Car Keys are So 2012… But What Could Replace Them?

Remember when some cars, GM vehicles specifically, required two different keys? The little round one unlocked the doors and the little square one started the engine.

Then technology grew to combine those two keys into one, so drivers no longer had to fumble with separate keys to gain access to their vehicles. Soon key fobs were invented and the door unlock key became altogether unnecessary as a simple push of a button handled all locking and unlocking functions.

Of course, for modern civilized humans, the act of inserting the key into the ignition and twisting it required far too much effort so the push-to-start button was invented. That gave drivers the convenience of never needing to remove their keys from their pockets.

What’s next in the evolution of car keys? Probably their complete disappearance.

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What Would a smart SUV Be Called? We’ll Soon Find Out

The naming strategy for smart isn’t hard to figure out. Its subcompact vehicle, which seats two, is known as the ‘fortwo.’

While predictable and fairly generic, it’s at least better than many of the alpha-numeric monikers other automakers are slapping onto the rear ends of their cars. Sure, smart could’ve imitated Saab’s 9-3 and called its car the 4-2, but it opted to keep things simple and let the name tell consumers exactly what the car is for.

It works.

So when smart announces more models coming down the pipe, it’s not hard to guess what the names will be.

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More Leaked Info, Drawings of C7 Corvette

C7 Corvette drawing, rear

When you’re looking forward to the introduction of a new car model, you scour the web and lap up any new information you can find.

Spy shots provide a glimpse into the future, new official specs or performance numbers from the automaker help wet that whistle, and leaked drawings from owners’ manuals can send expectant fans into a tizzy.

That’s the case with the coming C7 Corvette, a highly anticipated car due for its official debut in just three weeks.

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Merry Christmas from CarGurus! We Think Santa Drives a…

Santa's sleigh

As Santa returns from his annual trip around the world, let’s pause for a moment and wonder what the big fella drives upon his return to the North Pole.

Certainly the reindeer and sleigh get put away until next Christmas Eve and Kris Kringle enjoys his time off showing off some well-earned wheels.

But what would his vehicle of choice be? Surely it has to have all-wheel drive. And be red. And big enough to hold Santa, the Mrs. and maybe an elf or two.

Keep reading for the one car I would bet my Christmas presents that Santa keeps stored in his secret man-workshop.

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Car Insurers Should Not Use Gender to Calculate Premiums

Females & car insurance

Gender discrimination hasn’t been part of our society for decades. Generally, men and women are treated equally in professional realms of modern society. Whether in politics or law enforcement or professional car racing, women have as much opportunity as men.

And rightfully so, of course.

There’s one area, though, where women and men are singled out and charged very different rates for an identical service.

Somehow, during the great battle for gender equality, car insurance companies have remained able to charge far higher prices to men, especially young men, than they charge their female counterparts.

If a new rule in Europe takes hold, that could change.

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The Driving Mystery of “C’etait un Rendezvous”

C'etait un Rendezvous

It’s been called the king of car-chase movies, though there doesn’t appear to be any actual car chasing. We never see the car, which speeds through pre-dawn Paris, and we never get the impression that there is any kind of chase going on.

For all we know, “C’etait un Rendezvous,” the 1976 short film by Claude Lelouch, was just a filmmaker, a car and a camera having 8 minutes of fun before the sun came up. Yet mystery surrounds the film and its maker. Legend says he was arrested after the film debuted for such reckless driving. But who was driving? What kind of car? Were the sounds dubbed in later? How fast was he going? Who is the woman at the end?

Keep reading for a clip from the movie and some possible answers to help explain the movie that Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson said, “Makes ‘Bullit’ look like a cartoon!”

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Cars Coming Soon: Ford C-Max Energi

2013 Ford C-MAX Energi

I’ve never been excited about an electric car. Ever.

I don’t even like electric golf carts or those little shuttles that sneak up on unsuspecting travelers in airports. Put a gas engine in those things and watch folks get out of the way!

As I’ve said here many times, my problems with electric vehicles stem from their limited range, outrageous cost and, most of all, the misguided notion that fueling a car with coal-produced electricity is any better than efficiently using gasoline. Not to mention the toxicity of making, and disposing of, the battery packs.

With all that said, the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi could be a car that begins to change the minds of people like me.

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Supercars: With Bread and In Ditches

Ferrari McLaren Ford

My good friend Jeremy Clarkson has a way with words. (I liked him on Facebook, which means we’re friends, right?)

Here’s a status he so eloquently posted yesterday on his fan page:

Supercars appeal to the small boy in us all. We may hate the bastards who have them and we may know they make no sense at all, but that doesn’t stop us wanting one.

Well, we only hate the people who have them when they don’t appreciate them or have the skill to drive them. For those people, the car is nothing more than a symbol of success. For others, though, the supercar is owned because of a true passion for the design, engineering and performance behind the car.

Both types of people have made the news over the last couple of days.

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Used Find of the Week: A Presidential Pickup

George Bush's Ford truck

How to know you’re rich:

You need a truck for your ranch. Not to do a lot of work, but just to get from one part of the ranch to another. You’ll probably have some passengers now and then—you know, the usual: family, friends, world dignitaries and the like. Your truck won’t ever be driven on public roads—it’ll stay on the ranch all the time. You have other vehicles for taking into public spaces, or someone drives for you.

Your ranch truck can’t just be an old beater, like every other ranch truck in the fields of these great United States. No, a 1972 Ford F-100 won’t do at all. You need leather, heated seats and four doors. You need to buy a brand-new Ford F-150 King Ranch.

If you’re George W. Bush in 2009, that’s exactly what you did.

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Here Comes the Next F150… From Ferrari!

Ferrari F150

The Ferrari F150.

If you’re imagining a Rosso Corsa pickup with 4-wheel-drive and a Prancing Horse logo, I politely ask you to get your head out of the gutter.

Ferrari’s F150 is no truck.

If the name sticks, the F150 will become what’s also been known as the F70, or, more familiarly, the successor to the great Enzo. What you see above is the best tease so far of what’s in store and, design-wise, it already puts the Enzo to shame.

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