The Early Death of the 3-Wheeled Car?

January 26th, 2016

Elio_Motors

Starting a car company is probably one of the most difficult of all business ventures. Even the best ideas can fail due to a lack of funds or stifling government regulatory requirements.

And yet, people still try.

The people who start car companies do so because they believe they can change, or improve upon, the current state of automobile design, functionality, and performance. Starting a car company can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, though, and most who try eventually fall short of their goals because they simply run out of money.

One company, Elio Motors, wants to introduce an 84-mpg 2-seater that costs just $6,800 and is powered by a 3-cylinder gas engine. Sounds great, right?

Consider this: The Elio has only three wheels, meaning the company is trying to classify the car as a motorcycle to avoid the stricter safety and efficiency regulations that govern cars.

The government, though, has other plans, which could send Elio into the history books.

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Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt? No Contest!

January 25th, 2016

Tesla Model 3

Soon a $37,000, 200-mile electric vehicle will arrive on the market. The car could be the one that finally ushers in the era of the affordable, high-range, mass-produced electric car.

This car is well along in its development and will be available to purchase in the coming year.

The car’s designers made aerodynamics a top priority, so it slips effortlessly through the air. When in motion, wind flows around the vehicle from the headlamps to the rear wheels. The aluminum body and smooth proportions cut down on weight and drag to increase both range and acceleration. Plus, the bottom of the car is completely flat, since there aren’t any exhaust bits that need to be kept cool.

Yes, this car could be a game changer.

Oh, and Tesla is building one, too.

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10 Cars We’d Happily Let Do the Driving

January 22nd, 2016

Google Self-Driving Prototype

Self-driving cars are coming. Thanks to visions of Skynet and Terminators, this is a frightening proposition to many people. Rather than being seen as an unparalleled convenience, autonomous cars have often been viewed as a soul-sucking leech on the driving experience. But that’s a shame, because if you begin to see cars as appliances, the appeal of an autonomous automobile is enormous.

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Jerry Seinfeld Sends $10 Million Worth of Porsches to the Auction Block

January 22nd, 2016

seinfeld-collection-porsche

Remember when we said that Barack Obama might be the coolest car guy ever? Well, he’s not.

In that same article we mentioned that Jerry Seinfeld could be making a case for himself with his web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Little did we know that Mr. Seinfeld is one of the world’s most exclusive Porsche collectors and owns one of the rarest stables of Porsches known to exist, including the very first 911.

That automatically ranks Seinfeld in the upper echelon of car guys, no questions asked. Three of his rarest vehicles will go on sale at auction in March, and are expected to fetch a staggering sum.

Here are the cars going up for sale:

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5 Questions to Help You Decide Whether to Buy or Lease Your Next Car

January 21st, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Malibu 005When I was young and poor, I always fantasized about leasing a new car, because the monthly payments were so attractive. Of course, with a credit score in double digits, no responsible car company in the world would have leased me a new one.

Now that I’m older and married to a woman with a good credit history, I’m no longer attracted to leasing. We hold our cars for a long time, as witnessed by the 2008 Mazda5 and 2002 Dodge Neon parked in our driveway.

With my perspective out of the way, let’s ponder 5 questions to figure out whether you should lease or buy your next new car. They can help you determine what will work best for you.

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Local Motors Could 3D-Print Itself Into the Future

January 21st, 2016

local-motors-lm3d_swim

A few weeks ago I made a statement on these pages that said something to the effect of how vehicle production hasn’t changed much over the last century or so.

Cars are still built on assembly lines using metal parts, a process that isn’t likely to change on a mass scale anytime soon.

There are companies, however, that are looking toward the future and coming up with innovative ways to build, and recycle, cars in the decades ahead.

Local Motors wants to be the one that disrupts the auto industry, and it wants to do so with 3D-printed cars.

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The Concept Kia Needs to Build

January 20th, 2016

Kia Telluride

Kia wants to get into the luxury game.

Its sister company, Hyundai, dabbled in luxury for a few years with the Genesis and Equus sedans before finally announcing that it would launch a separate luxury brand to compete with the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. That new brand, called Genesis, will launch in Hyundai dealerships this year and offer up to six models by 2020.

This post, though, isn’t about Hyundai.

Kia also produces a luxury liner, the well-appointed K900, but it’s struggling to find a place in the world.

A recently completed long-term review of the car said,

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What Car Made You Fall in Love With Cars?

January 19th, 2016

1966_Toronado

Do you remember your first car love?

The car that made me fall in love with cars was the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. I was just a clueless pre-teen when my dad brought home the rusty old car on a flatbed trailer. Little did I know it then, but that car would change the directory of my car-loving life.

Over the next couple of years we worked together to bring that beat-up old car back to life. It received an engine rebuild on the 425-cubic-inch V8, a new paint job, and a new interior. When finished, the car looked like it could have rolled off the Oldsmobile assembly line just days earlier.

That old Toronado taught me that cars can be so much more than simple transportation. They can actually develop personalities and grow up with a person while helping a father and son build a deeper relationship.

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LC 500 Ushers in Change for Lexus

January 18th, 2016

lexus-lc-500

“Lexus is like Neiman Marcus. The quality isn’t that much better than what you’d get at a discount store, yet it’s incredibly expensive.”

Those aren’t my words, mind you. I’ve owned a Lexus and found it exceptionally nice, though certainly not overly thrilling. Those are the words of my lovely wife, who has very engrained perceptions about certain car brands.

She associates Lexus with spiffed-up Toyotas and doesn’t see the added-value proposition of the L logo on the grille.

That’s a sentiment that obviously isn’t widely shared, because Lexus remains one of the best-selling luxury car brands in America. Lexus has, however, suffered from a lack of performance and design credibility, especially when compared with BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.

Lexus knows it has a problem in those areas and has determined to do something about it.

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How to Enjoy a New England Winter Weekend Without Snow

January 15th, 2016

2016 New England Int'l Auto Show Press Day

CarGurus was honored to attend yesterday’s press preview of the 2016 New England International Auto Show. With more than 600 cars from 37 manufacturers valued at over $22 million, we were able to see and get into a bunch of brand-new vehicles for the first time. The show offers any car fan with an interest in new vehicles an unbeatable opportunity to take a close look at and ask experts questions about the wide world of cars available to American buyers.

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