BMW says the new 2019 BMW 3 Series, which debuted last month in Paris, “moves the game on once again in terms of driving dynamics.” So, to learn the tech behind what makes the new car handle better than its predecessor, I spoke with dynamics engineer Robert Rothmiller. Here’s what he told me. The head of functional design and integration for driving dynamics of the new G20 3 Series broke down the main changes to the car’s handling into three categories: weight and track width, body and chassis stiffness, and technical systems. The first of those promises to give the car better grip in turns, the second could improve chassis response and comfort, and the last supposedly yields a better driving experience thanks to changes in the steering system and in damper technology. I’ll begin by discussing technical systems, specifically steering. This is an area where the 3 Series has received significant criticism since the current generation F30 model launched with … [Read more...] about The Engineering Behind the New BMW 3 Series’ Handling
The new trade theory
While both Buick and Cadillac have a healthy lead over Lincoln in terms of domestic deliveries, the space between them is far more pronounced in China. At home, Ford moved 111,159 examples of its premium marque in 2017 against Cadillac’s 156,440. However, China’s Caddy sales clocked in at 175,489 last year — a number Lincoln could only muse about in its wildest fantasies. That’s because Ford exports all of its luxury vehicles to China, while GM tends to build them locally. But the Lincoln brand shows a lot of promise in Asia. Ford moved roughly 80,000 vehicles in the People’s Republic in 2017 and 54,124 of those models wore the Lincoln cross. In theory, if Ford could localize and bolster its product lineup within the country, a higher volume would be all but assured. It’s a theory the automaker intends to test, too. According to Reuters, the Lincoln brand intends to build as many as five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, … [Read more...] about Chasing the Dragon: Lincoln’s Plan to Capture the Chinese Market
Good morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know. 1st Gear: Tesla’s Doing Things Its Own Way When It Comes To The NTSB’s Investigation Of Fatal Model X Crash The National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency whose job it is to figure out the “probable cause of transportation accidents” has been in a bit of a spat with Tesla lately. That’s because the electric car company released some of its findings dealing with a fatal Model X crash last month, alleging that the driver did not respond to vehicle requests to take the wheel. Releasing this information to the public apparently goes against the agency’s “party agreement,” which you can read here. Now, according to Reuters, Tesla says it decided to withdraw from the agreement so that it won’t be restricted from disseminating information about … [Read more...] about Tesla Goes Its Own Way On The Feds’ Investigation Of The Fatal Model X Crash
President Donald Trump’s brewing trade war with China isn’t likely to do any favors for Detroit’s automakers or some of its foreign rivals. The No. 1 market for America’s No. 1 automaker, General Motors Co., is China, not the good ol’ US of A. It imports its Buick Envision SUV and Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid from China. And Ford Motor Co. is pushing hard to move from also-ran to player in a market it hopes will become fertile ground for next-generation Lincoln’s own interpretation of American luxury. Volvo Cars Ltd., controlled by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group since its 2010 acquisition from Ford Motor Co., imports Chinese-built Volvos into the United States. And Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor Co. Ltd. is angling to import its Chinese-built GAC GS8 SUV into the U.S. market by the fourth quarter — in theory, anyway. Could much of that be imperiled by escalating trade tension between the world’s two largest economies? Too … [Read more...] about Howes: Reality complicates Trump trade tiff with China
If you’re looking for a new ride, you might ask yourself, “Do I really need a new car or am I willing to consider a nearly new car?” New cars are great, but there’s also a lot to be said for up to $5000 in savings, and if you’re about to buy a new car, that potential tradeoff between new and nearly new might amount to five grand, or more.Before we get any further, let’s define our terms a bit. You know what a new car is: It’s a never titled, current-model-year vehicle, typically with very few miles on the odometer. The term “nearly new,” for our purposes, would describe a used but titled, pre-owned vehicle of the previous model year. (Currently, “new” would be a 2018 model, and “nearly new” would be a 2017 version of the same make and model.) To keep the comparisons from getting cloudy, the models you consider should be of the same generation. The advantages are diminished when the brand-new vehicle is the … [Read more...] about Should Your Next New Car Be a Used Car?