The feud between Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Vin Diesel not only rages on, but is getting even more heated as filming for the upcoming Fast 8 film comes to a close. Previous reports claim that Johnson, who called his fellow male actors “candy asses”, and Diesel were arguing over decisions the latter made that didn’t sit well with ‘The Rock.’ Earlier this month, anonymous sources claimed the two had met to squash their beef, putting an end to their quarreling. The latest tidbit of news, though, muddles the waters even more – the actors were likely never really fighting.
According to Life & Style Magazine, the feud between Johnson, who plays Luke Hobbs, and Diesel, who will reprise his role as Dominic Toretto, was a hoax. An anonymous source told the outlet that the feud between the two was a stunt to get people aroused for a WWE wrestling match and to promote the Fast 8film. The source claims the stunt was Johnson’s idea. After all, the star first got his start in wrestling.
While the report sounds like it’s coming out of left field – partly because it is – it sort of makes sense. Johnson’s movie career involves numerous films with other actors that were probably difficult to work with and the actor has never voiced any negative words towards another actor. At least not in the way he did towards Diesel.
On the other hand, if the fake feud is being used to garner attention, the actors aren’t taking it far enough. Wouldn’t there be more rants aimed at one another? Something doesn’t add up and, if you ask us, we think the hatred between the two is real. The anonymous source may be trying to cover up the real conflict between the actors.
Either way, a wrestling match between ‘The Rock’ and Diesel would be huge for both the film and WWE. Only time will tell if Johnson and Diesel really settle their anger in the ring, but if they do, our money’s on ‘The Rock.’
A California bill that would have made the state’s mandates for zero-emissions vehicle adoption stricter during the next decade was withdrawn late last week because of opposition from the oil industry, unions, and, of course, automakers, Reuters says. Assemblywoman Autumn Burke had been pushing for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to legislate that at least 15 percent of new vehicles sold in the state would have to be emissions-free by 2025. Burke said the one-week deadline to move the bill through the legislative process was too short.
The state had already set a goal in 2012 to have 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles on California’s roads by 2025. Two years later, California began heading what’s called the Multi-State ZEV Action Plan. That program, which also included Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, set a goal to have a collective 3.3 million zero-emissions vehicles on those states’ roads within the next decade.
The issue with Burke was that the state’s current program allowed some automakers to skirt the issue by buying zero-emissions credits instead of making the necessary cars. And she’s not alone, says the San Francisco Chronicle. Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk has joined environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council in the assertion that the 1.5-million-vehicle goal for 2025 is a pipe dream. Meanwhile, Tesla’s revenue from zero-emissions credits sales totaled $57 million in the first quarter, though the electric-vehicle maker didn’t disclose second-quarter figures.
While California accounts for almost half of the country’s plug-in vehicles, fewer than one percent of California’s registered vehicles are of the plug-in variety. To that end, CARB plans to discuss potential tweaks to the state’s zero-emission goals towards the end of the year.
A couple weeks ago, we got a fairly comprehensive set of 2018 Jeep Wrangler spy shots. For fans of the JK-series Jeeps, it was all good news: the basic Wrangler Unlimited formula and shape is present and accounted for, meaning this new Wrangler will be an evolution of the current SUV, rather than a ground-up reimagining.
The new shots give us some more detail than we had previously, and let us point out some JL Wrangler features that reaffirm FCA’s conservative approach. First of all, the heavy camouflage doesn’t manage to fully cover the exposed door hinges, just like in the current model, so those are a safe bet for the production version. The raked-back windshield might lose its ability to fold down, we’ve heard. The JL remains a body-on-frame truck with a solid front axle, evidenced by the front diff peeking out and the radius arms connected to them.
The large exterior mirrors also appear to be carryover items, and the taillights look indistinguishable from the current JK. We expect the front fascia to remain clearly recognizable as a Wrangler, but don’t be surprised if the headlight and sidemarkers incorporate some LED elements as a nod to current trends.
Remember, the JL will spawn a pickup version, and will slim down for better fuel economy with some aluminum elements, likely incorporated in the body. We expect the Pentastar V6 to carry over, but be joined by a diesel and a mild hybrid at some point in the future. It’ll be built alongside its JK predecessor for a short time in Toledo, Ohio.
It seems weird to type “Genesis” without “Hyundai” in front of it – unless we’re referring to the band, of course, which we aren’t. What we have here is the first car that’ll launch under Hyundai’s new premium brand, officially called Genesis. This is essentially the replacement for the Equus, and when it reaches the States, it’ll be called G90.
The G90 clearly makes strong use of Hyundai’s “Athletic Elegance” design language, and looks like a more premium version of the existing Genesis sedan. There’s a long hood, hexagonal grille, and vertically oriented taillamps that flow down the rear fascia. Judging by these low-res spy shots, we like what we see – even if, from some angles, it looks strangely familiar.
Genesis (the brand) launches next month in Hyundai’s home market. Following the G90, the Genesis sedan as we currently know it will move to G80 nomenclature, and a midsize, rear-wheel-drive sedan – G70 – will follow. A luxury SUV and sport coupe will round out the premium lineup.
Head over to Korean site Bobaedream.co.kr for a view of the G90’s rump, as well.
The execs at Ram are changing their tune about the possibility of a midsize truck in the US. Nothing is certain yet, but the chances now look a little more favorable.
“I think there’s opportunity there in the US if you look at what’s happened in the mid-size segment here – significant growth last year,” Jeep and Ram boss Mike Manley told the Detroit News. “I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there.”
The other product that Manley alludes to is the forthcoming Jeep Wrangler-based pickup that’s due in 2017. However, there might not be much customer overlap between the Jeep and those looking for a more traditional Ram-branded model.
Manley admitted the most likely candidate for a midsize Ram would be for the company to use an existing Fiat platform, according to the News. One possibility could be rebranding the Fiat Toro pickup, but it’s rather small at 20-inches shorter than a Chevrolet Colorado.
This greater openness to a midsize Ram is a complete change from the company’s position in the past, though. Last spring, the brand’s CEO for North America said he couldn’t find a strategy to make the model work. FCA boss Sergio Marchionne made the same point in 2014, when he admitted the company showed a Ram 1000 at design clinics, but the response was “lukewarm.”
Over the past couple years, the midsize truck market has a renaissance of fresh products. The Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are successes both critically and commercially. The latest Tacoma is on sale, and the new Honda Ridgeline is imminent. We know Nissan has a Frontier successor under development, and there are always rumors of Ford reviving the Ranger in the US. With so much development in the segment, it’s easy to see why Ram would want to be at the party.
The CR-Z’s agility is backed up by its punchy hybrid powerplant that produces up to an impressive 140 lb-ft of torque (MT)2, while offering EPA fuel economy ratings of up to 36/39/37 mpg3 city/highway/combined (CVT).
Boasting an edgier, more chiseled look, the redesigned front end features sharp character lines that flow from the sheet work and terminate in an angular eight-point polygon grill. A sharp, blade-like front diffuser sweeps up from the center and dissects the front corners to form triangular fog light wells that create a wider look and feature prominent lower aero sills. The aggressive stance created by the front end continues along the CR-Z’s sides with flared full-length side garnishes that create a planted and sucked-to-the-tarmac look, complemented by new swept five-spoke design alloy wheels. The upward sweeping aero features of the front are mirrored at the rear, pushing the exit pod design elements to the sides for a wider looking stance.
Upgraded interior surface treatments include a new brushed metallic finish to the door handles, front paneling and center console. The leather-wrapped steering wheel and new-for-2016 heated and leather-trimmed seats on the top-of-the-line EX-L Navi trim include an attractive contrasting stitch pattern. Creating an even sportier cockpit feel, a new center console rises between the seats with a comfortable armrest and deep storage compartment. Allowing for this addition is a new standard electric parking brake (EPB) that eliminates the traditional parking brake lever and offers easier push-button operation. Another new standard convenience feature is the Smart Entry and Push Button Start/Stop system that simplifies approaching, entering and operating the CR-Z.
Newly standard on all CR-Z models is the 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen. The intuitive and easy-to-use Display Audio lets you swipe, tap and pinch–just like on a tablet computer or smartphone–to control the vehicle’s audio system, display settings and other advanced features, including Pandora® compatibility. CR-Z EX and EX-L Navi trims include Honda LaneWatch™, which displays a wide-angle view of the passenger side roadway on the Display Audio screen. On the new EX-L trim, Display Audio includes as standard the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition and Honda HD Digital Traffic.
The current Dodge Charger, for sale in Portland, is getting long in the tooth. It was originally introduced in 2005 as a 2006 model. In car terms, that’s an eternity, though it’s been refreshed twice. Still, FCA US will keep the LX-generation car going, reportedly facelifting it one last time for 2019. After that, there are some bigger changes in store.
Automotive News is reporting that the follower to the current LX Charger will lose almost 500 pounds and will once again offer a turbo four-cylinder. You might remember the front-wheel-drive four-banger Charger of the early ’80s. The recharged sedan will be twin-turbo and it’s going to use the 300-horsepower four-cylinder engine currently under development for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, AN says. The target weight for the future car is around 3,500 lbs, while the current car has a curb weight of nearly 4,000 lbs. Look for it to arrive in the early 2020s.
The new platform will have a touch of Italian flair instead of the Daimler-Benz flavor embedded deep inside the LX cars. It will be built on an extended version of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia’s “Giorgio” platform, according to AN. Dealers were already shown a styling-buck almost a year ago.