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Archive for the ‘Foreign Cars’ Category

Lexus RC 200t: Coming to America?

August 3rd, 2015

Lexus RC F

Many years ago I did a lot of complaining about cars available in Europe that people in the United States weren’t able to own.

A lot has changed since then. Small economical cars and efficient diesels are now available on these shores, including the likes of FIAT and Alfa Romeo. We don’t have as many station wagons or hot hatches (the scorching new Honda Civic Type R won’t be sold here), but for the most part the cars here are just as cool as the cars there.

Lexus might tip the scales back in Europe’s favor, but if history is any indication, it won’t be long before new models introduced there end up over here.

The RC Series is the next test.

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

The Biggest Change in Automobiles Since 1999?

July 31st, 2015

Porsche 911 Turbo

Get ready for the biggest change in automobiles since 1999.

I could end that sentence by adding, “if you’re a Porsche fan,” but honestly, this change signifies something that’s happening industrywide.

Only Porsche purists will feel its immediate impact. These are the same people who chastised the Cayenne as blasphemy, pooh-poohed the Panamera for diluting the brand, and fought outright outrage when Porsche moved to liquid-cooled engines back in 1999.

Things change in the auto world, much to the chagrin of people who like them to stay the same. What’s this newest change that’s sure to rile up the crowds?

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

What’s Under Your Hood?

July 30th, 2015
What engine does yours have?

What engine does yours have?

In 2013, my wife purchased a new Subaru Legacy. She wanted the top-of-the-line Limited model with leather, EyeSight, Adaptive Cruise Control, roof racks, and so much more.

She found the car she wanted in the color she wanted and negotiated a good price. When I asked her what engine the car had, I received nothing but a blank stare.

This girl knows cars. Her first car was a 1974 Porsche 911, and she can identify nearly any car on the road. She’s definitely a car chick, but the question of what powerplant sat under the hood of her new car stumped her.

I don’t blame her, though, because she purchased the car as a safe family sedan, not a drag racer.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Finally! The Midsize Diesel Truck Has Arrived

July 29th, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Duramax TurboDiesel 058

Today is the day we found the Holy Grail of the U.S. auto industry.

For years, decades, even, American consumers have clamored for and pined after a truck. Not just any truck, though. The market is flooded with trucks. There are, and have been, big trucks, small trucks, efficient trucks, thirsty trucks, foreign trucks, domestic trucks, capable trucks, wimpy trucks, and so many more.

Simply put, there has been no shortage of trucks in America.

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

Electric Cars Grabbing Headlines, Changing Lives

July 24th, 2015

Porsche Pajun small sedan

Would anyone have guessed in 2005 that auto headlines midway through 2015 would focus so heavily on electric vehicles? From Tesla to Porsche and from upstarts to downfalls, electric cars are succeeding, failing, creating controversy, and setting records everywhere we look.

We recently covered the news about the fast-depreciating Nissan Leaf, and we’ve covered the rise of Tesla in these virtual pages since the Roadster was just a baby.

We’ve also seen the fall of Fisker, Coda, Aptera, and many more hopeful EV makers that never sold more than a handful of vehicles before going belly-up.

Here are some of the more interesting headlines from the last week or so regarding the best (and worst) in the EV world. If there’s any doubt that electric cars are here to stay, these stories might change some minds.

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

How Much Is Too Much Horsepower?

July 17th, 2015

2015_bmw_m5-pic-1944578703047994224

707 horsepower.

640 horsepower.

Numbers like this used to represent the hottest, most expensive supercars on the planet. Today they describe the output of cars obtainable by middle managers and financially savvy blue-collar workers.

The Challenger Hellcat (707 hp) and the upcoming Cadillac CTS-V (640 hp) are examples of supercars for the masses; cars with power so great they border on dangerous.

Is all of that power necessary, or is it the result of thoughtless engineering meant only to upstage the competition?

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

How Low Will They Go? Diesel Prices Keep Falling

July 15th, 2015

low_diesel_prices

I’ve noticed something at gas stations in the last few days that I can’t remember seeing in the recent past.

When I glance up at the fuel prices, I’ve noticed that the price of diesel is at or below the price of regular unleaded. How can that be? Diesel prices have, for as long as I can remember, been considerably higher than gasoline.

That’s been the tradeoff when buying a diesel. Sure, you get better fuel economy, but the price of the fuel offsets some of the benefit.

Those days have ended, at least temporarily, as diesel prices have retreated significantly. Why are they going down and what does it mean for car shoppers?

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, Gas for your car..., General Chat , , , ,

Tacoma Versus Colorado: The Better Truck Falls Behind

July 14th, 2015

2015 chevrolet colorado-pic-3672756912968334547

Two trucks named after places are in the midst of an epic battle for superiority.

One is a long-standing stalwart in the industry while the other has evolved into something all-new after returning from a short hibernation.

The Toyota Tacoma, named after the third-largest city in Washington, and the Chevy Colorado, named for the 38th state to join the United States, compete in the U.S. to capture market-share.

Oddly enough, the truck that looks better on paper is the one losing the battle. In fact, it’s getting destroyed.

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

The Car That Eliminates Traffic Jams

July 13th, 2015

Tango_T600

Sometimes the beginning of major change happens with one simple “a-ha” moment.

I had one over the weekend, which I’ll describe a little later. But first, here’s what led to my moment of clarity.

While in San Francisco I had the opportunity to drive a Commuter Cars Tango T600 through heavy traffic into the city and back to the suburbs. The entire trip was about 50 miles.

The T600 is about as wide as a Honda Goldwing motorcycle, weighs as much as a Subaru Outback, has the rollover threshold of a Porsche 911, has four times as many side impact protection bars in its doors as a Volvo, and has quicker acceleration to 60-mph than most stock Ferraris.

No kidding.

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Car Minded, Car Review, Car Safety, Electric Vehicles, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , ,

Which Cars Still Look Great After Decades on the Road?

July 10th, 2015
1985 ferrari testarossa-pic-40441

The Ferrari Testarossa: Still a good-looking car!

If your family is anything like mine, going on a road trip generates plenty of interesting conversation. In many families, those conversations often end with intense bickering, due to heated opinions.

I’m lucky because our conversations tend to revolve around cars, but that doesn’t mean they’re not heated.

When the topic of cars that still look great after a couple decades came up, there were two distinct opinions .

The conversation began when a late model Ferrari California drove by while we shopped in the city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.

Our daughter thought the Ferrari was a Porsche and pointed it out first. Thus began the Great Debate of 2015.

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