The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry
Back in the 1980s, the automotive industry underwent a golden age of technologically advanced sports cars. Cars like the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40 used technologies never before seen on the road, and as time went on, that technology trickled down. Tech-heavy cars are more common here in 2013, but we appear to be on the verge of another technological golden age involving Porsche and Ferrari. Porsche is developing the 918 Spyder, a sort of spiritual successor to the 959, and Ferrari recently revealed the LaFerrari, a direct descendant of the F40. A cornerstone of the new era will be hybrid power. Both the 918 and LaFerrari have hybrid units, and, at least in Porsche's case, plug-in hybrid technology will be trickling down to its entire line.
Posted In: Car News, Exotics, Hybrid / Green, Reports
Tags: Porsche, hybrid, green, news, sports cars,
The average price for unleaded gas has been over three dollars a gallon since late 2010, and, despite recent drops, chances are good that gasoline will remain pricey for the foreseeable future. Because of this, millions of motorists across the country are showing keen interest in vehicles that promise better mileage for each drop of fuel, and automakers have been busy offering models to meet this demand.
Leading the way are gas/electric hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Chevy Volt, which can drive 50+ miles on a single gallon of gas. Backed by aggressive marketing campaigns and government tax credits, it seems clear that hybrids are the way to go for anyone who wants to save money at the pump.
Posted In: Car News, Hybrid / Green, Miscellaneous, Car Reviews, Technology
Tags: hybrid vs. diesel
It's a good week to be Tesla. On the heels of announcing its first profit in 10 years of business, the electric luxury carmaker gets a nearly perfect rating on its Model S. After testing the sedan, Consumer Reports slapped a big, old "99 out of 100" on it, a first for an electric vehicle.
Posted In: Car News, Hybrid / Green, Reports, Car Reviews
Tags: Tesla, reviews, Model S, EVs, electric cars, tests, reviews
When humans and machines assemble thousands of individual parts, and the resulting product is expected to survive extreme use/abuse by... humans, something is bound to go wrong every now and then. So here's a roundup of all the latest automotive oops-a-daisies and bad ideas.
Tags: Ford Super Duty, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Corvette, Recall
When it comes to building awesome, lust-worthy, high-performance electric cars, Tesla has experienced success for years. But when it comes to making money on those electric cars—like the 'more money than I spent to make money' type of money—it has had less success. It has failed to turn a profit for the entire 10 years that it's been in business. Until last week. In a letter to shareholders detailing its 2013 Q1 financials, Tesla announced its first profit ever.
Posted In: Car News, Hybrid / Green, Technology
Tags: Tesla, business, sales, profits, Model S
Back in 1899, a Scottish immigrant named David Buick decided to try his hand at building horseless carriages. At the turn of the last century, automobile manufacturing was the new boom industry. Much like the dot com boom a century later, there was a fledgling car company on every corner. And nearly all of them would eventually run out of money, and go belly-up. Just a few years after Mr. Buick started his automotive venture, it too went bankrupt, and the company was taken over by a man named Billy Durant.
Mr. Durant was a very wealthy man, having turned his small wagon/carriage business, the Flint Road Cart Company, into the world's largest horse-drawn wagon manufacturer. His wagons were sold all over the world, and he decided to replicate his success In the automobile business. The Buick Motor Company was his first automotive acquisition, and it would eventually become the cornerstone of his new car-making conglomerate called General Motors.
A decade ago, gas was cheap and SUVs had their own zip codes. Americans didn't care about fuel economy. We just wanted big vehicles to traverse our big country, as we slurped on our Big Gulps. But that all changed when gas prices spiked in 2008. Customers were forced to abandon their 15 mpg ImpressUVs, and car makers were forced to start building vehicles that offered a similar experience, without sucking down $900 worth of gas every week.
After billions in combined R&D, automakers have been able to develop a bevy of fuel saving technologies, that have turned today's vehicles into fuel-sipping wonders. For example, SUVs like the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox can achieve 32 MPG on the highway, while providing a total of 63 cu-ft of cargo room, 1,500 lbs of towing capacity (the V6 can pull 3,500 lbs), and there's even a built-in mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the 4-cyl FWD Equinox at 22 city/32 highway/26 combined.
The future of car buying is going to get more complicated, at least if you want to keep up with the latest technology. Not only will you need to educate yourself on engine options, standard equipment, safety features, fuel economies, and available packages, you'll need to compare computer systems. Each year, more and more vehicles include advanced infotainment systems that keep you connected to the cloud. Unfortunately, unlike the old car radio head units, which were pretty straightforward to compare and use, each system uses its own hardware and software interface, making them difficult to compare from one brand to the next. Infotainment reviews and awards provide a helpful shortcut toward helping you identify what might work for you. Ford's SYNC system is the latest infotainment system to earn a nod, getting named "Best Traditional-to-Mobile Transition."
Posted In: Car News, Car Reviews, Technology
Tags: Ford, SYNC, infotainment, technology, new cars
In a little less than a year, we Chevy fans are in for a treat of historical proportions. There is a very good chance that we may be privy to witnessing the debut of the single greatest Camaro of all time. Yes, that's right. Now, naysayers will harken back to the great heydays of the 1960s and pull out names like the original ZL1 or Z/28, Yenko, or SS/RS. But if we are going to be honest with ourselves, there is no comparison between a car built 50 years ago and a car built today, at least if you are planning to drive it in anything except perfect conditions.
Before you decide to claim some sort of modern day bias, just know that your humble author was the proud owner of a 1965 Mustang convertible as well as a 2001 Pontiac Trans Am and speaks from experience. Unless you live in San Diego or have a least one or two other cars, a modern 500 horsepower Camaro supersedes a classic most days of the week. Once we get beyond the '60s, there is almost no other Camaro that even comes close to challenging the new Z/28 for the crown. In fact, the only car that does present a sizable challenge to the Z/28 is its very own stablemate, the mighty ZL1. But before we delve into why the Z/28 could very well overtake its more powerful brethren, let's take a closer look at it, shall we?
Tags: chevy, chevrolet, camaro, Z/28, ZL1
Toyota calls its RAV4 the first crossover SUV, and the model is certainly one of the more well-known crossovers on the market. Thanks to a consumer-centric redesign, the model is experiencing stronger sales than ever.
"Sales of the new RAV4 have been tremendous," said RJ Romero, chief executive officer of Tustin Toyota in Tustin, Calif. "Our buyers really like the new styling, including the new rear liftgate and the removal of the spare tire from the rear door. They also tell us they feel the new RAV4 is a great value as it is loaded with key standard equipment that is important to them. Our only challenge has been keeping our inventory well-stocked to meet the heavy demand."
Anumber of Nissan vehicles have been getting the NISMO treatment for the past year or so, with Nissan having outlined a broader role for its parts and performance arm. The latest is one of the most obvious candidates: the 2014 370Z sports car. The 370Z NISMO enjoys some distincitive interior and exterior design themes.
A number of Nissan vehicles have been getting the NISMO treatment for the past year or so, with Nissan having outlined a broader role for its parts and performance arm. The latest is one of the most obvious candidates: the 2014 370Z sports car. The 370Z NISMO enjoys some distincitive interior and exterior design themes.
Posted In: Car News, Special / Limited Edition
Tags: Nissan, NISMO, 370Z, sports cars, new cars