Few modern car designs manage to convey their heritage as well as the Dodge Challenger. Granted, from “Vanishing Point” to “Archer,” not many cars are endowed with the Challenger’s legacy. Even still, the Toyota Corolla might be turning 50 this year, but I doubt many of us would recognize the similarities between one today and a 1968 original. Continue reading >>>
Back at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Ford surprised the automotive world with the debut of a brand new Ford GT supercar. Ford promised a return to Le Mans with the car to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary of its 1966 overall win.
That was two years ago and, in all the time since, we never knew just how fast the new production GT would be.
The original GT out-performed Ferrari and immediately made Ford a respectable player in the racing world. Since then, Ford’s performance division has cranked out high-performance Mustangs and briefly returned the GT for the 2005-2006 model years, but then seemingly dropped its supercar aspirations until the 2015 surprise debut.
Last week, just more than two years after the debut, Ford has announced the specs on its newest GT. How does it stack up to Ferrari this time? Continue reading >>>
President Trump has been in office for over a week now, and his efforts to motivate automakers to manufacture vehicles in the U.S. have so far been met with controversy and mixed results. There’s been a substantial amount of press over Ford’s decision to cancel a $1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico, while still moving small-car production (notably, the Ford Focus) to Ford’s existing Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly plant. The Ford Focus has been in the spotlight, but it’s worth noting that there are many more models that could be affected by Trump’s theoretical 35% tariff. In fact, the automotive industry in Mexico has had a long and stable history. Continue reading >>>
British cars were once known in the United States as being luxurious but notoriously unreliable. Think about the 1990s era Jaguars, any Land Rover sold before 2008, and the exceptional cost of maintaining Aston Martins.
Sales were limited to people who were willing to deal with electrical gremlins and frequent repair visits in exchange for some prestige and exclusivity.
Today the British brands have turned things around and the American car-buying public has taken notice. Or have they? Continue reading >>>
I’ve heard from more car shoppers than I can count over the years asking for advice on purchasing a new car. Yesterday a question was asked that no one had previously brought up to me.
The shopper is in the market for a new 2017 hybrid or plug-in hybrid SUV. She drives a lot, lives in an area known for epic snowfall, and has had her share of scary incidents while on the road. Naturally, she wants something safe and reliable that goes at least a few miles on electric power to save a few bucks on gas.
Considering the close calls she’s had while driving, she asked me if rescue workers are able to use the Jaws of Life on hybrid and electric vehicles. She’d heard a rumor that first responders won’t extract people stuck in such vehicles due to risks of electrocution from cutting into high-voltage lines.
Could that rumor be true? Continue reading >>>
One of the many services that has made Costco famous is its car buying program.
The program has its supporters and detractors, but overall the company sees its partnership with dealerships as a value-added service for club members.
Walmart wants in, too.
The nation’s largest retailer has announced a partnership with dealers, a financial institution, and an online car retail platform to launch an in-store car buying program. Before you laugh at the idea of buying a car at Walmart, here’s why it could actually work.
It does come with a warning, though. Continue reading >>>
Every year, new “must-have” features seem to appear in cars. From ventilated seats to Apple CarPlay to little mustang-shaped puddle lights, when it comes to bringing in new customers, a product manager’s creativity knows no bounds. Continue reading >>>
The night this happened, my brother had spent an evening with friends bar-hopping and enjoying the nightlife downtown.
At about 1 a.m. he set up an Uber ride and waited for a blue Subaru to arrive and safely shuttle him home.
When a Subaru pulled up in front of the bar that matched what Uber said would arrive, he opened the rear door of the car and sat down with a loud exhale followed by a, “Whew… what a night. How are you doing?”
There was no response.
He looked toward the driver’s seat and saw a terrified young woman gripping her steering wheel.
“You’re not my Uber, are you?”
The woman shook her head. My brother apologized and quickly exited her car.
It’s a funny story but illustrates the potential danger that drivers and passengers both face. Continue reading >>>
Think back five years.
The year was 2012. It wasn’t that long ago, but in terms of advancements in the auto industry, it was an eternity. After doing a quick Google search for “car trends 2012,” I found a quaint little article from January of that year in the USA Today with the headline “Five auto trends that will shake up 2012.”
The article mentioned things like stop/start engine technology, multiple air bags, smaller gas-powered engines, and simple infotainment controls.
Earth-shattering stuff, right?
Compare that list to what to expect for 2017 and you’d think we jumped ahead 20 years, not just five. Here’s where we are now. Continue reading >>>
I made a promise to my family to not text while driving. Doing so is wildly dangerous and irresponsible, but also incredibly easy and tempting.
On any day, in any city around the country, a driver can look into the windows of surrounding cars and see a driver typing on his or her phone.
That driver will no longer be me, because I’ve decided that I control my phone instead of my phone controlling me. I won’t let it put my life, nor the lives of my loved ones, at risk.
Rather than taking responsibility for their own texting habits, some drivers want to sue one of the world’s largest makers of smartphones. The alleged crime? Making texting while driving possible. Or rather, not making it impossible. Continue reading >>>