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: The Apple Car Finally Happens, Kinda Man, remember the Apple Car? Remember how Apple debated doing a car for years, thinking it could be the next big thing, then put a bunch of resources into a program that blew up over internal disagreements over its direction? I feel like we haven’t heard about in over a decade, because our hellscape of a reality tends to accelerate time like that—even though it was barely two years ago. But even after abandoning the idea of making a car from scratch, the company didn’t completely write off staying in the car software side of things. And now we’ve just learned that they’re buddying up with Volkswagen for a driverless car deal. Speaking with unnamed sources, the New York Times reported that Apple just signed a deal with Volkswagen to make … [Read more...] about Apple And Volkswagen Will Make Self-Driving Shuttles For Apple Employees
Volkswagen is getting worried
Right now, I’m trying to get my 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle on the road, and I’m struggling to answer a question: How much preventative maintenance should I do? (Because this is getting expensive). Over the past few days, I’ve been ruining my wallet by purchasing a metric crap-ton of replacement parts for my Golden Eagle, and that got me thinking: Should I even replace all these components? This Jeep has been sitting for at least seven years based on the registration in the glovebox, which is why I decided to replace a number of wear items like the radiator hoses. Those were about $15 each. The top hose had already been chewed into by the A/C pulley, so I figured that—since I’m draining the cooling system anyway—I may as well do the bottom hose. And at that point, I thought I might as well do the water pump, since I don’t know when that was replaced, and I also am deathly afraid of overheating. That cost me about $35. I may as well throw … [Read more...] about How Much Preventative Maintenance Is Too Much?
At the beginning of this decade, people were snickering up their sleeves at Elon Musk and his ridiculous commitment to making electric cars. Nobody is snickering today. The Volkswagen board has just approved a plan to invest $40 billion by 2022 to develop electric cars, autonomous cars, and other mobility solutions. One can argue that Elon Musk is the principal reason why Volkswagen is spending all that cash instead of just continuing to crank out millions of conventional Golf and Passat sedans. Reuters reports the company will pay for the plan through cost savings throughout its current manufacturing operations and profits from selling more cars. “With the planning round now approved, we are laying the foundation for making Volkswagen the world’s No. 1 player in electric mobility by 2025,” chief executive officer Matthias Mueller told the press on November 17. The new plan is a big step forward from just two months ago when the company said it would invest $20 … [Read more...] about Volkswagen Amps Up Electric Car Investment Goal To $40 Billion
BMW has given the X4 a redesign for 2019 that upgrades the sleek SUV's technology and interior space. But lurking in the changes was one detail that caught my attention, as it may signal a big change — not just for BMW, but for the whole industry. Previously, BMW offered Apple CarPlay in its vehicles as a $300 option: Pay one time and get CarPlay enabled for the life of the vehicle. But starting with the X4 and the rest of BMW's 2019 model-year lineup, that's about to change. Related: 2019 BMW X4 Expands With More Interior Space, Tech From 2019 on, according to BMW, Apple CarPlay will be included as part of BMW Navigation and will now be offered on a subscription basis. The first year of the service will be free, then $80 annually after that. You won't need to bring the car into a service center to renew or anything like that; BMW says you'll be able to re-up your subscription through the car's infotainment system.certified pre-owned situation will be able to activate the … [Read more...] about Is BMW’s Apple CarPlay Subscription a Model for the Future?
Full Car Details More Reviews Since it first appeared in 1979 as a 4-door sedan companion to the Rabbit/Golf hatchback, the Volkswagen Jetta has been a sober choice for buyers who like the premium feel and performance of German engineered products but can’t afford the high-zoot prices associated with the premium German brands. It’s got a solid following but other compact sedans such as the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra, and Toyota Corolla have easily outdistanced the Jetta on the sales charts in recent years. In a bid to close that gap, Volkswagen is introducing the all-new (except for the engine) 2019 Jetta. The new, seventh-generation Jetta is now based on the same MQB modular transverse-engine vehicle architecture that underpins the current VW Golf, Tiguan and Atlas, as well as the Audi A3 and TT. The 2019 Jetta is nearly 3 inches longer than last year’s version, yet interior legroom and trunk space … [Read more...] about First Drive: A redesigned 2019 Volkswagen Jetta brings more style, comfort, tech for less coin
When a pile of rusty VW parts needed to be transported over 250km, the 2018 Volkswagen Maxi Crewvan Caddy stepped up to the challenge. You may or may not know that I have an unhealthy obsession with classic Volkswagens. It’s something that has driven my parents a little crazy for over a decade while using their garage space to store cars and parts.So when my folks decided to move house, those accumulated dusty car parts had to somehow make their way to my place. Only thing, there was so much of it, a ute wasn’t ever going to be big enough, I didn’t want grease and spiders all over the floor of a wagon, and hiring trailers are just yuck.So what better way to do it than in a 2018 Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Crewvan?This jigger is larger than the standard-size Caddy that florists and the like typically drive, and is much smaller than the Transporter used to move much larger items. The Maxi Crewvan is 470-millimetres longer than the standard Caddy, measuring 4478mm, and as … [Read more...] about 2018 Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Crewvan review
Last month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) under President Trump dropped a requirement that Harley-Davidson pay $3 million to help combat air pollution as part of a settlement the Obama administration announced last August that would have seen HD enter into a limited partnership with the American Lung Association to help clean air pollution. It seems now, however, that said partnership isn’t happening. Trump Effectively Gifts H-D $3 Million The $3 million fine-that’s-not-a-fine was part of a larger, $15 million fine that Harley Davidson earned through the sales of Screaming Eagle high-performance exhaust parts and “super tuners” that re-map the bikes’ engine software. Harley Davidson were only able to get these parts EPA certified by falsifying the resulting emissions levels of bikes they’d been fitted to- but that’s not what the DOJ is taking issue with. The DOJ announcement reads. “The original consent decree would have required … [Read more...] about Trump’s $3 Million Gift to Harley Davidson is Super Scary
It has been a long time coming, the B8 Volkswagen Passat. First seen in Europe in late 2014, the latest big sedan by Wolfsburg made its first Asian appearance in December that year, here in Malaysia. Two years on, and with sales of the B7 Passat done and dusted, the all-new Passat is now ready to roll. The B7 Passat is a familiar sight on Malaysian roads, due to its locally-assembled status and pricing. It appeared significantly different from the preceding B6 Passat that Volkswagen peddled when it first set up shop in Malaysia – sharp lines vs curved ends – but the outgoing car was actually a heavily revised version of the B6 (only piece of body metal carried over was the roof), which was launched in 2005. UPDATE: Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia has launched the B8 Passat – view our launch report here The car you see here is an all-new generation Passat, unrelated to the B7. It sits on the Volkswagen Group’s Modularer Querbaukasten (MQB) platform that … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: B8 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 TSI and 2.0 TSI Malaysia review
Call me cynical, but I was never terribly impressed by the Bentley Continental GT. About eight years ago, I had a chance to lease one for a pretty good rate as a company car, the prospect of which excited me particularly because I'd wanted a Bentley since the debut of the Mulsanne Turbo way back in 1982. After reading up a bit on the "entry-level" winged-B and finding out just how much it shared with the brilliant but slightly star-crossed Volkswagen Phaeton sedan, however, I realized that I could get two Phaetons for the price of one Continental, which I promptly did. The rest of America didn't share my opinion on the matter, however, and therefore the big Bentley coupe has become absolutely omnipresent in places like Beverly Hills and McLean, Virginia. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below As a quiet and luxurious automobile with plenty of street presence, the Continental has always had much to resemble it. While the "hard points" of the interior are identical to those of my old … [Read more...] about Why the GT3-R Is the First Continental That Would Suit the Original Bentley Boys
Restored examples of the Volkswagen Bus have been setting auction records for more than a decade, largely thanks to deep-pocketed kids of the 1960s getting nostalgic in Arizona in January. But for perfectly understandable reasons, this hasn't translated to other European vans of the era. The beloved Bus trades on its cult status, but it was by no means alone in its category.In a few days, RM Sotheby's will try to find out whether one of the air-cooled VW's contemporaries can capture a slice of classic van nostalgia, when it offers a rare 1959 Mercedes-Benz O 319 at its Scottsdale auction.Don't worry if you don't remember this Mercedes van -- it was never officially sold in the U.S., and most versions were aimed at the commercial van market that was limited on this side of the pond. It was also a bit larger than the consumer-aimed VW Bus, with some versions offering seating for 10 passengers, placing it into the small shuttle van category. The O 319 was available in dozens of body … [Read more...] about Is this 1959 Mercedes O 319 van ready for your glamping trip?