The ETV: What to Do with Your Old Chevy Aveo

The ETV

To be frank, the Chevrolet Aveo was never an aspirational car. It was transportation selected more for its practicality than its passion.

Nor is it a car that would normally turn heads at a venue like the New York International Auto Show (running now through April 3). However, it’s a different story when its platform is the donor for the ETV, a car made by Mike Vetter’s Car Factory in Micco, Florida. In that case, it stops foot traffic among a typically jaded automotive media, with auto journalists stopping to wonder, “What is that?” It’s the first of eight in existence, and it’s a great-looking vehicle (even it does look like an over-stuffed ballet slipper from the side).

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Alternatives to a Used Porsche 911

2003-Porsche-911-Targa

The Porsche 911 is an automotive icon. The car has successfully set a world-class standard for sports cars and has been part of the automotive landscape for much of the past 50 years.

Modern versions of the Porsche 911 offer the latest in engine technology and more performance than all but a few exotic cars.

Most of us grew up wanting one, but our childhood dreams have been squashed by the ever-increasing prices of new and used 911s.

There are two distinct kinds of Porsche 911: air-cooled and water-cooled. The pre-1999 cars were of the air-cooled variety, while everything after is water-cooled. If you think you can save money by opting for something like a 1996 911, think again. Those old air-cooled cars have become valuable classics and can command between $40,000 and $100,000, or even more.

A new 911 will easily set you back $90,000, while late-model used ones aren’t too far behind.

The only affordable options left are the 1999-2004 models, of which the 2002-2004 models are the most desirable. If you want an affordable 911, look there before prices go through the roof.

If, however, you can settle for a car that isn’t a 911 but offers great driving dynamics and a much smaller price tag, keep reading…

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5 Smart Swaps for Premium Picks

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

“The thing about money is… you can always make more.”

Or so a good friend once told us, while detailing his extensive traveling. And although it’s a lovely, freeing sentiment, most of us are more comfortable living within our finances and the limitations they impose. Of course, with tax day creeping around the corner, many of us are anticipating a nice refund, and feeling a little flush. If there was ever a time of year when we’re inclined to peruse the new car listings on CarGurus, searching for our dream ride, it’s now. Whether you’re enticed by a drop-top sports car, a luxurious full-size sedan, or a tough-as-nails off-roader, you’ll find yourself well taken care of by today’s auto market.

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The Best New Convertibles You Can Actually Buy

2014 Audi RS5

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.

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The Kings of New York

2015 New York International Auto Show

The 2015 New York International Auto Show will come to a close this weekend, and as usual, automakers packed the Javits Center with beautiful new vehicles in hopes of making as big a splash as they could during the crowded hypefest. We attended last week’s 2-day press preview, and we have to say it was a very fun but exhausting trip; the automakers like to keep the press moving around the venue. But we moved quickly and made it to nearly all the press conferences with help from plenty of free coffee and some life-saving free chairs.

Some of the biggest names in the business were there to show off what the next year of production has to offer the market. Automakers all more or less stressed the same common themes throughout the preview, but some of the more unexpected themes included fuel cells, semi-autonomous-driving features, and affordable luxury (with the exception of Land Rover and Jaguar, who touted their models’ steep price tags). Dozens of reveals took place at the press conferences, and we thought we’d share our impressions on some of the biggest.

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Ten Stylish Summer Convertibles Under $10k

2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

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.

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No, Porsche Shouldn’t Build an Entry Level Car

porsche_718

Regarding the possibility of an entry level roadster, Porsche North America’s CEO Detlev von Platen recently said,

We’re not talking about entry models at Porsche. Our entry model is our pre-owned program.

Those words have dashed the dreams of many Porsche hopefuls who had hoped to get into a new Porsche for the price of a loaded Honda.

Sorry folks. If you want a new Porsche, you’re going to have to work a little harder; which is the way it should be.

Some people, though, disagree.

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Can’t Wait for the Mid-Engine Corvette? Buy One of These!

Corvette Zora ZR1 C8

There has never been a mid-engine Corvette and, most people believe, Chevrolet will never build one.

A Corvette with power coming from behind the driver just isn’t American. We like our cars with ferocious small block V8 engines taking up the space between our feet and the horizon and we like those engines covered by hoods long enough to land a Boeing 747.

That’s why news of a potential mid-engine C8 Corvette, currently dubbed the “Zora,” is staggering.

Car and Driver Magazine has a large feature on the development of the car, which is being covered by blogs everywhere. One of them says:

Little is known about this car, and given that the Z06 chucks out 650 bhp and costs just south of $80,000; anything turned up to 11 should cause quite a scene. The revisions to the chassis will not be updates to the C7, but major changes to be realized in the C8. For this highly tuned version, the price may start around $150,000 and production numbers will be limited to C6 ZR1 levels, somewhere around 1,500 copies.

If this is true, Chevy isn’t building a Corvette, it’s building a Ferrari.

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Who’s Ready for the 4-Cylinder Porsche?

Porsche Boxster 4 cylinder

Can a performance car use a 4-cylinder engine and still be a performance car?

More specifically, can a Porsche use a 4-cylinder and still be taken seriously as a Porsche?

If I’m not mistaken, the last 4-cylinder Porsche was the 1995 968. It’s been said that no other car in history has inspired more conversations with the Lord, especially at highway speeds in the rain. A bit underpowered yet a challenge to control and with a ride that could graciously be described as “harsh,” the 968 soon gave way to the now-legendary Boxster. That’s the car that established the flat-six as the engine of choice for Porsche enthusiasts.

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The Most Beautiful Cars of 2012

2013 Maserati GranTurismo Sport

On its website, Forbes listed the cars it believes are the most beautiful of 2012. It got some right, but in my opinion, missed some real lookers and included some serious head-scratchers.

For some reason, the Jaguar F-Type, which hasn’t had its official reveal and won’t even be available until sometime in 2013, made the list. Odd, right? Also, the awkward Ferrari 458 Spider got the nod, which isn’t nearly as good looking as the coupe version or its arch-nemesis, the McLaren MP4-12C Spider (which also made the list). Most suspicious to my eye was the inclusion of the Bentley Mulsanne, which looks like a droopy old man.

There are no mass-produced cars on the list, either, which I find remarkable. So, here are some of the cars I’d place on a list of the most beautiful of 2012:

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