Category: Question of the Day
We won’t get into the politics of emission-control laws here, except to observe that you’re either a Marx-quoting, global-warming-duped, vegan one-worlder who wants to crush personal initiative beneath tons of bureaucracy and force everyone to ride an electric bus to their groat rations at the communal kitchen… or you’re an Ayn-quoting, gun-fondling, toxic-waste-spreading wingnut who cackles with glee at the mental image of inner-city children shriveling like salt-soaked slugs beneath tons of lead, oxides of nitrogen, and unburned hydrocarbons. Now that you’ve all chosen sides, imagine that every official in every level of every government in the world waved their magic legislative pens and put the kibosh on all emissions-related regulations concerning motor vehicles. Would you go clean, dirty, or in-between with your next vehicle purchase? Read More >
We don’t get enough good questions from the readers, and it’s a damn shame. Reader Steve Hofer sent us a great one via email; what if Elon Musk was running General Motors?
Reader Summicron manages to both praise Jack’s review of the Dodge Avenger while also bringing up a very interesting point. Summicron writes
Baruth does the best job I’ve ever seen of answering the question:
“What does this hardware actually do?”
“What will snobs think of me if I buy it?”
This immediately made me wonder what vehicle is most unfairly maligned by the auto press and popular opinion?
Sometimes Wikipedia cracks me up.
The Toyota Previa… “failed to steal any significant share from the Chrysler minivans due to its high price, odd Asian styling, poor fuel economy, terrible horn, and weak engines.”
Note to Toyota engineers. Work on that horn! The old ones apparently weren’t horny enough.
Press fleet vehicles are full of little surprises.
A rap CD with a certain word used 200 times in a three minute song.
Then there are the unusual litany of condoms, leftover roaches (the smokable variety), and paternity results that no doubt tell you more about your peers than you ever thought possible.
Finally, there was a trade-in that topped them all. I called it the Thelma and Louise car.
Once I get to ranting on the subject, I’ll fulminate that the true modern era of the automobile didn’t start until about 1990, when carburetors and points ignitions finally disappeared from new cars sold in the United States. Before and after that point, however, a lot of progress— and backsliding— has taken place in the automotive industry. Which brings up the question: what ten-year period, starting with Karl Benz’s Patent Motorwagen in 1886, saw the most improvement, innovation, whatever you want to call it, in the automotive world? Read More >
The multi-billion dollar endeavor of developing a new car has effectively ended the one-off specialty car that many enthusiasts still clamor for and wronglyassert is feasible in this era. Supermodel-thin margins, a saturation of brands and vehicles and an ultra-competitive global marketplace have killed the previous formula for developing a production car, which was mostly a one-off solution to local road conditions and buyer tastes
The necessity of scale is a double-edged sword; if the bean counters deem a product too costly and it may proceed as a watered down version of the original concept. If a new architecture or platform is approved, then we are practically assured multiple variants spun off that platform.
As it turns out, GM nearly took the cheapskate approach to developing the Cadillac ATS. But at the 11th hour, the General decided to change course, and enthusiasts will be all the better for it.
Miata. E30. Panther. Is it time to add another nameplate to the Used Car Hall of Fame? Because the 2012+ Chevrolet Impala looks like a sure-fire winner to me.
Now that the Nissan Leaf is being made in Tennessee, Nissan has decided that a big price drop is in order. While the 2012 car retailed for $35,200, the 2013 Leaf starts at $28,800, thanks to a new base model. Anyone who bought a 2012 must be pretty ticked off at the resale-ruining price cut. Higher-end SV and SL trim levels will retail for $31,820 and $37,250 respectively. Read More >
As I gear up for NAIAS (read: do laundry, look for my passport), I am scanning the schedule for what press conferences are worth going to and what’s worth skipping? If you have any special requests, speak now in the comments or forever hold you peace. Personally, I’m most looking forward to seeing the new GM full-size trucks. I liked the old GMT900 pickups, but the bar has been moved forward consecutively by both Ford and Ram. The old formula of a simple, honest no-frills truck may not be enough – and that could be a disastrous miscalculation by GM, leading to a Civic/Malibu-esque need for a mid-cycle refresh.
Flashes and pulses.
I was staring at an archaic diagnostic system on a 1992 Volvo 940 wagon. It was located underneath the hood, inside a plastic cover, with six little holes for each one of the six digits, along with a cheap plastic wand.
What came out was morse code. Three little reds, stop. One little red, stop. Two little reds, stop. Code 312. Time to visit the brickboard, where the code could be translated to about fifteen different potential issues.
21 model years later, and we’re still not quite there yet.
The new car commercial with the pretty ribbon on a Lexus/Acura/Mercedes/BMW/Canyonero has received countless exposure over the years.
The United States is one of the few countries that celebrates Christmas, in part, by commercializing four to five figure debts. A lot of folks like to look at Saint Nick as the Coca-Cola drinking, car giving, Red Rider rifle distrubting, jolly red cheeked saint with magic flying reindeer. Only when we are older do we find out that the real fellow was a bit more secretive and modest than that.
So what if instead of all that Christmas cheer, you simply received a tool that helps with your equity? Specifically, your automotive equity.
What would it be?
Domestic cars don’t get enough attention on TTAC, but we can also be prone to heaping too much praise on particular examples; I may be the lone dissenting voice on the roster that does not swear a blood oath to the Panther. The W-Body Impala, which is set to go into Panther-like fleet-only production until mid-2014, is similarly polarizing. Some adore it, some despise it while others reflexively disdain it due to the effusive praise heaped upon it.