The $40,000 Bentley: A Good Idea?

February 20th, 2015

2005 Bentley Continental GT

Even when I’m not shopping for a car, I’m shopping for a car.

It probably happens to you, too. For me, I’ll just be going about my normal day-to-day business when suddenly, out of nowhere, I think it’s a good idea to buy a car.

Maybe driving past a dealership and seeing a great price on the window of a perfect car spurs the thought. Maybe it’s an online ad, or maybe it’s just a friend or family member who says something that sparks an interest.

It has happened to me twice in the past week.

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What Are the Odds: Apple Buying Tesla?

February 19th, 2015

apple_car

Can you guess which car company is being described with the following words?

[Its] strengths lie in taking designs by Ive’s team, building them at high quality and low cost and selling them at a premium. Where it succeeds best is integrating the software that manages how customers use those products to keep them satisfied.

That’s a description any carmaker would strive to achieve, yet none have truly gotten there.

The statement above describes Apple, the computer company that brought us home computing, portable music, smart phones, and soon, cars.

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Will Self-Driving Cars Take Away Your Driving Freedom?

February 18th, 2015

Uber self-driving car

Read this quote, and then we’ll discuss:

Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2025 and have a near monopoly by 2030, and the sweeping change they bring will eclipse every other innovation our society has experienced. They will cause unprecedented job loss and a fundamental restructuring of our economy, solve large portions of our environmental problems, prevent tens of thousands of deaths per year, save millions of hours with increased productivity, and create entire new industries that we cannot even imagine from our current vantage point.

The author goes into a great deal of predictions on what is to come for the future of cars that drive themselves, even going so far as to say the majority of car purchases won’t be by individuals, but by car-sharing and transport services like Uber and Zipcar.

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Can Porsche Beat Tesla at Its Own Game?

February 17th, 2015
Porsche Panamera

Porsche Panamera

Tesla is winning, big time.

Part of that success is because it has gone completely unchallenged in its chosen market. If someone is in the market for an electric luxury sedan, they have nowhere else to look.

Tesla identified that market and built a car no one else in the world would build. The result? Total domination with the Model S and plans to overtake more car markets.

But there’s another side effect from success:

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The 2016 Honda Pilot Turns Into a Minivan

February 16th, 2015

2016 Honda Pilot

Back in 2004 I purchased a car I thought would last forever.

Its looks weren’t anything special, but its capabilities and features were exactly what I needed.

The car was a 2004 Honda Pilot, and it lasted all of 6 months. That’s not because anything failed on the car, it’s because it caught on fire and burned to the ground.

Now that the Pilot has been around for over 10 years, it is being revamped for the 2016 model year, but even with all the changes, I think I’d prefer to own my old ’04.

My biggest problem with the new, recently unveiled Pilot is that it’s basically a Honda Odyssey minivan without the sliding doors. The Pilot was never rugged in SUV terms, but it was at least an SUV.

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Today’s Most Popular Cars From the 1980s

February 13th, 2015

1988 Pontiac Fiero

As time goes on and we look back at decades past, the ’80s become a weirder time for everyone. It was a pretty good time for cars, though, to be honest. Cars from the ’80s are still holding up to this day, and finding these 30-plus-year-old vehicles is becoming more desirable for some people. A lot of cars from the ’80s still move off sales lots pretty quickly. Not too surprising when these American classics are becoming increasingly rare and desirable. Many have long been discontinued, and that rarity has only increased their value.

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2016 Ferrari 488 GTB or 2016 Dodge Viper ACR?

February 13th, 2015

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB

I’ve been dreading the day I’d hear about the demise of the Ferrari 458 Italia. The Italian supercar has been sitting on the top of my list of favorites since its introduction.

Like all good things, though, I knew the 458 would eventually die. All Ferraris do. On the positive side, the death of one model usually results in the birth of something even better.

The 458 Italia will give way to the 488 GTB. Will it be an improvement? Will it compete with the best supercars on the market?

My 13-year-old son is a Ferrari aficionado and suffered equal heartbreak when he heard the news of the 458. Here is the question he asked:

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Entry-Level Aston Martin? Nope! Buy These Instead

February 12th, 2015

2015 Aston Martin Vanquish front-three-quarter-in-motion-03

If you’ve been hankering for a new Aston Martin that will fit your mid-executive budget, you might want to look at another brand or start making more money.

Aston Martin won’t follow in the footsteps of Porsche and Maserati by adding a lower-priced car. At least not yet. The temptation to chase sales by adding a more attainable model is intense, but Aston intends to stay the course and offer only premium supercars to the world’s wealthiest car buyers.

Rather than increasing sales with a lower-priced car, Aston wants to increase volume by opening more stores.

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Aluminum Cars and Trucks: Fad or New Trend?

February 11th, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Will aluminum body panels become a relic of an experimental past or redefine how automakers build cars?

The new Ford F-150 uses the alloy extensively and is receiving accolades for its innovation. People were cautious, even full of ridicule, before the truck hit the market. Comments like, “The new F-150 will be as tough as a beer can,” circulated through the online world.

Now automakers are eating their words and realizing that the use of aluminum in cars is probably not going away.

The big question is: Do the weight savings translate to enough money saved to justify the costly repairs to aluminum?

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Detroit’s Famous Walker Gets a Free New Car

February 10th, 2015

2014 Ford Taurus James Robertson

Sometimes we just need a feel-good story to get us through the week.

By now you’ve probably heard about the man in Detroit who has walked an incredible 21 miles every day for work. This wasn’t a once or twice fluke—James Robertson made the trek for 10 years. Assuming a 5-day work week, that’s 54,600 miles traversed on foot through some of Detroit’s toughest areas.

He walks because he could never afford to replace or repair the car that broke down a decade ago. Even still, Robertson arrives at his 2 pm shift on time, every day, and goes home at 10 pm.

For 10 years.

Naturally, when the Internet got hold of this story, things went berserk. Within days a fund was set up, and over $300,000 was raised for Mr. Robertson to buy a new car.

Late last week he received his gift:

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