THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #358

From Super Bowl LIII ads to a good old fashioned set of brakes, we’ve got automotive news galore in this week’s episode. First up, we chat with automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, about her favorite Super Bowl LIII commercials, the Chicago Auto Show, and import vehicles. Changing lanes, Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, George Kennedy III, discusses the willful ‘sports ball’ ignorance, the Super Bowl LIII halftime show, winter vehicles, and the exceptional work being done by Jeep and Hyundai. Then, Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, gives us an insider’s look into the film industry, confirming a new entry into the Ghostbusters franchise, and getting us pumped up for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw. Also, Josh reviews his test drive of the fresh 2019 Volvo S90 sedan; it’s the epitome of luxury. Closing the show, we explore the decline in popularity of paper publications, the amazing story (and brakes) of Brembo, and motorsports news with freelance automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith. Don’t let this weeks automotive news pass you by.


  • [00:00:00] Amazing Age of Automotive Technology
  • [00:05:30] Our Favorite Super Bowl Commercials
  • [00:12:30] Chicago Auto Show and Import Vehicles
  • [00:19:51] Willful Ignorance of the Sports Ball
  • [00:28:30] Halftime and Subaru’s Winter Vehicles
  • [00:35:51] Jeep and Hyundai, Dressed to Impress
  • [00:42:12] Volvo Steps It Up in Luxury Segment
  • [00:48:31] Volvo S90: Only One Engine Option?
  • [00:54:43] “Hobbs and Shaw” and “Ghostbusters”
  • [01:02:04] The Plight of Paper Publications
  • [01:10:53] Brembo, The Only Brakes You’ll Care About
  • [01:18:05] Upcoming Races Update


Discover more about segments and guests below…


[00:00:00] Amazing Age of Automotive Technology

Burr, it’s cold outside, and it has Alan thinking about the amazing technology in his truck that keeps him warm. Heated seats, heated steering wheels, push button start – all of these conveniences make it so nice to take refuge from the elements in Alan’s RAM 3500 dually. Alan is also blown away by the fuel economy he can squeeze out of such a massive truck; in optimal conditions he was getting 22 mpg! Switching gears, we also discuss the spectacles that Super Bowl commercials have become. Do you watch the Super Bowl for the commercials?

[00:05:30] Our Favorite Super Bowl Commercials

For those that watched, the Super Bowl was a spectacle not just on the field, but during the commercial breaks as well. The automotive industry showed up in full force this year, putting on what seemed like mini-movies to win over our hearts and minds. Although she didn’t watch American sports’ greatest event, automotive journalist, BJ Killeen’s curiosity still lead her to check out some of the commercials on YouTube, and ads like the Mercedes-Benz’s A-Class, Kia, Hyundai, and Audi caught her eye. Which automotive ads shined through the deluge for you?

[00:12:30] Chicago Auto Show and Import Vehicles

The Chicago Auto Show may not have the most reveals, but it is still the country’s largest auto show, with a million square feet at the Mccormick Convention Center. We can only guess as to what is going to be unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show, as they’re keeping everything very hush-hush; but automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, thinks Toyota would be remiss not to announce something surround their Tacoma pickup in response to recent segment competition. Speaking of the Toyota Tacoma, Alan is amazed by price older model imports are fetching at car auction events like Barrett-Jackson. Are you a Toyota fan?

[00:19:51] Willful Ignorance of the Sports Ball

Not everyone is a true football fan, and that’s fine! Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, George Kennedy III, IS a hardcore football fan and was watching intently as the Patriots took on the Rams, but one thing he can’t get over is those casual fans masquerading as people who actually care about football one day out of the year. It’s like asking who Daenerys Targaryen is while watching the finale of Game of Thrones, or asking what Yoda accomplished on the Starship Enterprise, George vents. We especially can’t wrap our heads around people who don’t even know how to check their car’s oil and claim “I’m not a car guy.” Have you ever encountered the willfully ignorant ‘sports ball’ fan?

[00:28:30] Halftime and Subaru’s Winter Vehicles

As far as halftime shows go, Super Bowl LIII did not have one of  Co-founder of CarTender, George Kennedy III’s favorites. Something that did catch his attention, though, we’re some of the Super Bowl ads; but George needs to get something off his chest, the Verizon commercial was not ‘touching’ or ‘kind’. Likening it to BP’s apologetic ads after their catastrophic oil spill, George explains how Verizon’s ads we’re also a form of recompense due to their unjust throttling of data to fire-torn areas of California last year. One of George’s favorite commercials was the Bud Light/ Game of Thrones crossover commercial, and indeed, winter is coming. That’s why our revered automotive journalist friend is here to tell us exactly which vehicles handle best in AND out of the snow. Find out why Jeeps aren’t George’s top pick for a well rounded winter vehicle, but the Subaru Outback is.

[00:35:51] Jeep and Hyundai, Dressed to Impress

The sport utility vehicle/truck segment is heating up as winter temperatures freeze the landscape. Freelance Automotive Journalist, George Kennedy III, and Alan are still drooling over the Jeep Gladiator that was announced at the LA Auto Show, but Super Bowl commercials may have been many people’s first look at it. Also, Alan has it from a very reliable source that there may be some very exciting things coming down the pike for the Gladiator, and with the trajectory Jeep took with the 707-HP Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, we might have a clue what that is. Changing gears, George recently drove the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe and was very impressed. This SUV is a great example of a well rounded vehicle. Learn more about what Jeep and Hyundai are doing to stand out in crowded markets.

[00:42:12] Volvo Steps It Up in Luxury Segment

Volvo has always been known as a luxury brand, but recently they’ve been stepping it up. JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, recently got to test drive the 2019 Volvo S90 sedan and was very impressed with the beautiful interior, the spacious back seat, and overall quality. This car makes us happy that Volvo was able to chart their own course after they separated from the Ford Motor Company, with the help of Chinese investors. Another key feature is Volvo’s top-of-the-line Level 2 autonomy features, making them a true frontrunner of the automotive industry with this technology. Tune in to get a glimpse of this luxurious sedan.

[00:48:31] Volvo S90: Only One Engine Option?

There is a lot to love about the Volvo S90, yet there is plenty to raise an eyebrow to as well. JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, affirms that the S90 is in the leagues of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and other german manufacturers when it comes to the luxury features, but its engine options are lacking. By lacking, he means there is only one option. Thankfully the turbocharged 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine can generate enough horses to really giddyup (250-HP), but the decision to only offer one option still has us scratching our heads. Does Volvo’s decision to exclude other standard engines bother you?

[00:54:43] “Hobbs and Shaw” and “Ghostbusters”

If you’re itching for more remakes and continuations of long-running movie series to munch popcorn to, you’re in luck. JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, is the man that matches the car with the character in all things Hollywood, so naturally he’s here with the scoop on the latest blockbuster announcements. First up, the tired Fast & Furious franchise may be getting an injection of new life with Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. A recent trailer which shows Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Statham beating up baddies and driving a McLaren 720S under a semi-truck tractor trailer have us pretty pumped. Next, a classic may be —scratch that— IS getting a new reboot. Josh has an upcoming meeting to discuss cars with the people working on a new Ghostbusters film, which will feature Bill Murray! Which feature film has you excited?

[01:02:04] The Plight of Paper Publications

Rumor has it that Road and Track magazine will be making another move, and might be ceasing its paper printing operations. Automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, tells us not to invest in a year’s subscription to the publication, and senses some trouble within Car and Driver as well. While both publications clean house and seem to be embracing the new age of digital publication, we discuss the possibility of the disappearance of paper publications altogether.  Steven isn’t convinced that will happen in his lifetime, and points to niche magazines like Grassroots Motorsports and Automobile Magazine and their targeted audience as evidence of that. Do you subscribe to any physical magazines?

[01:10:53] Brembo, The Only Brakes You’ll Care About

Brembo may be a sponsor of our show, but they don’t sponsor automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, and he’s here to tell you that their brakes are seriously awesome. If your car doesn’t have Brembos on them now, their recent announcement at the SEMA Show may be of interest to you. Aftermarket products are coming this year! Steve shares his fascination for what Brembo has been able to do; when companies like Toyota announce the inclusion of Brembo brakes as a selling point of the Supra, you know Brembo is doing something right. Don’t skid past this segment, find out more about Brembo brakes now.

[01:18:05] Upcoming Races Update

The upcoming Daytona 500 weekend is the true start to this year’s racing season for automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, with a truck race the preceding Friday, the Xfinity Series race that Saturday, and of course, the big dog Daytona 500 on Sunday. Steven fills us in on some of the events shaping the motorsports landscape this year, including the change of NASCAR car specs. Tune in to get Steven’s expert analysis of which motor companies are best poised to take the championship this year. His answer may surprise you.


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Episode Credits:

  • Program Host: Alan Taylor
  • Producer: Dave Milligan
  • Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
  • Audio Engineer: Dave Milligan
  • Copy Editor: Cody Castleberry

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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, 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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