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Trans-Canada Highway

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

10 worst roads in Ontario revealed: Timmins trumps Toronto

DARREN McGEE

Timmins has topped Toronto, taking the top two spots in the Canadian Automobile Association’s annual list of the worst roads in Ontario.

Toronto’s Dufferin Street, first place – or should that be worst place? – for the past three years, dropped to third. Last year, seven of the 10 worst roads were in Toronto; this year, only two. Dufferin Street has made the list nine times.

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Chevrolet Volt price cut is bigger in U.S. than Canada

STAFF

GM is following through on a pledge to cut the price of the remodelled 2016 plug-in Volt – in the United States, though not so much in Canada.

In the U.S., the company announced on Sunday that it would trim $1,200 (U.S.) from the 2015 retail price, to $33,995 (U.S.), including freight, for the 2016 version.

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Few cars produce majority of vehicle pollution at Toronto test spot

JORDAN CHITTLEY

A small percentage of the cars that passed an air-sampling probe in downtown Toronto produced the vast majority of vehicular pollution, according to a recently published study by University of Toronto scientists.

The study suggests that these small number of cars are older and badly tuned.

It notes that 100,000 vehicles were tested on College St. and a quarter of them produced 95 per cent of the black carbon (soot), 93 per cent of the carbon monoxide and 76 per cent of the volatile organic compounds such as benzene, toluence, ethylbenzene and xylenes, some of which are known carcinogens.

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Why Consumer Reports called its $127,000 Tesla ‘undriveable’

STAFF

Consumer Reports bought a top-of-the-line Tesla Model S 85D for a long-term test, only to find that its driver couldn’t get into the car.

The retractable door handle operated by the key fob failed to pop out. Unable to open the driver’s door from the outside, the magazine consequently dubbed the Tesla “undriveable”.

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Why most Canadian children are now driven to school

Staff

Once upon a time, we walked to school.

No longer.

Nearly three of four children aged 5-14 are being driven to schools in Canada, according to a small survey conducted by Parachute Canada for FedEx.

As top reasons for preventing their kids from walking or cycling, parents cited:

  • speeding cars and traffic (75 per cent),
  • fear of abduction (38 per cent),
  • maturity level of their children (36 per cent),
  • social concerns such as bullying (31 per cent), and
  • lack of sidewalks and bike lanes (27 per cent).

Approximately 350 parents across Canada, divided by two age groups (5-9, 10-14) of their children, and representing the country geographically, responded to the survey. The parents of both age groups expressed equal concern about speeding cars and traffic, and street design.

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Actor Idris Elba smashes 88-year-old speed record in a Bentley

DARREN McGEE

Forget the numerous acting awards and accolades. Forget that he was ranked No. 2 in People magazine’s annual Sexiest Man Alive list just two short years ago.

Yes, forget it all – because Idris Elba, who plays a drug lord in HBO’s The Wire, just broke an 88-year-old land speed record while piloting a Bentley.

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Woman caught on camera curling hair while driving on B.C. road

JORDAN CHITTLEY

Motorists would be well advised to steer clear of this woman.

A video posted online recently shows a woman using what appears to be a curling iron while driving north of Nanaimo, B.C. We’re not sure how she is steering, but it clearly isn’t with her hands because she doesn’t touch the wheel for the entire clip. The video description says the woman was driving about 90 km/h.

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Make-A-Wish kid takes ride of his life in dream Bugatti

JORDAN CHITTLEY

Michael Hollis, 7, was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2014. Since then, there have been plenty of doctor’s visits and video games.

“Every week, he’s pretty much at the doctor’s getting his medicine and he’s always on racing video games,” said Michael’s dad Erik in an online video. “Anything that has cars in it, he’ll play.”

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Consumers want safety tech in cars — and Millennials are willing to pay most for it

Darren McGee

Infotainment gizmos and gadgets may garner the most attention, but collision avoidance technology is what motorists prize most in their vehicles, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Tech Choice Study.

The survey, released this week, said the top five preferred technologies are:

  • Blind spot detection (preferred by 40 per cent)
  • Night vision capability (33 per cent)
  • Enhanced collision mitigation systems (30 per cent)
  • Camera rearview mirror (30 per cent)
  • Self-healing paint (25 per cent)

“There is a tremendous interest in collision protection technologies across all generations, which creates opportunities across the market,” said Kristin Kolodge, J.D. Power’s executive director of driver interaction and HMI research, in a statement. “In contrast, there is very little interest in energy efficiency technologies such as active shutter grille vents and solar glass roofs.”

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Dehydration as bad as drinking and driving, study says

DARREN McGEE

Headed out on a long road trip or just your congested and time-killing daily drive to and from work?

Don’t forget to pack some bottled water. Otherwise, you could be driving impaired.

A recent study, conducted at England’s Loughborough University and published in the journal Physiology and Behaviour, indicates that dehydration can induce as many driving errors as being drunk behind the wheel.

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New Scion iM to make Canadian debut in Edmonton

Staff

The 2016 Scion iM hatchback channels the spirit of the outgoing Toyota Matrix, as Drive deputy editor Darren McGee reported from its global debut at the New York auto show. It will make its Canadian debut at the Edmonton Motorshow this weekend at the Expo Centre.

Toyota’s Scion brand is aimed toward a younger demographic, yet the iM may interest a wide range of ages. It is scheduled to arrive at dealerships later this year. The company is presently withholding price information.

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Plane propeller rips apart car during emergency landing on highway

Staff

A plane propeller ripped apart the side of a sedan on a stretch of highway in Minnesota while making an emergency landing last week.

When most people are driving, they look out for other cars, but what the driver of one 2014 Ford Fusion saw in her rearview mirror was a small plane flying low and approaching fast.

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Kia Soul EV wins 2015 Canadian Green Car Award

Staff

The Kia Soul EV won the 2015 Canadian Green Car Award as the vehicle best combining environmental benefits with mass-market appeal.

Winners in six categories were named by a group of 14 writers and editors.

Aside from the overall award, the Kia also took the battery/electric zero emission category.

The others:

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Toronto-area driver stuck in traffic gets instant dose of karma after breaking law

Staff

Many motorists get frustrated while sitting in traffic, but breaking the law definitely doesn’t speed up the trip if you are pulled over by police.

That’s what happened to one driver in a suburb just north of Toronto recently, who received a massive dose of instant karma.

As seen on a dash cam video posted online last week, the driver of a white Hyundai Elantra was waiting to make a left, but was stuck behind a Cadillac that was trying to make a left in the opposite direction. After a short time, the obviously frustrated driver crosses a solid line and drives in the oncoming traffic lane to get around the Cadillac. The driver had to be completely unaware of the clearly marked York Region Police SUV sitting about two metres away in the left lane.

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2016 Chevy Malibu hybrid borrows from the Volt

STAFF

General Motors will manufacture a new hybrid Chevrolet Malibu starting with the 2016 model year by adapting the Volt’s drive unit and regenerative braking system.

A 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine is to work in tandem with a lithium-ion battery pack, for estimated combined fuel usage of 5.2 litres/100 km. The fuel standard would be superior to the present ratings of the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata hybrids, according to GM.

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Ford reveals new Ranger, will be sold in 180 markets but not Canada

Jordan Chittley

Canadians haven’t seen a new Ford Ranger since 2012 and it looks like we won’t see a new one soon, despite Ford unveiling a rugged new facelift Monday at the Bangkok Motor Show in Thailand.

The compact pickup will be sold in more than 180 markets, but Canada and the U.S. are not on that list.

In photos: New Ford Ranger

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Forget self-driving cars, will self-flying cars be the future?

Jordan Chittley

 

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Apple CarPlay to be available on all major brands, except world's largest

JORDAN CHITTLEY

Most of the buzz at the Apple press conference Monday was over a new watch, but Apple CEO Tim Cook also provided an important update for everyone who is tired of screaming at their dash because the system that connects the phone to the car’s stereo system doesn’t work well.

Cook said that “every major car brand has committed to delivering CarPlay” and added that the software will be available on 40 models by the end of the year.

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Abu Dhabi police add Roll-Royce to fleet

Staff

 

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Tesla faces off against Ferrari in drag race

STAFF

 

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