WardsAuto editor Drew Winter has been a juror for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards for well over a decade. In addition to evaluating the latest models for NACTOY, he also is a judge for the Wards 10 Best Engines and 10 Best Interiors competitions. Here is his take on the six NACTOY finalists. (See Related story:
the BUDD-e, is a nostalgically designed electric-powered microbus laden with all the latest technology, including a 101-kWh battery that provides up to 373 mile (600 km) of pure electric range on the optimistic European testing cycle.
In the past 18 months the company has assembled a staff of about 750 employees from BMW, Tesla, Apple and other top companies, but it does not discuss its business plan, who its customers will be or when it expects to be profitable.
The Voltec propulsion system already was one of the most innovative powertrains ever mass produced. Now GM has made it significantly better in every way. There was no way we could not put it on the list this year.
If EVs are to attract mainstream buyers in the absence of high fuel prices, they will have to be so appealing they do not require buyers to switch political parties or care about climate change. The ’16 Volt comes closest to solving that riddle.
Small and seemingly always struggling to survive, American Motors designed and developed some of the most loved and unloved vehicles of all time, from the first luxury SUV and first CUV to the star-crossed Pacer, it sold many vehicles that were memorable if not profitable.
Insiders say three or four years ago, automakers decided they didn’t want to hand over their interiors to giant consumer electronics providers and started reaching into the lower tiers for knowledge and more control over their brand identities.
TPO plastics producers are aiming to compete directly with steel and aluminum in big parts such as liftgates; a major Chinese supplier views the U.S. as the global low-cost source for manufacturing interior parts.
The new Miata isn’t just a fling. It’s a time machine that transports drivers of a certain age to an era when true sports cars were affordable, everyone was young and beautiful and the future looked bright.
Last year, Hyundai was the first automaker in the world to sell a vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Hyundai Vice Chairman Woong-chul Yang makes it clear the automaker plans to be a trailblazer in hybrids as well as fuel cells....More
New-car sales in China are expected to grow at least 5% this year. But margins on those sales, already small, have vanished for many dealers. Retailers now are looking to look to areas such as finance and insurance and used-car sales for profits....More