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The Titan XD goes on sale in December with a 5.0-liter Cummins turbodiesel underhood.

Nissan's new Titan XD starts at $41,485

12/23/2015

Nissan's redesigned Titan XD pickup is heading to dealerships now, with this 5/8-ton entry meant to be positioned just above the now-gargantuan 1500/150 range (that has almost become the smallest size of truck available) and the 2500/250 range.

Aiming for that niche should give the redesigned range a chance to upstage the smaller offerings while being only moderately more expensive, with the price of entry for the XD S Crew Cab 4x2 variant weighing in at $41,485. The SV trim level of that same truck will start at $45,255, while the SL trim level will be a bit dearer with a $53,225 starting price. The king of the hill among the 4x2 versions of the Titan XD will be the Platinum Reserve model, and it'll start at $58,665.

The 4x4 version of the Titan XD will be just $3,000 north of the 4x2 trucks, with a $44,485 price of entry. There will be an extra trim level in the 4x4 range just between the SV and the SL trim levels, badged PRO-4X, with this version starting at $52,165. The priciest model in the 4x4 range will be the Platinum Reserve trim level, and that'll be priced at $61,715.

Chris Evans will reportedly join Chris Harris, Sabine Schmitz and David Coulthard at the helm of the revamped show.

Are Sabine Schmitz and Chris Harris the new 'Top Gear UK' hosts?

12/23/2015

Since Jeremy Clarkson throttled a producer and effectively ended the British version of "Top Gear," no one was sure which direction the show would go -- aside from already hiring new presenter Chris Evans. "Top Gear UK" is reportedly returning to its multi-host format and adding Chris Harris from the successful "On Cars" series; Sabine Schmitz, known for her racing career with Porsche and BMW; and former Formula One driver David Coulthard, according to Britain's The Telegraph.

Returning to a multi-host format brings a little familiarity to the drastically changing show. Months ago, we learned that there would at least be a cohost, and it was highly speculated that it would be a woman. If the reports end up being confirmed by the BBC in the coming days or weeks 'Ring Taxi pilot, "Top Gear" guest and established race-car driver Schmitz would join the cast.

Get those headlights control modules fixed, people.

Headlight failure forces big recall of Ford’s unkillable Panther sedans

12/23/2015

Ford Panther Platform sedans may be fundamentally unkillable, but that doesn't mean they don't suffer from the occasional affliction. The latest one to come to light is, we'd say, fairly serious: a lighting control module that can malfunction, plunging you into inky blackness as you roar down the interstate. It's led to a recall of nearly 313,000 2003-2005 Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis sedans.

Specifically, "the solder joints on the module could crack and interrupt power to the headlamps -- increasing the risk of crash at night," Ford's statement explains. The automaker says this little electrical quirk has caused 11 known accidents and one minor injury.

Based on the number of Crown Victorias, Grand Marquis sedans, Marauders (remember those?) and Lincoln Town Cars we still see cruising around metropolitan Detroit, we'd guess that 75 percent of those recalled cars are on the road just waiting to lose forward visibility at an inopportune moment. So get that module fixed, Panther Nation: Dealers will replace it at no cost to you.

Watch the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport do ballet on a runway

12/23/2015

Since we first saw the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport at the Los Angeles Auto Show, we've wanted to get the thing on some open pavement. Well, Porsche did it for a promotional video, making all of us jealous in the process.

If you'll remember, the new track-only coupe will be used for race series like the VLN Long Distance Championship Nurburgring, Ultra 94 GT3 Cup Challenge Canadar and the PCA Club Racing Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy. It gets a 3.8-liter flat-six engine making 385 hp and features a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. A mechanical limited-slip diff divides power in back while its front axle is taken from the 911 GT3 Cup car.

Click here for more info from the LA show, and call your Porsche dealer today.

Is Infiniti’s new 400-hp V6 the company’s best to date?

12/22/2015

The luxe leg of Nissan is rolling out a new generation of V6 for 2016. Infinti's new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 will come in two different horsepower configurations for 2016: 300 hp and 400 hp. The new V6 is now part of the VR-engine family -- building off of what the marque learned through its VQ engines.

The new engine series is apparently the most technologically advanced engine to come out of an Infiniti factory. Infiniti ditched cast-iron cylinder sleeves, instead using a special thermal coating: probably the same one Nissan has used for a while on its GT-R engine. Infiniti says this move was made because the cast iron engine sleeves would add an extra 4 pounds to the total weight of the engine.

Infiniti went with a square engine design -- one where the bore of the cylinders matches the stroke of the piston -- to help with response and total engine speed.

Engineers decided to bu

It isn't clear whether Ford would design a purpose-built vehicle for Google or supply a standard production car fitted with sensors and computers needed for autonomous driving.

Ford set to build Google self-driving cars?

12/22/2015

Ford Motor Co. and Google are in talks to have the automaker build Google’s next-generation autonomous cars under contract, Automotive News has learned.

Although few details about the project are known, a source with knowledge of the project says both parties have been negotiating on a contract manufacturing deal “for a long time.” An announcement, if finalized, could come as early as the week of Jan. 4 during the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

A Google spokesman said the company would not comment on speculation. But Google officials confirmed that the company is talking to automakers.

Ford spokesman Alan Hall neither confirmed nor denied a possible deal.

“We work with a lot of tech companies all over the world. We keep these discussions private for obvious competitive reasons and we do not comment on speculation,” he said.

Google has added two veteran Ford executives to its leadership team. Former Ford CEO Alan Mulally joined Google’s board of directors eight days after he retired from the automaker on July 1, 2014. Then in September, Google hired John Krafcik as CEO of the company’s Self-Driving Car Project. Krafcik, who most recently was president of TrueCar Inc., was CEO of Hyundai Motor America. He spent 14 years at Ford, including a stint as chief engineer during the development of the Ford Expedition SUV.

Mazda led the fuel economy numbers for 2015 thanks in part to its SkyActiv suite of engines and technologies.

These are the 10 automakers with the best fuel economy for 2015

12/21/2015

Mazda leads the way in the latest EPA Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy list for 2015, the second year in a row for the brand. Honda comes next (Earth Dreams!), followed by Subaru and Nissan in the 2015 preliminary results. Hyundai dropped down to fifth, from third in 2014. BMW, with an average fuel economy of 26.6 mpg is next. Kia (26.1), Toyota (25.4), Mercedes (23.7), Ford (23.5), GM (21.9) and Fiat-Chrysler (21.8) round out the list, in that order. VW is absent from the list, which the EPA notes is due to the ongoing investigation.

2017 Acura NSX

2017 Acura NSX pricing starts at $157,800; here's how you can get VIN 001

12/18/2015

We now know exactly how much the 2017 Acura NSX will cost: $157,800, including the $1,800 destination fee.

And that's just the entry point. According to Acura, the NSX will max out at -- deep breath -- $207,500 (again, that's with the $1,800 destination fee worked in).

For some perspective, the 1991 Acura NSX started at $60,000; adjusted for inflation, that works out to about $105,000, give or take. But you're getting a lot of tech to geek out over for your money here, if that's your thing: we're guessing the new car's hybrid all-wheel drive powertrain and a complex multi-material composite are at the root of the price premium over its relatively straightforward, naturally aspirated, all-aluminum predecessor.

You'll be able to

Lexus RX450h SUV

Is California’s DMV banning driverless cars?

12/17/2015

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is tapping the brakes on self-driving cars, proposing drastic limitations on their use on the state’s roads, and putting an outright ban on driverless cars with no humans aboard. The DMV is proposing that all autonomous cars have a steering wheel and pedals when using California’s public roads, as well as a licensed driver with an autonomous vehicle operator certificate to take over if something goes haywire. Requiring a driver blocks any driverless-car commercial use -- for example, functioning as robotic taxis, picking up and dropping off passengers at their destination.

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Latest Reviews

2016 Dodge Challenger SXT review

12/27/2015

It’s not fair to let the motor dominate the conversation about this 2016 Dodge Challenger. It’s a fine car without the Hemi, carrying its retro lines with enough confidence to offset its substantial visual bulk, and the new running lights/front fascia design and wide range of color/decal packages don’t hurt, either. FCA’s new interior refinements have, by this point, replaced nearly all of the unpleasant, crappy old plastics with better materials. The big-screened Uconnect entertainment system remains fast, functional and fairly intuitive (even if it would be nice to have a few buttons for features like seat warmers).

Even the LX platform, which is probably getting high enough up there in its years to be referred to as venerable, is as predictable and as fun as ever. Once you find a corner, it’s like swinging a sledge hammer: let the tool do the work. At its best, this a muscle machine that, unlike the newest pony cars from Ford and Chevrolet, doesn’t even pretend to look too far forward. I’m okay with that.

Infiniti adds a new engine family to its lineup -- starting with the Q50 sedan.

Autoweek in review

Everything you missed Dec. 21-25

12/25/2015
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