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You Can’t Own a Ferrari Sergio, But You Could Own Ferrari

October 30th, 2014

Ferrari Sergio

It’s probably the strangest Ferrari ever built.

The Ferrari Sergio looks like it’s facing the wrong direction—it has the rear haunches of a Veyron and the front dimensions of a poorly designed Hot Wheels model.

The irony behind the Sergio’s odd design is that it was built to honor Sergio Pininfarina, the legendary designer who created many of the trademark Ferrari shapes.

Even crazier, Ferrari will build only 6 copies of the Sergio, each of which is already spoken for, at a price that probably exceeds $2.5 million each.

Needless to say you can’t buy one. But soon you’ll be able to buy a part of Ferrari itself, as the company will be sold out from Fiat’s ownership. Sort of.

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Lexus NX: Just a RAV4 With a Spit Shine?

October 28th, 2014

2015 Lexus NX 200t F-Sport

The problem:

Lexus didn’t have a vehicle to compete against the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

The opportunity:

Lexus has a solid and successful SUV in the RX series, which has dominated the luxury SUV market for more than 15 years. It could use that leverage to field a new, smaller vehicle and compete in a new category.

The solution:

Take the Toyota RAV4, put in a new engine, use a sexy new Lexus body, add some luxurious and hi-tech amenities, and BAM! We have the new Lexus NX, due in dealerships next month.

With pricing and specs now released, we ask: Is the NX a worthy competitor in this market, or will looking used be a better buy?

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Say Bye-Bye to British-Built Jaguars

October 27th, 2014

2014 Jaguar XF

If a British car is built in China under direction from its corporate headquarters in India, is it still British?

That’s the question facing Jaguar Land Rover, as the company will officially start building vehicles outside its Coventry headquarters next month.

Would a “Made in China” sticker affect your decision to buy a Jaguar? How about a Land Rover built in the United States?

Both are possible now that JLR is expanding its production overseas.

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10 Cars Fit for a King (James, That Is)

October 24th, 2014

2015 Kia K900

LeBron James recently made some big news by promoting the Kia K900, not because he was being paid, but because he’s a big fan of the car. He has since partnered with Kia to promote its luxury brand. LeBron is not a small man, but the K900 seems to be a good fit for him. But that got us thinking: Is the K900 really the best fit for LeBron? We looked at our data to determine which vehicles can best fit someone of LeBron’s stature. These cars are truly fit for a “King,” or at least a very big and/or tall individual.

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Comparing Sound: Mustang Against Hellcat

October 21st, 2014

2015-dodge-challenger-srt-hellcat

Active Noise Control sounds like a feature you would want on your next car. The name implies that the car actively controls the noise you hear, or don’t hear, while driving.

That’s accurate, but Ford this week is catching all kinds of negative attention for the feature, which comes standard on all 2015 Mustangs equipped with the 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

You see, Active Noise Control doesn’t limit the sound coming into the cabin, it creates it. Since a 4-cylinder doesn’t sound like a muscle car, Ford pipes in some satisfying engine notes to make things feel like they match the 300+ horsepower the little engine delivers.

The Challenger Hellcat doesn’t require such technology.

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Porsche vs. Corvette: It Always Ends the Same

October 20th, 2014

 

porsche_vs_corvette

Showdowns between Porsche and Corvette always end in Porsche’s favor.

The word “always” is a dangerous one to use, but in this case it fits. There hasn’t been a time that I can recall when a Chevy Corvette has beat out a Porsche 911 or even a Cayman.

I suppose a Corvette vs. Cayenne showdown might end in Chevy’s favor, but that’s not a track competition anyone’s been too interested to complete.

European handling and balance of power simply destroys the American Corvette’s horsepower advantage. Every time.

Well, until now.

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Our 10 Favorite EVs

October 17th, 2014

2011 Chevrolet Volt

There’s been quite a bit of debate as to where electric cars will fit into the consumer car market in the next few years. Tesla’s recent announcement of their P85D shows that electric cars are starting to infiltrate even the ranks of performance vehicles. Although there have been a number of additions to the EV category in recent years, a lot of people still question the practicality of transitioning to a purely electric vehicle. Battery charge times and driving range on a single charge certainly leave a lot to be desired. These are legitimate concerns, but automakers are making strides in addressing them. With the addition of home charging stations, charge time drops drastically, and more public charging stations will certainly help extend the EV’s range. And of course Tesla is making waves with its 30-second-swappable batteries.

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Cars That Should Have a Diesel Option

October 17th, 2014

2015-ford-mustang-gt-burnout

Diesel-powered cars should be the wave of the future.

Electric vehicles have the distinction of being able to run on zero fossil fuel, but the production of electricity itself requires all kinds of dirty energy. Yes, it’s pretty cool to drive without any pollution, but how many tons of coal have to burn for the privilege?

That’s a discussion that won’t be resolved by a single blog post, but it’s the reason diesel-powered vehicles should be given a second look before buying electric.

Unfortunately there’s still a shortage of diesel cars in this country, but here’s a list of vehicles that should at least have the option.

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Kia’s Quality Up, But Buyers Haven’t Noticed

October 16th, 2014

2014-kia-cadenza

Remember the Sephia?

The oddly named Kia was one of the first cars the company sold in the United States. Its low cost and low quality quickly became synonymous with the Kia name. In the overview on CarGurus, there are “complaints of numerous repair problems, particularly with the brakes and transmission, along with a cheap plastic interior, an easily dented body, small backseat, and labored acceleration when the A/C is on.”

While the vehicles produced by Kia in recent years have increased in quality to rival some luxury automakers, the perception of Kia is still stuck on the early impressions of cars like the Sephia.

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Don’t Resist: Stop-Start Here to Stay

October 15th, 2014

2014_Chevrolet_Malibu

Do we need stop-start engine technology in this country?

Those of us who continue to drive vehicles powered by fossil fuels need every piece of technology we can get to reduce the amount of fuel we need to fill our tanks.

Stop-start technology works by automatically stopping the engine when a car comes to a complete stop, then starting it again when the brake pedal is released.

The technology has been a success in Europe, where gas prices are exorbitant. As many as 70 percent of cars sold there are equipped with stop-start, compared with just seven percent here. There’s  definitely been a lukewarm acceptance of stop-start in the States, but it’s time we readily embrace it because soon the vast majority of new cars sold here will have it.

Even if the buyer has no idea.

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