Four wheel drive, all wheel drive, 4WD, AWD, full-time, part-time, 4Hi, 4Lo, 4×4. There are many names and just as many ways of motivating every wheel a vehicle has on the ground. What’s the difference between four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive? In one word: Marketing. Want to know more? Click past the jump as we dive in the most controversial topic since “Dodge vs Chevy.”
TTAC is owned by Verticalscope, a company that quietly owns hundreds of car sites. This allows for an interesting division of labor. Colum Wood of Autoguide can drive “13 Porsches in 8 hours,” while yours truly has time to visit the Tokyo Toy Show. At work, Mr. Wood “wound up hitting 0-60 mph in three seconds in a 911 Turbo S, sliding sideways in the 2014 Cayman S and winding up on three wheels in a Cayenne… all in the span of just a few hours,” while yours truly wound up in a Tokyo jail for attempted grand theft toy auto. Not just any toy auto. I was caught stealing a prototype that costs somewhere in the neighborhood of the grand total of Colum’s 13 Porsches.
And here is the story.
Fisker is at its last gasp. After burning through $1.4 billion, “the company is out of cash,” writes Reuters, “for months, key investors have been footing the car maker’s day-to-day expenses to keep it alive in diminished form.” Reuters has an in-depth report on what went wrong at Fisker. Reuters also has the one sentence version:
Read More >
The New Yorker provides us with a nice history of Chrysler’s postwar luxury ambitions, and examples demonstrating various facets of this history are plentiful in self-service wrecking yards. We’ve seen this ’53, this ’64, this ’82, this ’85, this ’89, this ’90, and this ’92 so far, and today were adding another K-car-based New Yorker to the collection. Read More >
(Note: This story is not for the TL;NR crowd. If you need it in one short sentence: If your car company isn’t working on a kit architecture, kiss them good-bye.)
Call it coincidence, but immediately after TTAC flogged GM for having missed the kit architecture train, and for being chained to the antique platform model well into the next decade and possibly beyond, GM launched operation pushback. It could not be tolerated that the supposedly “New GM” was painted as a company with out-of-touch technology, so Selim Bingol rallied his troops.
The first skirmishes were fought by GM partisans dropped behind the lines of the story. Their comments seemingly were taken from a common sheet of talking points:
(This story intentionally appears on a weekend. This type of partisan usually works 9-5.)
The video above is the closest we’ll ever have to enjoying a World’s Wildest Police Chases segment featuring the Carbon Motors E7. Somewhat lost in the breaking news of March regarding the bankruptcy of Fisker Automotive and Coda was the demise of the nation’s other other startup vehicle manufacturer, the Carbon Motors Corporation. Although Bertel correctly predicted Carbon’s death shortly after they failed to qualify for a DOE loan last year, the company maintained a brave public face and soldiered on defiantly until the end of March. As late as mid March they were announcing the introduction of two new vehicles: an armored truck called the TX 7 and a skateboard shaped drone called the CT 7. Two weeks later they would be slipping out of their Indiana state taxpayer funded digs without so much as a “Dear John” letter to the desperate Hoosiers who needed the jobs they’d promised
I’d been watching and waiting for an official announcement that the company had liqudated before poking the body with a stick. That moment finally came on June 7 with a Chapter 7 filing in Indianapolis. The bankruptcy filing shows that Carbon Motors had assets of less than $19,000 and outstanding liabilities of over $21 million. It seems that the dream of a purpose-built police car is dead.
Everybody was betting big on electric cars in China. Everybody thought China will be the world’s biggest market for EVs. It was a bluff. At the Shanghai Auto Show in April, the smart money suddenly was on hybrids. Insiders expect that the Chinese government will extend bigger subsidies to buyers of hybrid cars, after the big electric car revolution in China turned out to be a bust. This is good for Japanese carmakers – for some at least. Read More >
It takes a really special Geo Metro to achieve Junkyard Find status; the last one that managed the feat was this bright green electric-powered ’95, which turned out to be a Ree-V conversion made in Colorado during the EV optimism of the late 2000s. During a trip to my old San Francisco Bay stomping grounds a few weeks ago, I spotted today’s Junkyard Find parked just a few yards away from this will-make-you-haz-a-sad 1960 Nash Metropolitan. Read More >
After viewing Murilee’s succession of Volvo features, I was tempted to throw my hat in the ring with a very cool continuation on that theme…and I will…but maybe for the entry after this one. In the meantime, I’ve got a bit of a Bodacious kind of theme going myself, and consequently an appointment with destiny that must be addressed immediately… Read More >
As I paused in the driveway and waited for the garage door to open, I felt an unexpected presence by my side. Unbeknownst to me, my six year old son had slipped the confines of his booster seat in the rearmost row and made his way forward past his sisters with surprising stealth. Now he stood between my wife and I as we prepared to travel the last few feet of our journey. Read More >
So I was looking for a photograph or diagram of the “friction drive“, an early continuously variable transmission used in the 1906 Orient Buckboard made by Waltham Mfg and I came across this period advertisement, selling an accessory child’s seat for the Buckboard. The Buckboard was exactly that, a buckboard horse cart with a one cylinder gasoline engine. Like many early runabouts the Orient Buckboard was a two-seater. There was no room for the rest of the family. Some companies, like Ford, offered a third “mother in law” seat out back, but Waltham decided to go in the other direction. Read More >
I was at the Eleanor and Edsel Ford estate today for the media preview for the Eyes On Design car show coming up on Father’s Day this Sunday. The grounds of the Ford home are where the show is held every year – in honor of Edsel’s seminal role in the history of automotive styling. Eyes On Design is a unique car show. The cars are concours level (many Eyes On Design cars get shown at the Concours of America (formerly Meadow Brook)) but they’re not judged on build quality or meticulous authenticity. The show is pretty much run by car designers and the cars are judged on their design, not whether or not the air cleaner is factory or aftermarket. After the press event I walked around the 87 acre site, checking out the outside of the home and the other buildings, which were (no surprise here) Albert Kahn designs. Henry Ford’s greatest asset was his sheer indomitable nature. His second greatest talent was surrounding himself with talented people like Kahn. Read More >