Category: News Blog

By on September 29, 2014

National-Electric-Vehicle-Sweden

With the Saab name reclaimed by the mothership, a host of financial problems, and no product beyond a 10-year-old platform, what else is left for National Electric Vehicle Sweden to do? If you said, “Tap out,” then you just might see that hand pounding the mat rather quickly.

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By on September 28, 2014

dyson

When the Traqmate system came out a decade or so ago, it revolutionized the way that low-and-mid-budget racers measured and improved their performance as drivers. All of a sudden it was possible to understand why you were faster or slower in a given situation. It’s now become such a standard that major sanctions like the Canadian Touring Car Championship use it to measure and adjust competitiveness across different chassis and engine combinations.

Last year, TTAC partnered with the people at Autosport Labs to test their Race/Capture system in our infamous race that wasn’t. Although somehow our RaceCapture system never returned from Texas, with all hands professing puzzlement about its ultimate disposition, I was able to use the RaceCapture prior to that race, in a coaching session with Chris Dyson and the Autosport Labs people. Using the system’s live-tracking features, I was able to immediately take ten seconds off my lap time in a single coaching session.

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By on September 28, 2014

IMG_0347a

It’s easy to think that certified pre-owned, CPO, programs that sell used cars that meet manufacturers’ standards for quality, are a fairly modern development in the car biz, but car companies have been helping their dealers sell ‘approved’ used cars for generations. Chevrolet had its “OK” used car program. Ironically, that branding apparently had its origins in the marketing of 1918 era American Motors (unrelated to the company of the same name formed by the merger of Hudson and Nash), which Louis Chevrolet helped found after he parted ways with Billy Durant and the Chevrolet company. Louis Chevrolet would hand sign the dashboard of each American Six with the rhyming “O.K. Chevrolet”. Read More >

By on September 28, 2014

2015 Infiniti Q40Infiniti’s G37 sedan continues to attract a meaningful amount of attention from entry-level luxury car buyers in the United States, long after it was replaced by the Q50.

It’s still a fast car. It may be the better driver’s car. And it’s the cheaper of the two, as well, with a base price (including destination and handling) of $33,855, $4200 below the price of the least costly Q50.

11,327 G sedans have been sold in the United States over the last eight months, almost precisely one G37 per two Q50s. Read More >

By on September 27, 2014

This past weekend, the big annual Orphan Car Show in Ypsilanti was augmented by the grand opening of the National Hudson Motor Car Museum, also in Ypsilanti. While I’m usually excited about the opening of new car museums, though the region is gaining what appears to be a fine, professionally run museum, the development means that you can no longer see a unique display of automotive history. Read More >

By on September 27, 2014

oceancity

You know Facebook’s passe when the cops are using it to talk to citizens. In this case, it’s the Ocean City (MD) Police Department, warning visitors to the H2O International event of their “zero tolerance policy” for traffic violations, vehicle modifications, and compliance with Maryland motor vehicle regulations.

Even if the motor vehicle in question is registered somewhere else.

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By on September 27, 2014

Jeep USA sales chart 2014Outside of Maserati, which sold more cars than Jaguar in August 2014, Jeep is America’s fastest-growing auto brand in 2014. Through the first eight months of 2014, Jeep’s U.S. volume is up 45%, an increase of more than 143,235 sales.

Total FCA/Chrysler Group sales are up 14%. That’s no small feat, but it’s abundantly apparent that Jeep is motivating much of the Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat/Jeep/Ram gains. (Ram brand sales are up by nearly 58,000 units year-to-date.)

As FCA/Chrysler Group car volume plunges, sliding 18% this year according to the automaker, Jeep’s massive improvements are all the more important.

And it’s not all Cherokee-derived. Sales of Jeep’s other models, the Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass, are up 11% in 2014. The Chrysler family now relies on the brand for more than three out of every ten sales, well up from fewer than two out of every ten in 2004.

By on September 26, 2014

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The seemingly perpetual introduction of marginally altered special editions is a business model that makers of low volume exotic cars have seized upon. Development cycles are long, product lifespans even longer and the attention spans of fickle ultra-high net worth consumers is short. By releasing new “Special Editions” every quarter or model year, luxury car makes can give owners a reason to keep trading in their current car for the latest and greatest thing, even if the new model is only superficially different from the base car.

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By on September 26, 2014

Isuzu_Piazza_(1981-1992)

Yesterday, TTAC contributor Jim Yu volunteered for a virtual Q&A on what it was like to own a Volkswagen Phaeton. I’m pleased to announce that Jim will be back soon for another AMA (Ask Me Anything) on his very first car, an isuzu Impulse. And we’ve decided to open the floor to anyone willing to contribute.

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By on September 26, 2014

2002-Lincoln-Continental-Concept-RM-Auction-001

One of the recurring comments that enthusiasts make when the issue of making Lincoln into a success comes up  is why didn’t they ever put the trio of concept cars they introduced about ten years ago, the Mark 9 and Mark X coupes of 2001 and 2004 and the Continental flagship sedan concept of 2002 (see here and here). All three cars were meant to evoke styling cues from successful Lincolns of the past, particularly the 1961 Continental and the personal luxury Marks of the late 1960s and early 1970s. All three could have been made, but never made it to production, much to the chagrin of a lot of folks cheering for Lincoln to turn things around. Though they never made it to production you’ll now be able to buy a couple of them, including the stunning ’02 Continental concept. Read More >

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