The team -- initially dubbed the “quiz kids” because they cajoled Ford colleagues with so many questions early on -- included Robert McNamara, who also became Ford president before serving as secretary of defense under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
More to the point, the 2018 model’s numbers beat out four-cylinder rivals such as the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima, while essentially matching the Mazda 6’s performance. Still, acceleration is not where the new Accord’s advantages lie.
Winter weather is frequently wet, and this draws all the dirt and road salt from the road surface, so you’ll spend lots of time using your windscreen wipers. Assuming your wipers are in good shape, there’s still a high risk of them smearing grime across the windscreen if your screen wash bottle is empty.
What the 2018 Accord brings is a next-level driving experience. This Honda interacts with its driver almost intuitively; there’s an eagerness that isn’t available in its competitors. Let’s start with the transmission.
The Shelby GT350 and its R-rated twin were revived by Ford in 2016, almost 50 years after retirement. They immediately transcended Mustang performance and earned a spot on our 10Best Cars list. Changes for 2017 were minimal but meaningful. Most notably, the Track package became standard on the GT350. It includes an aluminum strut-tower brace, a rear spoiler, adaptive dampers, and coolers for the engine oil, transmission, and Torsen differential. The improved cooling addresses overheating issues some GT350 owners had while driving at the racetrack. Ford also rejiggered the options and paint choices. The Technology package from the previous year became the Electronics package on the GT350; it has Sync 3 infotainment, voice-activated navigation, and a nine-speaker Sony stereo. The new Convenience package had all that, too, but swapped the standard Recaro front buckets for leather-trimmed, power-adjustable seats. The paint colors Ruby Red Metallic, Lightning Blue, and Grabber Blue replaced Deep Impact Blue and Competition Orange for 2017.
Thor is the largest RV builder in America, producing one in four of the new RVs you see on the road. Thor was formed in 2010 by the merger of Damon Motor Coach and Four Winds International. Thor produces all kinds of gas- and diesel-powered Class A and Class C RVs. A Class A is basically one of those huge rectangles you see powering down the highway, often with a mural of lions and lionesses on the back. Class C is what looks more like a Class A in back but like a cabover camper in front. Class Cs ride on pickup truck frames and are powered by pickup truck powertrains. There are other classes of motor homes out there: those van conversions, all those things built on the Mercedes Sprinter. And then there are trailers, from monster fifth-wheel hauling homes to tiny teardrop-shaped sleepers.
Opel executives did not mention whether the automaker will seek to sell cars in the U.S. But "nothing more stands in the way" of a possible U.S. market entry once Opel has shifted its product lineup to PSA platforms from GM architectures, said Opel’s labor leader Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug, Opel’s labor leader, who is an Opel board member.
• 19-inch wheels and tires
With Opel's entire lineup moving to PSA platforms, Opel has much more freedom to pursue sales in non-European markets. "Opel will go global, finally," CEO Michael Lohscheller said here on Thursday while presenting the so-called PACE restructuring plan.
But are these updates enough to keep what is, in effect, an eight-year-old car competitive in an increasingly competitive market?