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Archive for the ‘General Chat’ Category

Chevrolet Missed the Mark With This New Ad

August 27th, 2015

Chevrolet Silverado bear commercial

Dear Chevrolet,

I’m embarrassed for you. I watched your new advertisement for the Silverado, and I can only shake my head and wonder what you were thinking.

It’s a great truck. It’s a beautiful truck. It’s a truck that has powered the American legacy for many decades.

But it’s also a dying truck.

Not to say the Silverado will lose the sales race to Ford and Ram and be discontinued. It won’t. But the Silverado, in its current form, won’t last much longer. You and I both know its days are numbered.

So why did you make that ad? The collective truck-buying market cringes for you.

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Here Comes the Revolution of Nissan’s Z Car

August 26th, 2015

1970_nissan_240z

When I was nothing but a gleam in my father’s eye, he raced his 1967 Mercury Cougar XR-7, with the 390 cubic-inch Ford V8, against anything that was up for the challenge.

Dad raced Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, Chargers, and virtually all other muscle cars that were around in the late ’60s and early ’70s. He didn’t win all of those impromptu races, but he had fun and knew exactly what to expect when challenged by one of the familiar American cars.

Then something strange happened. A small Japanese car wanted to race. Dad revved his engine, and the two cars bolted ahead.

Dad lost.

The challenger was a 1970 Datsun 240Z, a car that went on to become a Nissan and dominate the hearts of sports car lovers everywhere.

Now a new Z could take over the streets and challenge unsuspecting cars everywhere. Only this time the targets will be the likes of the CR-V and RAV4.

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Your Next Buick: Made in China?

August 25th, 2015

2015 Buick Envision

The gleaming new Buick sits in your driveway. It’s a proud statement of your success and a beautiful example of American design and ingenuity of engineering. It’s a Buick like never before and leaves the stigma of Buick as an “old man’s car” far in the past.

This is the Buick of the future. It’s sleek and shapely. It’s desirable and impressive. It’s fresh and invigorating.

This is the Buick for young families and emerging professionals.

This is the Buick Envision. It’s most likely coming to the United States.

And it’s made in China.

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

A Scary Reminder to Perform Some Basic Maintenance

August 24th, 2015
Wildfire Ash-Covered Car, Spokane

If this is on the car, imagine what’s in the car

As you might have heard, the state of Washington is currently on fire. As it so happens, the state of Washington is also where I currently live.

While flames have not directly threatened my family, countless others have been evacuated from their homes or lost them altogether.

The resulting smoke in the air has been suffocating. Even in cities miles from the fires, smoke chokes out residents as embers from burned trees fall from the sky. Flecks of white ash cover cars.

My family and I, desperate to escape the heavy blanket of smoke, packed up the car and left the state to find a place where we could breathe some clean, crisp air. We ended up at Priest Lake, deep in the forests of North Idaho. The first day was perfect. On the second day, though, we discovered that Idaho is on fire, too.

I only tell this story because there’s an important lesson to remember here about cars:

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Car Minded, Car Safety, General Chat , , ,

Have Hypercars Met Their Nemesis?

August 21st, 2015

Trion Nemesis

It’s time for your Friday dose of extreme unobtainable automobile extravagance.

Today’s example comes from the U.S. state of California, where a 2,000-horsepower hypercar is said to be capable of completing the 0-60 sprint in 2.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 290 miles per hour.

All that insanity comes from a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8.

Sound too good to be true?

It probably is.

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Which to Choose: Alfa Romeo 4C Spider or Mazda MX-5 Miata?

August 20th, 2015

Alfa Romeo 4C SpiderTwo great open-air, 2-seat roadsters have hit the marketplace recently: the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Both are spirited, lightweight, and fun to drive. The question is, which do you choose?

Performance
The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider (see our Alfa Romeo 4C Overview) is equipped with a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder that produces 237 hp at 6,000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 4,250 rpm. The Mazda Miata MX-5 (read our Overview) comes equipped with a 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with 155 hp at 6,000 rpm and 148 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Review, Car Shopping, General Chat, New Cars

Guess Who Would Have Been 50 This Month?

August 20th, 2015

1970_Ford_Bronco

Nine days ago there was a birthday that went largely unacknowledged. On August 11, 1965, a legend was born that would go down in history as one of the most influential of its kind.

This legend helped found an all-new category of vehicle and established itself as a forerunner of all others to exist since.

Unfortunately, like too many other world-influencing figures, this legend died an early death. That was in 1996, and even today rumors abound that it’s not really dead, just hibernating and waiting for the right time to return to Earth.

August 11, 2015, would have been the 50th birthday of the great Ford Bronco.

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Car Minded, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , ,

Honda Won’t Let it Go: New Ridgeline Coming Next Year

August 19th, 2015

2017 Honda Ridgeline

Remember the movie “Rudy,” about the young man who desperately wanted to play football for Notre Dame but lacked the resources to make it happen?

The Honda Ridgeline is the Rudy of trucks.

Honda has wanted to play in the midsize truck market since the Ridgeline was introduced in 2005. The truck, however, never sold enough to be labeled a success. Still, the little Ridgeline hung on, clinging to hope and barely selling enough to keep going.

It probably should’ve been discontinued years ago. Instead, after a brief hiatus, the Ridgeline is poised for a 2016 revival.

With 2016 models from other automakers making a splash and revitalizing the midsize market, maybe things are primed for the next Ridgeline to finally grow up and compete.

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Should a First Car Be a Supercar?

August 18th, 2015

2006 Lamborghini Murcielago

Life is good when your first car is a Lamborghini.

At least, it appears to be good if you’re the kid enjoying the attention your car generates. Onlookers, on the other hand, will assume the kid behind the wheel is either a spoiled a brat or a rebel secretly taking his dad’s car out for a spin.

Kids everywhere dream of owning a supercar as their first vehicle, but there aren’t too many in the world who actually see it happen. The ones who do are proof that no child, regardless of wealth, should ever get behind the wheel of anything but an Accord.

I sometimes participate on the Q&A website Quora, where this question was posed:

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Make Room for More Suburbans

August 17th, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Suburban

There could be 60,000 extra General Motors SUVs on American roads next year.

I want to say more, but first you should sit and let that marinate for a few seconds.

Sixty thousand additional Suburbans, Tahoes, Escalades, and more will choke our highways and suck down mad amounts of fuel, easily negating any environmental gains created by alternative-fuel cars.

This isn’t a tirade against fuel-thirsty SUVs—I happen to own one of the least efficient vehicles built in the last decade (a 2008 Audi Q7), which I need for family purposes. I’m just saying that 60,000 Suburbans is about 50 percent of the 119,000 electric cars sold in the U.S. in 2014. And those are just the *extra* SUVs GM plans to build.

Why is the American carmaker increasing production so much, and what does it mean?

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