Toyota Ups Performance with Gazoo

If you needed a car for reliable transportation and practical usability, and you didn’t care much for driving dynamics or performance, which brand would you choose?

One of the first to come to mind might be Toyota.

The automaker’s reputation for quality and reliability is legendary. Its design, however, has leaned toward the bland, while performance has been perfectly calibrated to handle any speed limit America could throw at it. Practical, but not exhilarating.

That could change with the introduction of the Gazoo Racing Series. Continue reading >>>

The Bugatti Chiron Breaks Its First Record

Zero to 249 miles per hour.

I don’t know that any of us can really imagine what that’s like. Accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds is an exhilarating rush, but I don’t think there’s anyone reading this right now who can understand what it feels like to top 200 in a car… on the way to 249.

There just aren’t many cars capable of crossing the 200-mph mark, nor are there many safe places to run those cars all the way to their top speed.

So if none of us have experienced such speed, and likely never will, why are we bringing it up here on this blog?

Well… because watching other people do it is exactly what a Monday needs. Continue reading >>>

Lincoln and Mazda Next Up to Electrify Everything

Here’s another one to file in the “all cars are going electric” folder.

In the not-so-distant future, we’ll look back on that folder and fondly remember the steps automakers took to wean the driving public away from gas and ease them into the new world of electric driving.

We’ve written, pretty extensively, about upcoming new electric vehicles and even plans by entire countries to phase out gasoline and diesel-powered cars. An electric future is approaching fast, and two more automakers are now committing to doing their part to usher in this new world. Continue reading >>>

One-Inch Crack Totals 2017 Chevy Corvette

In 2005 I had a 6-month-old Honda Pilot. That vehicle was parked overnight in a driveway next to a large RV, and the RV caught fire.

The RV burned to a crisp, leaving nothing but a blackened frame and a smoking pile of debris. The Pilot, which was parked not 12 inches from the RV, didn’t catch fire, but did suffer massive damage from the heat. The windows burst, leather melted, paint bubbled, plastic exterior and interior trim melted, tires burst, and wheels warped.

The driver’s side of that car was destroyed. The insurance company deemed the damage repairable, and three months and $12,000 later, I got my car back, but it never felt “good as new.”

Contrast that story with this one: Continue reading >>>

Will the Tesla Model 3 Kill Off the BMW 3 Series?

Tesla has very high hopes for its midsize Model 3 sedan.

It doesn’t just hope to survive and sell enough copies to make the investment worth it—the electric carmaker plans to revolutionize the auto business by selling a hundred thousand or so every year.

That’s a lofty goal. All of those sales would have to come from somewhere… and the BMW 3 Series could be the sacrificial lamb. In fact, one investor believes sales of the 3 Series could “go to zero.” Continue reading >>>

Ford Raptor Not Macho Enough? Try the Shelby Edition

The Ford F-150 Raptor is about as extreme as trucks get. Built for flying across sand, traversing dunes, and descending hillsides like a mountain goat, the Raptor is one of very few trucks that can compete in the Baja 1000, then drive home like it made a leisurely trip visiting the in-laws.

The truck comes stock with a 450-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, which offers plenty of punch to get out ahead of traffic or even leave most cars in the dust. It’s massive, too. The Raptor is 6.4 inches wider than the already huge F-150 and 1.3 inches taller. At 78.5 inches high, good luck getting this thing into your garage at home or into many urban parking garages.

In fact, good luck even finding a large enough space at the grocery store.

This truck isn’t made for parking, though. It’s for mountain men (suburban dads) who need a macho desert-runner (grocery-getter) to stand out from the crowd.

However, for some folks, the stock Raptor just isn’t macho enough. Enter the Shelby Raptor. Continue reading >>>

China’s Big Decision Would Impact U.S. Auto Strategy

GM will offer this EV for about $5,300 in China

This is big.

For a few months now, we’ve been following stories of certain countries playing with the idea of banning the use of gasoline and diesel vehicles. India, France, Britain, Norway, and Germany have floated plans to do away with the sales of new vehicles powered by fossil fuels.

France and Britain plan to ban sales starting in 2040, while India is looking at 2030. Germany hasn’t committed to a year yet, and Norway wants to see the ban go in place by 2025.

Now, the world’s largest car market is following suit, which could change everything. Continue reading >>>

When’s the Last Time a Car Took Your Breath Away?

Some cars just take your breath away at first glance. Sometimes because they’re expensive supercars, sometimes because they’re rare and beautiful luxury cars, and sometimes because they’re old classics that stand out in a Walmart parking lot full of crossovers.

The last time a car left me in a state of awe was in Deland, Florida (I hope all is well over there, friends), when a passing Bugatti Veyron in the quaint downtown took me by surprise.

Before that it was a 1962 Jaguar E-Type, parked in the valet section of a luxury hotel.

It takes a lot to impress me with cars these days, and even the standard-fare Ferrari and Lamborghini typically get nothing more than a passing glance.

So why did I point out a 1987 vehicle this weekend with the excitement of teen girl at a Beatles concert? Continue reading >>>

2018 Nissan Leaf Debut: Yay or Yawn?

Nissan has been teasing its new electric Leaf for months. The sleek teaser images suggest a racy shape and a whole new Leaf experience.

It also came with the preconceived notion that it would come with a range on par with the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. Nissan never made specific mention of that, but we all just kind of assumed it would step up to meet the competition.

The new Leaf was unveiled this week, and while Nissan may have expected much fanfare, it debuted to a whole lot of silence. Can anyone else hear the crickets?

The newly redesigned Leaf looks like a Toyota and has the range of, well… a Leaf. Continue reading >>>

Should This Safety System Be Turned Off While Driving?

Like about half of all drivers, I turned off an important, though irritating, safety feature in my car this weekend.

The incessant beeping of the lane-departure warning system routinely woke up my sleeping family as I drove home from a downtown event on Sunday. The shrill, fast series of beeps emanating from my Subaru is supposed to alert the driver that he or she is drifting outside of the lane, but somehow, on this drive, the system was picking up ruts in the highway instead of the painted lane markings and chirping in short bursts every 15 seconds.

I figured I had lived without the warning system for the first 20 years of my driving life, so I could probably make it the last few miles home without one.

And I did, with the family sleeping peacefully.

Timing is a funny thing, though, because the next day CNN published an article about how many crashes such systems have prevented and then warned against ever turning it off. Continue reading >>>