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Archive for the ‘Domestic Cars’ Category

Corvette Stop-Sale Raises New Questions

September 22nd, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

When you build cars, it’s kind of important to attach all the pieces.

Major automakers have figured out how to do this with impressive precision, while smaller companies can be forgiven for overlooking a small part.

But when the world’s largest automaker misses parts on its most important car, you just have to wonder what’s going on internally. Especially right on the heels of the company’s biggest recall ever.

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2015 Ford Mustang: Better Than a Scion FR-S?

September 19th, 2014

2015 Ford Mustang

I think it’s safe to say that Top Gear is a respected and trusted source of automotive news and opinion. When the television hosts or blog writers give an opinion, the world tends to listen.

When I saw the headline that the British blokes had driven the upcoming 2015 Mustang, I prepared myself to read about Ford’s still-inferior performance, interior, steering, yada, yada, yada.

Instead what I read was an absolutely glowing take on the pony car that has taken 50 years to finally arrive on UK shores. That’s great for them, but what will it mean to Mustang purists here in the United States?

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Cars on Autopilot: Self-Driving or Drive Yourself?

September 18th, 2014

volvo_autopilot

The first autopilot system in an airplane was developed in 1912, just as car technology was in its infancy. In the 102 years since, airplane technology has evolved so aircraft can virtually fly from point A to point B by themselves.

The human pilots are there to monitor progress, handle takeoffs and landings, and be prepared for emergencies.

We all accept the fact that planes fly themselves, but transfer the technology to cars and widespread panic sets in.

The terms “self-driving” and “autonomous” are thrown around by automakers, and perhaps most famously by Google, to describe their efforts to create a car that drives with limited human interaction. Some automakers are embracing the technology, but now at least one has put the focus back where it belongs: on the driver.

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Tesla Model 3: A $35,000 Game Changer?

September 16th, 2014

Tesla Model S

In 2017, $35,000 might buy you a really nice 2014 or 2015 Audi A6 or a beautiful pre-owned BMW 5 Series.

However, come 2017, the world of buying a luxury car could be very different than it is today. Keep in mind, 2017 is less than two and a half years away, and there usually isn’t a lot of change in such a short amount of time. The 2012 cars on the road today aren’t all that different from 2014 models.

Tesla, though, thinks it can usher in an era of electric driving that we’ve never seen before with its forthcoming $35,000 2017 Tesla Model 3.

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Can’t Wait for the Mid-Engine Corvette? Buy One of These!

September 12th, 2014

Corvette Zora ZR1 C8

There has never been a mid-engine Corvette and, most people believe, Chevrolet will never build one.

A Corvette with power coming from behind the driver just isn’t American. We like our cars with ferocious small block V8 engines taking up the space between our feet and the horizon and we like those engines covered by hoods long enough to land a Boeing 747.

That’s why news of a potential mid-engine C8 Corvette, currently dubbed the “Zora,” is staggering.

Car and Driver Magazine has a large feature on the development of the car, which is being covered by blogs everywhere. One of them says:

Little is known about this car, and given that the Z06 chucks out 650 bhp and costs just south of $80,000; anything turned up to 11 should cause quite a scene. The revisions to the chassis will not be updates to the C7, but major changes to be realized in the C8. For this highly tuned version, the price may start around $150,000 and production numbers will be limited to C6 ZR1 levels, somewhere around 1,500 copies.

If this is true, Chevy isn’t building a Corvette, it’s building a Ferrari.

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A Jacked-Up Jag and Other Auto Atrocities

September 1st, 2014

jacked up jag

I only saw it for a moment.

While driving out of town and heading north toward my favorite lake, I turned my head, because something odd caught my attention. In a parking lot on the other side of the highway sat what appeared to be an older Jaguar.

In itself, that observation was nothing spectacular. But this Jag was different, because its body sat a good 6 feet above the suspension and tires.

Someone had taken that little Jag and turned it into a monster truck. As a guy who appreciates Jaguars and other non-monster types of vehicles, I don’t understand modifications that take a car and turn it into something it was never meant to be.

We may not understand the motives behind such auto atrocities, but we can stand back, laugh, and silently criticize the cars that no one else will ever want. I will say this, though:

Each of the cars pictured below must have taken a labor of love to create. While these aren’t my taste, at least someone had fun making them.

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Has the Corvette Finally Arrived as a Supercar?

August 27th, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

In all my years on this planet, never, not once, have I done a double head turn to check out a Corvette.

Corvettes just aren’t my thing. I see them on almost every outing, whether they be models from the early ’60s on the way to a classic car show, models from the ’80s and ’90s being driven by aging gearheads or later models piloted by post-midlife-crisis 50-somethings.

Corvettes are nearly as common as Hondas around here, and their design has never left me with the desire to exert the necessary energy to look twice. In fact, I usually try to look away as soon as possible, because I’m completely turned off by the Corvette and everything it represents.

So earlier this week, when my heart gave an extra jump as I turned a corner and saw a sexy red supercar parallel parked downtown, I quickly turned my head to look again, then knew my lifetime streak was over.

I had looked twice at a Corvette.

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Wanna Go Yenko? There’s an Auction for That

August 25th, 2014

1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro

Assuming you have no connection with an apparently successful but now convicted group of criminals, you could become the proud new owner of a rare American muscle car.

A group of extraordinary cars seized by U.S. Marshals are being brought to auction and sold to anyone who meets these two criteria:

  1. Can arrange financing before the sale and pay cash at the auction, along with having a $10,000 cashier’s check on hand before bidding.
  2. Can certify that the car isn’t being purchased with the intent of being returned to the convicted.

Is this you? Then get yourself to New Jersey and start bidding on one of these classics.

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Saving Fuel: New Car or Just Drive Slower?

August 19th, 2014

Canadian gas prices

Don’t be deceived by the gas signs when traveling abroad.

Gas prices here in the States are about as high as they’ve ever been, hovering just below $4 per gallon in my area. The premium stuff is $3.89 at my corner station.

That makes filling up my SUV a major account drain. In fact, there should probably be men in suits and dark glasses verifying account balances before drivers are allowed to enter a gas station’s general proximity.

Having a rig that gets 20 miles per gallon, tops, is expensive. Unfortunately, it’s also necessary when you have a family of 6 and enjoy adventurous car camping trips in another country.

A Toyota Prius just isn’t going to cut it.

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The Little Trucks Are Coming Back!

August 6th, 2014

GMC Canyon Chevy Colorado

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, small trucks were seen everywhere and proudly driven by guys and gals who wanted the occasional utility of a pickup bed but not the gas-mileage penalty of a large truck.

The small trucks were inexpensive, had a tough look and often came with a capable 4-wheel-drive system.

Once the 2000s hit, small trucks all but disappeared in the U.S., because automakers decided that truck buyers should buy basic full-size trucks instead of compact trucks.

Now some are changing their tune, as GM will bring back two of the trucks we all miss so much.

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