As a nationally syndicated automotive columnist and reporter for the Chicago Tribune, I've written more than 700 stories appearing in more than 100 publications, according to Muckrack. In addition, I've been featured on radio, panels, press events and more, inaddition to being a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Assocation. I cut my teeth writing restaurant reviews for Centerstage back when the internet was a baby, then grew into reviewing books and the literary arts for publications ranging from New City to Chicago Reader and Chicago Tribune. Though I have reviewed everything from industrial meat slicers to Christmas tchotchkes, I am a propnent of advanced powertrain technology in plug-in cars and other efficient vehicles.
Hybrids, Plug-ins & Electrics
The market for plug-in cars, which include plug-in hybrids (PHEV), full electric cars (BEV), and fuel cell vehicles (FCEV) is expected to grow from under 2 percent now to 15 percent by 2025. That's a conservative estimate, and worldwide the percentage is expected to increase. Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and other automakers expect plug-in vehicles to account for 25 percent of sales, while automakers such as Volvo and Ford have committed to electrified versions of most if not all of their vehiicles. Electrified could mean a mild hybrid system supplemented by a 48-volt battery. Yes, there are less tailpipe emissions, and lesss emissions from wheel to well, but electric powertrains are fun to drive, too, with zippy off-the-line acceleration and no gear shifts.
Cars & Wagons
Cars may be a shrinking segment but they still account for millions in sales annually and are the most exciting segment. From six-figure supercars to sleek new wagons, here's a look at the good, the bad, and the mind-blowing.
Crossovers & Vans
From subcompact crossovers, or cute utes, such as the Honda HR-V and Buick Encore, to America's best-selling ssegment, the three-row midsize crossover, the crossover segment comprises nearly 50 percent of all new vehicles sold. I've reviewed hundreds of them, though it has felt like thousands. Here's the latest.
SUVs & Trucks
The pickup truck market continues to innovate, fueled in part by large profit margins on the three best-sellling vehicles in America, the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Ram 1500. While heavy duty variants churn out 1,000 pound-feet of torque and half ton offerings get more and more refined and luxurious, there is a resurgent in the midsize pickup with the return of the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator. The truck-based full-size SUVs such as the Lincoln Navigator and Chevy Suburban are also red hot.
While in grad school, I returned to journalism covering the literary arts for markets ranging from Rain Taxi and New Pages to New City, Chicago Reader, TimeOut Chicago, and the Chicago Tribune. Reviewing a $10 book is much more difficult than reviewing a six-figure car. Here are a few of my favorites.