Posts By: CarGuyDad

By on August 3, 2016

landwind-crash-china-evoquw land rover

Over the years, various Chinese automakers have been inspired by produced blatant copies of various mainstream automobiles.

The Landwind X7 appears to be a direct replica of the Range Rover Evoque. So much so, that Jaguar Land Rover recently sued Jiangling Motor, the largest shareholder of Landwind, for copyright infringement and unfair competition. Shockingly, that case is currently in a little bit of a limbo in the Chinese court system.

The worlds of Land Rover and Landwind literally collided today when a Landwind X7 and Range Rover Evoque got into a minor fender-bender. The accident happened in Chongqing, a small city in southwest China with a population roughly twice that of Los Angeles.

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By on June 30, 2016

subaru howard stern sirius xm

An article entitled “Subaru to SiriusXM Subscribers: Stop Listening to Comedy” from a website called automotiveitnews.org has been making the rounds on social media lately. It talks about an oddity with Subaru-vehicle satellite radios, where they sometimes default to Channel 001, the preview channel, upon starting the car, even when the subscription is paid up.

That may sound like simple software glitch — but it isn’t. It’s actually a Subaru-specific “feature”!

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By on June 27, 2016

damn-wheels-720x574

Note: This story originally appeared on Hooniverse.com. It is republished here with permission.

My mother used to have a very nice 2005 Acura TL. For almost nine years she used that car to commute from her home in Edgewater, NJ to work in the Bronx. Those of you that have not traveled between New Jersey and New York over the George Washington Bridge, and further north over the Cross Bronx Expressway, should know that this may be the worst road in the United States. The bridge converges four highways into one. The traffic jams are constant, as is construction. Someone always breaks down or rear-ends someone else. Due to heavy truck traffic the pavement is extremely wavy. It’s bad, really bad.

The third generation Acura TL came standard with 17-inch wheels wrapped in 235/45-17 tires. The car handled very well right out of the box while retaining a ride that was comfortable. With a 270hp engine, it was a fun car to drive, even with the ever-present torque steer. The problem was that its wheel/tire combination did not resist road imperfections very well. Bubbled-up tires and bent wheels were the norm for my mom and many other TL owners. I did my best to ensure that she always had a good set of wheels and tires on the car, which meant frequent Craigslist searches.

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By on June 10, 2016

The new Fiat 124 Spider may be thought of as a spiritual successor to the classic Fiat 2000 Spider. It’s no secret, however, that the new car is really a re-skinned Mazda MX-5 Miata powered by the same engine as the current Fiat 500 Abarth. The only parts truly new to the Fiat are some exterior panels. That’s not a […]

By on May 18, 2016

Unimog U900 back U1500 front, Image: © 2016 Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars

The UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät, better known as the Unimog, is a portal-axle-equipped toy for the super-wealthy — or that’s what most people think, thanks to it often pictured as a luxury camper van in the depths of the wild. But all over the world, Unimogs spend their lives doing the kind of work they were designed to do in construction, railroad, utilities, fire departments, agriculture, and non-combat military. Overland expeditions, ironically, were the one function for which they were not originally conceived.

The truth is that anyone can buy a used Unimog for a reasonable amount of money. In fact, my friend and 24 Hours of Lemons teammate Mike owns two. That’s right; my teammate owns not one, but two Unimogs! That blew my mind, because, seriously, how often do you even see a Unimog anywhere, never mind know a man who owns two?

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By on May 13, 2016

When a concept car is introduced at a major auto show, it provides a glimpse into the future of an automaker’s next model. Some concepts are really cool. Some are not. Most never make it into production. A few do. The Baja Bug-inspired VW New Beetle Dune Concept was unveiled at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show. It […]

By on April 27, 2016

Volvo-self-driving-car

Like it or not, autonomous vehicles are coming in one form or another.

Many new cars on the market already have features that help a driver stay in the driving lane, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front, or reduce the severity of a collision. Much like the original stability control, these features may frustrate enthusiasts but they help keep the masses safer and might reduce accidents.

Each year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the New England Motor Press Association hold a conference that focuses on various future trends and technologies. This year’s topic is The Intersection of Technology and Design, with a panel discussion exploring trends and challenges as autonomous technology meets the natural aesthetic appeal of the automobile.

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By on March 29, 2016

BYD ebus-12 electric bus badge, Images: © Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars

“I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but EVs are great,” John Beltz Snyder boldly writes in the opening sentence of Autoblog’s “More research shows why EVs are awesome” article.

For more than 15 years, when not writing about cars, I’ve worked in the public transportation sector. With the exception of the two years I spent as an automotive test engineer, I’ve worked on bus and rail projects in engineering and managerial roles.

Mr. Synder, Autoblog’s resident electric-car guru, states a study published by the Indian Institute of Science shows how much money electric buses save over conventional diesel buses. He continues, in a somewhat non sequitur way, to claim that “switching to an EV is about as big of a difference a single individual can make without giving up driving altogether.”

Needless to say, the Autoblog article, and the study it referenced, is of great interest to me. Unfortunately, it misses the benchmark of the cavalierly claimed awesomeness.

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By on February 5, 2016

Since the introduction of its fifth generation, the Toyota 4Runner has been sold in three flavors: the base SR5, the loaded Limited, and the off-road focused Trail. But Toyota has a history of making small batches of special edition models and, for 2015, the carmaker showed off the Trail-based TRD Pro. The TRD Pro featured unique suspension […]

By on February 3, 2016

buick lemons park bench ttac

Mark recently asked me a question: “Why do you race a Buick?”

No one has ever asked me that directly. Frankly, I didn’t have a specific answer. My team and I were simply playing by the strict-ish-ly simple 24 Hours of Lemons rule: “Vehicles must be acquired and prepared for a maximum of $500.”

The rest is history — but that wouldn’t make for a good story. So, to find a more specific reason, I looked back at the history of our battered Buick.

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By on January 29, 2016

land rover defender africa expedition kamil kaluski 2

After 67 years, production of the iconic Land Rover Defender ends today. It’s an amazing feat that the Defender has lasted this long. It was a utilitarian vehicle developed at a time when going off-roading meant just going. It helped Europe rebuild after World War II. And it explored Africa, where often the Land Rover was the first automobile ever seen by locals. It continued that way for years, undergoing constant but slow evolution, rather than complete revolution.

Until today.

Rather than boring everyone with interesting quasi-factual trivia about Land Rover’s most iconic model, I’ll bore you with my own personal experiences.

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By on December 18, 2015

Integra GSR kamil

Chris Tonn’s find of a stock, low-mileage 1998 Acura Integra GS-R is definitely a rare one. It certainly had me feeling giddy as a past and present Integra GS-R owner. And then I saw the asking price — $11,800 — and nearly fainted.

On the magical internet scale of nice price to crack pipe, this is the lovechild of Robert Downey Jr. and Charlie Sheen. Allow me to explain.

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By on November 26, 2015

Editor’s note: This review originally ran February 27th, 2015. It’s the most read review of the last 12 months. You should read it again. The current Grand Cherokee has been a huge success for the Jeep brand. The handsome vehicle is available with four engines, five drivelines, and in many trims, best of which can […]

By on October 29, 2015

My childhood was a bit different than most kids. My mother informed me that when I was 4 years old I didn’t know a cow from a sheep, but I knew the make and model of just about every car on the road. For that, she was pissed at my father, who would read car magazines […]

By on September 17, 2015

2015 BMW i8 1.5-liter DOHC I-3, VANOS, hybrid (Gas engine: 228 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm, 236 lb-ft @ 3,700 rpm; Electric motor: 129 horsepower @ 4,800)6-speed automatic (rear) and 2-speed (front), Lithium ion battery 28 city/29 highway/28 combined (EPA Rating, MPG) 27.4 mpg on the ‘I didn’t plug-in the plug-in’ cycle (Observed, MPG) Tested Options: […]

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