In Formula One, motorsport’s top echelon, the engineers that make the cars fast, fuel-efficient, reliable and safe are at least as important as the drivers that pilot them. Infiniti has long played…

Infiniti offers Formula One dream jobs to aspiring engineers

In Formula One, motorsport's top echelon, the engineers that make the cars fast, fuel-efficient, reliable and safe are at least as important as the drivers that pilot them.

Infiniti has long played an important role in the FIA-sanctioned series, and now that its European partner Renault is back as a fully-fledged manufacturer team instead of just a championship winning engine supplier, Infiniti is more involved than ever before.

Over the past three years the Japanese luxury brand has offered an opportunity for talented young engineers to take part in Renault's F1 efforts, calling it "a money-can't-buy, life changing career opportunity for seven world-class students," in a press release announcing the fourth successive year of the Infiniti Engineering Academy.

On hand for the announcement at the January 16, 2017 Autosport International Show in Birmingham, England were Tommaso Volpe, Director, Infiniti Global Motorsport and Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Read Full Story
A garnet red 2017 Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro rolled off the San José Chiapa, Mexico assembly line this week; fitting that a brand new edition of Audi’s bestselling North American model was also the 8-millionth…

Audi celebrates 8-millionth vehicle with Quattro AWD

A garnet red 2017 Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro rolled off the San José Chiapa, Mexico assembly line this week; fitting that a brand new edition of Audi's bestselling North American model was also the 8-millionth vehicle to feature Quattro all-wheel drive.

Audi launched its Quattro all-wheel drive system at the 1980 Geneva International Motor Show in the now legendary Ur-quattro coupe, and since then the four-ringed Ingolstadt-based premium brand went on to win four World Rally Championship titles, six Pikes Peak Hill Climb victories, a title win in the U.S. TransAm series, two DTM (German touring car) titles, 11 national Super Touring Car Championships, and a Touring Car World Cup. More recently, in November of last year, Mattias Ekström and his private rallycross team EKS won both Driver World Champion and Team World Champion titles at the wheel of the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro in the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

Even more importantly, the fast-running, lightweight Read Full Story
Volvo’s V60 Cross Country isn’t the newest kid on the block, but it’s nevertheless one of two compact crossover wagons in the premium sector. This makes it stand out despite its aging platform,…

2017 Volvo V60 Cross Country T5 Drive-E AWD Premier Road Test Review

Volvo's Cross Country line is mostly unique in the industry. Certainly the Swedish company is not alone when it comes to producing crossover utilities, but unlike Volvo most premium-branded competitors duke it out in the regular SUV classes against the XC60 compact and XC90 mid-size models. Volvo takes things a step further by offering raised and bulked up versions of its V60 and upcoming V90 wagons in an effort to fill the niche between car and SUV, the V60 Cross Country and soon to arrive V90 Cross Country truest to the original crossover concept.

The idea isn't new. The first Cross Country rode on the mid-size V70 P2 (second-generation) platform way back in 1999. Volvo wasn't the only player in this market either, Audi first offering a taller version of its A6 Avant wagon dubbed Allroad the same year, and later bringing the compact A4 Allroad to market in 2009, which effectively replaced the regular A4 wagon in our market. Honourable mentions of mainstream volume branded models Read Full Story
The midsize luxury segment-best E-Class just got better for 2017, a complete redesign resulting in fashionable new sheet metal, more length, less weight, better performance and fuel economy, a much improved…

2017 Mercedes-Benz E 300 4Matic Sedan Road Test Review

It must be uncomfortably embarrassing to go up against Mercedes' E-Class. After all, it outsells its direct competitors so dramatically there's very little contest.

Even mighty BMW pales in comparison, the M-B E Sedan, Coupe, Cabriolet, Wagon and CLS four-door coupe resulting in a cumulative 2,953 sales last year compared to just 2,477 for the similarly diverse 5 and 6 Series models. And that's the very best of the rest, with Audi's A6 and A7 combining for only 1,721 sales, Cadillac's CTS and CT6 twosome managing just 1,130 mid-size deliveries, Jaguar next with (here comes the red-faced embarrassment) just 542 XFs (and that was a particularly good year), Lexus with (it gets worse) 415 GS sales (albeit 2,568 if you factor in the similarly sized yet significantly cheaper ES), Lincoln with 372 Continental and MKS buyers (or 1,492 when including the comparatively inexpensive MKZ), Infiniti with a mere 156 Q70 deliveries, Volvo's beautiful new S90 and archaic S80 combining for a scant Read Full Story
Subaru’s popular Forester received a mid-cycle facelift for 2017, although only the 3 lowest trims get noticeable styling upgrades. Fortunately today’s 2.5i Touring falls into that category, with…

2017 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring Road Test Review

The Auto Journalist Association of Canada's "Best New Small Utility"? Forester owners know such accolades are deserved, as do the folks working at the company's Mississauga-based headquarters, not to mention those selling and servicing the compact SUV at the Japanese brand's 92 Canadian dealerships, but they'll no doubt be smiling just the same.

I've never been on Subaru's payroll or a Forester owner, although full disclosure requires me admit to selling new Justys, Imprezas, Brats, Loyales, Legacys, Outbacks, SVXs, and yes Foresters way back in 1994. I've also had the pleasure of living with every Forester generation for weeks at a time over the last 16 years of my auto journalism career, and therefore have experienced them grow in size and sophistication first-hand, from their tall wagon-like roots to their current fully-fledged compact SUV status.

Incidentally, the 2017 Forester wasn't the only compact SUV qualified to enter the AJAC competition, a significant update Read Full Story
The Canadian subcompact SUV market segment will soon become a lot more diverse, with the nine competitors currently available swelling to 12 by the end of the year. Before the new Ford EcoSport and Toyota…

Nissan bringing Qashqai subcompact SUV to Canadian market

Nissan has had fun advertising the unique Qashqai (cash-kai) name in European markets where consumers have been mispronouncing it for more than a decade, smartly turning a negative into a positive with humorous radio/TV spots and online videos. From what it appears, when the subcompact SUV arrives on Canadian soil this spring it will retain its unusual global name, despite Nissan Canada's U.S. counterpart choosing to call it Rogue Sport.

Smart move? While Canadians appreciate some differentiation from the 10-times-larger U.S. market, the reality of cross-border advertising bleed makes a strong argument for following the American narrative. Kia, which previously named its Canadian-spec mid-size sedan Magentis, because it rightly considered Canada a separate global market, eventually renamed it Optima to take advantage of marketing synergies between the two countries, however Mitsubishi's RVR, which has long been competitive within the same subcompact SUV segment the new Qashqai Read Full Story
It’s amazing how a few nips here and tucks there can transform the look of a vehicle from passive to aggressive, the renewed 2017 Pathfinder a good example of a mid-cycle update well done. Along with…

2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4×4 Road Test Review

There has always been a lot to like about the fourth-generation Pathfinder, unless you're one of those still lamenting its metamorphosis from body-on-frame 4x4 to car-based crossover. Still, even these off-road purists can't argue against the model's increased popularity since, as sales numbers don't lie.

The larger, more refined and altogether more livable mid-size SUV arrived on the scene as a 2013 model in May of 2012, with sales growing from 1,880 units the year before to 2,666 during the changeover year, but it wasn't until calendar year 2013, the reimagined Pathfinder's first full year on the market, that it would truly gain traction with 7,936 units delivered, this followed up by 9,688 sales in 2014, 9,898 in 2015, and 9,670 last year. Together with the more recently redesigned five-seat Murano, which just has its best year of 13,834 sales, Nissan's assault on the mid-size SUV market totaled 23,504 units, which makes it the fourth most popular brand in the segment behind Read Full Story
The A3 didn’t get to #1 in the US and a close 2nd in Canada by accident. It’s a superb car that deserves your consideration. It’s also good value, the $32.8k base model standard with auto HID headlamps,…

2017 Audi A3 2.0 TFSI Quattro Progressiv Road Test Review

When it comes to luring in entry-level North American premium buyers, two luxury brands have planned and executed their most affordable models wisely and the others either haven't done their homework or are using the opportunity to promote their brand image rather than acquire as many new customers as possible. While building brand at the expense of profits is sometimes a good idea, success tends to breed success when attempting to attract up-and-coming urbanites.

I like using sales numbers to illustrate such points, because numbers don't lie. They don't always tell the entire story either, but they're as black and white as the digital page I'm writing this review on, and if the various leaders in charge of those yet unnamed luxury brands don't pay attention to those sales numbers, their jobs will likely get cut short sooner than later. The two winners in the Canadian entry-level luxury class are Mercedes-Benz and Audi, the former with its bestselling CLA and the latter with Read Full Story