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Will Toyota Finally Build a Diesel Tacoma?

February 27th, 2015
The 2016 Tacoma: Now in diesel?

The 2016 Tacoma: Now in diesel?

Trucks and diesels go together like salt and margaritas. The two just belong together, but in the United States there’s been a wedge in the relationship. What’s kept the high-torque long-lasting diesel engine from the majority of the truck market here?

Money, of course.

All the big bad-boy trucks here have diesel options. Ford, Chevy, and Ram all offer oil-burners made to handle the biggest of the big truck jobs.

But what about the casual truck guy who just wants to tow his boat to the lake under diesel power, but doesn’t want to buy a massive pickup for the job? That guy has some options now.

But not from Toyota.

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The $28 Million Barn Find: It Wasn’t Mine

February 26th, 2015

France Ferrari Maserati barn find

You’d think everyone who ventures into the countryside finds forgotten but beautiful cars inside rotting old barns.

As often as the topic of “barn finds” comes up in the auto world, it appears they are as common as finding a Starbucks on a downtown corner in Seattle.

Barn finds are rare, though, at least if we’re talking about finds that could be worth some cash. I was lucky enough to have a barn find of my own once, but it was a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan. Granted, it was the Sport edition, but it wasn’t exactly on par with the old Bugattis and Ferraris people seem to stumble across.

A find in France just may go down in history as the greatest barn find ever.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Rolls-Royce SUV? Get a Jeep Instead

February 24th, 2015
Let's hope it doesn't look like this

Let’s hope it doesn’t look like this

Think of the carmakers that you thought would never build an SUV.

Audi.

Porsche.

Jaguar.

Bentley.

Lamborghini.

Bugatti.

To date, all but one of these automakers have built, or plan to build, an SUV. Now we can add one more to the list of things we never thought we’d see:

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

More Than Just Safety: Can Volvo Branch Into Performance?

February 23rd, 2015
2016 Volvo XC-90

2016 Volvo XC90

When my 2008 Audi Q7 needed to go in for repairs, the shop was nice enough to loan me a car for a couple of days. At first glance I thought it was nice, but once I sat behind the wheel, I knew I’d miss the comfort and luxury of my car.

The loaner 2004 Volvo S40 drove like a 1984 Honda Accord and put a bad taste in my mouth for all things Volvo.

Maybe it’ll take a Polestar to make things better.

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What Are the Odds: Apple Buying Tesla?

February 19th, 2015

apple_car

Can you guess which car company is being described with the following words?

[Its] strengths lie in taking designs by Ive’s team, building them at high quality and low cost and selling them at a premium. Where it succeeds best is integrating the software that manages how customers use those products to keep them satisfied.

That’s a description any carmaker would strive to achieve, yet none have truly gotten there.

The statement above describes Apple, the computer company that brought us home computing, portable music, smart phones, and soon, cars.

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Will Self-Driving Cars Take Away Your Driving Freedom?

February 18th, 2015

Uber self-driving car

Read this quote, and then we’ll discuss:

Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2025 and have a near monopoly by 2030, and the sweeping change they bring will eclipse every other innovation our society has experienced. They will cause unprecedented job loss and a fundamental restructuring of our economy, solve large portions of our environmental problems, prevent tens of thousands of deaths per year, save millions of hours with increased productivity, and create entire new industries that we cannot even imagine from our current vantage point.

The author goes into a great deal of predictions on what is to come for the future of cars that drive themselves, even going so far as to say the majority of car purchases won’t be by individuals, but by car-sharing and transport services like Uber and Zipcar.

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Can Porsche Beat Tesla at Its Own Game?

February 17th, 2015
Porsche Panamera

Porsche Panamera

Tesla is winning, big time.

Part of that success is because it has gone completely unchallenged in its chosen market. If someone is in the market for an electric luxury sedan, they have nowhere else to look.

Tesla identified that market and built a car no one else in the world would build. The result? Total domination with the Model S and plans to overtake more car markets.

But there’s another side effect from success:

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Foreign Cars , ,

The 2016 Honda Pilot Turns Into a Minivan

February 16th, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

Back in 2004 I purchased a car I thought would last forever.

Its looks weren’t anything special, but its capabilities and features were exactly what I needed.

The car was a 2004 Honda Pilot, and it lasted all of 6 months. That’s not because anything failed on the car, it’s because it caught on fire and burned to the ground.

Now that the Pilot has been around for over 10 years, it is being revamped for the 2016 model year, but even with all the changes, I think I’d prefer to own my old ’04.

My biggest problem with the new, recently unveiled Pilot is that it’s basically a Honda Odyssey minivan without the sliding doors. The Pilot was never rugged in SUV terms, but it was at least an SUV.

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2016 Ferrari 488 GTB or 2016 Dodge Viper ACR?

February 13th, 2015

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB

I’ve been dreading the day I’d hear about the demise of the Ferrari 458 Italia. The Italian supercar has been sitting on the top of my list of favorites since its introduction.

Like all good things, though, I knew the 458 would eventually die. All Ferraris do. On the positive side, the death of one model usually results in the birth of something even better.

The 458 Italia will give way to the 488 GTB. Will it be an improvement? Will it compete with the best supercars on the market?

My 13-year-old son is a Ferrari aficionado and suffered equal heartbreak when he heard the news of the 458. Here is the question he asked:

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Entry-Level Aston Martin? Nope! Buy These Instead

February 12th, 2015

2015 Aston Martin Vanquish front-three-quarter-in-motion-03

If you’ve been hankering for a new Aston Martin that will fit your mid-executive budget, you might want to look at another brand or start making more money.

Aston Martin won’t follow in the footsteps of Porsche and Maserati by adding a lower-priced car. At least not yet. The temptation to chase sales by adding a more attainable model is intense, but Aston intends to stay the course and offer only premium supercars to the world’s wealthiest car buyers.

Rather than increasing sales with a lower-priced car, Aston wants to increase volume by opening more stores.

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