When a 4×4 Is a Bore, Try a 6×6 for the Fix

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6, front

There aren’t many places on Earth that a fully loaded 4X4 truck can’t find. Think of the Land Rover Defender and all of its desert adventures or the Toyota Hilux and its journey to the North Pole. A good 4-wheel-drive truck, equipped with the right gear and proper modifications, can go virtually anywhere.

For people who don’t like the words “virtually” or “modifications,” there’s a new player in town:

The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6.

This truck just might be able to go anywhere on the planet, provided it’s covered in less than 40 inches of water and free of things like… oh… molten lava.

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Amelia Island Concours 2013: Elegant, Fast and Weird

Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

photo: Dirk de Jager

Amelia Island sits just off the coast of northern Florida. It has a turbulent and violent history, having changed ownership after battles many times over the last few hundred years. Today, it’s a peaceful place known for a shrimp festival, music festivals, tourism, golf… and the annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

At just 13 miles long, it wouldn’t take long for a 1968 Ford GT40 to blast from one end to the other. Of course, a Concours d’ Elegance isn’t about speed or racing, it’s more like a beauty pageant for elegant and rare vehicles.

The Concours last weekend showed off some beautiful machines, with one of the two Best of Show awards going to a true racer.

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Cars Coming Soon: The Cars Ford Should Build

Ford GT

What do you think: Should the GT come back?

Let’s talk about Ford’s product line and two cars missing from it.

Obviously, Ford offers a full line of vehicles for almost any use. These include small cars, big cars, vans, trucks, heavy-duty commercial vehicles, muscle cars and hybrid cars. Competitors, though, are stepping up offerings in two categories Ford doesn’t currently address.

There are no formal plans to create a vehicle for either of these categories, but a business case could be argued for either one. And there’s one in particular that many car enthusiasts would love to see drive into showrooms.

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Range Anxiety? BMW Has i3 Buyers Covered

BMW i3

Buying a car that can go only about 50 miles from home is a scary thing. In typical day-to-day driving, the range of an electric car is more than adequate, but there is still the fear of running out of juice somewhere far from home.

Mobile charging trucks, public charging stations and other ideas can help ease some of that worry, but buyers of the coming BMW i3 will have another option:

Free access to a traditional gas-powered loaner vehicle.

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How to Write a Used Car Ad That Sells

BMW used car ad

Prices sell cars.

Without a doubt, the quickest way to sell a car quickly is to price it below its value. Nothing generates inquiries like a price that seems too good to be true. A few years ago I listed a car online, but made an error filling out the form, so two zeroes were missing from my price. You wouldn’t believe how many people called thinking I had a $45 car for sale. A few even demanded I sell it for that “advertised” price. Ummm, no.

As a seller, though, you want to get as much as possible for your car. So where’s the balance? Write a good ad and come up with a price that’s good for you, and too good for buyers to ignore. Here’s how to do it.

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Blasphemy or Brilliant? Four-Cylinder Mustang Will Be Produced

Ford Evos

Ford Evos concept could preview the 2015 Mustang

Ford is creating all kinds of controversy regarding the next Mustang. First of all, the design will abandon its retro looks and evolve into a sleeker sports car worthy of worldwide distribution. The car’s infamous rear suspension will finally be modernized, and to top it all off, a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine will be on the options list for the first time since the mid-1980s.

That’s a lot for Mustang fans to digest all at once.

Even more controversial than the existence of the four-banger is the determination of who will get access to it.

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Grading Model Names from the 2013 Geneva Motor Show

Lamborghini Veneno

Photo by Valentin Flauraud for Bloomberg News

Another year, another Geneva Motor Show. Sure, we Americans get to kick back and watch the unveiling of generational updates to familiar friends such as the Volkswagen GTI, but the Geneva Motor Show really serves two main purposes. The first: to show us what awesome European cars will remain off-limits to American car fans. The second: to provide us with endless laughs at the peculiar names car manufacturers give to their newest rides. What’s in a name? Let’s find out.

Lamborghini Veneno

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How Not to Get Your Car Back If Stolen

Car thief in action

A friend of mine recently had his 1989 Mazda B2200 stolen for the second time in 3 years. That’s an unfortunate streak of bad luck, but on the flip side, at least he was lucky enough to get the truck back once. For most people, once a car is stolen, it lives on only in memory. If recovered, it is usually only a sad shell of its former self. (Please share a moment of silence for my beloved 1984 Toyota 4X4, stolen in its prime and recovered a week later, completely destroyed.)

I certainly have empathy for those who have to deal with a car theft and understand the desire to do almost anything to get the car back. Sometimes, though, the immediate decision to act isn’t the smartest choice.

Unless it works out.

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Cars Coming Soon: Pro_cee’d to LaFerrari

Ferrari LaFerrari

It started out being referred to as the next Enzo. Then the next Ferrari supercar took the moniker F150, which drew obvious questions about originality in the company’s naming choices.

Well, prepare yourself for a new level of Ferrari naming weirdness: the Ferrari LaFerrari.

Like all names, I’m sure soon enough we won’t be able to imagine the hypercar having any other name. For now, though, it just doesn’t seem sinister enough to suit the fastest, most advanced Ferrari ever built.

Then again, as car names gravitate toward the alpha-numeric, it’s kind of nice to see actual words used. Or, in Kia’s case, made-up words, but still words nonetheless.

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Can a Car Ever Be Art?

Ford Taurus sculpture

Jeremy Clarkson, on his Facebook page yesterday, posed the question above. Can a car be art? Most of the nearly 2,000 comments simply said, “Yes,” but the question struck me and reminded me of at least two examples of cars also serving as art.

A car certainly requires art as it evolves from an idea in a designer’s mind to a clay form to a concept. Typically, once production begins, any art that was involved in creating the idea of the car gets lost in the practicalities of building it.

That’s not always true, of course, and I do believe a few examples of cars could be classified not only as automobiles, but as fine examples of pristine art.

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