As more and more 2016 cars pour onto (and off of) dealership lots and our planet Earth approaches yet another successful revolution around the Sun, it’s time to wave farewell to the automotive Class of 2015. In 2014, BMW brought us the spaceship-like i8 and first showed us its new 2 and 4 Series coupes. Jaguar rolled onto the scene with its convertible F-TYPE, putting the rest of the sports-car world on notice, and Chevrolet responded with authority as it unveiled the C7 Corvette. But, if anything, 2015 brought even more excitement to the market. Dodge began selling 707-hp Hellcats, Jaguar put a roof on the F-Type, Volvo brought a stunning new wagon to the United States, and Jeep gave us a Renegade that is surprisingly good off-road.
The next time you find yourself leafing through your copy of Wikipedia, take a close look at some of the antique car pages. The early days of the automobile were undoubtedly exciting, but change was actually very slow for individual makes and models. The car synonymous with brass era automobiles, the Ford Model T, ran its course for 19 years with hardly any cosmetic changes. Beyond some tweaks to the hood, cowl, and fenders, a ‘27 Model T can be easily confused with a model 10 years older. Think of it as the Porsche 911 design philosophy.
Road & Track columnist Peter Egan once wrote, “Cars are considered to be an art form, yet the Mona Lisa, I’ve noticed, never needs a cooling system flush or new brake pads.” Automotive design has been an integral part of the car industry since the 1920s, when GM began to develop the first year-over-year changes to their cars’ visual appearance. As makes and models have evolved, so have the varying design languages associated with them—with varying degrees of success.
Fun fact: Barbie’s awesome wardrobe wasn’t what made her cool. Her sweet dream house didn’t make her cool, her friend Ken didn’t make her cool, and her absurd, unattainable, and potentially psychologically debilitating body proportions certainly didn’t make her cool either. What made Barbie cool was her hot pink convertible. A quick Google search indicates that Barbie has owned a wide range of convertibles in her lifetime, all of which were hot pink. Yes, she went through the regrettable VW Beetle phase, and it looks like at one point she was driving around in a Suzuki Cappuccino, but she also had one with a distinctly Aston Martin grill – if pressed, we’d guess it’s a one-off Vanquish, customized by Mattel.
With Independence Day this weekend, we thought it would be an ideal time to take a look at some of the most “American” cars on sale today. Sure, it would be easy to throw together a list of muscle cars and pickup trucks, but, like it or not, the United States isn’t the birthplace of the V8 engine or 4-wheel-drive (that would be France and the Netherlands, respectively), and anyway, that would have been too easy. Instead, when trying to define American culture, we’ve been drawn to the wide breadth of automobiles that have helped define our car culture. After being born from a nation’s version of youngest-child-style frustration (our revolution), the U.S. was initially kept afloat by—and then thrived because of—our penchant to innovate.
How’d it feel, Camaro, to be the muscle-car sales king?
It lasted about 6 years.
The Challenger had never been a real contender sales-wise, even though the vicious Hellcat could take the other two cars and burn their rubber straight to, well, hell.
How do the numbers stack up, and does the Camaro stand a chance of reclaiming the throne?
No matter what the application, technology always advances. In the 1980s, Casio was famous for its Databank watch. It included enough storage memory for some addresses and phone numbers, and it had a handy calculator, just in case you decided to tip 18.7%. In April, 2015, Apple released its own smart watch. It’s roughly the same shape as Casio’s Databank, but the technology now allows for 8 gigabytes of storage, a touchscreen, haptic feedback, and a range of apps that cover everything from the weather to the Red Sox score to what Jeremy Clarkson’s been tweeting this week. Cars are no different.
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, and if you still haven’t gotten Mom that gift to show her you appreciate all those years she lost out to raising the fine individual you have become, you might want to look into some quick gift ideas. So head to the flower shop, pick up a nice heartfelt card from the convenience store down on the corner, or head over to a used-car lot and pick her up something nice. If you really wanted to show Mom how much you appreciated your childhood, maybe you should get her a car that takes her back to a time before she had kids. Get her something sporty, something fun, something that will remind her of her more carefree days.
It’s that time of year again. Well, not really, but we can certainly start looking forward to it. As the days get longer, the air gets warmer, and the smells get a little sweeter, it’s hard not to dream about one thing: convertibles. The snow hasn’t completely melted here in Boston, but what’s on the ground now is a far cry from the over 8 feet we’ve gotten this winter, and that completely justifies our looking months into the future.
We thought we would follow up our Today’s Most Popular Cars From the 1980s list with its logical sequel: ’90s cars. We looked at our data again and determined which ’90s cars garnered the most interest from CarGurus shoppers. We have to say, this list surprises us a bit less. The ’80s list featured a good number of discontinued cars, but only one car no longer in production made this one. Nineties cars are probably a bit more practical than some of the nearly ancient ’80s models (cars on this list are likely at least 11 years younger), and most of these cars haven’t quite reached collector status.