William Maley

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William Maley last won the day on May 14 2016

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About William Maley

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    Firing on all sixteen cylinders

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  1. Despite the mess and tepid reception given to diesel models in the U.S. due to Volkswagen emission scandal, there are still some automakers who believe in it. A BMW spokesperson has confirmed to Car and Driver that diesel variant of the new 5-Series would be arriving in the U.S., although no timeframe was given. The model will be named the 540d. Car and Driver believe the model will be powered by the 3.0L inline-six turbodiesel found in the European-market 530d producing 262 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. The 540d possibly means our version will produce slightly more power. Source: Car and Driver
  2. Despite the mess and tepid reception given to diesel models in the U.S. due to Volkswagen emission scandal, there are still some automakers who believe in it. A BMW spokesperson has confirmed to Car and Driver that diesel variant of the new 5-Series would be arriving in the U.S., although no timeframe was given. The model will be named the 540d. Car and Driver believe the model will be powered by the 3.0L inline-six turbodiesel found in the European-market 530d producing 262 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. The 540d possibly means our version will produce slightly more power. Source: Car and Driver View full article
  3. The appetite Americans have for crossovers is quite large and automakers are trying their best to appease this. Acura for its part is looking at whether it should bring the subcompact CDX crossover to the U.S. Introduced for Chinese market last year, the CDX is underpinned by the same platform as the Honda HR-V. Power comes from a 1.5L turbo-four from the Civic and an eight-speed DCT. “It’s a model that interests a lot of our people, so we have our R&D guys looking into the possibility,” said Jon Ikeda, group vice president for Acura to Wards Auto. For Acura to bring the CDX over to the U.S., they would need to make a number of changes for the vehicle to meet the various regulations here. Ikeda also revealed the brand is looking into derivatives of existing models to build up its crossover lineup. A possibility is a larger CUV with a more spacious third-row. But Ikeda does say Acura "needs to be mindful of its performance and luxury direction." “There are many, many things we could do with derivatives of our vehicles. I’m never going to say never…(but) we have to be smart with how we approach it.” Source: Wards Auto
  4. The appetite Americans have for crossovers is quite large and automakers are trying their best to appease this. Acura for its part is looking at whether it should bring the subcompact CDX crossover to the U.S. Introduced for Chinese market last year, the CDX is underpinned by the same platform as the Honda HR-V. Power comes from a 1.5L turbo-four from the Civic and an eight-speed DCT. “It’s a model that interests a lot of our people, so we have our R&D guys looking into the possibility,” said Jon Ikeda, group vice president for Acura to Wards Auto. For Acura to bring the CDX over to the U.S., they would need to make a number of changes for the vehicle to meet the various regulations here. Ikeda also revealed the brand is looking into derivatives of existing models to build up its crossover lineup. A possibility is a larger CUV with a more spacious third-row. But Ikeda does say Acura "needs to be mindful of its performance and luxury direction." “There are many, many things we could do with derivatives of our vehicles. I’m never going to say never…(but) we have to be smart with how we approach it.” Source: Wards Auto View full article
  5. Daily: 2003-2004 Infiniti M45 (Not in silver) Utility: Early 2000s Jeep Grand Cherokee Cruiser: Lexus LS430 Fun Car: Dodge Neon SRT-4
  6. Chinese automakers see the U.S. as a land opportunity and have been making promises to start selling vehicles in the near future. None so far have made it. Now one Chinese brand is reconsidering their plans. SAIC Motor Corp., China's largest automaker and partner with GM, has put their U.S. ambitions on hold. Michael Yang, executive director of SAIC Motor’s international department said at a briefing that they have uncertainties about the trade policy between China and the U.S. due to the election of Donald Trump. Yang went on to say that the company would implement their U.S. strategy once it has gotten clarity. For the time being, SAIC has moved up plans to start selling vehicles in the European Union. “Eventually we aim to have all, but at the moment we are focusing on” China and then Europe, Yang said. “The reason is the ‘climate change’ after the new presidency.” This contrasts with another Chinese automaker, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., (GAC) which plans on entering the U.S. by 2019 with their Trumpchi brand. Although there is talk that GAC is considering changing the name of the brand before arriving in the U.S. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  7. Chinese automakers see the U.S. as a land opportunity and have been making promises to start selling vehicles in the near future. None so far have made it. Now one Chinese brand is reconsidering their plans. SAIC Motor Corp., China's largest automaker and partner with GM, has put their U.S. ambitions on hold. Michael Yang, executive director of SAIC Motor’s international department said at a briefing that they have uncertainties about the trade policy between China and the U.S. due to the election of Donald Trump. Yang went on to say that the company would implement their U.S. strategy once it has gotten clarity. For the time being, SAIC has moved up plans to start selling vehicles in the European Union. “Eventually we aim to have all, but at the moment we are focusing on” China and then Europe, Yang said. “The reason is the ‘climate change’ after the new presidency.” This contrasts with another Chinese automaker, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., (GAC) which plans on entering the U.S. by 2019 with their Trumpchi brand. Although there is talk that GAC is considering changing the name of the brand before arriving in the U.S. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  8. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO Sergio Marchionne has a track record of saying things that make jaws drop everywhere. Case in point comes to us from The Detroit Free Press. During the company's first-quarter earnings call, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas asked Marchionne if there was a possibility of spinning off Jeep and/or Ram Trucks into a separate, standalone company. "Yes," said Marchionne. The Free Press notes that Jonas dropped this subject and moved on to another question. It needs to be noted that this isn't the first time that Jonas has brought this idea up. Back in January, Jonas estimated Jeep's value on a standalone basis would be $22 billion. Ram Trucks isn't far behind with an estimated value of $11.2 billion. There is also precedent for this idea. Marchionne has a history of spinning off brands while keeping them under the FCA corporate umbrella. Last year, Ferrari was spun off to its own standalone company and now trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It currently generates more than $3.4 billion in annual revenue and close to $435 million in net income. Marchionne serves as the chairman and CEO of the company. But if such a move was to happen, it would take a fair amount of time for this changeover to take place. Source: Detroit Free Press
  9. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO Sergio Marchionne has a track record of saying things that make jaws drop everywhere. Case in point comes to us from The Detroit Free Press. During the company's first-quarter earnings call, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas asked Marchionne if there was a possibility of spinning off Jeep and/or Ram Trucks into a separate, standalone company. "Yes," said Marchionne. The Free Press notes that Jonas dropped this subject and moved on to another question. It needs to be noted that this isn't the first time that Jonas has brought this idea up. Back in January, Jonas estimated Jeep's value on a standalone basis would be $22 billion. Ram Trucks isn't far behind with an estimated value of $11.2 billion. There is also precedent for this idea. Marchionne has a history of spinning off brands while keeping them under the FCA corporate umbrella. Last year, Ferrari was spun off to its own standalone company and now trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It currently generates more than $3.4 billion in annual revenue and close to $435 million in net income. Marchionne serves as the chairman and CEO of the company. But if such a move was to happen, it would take a fair amount of time for this changeover to take place. Source: Detroit Free Press View full article
  10. The Model 3 is Tesla's most anticipated vehicle and biggest gamble the company has undertaken. But this gamble has become more risky thanks to a decision concerning the production line. Reuters reports that Tesla is skipping a step most automakers undertake when producing a new vehicle. Prototype tools are bought in on the production line to help determine issues in terms of fit and finish. Once these issues are worked out, the prototype tools are scrapped and automakers place orders for permanent and expensive tools. But Musk told investors last month, Tesla was jumping into the permanent and expensive part first so they can meet their self-imposed volume production deadline of September. "He's pushing the envelope to see how much time and cost he can take out of the process," said Ron Harbour, a manufacturing consultant at Oliver Wyman. According to a source, this 'soft tooling' caused problems for Model X. Due to a tight timeline to get the vehicle into production, Tesla was unable to take any of the lessons learned from this before ordering the final production tooling. "Soft tooling did very little for the program and arguably hurt things," said the source. Musk said computer simulations has helped with skipping the prototype tooling stage. This move fits Elon Musk's tendency to take big gambles and do things a bit different than what is expected in the industry. Most of the time, it has paid off. The problem is if this equipment proves to be flawed in some way, it could cost Tesla millions to fix the issue and introduce production delays. "It's an experiment, certainly," said Jake Fisher from Consumer Reports. Tesla could possibly fix these errors quickly, "or it could be they have unsuspected problems they'll have a hard time dealing with." Source: Reuters
  11. The Model 3 is Tesla's most anticipated vehicle and biggest gamble the company has undertaken. But this gamble has become more risky thanks to a decision concerning the production line. Reuters reports that Tesla is skipping a step most automakers undertake when producing a new vehicle. Prototype tools are bought in on the production line to help determine issues in terms of fit and finish. Once these issues are worked out, the prototype tools are scrapped and automakers place orders for permanent and expensive tools. But Musk told investors last month, Tesla was jumping into the permanent and expensive part first so they can meet their self-imposed volume production deadline of September. "He's pushing the envelope to see how much time and cost he can take out of the process," said Ron Harbour, a manufacturing consultant at Oliver Wyman. According to a source, this 'soft tooling' caused problems for Model X. Due to a tight timeline to get the vehicle into production, Tesla was unable to take any of the lessons learned from this before ordering the final production tooling. "Soft tooling did very little for the program and arguably hurt things," said the source. Musk said computer simulations has helped with skipping the prototype tooling stage. This move fits Elon Musk's tendency to take big gambles and do things a bit different than what is expected in the industry. Most of the time, it has paid off. The problem is if this equipment proves to be flawed in some way, it could cost Tesla millions to fix the issue and introduce production delays. "It's an experiment, certainly," said Jake Fisher from Consumer Reports. Tesla could possibly fix these errors quickly, "or it could be they have unsuspected problems they'll have a hard time dealing with." Source: Reuters View full article
  12. When I last reviewed the Acura MDX back in 2014, I mentioned that it and the RDX crossover made up a majority of the brand’s sales. That’s still true in 2017 as both models currently make up 63.8 percent of Acura’s sales through the end of March. In closing my review, I said Acura focused on fixing the issues that hurt the MDX before and left other things well alone, creating a balanced luxury crossover. But does that still hold up in a field that has become very competitive in the past couple of years? It seemed a revisit was in order. Acura did a significant refresh for the 2017 MDX with the biggest change being the design. Up front, Acura has swapped the shield grille for a larger pentagonal grille from the 2016 Precision Concept. While the shield was considered by many to a bit polarizing and a turn-off, I find the new grille to be a bit cartoonish. It doesn’t really work with the rest of the MDX’s design. At least certain traits such as the ‘Jewel Eye’ headlights and sloping roofline are still here and still work. The interior hasn’t changed much since our last test and that’s both a good and bad thing. The good is the MDX’s material quality is towards the top of the class with a fair amount of leather and wood trim used throughout. Although considering the price tag of just over $59,000, it would have been nice if Acura added some more luxury touches. Those sitting up front or in the second-row will find plenty of room and a set of supportive seats. The MDX is one of the few models in the class that offers a third-row as standard, but it is best reserved for small kids or being folded into the floor to increase cargo space. The bad mostly deals with the AcuraLink infotainment system. This dual screen setup brings more headaches than any other system I have used. A perfect example is when you want to switch from music to a podcast on your USB device. You need to use the top screen and a control knob to go through the various menus to find the show you want to listen to. Not only is this pain, but it also creates a distraction when driving as your eyes are taken off from the road. I wish Acura would scrap this system and start back from square one. Power still comes from a 3.5L V6 offering 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the front-wheels or all four-wheels via Acura’s super-handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). Advanced models like ours come standard with a stop-start system. The V6 in the MDX is such an impressive motor. Power delivery is quite strong throughout the rev band and the engine doesn’t make much noise during acceleration. However, the stop-start is a bit of a mess. It takes a few seconds for the system to realize that you took your foot off the brake before it restarts the engine. The system can be turned off which we recommend doing. The nine-speed automatic needs a bit work as well as we found shifts to be somewhat clunky at low speeds. Also, the transmission is slow to downshift when you need to make a pass. At least paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel solves this issue somewhat as you can do it yourself. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/26 Highway/22 Combined when the MDX is equipped with SH-AWD. I got none too shabby 23 MPG average for the week. One area we’re glad to see Acura not messing with the MDX refresh is the suspension tuning. The MDX has stuck the right balance of comfort and handling. Some of this is credited to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) that alters various settings for the suspension, steering, and a few other items. This means the MDX can be tailored to deliver a sporty ride when driving down a curvy road and ironing out road imperfections when commuting. There is one big issue for the MDX, price. Our MDX Advance & Entertainment tester came with an as-tested price of $59,475 with destination. Considering what you get for the price and compare against other models, the MDX is a bit of a poor value. Stick with one of the lower trims. The Acura MDX stands in a bit of an odd middle ground, where it is above the mainstream, but below luxury competitors. It remains a very competent crossover that seems to do most things right. But we can’t help but wonder if Acura was given a bit more time to mess with the stop-start system and automatic transmission, along with making it slightly more luxurious, it could take it a bit further from the middle ground the MDX currently sits in. Disclaimer: Acura Provided the MDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Acura Model: MDX Trim: Advanced Entertainment SH-AWD Engine: 3.5L 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC V6 Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,200 Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22 Curb Weight: 4,292 lbs Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, AL Base Price: $58,500 As Tested Price: $59,475 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A View full article
  13. When I last reviewed the Acura MDX back in 2014, I mentioned that it and the RDX crossover made up a majority of the brand’s sales. That’s still true in 2017 as both models currently make up 63.8 percent of Acura’s sales through the end of March. In closing my review, I said Acura focused on fixing the issues that hurt the MDX before and left other things well alone, creating a balanced luxury crossover. But does that still hold up in a field that has become very competitive in the past couple of years? It seemed a revisit was in order. Acura did a significant refresh for the 2017 MDX with the biggest change being the design. Up front, Acura has swapped the shield grille for a larger pentagonal grille from the 2016 Precision Concept. While the shield was considered by many to a bit polarizing and a turn-off, I find the new grille to be a bit cartoonish. It doesn’t really work with the rest of the MDX’s design. At least certain traits such as the ‘Jewel Eye’ headlights and sloping roofline are still here and still work. The interior hasn’t changed much since our last test and that’s both a good and bad thing. The good is the MDX’s material quality is towards the top of the class with a fair amount of leather and wood trim used throughout. Although considering the price tag of just over $59,000, it would have been nice if Acura added some more luxury touches. Those sitting up front or in the second-row will find plenty of room and a set of supportive seats. The MDX is one of the few models in the class that offers a third-row as standard, but it is best reserved for small kids or being folded into the floor to increase cargo space. The bad mostly deals with the AcuraLink infotainment system. This dual screen setup brings more headaches than any other system I have used. A perfect example is when you want to switch from music to a podcast on your USB device. You need to use the top screen and a control knob to go through the various menus to find the show you want to listen to. Not only is this pain, but it also creates a distraction when driving as your eyes are taken off from the road. I wish Acura would scrap this system and start back from square one. Power still comes from a 3.5L V6 offering 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the front-wheels or all four-wheels via Acura’s super-handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). Advanced models like ours come standard with a stop-start system. The V6 in the MDX is such an impressive motor. Power delivery is quite strong throughout the rev band and the engine doesn’t make much noise during acceleration. However, the stop-start is a bit of a mess. It takes a few seconds for the system to realize that you took your foot off the brake before it restarts the engine. The system can be turned off which we recommend doing. The nine-speed automatic needs a bit work as well as we found shifts to be somewhat clunky at low speeds. Also, the transmission is slow to downshift when you need to make a pass. At least paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel solves this issue somewhat as you can do it yourself. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/26 Highway/22 Combined when the MDX is equipped with SH-AWD. I got none too shabby 23 MPG average for the week. One area we’re glad to see Acura not messing with the MDX refresh is the suspension tuning. The MDX has stuck the right balance of comfort and handling. Some of this is credited to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) that alters various settings for the suspension, steering, and a few other items. This means the MDX can be tailored to deliver a sporty ride when driving down a curvy road and ironing out road imperfections when commuting. There is one big issue for the MDX, price. Our MDX Advance & Entertainment tester came with an as-tested price of $59,475 with destination. Considering what you get for the price and compare against other models, the MDX is a bit of a poor value. Stick with one of the lower trims. The Acura MDX stands in a bit of an odd middle ground, where it is above the mainstream, but below luxury competitors. It remains a very competent crossover that seems to do most things right. But we can’t help but wonder if Acura was given a bit more time to mess with the stop-start system and automatic transmission, along with making it slightly more luxurious, it could take it a bit further from the middle ground the MDX currently sits in. Disclaimer: Acura Provided the MDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Acura Model: MDX Trim: Advanced Entertainment SH-AWD Engine: 3.5L 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC V6 Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,200 Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22 Curb Weight: 4,292 lbs Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, AL Base Price: $58,500 As Tested Price: $59,475 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A