DETROIT — General Motors plans to build four electric vehicles at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly by the end of 2023, including battery-powered versions of the GMC Sierra and Cadillac Escalade, according to a prominent forecasting firm.

The plant, which had been scheduled to close in January, will remain open under the automaker's newly ratified contract with the UAW. The deal states that GM has agreed to invest $3 billion and use the plant to build electric pickups and vans.

Production of those vehicles is scheduled to start in 2021 and will be followed by the electric Sierra and Escalade in 2023, LMC Automotive told Automotive News. LMC is a closely watched provider of industry sales and production forecasts.

GM declined to comment Thursday on its future product plans.

Given the platform and size, LMC expects the van built at Detroit-Hamtramck to be full-size, possibly similar to the Ford Transit.

The plant's full capacity today is 160,000 vehicles per year, but after the conversion to EV production, capacity will drop to about 100,000 vehicles, LMC estimates.

GM expects to employ 2,225 people at Detroit-Hamtramck when it reaches full capacity, according to its contract with the UAW. The plant will play an integral role in GM's commitment to build 20 EVs globally by 2023.

Last fall, GM said Detroit-Hamtramck was one of four U.S. plants slated to close as part of a sweeping restructuring plan. The other three plants identified — Lordstown Assembly in Ohio and transmission plants in Maryland and Michigan — have been shut down permanently. GM last week agreed to sell the Lordstown plant to an EV-manufacturing startup.

Reuters last month reported that GM may bring back the Hummer brand on a vehicle it builds at Detroit-Hamtramck, though it's unclear which product would bear the Hummer name.

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When people think of the gig economy, Uber and Lyft normally pop into mind first, and often exclusively. What many people don’t realize is that there are literally thousands of companies humming away in the gig economy right now, companies ranging from food delivery to doctors on call.

We’re all familiar with Uber and Lyft, where the work requires a car, minivan or SUV. We know about Amazon’s package delivery service, called Flex, which also requires some type of motorized vehicle. But, what you may not know is there are even gigs you can do with a bicycle!

Urban delivery

Most bike-based gigs are going to be found in densely-populated urban areas. That’s because a bike gig won’t work very well in the suburbs where the distances are too great for bikes to handle in a short period of time. But in downtown metropolitan areas of large cities, bike gigs are a natural.

San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and of course New York City have such areas. If you can hop on a bike, pick up a small package, throw it over your shoulder and bike over to the customer’s location within about 15 minutes, you’re good to go with one of the food delivery or errand services.

The biggest companies in the food delivery market are DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats.

Each service has its own rules on a city-by-city basis. They may allow bike deliveries in some cities but not others, so you’ll have to check with each service to see what their rules are in the city where you want to work.

Tasks and errands

There are many task and errand companies, the best-known of which is TaskRabbit. But there is also Thumbtack, Handy, Angie’s List and Handyman, among others. Depending on the distance between you and your customers, you could possibly use a bike with some of these gigs. That’s because you won’t necessarily need a car to transport anything around at the customer’s request.

Most of these gigs are ones where you show up at the customer’s location and perform some task for them. You might need a car for some of these tasks, however, if you need to bring tools along.

If these customers require a car, they’ll let you know in their requests, and you as a “tasker” would also be able to say in your description that you don’t have a car.

With TaskRabbit, as well as some of the other “task” companies, your bike would be used simply as your way of getting to the customer’s location. TaskRabbit has many jobs where you show up at the person’s home or office and complete the task on location using tools provided by the customer. As long as you have let TaskRabbit and the other companies know what areas you’re available to work in and that you’re going to be using a bike rather than a car, they’ll match you up only with jobs that are compatible with those requirements.

Handy and Handyman are pretty much what the names imply. They provide jobs to workers who will show up at the customer’s location and usually fix something like a broken toilet or an electrical outlet that has gone bad. It’s possible you might need a car or truck for your tools, but that would be at your discretion. You could make a decision on a job-by-job basis.

Thumbtack and Angie’s List are other handyman-type services. They work with plumbers, electricians and various kinds of contractors that normally do home improvement and home repair work.

Cargo bikes and scooters

If you really want to get creative with the bike thing and are determined to do gig work with a bike, how about using a cargo bike to charge scooters? Scooter companies like Bird, Lime and Jump use gig workers to charge the scooter batteries every night.

This entails picking up as many scooters as you can (hence the need for a cargo bike), taking them back to your place and charging them for five to six hours. Once they’re all charged, you’ll take them back out and leave them in designated areas. But they have to be back out first thing in the morning, like by 4:00 a.m.

The companies pay a fee for each scooter you charge. The fees vary based on a number of factors, including how hard their algorithm estimates the scooter will be to find, or how far off the beaten track it is.

Another scooter-related job is as a scooter “minder” or “watcher.” In this job, you would look for scooters that are poorly parked or not in a good location and move them to a location designated by the company as a preferred parking area. This job doesn’t involve carrying the scooters back to your home or charging them overnight or returning them very early the next morning, but it does involve carrying them from one place to another. So a cargo bike would be needed here too – if you really must do it by bike.

For charging, companies like Bird pay from $5 to $20 per scooter, although the $20 gigs are obviously rarer than the $5 ones. They do come up from time to time, but you are much more likely to earn on the lower end of the scale.

Some scooter chargers have claimed that they’re able to charge up to 40 scooters a night, earning around $200. However, our man on the street says that it’s very hard to believe anyone does that with any consistency. It’s possible to do it every now and then, but very difficult to do it night in and night out.

You should be able to rack up about 10 scooters on a cargo bike. If you’re going to do 40 a night, that’s 4 round trips – which is probably nearly impossible. But you could do maybe 20, which wouldn’t be too bad.

Courier

Working as a courier is probably the most obvious gig job you can do with a bike. Bicycle couriers have long existed in urban areas and are thriving in the gig economy as well. Uber has flirted with offering a courier service through its app. They gave it a try in Manhattan for a couple of years, under the name of UberRush, but gave up on it after a while.

Postmates, though, is sticking with it. You may think of Postmates primarily as a food delivery service, but their focus is really on delivering anything. Their slogan says it all: “Anything, anytime, anywhere. Postmate it.”

Determination and creativity

If you really must find a gig opportunity that only requires a bike, you can do so with a little creativity. We’ve given you some ideas here, but there are always new companies and new opportunities opening up. So, keep your eyes open, think out of the box, be creative, and you should be able to put that bike to good use soon.

Online fallout from the decision by 10 automakers to align with the Trump administration on its "one national policy" on fuel-economy rules has reached the loud echo chamber that is Twitter. The State of California went a step further on Friday when it announced a new policy: from now on, state-government vehicles can only be purchased from automakers that recognize California's right to set its own, higher fuel-economy and emissions standards.

Toyota has been singled out for special criticism in the Twitterverse, though. On October 30, former Secretary of Labor and frequent Trump critic Robert Reich tweeted he was done with the Japanese automaker. "Toyota, good bye. The environmental goodwill you've built by pioneering hybrid cars has vanished in your choice of Trump over California."

In the abstract, a single national policy sounds sensible, but in effect it meant that these automakers were siding with the Trump administration and against California, which had previously announced it would forge ahead with its own set of fuel-economy standards that would be more stringent than what the Trump administration was trying to change the national standard to. Under the Obama administration, automakers, the federal regulators, and the state of California had all agreed to a national standard of 54.5 mpg by 2025. The Trump administration announced in August 2018 that it instead wanted to freeze the fuel-economy increase at 2020 levels, which are 41.7 mpg for passenger cars and 31.3 mpg for light trucks.

When it came out in favor of one national policy, Toyota released a statement saying, in part, that it almost had no choice:

"Toyota is intervening to impact how emissions standards are applied . . . Without joining this legal action, we would have no ability to affect the outcome. We do not believe that there should be different fuel economy standards in different states. There should be one standard for all Americans and all auto companies. That is why we decided to be part of this legal matter. Doing so does not diminish our commitment to the environment, nor does it lower our desire to manufacture vehicles that produce fewer emissions year-after-year."

The other automakers that joined Toyota in coming out against California's higher standards include Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Subaru. The #GMTrump hashtag is getting some online attention, but with Toyota's green halo, Reich's tweet has led the charge, with almost 9000 likes and 3000 retweets, and many others commenting unfavorably on Toyota's tweet as well. Most of the comments are of the "I was thinking of buying a Toyota, but not anymore" variety, with a few other "why is Toyota joining forces with a sinking ship?" thrown in for good measure.

Just how deep online outrage actually runs and how easy it is to gin up a crowd on Twitter are the subjects of a million TED Talks and podcasts, which makes calculating the real-world impact of these Tweets impossible to measure. But the betrayal feels real, which is why the attack on Toyota is stronger than other automakers who joined the "one national policy" side.

Earlier this year, BMW, Ford, Honda, and Volkswagen all made deals with California to continue to support the higher-mpg results the state wanted. It wasn't quite the same as the Obama-era federal rules, but close, getting to about 50 mpg by 2026.

 

After Ford Motor Co. and General Motors ended production of compact cars, many former car owners continued to purchase sedans instead of switching to crossovers and SUVs, according to an Edmunds analysis.

So far in 2019, 23 percent of former Chevy Cruze owners and 31 percent of former Ford Focus owners bought a car from a competitor, the online car sales website said in a report Wednesday.

"Ford and GM made a strategic decision to prioritize profit at the expense of market share," Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights, said in a statement. "While this may set them up better in the long run so they have the cash they need to fund electrification and autonomy, there's no question that decision is giving their competitors an edge now."

Former Focus owners' brand loyalty declined over the last three years from 40 percent in 2016 to 33 percent through September 2019, the report said. Former Cruze owners' loyalty declined from 57 percent in 2016 to 45 percent in 2019.

The study showed 21 percent of Focus and 22 percent of Cruze trade-ins go toward the purchase of a compact car, many of those cars being Honda Civics or Toyota Corollas.

"The number of Focus and Cruze owners trading their vehicles in and buying a small Jeep [Compass or Renegade], Hyundai Kona or Elantra, Kia Forte or Subaru Crosstrek have all risen in the last three years," the study said.

In an emailed statement to Automotive News, GM spokesman Jim Cain said: “Chevrolet trucks and crossovers are offsetting lower car sales. The proof is in registrations, and registrations don’t lie. Dig deeper and you’ll see that key competitors -- Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Jeep and Chrysler, among others -- are losing significant chunks of retail market share. We’re doing fine.”

Trade-ins

The study said 21 percent of Cruze owners and 18 percent of Focus owners traded in their cars for the corresponding brand's crossovers or SUVs in 2019. Edmunds analysts said the cost increase of a small crossover or SUV — between $4,000 and $8,000 more than a small car — puts pressure on younger and "price-sensitive" buyers.

"The catch is, if Ford and GM don't have affordable options for shoppers who are buying their first or second new car, it could be much harder to win them over later," Caldwell said in the statement. "Catching consumers early and keeping them in the family has been a basic tenet of automotive brand strategy for decades.

"It feels like we're in the midst of a transformative time for the industry where automakers are being forced to rethink everything," she said.

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The new Ferrari Roma was seen in the flesh during its unveiling in Rome yesterday, and I can confirm that it is not only one of the most beautiful Ferraris in recent memory, but one of the handsomest of any contemporary sport or luxury car. Its details are predictably rich, well rendered, and pointedly, alluring and accessible. But it is not just the details in a car from the famed Italian sports car manufacturer, and one that is expected to start at around $250,000.

"If you now go in the market, and you ask someone who can afford (a Ferrari) — because this is not a cheap product —why don't you buy a Ferrari? They are tempted, but most of them are a bit afraid. 'I don't know if I can drive it, it's very aggressive,'" said Enrico Galliera, the brand's chief marketing officer, in an interview with Autoblog. "And that's one of the major answers. It's not, 'It's too expensive,' or 'I don't want to have fun driving.'"

There's a kind of fear of the brand's reputation for aggression and showiness. The Roma is intended to soothe these concerns, and entice new clients into the Ferrari stable. This is accomplished by making everything at once more sophisticated, more mature, and more enticing.

On the inside, one is especially drawn to the big, curved and crystalline LCD instrument panel and large center screen, the cozy and coddling leather seats, and the new aviation-inspired metal toggles that act as the transmission selector. Less impressive are the capacitive haptic "buttons" on the steering wheel, but judgment will be reserved on those until we have a chance to experience them while driving, instead of just while sitting on a stage making embarrassing vroom-vroooooommmmmm noises.

But it is the outside that really has me drooling. This is not just because the Roma has classical rear-drive GT proportions, with a fiendishly long hood, a selfish not-quite-four-place cabin that the brand describes simply as a "2+," and a truncated Kamm-back tail. It is because the design is so improbably clean, devoid of the strakes, scoops, spoilers, or even ancillary lines that corrupt so many modern cars. Especially evocative is the treatment of the front and rear, both of which are impossibly low, without ever feeling threateningly so. It all feels of a piece, and there's not a bad angle.

"We want to transmit this idea of harmony, and a beautiful dynamic in balance," said Ferrari head of design Flavio Manzioni. "The front is prominent, is wrap-around, giving a lot of tension to the car. The cabin is very compact, sitting on the rear wheel. This was one of the characteristics of these beautiful Ferrari GTs in the '50s and the '60s, when we were really dictating the principals of beauty all over the world, and showing how is the Italian taste, in terms of not only cars but in general, in terms of aesthetics."

More than a bit of 275GTB and Daytona can be seen in the overall profile, but, as usual. Ferrari denies any retro cues or heritage inspiration in any of its designs.

"As you can see, there are no specific elements that are quoting the elements of the Ferrari GTs of the past. There are some reminiscences, maybe, but the formal language is absolutely modern," Manzioni said. "You have to know that every Ferrari starts from the package. From the technical contents. The proportions are dictated by the technical requirements. So, as I said, the position of the engine. The engine is a mid-front engine, very important. The radiators are in the front. The position of the cabin is determined by the H-points and so on and so on."

All of this baked-in elegance and refinement is intended to further distinguish the categories of vehicles that Ferrari plans to advance in its future offerings.

"The direction where the company wants to go, it's really simple to answer," Galliera said. "If you divide our product range in two segments, which are the pure sports car, and what we call grand turismo sports car.

"On the pure sports car, our strategy is to further work on the performance. We want to be the one in the market with the highest performance and the highest technology. So, we push in the direction as much as we can with cars like the F8 Tributo and SF90 Stradale. When we look at the grand turismo segment, performance remains important, but we grow the importance of versatility and comfort. So all of our cars in the grand turismo will move in that direction, keeping the performance but not at any cost, and so working on the versatility and the comfort of the car."

What does this mean about the forthcoming Purosangue, the brand's first SUV?

"What are you talking about? What is the Purosangue?" Galliera laughs. "The Purosangue is a grand turismo one. So, it's pushing the boundaries toward comfort, versatility, and elegance."

10,000-Mile Update

So far, the road to 40,000 miles in our Mazda CX-5 has been smooth, even as winter descends on these Michigan roads. There's nothing shocking about compact crossovers, other than the rate at which consumers keep buying them. So far, the CX-5 has performed as expected, with a few minor annoyances sprinkled on top.

As part of our current 17-car long-term test fleet, the Mazda CX-5 conceals its handsome face behind our more interesting, and sometimes problematic, vehicles. It's easy to be overshadowed by, say, our 362-hp twin-turbo Mercedes wagon, or a long-termer that shall go nameless but is tethered to the future of driverless cars and also has a fart button. (Yes, it's our Tesla Model 3.) The CX-5 is like a comfortable knee brace: you don't want to wear it, but when you do it's not so bad, because it's good at what it's supposed to do.

Brad FickCar and Driver

Our long-termer has the new-for-2019 250-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four. This engine is only available with all-wheel-drive models. Just after we ordered ours, it added a 2.0-liter diesel engine option. The price tag on our all-wheel-drive Signature trim CX-5 is $39,850, which got us a Bose sound system, adaptive headlights, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats (ventilated in front), and a 360-degree parking camera. The options on ours put it far from the $25,395 CX-5's base price and closer in price to the Jeep Cherokee or the GMC Terrain Denali.

Our experience with the turbocharged engine has generated few comments, which is a good thing. If engineers can create something to keep automotive journalists from complaining, they should box it and sell it to the masses. Mazda appears to have done just that. The new turbo engine emits a noticeable moan. The noise is somewhat expected for an engine that can send the CX-5 from zero to 60 mph in only 6.2 seconds. We've found the CX-5's 187-hp base engine feels underpowered—or, in other words, boring. Which is an adjective we would use to describe most patients in the hospital wing of compact crossovers. Our CX-5 wishes them a full recovery.

Brad FickCar and Driver

That isn't to say our romance with the CX-5 has been perfect. An overwhelming number of entries in the CX-5's logbook cry over slow infotainment loading times. After startup, several staffers were terrorized with the inability to change the SiriusXM channel from E Street to Fly FM fast enough. The 7.0-inch touchscreen loads at the same rate that old hips dance to Springsteen. On occasion, SiriusXM suffered from repetitive lost signal errors, a problem annoying enough that one of us said it would prevent them from buying a CX-5.

Another common bruise in the logbook was the low-res camera. The 7.0-inch touchscreen is already barely larger than phones tagged XL, but the camera quality was deemed poor by three staffers who had driven the vehicle long distances. The longest trip was an 800-mile weekend journey by testing director Dave VanderWerp, who was unimpressed by the CX-5's driver-assist technology. The absence of lane centering means that when the CX-5 begins to wander from its lane, it doesn't automatically correct and nudge the car back to safety. The CX-5 just buzzes, which isn't as much help compared to some of its cheaper rivals with similar assistance tech.

Brad FickCar and Driver

A fresh set of Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 winter tires came in handy earlier this week, when the first major snowfall hit the Midwest. Senior editor Joey Capparella wrote: "These Nokian winter tires feel pretty unstoppable. The heated seats and steering wheel get nice and toasty." Meaning staffers looking forward to working from home on snow days should not take the CX-5 the night before.

The CX-5 has been back to the dealership twice, but only for routine maintenance to change engine oil, rotate the tires, and for inspections at the 7500- and 15,000-mile marks. The cabin air filter was also changed, but other than that, our CX-5 has been trouble-free.

Through its first 10,000 miles, the CX-5 has not been the first pick by staffers rushing to lunch on Taco Tuesday. Not because it's bad, but because it's just fine. Now that we've entered snow season here in the mitten state, we'll be monitoring its competence in dealing with Siberian conditions and its ability to whisk us to warmer, sunnier climes.

Months in Fleet: 8 months Current Mileage: 16,331 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 24 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 15.3 gal Observed Fuel Range: 360 miles
Service: $265 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0

Specifications

Specifications

2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature 2.5 Turbo AWD

VEHICLE TYPE
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED
$39,900 (base price: $37,935)

ENGINE TYPE
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Displacement
152 cu in, 2488 cc
Power
250 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque
310 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

TRANSMISSION
6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.6-in vented disc/11.9-in disc
Tires: Toyo A36, P225/55R-19 99V M+S

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 106.2 in
Length: 179.1 in
Width: 72.5 in
Height: 65.3 in
Passenger volume: 102 cu ft
Cargo volume: 31 cu ft
Curb weight: 3812 lb

PERFORMANCE (NEW)
60 mph: 6.2 sec
100 mph: 16.3 sec
130 mph: 39.8 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.2 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.4 sec
¼-mile: 14.7 sec @ 95 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 175 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.78 g

C/D
FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 24 mpg
Unscheduled oil additions: 0 qt

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 24/22/27 mpg

WARRANTY
3 years/36,000 miles bumper to bumper;
5 years/60,000 miles powertrain;
5 years/Unlimited miles corrosion protection;
3 years/36,000 miles roadside assistance


Introduction

Car and Driver

Mazda has few obvious problems, but if prodded to highlight some, we'd cite weak brand recognition in the United States and a shortage of fun paint colors, particularly for the MX-5 Miata. If that sounds as if we're reaching, well, we are. The automaker's products are so uniformly likable that finding things to gripe about takes some pedantic effort. Mazda is also pushing hurriedly upmarket, a development that is as easily seen through the lens of the CX-5 crossover as it is in any of Mazda's recent products.

 

HIGHS: Classy looks inside and out, mature driving manners, smooth turbo engine.

Like the recently updated Mazda 6 sedan, CX-9 SUV, and all-new Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback, the CX-5 stands a head or two above similarly priced mainstream competitors, in this case, the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Chevrolet Equinox. The brand enjoys an enviable quirk: More than half of its sales mix, model for model, consists of the higher trim levels. Mazda has taken this to mean that buyers can and want to pay more for their vehicles, which has spurred it to add ever more deluxe Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims above the previously top-dog Grand Touring spec on some models, the CX-5 included. We've taken the same development as license to sign up for a 40,000-mile long-term test in a loaded 2019 CX-5 in range-topping Signature trim. We for sure wanted to get the newly available turbo 2.5-liter inline-four in our long-termer, and the only way to do that is with the Grand Touring Reserve or Signature trim level. The lesser Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims make do with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter. And we're not above spoiling ourselves with a top-spec example.

Brad FickCar and Driver

So what does a compact Mazda crossover costing BMW money deliver? For starters, the impression that it should cost BMW money. The CX-5 looks, inside and out, like something that belongs in the compact-luxury-SUV segment. It's mostly true, even at the CX-5's $25,395 starting price, and particularly so on the $37,935 Signature trim. Adding our test car's gorgeous $595 Soul Red paint, $70 cargo mat, $125 floor mats, $400 backlit doorsill accents, $125 rear bumper guard, $250 retractable cargo cover, and $400 roof rack rails brings the final tally to just $39,900. This, we should point out, is for the gas-powered Signature; after we took delivery of our test car, Mazda introduced a diesel engine option available only on the Signature trim. Pricing with that engine starts at $42,045.

 

LOWS: More people should know what Mazda is.

Mazda includes a number of features that push competitors' nicer trim levels toward the same $40,000 mark, though none of those vehicles does as good an impression of a near-luxury product. (We're looking specifically at the GMC Terrain Denali and Jeep Cherokee, which cost $42,670 and $43,150 when equipped similarly to our CX-5 Signature.) The Signature brings as standard equipment some active-safety gear that's optional on several competitors, including automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning.

Also standard on the Signature: lovely Caturra Brown nappa leather seating, real wood trim, a Bose audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-folding door mirrors, adaptive headlights that point into corners, a power liftgate, power-operated and heated front and rear seats (ventilated in front), a heated steering wheel, a 7.0-inch touchscreen that can also be controlled via a central control knob, navigation, a 360-degree parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, and that aforementioned turbo four, which cranks out 250 horsepower. There are no major options offered beyond a few accessories.

Brad FickCar and Driver

The 2.5-liter in lesser CX-5s makes 187 horsepower, and all-wheel drive is a $1400 upcharge on Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring models. The turbocharged CX-5s are sold only with all-wheel drive. Like every modern, automatic-transmission Mazda, the CX-5 uses the brand's slick-shifting six-speed unit.

The combination of a turbo gasoline engine and all-wheel drive delivers a 6.2-second zero-to-60-mph time and punchy acceleration at most speeds (certainly stronger than with the base gas engine). More of a huffer than a screamer, the turbo four shoves the Mazda along on a wave of low-end torque. It might not be thrilling in the "zoom-zoom" sense, but Mazda doesn't lean on that phrase for marketing anymore, so let's not dwell on the idea that a compact crossover's engine needs to feel racy in order to be wholly effective. For now, we're calling the power delivery a possible hang-up when set in the Mazda brand's predominantly sporty context; we'll deliberate further over the next 40,000 miles. So, stay tuned as we live with our luxurious Mazda day in and day out and see whether our early positive impressions of its smooth ride, quiet interior, and fine road manners are affirmed or challenged.

Months in Fleet: 1 month Current Mileage: 2429 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 23 mpg
Fuel Tank Size: 15.3 gal Observed Fuel Range: 350 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0

Specifications

Specifications

2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature 2.5 Turbo AWD

VEHICLE TYPE
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED
$39,900 (base price: $37,935)

ENGINE TYPE
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Displacement
152 cu in, 2488 cc
Power
250 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque
310 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

TRANSMISSION
6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.6-in vented disc/11.9-in disc
Tires: Toyo A36, P225/55R-19 99V M+S

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 106.2 in
Length: 179.1 in
Width: 72.5 in
Height: 65.3 in
Passenger volume: 102 cu ft
Cargo volume: 31 cu ft
Curb weight: 3812 lb

PERFORMANCE (NEW)
60 mph: 6.2 sec
100 mph: 16.3 sec
130 mph: 39.8 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.7 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.2 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.4 sec
¼-mile: 14.7 sec @ 95 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 175 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.78 g

C/D
FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 24 mpg
Unscheduled oil additions: 0 qt

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 24/22/27 mpg

WARRANTY
3 years/36,000 miles bumper to bumper;
5 years/60,000 miles powertrain;
5 years/Unlimited miles corrosion protection;
3 years/36,000 miles roadside assistance

After trying and failing to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its GT40 race cars in 1964 and 1965, Ford decided it needed a more powerful weapon for the 1966 event: enter the famous 427-cubic-inch big-block race engine, which replaced the highly stressed 289. The company spent months developing the 427, but all would have been lost if not for the eleventh-hour save of a savvy engineer named Mose Nowland.

Nowland had just finished working on Ford's Indy-car engine. He and his team were assigned to help re-engineer the company's winning 427 NASCAR V-8 for use in the GT40. That meant making it reliable enough to survive 24 grueling hours instead of the two or three it normally endured in a stock-car event. They detuned it from about 500 hp to 485 and then tested its reliability by bolting it to a GT40 transaxle and running the assembled powertrain around the clock on what might have been the world's first chassis dynamometer. Housed in the now-legendary dyno cell 17D at Ford's Dearborn, Michigan, engineering center, the dynamometer was programmed to simulate laps at Le Mans in order to stress the drivetrain exactly as it would be in competition.

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This 427-cubic-inch Ford big block, buffed and chromed for display purposes and bolted to a transaxle, is similar to the engines that powered the Ford GT40 Mark IIs to a 1-2-3 finish at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.Ford

As the French classic neared, several race engines were assembled in Dearborn and shipped to the two teams that would be running the event: Shelby American in Los Angeles and Holman-Moody in North Carolina.

Nowland, now 85, told what happened next at a recent event at Ford Motor's corporate archives, where the company shared historic documents related to its win in the 1966 race. "We were using a sealer between the engine block and heads, and we discovered that it would blow out and cause an oil leak. But we found a very special type of twine that we embedded in the sealer that acted like a dam and prevented the leak."

A couple of days before the race cars were to be shipped to France, Nowland said, "The teams installed the race engines and ran them a bit to shake them down, and they were leaking oil. Turns out, the engine builders had run out of the special twine and substituted normal twine." It obviously wasn't working.

"I was told to get on a plane and go fix the engines. So I landed in North Carolina and I thought, 'I bet that if I can find the right size fishing line it will work.' I figured out exactly the diameter I needed and I went straight to a bait-and-tackle shop and started measuring their fishing lines with a micrometer." You have to wonder what the shop owner must have been thinking.

"We rebuilt the Holman-Moody engine with the fishing line and got it back into the car by morning and tested it—and it worked! So, I jumped on the plane and flew to Los Angeles to Shelby American and rebuilt their engine overnight the same way. No sleep for 48 hours.

"And then I flew straight back to Detroit. And when I got home my wife handed me my suitcase, which she had packed, and told me, 'have a nice trip.' And I flew directly to France for the race."

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The three Shelby American GT40s cross the Le Mans finish line 1-2-3.Ford

Days later, Nowland got to see one of the 427s he had repaired power the Shelby American GT40 wearing number two (pictured above) to victory at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Its sister ships finished second and third in a staged photo finish.

And so it was that a clever engineer used a few cents worth of common fishing line to hook the biggest fish in Ford Motor Company's racing history. So big, in fact, they've made a movie about it.

Ford v Ferrari opens in theaters nationwide on November 15th.

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Great Wall Motor Co., the only major domestic Chinese light-vehicle maker that has maintained sales growth this year, continues to build new production capacity in China.

It broke ground for an 8 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) vehicle assembly plant in Taizhou of east China’s Jiangsu province on Monday, the company said.

The factory, Great Wall’s eighth production site in east China, is slated to start output in Dec. 2020. It will build traditional and electrified vehicles for Haval, the company’s brand for mass-market crossovers and SUVs.

Earlier this year, Great Wall kicked off construction of plants in Pinghu of east China’s Zhejiang province and Rizhao of east China’s Shandong province. Both factories are expected to become operational in late 2020 or early 2021.

Great Wall now assembles vehicles in Baoding and Xushui of north China’s Hebei province, the north China municipality of Tianjin and the southwest China municipality of Chongqing.

It also expects to partner with BMW Group to build battery electric vehicles for its proprietary brands and the Mini brand in Zhangjiagang of east China’s Jiangsu province. But the joint venture agreement, signed in 2018, still needs to be approved by regulatory bodies in China.

In June, Great Wall opened its first overseas assembly plant in the Tula Oblast region of central Russia.

In October, the company’s sales rose 4.5 percent year on year to top 115,000 vehicles thanks to its expanded product mix.

For the first ten months, its deliveries rose 6.7 percent to approach 840,000. The number includes 687,884 crossovers and SUVs as well as 114,270 pickups.

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FRANKFURT — Daimler has taken a "reality check" on self-driving "robotaxis", acknowledging that making them safe is proving harder than first thought amid questions over their future earnings potential.

Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius told journalists on Thursday

Daimler would "rightsize" its spending level on robotaxis and that self-driving technology would more likely be applied to commercial vehicles for freight companies on long haul routes.

Carmakers raced to develop self-driving vehicles after Google presented a prototype car in 2012, leading Daimler to develop an autonomous Mercedes.

The idea of fleets of robotaxis picking up and ferrying customers around cities gained traction, driven by the stellar growth of ride services such as Uber and of delivery services firms.

However, costs and regulatory hurdles have spiraled, leading to a reassessment of the business potential.

"There has been a reality check setting in here," Kaellenius said.

Ensuring that self-driving cars are 100% safe in crowded urban areas is proving to be a bigger challenge than engineers had assumed a few years ago, he said.

Even if Daimler is able to make robotaxis safe, the benefits of entering the crowded ride-hailing business with self-driving cars remain unclear, he added.

"The full scale deployment would tie up a lot of capital with some uncertainties around the earnings potential," he said.

"At this juncture we said to be the first one, does not make sense."

Daimler has already sought a development alliance with BMW for semi-autonomous vehicle technology and it has another project with supplier Robert Bosch to perfect technology for fully driverless cars.