THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #368
From amazing car reviews to crushing automotive news, we’ve got you covered this week with all you need to know. Kicking off the show automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, discusses the limited capabilities of Cadillac Super Cruise, the announcement of the Chevrolet Corvette C8 reveal date, the explosion of driving courses in the United States. Then, Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, George Kennedy III, fills us in on his test drive of the time tested 2019 Toyota 4Runner. How does the 4Runner stack up next to other off-road vehicles, and what makes an off-roader great? Next up, we chat with Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader, Dealer.com Executive Publisher, Karl Brauer, about the death of Mercedes-Daimler’s smart car division, the staggering first quarter losses of Tesla, the absolutely amazing Kia Telluride, and the boon of e-commerce on dealerships. Changing lanes, CEO and Co-Founder of LM Industries, Jay Rogers, gives us an update on Local Motors, the birth of LM Industries, and their biggest 3D printed vehicle yet, Olli. Closing out the show automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, shares his experience at a local equestrian competition, remembers Ayrton Senna and other drives lost through the years, and discusses the Corvette C8 reveal scheduled for July.
- [00:00:00] Cadillac Super Cruise Not So Super
- [00:06:25] Mid-Engine Corvette C8 News
- [00:12:30] Driving Courses, the New Golf Courses
- [00:19:50] 2019 Toyota 4Runner – Time Tested Champ
- [00:29:06] 4Runner Interior Needs an Overhaul!
- [00:35:52] What Makes A Vehicle an Off-Roader?
- [00:42:12] Tesla Faces Staggering $702m Loss
- [00:48:31] Death of the Smart Car
- [00:54:43] Kia Telluride and E-Commerce Dealerships
- [01:02:04] LM Industries Olli Around the World!
- [01:12:09] Horse Competition and Ayrton Senna
- [01:18:06] Corvette C8 to be Revealed in July
Discover more about segments and guests below…
[00:00:00] Cadillac Super Cruise Not So Super
More automakers are on their way to fully autonomous vehicles. Cadillac’s recent step forward, dubbed Cadillac Super Cruise, is a step in the right direction, but it’s limited usability raises some eyebrows. Automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, gives us some details on the autonomous system, slated for release in 2020 Cadillac models like the CT5. Super Cruise currently works on 130,000 miles of US roads, but is that enough roadway coverage to be impressive? Tune in to learn more.
[00:06:25] Mid Engine Corvette C8 News
Excitement over the as of yet unrevealed mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8 is mounting. While the rumor has been churning, all we’ve actually seen so far is camo-wrapped spy shots. Thankfully, automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, has an update on Chevrolet’s plans to officially unveil the new mid-engine beast on July 18th. Keep your eyes peeled for this 800+ HP monster.
[00:12:30] Driving Courses, the New Golf Courses
When it comes time to test the new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8 and it’s crazy horsepower, you can bet on seeing results from the world-famous Nurburgring in Germany. This track has been the world standard for test courses due to its 14.7 mile length, highly variable elevation, and winding nature. While this track is a great resource, some companies are finding it to be too inconvenient to ship cars over to Germany just to set times. Automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, discusses Toyota’s new proving grounds in Japan, APEX Motor Club in Phoenix, Arizona, and other driving courses popping up around the world as an alternative to Germany’s Nurburgring. Learn more about Nurburgring track times, and how Alan’s Viper would fare on such a course.
[00:19:50] 2019 Toyota 4Runner – Time Tested Champ
The SUV segment has become so crowded and nearly-homogeneous in recent years that sticking with a time-tested platform helps certain vehicles stand out from the crowd. The 2019 Toyota 4Runner is one such off-roading machine. Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe and U.S. News & World Report, George Kennedy III, has been driving one lately and is more impressed by the 4Runner’s decade old platform than he feels he should be. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Toyota’s old design, the recent Ford Ranger event which featured a Toyota Tacoma, and the 4Runner’s lack of updated interior options. Listen in for more!
[00:29:06] 4Runner Interior Needs an Overhaul!
The 2019 Toyota 4Runner is a handsome, capable machine by any standard, but it does have its flaws. Starting at $35,000, most consumers would expect more out of the 4Runner’s interior. Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe and U.S. News & World Report, George Kennedy III, stands up for the design of the Toyota 4Runner, but admits that the infotainment system leaves a bit to be desired. Find out how other SUVs stack up against the 4Runner in price and quality.
[00:35:52] What Makes A Vehicle an Off-Roader?
We all love SUVs for their multifaceted capabilities, but what makes one of these machines a true off-road vehicle? Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe and U.S. News & World Report, George Kennedy III, explains why vehicles like Jeep Wranglers, their TrailHawk line of Jeeps, the Toyota 4Runner, Land Rover, and Nissan Armada’s are great examples of off-road bigshots; and why SUVs like the Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder, and the new Chevrolet Blazer were never really great for the trail. Listen in to find out why capability, all-wheel drive, and a tough kit are keys to a great off-road experience.
[00:42:12] Tesla Faces Staggering $702m Loss
We’ve heard plenty about Tesla’s tough times in the past few weeks, but the news just keeps coming. Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book & Dealer.com Executive Publisher, Karl Brauer, fills us in on Tesla Motors’ staggering $702m loss in the first quarter of 2019 and how this happened. With Tesla Model S and X sales down 56%, Tesla’s energy efficiency credits running out, and the massive infrastructural investment’s they’ve made weighing them down, the future for the upstart company doesn’t look bright. Will Tesla survive this massive down-turn?
[00:48:31] Death of the smart Car
“Hey that’s a beautiful, safe looking smart car” said no one ever. It’s no wonder that the Mercedes-Benz owned ‘smart’ car company is on its way out, especially to Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book & Dealer.com Executive Publisher, Karl Brauer. We discuss what made this car so universally despised, from its unsafe perception (though false), to its inexplicably poor gas mileage/electric range. Are you as unsurprised as we are to see the smart car go?
[00:54:43] Kia Telluride and E-Commerce Dealerships
Alan finally got behind the wheel of the all-new Kia Telluride – as did his wife – and they were blown away. The version they tested was fully loaded, and only had a sticker price of $43,000, up from a starting price in the low $30,000 range. How does this three row SUV stack up? Well, after test driving a Range Rover immediately before the Telluride, it has to speak volumes that Alan’s wife immediately decided that the Kia Telluride was the right pick for them. Kia delivers a less expensive vehicle without sacrificing much on the accoutrements and creature comforts. If you’re in the market for an amazing SUV, you MUST check out the Kia Telluride. Changing gears, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book & Dealer.com Executive Publisher, Karl Brauer, discusses the positive impact e-commerce is having on dealerships that embrace it. Tune in to learn more.
[01:02:04] LM Industries Olli Around the World!
The last time we chatted with Jay Rogers he was the CEO and Co-Founder of Local Motors, but that company has gone through some transformations and upgrades: say hello to LM Industries! At the 2014 SEMA Show Jay and Local Motors shocked the world by 3D printing, outfitting, and driving a car off into the sunset in just four days. Now, they’ve got that process down to just 10 hours and are able to produce on a much bigger scale. Jay fills us in on the success story of the automated 12 passenger bus, Olli, which can be found in cities around the world. Tune in to discover the unique journey of LM Industries.
[01:12:09] Horse Competition and Ayrton Senna
Automotive Journalist for Autoweek, Automobile Magazine, and Grassroots Motorsports, Steven Cole Smith, recently attended a Land Rover and Rolex sponsored ‘eventing’ horse competition and had more fun than he planned on. Steve fills us in on the big money spent on these horses and events, the variety of competitive trials, and the somewhat obvious Land Rover marketing in their tailgating party during the event. Changing gears, we remember Ayrton Senna who was killed 25 years ago on an Italian race track and the wheels of change that set in motion for motorsports safety. Keep an eye out for Steven’s article about the evolution of safety in motorsports.
[01:18:06] Corvette C8 to be Revealed in July
We’ve all seen the spy shots, but we just can’t wait to get a real glimpse of the new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8. Thankfully, we have a date for the official reveal: July 18th, 2019! Automotive Journalist for Autoweek, Automobile Magazine, and Grassroots Motorsports, Steven Cole Smith, shares a story about how he was able to snag the very first Corvette C5 back in 1996 from a guy who didn’t quite know what he had. We discuss our theories about pricing, and possible changes to the quality of the Corvettes interior with this new generation. Tune in for more!
Explore More with Helpful Links:
- Contributor: BJ Killeen | Automotive journalist
- Contributor: George Kennedy III | Co-founder, CarTender | Freelance Automotive Journalist, CarGurus/ Boston Globe/ U.S. News & World Report
- Contributor: Karl Brauer | Executive Publisher, Kelley Blue Book/ Autotrader/ Dealer.com
- Contributor: Steven Cole Smith | Automotive Journalist, Autoweek/ Automobile Magazine/ Grassroots Motorsports
- Special Guest: Jay Rogers| CEO and Co-Founder, LM Industries
- Website: Tesla
- Website: Cadillac Super Cruise
- Website: Chevrolet
- Website: Mercedes-Daimler
- Website: smart car
- Vehicle Mention: Kia Telluride
- Vehicle Mention: 2019 Toyota 4Runner
- Vehicle Mention: Olli
- Program Host: Alan Taylor
- Producer: Dave Milligan
- Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
- Audio Engineer: Dave Milligan
- Copy Editor: Cody Castleberry
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About THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor
THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor puts you in the driver’s seat for a unique, fast paced look at today’s automotive industry. This is your pedal-to-the-metal, two-hour thrill ride devoted to the latest car news and test-drive results, how-to tips car maintenance tips, auto show coverage, expert insights and behind-the-scenes race day action. Don’t miss exclusive interviews with top auto executives, athletes, celebrities and prominent newsmakers from around the world.