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Archive for the ‘General Chat’ Category

New, More Aggressive Legislation Targets Distracted Driving

August 12th, 2016

new-jersey-coffee-ban-driving

Drinking and driving has been rightly outlawed for decades. Not only is doing so a distraction, it severely alters a driver’s ability to see and respond to hazards in a timely manner.

Texting and driving is equally as dangerous. Writing a single text can take a driver’s eyes off the road for a minimum of five seconds and have deadly consequences.

Distracted driving is a huge problem in this country and costs people their lives every day. Of course, alcohol and texting aren’t the only causes of car crashes. Other crash-causing distractions include putting on makeup, eating burritos, and drinking coffee.

One state believes it can reduce car crashes by making it illegal to do any of those things behind the wheel.

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Car Minded, Car Safety, General Chat , , ,

Will Aston Martin Become the Next Porsche?

August 11th, 2016

Aston_martin_dbx_concet

Since the days of early James Bond, British automaker Aston Martin has focused on a lineup of handmade performance luxury sports cars that have been called some of the most beautiful in the world.

The trouble with such a niche is money. Even selling cars that can cost $200,000 or more can create a profit problem when selling in low volume. To address that problem, many of the world’s top-end automakers are producing vehicles that appeal to a larger audience.

It all started when Porsche introduced the Cayenne SUV. Now Bentley and Lamborghini are doing the same. For Aston Martin to survive in this new world, it can’t rely on its old strategy and will add seven new models in the next few years, including a luxury sedan and crossover SUV.

For those who believe that’s good news, it gets even better: the United States is a prime market for Aston’s expansion.

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A Whole New Way to Look at Fiat?

August 10th, 2016

Fiat_ads

Fiat has a problem.

Sales in the United States continue to fall as American car shoppers fail to recognize Fiat’s value proposition. Either that, or the marginal reviews of Fiat’s cars to this point have turned buyers off the brand.

Sales so far for the year are down over 16 percent from last year.

Fiat has some great things going for it now, though, including the 500X mini crossover and the 124 Spider roadster.

To help change how Americans perceive the Fiat brand, FCA has launched a series of video ads aimed at giving U.S. shoppers a “Whole New Way to Look at Fiat.” The ads feature innovative camera techniques, but will that be enough to convince people to put Fiat on their lists?

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Automakers Can Reach 54.5 MPG, But That Doesn’t Mean They Will

August 9th, 2016

2016 Jeep® Renegade Trailhawk

We’ve all been there: January 1st nears, excitement builds, and you set a lofty goal for yourself. Eat healthier. Hit the gym 5 days a week. Engage friends and family in conversations that are not exclusively about cars. You know, your typical New Year’s resolution. In the following weeks, Whole Foods will record record sales and gym memberships will spike. But by mid-February or so, we’ll return to our old habits, and my loved ones will still be trying to remember which seemingly random collection of letters and numbers is made by Cadillac and which by Mercedes-Benz. Our resolutions—promises we made and agreed to stand behind—have become more akin to suggestions. They’re now goals to strive for and be congratulated on, not requirements by which to live. Don’t feel too bad: as it turns out, the auto industry isn’t too different.

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Lotus Prepares New Elise for U.S. Market

August 8th, 2016

Lotus_Elise

For about eight glorious years, U.S. buyers had the privilege of being able to purchase the lightweight Lotus Elise sports car. The car, fully assembled and ready to take on America’s highways and race tracks, was a hit with buyers thirsty for true driving thrills.

The car first became available in the United States in 2004 and offered a unique combination of speed, efficiency, and striking looks at a reasonable price. The Lotus dream in America lasted until 2011, when the British company had to pull the Elise out of the market due to non-compliant airbags.

Today Lotus is preparing for re-entry into the market with a new Elise and, potentially, an SUV.

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What Was That? Some New Model Names for 2017

August 5th, 2016

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster

In 2015 Americans bought more new cars than in any previous year, but those numbers can’t hide one of the auto business’s dirty little secrets: even when shoppers buy lots of cars, not every model sells well. We’re now winding down the 2016 model year, so we know which models won’t return for 2017. There are a few we won’t miss too much (take care, CR-Z!), but happily, a number of good models that won’t come back for 2017 have already been replaced or will move on under new names. Here are some vehicles we’re glad will return, even if they’ve had to adopt an alias to do so.

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Does the U.S. Have the World’s Best Car Selection?

August 5th, 2016

Ford-Mustang-GT

There was a time when Europe got all the cool cars.

A decade ago, Europe had the small, fast, and efficient cars that folks in the U.S. could only envy from across the Atlantic. Even the domestic Big 3 automakers seemed to send their best metal to Europe while leaving the clunky, fuel-thirsty cars stateside.

Americans became especially jealous in 2008, because the price of gas climbed well above $4 per gallon and Europe’s fuel-sipping diesels and small-displacement motors seemed to taunt our oversized V8 SUVs.

Today it’s a different story. Some of the best cars in the world are available for sale here, including some that people in Europe can only dream of someday owning.

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Can Mazda Become the Next Volkswagen?

August 4th, 2016

2016_mazda_cx-9

Volkswagen has left a gaping hole in the U.S. auto market.

The German automaker’s line of affordable turbodiesel vehicles is mostly non-existent as the fallout from last year’s emission scandal continues to unfold.

Volkswagen’s small and midsize vehicles are no longer certified for sale in the United States, and the company has, thus far, made no effort to attempt recertification. That means buyers will be hard-pressed to find a VW with a diesel engine on dealer lots across the country.

That’s in stark contrast to earlier in 2015, when Volkswagen diesels accounted for about 20 percent of the company’s sales.

Volkswagen proved that a demand for diesel exists in this country and has left an opportunity for another automaker to take the reins and attempt to satisfy whatever hunger might be left for fuel-efficient diesels.

Mazda appears ready to try its hand at becoming that automaker.

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Look Toward Genesis for Your V8 RWD Driving Pleasure

August 3rd, 2016

2017-genesis-g80

Once upon a time, America was chock full of rear-wheel-drive (RWD) cars with beefy engines. They comfortably cruised Interstate highways and transported an entire generation of families. Most of those cars today have been replaced by front-wheel-drive sedans with turbocharged engines or all-wheel-drive car-based crossovers.

The Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger are perhaps the only remaining RWD American sedans that can be had with a V8 engine. Even the all-new Lincoln Continental, once the epitome of rear-drive land yachts, will return with V6 power and either front- or all-wheel drive.

Buyers who long for a V8 RWD luxury sedan will have another option, though. They’ll just have to look toward the newest South Korean brand to get it.

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Would You Buy the Most Ticketed Car in America?

August 2nd, 2016

speeding_ticket_stop

The most ticketed car in America is… the Lexus ES 300. A midsize luxury sedan remembered for a smooth, quiet ride, an 8-ish-second 0-60 mph time, and looks dull enough to put Ben Stein to sleep? Aaron Cole tried his hardest to find drama and excitement behind the wheel of a 2016 Lexus ES 350 last year. Fast forward, and now we’re hearing that the snoozy barge’s predecessor receives more tickets than any other car on American roads. How did this happen?

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