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By on April 24, 2014

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Several hundred Chrysler minivans are stuck indefinitely on a piece of prime Detroit real estate, unable to be transported across America. The reason? The fossil fuel boom in Canada and the United States is hogging much of the available rail capacity needed to transport the vans.

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By on April 24, 2014

Toyota_Camry_--_Cockspur_Island_(GA)_July_2012

We treat the physical results of capitalism as though they were an inevitability. In 1955, no captain of industry, prince, or potentate could buy a car as good as a Toyota Camry, to say nothing of a 2014 Mustang, the quintessential American Everyman’s car. But who notices the marvel that is a Toyota Camry? 

-Kevin Williamson, The National Review

TTAC is not like most car blogs – and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. Last week, the introduction of the newly refreshed Toyota Camry was the most popular article on the site. I couldn’t be happier.

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By on April 24, 2014

 

coconut

Hi Steve,

What would be the most reliable car I can purchase for about $7000-8000? And what would be the upper limit on mileage that I would even consider?

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By on April 24, 2014

2007 Saturn Ion Red Line

Autoblog reports the first several thousand kits meant for repairing a handful of General Motors vehicles affected by the February 2014 ignition switch recall have been shipped off to dealers. In addition, 1.4 million recall letters have been mailed out to affected consumers of 2003 – 2007 vehicles; 2008 – 2011 affected owners will receive their letters in the coming weeks. The letters inform consumers to schedule the repair with their dealer, which GM claims will take 90 minutes to complete. Until the repair occurs, the automaker instructs all consumers to have nothing more than the key itself prior to insertion, and to be sure their transmissions and switches are set in place before removing the key.

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By on April 24, 2014

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An animal rights group, NYClass (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets), used the New York Auto Show to introduce the brass-era style electric vehicle that they and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio want to replace the 68 horse drawn carriages that 300 carriage drivers use to carry tourists and others around Central Park. I’m not going to wade into the animal rights debate about the horses, and I actually think that the mayor’s idea to use vintage looking electric cars makes some sense. The Luddites who decry modern technology have no idea just how filthy cities were when we relied on animal, not machine, power (and how much arable land was used farming to feed all those draft animals). However much sense it makes to use EVs as tourist vehicles, the vehicle that is being promoted – the Creative Workshop’s ‘eCarriage’ –  just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If you were going to make an electric vehicle to carry people around the park, and you were concerned with it’s environmental footprint, would you start out with something as big and as heavy as a Ford F-450 Super Duty truck? Read More >

By on April 24, 2014

Ethanol plant

Earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency put in place 2013 requirements for cellulosic ethanol for automotive use in the United States at 810,000 gallons, an amount far short of the 1 billion gallons Congress desired seven years earlier when the Renewable Fuel Standard Act came into force.

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By on April 24, 2014

President Obama Signs Finance Reform Bill Into Law

The Dodd-Frank Act, created in the wake of the Great Recession as means to curb the practices by financial corporations that led to the Great Recession in the first place, is now being used to go after an automotive lending company in New York for stealing from its customers.

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By on April 24, 2014

12 - 1960 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBy my calculations, we will stop seeing Chrysler A bodies in wrecking yards by about the year 2109; so far in this series we’ve seen this ’61 Valiant, this ’63 Dart, this ’64 Valiant wagon, this ’67 Valiant, this ’66 Dart, this ’68 Valiant Signet, this ’73 Valiant, this ’75 Duster, and this ’75 Dart, and today I’m adding a first-year Valiant wagon that sat abandoned for about 40 years before being sent to a California self-serve yard. Read More >

By on April 24, 2014

Siemens Audi A4 DTM

Though Siemens won’t be putting their name upon the body of BAIC C70G for a DTM entry anytime soon, the Chinese automaker and German industrial giant will come together for an green vehicle-related joint venture in Beijing.

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By on April 23, 2014

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3-Series. 3-Series GT. 3-Series Touring. 4-Series. 4-Series Gran Coupe. X3. X4. Not too long ago, it was simple to decipher BMW’s model lineup and nomenclature. One sausage, many lengths. These days, you need the Rosetta Stone for niche variants to figure out what’s what. But I did have a brief moment of clarity on the floor of the New York Auto Show.

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By on April 23, 2014

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One of the cars I was least impressed with was the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Even when giving the show floor example the benefit of the doubt for being pre-production or early build, this car just screams “poor execution”.

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By on April 23, 2014

Majda

TTAC reader Majda shares his tale of becoming a driver for ridesharing app Lyft.

Few car enthusiasts get paid to drive soused, singing young women around town. I do. The price was zip-tying a pink moustache onto the grille of my Mazda3.

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By on April 23, 2014

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On the surface, there are many similarities between the ZF 8HP transmission family and the GM 8L90. Namely both use 4 gear sets, 5 shifting elements (3 clutches and two brakes), off axis pumps, and have roughly the same gear ratio spread at about 7:1 overall spread. The saturation dive is not about dealing with things that are on the surface. To be entirely honest as the details started to emerge on the GM 8L family of transmissions I suspected that it would end up being a ZF licensed design, the ZF 8HP after all is a very good design in my opinion. But the abstract of the paper that we managed to snag before SAE took it down revealed one very important detail – all 3 of the clutches were located in front of the planetary gear sets very much unlike the ZF design.

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By on April 23, 2014

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Automotive News reports General Motors has split its engineering division in two, with executives Ken Kezler and Kenneth Morris becoming vice presidents of global vehicle components and subsystems and global product integrity, respectively. The split also means vice president of (what was) global vehicle engineering, John Calabrese will retire, though the retirement is alleged to not be linked with the ongoing recall crisis. The immediate changes are the result of the ongoing review of the ignition switch issue affecting the company since early this year, with the aim of flagging potential safety problems within a product sooner than when the division was united. GM product chief Mark Reuss proclaimed the new divisions “would have expedited a whole bunch of things” had they been in place earlier.

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By on April 23, 2014

Ford_C-Max

Sales of the Ford C-Max have down as of late, with lowered fuel economy figures cited as the reason.

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