THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #305

The season of auto shows is just around the corner, and automotive journalists are getting the pleasure of reviewing the 2018 models that are hitting the dealerships. We begin the hour with automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, who gives us a NASCAR update and reviews the sporty, 2018 Kia Stinger. After that, Karl Brauer, Executive Publisher for Kelley Blue Book, tells us about his sophisticated ride in the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S, and shares that the 2018 Honda Accord could be the only hope for the sedan category. Changing lanes, we talk with Chris Basso of CARFAX about the importance of getting a vehicle history report before buying a used car. We close the show with President and CEO of Brembo North America, Dan Sandberg, who makes a prediction for the future of electronic brakes. Tune in now!

  • [00:00:00] WeatherTech Sportscar Championship Series
  • [00:06:18] Will NASCAR Turn Things Around Next Year?
  • [00:12:31] 2018 Kia Stinger Keeps Up with the Big Boys
  • [00:19:53] Behind the Scenes of LA Auto Show
  • [00:28:26] Sophisticated Aston Martin Vanquish S
  • [00:35:57] Honda Accord is the Sedan’s Last Hope
  • [00:42:17] CARFAX Compiles 35 Years of Experience
  • [00:47:50] Background Check on Your Used Vehicle
  • [00:54:50] Spotting Flood-Damaged Cars with CARFAX
  • [01:02:11] Electronic Brakes Will Replace Hydraulic
  • [01:11:14] Autonomous Features Will Help Bad Drivers
  • [01:18:14] Frankfurt Auto Show: An Emphasis on Electric

Discover more about segments and guests below…

[00:00:00] WeatherTech Sportscar Championship Series

Automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, is live from the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship Series. He tells us of the practice runs that are taking place and the different races of the event. As the cars whiz by, he chats with us about the racer’s preparation for the Petit Le Mans which is a ten-hour race. We also talk about the patriotic nature of NASCAR, find out what races we can look forward to in the future. Listen now.

[00:06:18] Will NASCAR Turn Things Around Next Year?

The race season is coming to an end and the championship is still up for grabs. Automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, tells us that he would put his money down on Kyle Busch. Big names like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Danika Patrick will not be seeing a win this year. The leaders of NASCAR hope to get this year out of the way and start next year strong, Danika and Bubba Wallace are still desperately searching sponsorship for next season. Is this due to the poor sportsmanship of some of the drivers? Find out more now.

[00:12:31] 2018 Kia Stinger Keeps Up with the Big Boys

Kia is making some big moves in the Grand Touring arena and we want to hear all about it. Steven Cole Smith, automotive journalist for Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, recently slid into the driver’s seat of the 2018 Kia Stinger and he was impressed. He gushes about the fact that this car kept pace with an Audi A5, a Porsche Panamera, and others alike. This four-passenger, 3.3L twin-turbo comes in at under $40,000 and handles extremely well. Discover why you want to be seen in the Kia Stinger.

[00:19:53] Stories From Behind the Scenes of LA Auto Show

The LA Auto Show is always a spectacle of beautiful cars. Automotive journalists get the opportunity to go in and meet the executives before the show opens, and then they’re gone before the public rolls in. Alan shares a humorous anecdote of the time his team ruined Aston Martin’s former president, Julian Jenkins, suit (car guys can get a little wild around luxury rides). Listen now.

[00:28:26] Sophisticated Aston Martin Vanquish S

The unique drive experience of an Aston Martin is unlike any other, and its sophisticated personality will tickle your senses.  Kelley Blue Book’s Karl Brauer tells us about his epic drive in the Aston Martin Vanquish S. Driving down Ortega Highway early Sunday morning, the cars ahead would pull to the side when they would see the Vanquish in their rearview mirror. This king houses a V12, boasts 580-HP, and lets out an exquisite growl. Discover more about this purely elegant, royal ride now.

[00:35:57] Honda Accord is the Sedan’s Last Hope

We have been hearing about the waning popularity of the sedan but there is one company trying to champion that category. Honda is releasing their new Accord, and Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book tells us that its design is beautifully refined. The look alone will win over most potential buyers, but Karl tells us that is just the tip of the iceberg. This 10-speed automatic will have two engine options, both being turbocharged, and will get an average of 30-MPG. Sedans are no longer like a plain scoop of vanilla ice cream, and OEMs are shooting for stunning style to save the category. Explore the Honda Accord now.

[00:42:17] CARFAX Compiles 35 Years of Experience

When it comes to buying a used car, there are many things to be aware of, and especially with the surge of flood cars hitting the market. We chat with Public Relations Manager for CARFAX, Chris Basso, about the importance of knowing a vehicle’s history. CARFAX has been collecting data from all over the country for the last 30 years and they have crucial information consumers need when purchasing a new car. This could be an unprecedented year for damaged vehicles, and it is important for us all to be wary. Don’t make the huge mistake of taking home a used vehicle without a CARFAX report.

[00:47:50] Background Check on Your Used Vehicle

Unfortunately, the used car market is not immune to dishonest sellers. Chris Basso, Public Relations Manager for CARFAX, tells us how to protect ourselves from getting a damaged car. CARFAX reports can give you detailed information about where a car came from, where it has been serviced, and anything that may have been reported on the title. Many people didn’t have the comprehensive insurance to cover the flood damage from the recent hurricanes, leaving some incidents unreported. Thankfully, CARFAX incorporates the history of a vehicles locations to help identify possible problems. Hear more tips on safeguarding yourself when shopping for a used vehicle.

[00:54:50] Spotting Flood-Damaged Cars is Easy with CARFAX

Vehicle history can be a tricky thing to track down, and with the recent reports of many flood-damaged cars hitting the market, it’s important to know just where to look. CARFAX Public Relations Manager, Chris Basso, tells us that there are already 352,000 damaged cars on the market; Texas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania are the states that will have the highest counts of vehicles to look out for. CARFAX has your back even after you buy your used car.  They have two apps for your phone that can help you maintain the care of your car by tracking oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance. Prioritized the care of your vehicle with CARFAX now.

[01:02:11] Electronic Brakes Will Replace Hydraulic in the Future

Many of us are having a hard time adapting to the idea of autonomous cars, but we are beginning to become comfortable with all-electric rides, which include regenerative braking systems. We chat with President and CEO of Brembo North America, Dan Sandberg, who discusses the future of brakes. If you know quality brakes, then you know Brembo is the top-of-the-line, and OEMs like FCA, Audi, Porsche, and many other heavy hitters are equipped with these gorgeous brake calipers. Dan tells us that when people drive, even if they are inexperienced in the automotive field, they know when they have good brakes. Regenerative brakes are already in use on some rides, and they actually charge the battery with each stop. This can mean a longer future for our brake systems, as they won’t be used as much. Discover more about electronic brakes now.

[01:11:14] Autonomous Features Will Help Bad Drivers

We hate to break it to you but you’re not as good of a driver as you think. President and CEO of Brembo North America, Dan Sandberg, shares a story about his wife’s overwhelming experience with the semi-autonomous features in her new car. While these features may make drivers uneasy, there is no doubt that they will be highly beneficial in reducing human error. Dan reminisces about when ABS brakes confused many drivers but we adapted. Having the ability to use electricity to brake your car means that it can happen quickly and with a lot more control. Learn more about our braking future.

[01:18:14] Frankfurt Auto Show: An Emphasis on Electric

Dan Sandberg, President and CEO of Brembo North America, recently attended the Frankfurt Auto Show as a car enthusiast. Normally, there is a ride that stands out above the rest, but this year was unlike any other. Dan tells us that this year Germany put their best foot forward with a focus on electric. There is chatter that entire fleets will be converted to electric by the year 2025. It is even rumored that Germany will be passing legislation in the future that will prohibit the sale of internal combustion engines altogether. Most of the vehicles that were unveiled this year were created on a platform using alternative energy, such as the all-electric BMW 5 Series. Hear more about the Frankfurt Auto Show.

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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

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This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, leave 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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