Category: Question of the Day
Sources tell us that General Motors is set to debut at least one new model at the 2014 New York Auto Show, and that model will apparently be a small crossover for the Chevrolet brand.
Before the Clint Eastwood film (but after the cheezoid TV show), the most well-known Ford Gran Torino in cinema history was the beater ’73 sedan driven by Jeff Bridges’ character in The Big Lebowski. This film, which took quite a while to go from box-office dud to sacred document of the Lebowski Jihad, was released in 1998 and was set in late 1990 or early 1991 (a period during which I was also in Southern California and living a fairly Dude-ish lifestyle myself). The choice of a ’73 Gran Torino by the Coen Brothers makes some interesting statements for those who obsess about movie cars, and Monday is always the best day to discuss such things. Read More >
All new family cars look the same nowadays, am I right? The Camcord and the Sonatoptima and the, um, Altusionbupassant. Never before have we had such identical cars in the mass market. Compare this to, say, 1963. It was so easy to tell the Ford from the Chevy back then, assuming you worked for a Chevy dealership or owned the Ford. Or 1956, when, uh, the tailfins were way different. Or 1984, when the Camry and Stanza literally had different numbers of headlights. Let’s not forget 1936. Does anybody even have the ability to distinguish a ’36 Ford from a ’36 Chevy any morer?
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Six hundred and forty-two years from now, the artificial planet orbiting Betelguese will finally receive the electromagnetic emissions of today. On it, the four-dimensional hyperintelligence known only as “Ship” will parse trilions of communications before deciding what the primary concerns of the puny “humans”, and particularly of the males among the species, might be. The list will be, in order:
1. How to insert tab A into slot B without being forced to put ring C on finger D (or cash E into purse F);
2. The quarter-mile time of the “Toyobaru”.
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Oh my, this Toyobaru GT86 situation is a shame, isn’t it? QC issues, dealer gouging, controversial tire choices, sundial acceleration, the catastrophically depressing drone of the engine as it asthmatically stumbles to its powerless redline before the injector seals fail and it vomits out its component parts in a single “FehhhrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhPOP.”
If only the people at Subaru and Toyota had asked you instead of letting their own
accountants engineers make the decisions. As Andre 3000 once sang, you know what to do-oooooh-ooooh.
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That was a close one! When I read that the TTAC Staff robot was being “retired”, I knew that what they really meant was “having its arms bolted into a concrete wall and being tortured the way Lord Straxus tortured Scrounge in Transformers #17: Into The Smelting Pool!“. Then I heard the distinctive sound of Derek’s Aventador coming down the street. I huddled underneath a makeshift electric blanket, terrified that he would find the park bench where I spend the long nights during Toronto’s merciless winter. With a single mighty swipe, Derek tore the blanket from me and growled,
“Get up, Z. McQ. It’s time to go to work.”
“But what’s the QOTD, Managing Editor and heir-apparent, Sir?”
“Find out if our, ah, valued readers are considering hybrids for their next car. And if they aren’t, find out why not.” Then he was gone in a flash of V-12 growl and P Zero tire smoke, leaving me to trudge through the streets to my battered IBM Model M keyboard.
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We received an interesting email the other day here in the TTAC underwater battle station. As is frequently the case, this one was about a used car. But not just any used car.
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Once upon a time, there was the Accord. It had sixty-eight horsepower from 1.6 liters of four-cylinder power. And the consumer saw that it was good, and the Additional Dealer Profit stickers spread far and wide across the land. The Eye Of Toyota, concealed within the fortress of Toyota City, saw the Accord and commanded the Camry to be built. It was bigger and more powerful, but it was also powered by four cylinders.
The General Motors X-Body and A-Body, to say nothing of the Ford Tempo and Mercury Topaz, could be had with a V-6, but it mattered not, for not a single Accord buyer in history ever decided upon a Cutlass Ciera as an alternative. But then, one day, Toyota raised the stakes.
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Recently, while searching through some, ah, Japanese-market literature left in a bathroom stall by a former TTAC E-I-C, we found out something so shocking that it cannot possibly be true. Did you know that the Toyota RAV4 was initially designed from the ground up to “destroy” the Jeep Wrangler?
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As of 12:01 AM Mountain Time on Wednesday, the first legal, open-to-the-general public cannabis shops in the United States may start selling their wares. In my Denver neighborhood, the dispensary next door to the first Chipotle restaurant opens for business at 10:00 AM, and I’m trying to guess what kind of car, truck, or other vehicle will be the first to screech to a smoky halt at this establishment’s front door. Actually, the loadiest stoners aren’t exactly conscious of, like, the clock, man, so this vehicle will probably show up on Friday at about 11:38 PM, and then the occupants will forget why they were there in the first place and go find a 7-11 to buy some Twin Bings… but for the purposes of discussion we’re going to say 10:00 AM on the dot, stoniest motor vehicle. What is it? Read More >
In a world where Cadillac makes a “V-sport” knockoff version of its own CTS-V that still has over 400 horsepower and can actually out-accelerate its own depreciation, to say nothing of the new BMW 328i, which will have that name because it will have 3 cylinders and 28psi of boost, it seems impossible to even consider the idea that there used to be cars that looked fast but went slow. With super-exciting sport packages or fun fender flares or even giant spoilers but absolutely positively no ability to accelerate supplied as standard. But it’s true. We called it “more bark than bite”. The English used to say “all mouth no trousers”, a fun term that could also describe a great white shark, or Lena Dunham.
Some of the names that will forever ring with honor in the Hall Of Test-Drive Disappointment include: Eurosport. Cobalt SS Sedan Naturally Aspirated. Camaro Sport Coupe. Camaro Berlinetta. Camaro Type LT. And those are just the Chevrolets. Mostly just the Camaros, really. But when the underachievers (and the Achievas) of the sporting-car world meet in the a parking garage to fight to the death for the Prize, there can be only one. The Prize, by the way, is a K&N “Filtercharger”.
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Speaking at a preview event for the next-generation Hyundai Genesis, Hyundai CEO John Krafcik defended his company’s decision to forgo establishing a seperate luxury channel for cars like the Genesis and Equus. While the rationale put forth usually revolves around the exorbitantly expensive pricetag for launching a new brand and an all-new sales network, Krafcik put it from another angle.
Last week, Subaru shipped me directly from the Chubba Cheddar Enduro 24 Hours of LeMons at Road America to Iceland, so that I could follow hallowed LeMons tradition and destroy a press car in dramatic fashion. I failed to kill any XV Crosstrek Hybrids, but I did get the opportunity to break away from the Subaru minders and get to do what I really love about traveling: visit exotic foreign wrecking yards! Iceland has a bizarre and unpredictable mix of vehicles on its roads, with the types of car and truck imports varying from month to month based on some inscrutable combination of momentary cheapness and currency-rate numbers, and you’ll see a wide selection of Asian, European, and Detroit machinery in the chilly junkyards of Reykjavik. Ladas next to Ssangyongs next to Dodges! Jason Kavanaugh of Edmunds (more importantly, of the legendary LeMons team, Eyesore Racing) spotted this much-sliced car and suggested that it would make a good Mystery Car for a future Junkyard Find, and he’s right! Read More >
(Let’s all welcome Zombie McQuestionbot back to TTAC. He’s a well-known and well-loved writer who is now writing for “bigger” and “better” and “more easily recognized” and “less thoroughly despised” outlets than this one, but we managed to convince him to write a few questions for us — JB)
Mustangs. I know, right? I almost bought a Mustang once. Actually, I did buy a Mustang. I was in the American South on my way to see an actual underground bullfight, with a bull and everything. But it turned out that the two-year-old “Mustang” that I agreed to pay five thousand dollars for in a back room of a Mexican restaurant was actually a Mustang.
You know, a horse.
The good news is that “Trigger” and I had plenty of good years together before I let him retire to a farm in Oregon. For “plenty of good years” subtitute “one drunken night”. And for “a farm in Oregon” substitute “the glue factory”. Oh, how I cried when they led Trigger away. Mostly because he’d stepped on my foot. But that isn’t the kind of Mustang we’re talking about here. The retro Mustang’s been around since 2005. What’s your favorite one?
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