Hyundai has presented an alternative look at the Veloster, one that puts an off-road spin to

Hyundai has presented an alternative look at the Veloster, one that puts an off-road spin to the otherwise plucky hatchback. The model, called the Veloster Grappler Concept, is sporty, rugged, and can go anywhere your heart desires. It will be presented at the 2019 SEMA Auto Show, but like most concepts that attend SEMA, there’s no indication that the Veloster Grappler, or even a derivative of the concept, will end up in production. All the same, the Veloster Grappler Concept looks like it’s ready to hit the trails. By the looks of it, the concept would make for a great companion in the outdoors. Hyundai’s little hatchback just received an incredible makeover to the extent that I didn’t recognize it as the Veloster at first. Make no mistake, folks. The Veloster isn’t suffering from an identity crisis; it’s showcasing a new level of purpose that many people either didn’t see before or just didn’t know existed. The headlights are the same. The quirky shape of the hatchback remains the same. Even the cuts and body lines are intact. Hyundai didn’t try to alter the Veloster’s physical makeup. What it did was reinvent its purpose with enough new parts and equipment to create a far mor...

Dual-clutch gearbox complaints haunt Ford AN-LOGO-BLUE AN-LOGO-BLUE

The Ford Focus and Fiesta are fading away in the U.S., but the headaches caused by the small cars’ PowerShift dual-clutch transmissions live on. Ford Motor Co. never conquered the long-term reliability problems on the gearboxes that thousands of customers complained would shudder, jerk and hesitate. Although engineers helped solve some early glitches with software updates and redesigned parts, Ford issued more than 20 technical service bulletins related to the transmissions, which were code-named DPS6. In 2014, Ford extended the transmissions’ warranty by two years and 40,000 miles. Litigation over the transmissions remains unresolved. Ford reached a settlement in 2017 for a class-action lawsuit covering 1.9 million owners, but the settlement is being challenged in a federal court in California on the grounds that not enough owners would be compensated. A separate mass-tort case involving thousands of customers is pending in Michigan. Former Ford CEO Mark Fields has been ordered to testify by July 31 in a series of cases involving customers who opted out of the class-action suit. A Florida judge last month denied Fields’ motion to avoid testifying. Ford also ha...