Category: News Blog

By on November 26, 2015


Editor’s note: Outside of our exclusive scoop of Volkswagen’s Goodwill Package, news that a Corvette Z06’s engine failed at the hands of a Fox News journalist was our top daily news piece of the last 12 months. It originally ran July 18th, 2015. The cause of the failure is explained here, though whether that is the true reason of the failure is open to discussion.

While track testing the latest Z06 Corvette, Gary Gastelu of Fox News experienced an issue that’s becoming a trend for Chevrolet’s supercharged sports car: engine failure.

“After a few lapping sessions, the engine in mine unceremoniously called it quits,” reports Gastelu in his review.

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By on November 26, 2015


Editor’s note: BMW losing its way has been a hot topic ever since the E30 went out of production. This QOTD from Doug is probably one of the most commented articles in TTAC history. It originally ran January 23rd, 2015.

Twenty years ago, BMW was the coolest automaker in the world. I know this because I – as a young lad of less than ten, growing up in the 1990s – desperately wanted my father to purchase a BMW. And he – as a rational, middle-aged man in his 40s – ended up in a Camry with cloth seats and a tape player. He wasn’t the BMW type. He wasn’t cool enough. Back then, few were.

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By on November 26, 2015


Gear arrangement for a 10 speed automatic from Patent # 8,834,310

Gear arrangement for a 10 speed automatic from Patent # 8,834,310

Editor’s note: This was probably the most comprehensive look at Ford’s 10-speed automatic when it was originally published back on December 1st, 2014. It’s also one of the top 10 most read articles published in the last 12 months. It’s time to geek out again on all those gears.

Lately there has been a lot of speculation on what the Ford Motor Company has been up to with their 10 speed transmission design. All we know is that there is a joint venture between Ford and GM to develop the next generation 10 speed transmission for next generation RWD trucks and cars. This article pieces together the information available from the invention disclosures from Ford, and makes  educated guesses about the actual design. While the author sincerely hopes that these guesses are educated in nature,  there is a possibility that the guesses are completely off base. With that disclaimer out of the way, let us look at what facts are at our disposal, and what the Ford 10 speed automatic transmission design is likely to look like when it is sees the light of day. If you are interested, read on.

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By on November 26, 2015


Editor’s note: This article originally ran February 4th, 2015 and will likely be one of the all-time most read TTAC editorials for years to come.

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 November 26, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI (1 of 8)

Editor’s note: This article originally ran September 22, 2015. TTAC has yet to be proven or disproven on these numbers, but hopefully we will learn the truth soon.

In all reality, Volkswagen probably won’t pay $37,500 for each car that cheated its way through U.S. emissions standards, but the German automaker will probably pay thousands for each car to fit a device that would clean up their acts.

The presumed fix would come by retrofitting a Selective Catalytic Reduction (Adblue or urea) system although that wouldn’t be the only fix necessary. Researchers discovered that the Passat TDI that they tested, fitted with the SCR system, was 5 to 20 times over the NO limit — less than the 10 to 40 times by the lean NO filter cars, but still illegal.

The long list of items needed to fit models of the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Beetle and Audi A3 doesn’t include the engineering needed to retrofit the cars and the costs to crash test the models after the significant modifications. That’ll add hundreds of millions to the bottom line.

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By on November 26, 2015


Editor’s note: The following article originally ran on April 1st, 2015 March 31st, 2015. It’s a complete fabrication, albeit one with a purpose explained here.

Note: A bug in the GPS software inverted the overall and moving averages.

After this paragraph, you’ll have the chance to read nearly 6,300 words about the fastest transcontinental drive in history. Most of the important stuff is near the top; the rest of it is a detail-oriented interview with Alex for the community of fans across the country who live and die for this sort of thing. A personal disclaimer: In my opinion, having the “transcontinental record” is an accomplishment roughly on the same level as having the most awesome fox suit at a furry convention. But TTAC isn’t a charity. It’s a business. And we need those sweet, sweet clicks. Integrity? What’s that? — jb

“I’ve always said I’d never do this again, but as a minor Bond villain put it, never say never.”

So says Alex Roy – the Doctor Evil of illegal long-distance driving events. According to Roy, women want him, and men want to be him. According to actual women, he’s got a great scarf collection, and according to actual men, he’s got…a scarf collection. He’s the same bald, fast-talking New Yorker with a fetish for German police uniforms he’s always been. He’s also former Chairman of The Moth, and winner of the 2005 reality show The Ultimate Playboy. Love him or hate him, respect him or loathe him, the self-proclaimed anti-hero was single-handedly responsible for rekindling interest in the Cannonball Run when, back in 2006, he and co-driver David Maher shattered the 23-year old transcontinental record in 31 hours and 4 minutes. That story was told in Roy’s 2007 book The Driver – which he wrote himself and I reviewed somewhat negatively – and the interviews Roy couldn’t stop giving until…

…used-Lamborghini salesman Ed Bolian and two other dudes strapped their bedpans to a raggedy old CL55 chock-full of leaking gasoline and bombed across the same route in 28 hours and 50 minutes.

For nine years, Roy had sworn that he’d let the record stand or fall as fate decreed — but like his spiritual guide Wotan, Alex was unwilling to let someone else sit upon the porcelain throne of Cannonball Valhalla. So he conceived of Projekt Panzernashorn (Rhinoceros), a cost-no-object plan to set the bar too high for even the most aggressively-catheterized to reach.

Along with a hand-picked group of journalists, hangers-on, and gold-digging New York actress/models, I was permitted to observe Alex as he basically pissed away the kind of money that would let you run for THREE YEARS IN THE TUDOR SERIES WHICH IS A REAL RACE in order to snatch the record back.

This is the story.

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By on November 26, 2015

As we roll ever closer toward Christmas, we yield in November to train our bellies to consume ever so great quantities of food.

Yes, it’s turkey day. It’s the day we give thanks for all the good things, all the lessons, and — sometimes — even the bad things that have happened in our lives over the past year. Therefore, I am taking a break from it all today, and I’m thankful for that as well.

Instead of the normal news and feature feed for today, I’ll be digging up the most read articles since last Thanksgiving for you all to enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

By on November 25, 2015


A federal judge Wednesday denied a request to make available communication between GM and its lawyers over certain cases involving defective ignition switches, Reuters reportedThe documents will remain secret because of attorney-client privilege, the judge wrote.

Lawsuits against GM allege that the company tried to further cover up its defective ignition switches. Those lawsuits sought to uncover documents between the automaker and its lawyers in three separate cases.

“… the case evaluations have all the hallmarks of dispassionate, sober evaluations (perhaps, in hindsight, too dispassionate and sober for their own good) by counsel of the costs and benefits of litigating the cases to their conclusion — just what one would might expect in a defense file and in the absence of a crime or fraud,” Judge Jesse Furman wrote in his ruling. Read More >

By on November 25, 2015

2017 Infiniti QX30 Reveal Los Angeles-5

* Assuming a “cut” is a unit of measurement equaling 3/4 of an inch.

The night before the opening of the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Infiniti invited media to check out its new crossover darling: the 2017 QX30.

Calling it a crossover might be a stretch as the new model is but a mere 0.75-inches taller than the Q30 (which is 0.75-inches taller than the Q30 S) on which it’s based. Same with calling it an Infiniti, as anyone who’s spent time in a Mercedes-Benz GLA will attest. Daimler touches are everywhere.

“But,” said Roland Krüger, president of Nissan’s luxury marque, “once you drive it, you’ll immediately know it’s an Infiniti.”

What Krüger means by that is very much open to interpretation. However, differentiating the newest compact crossover from that of its frenemy is paramount to making it successful.

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By on November 25, 2015


I swear someone was cutting onions right next to me just now. 

A Utah high school custodian, whose broken-down car left him commuting two hours each way to work, was surprised by a mechanic who purchased and fixed a car for him with money collected from crowd funding.

Sean Merrill, who owns Nobori Auto near Salt Lake City, along with his wife, picked up Robert Ford last month when he was walking home late one night. Ford told the couple about his hardship and his commute, and Merrill said he was compelled to help. Read More >

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