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By on December 21, 2014

20141218_142829It’s taken a while to get started on the project to make my daily driver Saturn SL1 into a better handling car. I had the parts but it took a few weeks to be able to get the work scheduled at a shop that was willing to install my own components. Now that the work has been done and I’ve been able to drive the car in varying conditions, it’s time for a progress report. The short version is that I’m pleased with the results. For the long version, continue reading after the break. Read More >

By on December 21, 2014

2015 Volvo S60We’re still a few months away from seeing the first new XC90s at Volvo dealers in North America and many more months away from discovering whether it can rescue the brand’s fortunes on this side of the Atlantic.

Like an overdue baby who doesn’t want to leave his mother’s womb for this cruel, cold, callous world, the XC90 must be planning to dig in its heels (or wheels?) as stevedores attempt to drive it off Swedish docks onto North America-bound ships. Surely Volvo’s newest three-row crossover can’t be looking forward to joining a family of progressively more disappointing vehicles.

Setting aside the fact that Volvo Canada didn’t sell a single S80 in November 2014 – that’s just plain embarrassing – the U.S. situation last month was especially poor. See, it’s not just the age of the outgoing XC90 that’s been bringing down Volvo sales. The brand’s other models, almost without exception, are selling at a far slower rate this year than last year even as the U.S. auto industry expands at a healthy 5.5% clip. Read More >

By on December 20, 2014

Acura sales chart TLXEven in the Acura TLX’s best sales month, the brand’s MDX and RDX crossovers still accounted for 55% of Acura sales in the United States.

With the TLX now consistently generating around three out of every ten Acura sales in America, it’s safe to say that Acura’s passenger car division is, for the moment, in safer hands than it was with the TL and TSX last year. Together, they generated 25% of Acura’s total volume in calendar year 2013, down from 40% in 2012 and 50% in 2011.  Read More >

By on December 20, 2014

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When it comes to junior “supercars”, the Ferrari 458 is as good as it gets. So why is it in second place, with this significantly less well-rounded and well-realized McLaren on top of the podium? Mostly, it’s focus, and preference. The focus is courtesy of McLaren; the preference is all mine.
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By on December 20, 2014

ZIRX Xmas 2014

This Saturday will be one of the most brutal shopping days of the year, as everyone will be trying to find that last-minute Christmas gift for their loved ones. The last thing anyone needs is to try to figure out where to park, wasting precious shopping minutes while circling the lot in their mythical brown diesel manual RWD wagon.

For those in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, there is a solution.

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By on December 19, 2014

cubancars-507x350

A year ago, TTAC broke news of back channel overtures being made towards Iran on behalf of General Motors. A number of Chevrolet Camaro Convertibles made their way to Iran via a complicated logistics network and the importations were of dubious legality. But the event highlighted a sentiment in the auto industry that few are willing to openly discuss: the BRIC countries, once the darlings of the emerging markets, have already been exhausted. The search for new markets is on, and that means places like Africa and Iran. And Cuba could be next.

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By on December 19, 2014

Baidu_headquarters

Chinese Internet overlord Baidu is buying a major stake into everyone’s favorite transportation network company, Uber.

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By on December 19, 2014

Cheap Gas In Louisville Kentucky Circa Mid-December 2014

Remember when we thought $2.55 for a gallon of regular was going to make for a good Christmas? Turns out the new average is $2.47, the lowest average price reported in five years.

Also: That’s a photo shot by one of my relatives back in Louisville, Ky., where some stations are pumping gas for as low as $1.96/gallon.

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By on December 19, 2014

2015 Kia SedonaDespite massive year-over-year improvements, the Kia Sedona continues to be a relatively low-volume player in America’s minivan segment. But are the gains made by the Kia significant enough to make life difficult for the top four?

Compared with November 2013, Sedona volume jumped 578% last month as a follow-up to October’s 251% gain. Through the first three-quarters of 2014, Kia USA had been selling fewer than 630 Sedonas per month. 2376 were sold in October; 3538 in November. The van’s market share through nine months was a paltry 1.3% as even the Mazda 5 and Nissan Quest were easily outselling the Kia. But in November 2014, the Kia Sedona grabbed 9.1% of America’s minivan market. Read More >

By on December 19, 2014

4581

It costs $233,509, and it’s genuinely worth the money. That’s the first thing I want you to know about the Ferrari 458 Italia. The second thing is that, once again, I’m driving the wrong 458 for the job.

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