The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Globe Drive

Trans-Canada Highway

Reporting on the automotive industry, including recalls and other news, motorsports and blog posts

With the speculation in overdrive, Tesla to end ‘D’ suspense today

MADELINE O’LEARY

Tesla Motors Inc. chief executive officer Elon Musk Thursday will unveil new technology that helps keep drivers from drifting off the road and what analysts predict will be an all-wheel-drive variant of its Model S.

Musk last week tweeted a photo of a Tesla car behind a partially open garage door with a stylized D on it. The post has been retweeted more than 14,000 times and favourited more than 10,000 times. Analysts, including Brian Johnson at Barclays Plc, have predicted that Tesla will unveil an all-wheel-drive version of its luxury sedan. The company will also add technologies such cruise control that matches the speed of other vehicles, said a person familiar with the plan.

More »

Tesla boss says 'about time to unveil the D and something else'

SUPRIYA KURANE

Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk sent out a cryptic tweet on Wednesday, saying it is “about time to unveil the D and something else”, with an accompanying photo which mentioned a date, Oct. 9.

It was unclear what the “D” or “something else” entails, but the image suggested a new model the electric car maker might unveil on that day.

More »

Mercedes pushes the envelope on big-money small cars

JEREMY SINEK

How much will people pay for a compact hatchback, even one that comes with Mercedes-Benz badging?

That question is about to be put to the test with the Canadian launch of the latest baby Benz, the GLA crossover. Pricing starts at $37,200 for the GLA 250, which has all-wheel drive and aspires to some off-road capability despite its sleek shape and low-to-the-ground stance.

More »

Why Belgian police are waiving traffic fines this week

Belgians who drive a bit over the speed limit, forget to buckle their seat belts or park illegally can breathe easier this week as police turn a blind eye in protest against plans to raise their retirement age. The country’s police are up in arms over plans by the incoming government to raise their pension age to 62 from 58 as part of its efforts to cut the federal budget. Some 40,000 officers demonstrated against it in Brussels two weeks ago.

More »

Don't put new winter tires on your credit card if you live in Manitoba

Danielle Boudreau

Manitoba Public Insurance is offering loans to residents for the purchase of winter tires. Financing for eligible Manitobans is at prime plus two per cent for loans of up to $2000 per vehicle, for terms of one to four years. The prime lending rate in Canada is currently 3 per cent.

To qualify for the program, you must be an individual owner, not a company, purchasing tires for a car or light truck that is registered in your name. You must not have any financing restrictions or owe money in arrears on your Manitoba Public Insurance account.

More »

2015 Car and Truck of the Year short list revealed

DARREN McGEE

The short list has been revealed for the 2015 North American Car and Truck of the Year awards – and Volkswagen AG leads the way with four nominated vehicles: two Audis, a VW and a Porsche.

Twenty-two vehicles in all – 10 cars and 12 trucks – were named and the contenders include three each from Ford, General Motors and Toyota. This list will be further narrowed to three cars and three trucks in December with the top car and truck to be announced this January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

More »

Haven't we seen this one before? The Cadillac saga continues

JEREMY CATO

There are times in the car business when I feel like I am watching a movie I’ve seen before and this is one of them.

General Motors president Dan Ammann this week unveiled the company’s plan to move Cadillac’s headquarters to New York in 2015 and make Caddy a separate business unit within GM. “Cadillac’s mission,” he said, “is to reinstate the brand to a pre-eminent position among global luxury brands…More than a division or brand, Cadillac is becoming a centre of excellence for our company.”

More »

Cadillac CT6 ushers in new naming convention

DARREN McGEE

A day after announcing that its headquarters will be moved to New York City, Cadillac revealed that its new flagship car will be named the CT6.

The high-tech sedan, set to launch in late 2015, marks a change in the luxury auto maker’s naming convention. All future Cadillacs will bear the designation “CT”. Current product line nomenclature will not be affected.

More »

Reinvented Mustang finally holds its line in a corner

JEREMY CATO

Forget about the old, solid rear-axle Ford Mustang, the one built for drag strips and burning rubber. That Mustang is dead. Gone. Buried. Kaput.

I know this because I spent the day in the all-new 2015 Mustang. Yes, for some, Ford Motor has committed an act of heresy by deep-sixing the truck-like rear end, but for the rest of us, I have two words: about time. After 50 years, there is a new Pony car in town and it’s built for the 21st century.

More »

First look at a Slayer-inspired Scion prior to the SEMA show

DARREN McGEE

Scion is no stranger to SEMA.

Toyota’s youth-oriented brand dazzles every year at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Show in Las Vegas with some seriously kitted out concepts.

And this year is no different. Scion will unveil the Scion x slayer Mobile Amp tC, jointly developed with thrash metal band Slayer, and the Scion x Riley Hawk Skate Tour xB, produced with help from professional skateboarder Riley Hawk. Sketches of both vehicles were made public on Thursday.

More »

Volvo Canada won’t be at Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver auto shows

The Globe and Mail

Volvo as a corporation is determined to change the traditional means of doing business in the automotive industry. Some of its dealers may have to be convinced.

Volvo Canada made it known late last week that it would not participate in Canada’s three most prominent auto shows in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. But on Wednesday, Jason Campbell, general manager of the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), messaged that Volvo would indeed be part of the Toronto show in February: “This marketplace and marketing platform are too important for manufacturers and their retailers to ignore,” he wrote in an e-mail.

More »

A wave of new products coming from Porsche

JEREMY CATO

The secret to Porsche’s product success comes down to one word: simplicity.

That means starting with core vehicle architectures and then refining them constantly, relentlessly. That means keeping together a tight-knit team of engineers, designers and product planners and allowing them to refine their core skills in tandem with their product work. And that means being careful not to get carried away with stretching the lineup into all sorts of nooks and crannies to chase sales that could put the company’s history of engineering excellence at risk.

More »

The SUV that saved Porsche gets an update - with gusto

JEREMY CATO

There is something charming and perhaps even a little disarming about the sheer, unbridled hubris of these Porsche boys. And I say “boys” because amongst the development engineers and corporate overseers at Porsche, I cannot recall meeting a single woman.

Bernard Maier, global head of sales and marketing, exudes the joyous self-confidence of Porsche types and he does it with a warm smile and a friendly pat on the back.

More »

Rumours say Montreal billionaire to buy Sauber Formula One team

The Globe and Mail

Montreal billionaire Lawrence Stroll is negotiating to purchase Sauber, the struggling Swiss Formula One racing team, according to reports from Germany, England and Switzerland.

The rumours originated in Germany on Sunday and on Monday, the website Motorsport.com confirmed the talks while also noting that Stroll had previously been in discussions to purchase an interest in CVC Capital, the private firm that owns Formula One.

More »

The 10 most important cars of the last 25 years

JEREMY CATO

Bob Hall, the product planner for the original 1990 Mazda Miata, says the inspiration for the world’s best-selling roadster was an English sports car such as a Triumph or an MGB – complete with leaking oil and smoke.

That is, Hall and the other key players in the creation of the Miata loved the concept, hated the sloppy and careless execution. A Mazda roadster that buyers would find affordable, engaging and easy to live with was at its essence utterly uncomplicated and definitely not overwhelming or overpowering, he says: “Less is more. Our car was kinda classic and simple.”

More »

Duran Duran sings for thousands at Mazda roadster premiere

JEREMY CATO

In a hangar on the grounds of a small airport where private planes come and go, a British synthpop band from the 1980s serenaded a new roadster from Japan. An American designer provided the introductions as an Internet audience in the tens of thousands watched the live stream around the world.

This was the global unveiling of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 (Miata) that will go on sale in Canada and the United States next year. It’s going to be a hit when it rolls into showrooms. Call it the open-top car you buy if you cannot afford a Jaguar F-Type convertible.

More »

Matthew McConaughey to star in five ads for a new Lincoln crossover

DANIELLE BOUDREAU

Actor Matthew McConaughey will appear in five ads for Ford’s upscale Lincoln brand, said the company in a release. Three of the spots featuring the new 2015 MKC crossover debut today, with two more to broadcast on television starting September 6.

The second of four new vehicles Lincoln will introduce by 2016, the crossover will be built at Ford’s Louisville, KY assembly plant. The MKC, the company’s first small vehicle, will compete in the fastest-growing segment of the market. Small premium utility vehicles have had 600 per cent growth since 2008 and more growth is expected.

More »

Toyota sells its 100,000th hybrid vehicle in Canada

The Globe and Mail

Fifteen years ago, when the price of gas was 57.5 cents a litre in Toronto and 52.6 cents in Calgary, who'd have thought?

Toyota has reached a milestone by selling its 100,000th hybrid vehicle in Canada, the company announced on Wednesday.

More than three-quarters of hybrids sold in Canada over the past 15 years have come from the company's Toyota and Lexus divisions.

More »

Tesla fires up first two supercharger stations in Ontario

DARREN McGEE

Southern Ontario Tesla Model S owners rejoice, the company’s supercharger network is coming soon to a highway near you.

Tesla Motors has announced that its first two Ontario superchargers will open on Thursday – one in Toronto (at Telsa’s store near the Don Valley Parkway just south of Highway 401) and one in Cornwall (located in the parking lot of a Ramada hotel). The California-based auto maker says the new chargers should allow drivers to travel from Detroit to Quebec City for free.

More »

Volvo will test selling cars online

JEREMY CATO

Volvo is taking digital commerce to a new level among mainstream auto makers by enabling customers to order online a limited number of the company’s all-new 2015 XC90 crossover.

A total of 1,927 individually numbered XC90s to be sold in Canada and 29 other countries may only be reserved using a new online interface “that simplifies the process of shopping for, buying and owning a Volvo,” says Margareta Mahlstedt, Volvo Canada’s vice-president of marketing.

More »