July 5, 2014
Hope you all had a most carefree Canada day and are having a most satisfactory Saturday morning. We certainly are. Sure, Jonathan’s massively jetlagged and likely won’t wake up until the evening, but that’s par for the course when you fly out to Austria for an event (no spoilers). But enough rambling, on with the digest!
For Canada Day, Brendan McAleer took us back in time, with a list of the most quintessentially Canadian automobiles. Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, Lesley Wimbush had her own brush with history – quite literally – crashing a photo op while navigating the crush of humanity that descended upon the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Toyota is currently testing a “Free Piston” Engine, which does away with the crankshaft, for their hybrid vehicles. Since these engines are meant to generate electricity to charge the battery and do not drive the vehicle directly, their design can be drastically simplified. Note that this isn’t a new technology, but being adapted by Toyota for lower emissions and higher efficiency.
The Hyundai Veloster is facing an uncertain future after sales figures fell short of expectations. Instead of a refresh two years from now, the quirky 3-door coupe could be quietly dropped from the production line.
In happier news, several high-profile announcements hit this week: 2016 Mazda MX-5 to make its debut on September 3rd, 2015 Ford Focus ST revealed at Goodwood Festival of Speed, 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat to have 707 hp & 650 lb-ft, and 2015 Acura TLX gets official pricing and availability.
Veritable bumper crop of exciting vehicles this week: Brendan McAleer took a spin in the upcoming Porsche Macan S & Macan Turbo, James Begeron wrapped up his week with the Subaru WRX Sport Tech, Greg Wilson did a thorough investigation of the Ford Fiesta SE 1.0L EcoBoost, and everything came up wagons for Jacob Black, who got both the 2015 Mazda5 and the 2014 Kia Forte5. We’re not saying these are the best vehicles on the market right now, period; but come on, it’s a pretty solid lineup.
We pit the freshly redesigned Nissan Rogue against the Mazda CX-5. We’ll resist the urge to make a pun on the former’s name, but suffice it to say, that the upstart presents quite an unexpected challenge for the longtime media darling.
The incredibly prolific Justin Pritchard runs away this week with a review of the zero-recall 2009–2014 Acura TL, a hands-on with a Duravac wall-mount vacuum cleaner and the Princess Auto detailing caddy, and an update on life with his dream car, the Dodge Viper GTS.
We at Autos.ca are quite lucky to have a very active and knowledgeable community. Sure, the discussions occasionally get, how should we put it… overly passionate? But it’s nothing a round of artery-clogging burgers can’t fix. (Speaking of which, that’s something to bug Jonathan about, as soon as he wakes up.) So, here’s a selection of the most popular threads from the forums over the past week. We’re omitting the article discussions – we encourage our readers to sample the entire review before telling us we are absolutely wrong.
Smartest Way to Calculate Towing Weight – forum member blotter asks for advice on a new vehicle to tow a trailer, keeping in mind that you always end up packing more than you expect
Mountain Bikes – general discussion about human-powered locomotion
Sunroofs – forum member blotter (again?) talks sunroofs, with a pinch of “they don’t make ‘em like they used to”
Little things that make you happy – long-running thread in the off-topic board, for happy people
The little things that make you unhappy – long-running thread in the off-topic board, for interesting people
Interesting things seen on the way to work thread – long-running thread in the off-topic board, for easily distracted people
So, that’s it for the weekly digest. Comments, corrections, suggestions, fiery rants most welcome.