Posts By: Ur-Turn

By on July 21, 2015

Force Dynamics Driving Simulator

My company, Force Dynamics, builds full-motion driving simulators. They work by tilting you as the simulated vehicle corners or accelerates, so your brain is tricked into feeling lateral or longitudinal accelerations.

Sometimes people who watch our machines in action say, “This is moving way too much!” So when we started racing a Mazda Miata in the ChumpCar World Series, I decided to conduct an experiment.
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By on June 25, 2015

Maybe it’s the horrific condition of most New England roads. Maybe it was because we just had snowiest winter in Boston since anyone’s been counting. Or maybe, just maybe, I have finally fully succumbed to my Napoleon Complex. “The great proof of madness is the disproportion of one’s designs to one’s means.” ―Napoleon Bonaparte  What […]

By on June 22, 2015

Just a couple of months ago, GM quietly announced their factory 5 year/100k mile powertrain warranty was going to henceforth be downgraded to a 60k mile powertrain warranty because their cars are all fine now and customers don’t care about long-term warranties. About 48 hours after this was announced, my wife found herself limping along […]

By on April 18, 2015

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(If you have some time this weekend, this contribution, from our reader Robert, will be worth that time — JB)

“I will NEVER drive a minivan.” Thus ended the first hostile negotiation serious discussion with my wife about our next vehicle purchase.

The story so far: It was the summer of 2005. Our family truckster (a 1995 Toyota 4Runner SR5) was doing a fine job hauling mom and the first born around town during the week, plus me, the dog, and the cubic yard of gear required to travel with a one year old child on our frequent weekend trips to the Texas hill country. Anything I wanted to bring had to survive on the roof.

The 4Runner had been a masterpiece of engineering, form, and function to us. But even with Toyota’s legendary reliability, after 10 years and 135k on the clock, her many trouble-free miles were running out. A starter here, a radiator there, and stranding my wife and infant son on the side of the road with electrical gremlins made its replacement eminent. Contemplating the addition of another child with our already tight space requirements made it a matter of practicality. Her preference for large SUVs and my deep seated frugality made it, um, interesting.

“A Sequoia or Armada will work.”
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By on April 9, 2015

Reader iMatt shares his experiences with the Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 “Quebec Special” Is the old 2.0L engine really as bad as the internet believes? I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d need to buy a second vehicle to compliment the Honda Fit shared by my girlfriend and I. That time finally […]

By on April 2, 2015

alexjack

If you thought yesterday’s article on Alex Roy’s latest “cross-country record” was fake, you were right on the money. As many of you suggested here and elsewhere, Alex and I came up with the idea during our cross-country drive in Matt Farah’s Million-Mile Lexus. Alex was frankly dismayed at the cottage industry of cross-country driving that had sprung up since the publication of The Driver and wanted to do something to demonstrate just how low the standards of participation, “competition”, and proof had become. When we found out that someone was trying to set up an “original Cannonball” to take place in the near future, Alex decided to strike. He “went dark” for 72 hours, as did I, and with the help of many of his friends and fellow drivers Alex created the idea of 26:28.

Now here’s the weirdest part: someone else did set a new cross-country record this past weekend. He says he doesn’t want publicity or media attention. So… Should we leave this piece as the final word on a pop-up culture of absurdity that honestly believes it’s “safe” to cross the country in under thirty high-speed hours? Over to you, Mr. Roy — JB

Sorry, Ed and Dave. You still hold the Cannonball record, to the best of my knowledge.

To quote the drummer from Spinal Tap: “I believe almost everything I read, and I read quite a lot.”
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By on March 31, 2015

q50

Please extend a warm welcome to Tavarish from Jalopnik and APIDAonline as he takes you step by step through the Alex Roy cross-country Q50 — JB

Life, when it boils down to its base elements, is about one thing: legacy. It’s up to the movers and shakers in the world to make sure that not only are they never forgotten, but that their accomplishments are so far outside what’s possible that all one can do is stand by the wayside in quiet admiration, with a pinch of envy. Alex Roy happens to be one of these modern-day luminaries, and as you’ve probably learned today, he, along with two co-drivers, shattered the transcontinental record in a car that is a pioneer in its own right. Here’s what it’s like.

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By on March 5, 2015

Workers of French oil giant Total and the SFDM Society, and SNCF railway workers block the entrance of the deposit of the society SFDM near the oil refinery of Donges

 

If you drive a Tesla, Leaf or a Volt, you may not have been to a gas pump lately. For the rest of us you’re probably wondering how in the Hell did he get it so wrong! There are some pretty amazing things happening in the oil industry, and a perfect storm gathered to spike gasoline prices in the short term, and has set up a tidal wave of oil that could completely collapse both crude oil and refined fuel products just as the summer driving season begins.

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By on February 16, 2015

I’m driving down a narrow dirt track somewhere in a South Texas at a hurried but not unreasonable pace. As I round a bend, the ground arches up into a tall “whoop” just a few meters in front of me. I can’t go around it, and hitting the brakes will only send me skidding into […]

By on February 11, 2015

User carguy gives his take on the Cadillac ATS Few cars have been the subject of so much lively debate among TTAC readers than those made by Cadillac – and no more has been more polarizing than the ATS. As it happens, I have been driving one of these controversial machines for the past 15,000 […]

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