Bob Lutz: The Automotive Era Is Ending

Car culture is definitely changing, but can it change in a relatively short amount of time?

Bob Lutz thinks so.

As one of the top executives at General Motors, Lutz championed for the creation of the Pontiac GTO and G8, the return of the Camaro, and the introduction of the Cadillac SRX.

Lutz is a gearhead but also a cunning businessman who has a knack for seeing trends and predicting the future of cars.

In 2008, for instance, he said that the electrification of the automobile was inevitable. By 2010 he had successfully guided the Chevy Volt into existence, and today, the future of EVs is, indeed, inevitable.

Just wait ’till you hear what he’s saying now. Continue reading >>>

New Toyota Supra Won’t Be a Toyota

The new Toyota Supra may be the most highly anticipated car since the return of the Chevy Camaro.

Theories regarding what it will look like and what will power it have captivated the Internet for a good 18 months. Maybe even since the Supra was discontinued all the way back in 2002. We now know it’s coming back, but will it be co-developed with BMW? Will it be a hybrid? Gas only? Electric only?

Will it be a Z4 with Toyota badging?

All we’ve really known for sure is that the new Supra will, 100 percent, no-doubt-about-it, have a Toyota badge. Because it’s a Supra.

The Supra is a Toyota legend and was, for many years, the top-performing car in the Toyota stable. It has Toyota blood flowing through its arteries. The Supra coming back as a Toyota is as safe a bet as the Camaro was to return wearing its bowtie.

But, as it turns out, there are no guarantees in life. Continue reading >>>

Will EVs Lose Their Tax Credits?

Much like an extended family getting together for the holidays, we try to avoid talking about politics on this blog at all costs.

We like to keep the focus on exciting new cars that are coming soon, or helping shoppers get the best deal on cars. Of course, we also love showcasing the best in car culture and analyzing changing trends.

Sometimes, though, a political development comes along that forces us to talk politics, because it affects car shoppers around the entire country. Today is one of those days. Continue reading >>>

This Land Cruiser May Be the Best-Looking SUV Ever

The Toyota Land Cruiser, with more than 50 years of history, remains one of the best-looking SUVs on the road.

Maybe that statement doesn’t include the most modern versions, but the classic Land Cruisers, up to model year 2007, were commanding and exotic. Bulky but grand. Stately and grandiose.

The early ones, as in the 1960 through 1984 models, are fully fledged collector’s items and resemble the classic Jeep Wrangler. Properly restored, those older models can demand a pretty penny on the collector’s market.

As far as modern Cruisers go, the 100 Series is, to my eye, the best-looking SUV on the road that doesn’t wear an Audi badge. There’s something special about that retro boxiness.

Even if you’re not a fan of Cruisers, it’s worth checking out this updated 1981 FJ40 Series and ogling the modern awesomeness it has become. Continue reading >>>

Where Will We Get the Power for Full Electric?

What’s a parking garage without charging stations?

In San Francisco I could roll into a downtown garage, plug in, and go about my day. Here in my Washington State home, I’ve been parking at a downtown garage, but there are no charging stations to be found on the entire 6-floor structure. Could mine be the only electric car that parks there?

Unlikely. But the lack of chargers illustrates a potential problem that could be just around the corner as nearly every major automaker plans new electric cars in the coming years. That’s supposed to be a huge move forward for our environment, but there are some unanswered questions that need to be addressed:

Where will we charge these cars, and where will the electricity come from? Continue reading >>>

Mazda’s Kai Concept Could Preview Upcoming Mazda3

Mazda used its home market’s auto show to wow the automotive world with a concept that’s likely to become the best-looking hatchback on the market today.

The Kai concept, which debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show last week, is a preview of what to expect from the upcoming Mazda3. That long hood and sculpted body are unlike any other hatch available and invoke the spirit of Grand Tourers from the past.

Why, however, would Mazda give this concept such graceful rear-wheel-drive proportions when it’s on a front-wheel-drive platform? There are other indications that the concept isn’t quite ready for prime time, but they’re minor enough to be modified for an upcoming production version. Will it happen? Continue reading >>>

Newest BMW Crossover: The Sedan of SUVs?

She said she didn’t want an SUV, but who doesn’t want an SUV?

Sport utility vehicles, crossovers, sport activity vehicles, and other variants of the high-riding 5-door vehicle class have all but closed the coffin lid on sedans.

Why buy a 4-door low-riding sedan with a traditional trunk if you can get a roomier cabin with a view that can also haul your Costco treasures with less fuss?

I thought everyone, and I mean everyone, was eschewing sedans for sport utes and crossovers. Everyone, apparently, except for a friend who said she was interested in purchasing our 2013 Subaru Legacy after I mentioned it was for sale. Well, either that or she wants to wait for a new car she just heard is coming down the pipe: a brand new just-announced BMW X2. Continue reading >>>

New Cars Losing Ground on Reliability

New technology that makes cars easier to drive, more fuel efficient, and better connected could also be the reasons why new cars are less reliable than they’ve been in the past.

It wasn’t that long ago when a car buyer could take home a sedan with a 5-speed manual transmission, a CD player, a steering wheel, a basic 4-cylinder motor, and air conditioning. Cars like that could be driven for decades with minimal problems. Heck, Toyota and Honda built their businesses on those cars and still benefit from that reputation for reliability.

Things are changing, though. As cars become more advanced, their reliability is decreasing. Continue reading >>>

This Exotic Carmaker May Finally Build an SUV

Choose the one that doesn’t belong:

Lamborghini Porsche Jaguar Rolls-Royce Bentley Ferrari Aston Martin Maserati

Those are some of the most prestigious automakers in the world. All produce cars worthy of royalty, and all are aspirational brands that only some of the wealthiest people in the world will ever buy. Everyone, however, can appreciate them.

But there’s one that doesn’t fit with the rest—one that has held onto its exotic roots and never strayed from its 2-door sports car recipe for success.

Until now. Continue reading >>>