NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mitsubishi Motors announced on Tuesday that it is relocating its North America headquarters from California to Tennessee, a move that will bring the Japanese automaker closer to its sister company Nissan and strengthen Tennessee's growing reputation as an epicenter of the automotive sector.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe — who made the announcement with Mitsubishi Motors North America — say the headquarters move from Cypress, California, to Franklin, Tennessee, will result in an $18.25 million investment in the region and approximately 200 jobs.
Last Friday, David Woodhouse suddenly resigned from his dual positions as Ford's director of global strategic design and director of Lincoln design. In a post not long after leaving, he praised the efforts of his former team over the past six years he headed design at Lincoln. Among other products, that crew gave us the redesigned Navigator, the Continental concept and production sedan, and the Aviator concept and production crossover. Car Design News reports Woodhouse traded Michigan for California, taking the role of VP at Nissan Design America in San Diego. He officially assumes the position July 1, and will also serve on the Japanese automaker's Global Nissan Design Management Committee.
Woodhouse has spent more than 25 years in the design department, starting with BMW and work on the Mini and Range Rover brands, followed by a brief stint with Cadillac of Europe. For the past 20 years he's been with Ford, coming on board with the Ford's former luxury arm known as the Premier Automotive Group — Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Volvo and Lincoln.
The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary edition made its debut a few months back at this year's Chicago Auto Show. The special model was limited to just 3,000 units worldwide, with just 500 heading to the U.S. Miata enthusiasts were so excited by the car that the entire allotment sold out within four hours. To help satisfy demand for this limited edition model, Mazda is allocating another 143 cars for the American market, bringing the total number of cars heading to the U.S. to 643. Note, Mazda is still only building 3,000 cars total.
The 30th Anniversary Miata is available as both a roadster and the retractable hardtop Miata RF. All of them will be painted Racing Orange and will be fitted with RAYS ZE40 17-inch forged alloy wheels, orange Brembo brake calipers and Recaro seats. The cars also come with a Bose audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The cars still retain the 2019 Miata's updated 2.0-liter inline-four making 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Cars equipped with the manual transmission get a limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks and a front shock tower brace.
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport initially showed us its new sheetmetal at the Geneva Motor Show, but we got a chance to check out the vehicle in the flesh at the company's research and development center in Ann Arbor, Mich., today. Nearly everything we learned about the Outlander Sport (known as the ASX in other markets) before applies to the North American version of the vehicle.
However, one aspect we were uncertain of was the continued presence of the manual transmission. We asked, and Mitsubishi is officially dropping the stick shift version of the Outlander Sport with this update. It was previously only available on the base trim level, exclusively paired with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Mitsubishi was one of the last holdouts to offer a manual transmission option in the small crossover market, and now they're officially out. Three-pedal versions of the Outlander Sport represented just 2% of total model sales, so the business case just wasn't there anymore.
When the 2020 Toyota Supra was revealed at the Detroit Auto Show, only one engine option was announced for the U.S.: a 335-horsepower inline-six. It looks like that will change, though, as California Air Resources Board documentation, originally discovered by Automobile, reveals that the organization certified a four-cylinder version for the 2020 model. This indicates that we'll probably see a four-cylinder Supra in the U.S. soon. The engine listed is a 2.0-liter unit with an eight-speed automatic transmission and is listed as being used in several other BMWs including the already announced four-cylinder Z4 sDrive30i.
We know of two four-cylinder engines being offered in the new Supra in Japan. One makes just 197 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and the other makes 255-horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This latter one is surely the one listed in the CARB documentation since the numbers match the four-cylinder BMW Z4 exactly, and that model is in the same listing.
Although they might get a bad rep for not being "cool," minivans can be some of the most unique and interesting vehicles on the market. Their spacious size and clever packaging allows for design and functionality that cannot be found in any other type of family hauler. Lexus proves as such with the debut of its flagship luxury MPV, the LM, a wild-style van that can be ordered as a sort of personal private limousine with a 26-inch screen. Sadly, it's only for China and other Asian markets.
Based on the Toyota Alphard, the LM caters to a Chinese market that places major importance on luxury and comfort for the on-the-go business professional. That means privacy and space, so in addition to a seven-seater configuration, the LM can be ordered in a four-seat chauffeur setup. It includes two gigantic reclining captain chairs (separated by an armrest with built-in touch control panel), a partition with power glass and a built-in 26-inch screen, a 14-liter fridge, umbrella storage, and a 19-speaker sound system. To ensure optimal tranquility, the van has double-layer noise-reducing glass.