The Luxury Market’s New Look


A car grabbed my attention from about four lengths ahead on the highway coming into downtown. A Bentley? No, it didn’t have the right rear end. A Rolls? Definitely not.

Once I got closer I realized that the car was a new Lincoln Continental and looked darn good cruising among the mass of plebeian automobiles on the highway. So good, in fact, that I had to wonder when the last time was that a Lincoln caught my attention and demanded a double-take.

Okay, in all honesty, the last time it happened was with the MKT, a crossover SUV of exceptionally unfortunate proportions. The Continental, though, turned my head for all the right reasons. Seeing that car, paired with the recent release of the Genesis luxury brand, got me thinking that the luxury market suddenly looks a lot more interesting than it did even a year ago.

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The Times They Are a-Changin’

Mechanic fixing old car engine

Everyone knows someone who regularly gripes about “the end” of the manual transmission, uncovered V8 engines, and our ability to get away from it all. We prefer to drive with a stick, thank you, but we know manuals aren’t always faster, cheaper, and less expensive anymore. And while we love the sound and power of a V8, a turbo four can go a lot farther on a tank of gas and lets a driver get more value out of the car’s stereo. And we think our newfound inability to really escape has more to do with smartphones and the Internet than the advance of car technology.

So we’re going to take a look at some new and different cars that mark big changes we hope all drivers can agree are positive. We’re not sure they’ll end up on as many high-schoolers’ bedroom walls as the GTO Judge and the Lamborghini Countach did, but we expect to see plenty of them on the road, and who knows which 2016 might just become a sought-after collectible to today’s hipsters.

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Why I Regret Buying a Porsche


About a year ago, I bought a Porsche.

I probably should have listened to my father-in-law, who has raced Porsches and owned roughly eleven 911s. This guy has experience and told me that I’d probably regret the purchase.

“Getting an older 911 is risky,” he said. “They are expensive to maintain and repair, and there will always be something that needs to be fixed. Don’t do it. Get a Miata or something instead.”

Well, me being the defiant, brand-driven, performance type didn’t care much for that advice. So I went out and bought a 2002 Porsche 996 911 Targa. Those low-slung Porsche looks, that Stuttgart logo, and the trademark purr of a Porsche engine were all it took to convince me to sign up for more than just a couple years of Porsche payments.

I should have listened to my father-in-law.

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The End of the Small Automaker?


What if there were no more small automakers?

The automotive world continues to consolidate, and large automakers either push the smaller ones out of the market or swallow them up as part of an expanding empire.

It’s not too hard to imagine a world without small car companies, because they don’t have much of a presence in the United States. Suzuki left the market, Mitsubishi is a small player, and Subaru is only popular in cold climates. A few supercar manufacturers and startups exist to serve a tiny niche, but most of us are never influenced by their success or failure.

Recent news from the Toyota and Nissan camps demonstrates that carmaker consolidation shows no signs of slowing down.

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Should Gas Engines Be Banned?


That headline might have served as a teaser to get people to click just a few short years ago. In today’s world, though, technology advances at the speed of light, and a ban on internal combustion engines is a very real possibility.

Granted, it won’t happen overnight, and any such ban would be phased in over many years, but the wheels could already be in motion thanks to the speed at which electric vehicles are being developed.

For proof, all we have to do is look across the Atlantic toward the homeland of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz.

Yes, Germany may become the first country to ban the sale of cars with gas-powered engines.

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Bridgestone to Develop New Jaguar XJ220 Tires; 271 Owners Breathe a Deep Sigh of Relief


When you’re on the hunt for a new car, certain details are likely at the top of your mind. All-wheel drive? Cargo space? How’s the color? Does the engine offer enough power? One detail few shoppers take the time to consider, however, is tires. Funny enough, you would think tires should be one of the most important items to check on. They connect you and your car to the road, after all.
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Will Former VW Diesel Owners Flock to Chevrolet?


General Motors thinks it can save diesel.

Volkswagen’s collapse has left a large segment of diesel refugees without a home. Now that VW is switching its focus to electric cars, it may find that many diesel customers would rather stay with their tried-and-true oil burners than migrate to electric vehicles.

Those people might find a loving new home in the General’s open arms.

Volkswagen singlehandedly created the “clean diesel” market here so it’s more than a little ironic that all of its efforts could now benefit a competing automaker.

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How Do I Get In? A Look at Some Funky Car Doors

Renault Trezor Concept

Renault’s Trezor Concept

This year’s Mondial De L’Automobile Paris (Paris Motor Show) featured many automakers’ takes on the future of automobiles, but we wanted to take a moment to reflect on one of the more outlandish unveilings. While these shows tend to feature out-there concept cars and future iterations that never see production, the Renault Trezor electric concept has definitely been one of the more unique concept cars to hit the show floor. Just look at that “door.”

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Tesla: No Discount for You!


One of the joys of shopping for a new car is knowing that the price you see on the window sticker is just a starting point for negotiation.

It’s exciting to see how far under that MSRP your sharp negotiating skills can get you. Two thousand dollars? Four thousand? More?

Of course, the flexibility of the dealer depends on a lot of factors. Is the car in high demand or has it been sitting on the lot for months? What kind of kickbacks does the manufacturer offer? Is the vehicle a high-priced luxury pickup or an economy car?

Whatever the vehicle, consumers rarely find themselves paying the full MSRP.

That is, of course, unless they’re buying a Tesla.

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Fisker Returning With New Car, New Batteries


2011 Fisker Karma

Earlier this decade, Henrik Fisker launched the world’s first premium, range-extended plug-in-electric, luxury sports sedan.

To put that jumble of words into something a little more understandable, Fisker’s company created a plug-in hybrid luxury car called the Karma.

Fisker, a car designer credited with the likes of the BMW Z8, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and Aston Martin DB9, launched the Karma in 2011, but was bankrupt by 2014. The company’s remains were purchased by a Chinese investment group with plans to resurrect the Karma as a purely electric vehicle.

Included in the sale was the Fisker brand, so we all assumed Mr. Fisker’s days of car-company ownership were behind him.

Not so fast.

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