AutoComplete: Jessi Combs dead at 39, and much more from around the auto world
Welcome to Road Show's Auto Complete, your weekly round-up of the biggest news in the automotive world.
This week we've got news on AMG's newest hot cross over and VW's new logo.
But first, let's start with Jessie Combs.
Jessie Combs, noted television personality, fabricator, and racer, is dead at the age of 39 after the jet-powered land speed racing car she was driving crashed on an Oregon dry lake bed.
Combs earned the title of fastest woman on four wheels after setting a land speed record of 398 miles per hour in 2013.
In 2018, she drove her jet powered North American Eagle supersonic speed challenger to 483 miles per hour during a shakedown run.
And built a television career for herself after appearing on shows like Overhaulin', All Girls Garage, and MythBusters.
She was also the first woman to take first place overall at the gruelling King of the Hammers off road race in 2016.
To say that Volkswagen has had a rough few years would be a massive understatement.
Even if that trouble is totally its own fault.
But in an effort to further distance itself from those dieselgate blues, the brand's ditching its bubble logo that it's been using since 2000 for one that's much flatter and more plain.
We're actually kinda digging it, and word around the campfire is that the first production car to get the new branding will be the Mark 8 Golf, which is slated to debut in Frankfurt.
Chinese startup Lynk & Co managed to snag itself two Nurburgring records testing its 03 Cyan Concept, which is a 528-horsepower front-wheel drive Sedan.
Somehow, the car was able to wrangle all of its arguable too many horses and set records for fastest front wheel drive vehicle and fastest four door car with a time of 7 minutes, 20.143 seconds with driver Ted Bjork behind the wheel.
Did we mention that those 528 horsepower come from a 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine?
Just chew on that for a while.
The US isn't known for being the quickest to adopt new technology where vehicle's lighting and mirrors are concerned, but there are signs that those attitudes might be changing.
Specifically, the word around the schoolyard is that NHTSA is going to start testing camera-based side view mirror placements for use in US market vehicles.
This tech has been adopted in Europe and Asia already.
And we've sampled it there in several vehicles, with generally positive results.
We'll be psyched to see if this is gonna be a continuing trend or not.
Last year, Tesla experienced a highly publicized.
Vulnerability with the key fobs for its Model S sedan, specifically the company that supply the key fobs to Tesla only equipped them with a paltry 40 bit encryption key.
As a result the fobs can be hacked and cloned in seconds.
The big T, to its credit, fixed the issue quickly with a new fob with much much tougher 80-bit encryption and a few new software features for drivers meant to increase security.
But now, a university in Belgium has found that the company that supplied the fobs has once again fumbled the whole thing and made them vulnerable once more.
Though, they're about twice as difficult to hack as they were the last time.
Tesla is once again on the ball and has already began to roll out it's software fix for the problem.
Hyundai is keen into getting into the electric scooter game but it's [UNKNOWN] to those scooters that are just getting get left around on the street instead, it wants to go the same route as Honda did with its CT Turbo car in [UNKNOWN] scooter in the 1980s And have its vehicle serve as the dock for the scooter, charging it while driving.
The Hyundai scooter also differs from the Birds and Limes and Jumps of the world in that it's a rear wheel drive and has front suspension.
So that means it's game on for dank wheelies and sick tail whips.
They're currently working on a prototype design, and we hope it sees production soon.
Listen y'all, the new Explorer is a big vehicle, like real big.
But that's not stopping the hybrid version of it from returning some mad decent fuel economy, according to the EPA.
How about 28 miles per gallon combined.
That breaks down to around 27 MPG city and 29 on the highway, which is nothing to sneeze at.
Though That is for the rear wheel drive version.
If you have to have all wheel drive that combined rating drops down to 26 which is still pretty healthy.
The hybrid Explorer makes it a totally reasonable 318 horsepower and 322 pounds of torque, a ways off of the wildly powerful new Lincoln Aviator hybrid that makes 494 horsepower and A 130 pound-feet of torque, but the Explorer is gonna be a lot more affordable.
It's easy to crack jokes about Crossover, since they're currently dominating the automotive landscape.
But occasionally one comes across our desk that we are genuinely interested in, and the new Mercedes-AMG GLB35 is one of them.
This is a small 305 horsepower all wheel drive crossover with an eight speed dual clutch transmission and AMG tuned suspension.
It's also got seven seats as an option.
It looks like it'll be a little ripper We cannot wait to get behind the wheel when it hits the US late in 2020 Porsches McCaughan has long been the crossover of choice for those who want the extra carrying capacity of an SUV but for whom there is truly no substance.
Institute when it comes to Porsche.
Now, for 2020, the Macan Turbo is given some new goodies which include a 434 horsepower version of it's twin turbsky B6.
And the newest version of the brands Porsche communication management suite.
The rest of the Macan line got a little refresh for 2019 so this is mostly just a continuation of that theme Toyota wasn't necessarily the quickest company to adopt the convenience of Apple CarPlay, having waited until just last year before getting around to it for all of its models.
But if iPhone users were salty about the the wait, just think of the poor, ignored, Camry-loving Android auto users.
Who are still waiting only they won't be waiting much longer because while the camera wasn't included on today's list of models to get Android Auto initially, it's now confirmed that that list was a bunch of nonsense.
Plus now that Android Auto is better than ever, there's a lot to be excited about.
Porsche Taycan is doing all kinds of big things lately and the latest of those is a newly minted Nurburgring record for being the fastest ford or electric vehicle around Germany's most notorious strip of Tarmac.
The cool thing is that unlike many other electric cars that struggle with heat build up after hard running, the Taycan didn't even really need a cooldown period between laps This type of gnarly performance testing is similar to what a typical, petrol-powered Porsche would undergo, and it seems like Porsches first all electric vehicle is handling it with style.
That's it for Auto Complete this week.
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