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By on November 27, 2015


Most midsize sedans don’t have a happy ending.

Many get passed down as second-hand family cars, looking for their second wind from being a daily commuter only to find themselves as daily bangers in high school parking lots. Or worse.

Mid-sized sedans can be sold at used car lots as forgettable appliances; used like washing machines and put away wet like skinny jeans.

The Altima lives such a life. Read More >

By on November 27, 2015

Paul Walker’s father, acting on behalf of the late-actor’s estate, filed a lawsuit against Porsche this week for failing to include safety features, such as stability control, side impact protectors and a fuel-line cutoff that the family said could have saved the actor’s life in a crash, the Associated Press reported.

The 2005 Porsche Carrera GT lacked basic safety features to protect Walker in his fatal crash in November 2013, the wrongful death lawsuit alleges. A similar lawsuit was filed against Porsche by Walker’s widow and daughter in September. Porsche has denied wrongdoing in those lawsuits.

According to the report, Porsche said this month that the car Walker was riding in while Roger Rodas was driving — which spun out of control, hit three trees and burst into flames — had been modified and improperly maintained. Walker was “a knowledgeable and sophisticated user of the 2005 Carrera GT,” the company wrote in response to the lawsuit.

Read More >

By on November 27, 2015


While the rest of the world warms up to our Thanksgiving tradition of football and mountains of potatoes and gravy, we must admit that the world goes on without us some days.

Thankfully, the Internet never forgets. So here’s a roundup of the stories we missed in our Tryptophan-induced naps.

Read More >

By on November 27, 2015


We used to always hang out together on the day after Thanksgiving.

Black Friday was a complete knockout when she was a young lady. Sexy, seductive, easy to please, and so damn smart! The two of us would go out shopping and pretty much knock out everything I could ever need for my cars before lunch. She was a true gearhead at heart, and for a long time she made my life easy. Oil change packages for $5. A gallon of coolant for a buck. Free spark plugs. She had an uncanny ability to find every item I would ever need for my family garage. With her small army of circulars and rebates, I could get it all for only about 20- to 30-percent off the retail price.

She… was… awesome!

My wife and friends would hang out with her as well. Everyone loved Black Friday for her fun and chatty nature. It wasn’t just the deals that made Black Friday so enticing back then. It was the experience of enjoying that one day when she was the true queen of retail America.

But then she had what could only be described as a mid-life crisis.

Read More >

By on November 27, 2015


Audi has suspended two engineers for their involvement in helping Volkswagen’s larger 3-liter diesel engine pass emissions, according to Audi’s CEO. (Or you know, Volkswagen’s other, other emissions scandal.) The engine is used in the Porsche Cayenne and Audi’s range of sedans and crossovers.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told German newspaper Donaukurier that two engineers were suspended Wednesday and that the company was learning about its engines along with the rest of us.
Read More >

By on November 27, 2015


TTAC Commentator gtemnykh writes:

About 5,000 miles ago, I installed new General Altimax RT43 tires on my 2012 Honda Civic LX, a well-regarded tire according to most sources. Everything was great when I first had them installed: No noticeable increase in noise and much better wet grip.

It was only several thousand miles later that I noticed tire noise. It’s loudest between 40 and 50 mph and sounds like I’m riding around on snow tires. At highway speeds, it’s less noticeable or not at all.

My question: Have you heard of tires starting out more or less quiet, only to later get louder as they approach 5,000 miles?

Read More >

By on November 27, 2015

2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8

This isn’t the first SRT product to wear the Digestible Collectible title, but it is certainly the oddest. Ever since our news editor Aaron Cole sent this to me earlier this week, I’ve been looking over the ad in bewilderment.

Perhaps that’s the point. I can’t see any other reason why one would take a limited-production, low-slung, high-powered, long-wheelbase pony car and lift it a couple inches other than to make people point and stare. It certainly isn’t going to be of any use off-road beyond well-groomed trails.

To top things off, this 2014 Dodge Challenger SRT8 has been fitted with an Edelbrock supercharger, making this a proto-Hellcat.

A proto-Hellcat with light truck off-road tires.

Read More >

By on November 27, 2015

Over the years, so many alternate ways of cooking a holiday turkey have proliferated that some now refuse to eat a conventionally roasted bird. A British car enthusiast, who goes by the YouTube handle of Shmee150, decided to broil his Christmas turkey using the flames that shoot from the exhaust pipes of a Lamborghini Aventador at full, ahem, boil.

Silly, perhaps, but not entirely stupid.  Using the waste heat from a car engine to cook food likely goes back to the early days of the automobile age. A Google search shows numerous guides and tips on how to cook under the hood. Though my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook does not have a miles per pound table in their cooking time charts, there’s a dedicated car cooking cookbook, “Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine!,” that’s been in print for decades, with multiple editions. Read More >

By on November 26, 2015


Editor’s note: Some of you loved it. Some of you loved to hate it. Yoav’s story about his brief affair with a Porsche 996 was read far and wide by our own B&B and many in the Porsche community. It originally ran July 30th, 2015. I really should get Yoav back on TTAC.

About two months ago, I purchased my fourth new-to-me car in as many years — and I still had two of the previous three. Of those three, one was purchased for adventure (a 1977 Porsche 911S that I drove cross-country and back nine days after purchasing it), one because of nostalgia (a Honda S2000, I bought one new and missed it), and the third due to reputation (an Acura NSX, I had never even driven one before buying this one online). Those reasons must be the foundation for some sort of automotive cardinal sins list.

However, I bought the fourth one because it represented such a good value. It was a 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera with about 146,000 miles. It hadn’t had the IMS bearing replaced, but I figured that with such high mileage it probably wouldn’t have an issue. Is this foreshadowing? The seller was a friend who had owned it for about two years but had purchased a mid-eighties 911 Targa recently and didn’t want the ’99 as a daily driver any longer.

Painted a pretty medium blue, the 996 was equipped with a beige interior and GT3 wheels. It drove well and — except for mediocre clearcoat and worn leather, a ‘check engine’ light that appeared intermittently, and a blown speaker — it was a solid performer. I certainly didn’t need the Porsche (nor did I have the space), but at $8,500, how could I go wrong?

Read More >

By on November 26, 2015

Editor’s notes: One of the best reads of the year, there’s nothing like some Fargo-style forgery on a massive scale to liven up your afternoon. This piece originally ran September 3rd, 2015.

In the opening moments of the above scene from the flick “Fargo,” Oldsmobile dealership sales manager Jerry Lundegaard is working up some bogus paperwork to cover his tracks with General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC). We can infer that he sold some floor-planned cars and did not pay back GMAC, which was the impetus for the movie’s storyline of his bumbling attempt to extort money from his father-in-law.

Jerry’s store may have been “out of trust” with GMAC on a few dozen 1987 Cutlasses, but that pales in comparison to the scheme concocted by New York car dealer John McNamara.

Between 1980 and 1991, McNamara convinced GMAC to advance him $6.2 billion to pay for 248,000 conversion vans that did not exist. It was one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history and ended up costing GMAC $436 million, equal to $725 million in today’s dollars.

We would like to show you a photo of McNamara but none are to be found. That may be because it is believed he went into the Witness Protection Program a few years after his conviction for fraud in 1992. Just picture Lundegaard with a really big brain.

McNamara’s brilliant swindle was deliciously simple. It was based on one undeniable truth he learned from his years of owning a Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealership on Long Island: General Motors and GMAC were too incompetent and too bureaucratic to figure out that they were being scammed.

Read More >

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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Bark M., United States
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