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I have opinionated children. Everything from what I put on the table to which clothes they consent to wear. Children pay attention to friends, television, and parents to determine how they feel about things and how they choose to do things. Even things you don’t notice yourself are absorbed by your children and mold them into who they will be.
The automotive industry seems as if it's tripping over itself to make sure there is a car to fit just about every niche imaginable. This practice makes sense from a business standpoint because at its most basic level, if you make what someone is looking for, odds are they will buy it. The problem comes when a rival company fills a niche before you do, and then they start making money in a way you cannot. So, you begin making the a rival to what they made, and suddenly everyone is making everything. Such is the way it is now in the German luxury car market, for example. Somewhere, some designer came up withe idea of making a four-door coupe, and it got the green light from the bean-counters, so Mercedes came out with the CLS; then seeing their success, Audi came out with the A7, and then BMW came out with the Gran Coupe. Shortly thereafter, someone else decided, like most car guys do, that these cars needed more power. With that in mind, Mercedes sent the CLS over to AMG to create the CLS63 AMG, then BMW utilized their M Division to create the M6 Gran Coupe, and finally Audi has come to join the fray, creating the RS7. And we have never been happier with so many decisions to make.
I’ve always felt sorry for crash test dummies. I have anthropomorphism, which is the assignment of feelings to inanimate objects. It got worse when all those commercials came out featuring self-aware and auto-ambulatory dummies. The first dummies produced and used to test automobile safety were made in the 1950s, but the ones we are used to seeing came into use in the 1970s.
When you build some of the world's most lusted-after exotic cars, the only one really qualified to surprise you with a birthday present is you. Lamborghini has been treating itself to a 50th birthday year filled with truly outlandish presents that no one else could have possibly thought of. It began with the Veneno at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, and while it seemed like it may never build something more extreme, a couple months later it did: the tri-pronged Egoista. Before its birthday year is up, it makes it a trio, introducing a roadster version of the Veneno.
Tags: Lamborghini, special editions, supercars, limited edition, Veneno,
In order for any manufacturer to be successful they must give us a product that is useful, dependable, and safe. We count on automobile makers to provide us with transportation that we can count on and which will not harm us, unless we do something stupid. It’s in their best interest if they want us to continue to buy. The government also checks in to approve safety measures in vehicles. Unfortunately, unforeseen defects happen and even though recalls are continuous, sometimes the problem is noticed too late.
If you’re among the particular subgroup of people for whom driving can be more than just a necessity, then you probably hanker after a car with “sporty” qualities. Something like a BMW M3 or a Mistubishi Evo. The problem that you’re inevitably faced with, however, is that sporty cars tend to be expensive; automakers levy a “performance tax”, if you will, on the keen driver, and you end up paying not just the dealer, but the insurance company, a premium for the privilege of sharp handling and roaring, snorting engine noises. Even at the bottom of the chart, your least expensive options are things like the Mazda MX-5, Subaru BRZ or Ford Focus ST, all of which will run you $25k at the very least, and for a lot of people, especially in my age group (and let’s face it, the younger you are, the faster you probably want to go), that’s just too much. Allow me, then, to posit a solution that obviates the need for a single purchase in favor of a simple attitude adjustment.
Posted In: How-To Articles, Miscellaneous
Tags: small, cars, high, performance, driving, speed, economy, Kia, Rio, 5
You may have read my previous article on self-driving automobiles. The government is now getting involved in this new technology. As I’ve said before, this sort of progress was inevitable and the government agrees. There are far reaching benefits to computer-controlled vehicles.
Tags: self-driving, technology, futuristic, hands free
At the upcoming 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda will showcase the flexibility of the new Mazda3, highlighting its multiple powertrain options. Headlining this display will be a compressed natural gas concept called the SKYACTIV-CNG Concept. Will the Mazda3 be the next vehicle to get a compressed natural gas option?
Posted In: Auto Shows, Concept Cars, Hybrid / Green, Technology
Tags: Mazda, Mazda3, CNG, natural gas, concept cars, 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, green
Most of us depend on our vehicles for daily transportation to and from work and to run errands. Most towns are not small enough to handle everyday tasks on foot or bicycle. What do you do if you don’t need a car every day? Maybe you work from home, have no children, and the expense of a personal vehicle is just not worth it. You could use public transportation, taxis, or impose on a friend. Or you could rent a Zipcar. This is not really a new concept. It’s been around for years, but recent mergers have now given the convenient automobiles nationwide availability.
Electric vehicles have been on the market for years now. Eventually they will be a necessity rather than a choice. The main problems the industry must overcome are the relatively low travel distance compared with gasoline engines and the lack of charging stations nationwide. Gas is much more readily available and the benefits from it are instantaneous. You never have to wait to use the fuel you just put in your tank. These issues are being addressed as quickly as researchers can find new options.
The Nissan Juke must be one of the more polarizing designs in the modern auto market. This oddly styled small crossover is definitely a love it or leave it design. For those who love, and want to buy, the 2014 model, there's some good news: The 2014 Juke carries over base pricing from 2013.