Archive

Archive for December, 2010

Orange Cars to Celebrate the New Year

December 31st, 2010

In honor of the New Year and for no particular other reason, we offer you images of crazy orange cars that we like. I mean, some people celebrate all year round, right? What better way to do that than by driving an orange car?

Above is a BMW 3.0 CSL, probably a 1973, and maybe the most beautiful car the company ever made. Back in that era, I was lucky enough to find a 1967 2000 CS, immediate ancestor of the CSL, and had it for a couple of years. The car was painted a kind of barnyard brown, but was still a prize.

CSLs (L for the lightened versions) were hotted up and raced a lot with great success during the 1970s. In 1973, the company added some aero mods, including a big wing and front spoiler, which gave it the name Batmobile.

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Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat

Automotive Trends and Lessons from 2010

December 31st, 2010

When the car industry imploded in 2009, no one quite knew what to expect out of 2010.

Would Chrysler and GM survive? Would Toyota or Honda become the new darlings of American car production? What would happen to gas prices and how would automakers respond? Perhaps most importantly, how might automakers help us text while driving more efficiently?

Of course, 2010 answered all those questions and we ended up with some pleasant surprises, some cool innovations and some miserable failures.

Let’s begin with a couple of failures:

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, Gas for your car..., General Chat, Hybrid Cars

Ford Loading Up Its Cars with Gadgets and Junk

December 30th, 2010

Three recent additions to the Ford lineup are, in my opinion, blatant add-ons in an attempt to lard over the driving experience with still more unnecessary junk. One other new thing, Auto Start-Stop, might turn out to be worthwhile. But don’t bet on it.

All this stuff puts the driver out of touch with his vehicle, is distracting, intrusive—or both—and adds cost.

Ford’s SYNC is the worst offender in the distraction department. It controls music and car functions with voice recognition (in which there are problems); integrates your mobile phone; supports iPod, Bluetooth, text messaging, and a host of other unneeded apps.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Parts, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, General Chat

Cars Coming Soon-> The Best Concept Cars of 2010

December 30th, 2010

Porsche 918 Spyder

Rarely do concept cars go from the floors of auto shows to the floors of dealers. Concepts either exist as quickly bolted together pieces of sheetmetal built to showcase a new technology, or simply exist to showcase an automakers coming design change.

Most concept cars are quickly forgotten, but some linger in the collective minds of auto aficionados long after the auto show doors close.

Keep reading for the four concepts from 2010 that have stuck with me, either because of their jaw-dropping sexiness or mind-bending new technology.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Cars Coming Soon, Electric Vehicles, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Hybrid Cars

Drinking and Driving on New Year’s Eve

December 29th, 2010

It’s now that time of year when the warnings about drinking and driving spring up. Let it be known that yours truly does indeed plan to drink, but not to drive. There have been times in my life when the situation was otherwise.

Like the 1 in 10 people who knowingly drove drunk (as reported by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety), I occasionally said, “the hell with it,” and got behind the wheel anyway.

Well, the report makes clear that by doing that you are battling not only almost-universal social disapproval (93 percent) but the odds: Alcohol-related fatalities on New Year’s Day were almost 150 percent higher than on the same day of the week during other days of the holiday season.

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Car Minded, Car Safety, General Chat

Prediction: Gas Prices To Hit $5 Per Gallon In 2012

December 29th, 2010

2003 Honda Civic- the car for the coming "gasapocalypse"?

I’m one of those guys who likes to complain about high gas prices.

Every time I pull up to a pump with prices over $3 per gallon for 87 octane, I whine and grumble to anyone lucky enough to be in the car with me. I do take some solace, though, in the fact that my car usually takes only 8-9 gallons to move the needle from “E” to “F.”

Sub $30-fill ups I can handle.

It’s certainly hard to think of that price as a bargain, but according to the former president of Shell Oil, that’s exactly what it is. At least, it’s a bargain compared to what’s in store…

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Foreign Cars, General Chat

Green Update–>Chevy Volt, the jgoods Car of the Year

December 28th, 2010

We know many of you have been clamoring to know how the voting would turn out. Now the envelope can be opened: The Volt is my pick for Car of the Year.

It was an easy one. Yeah, I know the car got similar awards from Motor Trend and Automobile and others. We aren’t influenced by such puffery, but the reviews everywhere are more than positive, the specs impress, it’s fun to drive, and the car should sell.

The Volt has delivered pretty much what GM had promised. Where the company really screwed up was in its first attempts to explain how the propulsion system worked and in its subsequent attempts to explain its fuel economy.

However, the Volt is a genuine breakthrough, and there is no car like it. GM created a mainstream car that is a joy to drive, seamless in its gas-electric operation, and one which uses “less fuel than any gas- or diesel-powered car sold in America.”

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Gas for your car..., General Chat, Green Updates, Hybrid Cars

Porsche May Unveil New Supercar in Detroit

December 28th, 2010

2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Does Porsche need another supercar?

The company already has its $245,000 911 GT2 RS, powered by a watercooled six-cylinder twin-turbo Boxer engine that generates an enormous 620-hp and 516 lb-feet of torque. The 0-60 sprint takes just 3.4 seconds. Naught to 124 mph happens in 9.8 seconds. Reaching 186 happens in less time it than it takes to watch a TV commercial.

Good enough by anyone’s supercar standards? I should say so. But Porsche thinks it can do better. Maybe.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shows, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat

BMW’s 2013 Megacity: What Will It Look Like?

December 27th, 2010

Don’t you hate teaser images like this? This one has been floating around the Internet for months now, but we’ve seen other ideas of what the new car might look like. Check them out after the break.

BMW is quite serious about producing an electric car for the city and has just filed trademarks for a new logo and the i1, i2, i3, …i9 model labels. The car will be made in a new $561-million facility in Leipzig, using carbon fiber made in Moses Lake, Washington, where a $100-million plant broke ground in July.

It’s safe to say this will not be just another “sardine can.” The car will use carbon fiber and aluminum to keep weight down. It will seat four, with suicide doors, and be about as long as a Ford Fiesta. Range is predicted at 100 miles; top speed, 95 mph.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Electric Vehicles, Foreign Cars, General Chat

Did Santa Disappoint? Cash In On These End of the Year Car Deals

December 27th, 2010

BMW M3: 414-hp V8, 0.9% financing and $1500 off!

After all the work you did for others this holiday season, you should reward yourself with something nice. Like, really, really nice.

Like new car nice.

At the end of any month, car dealers look to maximize sales numbers and are more apt to negotiate in your favor. This year has been pretty decent as far as new car sales go, and auto manufacturers and dealers want to keep the momentum going into 2011. Now that we’re in the last week of December, and the last week of 2010, this could be an incredibly good week to drive home the gift of a new car… if Santa failed to deliver one Friday night.

Keep reading for some of the great offers available through the end of the year.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs