THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #280

The ins and outs of the automotive industry have become slightly more in-depth and we love chatting with out experts to stay up to date on all the changes. Steven Cole Smith dispels some confusion on NASCAR’s new format and reviews the new Camaro ZL1. Autotrader’s Brian Moody gives us some inside information on buying a new car, reviews the best interiors of 2017, and raves about the Chevrolet Bolt. Then, we chat with BJ Killeen about the 2017 Jeep Compass and the best-in-class Hyundai Ioniq hybrid. Michael Austin, Editor-in-Chief of Autoblog, discusses the Camaro 1LE package and some surprising facts about new, high-performance car warranties. Rounding out the show is Dick Messer who dishes on the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and what sets it apart from other classic car shows.


  • [00:00:00] NASCAR’s New Rules Confuse Longtime Fans
  • [00:06:20] New Format for NASCAR Creates More ‘Action’
  • [00:12:19] 500-Mile Test Drive with the New Camaro ZL1
  • [00:19:28] Autotrader Makes Buying a New Car Easy
  • [00:28:35] Autotrader Reviews Best Car Interiors Under $50k
  • [00:35:21] Pure Electric Chevrolet Bolt Exceeds Expectations
  • [00:41:35] 2017 Jeep Compass Off-road Capabilities
  • [00:47:35] Comfort Comes Stock with 2017 Jeep Compass
  • [00:53:52] Hyundai Ioniq is Best-in-Class for Fuel Economy
  • [01:01:06] Camaro 1LE Satisfies Our Horsepower Craving
  • [01:09:28] Track Racing May Void New Car Warranties
  • [01:16:50] Fall in Love with Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance


Discover more about segments and guests below…

[00:00:00] NASCAR’s New Rules Confuse Longtime Fans

Let’s be honest, change can be hard and NASCAR enthusiasts everywhere are making it known. Automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, helps makes sense of confusing new rules shaking up the stock car circuit, explaining that the new format has broken the iconic race series into three stages of different lengths. We have to ask, could television network coverage play a part in the changes? According to Steven, it’s a real possibility. It seems that the media is keen on increasing the “action” or in race terms, more wrecks. With many of the top drivers ending up on the side of the track, it looks like they got exactly that. Listen in for the latest NASCAR news.


[00:06:20] New Format for NASCAR Creates More ‘Action’

With mixed opinions flying all over the place, automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, is here to help us understand why NASCAR chose to change the race format after so many successful years. Steven believes that the whole thing was driven by the TV industry with the goal of trying to give at-home-audiences the action (read: increased carnage) they crave. NASCAR has also lowered the downforce making cars slide around more and throwing some drivers off their game. (Downforce is the pressure created across the surface of a vehicle at speed.) Steven points out that this may benefit the sport’s newbies who are more comfortable with driving loose vehicles. Tune in for our latest NASCAR motorsport report now.


[00:12:19] 500-Mile Test Drive with the New Camaro ZL1

With 650 horsepower, the 2017 Camaro ZL1 is speaking to the hearts of speed lovers everywhere. Chevrolet recently impressed automotive journalists like Steven Cole Smith with a unique ride-and-drive opportunity dubbed, “500 to 500 with 650”, where they test drove the ZL1 for 500 miles in route to the Daytona 500 with 650 horsepower under the hood. Although Steven doesn’t consider himself a Camaro fanboy, he was impressed by the car’s smooth handling and seamless 10-speed automatic transmission option. The fun didn’t end there, however, journalists were treated to a track day with the 2018 Camaro ZL1 which is three seconds faster than its predecessor. Hear more about the new Camaro now.


[00:19:28] Autotrader Makes Buying a New Car Easy

Autotrader is the place to go for new, used, or certified pre-owned cars. Brian Moody, Executive Editor for Autotrader, discusses the new ‘game’ of car buying, an evolution greatly propelled by the internet. In the past, consumers would arrive to car lots with only a vague knowledge of their credit score and car specs, giving salesmen the upper hand. Today’s car shoppers research their perfect car and show up to dealerships armed with knowledge, statistics, and car values. Thankfully, Autotrader has made this research even easier to help you make an informed decision. Ditch the buyer’s remorse and purchase your next car with confidence. Learn how.


[00:28:35] Autotrader Reviews Best Car Interiors Under $50k

When it comes to cars, we all know that you spend the most time on the inside of your ride. For many it can be like a second home. The interior can make or break the level of your driving experience, and some brands are going above and beyond to keep consumers happy. This applies to low model vehicles as well says Autotrader Executive Editor, Brian Moody. Brian reveals the “10 Best Car Interiors Under $50,000”. Notable rides include the Audi A4 and Cadillac XT5. Will you discover your dream car with this fresh look at affordable luxury?


[00:35:21] Pure Electric Chevrolet Bolt Exceeds Expectations

When it comes to buying a purely electric vehicle, range anxiety plays a big factor and has deterred many consumers from making the switch away from petrol. Brian Moody, Executive Editor of Autotrader, reassures us that the Chevrolet Bolt EV is the ‘real deal’ when it comes to extended range. Chevrolet promises a range of 238 miles per charge, greatly exceeding other lower priced pure EVs thanks in part to the regenerative braking system. With the base model coming in at $37,000 (around $30,000 after tax rebates), the comfortable Bolt EV delivers quality you can count on. Listen up and plug in now!


[00:41:35] 2017 Jeep Compass Off-road Capabilities

Looking for an off-road vehicle, but don’t want something big and bulky? Good news, friends! The 2017 Jeep Compass may be the perfect adventure rig for you. CarBuzzard’s BJ Killeen reviews this dynamic Jeep with best-in-class 4×4 capability, and an Active Drive System that will let you go almost anywhere. By actively distributing torque, the vehicle automatically configures to adapt to road inconsistencies and even has a terrain selector for more specialized driving conditions. Discover why this compact SUV is perfect for your next expedition.


[00:47:35] Comfort Comes Stock with 2017 Jeep Compass

Adventure is in your soul, you want to explore this lovely blue marble, and Jeep has designed just the chariot to quell your wanderlust. The 2017 Jeep Compass is one capable and handsome machine. This spacious, compact Jeep is loaded with advanced tech, making you feel right at home when climbing over rocks or sliding around in the sand or snow. It has a fuel efficient, 2.4L Tiger Shark engine, and up to a 2,000-lb. towing capability. Built-in passive and active safety features deliver outstanding protection and control at all times. BJ Killeen and Alan wonder, are you ready to dominate the mountain trails and then take a smooth ride through the city? Then you’d better listen in for our extended review of the 2017 Jeep Compass.


[00:53:52] Hyundai Ioniq is Best-in-Class for Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is paramount and consumers are hunting for an efficient, attractive car that will save them time and money. CarBuzzard’s BJ Killeen is practically buzzing with a rave review for the Hyundai Ionic which receives a colossal 58 miles to the gallon (best-in-class for fuel economy, if you were wondering). The Ioniq is available in three drivetrain options; a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and a pure electric – all of which have been engineered to give you an impressive ride quality with excellent fuel efficiency. Added bonus, Hyundai has made this car very affordable and implemented a lifetime warranty on their batteries, so you can rest assure that this vehicle will last you a very long time. Explore what this exciting EV has to offer.


[01:01:06] Camaro 1LE Satisfies Our Horsepower Craving

The pony wars are back and top OEM’s are upping the ante on horsepower. Case in point, the new Camaro 1LE (the track package for the Camaro ZL1) is designed to be track-ready with a 0-60 MPH in just 4.2 seconds. Michael Austin, Editor-in-Chief of Autoblog, dishes on this aerodynamic, lightweight edition which he says was surprisingly easy to drive. With the Brembo brakes, forged-aluminum wheels, and a carbon fiber wing and hood, this car was engineered with racing in mind and will not disappoint. Precision braking, steering, handling, and grip make the Camaro glide smoothly around the track and take performance to the next level. It’s aggressively attractive and brutally powerful. *Swoon* Designed to turn heads and fulfill a deep need for speed, find out when this car will be hitting a track near you.


[01:09:28] Track Racing May Void New Car Warranties

Are you ready to hit the race track with your brand new, high-performance ride? Be sure to check your warranty ahead of time! Autoblog Editor-in-Chief, Michael Austin, shares recent research conducted on car warranties. The results were surprising – It turns out many manufactures state that you are not covered if you abuse your car on the track; therefore, any damage that happens as a result of racing will be an out-of-pocket expense for you. Michael highly recommends consumers keep cars in stock condition until the warranty is up to avoid unforeseen headaches. We dive into the research to make sure you get the most out of your warranty.


[01:16:50] Fall in Love with Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is a classic collector car show that started 22 years ago. This event offers some really great attractions like classic movie cars, motorcycles, streamliners, and even scooters – Not to mention the mouthwatering dinners and informative symposiums taking place throughout the weekend. Who’s ready to take a road trip to Florida?! Conveniently located just 25 miles from the Jacksonville, Florida airport, this event is also easy to fly into for a dream weekend. Dick Messer fills us in on the history of the fan-favorite event. For more on why you will fall in love with this classic car event, click now.


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Episode Credits:

  • Program Host: Alan Taylor
  • Producer: Dave Milligan
  • Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
  • Audio Engineer: Dave Milligan
  • Copy Editor: Jess Baumgardner
  • Graphic Design: Becky Vaughn

Our Sponsors & Supported Charities:


This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes and be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a beat. Your feedback helps us to reach more enthusiasts around the world! If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at

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