Archive

Archive for the ‘Foreign Cars’ Category

Should Toyota Build This Juke Rival?

September 23rd, 2014

Toyota C-HR

Toyota shouldn’t bother with the frivolous or deal with matters too far outside of mainstream acceptance.

The Toyota brand is about status quo. It’s about creating the cars that respectable middle-class suburbanites drive to their corporate jobs and to weekend retreats at friends’ lake places.

Toyota doesn’t do wild and crazy, because the people who own them don’t do wild and crazy. Yes, sometimes Toyota steps out and tries something a little more exciting, but at least in the United States, those crazy moments are disguised by a Lexus or Scion badge.

If shoppers want something really crazy, they know they can look to Nissan. But what if Toyota doesn’t want people turning away from the brand when they want to stand out?

Enter the C-HR Concept.

Continue reading >>>

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

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?

Continue reading >>>

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

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.

Continue reading >>>

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

Celebrating 60 Years of Ferrari Design

September 17th, 2014
2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

2014 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

In 1954, America changed forever.

This wasn’t because of a traumatic event or even something that seemed all that significant when it happened. The impact, though, has spread across six decades and left a trail of inspiration and breathlessness, along with plenty of burned rubber and lofty aspirations.

It was in 1954 that Ferrari formed an alliance with the North American Racing Team and began selling cars in the United States. Over the next 60 years, Ferrari won countless races and produced some of the most exhilarating and beautiful automobiles to ever scorch the pavement.

With a 60-year anniversary car debuting next month, let’s take a moment and look back at some of the most influential Ferrari designs in U.S. history.

First, though, I want to share what little info there is about this 60th anniversary car. AutoEvolution says,

In all likelihood, it is expected that this car will be based on the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and it will add an exclusive exterior and interior design to account for the price jump of almost $3 million; a standard 2014 F12 Berlinetta starts at $318,888. Among the upgrades include a distinctive blue paint scheme with white stripes acting as a throwback to the Ferraris raced by the North American Racing Team (NART) from the 1960s through the 1980s. Big changes are also expected inside this car.

For $3 million, it had better be special! Not that it matters, because word is that only 10 vehicles will be produced and all are already sold. With that in mind, here are my favorite Ferrari designs from each decade:

Continue reading >>>

Car Lists, Car Minded, Classic & Vintage Cars, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , , , , ,

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.

Continue reading >>>

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

The Opposite Ends of Mercedes-Benz

September 10th, 2014

Mercedes AMG GT

Should You Buy a Used Unimog?

What’s a Unimog, you ask? Well, if we look to the reliable and almost-always-accurate Wikipedia, we’ll learn that Unimog is a range of multi-purpose 4-wheel-drive trucks produced by Mercedes-Benz.

With diesel power, high ground clearance, a flexible frame and a powerful off-road ability, Unimogs can be found in places where other motor vehicles dare not go.

That includes the freeways of Los Angeles, where one very famous Unimog once lived.

Continue reading >>>

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

The Jaguar XE’s Biggest Competition: A Used BMW?

September 9th, 2014

2015 Jaguar XE

With great fanfare and media attention, Jaguar has released official images, specs and pricing of its new XE. This is a huge deal, because the XE is a car set to compete against the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4.

There’s one caveat to the above statement, though: So far specs and pricing are specific to the European market.

The info is enough to infer that the new “baby Jag” will be nothing like its predecessor, the X-Type. It’ll be lighter, faster, more fuel efficient and, to some people, better looking.

That, however, is debatable, and I wonder if the price of entry will send shoppers right back into the arms of the Germans.

Continue reading >>>

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

Can New Technology End Distracted and Drowsy Driving?

September 8th, 2014

driving while tired

How far should an automaker go to make sure the drivers of its cars stay safe by limiting the amount of distractions behind the wheel?

The latest news on battling distracted driving falls under the category of either creepy or cool, depending on your take on in-car technology. After my experience this weekend, though, I wouldn’t just call it cool, I’d call it potentially life-saving.

Lexus was one of the first to use technology to sound an alarm when it sensed a driver was not paying attention.

GM plans to step up the technology in a big way.

Continue reading >>>

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

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata: New King of the Roadsters?

September 5th, 2014

2016 Mazda MX5 Miata, front

I’ve needed some time to digest this one.

When it was announced that Mazda would unveil its 2016 MX-5 Miata this week, part of me hoped for a design that would blow me out of the water and leave me with nothing to say except to declare Mazda the king of all roadsters.

That didn’t happen. At least not right away.

As I’ve examined the photos and compared the new Miata with past versions and with other roadsters, my thinking is beginning to change. While we don’t know a lot of details yet regarding performance numbers or price, we can assume there won’t be any problems there, because past generations have never disappointed. So for now, we’re left to compare based on design only.

Continue reading >>>

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

New Infiniti Concept Hints at Challenging Panamera, But Why?

September 4th, 2014

Infiniti Q80

For a long time I thought Mitsubishi would be the next car brand to die in the U.S., but now I’m not so sure, because another brand here is showing signs of slowly bleeding out.

Last month, Mitsubishi sales were actually up 29 percent compared with this month last year, while Infiniti sales dropped nearly 23 percent.

Infiniti, the luxury arm of Nissan, suffers from a bit of an identity crisis as it tries to compete with Audi, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and, yes, even Porsche.

The problem is that all of those companies do at least one thing very well, be it luxury, performance, panache or all three. Can you name what Infiniti does well?

Continue reading >>>

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