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While discussing the future of a Mazda/Fiat collaboration last week, one industry insider trusted by TTAC had this to say
“It’s a bit like a first dance during the sixth grade…the Roadster, I mean. They’re leaving room for Jesus, but still able to cop a feel if they’re lucky.”
Now we’ve got more info on the Alfa/Mazda collaboration, and the possibility of more co-operation between Fiat and Japan’s last auto maker.
People keep their eyes on automaker incentives for various reasons. Customers are hunting deals. Analysts hunt carmakers that are sitting on a glut of cars. Incentive numbers don’t always tell the full story, says Edmunds. In August, incentive spend was subdued and stable. Automakers and dealers have become adept in camouflage though, and the reported stability of incentive spending doesn’t factor in some of the “hidden incentives.” (Read More…)
The person ultimately responsible for choosing colors for BMW cars, Sandy McGill, the other day attributed today’s popularity of white cars to the influence of Apple on consumers and designers.
Prior to Apple, white was associated with things like refrigerators or the tiles in your bathroom. Apple made white valuable.
McGill’s claims at first glance seem to be backed up by DuPont’s annual Color Popularity Report for 2011 that shows that 22% of new cars sold in the world were white, tied with silver. However, if you look at the historical data, white and lighter colors have been increasing in popularity for decades, long before Apple embraced white as their primary (no pun intended) design color.
“A model poses beside a car by Beijing-Hyundai during the 15th Chengdu Motor Show (CDMS) in Chengdu City, southwest China’s Sichuan Province,” writes China’s state-owned Xinhua news agency under a spread that is long on long legged girls and short on cars. Well, we aren’t Xinhua. (Read More…)
Predictions for August new car sales scale higher and higher as we approach release day this coming week. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expect sales to rise as high as 20 percent from a year ago. (Read More…)
Nissan unveils its new Sentra tonight in Dallas as part of its new product onslaught. Objective: Regain market share in the U.S. The Sentra is “the third of five all-new vehicles being introduced in a 15-month period,” as the company is proud to say. (Read More…)
Reader Claude Dickson asks
I was watching Road Testament on YouTube and they were purported talking about the best fast cars to drive slow. Most of their suggestions were ridiculous, but the question they asked is becoming increasingly relevant if the question is refined to what are the best high performance cars to drive at sane speeds on public roads. The point increasingly made by many of your reviews is that fast track times or better performance stats do not dictate a better road car. A good example is your review of the new 911-superior in just about any performance metric you might select,- just not that much fun. So B & B, which performance cars put a smile on your face while driving around town and which just don’t???
TTAC has some great Mustang coverage coming your way in about a week, including multiple tests of two different Shelby GT500 models ranging from a 168-mph blast down the back straight of Virginia International Raceway to a pedestrian-frightening growl through the streets of downtown Toronto. We’re busy writing apology notes to Ford for the state of the tires on the VIR car — are those cords? — so in the meantime we’ll distract you with this question: What’s faster around a racetrack: a “drift car” or a “race car”? In this video, NASA regional director Chris Cobetto and awesome drift dude Vaughn Gittin, Jr. try to create some suspense out of a foregone conclusion. There’s a more exciting video — for road racers, anyway — after the jump.
Turns out that Fiat wasn’t affected too bad by Serbia’s sudden cash crunch. As reported yesterday, the country is having a hard time coming up €90 million it owes Fiat towards a jointly owned car plant in Kragujevac. Fiat has a richer sugar daddy, and he lives in Brussels. The European Investment Bank sees no reason not to continue disbursing its 500 million euro ($625 million) loan to Fiat, Reuters says. The loan is earmarked for the same plant. (Read More…)
There’s no way I’m going to spot a junked 80s Japanese car with the optional super-futuristic digital dash and not go back and buy that instrument cluster. So, now I’ve got a genuine digital dash collection going on, adding the Cressida cluster to my ’84 Nissan 300ZX Turbo cluster and my ’83 Mitsubishi Cordia Turbo cluster. (Read More…)
The winners of Nissan’s GT Academy have been chosen. To nobody’s surprise in particular, their group photograph is completely unsuitable for this site. Turns out that the Internet is a little short on hot girls or street-wise African-American dudes who are totes into racing imaginary cars online. Oh well. Now, the shortlist of digital Sennas is off to try their hand at driving some real cars.
The McLaren MP4-12C Spider, essentially an MP4-12C with a power-retractable roof, was revealed a couple of months ago and officially debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours two weeks ago. But, perhaps to amortize the cover’s cost, McLaren threw it back on the car for another unveiling this morning at AutoWeek Publisher KC Crain’s Vinsetta Garage restaurant. Overly generic? Or timelessly clean? You decide.
Your humble author was charmed by the facelifted Kia Soul when I drove it last year. It’s a solid product, but its runaway popularity in the segment is at least partially due to a group of hamsters who rapped along to an old Black Sheep song.
After confronting robots with an LMFAO tune, the hamsters took a sabbatical — but they are back.
Ford Ranger. Volkswagen Amarok. Toyota Hilux. Chevrolet…err…Holden Colorado. These are the mid-size pickups that are unavailable to us Americans, a once thriving segment now hollowed out by market economics and unfavorable CAFE regulations. But the crew at PickupTrucks.com managed to wrangle the four up in Australia, and pick a winner in the segment. Read all about it here. We won’t spoil the surprise.
We’ve seen a totally Malaise-y early Cressida and a didn’t-know-they-built-them-so-recently Cressida in this series, but I’ve been scouring the self-serve yards for an example of the mid-80s rear-drive Toyota luxury sedans. Finally, here’s an ’84, complete with all manner of high-tech (for the time) features. (Read More…)