Category: Features

By on March 13, 2015

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One of the essential questions that many automotive writers fail to examine is “what is the nature of an automaker”? All too often, they lose sight of the fact that OEMs are in the business of selling cars, not manufacturing widgets for people who like cars.

This kind of mindset is what leads to the exchange outlined in Automobile Magazine, where one writer discusses the lack of a manual transmission in the 2016 Audi R8.

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By on March 12, 2015

16 - 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSince we had a 1989 General Motors Junkyard Find yesterday, let’s look at another 1989 GM car today. The Chevrolet Celebrity, sold for the 1982 through 1990 model years, was one of those cars that disappeared from our memories without much of a trace. The Celebrity wasn’t as spectacularly bad as the Chevy Citation and its corporate siblings, but nobody loved it (except for these guys) and most examples were fed into the cold steel jaws of The Crusher before the 1990s were over. Here’s an example from the sedan’s final year of production. Read More >

By on March 11, 2015

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It seems like yesterday
But it was long ago
RS America in the dealership’s lights
Covered with dust and it had nowhere to go
And it sat there for a year
Till they sold it at a loss
Slow like a Boxster headlights just like a frog
And all the service had been skipped and no one gave a toss

And I remember how cheap they used to be
And I thought that it never would end
I remember how they bought and sold for pennies
Wish I’d had a crystal ball and bought one then

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By on March 11, 2015

2001 Nissan Xterra2015 will be the Nissan Xterra’s final model year. The final nails in the coffin were hammered in by an increasingly popular crossover market, total domination on the off-road category by the Jeep Wranglers, and Nissan’s inability to affordably recreate the Xterra with modern regulatory concerns in mind.

This doesn’t mean Nissan isn’t competing in the SUV market any more, but most of the automaker’s remaining SUVs are true crossovers. Nissan USA sold 376,388 Rogues, Pathfinders, Muranos, Jukes, and Titan-based Armadas in 2014.

Xterra volume, meanwhile, tumbled 77% over the course of a decade, falling by 55,942 units to 16,505 U.S. sales in 2005. Read More >

By on March 9, 2015

Obligatory XKCD

You’d think that, after all these years, I’d have a tougher skin for people who say stupid things on the Internet. And I’m pretty good about that, but now that I own a Tesla, it strangely gets under my skin when people write ill-informed drivel about the car. Here at TTAC, we’re all about well-informed drivel. It’s a subtle distinction, but we’re proud of it. Anyway, here’s a bit of unfortunately typical writing, found on a random Internet chat board (not TTAC, because the B&B would never stoop to this). All grammar and spelling have been left untouched.

Tesla interior is junk far away from luxury. BMW 335i has better interior design, and 550i in whole different league. Road noise, cheap panels, flimsy speaker grille, seat comfort, ceiling height, sound quality (premium sound!!) all materials that tesla uses belong to 20$K Honda. So rest of money goes into battery price.

Let’s break this down, shall we?

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By on March 9, 2015

2015 Honda Accord coupe and sedan

In December, we conducted an informal survey of what TTAC readers are driving via a Question of the Day format. I’m happy to say that the results of that questionnaire are finally available, and we have our best look yet at what kind of cars TTAC readers are driving.

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By on February 27, 2015

laserignition

A team at Princeton Optronics working on replacing conventional spark plugs with laser igniters has produced a running engine and they claim that replacing spark ignition with lasers could improve the efficiency of gasoline powered engines by 27%. Considering that the basic design of the spark plug hasn’t really changed in over a century, this would be a revolutionary step, frickin’ lasers or not. Read More >

By on February 16, 2015

057

When we last saw our hero, he was debating between keeping his Boss 302 or selling it and downsizing to a little pocket-rocket Fiesta ST for a year or so until the Shelby GT350 hits the showrooms. Wait, let’s leave that writing-in-third-person nonsense to NFL wide receivers and people with delusions of grandeur. Reset.

I spent much of last week crunching numbers and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Like our fearless leader (Obama, not Derek)—to those of you who voted in the comments section, I heard you. For those of you didn’t vote, I heard you, too. I read all of the reasoned opinions. I calculated. I planned. I schemed.

And then I said, Eff it. Let’s do both.

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By on February 4, 2015

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If you’re a fan of automotive personality Matt Farah and/or his show, “The Smoking Tire”, you probably know that Matt recently bought a 1996 Lexus LS400 with 897,000 documented miles on the clock. That’s right. Do not adjust your television. That’s nearly a million.

You might also know that “The Driver”, Alex Roy, and I took the Lexus from Long Beach to Texas and beyond, finally coming to a halt in my hometown of Powell, Ohio. If you’re really up to speed on the adventures of the Million Mile Lexus, you know that it’s currently in the hands of Jalopnik contributor “Tavarish”, who drove it from Upper Arlington, Ohio to New York.

Take a minute and read the above paragraph again. I drove it to Powell; Tavarish drove it from Upper Arlington. And thereby hangs a tale.

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By on February 3, 2015

red 2015 ford f150 supercrew 4x4 fx4

The stupid beer can analogies are already tired. Yes, the body of the 2015 Ford F150 is aluminum, but it’s not that important. If they didn’t make a big deal about it, you’d never know. It also fails to make the F150 the lightweight Jesus of pickups.

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