Category: Enthusiasm

By on November 17, 2016

passat_gt_concept_ (Image: Volkswagen of America)

A concept, or the first of many? That’s what Volkswagen execs need to decide once feedback rolls in from the conservatively sporting Passat GT concept shown off at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Hot, but not too hot, a Passat GT would be an affordable enthusiast offering for the embattled automaker, spicing up an aging model that’s slipping in the U.S. market. The public’s reaction — be it interest or yawns — is the real deciding factor, but here at TTAC, we’ve been of two minds. Read More >

By on November 16, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Politicians walk back policy promises as frequently as Ram announces special edition 1500s, so it’s not unwise to take campaign pronouncements with a big grain of salt.

Environmentalists and those close to the electric car sphere aren’t happy right now, as Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the Oval Office could put the kibosh on green ambitions. There’s talk of a rollback of fuel economy targets, of California no longer being allowed to be “special” (at least, when it comes to auto industry regulation) — basically, the sky could be falling, but they aren’t sure if it is yet.

Let’s take that frenzied speculation to its natural conclusion. Say the sky falls, environmental regulations are left gutted like tuna on a wharf, and the government incentives to buy an electric vehicle dry up.

Can EVs stand on their own? Read More >

By on November 2, 2016

Lead-RamTruck-Jeep-Wont-See-Dirt-SEMA-2016-11-2

For the automotive aftermarket, SEMA is all about showing off the latest and greatest gear, and more often than not that comes in the form of vehicle builds around the Las Vegas Convention Center. There’s everything from mild to wild, but there’s also plenty of trucks and SUVs that go so far over the top that they reach a level of absurdity.

That leads us to this collection of trucks. Although fitted with suspension lifts and aftermarket wheels, in spite of the aggressive tires these trucks and Jeeps at the 2016 SEMA Show will live their lives on asphalt and never see the dirt. Read More >

By on November 1, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS yellow

Forget about your tame, hand-me-down Celebrity Eurosport or Lumina Euro of yesteryear, Chevrolet wants you, yes you, to go further in gussying up what could be a very mild vehicle.

The automaker has launched its 2017 Chevrolet Performance catalog, which now boasts added heat for almost every model in the lineup. For some vehicles, the new offerings could be the makings of a performance monster. For others (such as the Malibu), you’ll want to give those factory-backed add-ons some sober second thought. Read More >

By on October 25, 2016

2016 Ford Focus RS, Image: Ford

The buying public wants one. You probably want one. But Ford executives on both sides of the Atlantic are growing cold feet over the idea of a hotter Focus RS.

The automaker is walking back expectations for the proposed RS500 and is ready to scrap the hotter hot hatch (scalding hatch?) idea altogether, Autocar reports.

Why?

Read More >

By on October 19, 2016

2015 Toyota Yaris, Image: Toyota

Toyota doesn’t immediately spring to mind when a buyer thinks of driving excitement. Far from it, in fact.

While the brand carries an enviable reputation of reliability, strong resale value and general popularity, it suffers in the performance and youthful appeal department. That could change, with Auto Express reporting that Toyota could build on its return to the World Rally Championship with a production hot hatch.

Volkswagen Golf R, Honda Civic Type R, Ford Focus RS…Toyota Yaris? Read More >

By on October 19, 2016

sq5 audi
Until now, the formula for most “sporting” crossovers was simple: make north of 300 horsepower and ensure the suspension can get a two-ton vehicle around a corner without drama.

That status quo may be changing, as Autocar reports that Audi is putting the finishing touches on a SQ5 focused specifically on creating a little drama in those corners.

Is Audi starting new trend or merely fixing the old one?  Read More >

By on October 18, 2016

2019 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The story goes that someone at a recent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dealer meeting acted quickly when the automaker flashed images of future Jeep models across the screen.

While FCA hasn’t given the public so much as a hint of what the upcoming, range-topping Jeep looks like, we now have a better idea, all thanks to that person’s quick-draw camera. Oh, and there’s plenty of 2018 Wrangler details to gleam, too. Read More >

By on October 14, 2016

alpine_moments_la-route_bleue-1200x675 (1)

A modern take on one of the sexiest four-cylinder cars of the 1960s will officially debut before the end of the year, and there’s a chance it will find its way to these shores.

Alpine, a reborn subsidiary of Renault, is putting the final touches on the production version of its Vision concept, a practical sports car that harkens back to the glory days of the nearly forgotten brand. Read More >

By on October 14, 2016

Jeep Wrangler hood (forum.aev-conversions.com)

The Jeep Wrangler rumor mill has run with a wide-open throttle ever since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ sweater-clad chairman started work on the next-generation model.

Details are still scarce, but we know that the 2018 Wrangler sports plenty of aluminum parts and an oh-so-careful redesign. However, one Minnesota Jeep enthusiast believes he got his hands on a piece of the real thing, and from an unlikely source. Read More >

By on October 14, 2016

2016 Honda Civic Coupe

To say that details on the next-generation Honda Civic Si have been limited would be a massive understatement. Honda fanboys — and even normal people — have been hungry for even the barest scraps of information.

Well, we finally have a scrap. The Los Angeles Auto Show recently let loose in a press release that Honda will introduce the tenth generation Civic Si at their expo in November. They also ended some of the speculation on what type of engine we can expect.  Read More >

By on October 12, 2016

2017 Dodge Viper Snakeskin Edition GTC was inspired by the origi

The Dodge Viper’s plug is damn near pulled.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles steadfastly claims that 2017 is the final year for the Viper, and recently halted orders for the V10-powered road beast, The Detroit News reports.

However, this doesn’t mean the model has reached the end of the line. At least, not just yet. Read More >

By on October 11, 2016

2016 Ford Mustang GT

Mustang GT and EcoBoost owners can now revel in the pleasures of warranty-compliant performance upgrades from Ford Performance Parts.

The 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder can now be paired with a cold air intake and engine recalibration that Ford says raises peak horsepower by 25 and bumps torque up by a notably large 70 lb-ft. Read More >

By on October 10, 2016

2017 Ram 1500 Lone Star Silver

Apparently, the 2017 Ram 1500 Lone Star Silver Edition was such a hit at the State Fair of Texas, visitors stole the badge off of both trucks.

Located in a lower corner of the truck’s chrome mesh grille, the badge lets everyone know that this isn’t just any other Ram model. Texas-sized amounts of polished metal and chrome are other giveaways.

Unfortunately for Ram representatives at the fair, those badges walked away as milled aluminum bling, possibly bound for a hat, vest or belt. Read More >

By on October 5, 2016

The Mazda MX-5 RF, Image: PRNewsFoto/Mazda Motor Corporation

Mazda has kicked off presale orders for its 2017 MX-5 RF, the “retractable fastback” that gives would-be convertible buyers an extra feature to help win their spouse’s support.

Introduced to salivating journalists at the New York Auto Show, the model starts at $32,390 (including a $835 destination charge) in Club trim — a $2,955 increase over a 2016 MX-5 Club. Read More >

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