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Archive for the ‘Domestic Cars’ Category

Dodge Wants to Be Pontiac, But Why?

January 29th, 2015

CHARGER VS CHALLENGER HELLCAT

I like to live in a world that makes sense, but sometimes that’s just not in the cards. An article over at Automotive News ran with the headline, “Can Dodge Rebuild Pontiac Excitement?

The headline alone leaves me with three questions:

  1. Why would Dodge want to rebuild from Pontiac’s ashes?
  2. Did Pontiac even have any real “excitement” after the 1969 GTO?
  3. Pontiac failed. Shouldn’t Dodge chart a new course?

The point of the article is that General Motors left some holes in the market when it shuttered Pontiac and Hummer, and FCA is primed to fill them with Dodge and Jeep.

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New Ford Bronco: Fact or Fiction?

January 28th, 2015
This is the newest Bronco you'll find

This is the newest Bronco you’ll find

Let’s just get this straight:

A new Ford Bronco is about as likely as a new Hummer H2.

The Bronco represents an iconic time in the development of the modern-day SUV, and plenty of rumors have floated around that it might be resurrected.

It won’t. But the rumor won’t die.

Would people even buy a go-anywhere 2-door SUV in this market? Would a new Bronco be anything more than a desperate plea by Ford to harken back to a long-gone era?

A simple online search for “new Ford Bronco” brings up many pages of home bloggers declaring that the legendary rig will indeed return for the 2016 model year.

Not even close.

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Why Did Toyota Use This Photo of a New Tacoma?

January 16th, 2015

Toyota Tacoma FB

The picture looks like a Ram 1500 that’s been in a wreck.

The above photo, a close-up of the headlight, fender, and hood of the new Tacoma, could very well have been a photo submitted by a Ram owner after a long and damaging day of off-roading.

Believe it or not, Toyota’s marketing department posted the picture in an effort to generate buzz for the all-new Tacoma pickup.

It’s a terrible picture. And people noticed.

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Buick Avenir Concept Rekindles Glory Days

January 14th, 2015

2016 Buick Avenir concept

My goodness, it’s hard to switch gears from the new Ford GT to, well, anything else.

My personal gratification aside, there are many other surprises and exciting cars being shown at the Detroit Auto Show this week.

One of them took me completely off guard and provides a hopeful, and beautiful, look into the future of Buick.

It’s really not fair to continue to label Buick as the brand preferred by Florida retirees. Sure, there are plenty of old Regals and Centurys still parked at the buffets down there, but the new Buick is something else entirely. Instead of stodgy and practical, words like sleek and exciting come to mind. Buick cars routinely turn heads and gather comments like, “That’s a Buick?!?”

In Detroit this week, Buick took the next step into becoming a genuine luxury car brand by unveiling the Avenir concept, a stunning GT sedan with rear-wheel drive and sloping sexy lines.

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The New Ford GT: Just Try and Look Away

January 13th, 2015

Ford GT

Well, thanks a lot, Ford. I had plans for today. Big plans. Thanks to you, I have no choice but to put them on hold. I was going to research and share a lot of information on a lot of cool cars, including new rides from the likes of Buick, Toyota, and Acura.

You and your fancy, overly produced car unveilings have made it virtually impossible to look at anything else and write a compelling piece on anything other than the one car you want guys like me to focus on:

The all-new Ford GT.

Warning: If you look once, you won’t look away.

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No Joke: Get Ready for the Chevy Bolt

January 12th, 2015
The Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt

How could it be true? Why would Chevrolet, which currently builds the electric/gas hybrid Volt, introduce a new electric car and call it the Bolt?

It seems that one of the top automakers in the world will resort to rhyming names of cars that are in the same class.

Some automakers employ nomenclature that use alliteration to label a certain class of vehicle, such as Ford and its SUVs that begin with E (Explorer, Escape, and Expedition) and its cars that begin with F (Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta).

That’s a strategy that makes sense. Using rhymes, as Chevy is now learning, will lead to nothing more than mockery.

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Chrysler Quietly Goes Away

January 8th, 2015

FCA-Fiat-Chrysler-101

It died a quiet and uneventful death.

You may not know this, but Chrysler as a company no longer exists. A foreign company has overtaken the smallest of America’s Big Three automakers and erased its corporate name.

Does this mean Chrysler automobiles have disappeared with it?

No.

Car shoppers will still have a few Chrysler vehicles to choose from, but those are limited to the 200, the 300, and the Town & Country. Chrysler Group LLC, the company that succeeded the original Chrysler Corporation that was formed in 1925, is now known as FCA US.

The change was official last year, but I think it’s fitting to take a moment and say goodbye to the company that Walter P. Chrysler founded 90 years ago.

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Gas Now at $1.99: Credit the Electrics?

January 2nd, 2015

Gas below $2/gallon!

Well look at this, friends: Gas prices are now below $2 per gallon.

Back in 2010, we could have looked ahead to 2015 and wondered how close we’d be to $5 per gallon or more.

Last time we paid this low a price for gasoline, Bill Clinton ran the country, and music came on shiny round discs.

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it seems accurate as far as I can remember.

Gas selling at $1.99 per gallon in my area brings back memories of listening to Vanilla Ice, rolling in my 5.0 and putting $10 in my tank to nearly fill it.

Should gas really be this cheap, or should the government step in and increase prices to encourage people to drive more efficient vehicles?

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Slingshot Blurs Line Between Sports Car and Motorcycle

December 30th, 2014

Polaris Slingshot

Described as a sports car, it sounds wildly unsafe.

There’s not a real windshield, no doors, no roof, no airbags, and it rides just 5 inches off the ground. It weighs under 2,000 pounds, has a weight distribution of 66/34 percent front/rear and is powered by a 2.4-liter GM engine with a 5-speed transmission sending power to the rear wheels.

Or shall I say wheel.

The Polaris Slingshot isn’t a car we’d normally cover on this blog, because it isn’t a car at all. The Slingshot is a three-wheeled motorcycle, but it’s the most car-like motorcycle ever made.

Which isn’t a good thing.

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What Car Would You Lease for $199 Per Month?

December 26th, 2014

1997 Honda CR-V

My brother didn’t get a new car for Christmas. He didn’t ask for one, but it would have been pretty cool if someone had given him a car yesterday with a big red bow on top.

Since it didn’t happen, it’s probably time he makes the investment on his own. My brother is newly employed as a teacher, so he can’t afford to finance a new $30,000-plus vehicle. What he can afford is a cheap lease, which he took the opportunity to ask me about at our family gathering yesterday.

My brother’s current car is a 1997 Honda CR-V that has provided almost 240,000 miles of service. It was a fine car for a college student, but it’s not a fine car for a newly employed teacher.

So here’s the challenge: What new car can be leased on a budget of around $199 per month?

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