MotorWeek

As the Emmy® Award-winning host, executive producer and creator of MotorWeek, television's longest running automotive series, John Davis is seen by millions of viewers on PBS, SPEED and V-me Spanish-language network. One of the most trusted and recognized automotive journalists in the nation, Davis has been featured on CNN, Weekend Today, Live with Regis and Kelly, PARADE magazine and The Baltimore Sun, as well as local media throughout the country. He has also written regularly on automotive industry topics for The Washington Post. As MotorWeek's host and executive producer since the series debuted in 1981, Davis oversees all editorial content, and has put every new car and truck model manufactured in the last 30 years through extensive road tests to judge their practicality for buyers. He recognizes that as the second biggest purchase Americans make, car buyers must be well-informed before they enter a dealer showroom. That's why MotorWeek's focus is on helping consumers make smart choices based on their lifestyles and finances, as well as safety considerations and the vehicle's impact on the environment. As one of the first mainstream media outlets to provide regular coverage of alternative fuels and "green" vehicle technology, Davis and MotorWeek have worked with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to promote public awareness about the impact renewable fuels can have on petroleum dependence and the environment. He has been a speaker at DOE's "Clean Cities" conferences and makes presentations to industry leaders and federal officials. Davis has also been involved in raising public awareness about other important automotive-related issues. In 2004 and 2005, he served as a spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Transportation's program promoting annual automotive emissions inspections. In 2002, Davis was spokesperson for the "Smooth Operator" initiative to combat aggressive driving in the Washington Metro region. Davis is one of the founders of the North American Car & Truck of The Year Awards, the only independent journalistic automotive award in North America. He served on its executive board from 1994 to 2008. He is also one of the organizers and an original member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. Davis is a former president of the International Motor Press Association, the oldest and most prestigious organization of automotive journalists in North America. Davis has received some of the highest awards in automotive journalism and television, including two Emmy® Awards. In 2007, he won an Emmy® Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) National Capital Chesapeake Bay Region, and in 1998 from the NATAS Chicago-Midwest Chapter. Davis also received an International Automotive Media Award in 2005 from the International Society for Vehicle Preservation. He was honored with International Wheel Awards in 2004 and 2003, and two Golden Wheel Awards in 1999, including the grand award, from the Detroit Press Foundation which recognizes the best in automotive journalism. A 1970 mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate of North Carolina State University, Davis also holds a master of business administration degree from the University of North Carolina. He was the 1969-1970 recipient of the W.D. Cartwright Memorial Engineering Scholarship and a member of the Pi Tau Sigma honorary scholastic fraternity. Prior to joining Maryland Public Television, Davis worked for the Wall Street brokerage firm of Kidder, Peabody and Company as a transportation analyst. He has owned a variety of high performance cars, including a vintage Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and deTomaso Pantera.

From MotorWeek

  • This Just In: Hyundai Announces Amazon Digital Showroom
    <h4></h4> <h4><img height="1049" src="/images/Large-33384-HyundailaunchesanewdigitalshowroomonAmazon.com.jpg" width="1653" /></h4> <h4>The car industry is changing.&nbsp;That includes how we buy cars.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.hyundainews.com/en-us/releases/2575">Hyundai</a> has announced a new digital showroom on Amazon.com.&nbsp;In one place customers can learn about the brand in a variety of ways like comparing prices, reading reviews, and booking test drives.&nbsp;The new digital showroom is at <a href="https://www.amazon.com/adlp/hyundai?featured=kona">amazon.com/hyundai</a>.</h4>
  • Motor News: Volvo in the U.S.
    <p>Volvo has been selling cars in the U.S. for more than 60-years&hellip; and now they make them here&hellip;</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"></span></strong><img class="img_left" height="151" src="/images/motor_news/3746_motornews_1.jpg" style="float: left;" width="300" />The Chinese owned Swedish car company recently opened its first U.S. plant near Charleston, South Carolina. It&rsquo;s taken 3-years and 1-point-1 billion dollars to build the 2-point-3-million square foot facility. This is where they will make the new Volvo S60 premium mid-size sports sedan beginning in the fall.&nbsp;</p> <p>They&rsquo;re also ramping up to assemble the next generation of their flagship SUV the XC90 in 2021. Volvo&rsquo;s philosophy is &ldquo;build where you sell&rdquo;. Automotive News quotes the company&rsquo;s CEO as saying the US is the biggest market for the XC90.</p> <p>But this is not just a domestic plant&hellip; some of the vehicles built in Charleston will be exported. Volvo says the Charleston plant will be able to produce 150,000 cars a year at full capacity. The company can now build vehicles in the three major sales regions&hellip; the U.S., Europe and China.&nbsp;</p> <p>More and more companies are joining forces to develop electric vehicles and autonomous technology&hellip; Not only to save costs but also to speed up the process.</p> <p><img class="img_right" height="167" src="/images/motor_news/3746_motornews_5.jpg" style="float: right;" width="300" />Honda and General Motors are teaming up to build next generation batteries. They&rsquo;re working on smaller batteries that produce more energy and can be charged faster. The batteries will be used in all-electric vehicles made by both companies. Meantime, Volkswagen is part of a new alliance focusing on the technological demands of autonomous cars.</p> <p>Self-driving cars will need to process and quickly analyze a lot of information from a variety of sources&hellip; like cameras and sensors. The alliance is working on the next-generation computer network with the power to handle high tech driving demands. The group includes manufacturers, networking companies and technology suppliers.&nbsp;</p> <p>So the race is on to build electric cars that can handle the driving&hellip; but it looks like competitors will have to become partners to make it happen. And that&rsquo;s it for this week&rsquo;s Motor News</p>
  • Road Tests: 2018 Mazda6
    <p class="review_title">Vital Statistics</p> <p><span>Engine:</span> 2.5 liter</p> <p><span>Horsepower:</span> 227</p> <p><span>Torque:</span> 310 lb-ft.</p> <p><span>0-60 mph:</span> 7.2 seconds</p> <p><span>1/4 mile:</span> 15.4 seconds @ 93 mph</p> <p><span>EPA:</span> 23 mpg city / 31 mpg highway</p> <p><span>Energy Impact:</span> 12.7 barrels of oil/yr</p> <p><span>CO2 Emissions:</span> 5.5 tons/yr</p> <p>With SUVS of all stripes dominating the family &ldquo;car&rdquo; market these days, you might wonder why Mazda would go to the effort of revamping their midsize Mazda6 sedan. Indeed, some brands are actually eliminating sedans from their lineups. Well, that&rsquo;s because the &ldquo;6&rdquo; is very significant vehicle to Mazda. It&rsquo;s slick, sporty styling was an instant international hit. So, let&rsquo;s find out if the 2018 mazda6 has anything new to add.</p> <p>Mazda thinks they have a strategy to keep people buying sedans like the 2018 Mazda6, and it&rsquo;s not all that different from the tactic they&rsquo;ve taken with their recent crossovers. Keep all of the handling prowess and zoom-zoom spirit that the Mazda6 is known for; but smooth out the ride, add a splash of comfort, and take the interior to borderline luxury-car territory.&nbsp;</p> <p>But that&rsquo;s not exactly an easy task, considering this 6 is not actually all new; still riding on same chassis that arrived for 2014.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="img_left" height="188" src="/images/road_tests/2018_mazda6_3.jpg" style="float: left;" width="300" />There is a new engine under the hood, or at least you can choose to add a turbo to the standard SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter I4. It boosts horsepower from 187 to 227, and torque from 187 to 310 lb-ft. Premium fuel is not required, but if you decide to go that route, the horsepower rating jumps to 250.&nbsp;</p> <p>Getting the turbo requires at least Grand Touring trim, and comes exclusively with the 6-speed automatic transmission. A 6-speed manual is still available, but only in base Sport trim.&nbsp;</p> <p>And that&rsquo;s not even close to what we&rsquo;re dealing with here. Probably the most significant part of the &lsquo;18&rsquo;s newness is a pair of added up-level trim options, Reserve and this Signature model.&nbsp;</p> <p>Signing on the dotted line here means Deep Chestnut Nappa leather, Ultrasuede trim, and Japanese Sen wood accents. It&rsquo;s a first-class upgrade to what was already a handsome and orderly driver-oriented cockpit.&nbsp;</p> <p>The new trims also get a 7-inch TFT virtual gauge screen to replace the standard 3-pod arrangement.&nbsp;</p> <p>Seating position remains low; but the seats themselves have been redesigned, now using higher density foam. And they can be ventilated as well as heated.&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="img_right" height="160" src="/images/road_tests/2018_mazda6_4.jpg" style="float: right;" width="300" />Also helping the long distance comfort cause is a revamped suspension. No simple retune here; all geometry has been revised, bracing has been reinforced, and the floor pan that it&rsquo;s all bolted to is now thicker.</p> <p>All of this, Mazda claims, without losing the nimble nature we all look for in a Mazda. In fact, another change is the steering rack is now rigidly mounted to the chassis, sharpening up both steering response and feel.&nbsp;</p> <p>A quick trip through our cone course had us confirming that the 6 has lost nothing in the handling department. Remarkable balance, sharp turn-ins, and hydraulic-like feedback through the steering wheel; all indicates that this car is built to be driven spiritedly, and will reward those that do.&nbsp;</p> <p>We could certainly feel the added turbo torque off the line, as well. It&rsquo;s still not blindingly fast, but the 7.2-second trip to 60 is a full second quicker than we achieved back in 2014&hellip;as is the &frac14;-mile, at 15.4-seconds at 93 miles-per-hour. Automatic shifts are quick and clean, with mapping as well executed as the rest of the car.&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="img_left" height="178" src="/images/road_tests/2018_mazda6_2.jpg" style="float: left;" width="300" />Of course, you can&rsquo;t have all of this newness wrapped in the same old packaging; so there are some changes to the exterior as well, though here not nearly as comprehensive.&nbsp;</p> <p>Just an upgrade to the grille that has it falling in line with other recent vehicles from the brand, new wheels, LED headlights, and full LED turn signals.&nbsp;</p> <p>Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 23-City, 31-Highway, and 26-Combined; now, stay tuned for our results over the next year, as this Mazda6 will be sticking around for a while as part of our long-term fleet. Its Energy Impact Score is an average one, consuming 12.7-barrels of petroleum annually, while emitting 5.5-tons of CO2.</p> <p>The base Mazda6 Sport starts reasonably at $22,840. But, the new trim levels ratchet that up significantly; our top-level Signature series starts at $35,640. A pricy family car proposition for sure; yet certainly not outrageous compared to many smaller, less well equipped crossover utes, let alone premium-trimmed direct rivals like Camry and Accord.</p> <p>So, while the 2018 Mazda6 is not a totally new car, it is a significant shift; a Mazda6 packed full of luxury; yet it remains a true treat to drive. Sure, Mazda would love to sell you a crossover; but they&rsquo;re not giving up the midsize sedan anytime soon. And we&rsquo;re sure glad about that!&nbsp;</p>
  • This Just In: Coming To America
    <p style="text-align: center;">PSA Group is moving forward with plans to return to the U.S.&nbsp; The French company has already announced setting up North American headquarters in Atlanta. Peugeot pulled out of the U.S. in 1991. &nbsp;<a href="http://www.autonews.com/article/20180717/RETAIL01/180719795/psa-group-eyes-15-possible-states-for-sales">Automotive News</a> reports Larry Dominique, CEO of PSA Group North America, says he&rsquo;s looking at points of entry in the U.S. and Canada.&nbsp; They report he&rsquo;s narrowed the list down to 15 states and four provinces in Canada.&nbsp; PSA Group makes Peugeot, Citroen and Opel brands.&nbsp; They hope American sales will begin by 2026</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img height="487" src="/images/PSA_Plant.jpg" width="853" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p>
  • This Just In: &#8220;MINI Takes the States 2018&#8221; Shifts into Gear
    <style type="text/css"><!-- p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 5.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none; color: #0000ff; -webkit-text-stroke: 0px #0000ff} span.s2 {font-kerning: none} span.s3 {font: 8.0px 'Times New Roman'; font-kerning: none} --></style> <h4 class="p1"></h4> <h4 class="p1"><img height="1176" src="/images/2018_MiniRally.jpg" width="1912" /></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s1"><a href="http://www.minitakesthestates.com/">MINI TAKES THE STATES 2018</a></span><span class="s2"> (MTTS), a charitable road rally for MINI owners hosted by <a href="https://www.miniusa.com/"><span class="s1">MINI USA</span></a>, kicked off this past weekend from two separate locations on opposite sides of the country. Over the ensuing five days, thousands of MINI owners will #DriveForMore to help raise money for charity partner <a href="http://www.minitakesthestates.com/charity.htm"><span class="s1">Feeding America</span></a>.</span></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s2">The two rally routes, each with more than 800 participants, started in Orlando, Fla., and Portland, Ore., on Saturday, July 14, and will meet in the middle at Keystone Resort in Keystone, Colo., on July 20 for a weekend celebration of everything MINI. The bi-annual trek will cover more than 5,000 miles in total, traveling across America on state and county roads, stopping in 15 cities along the way.</span></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s2">In 2016, MINI owners completed a 14-day, 4,397 mile adventure raising enough money to provide more than one million meals for families in need through Feeding America. This year&rsquo;s goal is to raise enough money to provide more than 2 million meals.</span></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s2">A portion of each MTTS participant&rsquo;s registration fee is donated to Feeding America</span><span class="s3"><sup>&reg;</sup></span><span class="s2">, and MINI will collect food donations onsite each morning.<span>&nbsp;</span></span></h4> <h4></h4>
  • This Just In: Honda Stays the Course with Updated Pilot
    <style type="text/css"><!-- p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 8.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px 'Courier New'; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} --></style> <h4 class="p1"><img height="2319" src="/images/2019_Honda_Pilot.jpg" width="3516" /></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s1">With so many new entries into the 3-row, mid-to-large crossover segment in recent years, it&rsquo;s no wonder that Honda has chosen now to refresh its popular 8-seat Pilot to make sure it stays that way. For 2019 the Pilot&rsquo;s styling borrows a hint of aggression from the smaller CR-V outside, while upping the technology and luxury content inside.</span></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s1">Now standard on all trims is the Honda Sensing safety suite, while a hands-free power liftgate is now available. Most models also include major upgrades to connectivity, and a new Display Audio touchscreen is offered with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also marks the return of a volume knob.<span>&nbsp;</span></span></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s1">While its more than ample power remains a 3.5-liter V6, the uplevel trim&rsquo;s 9-speed automatic has been improved for smoother performance.</span></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s1">The 2019 Honda Pilot is in dealerships now.</span></h4> <h4></h4>
  • Podcasts: 2018 Nissan Leaf, 2019 Jeep Cherokee and 2019 Lexus ES
    <p><a href="http://www.motorweek.org/podcasts/Podcast_185_MP3.mp3">Podcast #185</a></p><p><span>In Podcast 185, John Davis and the <em>MotorWeek</em> crew discuss the new Nissan Leaf and the new Jeep Cherokee. Then, FYI reporter Stephanie Hart talks about her recent drive of the new Lexus ES and her upcoming stories for the season 38 of <em>MotorWeek</em>. Last, the panel helps a viewer with questions about getting odors out of a car interior</span></p>
  • This Just In: Investing in Classic Cars
    <h4><img height="982" src="/images/Screen_Shot_2018-07-16_at_2.35.33_PM.png" width="1482" /></h4> <h4>Classic cars are a labor of love for true enthusiasts.&nbsp;It turns out they can also be a good investment.&nbsp;The folks at&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kwik-lift.com/2018/07/classic-car-vs-sp-investment/">Kwik-Lift</a>&nbsp;looked at the numbers.<span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">They based their calculations on five of the most expensive vehicles Barrett-Jackson sold in January 2018.</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">The models ranged from 1968 through 2015.</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">The investment was compared to investing the same amount of money in the S&amp;P 500 on January first of the car&rsquo;s model year.</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">The folks at Kwik-Lift point out their calculations do not include costs along the way, like maintenance, insurance and taxes, because this was for fun.</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">Just something to consider if you have your eye on a classic</span></h4>
  • This Just In: McLaren 600LT Takes On The Hill At Goodwood
    <style type="text/css"><!-- p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 8.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px 'Courier New'; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {font: 9.3px 'Courier New'; font-kerning: none} --></style> <h4 class="p1"><img height="4344" src="/images/McLaren600LT_small.jpg" width="6516" /></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s1">They don&rsquo;t call it the Goodwood Festival of Speed for nothing. Now celebrating its 25</span><span class="s2"><sup>th</sup></span><span class="s1"> anniversary, this annual homage to our &ldquo;need for speed&rdquo; is full of fast and furious new product entries and announcements, including lots of news from the fame British exotic car builder McLaren.<span>&nbsp;</span></span></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s1">While much of the &ldquo;news&rdquo; surrounds McLaren updating its long range plans, and ensuring regulators that hybrid-electric supercars are the core of their future, the attending crowds were more interested in seeing the new 600LT finally take to the course.</span></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s1">Only the fourth modern &ldquo;Long Tail&rdquo; McLaren, the 600LT is based on the awesome 570S, even using an updated version of the same 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8, yet has been so totally reworked that it really is a standalone model. The extended bodywork makes a statement even when standing still. But, it was ever more impressive conquering Goodwood&rsquo;s notoriously difficult hill climb.</span></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s1">Delivers start in October with prices starting around $240,000.</span></h4> <h4></h4> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Fu5vthExz9I" width="640"></iframe></p>
  • This Just In: Nissan and Italdesign Team Up for GT-R50 Concept
    <style type="text/css"><!-- p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 8.0px 0.0px; text-indent: 36.0px; font: 14.0px 'Courier New'; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 8.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px 'Courier New'; color: #000000; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} --></style> <h4 class="p1"><img height="675" src="/images/Nissan_GT-R50.jpg" width="1013" /></h4> <h4 class="p1"><span class="s1">With the Goodwood Festival of Speed in full swing, it&rsquo;s not surprising that much of the news surrounds cars that would be right at home on this historic estate&rsquo;s circuit. While the production version of Toyota&rsquo;s all-new Supra is one headliner, rival Nissan is not to be outdone. Nissan also used Goodwood to introduce the world to a one-off concept of the new GT-R developed with famed Italdesign. Known as the GT-R50, it is an expression of what the next generation GT-R might be. Might, is the operative word, as Nissan goes on to say it is not the real car, at least not yet.</span></h4> <h4 class="p2"><span class="s1">But, while this &ldquo;spawn of Godzilla&rdquo; may never be more than a concept, the inclusion of the number &ldquo;50&rdquo; has fueled rumors that there just might be that many copies, if Nissan thinks they can get the cool million-plus asking price.</span></h4> <h4></h4>