Car News In the Rearview: Mazda Motors Are Under Pressure
Hello, and welcome to In the Rearview, where we bring you the week’s car news, in delightful, travel-size form.
First up this week is your reminder that robots are continuing their inevitable march to taking all of our jobs, as self-driving cars are estimated to take away 300,000 American jobs each year if they become widespread. Some, though, think these jobs will simply move elsewhere, although the guy who said that also said they would move to constructing new, affluent communities outside urban centers he dubbed “exurbs,” apparently forgetting that “suburb” is already the word for that thing he described.
Then, Google in the form of Waymo is taking another step toward pedestrian safety with a wacky patent for somewhat collapsible car panels, which can be tensed while driving to make strong body panels, but released in a collision to absorb the impact. Try not to think too hard about how much that sounds like the company covered a car in muscle.
In other hot tech news, Mazda has officially revealed a new engine which, at least some of the time, works by igniting its gasoline fuel using compression alone, as if it were a diesel. Dubbed SKYACTIV-X, the new engine series would deliver superior torque and fuel economy, while letting the little automaker thumb its nose at its much larger rivals who had tried and given up on compression-ignition gasoline engines.
In awards, the new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross has made it onto the short list for Auto Bild‘s Golden Steering Wheel Awards. I don’t know, though–I was never particularly a fan of the new Eclipse, particular due to its taillight monobrow.
In the world of motorsports, I continue to learn things about Formula 1, as this week the racing series’ Gene Haas lamented the cash gap between the top teams and the rest of the pack. This is a similar problem to what happens in baseball, where the team with the most cash can attract the best competitors, and so therefore consistently wins.
On that depressing note, we move on to a list of the top seven vehicles which won’t be coming back for the 2018 model year. For the most part, it’s passenger cars, but with two SUVs, including the Jeep Patriot, which was already obsolete in its own lineup, and the VW Touareg, which was apparently too expensive for the average buyer.
Finally, Kia is taking its cars on the road (heh), as it is holding roadshows ahead of its launch in India. Weirdly, these roadshows are happening this month and in September, while the launch is coming until 2019. I guess Kia is going for the “slow burn” approach to hype, there.