excellent sedan will at long last receive a power boost in 2018 as part of a significant physical and mechanical refresh. Mazda intends to make available the same turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s in the CX-9 tall wagon. The powerplant’s 250 horsepower and 310 […]

Toyota embraces its inner ruggedness:

Never one to overlook a trend, The Sleuth sees a seismic shift occurring within Toyota’s design department. It appears that the gone-but-not-forgotten FJ Cruiser remains a point of influence for the automaker, especially with used versions selling for big bucks these days. Last spring, Toyota showed off the outdoorsy FT-4X concept and more recently followed […]

A classic Porsche in ‘glass’

JPS Motorsports creates realistic-looking replicas of the 1957 Porsche Speedster (roadster) in standard and flared body styles, but the company also builds a version of an early 1955-’59 Porsche 356A coupe. The turn-key vehicle has a steel-reinforced fiberglass body, new 2.1-liter air-cooled four-cylinder engine with dual carburetors, rebuilt four-speed manual transmission, front and rear disc […]

This map’s a puzzle

Roadmaps are on their last legs, thanks to GPS navigation and Google Earth. But if you want to understand how to navigate around some of the world’s major cities and get a history lesson at the same time, check out the selection of relief maps from 4D Cityscape Time Puzzles. Building one of these multi-dimensional […]

The new 2018 Jeep Wrangler remains true to form:

The Sleuth’s prognosticators were mostly correct when months ago they passed along intel concerning the next-generation Jeep off-roader (referred to as the JL). Still, it will be reassuring to legions of Wrangler fanatics that, following the recent reveal, both the two- and four-door versions look about the same as before. In fact, with some subtle […]

Lincoln shifts from capital letters to name-brand recognition:

The Spy Guy applauds the marketing team at Ford’s up-level offshoot for replacing the MKX name with Nautilus. He wonders, however, if this same group checked on the meaning of the word before attaching it to the significantly updated 2019 edition. According it Wikipedia, it’s ‘a cephalopod mollusk with a light external spiral shell and […]

Always carry a Spare

Being prepared for roadside emergencies is just smart, and the Spare Me 5-in-1 Rescue Tool is worth considering. Basically, it acts as a heavy-duty ice scraper, a lever for removing or installing a tire, and a compact shovel or traction assist that can help extract your vehicle from mud and snow. At the opposite end, […]

Add a portable head-up display

Navigation-system specialist Garmin also sells a portable head-up display called the HUD+. It projects onto your windshield the current speed as well as navigation info to help guide you to your destination. The unit works in conjunction with a navigation app that you download for free with your Apple or Android phone. The information is […]

Would you drive an electric off-road vehicle?

The Sleuth thinks you might be tempted after a close-up look at the Bollinger B1. This two-door off-roader looks like a 1950s-era Land Rover, only much plainer. But the beauty of the Bollinger B1 is that it doesn’t burn fossil fuel. Instead, the utility vehicle uses twin electric motors (one for each axle) that are […]

GMC makes tracks for the mountains:

The Stealthy One is of the opinion that this General Motors’ truck and utility-vehicle division is contemplating the addition of an off-road tracks option for its full-size pickups, at least for one specific model. Right now, there’s a GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali All Mountain Concept model fitted with a set of triangular-shaped Mattracks-brand treads (in […]

Tech for tots

Get your kids involved in basic auto mechanics with the Service Car Station from Theo Klein. The 27-inch-tall engine compartment allows for 15 different repairs, such as major engine components, spark plugs, radiator, air filter, wheel nuts and grille. The headlights and horn also work and turning the ignition key brings the engine to life. […]

Carnauba that costs

For well-heeled drivers, Mitchell & King of Scotland provides a highly specialized line of car-care products. The company bills itself as ‘the most unique and exclusive car wax artisans in the world’ and based on the prices, there’s no reason to doubt it. For example, the company’s Ultra wax is blended with 78 percent Carnauba […]

An electric supercar from Tesla:

The Sleuth was shocked (pun intended) when Tesla founder Elon Musk unveiled the new Roadster at a launch event for his company’s electric transport truck. To put it mildly, the all-wheel-drive two-seat Roadster stole the show. Using three electric motors (one for the front wheels and one for each rear wheel), the Roadster will reportedly […]

It’s a car, it’s a plane, it’s airplane:

Geely of China, the automaker that owns Volvo and Lotus, is purchasing Boston, Mass.-based Terrafugia. This company is involved in designing flying cars and is planning to launch its first one, called the Transition, in 2019. The $280,000 car/plane will tow a pair of folded wings when being driven on the highway, but with the […]

The last of the front-engine ‘Vettes will be spectacular:

The Spymaster is blown away by the news that the oft-touted ZR1 Corvette is a real thing and will arrive in early 2018 as a 2019 model. It will also mark the final bow for the front-engine sports car before the switch is made to a mid-engine placement (behind the cockpit and ahead of the […]

The Silverado goes trucking anew for 2019:

The Sleuth is looking forward to a significant redesign of Chevrolet’s light-duty pickup that should break in early 2018 as a 2019 model. The automaker has worked hard to match or overtake the class-leading F-150, but Ford’s aluminum-bodied hauler remains solidly in front. Among the expected changes is a new front-end design, a completely redesigned […]

Blast your vehicle dry

The Air Force Master Blaster lineup from Metro Vacuums is designed to dry your vehicle with a blast of warm, filtered air. This reduces the risk of leaving scratches or swirl marks caused by using cloths or towels because, well, you no longer use those. And with a narrow nozzle head attachment, a Master Blaster […]

Get on track . . . a race track

If you’re in the Las Vegas area and need a break from the casinos, take the 45-minute drive to the town of Pahrump, which is home of the Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club, and the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School. Fellows has extensive experience competing on tracks throughout the world. His team of […]

Is Jaguar bringing back the XK?

It’s quite likely, according to The Sleuth’s sources. Apparently, Jaguar head of design Ian Callum has a design for the next-generation XK, ready to go. His vision is for a high-end grand touring model in 2+2 body, which could mean a vehicle that shares a similar style with Aston Martin’s Vanquish coupe. However, with Jaguar’s […]

Subaru’s next-generation WRX could head in a new direction:

The Sleuth believes that the company’s high output models will differ markedly from the current Impreza sedan-based design. The Viziv Performance concept car shown at the recent Tokyo Motor Show is stunning in its execution and will, in The Spymaster’s opinion, provide the design inspiration for the next WRX. The change would add significant desirability […]

GT flavor without the cost

Autodromo, the watchmaker that specializes in automotive-themed timepieces and other accessories, has introduced a new watch that pays homage to the iconic Ford GT sports car. In fact it embodies both the 1960s original (called the GT40) and the current $450,000 limited-edition GT that’s made almost entirely of carbon fiber. The officially licensed Chronograph has […]

Get the kids into cars

Here’s an interesting book for parents looking to introduce their offspring to the wonderful world of automobiles. Yellow Car Vroom Vroom!, written and illustrated by H.W. Guerrier, tells the story of a father, his daughter named Cricker, and a yellow sports car purchased by the father that they learn to care for together. That involves […]

Toyota’s latest sports-car tease:

The Sleuth is hearing that the Japan-based automaker might be preparing to bring more than one sporty car to market. We already knows that the Supra is a go and will likely arrive within the next 12 months, and Toyota is now also showing the GR HV Sports Concept in its home country. Since the […]

The 2018 Honda Accord is love at first drive:

The Sleuth was a bit leery about the new turbocharged four-cylinder engines in the automaker’s latest midsize sedan, but after spending time behind the wheel he’s a believer. The base and optional engines are smooth and potent enough to effectively propel the Accord. The larger turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of […]

Expand your cleaning reach

It’s one thing to spray-clean the windshield and rear glass from the outside, but the job becomes much more difficult when attempting to remove grit and grime from the inside (and even the outside of certain cars and tall trucks). The Reach and Clean glass tool kit from Invisible Glass can save you considerable grief. […]

Classy driving shoes

Most driving shoes resemble vibrantly colored sneakers, but they tend to sell for a much higher price. Such driving shoes work just fine for a day at the track, but they’re not suited for more conservative or social surroundings. The Italian-made Stile driving shoe by OMP America has been designed for just such occasions. The […]

BMW-powered watch winder

This is likely one of the most unusual (and expensive) auto-related products imaginable. Vulcan Innova has taken an actual BMW six-cylinder engine block, placed it on its end and converted it to a watch winder. Each of the six cylinders contains what’s called a rotating “stepper” motor attached to the piston that keeps the timepiece […]

A seal for your garage

Many garage doors fail to keep out rain, insects, dirt and debris, etc. One solution is to install a Garage Door Threshold Kit from Tsunami Seal. This PVC barrier attaches to the garage floor and compresses to form a tight seal whenever the door is closed. The product has also been designed to withstand years […]

More details emerging about the next-generation Jeep:

The Sleuth’s well-placed sources are confirming a number of details about one of the world’s most recognizable vehicle brands. The new Jeep model, called the Wrangler JL, won’t look all that different from the current JK series, but a new frame plus aluminum body panels will result in a weight reduction of about 250-300 pounds, […]

Is it curtains for Nissan’s Z-car?

That’s what The Sleuth’s sources believe it to be a likely outcome. The fact that the current iteration has been around since the 2003 model year with only one update since that time would indicate that the 370Z’s days are numbered. And public comments issued by a number of Nissan execs regarding the sports car’s […]

BMW elevates the 2 series in a ‘Gran’ way:

The Sleuth noted the recent announcement that the automaker’s compact utility wagon will be adding a gasoline-electric variant. Although the CR-V hybrid goes on sale in China The success of BMW’s so-called four-door coupe body styles is reason enough for the company to add a version to the entry-level 2 series coupe and convertible line. […]

New Ranger news:

The Sleuth notes plenty of anticipation among midsize-truck fans concerning the return of Ford’s junior model. His sources tell him that at least a couple of disguised prototypes (both four-door crew-cab models) are being evaluated on public roadways as well as away from anything remotely resembling pavement. At this point, turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines are the […]

Kids figure out Rush Hour

The Rush Hour logic puzzle from ThinkFun has been challenging players for more than 25 years. In fact, Rush Hour has been voted one of the best 25 toys of the past 25 years by the nonprofit Parents’ Choice Foundation. The idea is to slide the blocking vehicles in such a way so that the […]

Senna’s racer to scale

There have been numerous books and at least one documentary that focus on the life and tragic death in 1994 of Formula One racing champion Ayrton Senna. Now comes a 1:8 scale version of the car that Senna drove to his first of three championships in 1988. The highly detailed and McLaren MP4/4 model is […]

Honda takes the CR-V down the hybrid highway:

The Sleuth noted the recent announcement that the automaker’s compact utility wagon will be adding a gasoline-electric variant. Although the CR-V hybrid goes on sale in China and Europe in 2018, The Sneakster’s sources hear that North America will also get that model. They go on to speculate that Honda’s product planers are focused on […]

From seatbelts to guitar straps

Recycling various car parts to make all kinds of products is becoming popular. A case in point is the Couch company that takes ‘vintage’ vinyl and cloth seat covers, trunk liners and seatbelt webbing (no leather, please, the owners are vegans) and turns them into consumer products, including guitar and camera straps, belts, bags and […]

Nissan heads to a new Frontier:

Intel reaching The Sleuth indicates that the Japan-based automaker will at long last introduce a new midsize pickup truck, but not until the end of the decade. Although exact details remain virtually nonexistent, it’s believed that the truck (it will likely retain the Frontier brand) will be based on the next-generation Nissan Navara that’s available […]

A tool for all reasons

The Rhino Multi-tool won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s hard to beat its practical nature. Small enough to fit on a key ring, the Rhino comes with four of the most popular screwdriver bits and three different wrenches, including one to fit lug nuts. There’s also an ice scraper and the obligatory bottle opener. […]

Clock heads back in time

Making everyday items out of car parts isn’t new, but the clocks made by race mechanic/engineer Nathan O’Dell of Manchester, England, are definitely unusual. Each one is encased in a component from various (but actual) Formula One racecar wheel hubs. O’Dell also includes the actual part number stamped into the metal for verification and provenance […]

Air up when heading out

Getting a flat tire or being stuck up to the axles in mud or snow is no fun. That’s where the Bushranger X-Jack comes in. The heavy-duty rubber blow-up bag that’s placed beneath your vehicle between the front and rear wheels will create up to 31 inches of ground clearance. That should be enough for […]

Don’t buy your next Volvo, subscribe to it:

The Spy Guy believes the Sweden-based automaker might have come up with a way to entice tech-savvy buyers into the upcoming XC40. The compact wagon, which arrives early next year as a 2019 model, will be available by online subscription. Called ‘Care by Volvo,’ the service requires customers to pay a flat fee each month, […]

Porsche has a new ‘coupe’ in the works:

The Sleuth’s operatives are hearing rumblings that the company that made its bones producing exemplary sports cars is seriously considering adding a four-door fastback version of the Cayenne utility vehicle to the lineup. Apparently this is in response to the sales success that BMW and Mercedes-Benz are experiencing with their similarly shaped X6 and GLE […]

A growth spurt for BMW’s X-series:

The Spymaster’s sources have unearthed both pics and some details concerning the automaker’s next big thing. That happens to be the X7 utility wagon that’s likely heading our way some time in 2018. The X7, which is based on BMW’s Concept X7 iPerformance vehicle, will be larger than the X5 and, of course, significantly grander […]

The next-generation Mazda3 will definitely ‘spark’ plenty of interest:

The Sleuth’s operatives have sniffed out some details concerning the automaker’s popular compact sedan and hatchback. Although the design of the two models remains literally under wraps, it’s what sits under the hood that’s most intriguing. Word has it that the 2.0-liter powerplant will be the first of what Mazda calls the SkyActiv-X. This extremely […]

New life for old parts

Worn-out auto parts are often sent straight to the landfill or melted down and turned into other consumer products. However, California native Steven Shaver turns items such as grilles, timing gears and license plates, into automotive conversation pieces. Especially cool is his collection of wall clocks made from classic old hubcaps, and his ‘gear’ clocks, […]

Signs of the times

The General Motors Heritage Museum offers an opportunity for collectors interested in acquiring authorized reproductions of classic dealership signs. These authentic-looking, neon-lit copies are reduced to a smaller scale than the original versions so that they can be displayed inside garages, offices or rec rooms. Available on a strictly limited basis (between 25 and 200 […]

Genesis puts another sedan, the G70, in play:

Hyundai’s emerging premium division began life a year ago with revamped models of the big Genesis and Equus sedans that were rebranded as the Genesis G80 and G90, respectively. Building on both models, The Sleuth is aware that Genesis will soon launch a smaller G70 sedan that’s aimed squarely at the BMW 3 series, the […]

The second-generation Leaf is a significant leap for Nissan:

The most successful electric-car brand (in terms of total sales) in the world is about to get a boost as the second-generation model arrives for 2018. Although the original was competitively priced and provided reasonable power and cabin space, it was getting long in the tooth and sales were beginning to dip. The new Leaf […]

A wood floor, naturally

For both modern and classic pickups, a genuine wood bed liner is practically a must. Bed Wood and Parts has a wide variety, custom-designed to fit virtually every make, model and year of truck. The company also produces all the proper stainless-steel and aluminum finishing hardware needed for a standout custom look. The company sells […]

Times flies with Andretti name

Indy Car racing driver Marco Andretti counts Beverly Hills-based watch designer/retailer Ritmo Mundo as one of his sponsors. Recently, the company introduced a limited-edition wristwatch in his honor. The bad news is there will only be 100 of the numbered chronographs available at $850 each. The 44-millimeter stainless-steel case features brightly colored luminous red and […]

Keeping cooling and protected

Windshield covers keep your vehicle cool while preventing the sun’s rays from fading/damaging the interior. A retractable version from Dash Designs, makers of The Original Retractable Shade, is designed to fit your automobile’s specific make and model year. The accordion-type product opens and closes from side to side across the windshield, between the rear-view mirror […]

Classy convertibles for kids

Few people will ever own or even ride in an exotic supercar such as the McLaren 570S, but at least tiny tykes aged 3 and under can have that experience in the ride-on version from Step2. The company has teamed up with McLaren to create this neat sidewalk roadster with some very handy features that […]

Hyundai adds to its Veloster roster for 2019:

The Sleuth is hearing that Hyundai’s second-generation hatchback will be available as an ‘N’ model for North America. For the unaware, N is Hyundai’s recently formed performance division. What it means for the Veloster is a big bump in output, likely to as much as 275-plus horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which is way […]

Porsche Cayenne looks similar but underneath is a different story:

The Spymaster notes that the vehicle that makes more coin for Volkswagen Group’s preeminent brand than any other model won’t look much different when the updated version arrives in mid-2018. In terms of performance it’s a different story. The base model’s turbocharged 340-horsepower V-6 will have 40 more horses than the current non-turbo 3.6-liter V-6. […]

Beverages, to go

The motorized Cruzin Cooler can handle up to 300 pounds perched on the lid while stowing the equivalent of 24 12-ounce beverage cans inside. Pick a 300-, 500- or 1,000-watt electric motor to go with yours. Also included are disc brakes and a set of retractable foot pegs (a cushion seat is optional). Depending on […]

Tarminator terminates grime

It’s a cruddy world out there. You know it, and your car shows it every time you drive over fresh asphalt or when it’s dive-bombed by some winged creature that delights in using it for target practice. The Tarminator, from Stoner, Inc., will help you get rid of tar, sap, bird droppings, grease and other […]

Hyundai’s pickup picks up steam:

It’s a go for the Korea-based automaker’s continuing plans to expand beyond building traditional sedans, and The Sleuth isn’t one bit surprised. The Santa Cruz (a very cool truck name, by the way) concept that was a surprise hit at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich. will apparently form the basis […]

BMW’s revived sports car nears completion:

The Sleuth knew it was coming, but still he was completely slack-jawed when the latest concept version of the next-generation Z4 roadster was revealed by BMW. Assuming that the automaker doesn’t tone down the design when production begins, the stunning Z4 should be a smash hit with sports car enthusiasts in general, and BMW loyalists […]

A sharp way to dine

For camping, picnicking and just enjoying the Great Outdoors, you should consider packing some basic Ñ and highly portable Ñ utensils. The 941 Buck Travelmate Kit is one of those multiuse items that stores easily in your vehicle or on your person. The kit contains a wooden-handled knife with a five-inch serrated blade that can […]

BMW hints at a new and smaller model heading our way:

The Spymaster’s sources claim that the purveyor of loftily priced vehicles for the upwardly mobile is considering bringing the 1 series sedan to our shores. This is because competitors are finding success with tinier cars and wagon utilities and they plan to introduce more. The 1 series that’s currently on sale in China uses the […]

More utility vehicles are on the way:

The move away from traditional sedans and into tall wagons seems more like a thundering stampede, so sayeth The Sleuth. Among the list of newbies is the Audi Q8 (which trumps the Q7 in size) that will arrive in 2018 packing a 354-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. A plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid model is also planned. Also […]

Some tasty rides

Who says that cupcakes have to be round? Certainly not Nordic Ware of Minneapolis, Minn. Among its many bakeware products is this whimsical Sweet Rides Classic Car cupcake pan. The cast-aluminum pan features eight distinctive molds of different vehicles. You might be hard-pressed to pick out the make and model of each shape, but if […]

What’s in a name? Plenty, if that name happens to be Lincoln:

The Spymaster’s sources have revealed that Ford is not happy with China-based automaker Geely these days. Apparently the concern is that the company, which owns Volvo, plans to launch an offshoot brand to be marketed globally under the name Lynk & CO. The Sleuth hears that Ford is planning to oppose any U.S. trademark applications […]

Supra scoops

While the automotive-enthusiast world wrings its hands in anticipation over the arrival of the next-generation Toyota Supra, The Sleuth’s sources have gleaned some of the upscale-sportscar’s specs. The available powerplants will consist of a 248-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and an optional 335-horsepower 3.0-liter six-cylinder. Both engines will be sourced from the BMW parts bin and […]

When a gap just won’t do

According to H&R Springs, automakers deliberately leave significant gaps between their vehicles’ wheel and tires and the fenders for those instances when tire chains are installed. If you have no intention of ever using chains, however, you can reduce that gap (lowering the ride height) for improved handling, cornering performance and for a more attractive […]

Steering wheel meets artificial intelligence:

Jaguar Land Rover’s ‘steering wheel of the future’ could one day become the only part of one of its cars that people actually own, the company teased ahead of the wheel’s introduction at the annual Tech Fest in London, UK, Sept. 7. The Sayer steering-wheel concept is the first voice-activated artificial-intelligence steering wheel able to […]

That’s right, Jack

If you tow a medium to large trailer, you know what a hassle it can be when you have to use cinder blocks or wood under the tongue jack to get the right height. Attaching the sturdy Flip Jack Foot from Fastway solves that problem. When secured to the trailer’s tongue jack, it adds up […]

Electric Mini promises sporty performance and ride:

BMW-owned Mini debuted its Electric Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany (Sept. 16-24), promising to unveil a full production version in 2019. The plug-in electric concept “moves the brand’s urban tradition into the electric age, and in doing so spices up the conventional notion of electric mobility.” The debut follows the launch of […]

A flare for safety

When you’re stranded at night by the roadside, it’s important for everyone’s safety to warn other traffic of the situation. The EzyFlare is a simple-to-use electronic device that, when activated, gives bright rotating and flashing LED (Light Emitting Diode) signals for up to 12 hours that can be seen up to 8,000 feet away. The […]

Raise your arms

On many cars, the armrest or the storage-compartment lid that’s part of the vehicle’s floor console isn’t the most comfortable place to perch your elbow. Basically what you need is a booster for the armrest and that’s exactly what Auto Chic can supply. The company’s specially fitted products attached securely onto the existing console lid […]

EV uptake could displace eight million barrels of oil per day by 2040:

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) believes that sales of electric vehicles will be five times stronger by 2040 than anyone previously predicted, says a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). According to alternative-vehicle website Green Car Reports, in 2016 BNEF’s analysts said that 35 per cent of new cars would run on […]

New Audi self-driving car plays well with others:

The Germany-based company is offering test rides in an A7 Piloted Driving Concept sedan to demonstrate its autonomous technologies on a 28-mile stretch of the country’s autobahn highway system. The drive begins and ends at Munich airport and includes an Audi expert on board as the vehicle negotiates the route itself at speeds up to […]

There could be two new tall wagons for Mazda fans:

The Zoom-Zoom automaker recently introduced the five-passenger CX-4 in China and has announced that a new seven-passenger model, dubbed the CX-8, will also launch in Japan and possibly elsewhere. The CX-8 is reportedly about seven inches shorter and five inches narrower than the seven-passenger CX-9 that’s sold here. If The Sleuth had to guess (which […]

Major product realignment coming at Cadillac:

The Spy Guy is receiving all kinds of reports from his sources concerning General Motors’ crested division. It appears that the days (or more accurately, the years) are numbered for much of the sedan fleet, including the compact ATS, midsize CTS and large-size XTS sedan. That would leave only the full-size CT6 and an all-new […]

Will General Motors retire some of its slower-selling vehicles?

That’s the scuttlebutt The Sleuth’s sources are picking up. Word on the street is that the models most at risk are the full-size Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala sedans, all of which are built using the same platform. At the smaller end of the size scale, the sub-compact Chevrolet Sonic could receive a […]

A refreshed 718 for 2018:

It has been only one model year since the Porsche Boxster roadster and the Cayman coupe were given the ‘718’ numerical addition to their names. Both were also updated with potent turbocharged four-cylinder engines that replaced the previous non-turbo six-cylinder engines. Word has reached The Sleuth that more adjustments are in store for 2018, including […]

Perfect driving record

The Gosafe 268 from Papago is a combination rearview mirror and built-in dash cam that mounts over your existing mirror. It records high-resolution video of a 135-degree swath in front of your vehicle. The built-in two-inch LCD screen shows what’s being recorded (up to eight hours on a continuous loop) onto the included eight-gigabyte SD […]

Kick the buckets

Washing your vehicle isn’t just a soap-and-water exercise, as evidenced by the color-coded Dual-Bucket Washing System by Grit Guard. The red bucket is for rinsing dirt and grime from your brush or washcloth, while the blue bucket that contains only the clean wash solution. Both feature Grit Guard’s removable inserts that keep the washed-off crud […]

Where’s the line between ‘Assisted’ driving and ‘autonomous’?

Insurance companies in the United Kingdom say the auto industry needs to make a clear and fundamental distinction between ‘Assisted’ and ‘Automated’ autonomous driving systems. The industry is on a path to building vehicles that increasingly will drive themselves but aren’t there yet, requiring drivers to periodically retake vehicle control. The Association of British Insurers, […]

Buick to be the next GM recipient of an all-electric vehicle:

General Motors’ next electric car will be a Buick tall wagon based on the platform that underpins the Chevrolet Bolt EV, according to Web magazine InsideEVs. The news follows GM CEO Mary Barra’s remarks earlier this year that the Bolt was never intended to be a standalone offering. “The Bolt is our platform that we’re […]

Fancy matts for fancier cars

There are aftermarket floor matts and then there are matts from AutoPreme. The company specializes in manufacturing custom products that specifically cater to the premium end of the market, where looking good and protecting your investment is of utmost importance. AutoPreme’s diamond-stitched leather coverings are designed to maintain their shape and are molded to fit […]

Keep cool, keep your money

When your car’s air conditioning fails, it will make you a little hot under the collar. Now there’s a do-it-yourself fix on the market. AC Pro, made by IDQ inc., can actually stop up the leak in your car’s air conditioning and replenish the system with refrigerant, all from a single can. In addition, the […]

Automakers join electric-racing series:

Audi will be the first Germany-based automaker to race in the all-electric Formula E championship, and will be followed in the global series a year later by a BMW-sponsored campaign in conjunction with United States-based Andretti Racing. Audi is taking over ABT Sportsline’s place on the grid; the team has competed in the series since […]

Volvo makes electrification ‘the core’ of its future business:

The company says that every vehicle it launches from 2019 on will have an electric motor, making it the first global automaker to offer its full range of vehicles with more than internal combustion for motivation. Volvo is placing electrification ‘at the core of its future business,’ and that it’s paving the way for a […]

Those busy Buick beavers:

What a difference a couple of years can make for Buick as by 2018 the lineup will be significantly different that it was in 2015. Model-year 2016 saw the arrival of the new Cascada convertible and mid-size Envision tall wagon. They were followed by a redesigned LaCrosse full-size sedan and the revised Encore compact wagon […]

Ford embarks on a new Expedition:

The Sleuth notes that the biggest/largest model in the Blue Oval automaker’s lineup is being replaced for the 2018 model year. Available in both regular- and extended-length versions, the Expedition gets a new grille and sheetmetal plus major interior changes aimed at the upscale end of the spectrum. In fact, a fully loaded 2018 Expedition […]

Honda sets self-driving goal for 2025:

The automaker has committed to achieving Level 4 autonomy for the vehicles it builds by 2025. Level 4 autonomy would handle all driving tasks without requiring human intervention though it would always be an option, essential to achieving accident-free roads, the company said. Honda earlier announced a goal to attain Level 3 autonomy by 2020. […]

Audi explores artificial intelligence for cars:

The Germany-based company has partnered with Johannes Kepler University of Linz (JKU) to conduct joint research into the intelligent car of the future. Through the Audi.JKU Deep Learning Centre, and working with one of Europe’s leading experts in artificial intelligence, Prof. Sepp Hochreiter, Audi plans to promote the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in automobiles. […]

VW’s flips the switch on the I.D. Buzz:

Although not unexpected, the Sleuth was nonetheless pleased to hear that Volkswagen’s compact minivan concept that was first shown in 2016 will enter production for the 2020 model year. The Microbus’s drive system will consist of two electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack that will produce the equivalent of 369 horsepower. VW states that […]

More passenger space for the RX:

The Sleuth’s intel gatherers are revealing that Lexus’s popular five-passenger tall wagon is about to get an optional extra collapsible bench seat, possibly as soon as next year. However, instead of extending the distance between the front and rear wheels to make room, the designers who toil at Toyota’s upscale division will apparently extend the […]

Take the ache out of driving

Lengthy car trips can be a pain in the back, regardless of how comfortable the seats appear to be. The range of Wagan Lumbar Massager Cushions is designed to give you a measure of relief whenever you need it. With the flip of a switch, this ergonomically designed product massages your lower back with its […]

Get a real feel for racing

If you thought there was button clutter on the average new-car steering wheel, then you should see what’s on the wheel of a Formula One racecar. The Amalgam Collection sells full-scale replicas of the wheels used by Ferrari F1 drivers during the 2013-’15 seasons. They’re hand-made and come mounted to their own display bases (covers […]

Stow on the go

Most people, it seems, never have quite enough room inside their vehicles for properly stowing the small stuff. One solution is to purchase the iPocket 2.0 Premium Car Organizer. Each left- or right-side unit fits in the space between the floor console and the seat and holds a surprising amount of items, such as coins […]

Cover-ups for cars and people

Lanmodo has created something special (and versatile) for those who want to protect their vehicles from the elements, and for those who need a place to sleep when visiting the great outdoors. Once positioned on the roof, The Automatic Car Tent opens by remote control in just eight seconds to act as a sunscreen and […]

More power and AWD rumored for Civic Type R:

Honda’s red-hot hatchback is only just now coming to market and The Sleuth’s sources are reporting that the car’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine could be punched up beyond the current 306-horsepower rating. This would likely happen in the form of a special-edition model to give buyers a performance option. In addition, adding an all-wheel-drive option […]

First came Kona; now comes Stonic:

Hyundai will launch the Kona, a small utility vehicle that slots in below the Tucson, and now The Sleuth has received word that the Korea-based automaker’s junior subsidiary, Kia, will also make available its own version for 2018. The Stonic, which is smaller than the Kia Sportage, will be built on the same platform as […]

Step into the bed

Loading or unloading pickup trucks can be a difficult chore, especially those with high-stepping ground clearances. Dallas Fisher, the inventor of the Stepdaddy Ladder, and a man who has had both knees replaced, knows this all too well. His all-steel ladder anchors to the inside of the tailgate and has a grip handle for support. […]

Here’s a puzzling experience

When it’s cold and/or rainy outside, or you’re just plain bored, a jigsaw puzzle is a great alternative to watching TV or playing video games. To satisfy your inner gearhead, Serious Puzzles offers an extensive lineup of automotive-themed tests of determination and patience. Included in the mix is a 1,000-piece license-plate puzzle that includes both […]

Dry your ride, fast

California Car Cover has developed a really thorough way to dry your vehicle after its bath. The California Waffleweave Towel is 27 by 36 inches and can soak up excess water by virtue of its special weave. But what really sets this product apart from ordinary towels are the stitched-on twin hand pockets. They’re designed […]

A wider view of the world

If your car doesn’t have a blind-spot warning system like the ones frequently found in new vehicles, the Allview Mirror System (AMS) is a compelling alternative. The manufacturer states that the AMS is unlike an image-distorting convex mirror (the one containing the phrase ‘Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear’). The flat, panoramic surface […]

Ford’s final chapter

One of the most fascinating and controversial industrialists of any time in history, Henry Ford literally put North America on wheels with his sturdy and affordable Model T. Much has been written about the man’s early beginnings, but author Henry Dominguez has instead concentrated on chronicling Ford’s final years until his death on April 7, […]

Models, with a paper twist

If building models of supercars is your passion, Taras Lesko, creator of Visual Spicer, has the perfect build-it-yourself project. All you need is a color printer and the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader loaded onto your computer to create a very credible scale replica of a Ford GT, McLaren P1, Pagani Zonda and many […]

Keep dry inside

For people living in damp climates or for those who store their vehicles indoors during the winter, there’s a chance of musty smells, mildew and fogged-up windows when the time comes to go for a drive. One solution is the Auto Dehumidifier bag by Zarpax. According to the manufacturer, this product, which consists of a […]

Optimal storage organizer

If you own a utility vehicle, you know how junky and disorganized the stowage spot behind the rear seat can get, especially when travelling with the family. The Trunk Optimizer helps to solve the problem with various see-through Oxford cloth pockets that hold a variety of small- and medium-size objects. To install, simply hang the […]

Shower for the road

Whether you’re camping or spending a day at the beach, bring along the Road Shower 2. The product consists of a tube that’s 57 inches long that attaches to your vehicle’s roof rack. The five gallons of water you add to the tube from a standard garden hose can be pressurized (up to 18 pounds […]

A timely Italian

Like his father, Ferruccio, Tonino Lamborghini is an entrepreneur and maker of exotic products. Rather than cars, this Lamborghini is in the business of producing a line of wristwatches (among other products) that bear is famous family’s name. Lamborghini Automobiles is a subsidiary of Volkswagen. The good news is that Tonino’s timepieces are easier on […]

Cool two-wheelers

The line of versatile motorized bicycles from Motoped will likely appeal to anyone interested in all forms of motorized transportation. The company’s bikes are designed for street and trail use and are light enough that even a small gas engine (49-125 c.c.) will provide sufficient power to take you just about anywhere. The three different […]

Signs of past times

Why buy a paper poster when you can purchase a distinctive wood or metal display from Red Horse Signs that will last much longer. The wood versions (the coolest by far) are printed onto distressed tongue-and-groove panels in sizes from 15 by 26 inches to 20 by 32 inches. Topics include racing cars and venues, […]

Store your cords

When people travel, they bring their cell phones, laptops and tablets along for the journey. That often means cramming an assorted tangle of cords, plugs and ear buds into their luggage, brief cases and backpacks. Along with manufacturing safety kits, California-based SKITS produces what it calls the Geek Tech Case. The zippered 11-inch soft-sided case […]

A drifting gift

The box says the Razor Crazy Cart is suitable for ages nine years and up, but there will likely be some older ‘kids’ trying it out when the younger kids aren’t around. The Crazy Cart is a kind of battery-powered go-kart that allows you to drift (skid) it through a full 360-degree sweep at varying […]

Smokin’ hot tool box is actually a barbecue

Anyone who is as handy with grilling burgers and brats as they are with wrenches and screwdrivers will appreciate this product. Although it looks just like your standard-issue red metal tool chest, the BBQ Toolbox opens up to reveal an 8.0- by- 15-inch stainless-steel cooking area, warming rack and condiment tray. Beneath the grilling surface, […]

Racy works of art

The classic-racing sculptures created by Mark Maholm are nothing short of spectacular. His hand-made 1:6-scale solid resin composites are unique and thoroughly realistic (you can almost see what the drivers are thinking). Most of Maholm’s pieces are more than two feet long and weigh about 25 pounds. His Web site shows a number of Ferraris […]

No more tangles

The simplest solution is usually the most effective one when solving any of life’s annoying problems. This certainly applies to the issue of wedging your garden hose or electrical cord between your vehicle’s tires and the driveway. Royal Automotive Accessories’ straightforward solution is called the Hose Slide. This thick plastic block prevents garden hoses and […]

You’re on Ralph Lauren time

Other than designing and manufacturing his line of clothing, fashion guru Ralph Lauren is known for collecting an exquisite array of classic automobiles. One of his prized rides is the ultra-rare 1938 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic Coupe, which served as an inspiration for the Ralph Lauren Automotive Watch. This 39-millimeter-diameter self-winding timepiece features a […]

Does the Yuntu foreshadow a new Jeep model?

That’s the question on The Spymaster’s mind after taking a look at the Yuntu concept that was shown at the 2017 Shanghai (China) Auto Show in late April. The seven-passenger show vehicle could be an indicator as to the design of the Jeep Wagoneer (it might also be called the Grand Wagoneer, according to sources) […]

Ford brings back the GT500:

The Sleuth’s operatives confirm that Ford is upping the Mustang’s ante with the return of the Shelby GT500 model. The car will come with its own front and rear styling (including large air intakes in the hood and below the grille) and the fenders will be flared to contain the extra-wide low-profile tires. And to […]

Racing on your walls

Ask any car nut and they’ll likely admit to having more than a few images of their favorite classic and/or competition cars hanging in their office, rec room or garage. If this describes you or someone you know, check out the collection of historic racing car posters by illustrator Arthur Schening of Schening Creative. The […]

Auto-parts board game

Chess games are usually made from wood, plastic, marble, etc., but sculptor Armando Ramierz has created what he calls his ‘Rustic Warriors’ chess set made from used auto parts. For example, the queen playing piece originates from a vehicle’s electrical components, the bishop is from discarded spark plugs and the castles and pawns are from […]

Honda deep-sixes the V-6 Accord for 2018:

The Sleuth can confirm that the automaker’s redesigned 2018 coupe and sedan will not offer a V-6 option. The 2.7-, 3.0- or 3.5-liter powerplants (depending on the model-year) have been available in Accords since 1995 and are popular with buyers seeking a bit more muscle. Now, along with a complete redesign, the Accord will come […]

VW buyers will be blown away by the new turbo engine:

According to The Sleuth’s sources, the new-for-2018 Tiguan wagon will be the first Volkswagen to get the enhanced turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s rated at 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque and could eventually become standard in the Jetta, Passat and Golf models. That would mean a bump from the current 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo […]

Lotus is about to change hands:

The Sleuth hears that the ZheJiang Geely Holding Group of China will soon control the British sports-car company founded by the late Sir Colin Chapman of England. Geely will purchase 49.9 percent of Proton of Malaysia (the current owner of Lotus) and 51 percent of the money-losing Lotus brand. Geely owns Volvo of Sweden outright […]

An electric-powered utility vehicle? It makes sense:

The Spymaster’s sources hear that Nissan will add a second electrified model that will join the compact Leaf hatchback, and that it will take the shape of utility vehicle. Apparently the new gasoline-free Nissan will be available with a number of semi-autonomous (self-driving) technologies that are gaining traction with automakers. Meanwhile, Nissan is introducing a […]

Tiny engines, big impact

Whether you’re a Ford, GM or Chrysler fan, Liberty Classics has just the engine for you, or rather scale-model replicas of some of the more iconic powerplants from years past. Examples include a variety V-8s, both original and modified hotrod versions with superchargers and other gear. Each 1/6-scale replica is highly detailed, including removable air […]

Buckling up the belts

Are you stumped as to what to buy as a gift for the automobile enthusiast in your life? Since everyone wears pants, why not try an automotive-themed belt buckle. One website devoted to such products is Buckleshop.com. There, you’ll find a myriad of types, including current and vintage brand logos representing General Motors, Ford and […]

Top dropping made easy

Jeep Wrangler owners know what a pain it is to remove and reattach their vehicles’ fabric roof. Accessories supplier Bestop solves the problem with the Trektop NX glide convertible soft top. The product’s frame can be partially folded (sun-roof-style) or fully folded behind the rear seat. In addition, the tinted side and rear window panels […]

A detailer’s best friend

Cleaning the dust and crumbs out of the nooks and crannies of the dashboard, console, vents and gauges is easier with Splat AutoClean. It’s a squishy gel blob that you press into tight spaces and then just peel away. Solid particles are embedded in Splat without leaving any sticky residue behind. It doesn’t even stick […]

Is the 2018 Civic Si as good as everyone thinks? Si, Si:

The Spy Guy recently got his hands on Honda’s small-but-mighty Civic Si coupe and sedan. The turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine puts out 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, which is up from the base turbo’s ratinging of 174/167. The output gain, plus the Si’s specially tuned suspension, bigger brakes, revised shift linkage for the […]

Lamborghini car stars:

The Sleuth has it on good authority that a long-rumored movie based on the life of Ferruccio Lamborghini, the man who founded Automobili Lamborghini back in 1963, will soon begin production, backed by the Ambi Media Group. The film, based on a book written by Lamborghini’s son, Tonino, will focus on Ferruccio’s longstanding rivalry with […]

Comings and (mostly) goings:

The Sleuth’s sources have been providing intel on what new vehicles are heading our way for 2018, but there’s also plenty of news as to what models will disappear once the 2017 model year is a wrap. Among the known casualties is the quirky and slow-selling Nissan Juke, which is fun to drive but is […]

The new 2018 Infiniti QX80 is not quite as new as it looks:

Intel reaching The Spy Guy suggests that Infiniti’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Cadillac Escalade and Lexus LX will continue to run with the same 400-horsepower V-8 used by the current QX80. That means the eight-passenger wagon, which will be based on the QX80 Monograph concept, is not quite as new as it looks. Rumors […]

Auto metal works

Josh Welton calls himself as a welder, but he’s really an accomplished sculptor whose primary medium is metal. Among his many subjects are motorcycles and automobiles, including hot rods and classic cars. Some of his pieces are exaggerated caricatures that appear to have been inspired by the late Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s Rat Fink, while […]

Take it to the mat

BedRug, the maker of some of more popular pickup bed liners on the market, has a simple solution for working beneath your vehicle. The foldable four-by-two-foot TrackMat resists stains, oil and other chemicals, while providing plenty of cushioned comfort for your knees and back. The product is also made with the same kind of material […]

Energy company orders 150,000 electric Saab-9-3-based EVs:

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), the company backed by investors from China that bought Swedish automaker Saab, has shown its first electric production car based on the venerable Saab 9-3 that dates to 2002. The NEVS 9-3, powered by an electric motor, will have a range of about 300 kilometers (186 miles) the company said. […]

VW plans to cut production-line water usage:

Volkswagen has abandoned its diesel-engine aspirations in the wake of its emissions-cheating scandal. Instead, the company says it will develop a range of battery-electric vehicles to modernize its portfolio. It also promises to reduce the environmental impact of vehicle production by 45 percent by 2025. Already, it says, a Volkswagen Golf requires 27.5 percent less […]

FNR-X points to the future of Chevrolet design:

You don’t see too many strictly design exercises at auto shows these days, but that’s exactly what Chevrolet showcased recently when it unveiled the FNR-X (Find New Roads Xperimental). The swoopy five-passenger four-door appears to be roughly the size of a Chevrolet Equinox, only with a lower roofline and exaggerated fenders. The designers envision the […]

Audi’s new Q-ships are in the works:

The Sleuth’s operatives are whispering news of three upcoming tall wagons from Volkswagen’s up-level subsidiary, arriving over the next couple of years. The largest of the trio, the Q8, is expected sometime in 2018. It will use the same platform as the current Q7, but apparently will be slightly wider and will sacrifice some interior […]

Danish in the morning

On frosty mornings, many people go searching for a cheap plastic ice scraper or use the edge of a credit card on their windshields. A more effective and elegant choice would be to pick up an Eva Solo scraper. This Danish-design device folds up when not needed so it easily stores in your car’s glove […]

Get a handle on it

It’s easy to accidentally let the handle of floor jack (or a rake or garden shovel) fall against a vehicle, resulting in a nasty body ding or gash. That problem could be reduced or eliminated with Gaither’s Handle Protector. Slipping one of these non-slip synthetic rubber shields over tool handles is an inexpensive way to […]

Florida ride-share service leases Teslas:

Four Tesla Model X electric cars have been leased by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) system, which serves the Tampa, Fla., metro area, for a new ride-sharing service. The acquisition was funded through donations from local businesses in the University of South Florida area, where the service will be offered, reports Charged Electric Vehicles […]

Nissan powers Boston-to-Washington traffic corridor:

Nissan and electric-vehicle-charging company EVgo have joined forces to connect Boston, Mass., and Washington, D.C., with a network of fast-charging sites. Construction of the ‘I-95 Fast Charge ARC’ is under way now and should be finished by fall in time for the launch of the all-new Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. Once complete, there will be […]

China will build first Volvo EV:

Volvo Cars will build its first fully electric car in China, the company announced at April’s Auto Shanghai in China. The decision to build in China ‘highlights the central role’ that country will play in Volvo’s electrified future, ‘and underlines China’s growing sophistication as a manufacturing center for the automotive industry.’ The company fully supports […]

VW announces some Electrify America plans:

Volkswagen has released some initial details of its $2-billion, 10-year plan to ‘Electrify America.’ The automaker agreed to a project to spread zero-emission-vehicle-charging infrastructure throughout the country as a condition to making settlements in the diesel-engine emission scandal. In the first of four phases, the Electrify America project will install more than 450 non-proprietary EV […]

Buick sedans are on the outs, but the Avenir brand is in:

The Sleuth is picking up lots of buzz after Buick announced that it was replacing the Regal sedan for 2018 with a Regal hatchback and a Regal ‘Sportback TourX’ wagon. Coupled with the demise of the compact Verano sedan earlier this year, that leaves only the full-size LaCrosse as the sole Buick with a trunk. […]

The next Lincoln Navigator will comes with a ride service:

On occasion, The Sleuth likes to enjoy a night on the town. When that happens, he either sticks to soda water, or enjoys a cold one and then leaves his vehicle parked overnight. But, if The Sleuth owned a 2018 Lincoln Navigator, he would simply order a chauffeur by phone/text for a specific departure time […]

Car-seat protection

Parents use child seats to protect their offspring, but over time the seats can damage the vehicle’s seat. The Prince Lionheart company has a ready-made solution. The 2 Stage Seatsaver is compatible with rear-facing baby carriers and forward facing chairs for older youngsters. The product is made with high-density foam that prevents spills, tears, scuffs […]

Senna’s scale racer

There have been numerous books and one documentary that focus on the life and tragic death in 1994 of Formula One ace Ayrton Senna. Now comes a 1:8 scale version of the car that Senna drove to his first of three championships in 1988. The highly detailed McLaren MP4/4 model is made up of hundreds […]

No longer the missing Lynk:

Incredulous as it seems, The Sleuth’s sources are hearing that Lynk & Co, an offshoot of Geely of China (which owns Volvo) is quickly proceeding with plans to bring what is dubbed the 02 to market in Geely’s home country later this year and to Europe and North America by late 2018. It’s all part […]

Ram goes after the Raptor:

The Spy Guy notes that the rough-and-tough Ford Raptor pickup continues to draw imitators looking to capitalize on the latest off-road-style craze. The latest to cash in on this trend is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Ram brand. Word from in-the-know sources has it that a new model based on the Rebel TRX Concept truck will hit […]

Harrods’ EV delivery vehicles need to be charged only once a week:

The legendary Harrods luxury department store in London, England, is returning to its century-old electric-vehicle delivery roots, adding the all-electric Nissan e-NV200 to its service fleet. Dressed in traditional Harrods colors, the van will make daily deliveries to store customers. In 1919, Harrods used American Walker electric vans, later building its own fleet of 60 […]

Plug-in Pacifica goes into production:

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan went into full retail production April 7 at the FCA assembly plant in Windsor, Canada, across the Detroit River from the Motor City. Shipments of the plug-in minivan to dealerships began April 17, said alternative-vehicle website Green Car Reports. Its large battery pack gives the minivan 33 miles of […]

An eye on the small fry

Having your infant safely secured in the rear seat of your car, facing the back, is the correct thing to do. However, it’s virtually impossible to see how they’re doing in the mirror with their backs to you. A simple solution is to purchase a Munchkin Adjustable Back Seat Mirror. The product will allow you […]

Download a brochure

If you have ever visited a new-car showroom, you’ve likely browsed through those slick brochures left in the waiting area. There’s a way you can download current and past copies of these glossy sales pieces by visiting www.auto-brochures.com. The site has a huge assortment of brochures, from Acura to Volvo, all in PDF format, with […]

Paint protection from a paint company

You’re likely familiar with Rust-Oleum protective waterproof paint products, but Tremclad, the maker of Rust-Oleum, also has a line of car covers. The Rust-Oleum 5L is so named because it uses five layers of material bonded together for protection. Along with three layers of breathable polypropylene on the outside, there’s a special 100-percent waterproof membrane […]

Cleaner oil changes

Do-it-yourself oil changes save you money, but they can be messy. Common problems include dropping the drain plug in dirty oil or losing the slippery little devil on the garage floor. One solution is the Drain Plug Pro from OTC Tools. Once loosened, the highly magnetized flexible end of the unit locks onto the bolt […]

First all-electric Jaguar I-Pace in showrooms late in 2018:

Jaguar is developing its first all-electric vehicle, the I-Pace utility vehicle, saying it will be available to customers in 2018. It’s being developed around a dedicated platform for electric cars, says automotive-lifestyles website Motor Authority, although many elements including the suspension will be borrowed from existing models. The reveal of the I-Pace in production form […]

SUVs will fund BMW EV production system:

German luxury and sports car maker BMW says it will use profits from the sale of its popular sport-utility vehicles to fund the development of a mass-production system for electric vehicles. The company expects demand for hybrids and EVs to rise to 15-20 percent of total sales by 2025, up from 2.6 percent today, says […]

Toyota touts a potential FJ Cruiser replacement:

The Sleuth was blown away after ogling the Toyota FT-4X concept at the recent New York International Auto Show (April 14-23). The boxy show car displays elements of past iconic FJ models, but is smaller and more fashionable with the latest in connectivity. The FT-4X’s most noticeable design element is an oversized circular rear handle […]

Taking on all Challengers:

One-upping the mighty 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat probably seemed impossible, but there is another Challenger. Literally. The new Demon uses a similar supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, but with 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque (on 100-octane racing fuel). The internal components have been strengthened to accommodate the extra grunt, while a larger supercharger produces additional […]

Manhattan Transfer

Nissan ships eight Micras to The Big Apple from Canada to demonstrate how gridlock can be tamed. By MALCOLM GUNN WWW.WHEELBASEMEDIA.COM   ‘You can’t buy it here,’ was the often-repeated response to inquisitive New Yorkers who saw the little Nissan Micra on the congested streets of Manhattan. As if to tease the residents of NYC’s […]

Light-en the load

Fumbling in the dark while loading/removing the contents of your pickup’s bed is thing of the past with an Automatic Cargo Light from 4zproducts. The company produces a variety of lighting systems for a variety of truck needs and box sizes. All automatically switch on when the tailgate is lowered. The starter package uses a […]

Look like a million bucks

In 1956, Aston Martin of England produced a handful of DBR roadsters to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France) and other world-class endurance-racing events. With Stirling Moss, Carroll Shelby and other legendary drivers behind the wheel, the DBR claimed victories throughout Europe and America between 1956 and ’59. The winning Le Mans […]

C-HR does not bridge the gap between Corolla and RAV4:

The Spymaster has had a good look at what was to be the next Scion model, but with the brand’s 2016 demise in, the new CH-R wagon has been moved to the Toyota lineup. As such, it’s not exactly a submodel to the RAV4, which is really what Toyota needs. The C-HR’s looks are an […]

Subaru’s Tribeca is planning a new Ascent:

Nearly all vehicles sold by the Japan-based automaker have enjoyed rousing success over the past decade, but the seven-passenger Tribeca wagon that disappeared after the 2014 model year wasn’t one of them. However, according to The Sleuth’s sources, Subaru will give it another go with the 2018 all-wheel-drive Ascent (its current working title) that’s expected […]

Next-gen Fiesta ST loses a cylinder, goes quicker:

Ford’s next-generation Fiesta ST subcompact will lose a piston, but it will have all the power of its outgoing four-cylinder counterpart, and should be quicker in a straight-line sprint. The turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine makes the same horsepower (197) as the outgoing turbocharged four-cylinder. But with less vehicle weight and advanced technologies, Ford says the […]

Small Lexus utility based on the Toyota C-HR:

The recently launched the front-wheel-drive Toyota C-HR subcompact utility vehicle will almost certainly get a Lexus counterpart, and quite possibly a hybrid version that the C-HR won’t get, says alternate-vehicles Webmagazine Green Car Reports. Using the C-HR’s platform, it likely will borrow its design and name from the Lexus UX concept that Toyota debuted at […]

All colors, all green

These days many parents and grandparents are seeking toys for their toddlers that are safe and sensitive to environmental concerns. California-based Green Toys Inc. claims to be focused on this concept. The company’s fire truck is one of a number of available vehicles made from recycled, color-injected (paint-free) plastic milk containers. The company says that […]

Not par for the course

You’ll be the talk of the links this spring when you show up in this swinging ride. Batman’s Tumbler car that appeared in the Dark Knight movies was the inspiration for the Gotham Golfcart, which might not lower your score, but will likely intimidate the heck out of the other players in your foursome. The […]

Is the Renault Alpine heading to North America?

That’s a distinct possibility, according to The Sleuth’s sources. Although the Alpine name is well known in Europe as a successful rally and luxury model, it’s mostly unknown in North America, except among a few die-hard fans. Now a brand new version, christened the Alpine A110, is set to roll off a Renault-Nissan Alliance assembly […]

The 2018 Wrangler is in final development:

The Spymaster’s operatives recently spotted disguised versions of Jeep’s two- and four-door models that make up two of three new JL-series Wranglers. The remaining model will be a four-door pickup that, at least for now, goes by name Safari. Although the upcoming Wranglers closely resemble the current models, the boxed frame is newer and lighter […]

Volvo commits to electric-car development:

The automaker will offer an all-electric vehicle by 2019 that CEO Lex Kerssemakers said will have a range of ‘at least’ 250 miles and cost between US $35,000 and $40,000. He told reporters at the recent Geneva Auto Show in Switzerland that those numbers would put the Volvo EV ‘in the neighborhood’ of the Chevrolet […]

First electric Jag tears up the rules, says designer Callum:

Jaguar drove its first electric vehicle on the streets of London in mid-March. The drive of the Jaguar I-PACE concept previewed the production model to be revealed in late 2017, and on the roads in the second half of 2018. Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum said “we’ve torn up the rule book” to make […]

Honda’s fuel-cell model will get two additional variants:

According to The Sleuth, the automaker’s 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell sedan will be followed by plug-in hybrid and battery-electric variants that are expected to go on sale by the end of 2017 as 2018 models. The plug-in version will have a range of 40 miles on batteries alone before the companion gasoline engine kicks in. […]

The Sonata hits a new note:

The Spy Guy’s sources have supplied him with intel and images regarding Hyundai’s mid-size sedan that will undergo some revisions for the 2018 model year. Clearly in evidence is an all-new front end with a much larger hexagonal grille (much like the current compact Elantra) and side air-intake/foglight pods. The revised interior will get a […]

Solar roof adds 10 percent more drivetrain efficiency:

Panasonic has developed a solar photovoltaic car roof for the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle that makes 180 watts of power, which us enough to recharge the lithium-ion powertrain battery and the standard 12-volt lead-acid battery, given time. The ‘HIT Photovoltaic Module for Automobile’ increases the car’s drivetrain efficiency by about 10 percent, adding up […]

Model 3 marks Tesla’s coming of age as a volume automaker:

Tesla Model 3 sedans will begin rolling off the company’s Fremont, Calif. assembly line in July, the company says. The initial production target is 5,000 Model 3s per week by the fourth quarter of 2017; Tesla says that in 2018 the rate will double to 10,000 units weekly. The Model 3 will mark Tesla’s transition […]

Magnets instead of hooks

If you would rather display some of your tools in plain sight, as opposed to storing them in your tool chest, consider the Tool Dot. Each of these 1/2-inch-diameter fasteners has an extra-strong adhesive backing so it can be attached securely to your garage or workshop wall. As well, the Tool Dot’s magnetic properties allow […]

How’s this for a road trip?

For a different driving holiday, try off-roading on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, with someone else’s vehicle. Wide Open Excursions will put you behind the wheel of one of its 35 custom-built, open-wheel, 175-horsepower cars similar to those competing in various desert races staged in California, Nevada and Mexico. Experienced group instructors communicate via two-way radios and […]

Is Honda planning a four-wheel motorcycle?

That’s what The Sleuth’s sources are reporting. Apparently inspired by the open-top Ariel Atom that uses various Honda-made turbocharged four-cylinder engines, the Japan-based automaker has filed patents for a similar, but smaller cycle-style machine. That model will apparently be based in the Honda’s 2015 2&4 concept, but will reportedly use an all-electric powerplant instead of […]

More muscle for the Yaris:

Automotive bullies won’t be kicking sand in the Toyota Yaris’s grille much longer if rumors of a hot spin-off model are true. The name currently assigned to this amped-up sub-compact is the GRMN, which stands for Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring . Gazoo is the name of Toyota’s motorsports team. The Yaris will get a […]

Protect the bumper, get a step

When the BumpStep from WeatherTech is installed in place of a standard two-inch hitch receiver, you get protection for the bumper of your car or truck. The BumpStep (as a step) also allows easier loading and unloading of your roof rack or pickup bed. Once it’s attached to your receiver, the injection-molded (plastic) step can […]

Furniture from cars

The artisans at Weld House Metalworks repurpose old car and truck hoods and roofs of automobiles from the 1950s to the 1980s. The result is a wide variety of unique home and office furniture and accessories for sale. For truck-like dependability, the company’s line of coffee tables is constructed using steel tubing for the frames […]

Big plug-in Audi SUV has 621-mile range:

Audi showed a Q8 plug-in hybrid utility vehicle at the recent Detroit Auto Show that it said presages a production model in 2018. The full-sized ‘ute’, 16.5 feet long will have a fuel-efficiency equivalency rating of 102.3 mpg. The powertrain uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine with 333 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and […]

Plug-in Pacifica Hybrid’s carbon footprint undercuts its siblings:

Lifetime carbon emissions from the world’s first production hybrid minivan, the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid, will be 24 percent less than that of its standard V-6-internal-combustion sibling says its maker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. FCA released calculations at January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Mich., showing that compared to the previous Chrysler Town […]

Are you looking for a fat lip?

All-Fit Automotive is a company markets custom-fit, yet inexpensive, front and rear lower lips and side skirts to your vehicle to change its appearance and provide paint protection. The flexible rubber-like material comes in various lengths and in 1.5-, 2.5- and 3.5-inch widths (which equates to the size of the lip you want). You can […]

DIY all-roader is a dune buggy with muscle

The Rally Fighter from Arizona-based Local Motors is tough and powerful enough to go virtually anywhere, even if it’s not four-wheel-drive. It has been designed using 3-D imaging to create the composite body and other components. The buyer will need to complete about half of the assembly work (brakes, suspension, interior components, etc.) and oversee […]

Aftermarket takes up electrified-pickup charge:

The idea of hybrid pickups and larger vehicles is catching on with aftermarket outfitters have taken on the cause. Recently, Workhorse of Loveland, Ohio, unveiled its own electric pickup with a range of 80 miles, and a 300-mile-plus range using an onboard gasoline-engine power generator. Now, Boston-based XL Hybrids has pulled the wraps off its […]

Self-driving Ford Fusion closer to reality:

Ford Motor Company says it will deliver a Level-4 self-driving car by 2021, meaning it will be able to drive itself in more or less ideal road conditions. A more capable Level-5 car that can completely replace a human driver (even in severe weather) will follow in four years’ time, in 2025, the company said […]

Chrysler opens a new Portal:

The Spymaster’s sources hear that the futuristic minivan concept Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) recently unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev., could be headed for production by the end of this decade or early in the next. The Chrysler Portal is an all-electric six-passenger lightweight van that can be adapted for […]

The 2018 Mustang will get a subtle makeover:

The Sleuth likes what Ford is doing with its iconic pony car, although he wonders why it wasn’t revealed during the two press days preceding the official opening of the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich. Instead, Ford staged a surprise unveiling during the public show days in Detroit (along with simultaneous […]

Electric car completes ‘world’s toughest’ Dakar Rally:

A car sponsored by Spanish infrastructure and renewable energy multinational, Acciona, has become the first all-electric entry to complete the grueling Dakar Rally, now in its 39th year. Staged this year in South America, the Acciona entry is the only one of the more than 18,000 vehicles that have completed the rally over the years […]

Lyft goes long:

General Motors’ ride-sharing partner Lyft undertook a major expansion at the end of January when it expanded into 40 new American cities, with the goal to open in a further 100 markets by the end of 2017. The expansion comes after a ‘strong’ 2016 for the service in which Lyft provided 162.5 million rides, three […]

Allspace is a longer Tiguan:

The Sleuth’s operatives are reporting that Volkswagen’s new seven-passenger Atlas utility vehicle will be joined later in 2017 by the 2018-model-year Tiguan Allspace. This compact model will also have available seven-passenger capacity, although it could be a tight squeeze for anyone seated in the third row. Compared to the current Tiguan, the Allspace is eight […]

Ford’s graphic depictions:

The Sleuth’s sources are reporting back that Ford has patented something called “heat-transmission graphics”. When a painted body panel is warmed up by means of a heating element, a graphic (such as a logo, stripes, etc.) appears on the surface. In the company’s patent filing, the vehicle rendering used to describe the process is a […]

Hand-held inflater for all jobs

The AirMan Air Gun from Active Tools can keep all your inflatables (footballs, basketballs, air mattresses, beach toys, etc.) pumped up. It will also inflate your car, motorcycle and bicycle tires. The tool comes with its own lithium-ion battery with AC charger plus a 12-volt DC cord that you can alternatively plug into your car’s […]

Wash with a classic

Dedicated gearheads will love showering behind one of these curtains. Fine Art America has an extensive variety of shower curtains for sale, all imprinted with classics automotive imagery (black and white and color art work). Some vehicle examples include Pontiac GTO, Porsche Speedster, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang and Shelby Cobra, to name just a few. […]

AWD Challenger is ready, but it’s about utility, not performance:

What was once speculation is now fact. The all-wheel-drive Dodge Challenger GT is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2017, but before all you performance fans start celebrating, the GT will only be available with the basic 3.6-liter V-6, just as it is with the four-door Dodge Charger (both cars share the same […]

Sedan retirements, three and counting:

Anyone looking to buy a 2017 Buick Verano or Chrysler 200 sedan had better act quickly. Both four-door models have quietly ended production, although they will still be around for a bit longer, until supplies are exhausted. Preceding their retirement is the Dodge Dart that failed to answer the bell for the 2017 model year, […]

Automakers collaborate on high-power charging network:

In Europe, BMW, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen Group including Audi and Porsche have agreed to create a high-powered electric-vehicle charging network. The goal is to establish a quick build-up of stations to allow long-range travel for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), which the companies call an important step toward facilitating mass-market BEV adoption. An initial […]

Electric three-wheeler is designed for road and track:

A plug-in sports car from Canadian startup Girfalco promises to be one of the hardest-accelerating vehicles on the planet. With electric motors powering each wheel, the two-seat Azkarra S is designed for both road and track use and will accelerate to 60 mph from rest in an eyeball-flattening 2.5 seconds, and easily reaches its governed […]

Fresh-air seating for your bed

For pickup owners, there are times when extra passenger capacity comes in handy, which is when BedRyder can help. The product’s twin bucket seats mount to a separate frame that bolts directly to the bed of nearly every pickup truck and are legal almost everywhere since they meet or exceed government safety standards. The all-weather […]

Clean up your plate

Classic-car collectors prefer to display an authentic license plate on their vehicles, and, if possible, the one that originally came with the car. Many are in pretty rough shape, however. Restore A Tag can take your rusty old plate and turn it into a pristine tag that looks as good as the day it was […]

Camping with nostalgia

Oregon manufacturer Dub Box USA has created a camper version of the Volkswagen bus to haul to your favorite recreational spots. The fiberglass body is copied from an actual post-1967 Type 2 bus, weighs 1,800 pounds (about 1,400 pounds less than an actual camper bus) and can be pulled by smaller vehicles. The basic 16-foot-long […]

Use a lift, save your back

For anyone who works on tall pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles and the like, The Elevator from Nomad Manufacturing will come in handy. This specially designed platform will allow you to safely tower over an engine bay or roof while making mechanical or body repairs. The height-adjustable Elevator rolls into place on its own industrial-grade creeper-style […]

Audi trains development engineers for electric mobility:

At the Technical University of Ingolstadt in Germany, powertrain-development engineers from Audi are expanding their knowledge in the field of electric mobility. Their goal is to increase their strategic and technical expertise as the automaker further strengthens its innovative power by gaining additional stimulus from the world of science. The first participants from the Powertrain […]

Chevy Bolt production ramps up:

The first 200-mile-plus battery-electric car to not wear a Tesla badge is now for sale. General Motors has been ramping up production of the much-anticipated Chevrolet Bolt at the Orion assembly plant near Detroit, Mich., reports Reuters news agency. With a starting price of $37,495 before tax credits, it will be more affordable than other […]

New Compass points the way for smaller Jeep:

As The Sleuth heard some time ago, the name chosen to replace the Jeep Patriot and Compass compact-wagon duo is . . . Compass. Although the junior Jeep’s styling (especially the rear roof pillar) is unique, the grille has a decidedly Jeep Grand Cherokee look to it. The sole engine is a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder, […]

BMW’s 1 series is not intended for North America, at least not yet:

The automaker announced that it would manufacture a new 1 series base sedan in China with assistance from its partner Brilliance Auto. Although BMW denies that this 1 series will make it to North America, The Sleuth has no doubt that the North American dealer network will be begging for it to come to our […]

Starting them young

Whether you want one for your kids, or as a display item for your office or garage, a pedal car is really neat to have around. And for many collectors, the type of 1950s-style kid-mobiles that are produced by inStep are ideal. The company, which is a division of bicycle-maker Schwinn, makes a variety of […]

High-flying office chair

It’s not auto-related, but who wouldn’t want an office chair as unique as this? It’s an actual ejection seat from a Boeing B52 Stratofortress bomber that was first flown by U.S. Air Force pilots in the mid 1950s and is expected to remain in service for another two decades. MotoArt modifies them for civilian use […]

New Nissan electric drive system sounds a lot like a Chevy Volt:

Nissan Motor Co.’s new e-Power drive system marks a change in the company’s strategy. The system borrows from proven electric technology in the Nissan Leaf plug-in battery electric sedan. Unlike the Leaf’s battery-only system, however, it uses a small gasoline engine to charge the high-output battery, eliminating the need for an external charger. It’s a […]

Fisker EMotion targets Tesla Model S:

Reinvigorated electric car maker Fisker has revealed its upcoming EMotion sedan, promising a 400-mile range and a 160-mph top speed. Unlike the previous Karma, Fisker’s original extended-range sedan that charged its batteries with a gasoline generator engine, the EMotion is a pure battery-electric using new graphene battery technology, says auto lifestyles webmag Motor Authority. Comfort […]

Ford EcoSport will slot in before the Escape:

If you’re partial to the Ford Fiesta but would prefer something just a bit roomier, you’re in luck. For the 2018 model year, the Blue Oval automaker will bring out the EcoSport compact utility vehicle in updated form (the vehicle is already on sale in Europe). Power will come from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine while […]

Rumors of a super Hellcat appear to be more than that:

The Sleuth’s sources are telling him that a special Dodge Challenger Hellcat is expected to arrive for the 2018 model year. The stance on this model, dubbed the Hellcat ADR, will be widened, necessitating a flaring of the front and rear fenders to contain the wider wheels and tires. Engine output is expected to increase […]

Where to stash a key outdoors

When heading out jogging or to the beach, it can be a hassle to find a secure spot to hide your car keys, money or other small valuables. That’s why the Run Lock was invented. The 2.7- by- 1.6- by- 1.2-inch deep combination-lock and mini-safe is designed to hold all your keys as well as […]

1,000 reasons to love this

There are models of cars and then there are serious representations of world-famous automobiles. If your tastes fall to the latter, Bentley has just the model. Sold through the automaker’s online gifts and accessories shop, this 1:8-scale Bentley Blower is named for its front-mounted supercharger that boosted the car’s 4.4-liter four-cylinder engine to 240 horsepower […]

New Camaros that you can’t legally drive on the road:

These days, about the only place where the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger compete head-to-head is on the drag strip. Chevrolet in particular takes drag racing seriously with very limited number of what’s called the COPO (Central Office Production Order) Camaro. The Sleuth reports that, as in previous years, only 69 of these […]

Lighting the way with lasers:

When it comes to headlights, what was once unimaginable is about to become reality. The Sleuth hears that a special Audi R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition (limited to 25 examples) will use lasers for high beams, while LEDs will be used for low beams. Along with lower energy consumption, the laser beams can project nearly […]

Volkswagen looks into the (near) future:

From what The Sleuth has been told, VW’s plans for electrification is a genuine commitment and not empty rhetoric. Apparently, concept drawings produced by the automaker indicate more than just a major design shift that goes beyond the Volkswagen I.D electric concept model displayed at the recent Paris Auto Show. They indicate that an entirely […]

Honda close to finalizing Type R:

Forget about what you might have seen in the flesh concerning the Honda Civic Type R. The Sleuth’s sources claim that the hot hatchback that was launched in Europe and Japan in 2015 is far from the version that will be arriving in North America by the third quarter of 2017. That Type R, which […]

Take it to the mat

BedRug, the maker of some of more popular pickup bed liners on the market, has a simple solution for working beneath your vehicle. The foldable four-by-two-foot TrackMat resists stains, oil and other chemicals, while providing plenty of cushioned comfort for your knees and back. The product is also made with the same kind of material […]

Auto metal works

Josh Welton calls himself as a welder, but he’s really an accomplished sculptor whose primary medium is metal. Among his many subjects are motorcycles and automobiles, including hot rods and classic cars. Some of his pieces are exaggerated caricatures that appear to have been inspired by the late Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s Rat Fink, while […]

Checking out the Atlas:

This new full-size tall wagon from Volkswagen will go on sale by mid-2017. The Atlas name was apparently picked because it’s short and obviously easy to pronounce, unlike the Tiguan and Touareg names that belong to the other wagons in the VW lineup. The new seven-passenger model that will be built at VW’s Tennessee plant […]

Another Raptor fighter enters the ring:

When it comes to company’s such as Ford that are innovative, you can be certain that the copycats won’t be far behind. That seems to be the case with the 2017 Raptor truck. The follow-up to the successful F-150-based SVT Raptor will likely get some competition from FCA’s Ram truck division that recently showed off […]

If the glove fits

Back in the 1950s and ’60s, driving gloves were de rigueur for professional racers as well as amateur sports-car enthusiasts. Since that time they’ve fallen out of favor, but Bradley Price, founder of Autodromo, has brought them back. The company’s latest high-fashion Stringback gloves combine a mesh-style backing with a perforated-leather gripping surface for comfort […]

Pricey light wheels

For carbon-fiber wheels, there are only a couple of options out there. Carbon Revolution supplies wheels for the Ford Mustang GT350R and sells its one-piece CR-9 carbon fiber wheels for about $16,000 a set. Carbon Revolution says its products will improve acceleration, handling, steering response and tire grip, while reducing stopping distances, fuel consumption and […]

Leather floor mats?

You don’t want to put just any floor mats inside your expensive vehicle or classic car. Not when there’s a wide assortment of genuine leather mats available from Inpelle Auto Accessories. The company makes seat coverings for BMW, Porsche and Audi and now offers custom-fitted floor mats for a variety of other makes. The leather […]

Prevent big bounces

Anyone who has had to trailer their rare/expensive hobby or racecar (or any vehicle, for that matter) lives in fear that their precious cargo could be damaged in transit. One way to reduce that possibility is with the Chassis Stabilizer from Mac’s Tie Downs. This item consists of a sturdy rubber bladder that, once inflated […]

Bronco, Ranger are on the way back:

The Sleuth was delighted with the news that Ford will bring back two of its more popular trucks from the past. Both the Bronco and the Ranger will be built at the same assembly plant in Michigan. Speculation has it that the Ranger, which is expected for the 2018 model year, will grow in size […]

New Dodge could challenge Raptor:

That’s how The Sleuth sees it after scoping out the Ram TRX. The 4×4 concept truck has a lifted body, massive skid plates and serious off-road rubber and appears ready to challenge any type of terrain imaginable. A supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 ‘Hemi’ engine rated at 575 horsepower has been specifically designed for torturous driving. It’s […]

Reduce travel travails

To keep the kids and possibly yourself occupied on long road trips, try turning off your electronic screens once in a while and bring out the Auto Bingo travel game from Kids Love Travel. Each reusable game card requires the player to spot different items they might see on the journey, such as road signs, […]

Race with Anki

Anki Overdrive as a kind of three-dimensional video game. Developed by Anki (pronounced: On key), a San Francisco, Calif., robotics company, the product consists of a special track layout containing built-in electronics that transmits data to optical sensors located beneath each battle car. The racers are controlled through an app that’s downloaded to your iPhone, […]

A new Genesis creation is in the works:

The Spy Guy wasn’t fooled one bit by the seductively shaped Genesis New York concept model on display at that city’s international auto show last spring. It was rumored to be the basis for an entry-luxury model (part of Hyundai’s new premium Genesis-brand lineup). However word has it that the finished car, called the G70, […]

Diesel engine possible for the new Equinox:

The Sleuth wasnÕt expecting to catch ChevroletÕs next-generation compact tall wagon in the flesh so soon. And he was really caught off guard when discovering that the 2018 Equinox will have as an option a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that’s rated at 136 horsepower and 236 pound-feet. That engine, as well as the turbocharged 1.5- […]

Take the tube with you

Safely and securely transporting ski and/or snowboard equipment is always important and the products offered by Sportube have plenty of both. The company’s hard-shell containers are made from high-density polyethylene and are capable of absorbing plenty of punishment, whether strapped to the roof rack of your vehicle and/or transported by other means. The Series 3 […]

A blast from the past

If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember playing with toys that were commonly made of tin. Well, Schylling Associates of Rowley, Mass., a company founded in 1975, produces a variety of retro-style toys, including this limited collector’s edition Grand Prix Racer. It features the same type of friction motor that used to power similar […]

An E-Class wagon with a little off-road flair:

The Sleuth sees a trend in taller tall wagons developing and also sees Mercedes-Benz cashing in on this burgeoning movement. The automaker recently revealed the E-Class All-Terrain, a name that seems to have been created by a product planner who has more than a passing familiarity with his thesaurus (a similar Audi vehicle is called […]

Your dream of owning an iconic Porsche racing car could become reality:

The Sleuth has word that a British startup company called Project 917 is planning to build copies of the Porsche 917, one of the most famous racing models the automaker ever produced. Various 917s were driven in competition from 1969 through 1971, racking up an impressive number of podium finishes. A couple of 917s were […]

New Hatchback completes overhaul of entire Civic range:

The 10th-generation Honda Civic Hatchback is part of the ‘most comprehensive research-and-development program’ in the model’s history, according to the company. The Civic is Honda’s biggest selling nameplate worldwide. Philip Crossman, managing director at Honda UK said the unveiling of the new hatchback continues the journey started in 2015 with the complete overhaul of the […]

Six gears instead of eight for Colorado:

An eight-speed gearbox and more efficient V-6 engine have helped the new Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup achieve both more power and efficiency. Under the hood, the thoroughly reworked version of the Colorado’s V-6 gets tweaked variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust points of the combustion cycle. Improvements in the direct-fuel-injection system is […]

The Challenger gets AWD, but not on the model you would think:

The Spymaster has been hearing plenty of scuttlebutt lately about a forthcoming all-wheel-drive version of the Dodge Challenger Hellcat. However it appears that option, which is based on the Dodge Charger AWD system, will not be heading the Hellcat’s way, but rather available as an option with the 3.6-liter V-6. Apparently, packaging constraints and torque […]

Land Rover makes a fresh Discovery:

The Sleuth’s sources have confirmed that the oldest member of Land Rover’s lineup, the LR4, will retire at the end of 2016 and be replaced by the return of the Discovery. Note that the Discovery is not to be confused with the Discovery Sport, which remains in service. As with the LR4, the 2017 ‘Disco’ […]

Countermeasures

Fakes are prevalent in the fashion world, but unwittingly buying a knockoff of a purse or a watchlikely won’t kill you By KELLY TAYLOR WWW.WHEELBASEMEDIA.COM Counterfeit auto parts are a multibillion-dollar drain on the industry, and it’s so pervasive, even carmakers can be ripped off. Maysa Razavi, anti-counterfeiting manager for the International Trademark Association, said […]

Sprechen sie Porsche?

California-based Kitzrieg produces build-it-yourself kits of Porsche’s original Speedster roadster and 550 Spyder, but it also sells a version of the Porsche 356A coupe that was originally built from 1956-’59. Each basic kit comes with a hand-laid fiberglass body, racing-style tube frame, all suspension and steering components, four-wheel disc brakes, wiring harness, complete interior plus […]

You’ll need a record of this

Cars on Vinyl is a book that both music and car fans will enjoy. Author Jacques Petit has assembled a collection of 500 album covers, all of which feature automobiles in one form or another, and all are depicted in LP-sized original scale. He has also included a brief summary of each cover, listing the […]

Nissan says no to bulk Leaf buy:

A Canadian group seeking a low-priced bulk buy of Nissan’s electric car, the Leaf, has been rebuked by Nissan, reports the La Presse newspaper. Organizer Bruno Marcoux sought to replicate the success of a similar group in Colorado, which bought 248 Leafs for a much-lower-than-sticker price. Marcoux thought he was getting close, reports the automotive […]

Electric racing will speed Audi EV development:

Audi intensified its commitment in the world’s first racing series for fully electric racing cars, starting in the 2016/’17 season that opened in Hong Kong Oct. 9, and will incorporate Formula E into a factory-backed motorsport program. Electric mobility is one of the key topics in our industry,’ said Stefan Knirsch, Audi board member for […]

V-8 finger power

This item is perfect for you or the gearhead in your life who seemingly has everything related to his or her passion. Cruzin’ World’s Web site displays a selection of rings that depict V-8 designs in metal. They’re not just generic representations, but specific types of Chevrolet V-8s produced to scale. The engine collection includes […]

Audi dresses a brand new luxury model to the ‘9s’:

The Sleuth has been informed that Volkswagen’s up-market label is readying a top-of-the-line flagship model that will run in the same league as the Mercedes-Benz S-class as well as the upcoming BMW 8-series. The designated A9 will reportedly be based on the current A8, but with its own unique styling and an all-electric power system […]

Cut coolant temperatures

Ignoring your vehicle’s radiator is to risk overheating problems that can lead to catastrophic engine failure. Radiator Relief, from Design Engineering Inc., is a corrosion-inhibitor and anti-foaming agent that you pour into your car’s cooling system. The manufacturer claims the product is 100 percent biodegradable, non-corrosive, non-toxic and is compatible with water and all types […]

It’s looking good for a return of the ZR1:

With most of the Chevrolet Corvette scuttlebutt these days revolving around future plans for the next-generation mid-engine model, there are still developments regarding the current ‘Vette. The Sneakster’s moles are telling him that a brand new ZR1 model is literally and figuratively on track for the 2018 model year. From what he hears it will […]

Long-range electric VW in the works:

In the wake of its diesel-emissions scandal, Volkswagen is attempting to make its name synonymous with the future of mobility; its new post-diesel strategy calls for 30 new electric cars by 2025. CEO Herbert Diess said the automaker is preparing a ‘very long range’ EV, according to automotive-lifestyles website Autos Cheat Sheet. He said the […]

Hybrid boost might make Bugattis even faster:

Supercar maker Bugatti might one day build a hybrid-powered car, using the technology not for environmental concerns, but expressly to make more power and speed. The French automaker’s newest limited production land missile, the Chiron, is powered by a 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine with four turbochargers, each feeding four cylinders; it makes 1,480 horsepower and 1,106 […]

In a bid for a clean car

Over the years, the Barrett-Jackson name has become synonymous with collector and specialty car auctions, especially the annual event held each January in Scottsdale, Ariz. Trading on its name, the company also produces a line of automotive grooming products under the Barrett-Jackson Premium Car Care brand. They include Wash and Wax, Spray Wax, Scratch and […]

Hold your charge

Keeping your cell phone and other portable electronics fully juiced can be problematic if you’re nowhere near a power source. For that reason the new Brunton Revolt 9000 power supply can literally be a lifesaver. This shockproof and waterproof all-weather energy source has a built-in lithium-polymer battery (good for charging the equivalent of six smartphones), […]

Cadillac overhauls its design direction:

The unveiling of the Escala sedan at the recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car show in California indicates significant change is in the works for General Motors’ up-level brand, says The Sleuth’s informants. Although the concept model is based on the just-arriving 2017 CT-6 flagship, overall length has been increased by six inches, while the […]

Plans for a Porsche 928 successor have evaporated:

Word had been leaked to The Spy Guy regarding Porsche’s plans to develop a front-engine, rear- or all-wheel-drive sports coupe, or possibly a coupe-like four-door that would be based on a shortened version of the 2017 Panamera platform. The  car (which would have evoked memories of the late, great Porsche 928) has been shelved, at […]

Chasing time

For the car nut who has trouble getting out of bed in the morning, this will make the perfect gift. The Clocky, from Nanda Home Products, is an alarm clock on wheels that sits on your night table. If you fail to react within a minute after you hit the snooze button, it will roll […]

Everyone needs a Bodyguard

Many do-it-yourselfers place (or misplace) their trust in jack stands, cinder blocks or other items to prop up their vehicles while working beneath them. The Bodyguard from Creepex has a built-in protective framework that’s designed to provide an extra measure of safety and comfort. The company claims the Bodyguard can support up to 30,000 pounds […]

Ford on the road to autonomous hybrid ride sharing in 2021:

Ford says it will deliver a high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle for ride sharing/hailing purposes in 2021, and to get there the company doubling the size of the California teams it has working on the project and is contracting with four new technology start-up companies. Ford CEO Mark Fields says the development of autonomous vehicles will […]

Kia will add something small to the fleet:

The Sleuth hears that Hyundai’s junior division is adding a diminutive wagon-shaped model. This comes at a time when nearly every other mainstream automaker has introduced, or has in the works, a similarly sized and shaped set of wheels. There’s no official name yet, but apparently the vehicle is loosely based on the Provo Hybrid […]