David Undercoffler

West Coast Bureau Reporter
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Recent authored articles

After 41 years, Honda's Mendel drives off

Forty-one years can teach you a lot about the auto industry -- including when it's the right time to go out on top. On April 1, American Honda's John Mendel will do just that.

Can Hyundai's Ioniq make inroads against Prius?

Since the Toyota Prius went on sale in 2000, nameplates such as Ford's C-Max and Honda's Insight have tried to mount a serious challenge to its domination of the hybrid market. And they have fallen woefully short.

Volvo pegs EV range at 250 miles

Volvo's first-ever electric vehicle will likely have a range of at least 250 miles and a price starting between $35,000 and $40,000 when it debuts in 2019, Volvo Americas CEO said.

Bentley tests EV waters with concept

Bentley debuted a sultry convertible concept, the EXP 12 Speed 6e, which represented both the brand's first all-electric concept powertrain and a styling shift for the brand.

Exotic brands: A hub of bespoke activity

Customization and derivation were everywhere at the Geneva show as ultra-premium brands launched new ways to build a bespoke model or upped the power ante and exclusivity of existing vehicles.

Honda's Civic Type R to take on hot hatches

Honda's 306-hp Civic Type R hatchback, which debuted last week at the Geneva auto show, will challenge other hot hatches such as the Subaru WRX STI and Volkswagen Golf R.

Geneva's hits and misses

Reporter and vintage croissant collector David Undercoffler sorts out the industry's hits and misses at the Geneva auto show.

Hyundai sees Ioniq as a compact contender

Hyundai's Ioniq is the most fuel efficient car in the industry without a plug. But the automaker isn't aiming for just a bigger slice of the green-car market.

Boys are back at Bentley

The racing-driven marketing formula that helped build the Bentley legend back in the 1920s is enjoying another strong run now as CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer works to reinvigorate a brand that had gone stale.

Honda Civic Type R, packing 306 hp, ends performance drought

UPDATED: 3/7/17 5:00 pm ET - adds gallery

Honda will bring a 306-hp Civic Type R hatchback to the U.S. this spring for the first time, ending the brand's years-long performance-car drought.

McLaren fine-tunes Super Series with 720S

UPDATED: 3/7/17 5:00 pm ET - adds gallery

When British supercar builder McLaren set about creating the successor to the popular 650S, the exotic brand did the usual: It cut weight, boosted power and ushered in a new design language.

Aston Martin revs up performance with AMR subbrand

Aston Martin plans to capitalize on the global thirst for low-volume performance models and its own racing heritage by introducing an AMR subbrand.

Mitsubishi pads Canadian crossover lineup with Eclipse Cross

Mitsubishi will kick off its long-promised product revival with a new compact crossover dubbed the Eclipse Cross, slated to hit the Canadian market in 2018.

Mitsubishi pads crossover lineup with Eclipse Cross

Mitsubishi will kick off its long-promised product revival with a new compact crossover dubbed the Eclipse Cross, slated to hit the U.S. market in 2018.

Honda settles for an 80-mile EV

Honda's Clarity all-electric model debuting this spring will have only about 80 miles of range on a single charge, Automotive News has learned.

Mendel's exit at Honda elevates U.S. newcomer

Tucked beneath the headlines last week about John Mendel's retirement from Honda were other several other key personnel changes that will shape the company's path moving forward.

SUV? Electric car? They'll kill 2 birds with 1 Bentley

Bentley Motors is eyeing a new strategy for both its SUV lineup and its electrification plans: combining them.

Honda's Mendel to retire April 1; Conrad gets top role

UPDATED: 2/21/17 7:50 pm ET -- adds Mendel remarks

John Mendel, an auto industry veteran who steered Honda and Acura through the Takata airbag crisis, is retiring as executive vice president of American Honda's auto divisions, effective April 1.

American Honda Executive VP John Mendel to retire April 1; Jeff Conrad gets top role

John Mendel, an auto industry veteran who steered Honda and Acura through the Takata airbag crisis, is retiring as executive vice president of American Honda's auto divisions, effective April 1.

Hyundai Elantra GT packs more tech, interior space for 2018

UPDATED: 2/9/17 2:26 pm ET

Hyundai is prepping to sell a freshened Elantra GT starting this summer to capitalize on a growing appetite for hatchbacks in the U.S. and inject some pizazz into its small-car lineup.

Hyundai preps big styling changes for crossovers

Big styling changes are headed to Hyundai's crossovers, according to new spy photos. Photographers caught a prototype of Hyundai's next-gen Santa Fe undergoing cold-weather testing in Sweden.

Hyundai vows to refine marketing

Hyundai will spend 2017 making "better" better.

Acura details plans to update TLX

Acura's midsize TLX sedan will use an upcoming refresh to visually distinguish the four-cylinder and six-cylinder models and will add an enthusiast-oriented A-Spec model.

Kia may limit dealers who can sell Stinger

Kia's new Stinger luxury hatchback was the hit of the Detroit auto show when it debuted in January, and the brand has big plans for its impact on Kia's image.

Defensive driving fuels Kia store offensive

Part defensive driving course, part unofficial r&d lab, part business opportunity. There's really no downside to the B.R.A.K.E.S.

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