The Truth About Cars » All Wheel Drive http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 01 Aug 2014 21:12:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » All Wheel Drive http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com BMW Taketh, BMW Giveth (More Traction) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/bmw-taketh-bmw-giveth-more-traction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/bmw-taketh-bmw-giveth-more-traction/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 19:27:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=838681 Even though BMW foists upon us unfortunate derivative junk like the X4, 3-Series GT and 4-Series Gran Coupe (which, I’ve only recently just made sense of), at least they give us models like the 2-Series. Which just happened to get better for anyone who lives in the snowbelt. Later on this summer, xDrive AWD will […]

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Even though BMW foists upon us unfortunate derivative junk like the X4, 3-Series GT and 4-Series Gran Coupe (which, I’ve only recently just made sense of), at least they give us models like the 2-Series. Which just happened to get better for anyone who lives in the snowbelt.

Later on this summer, xDrive AWD will be available on both the 228i and the M235i, for an extra $1800. As much as the 228i might be the pur sang option, even moreso than the M235i, I would not hesitate to anger forum purists and Build Your Own window shoppers by ordering the xDrive version. Yes, I know that with proper snow tires and a modicum of skill, two wheel drive cars are just fine in the snow – I’ve driven two Miatas with LSDs and no ABS in dreadful winters, and I’ve never had a hairy moment. But there are times when I would have appreciated two extra driven wheels, and if I were in the market for this car, I’d have no qualms with forking over the extra $1,800. In my mind, it’s a WRX coupe with two fewer doors and a nicer interior.

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Is This The New Hyundai Genesis? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/is-this-the-new-hyundai-genesis/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/10/is-this-the-new-hyundai-genesis/#comments Fri, 18 Oct 2013 16:52:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=627130 It sure would seem so. Despite the best efforts of our IT crew, the TTAC Staff Robot is unable to read Korean,but we can read the word “Genesis” on this car’s front plate. If the new car was rather Mercedes-esque in its choice of borrowed styling cues, the new car is a curious mix of […]

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It sure would seem so. Despite the best efforts of our IT crew, the TTAC Staff Robot is unable to read Korean,but we can read the word “Genesis” on this car’s front plate.

If the new car was rather Mercedes-esque in its choice of borrowed styling cues, the new car is a curious mix of elements from both Japan and Germany. There is a vague Audi A7 resemblence, while the Hoffmeister kink is distinctly BMW. But the car could easily be some kind of new Infiniti derivative, especially the front, which looks like the model formerly known as the Infiniti M. No word on powertrains, but this one will have AWD for the first time.

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Alphabet Soup: 4×4 vs 4WD vs AWD Where’s the Differential? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/alphabet-soup-4x4-vs-4wd-vs-awd-wheres-the-differential/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/alphabet-soup-4x4-vs-4wd-vs-awd-wheres-the-differential/#comments Mon, 17 Jun 2013 23:09:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=491128 Four wheel drive, all wheel drive, 4WD, AWD, full-time, part-time, 4Hi, 4Lo, 4×4. There are many names and just as many ways of motivating every wheel a vehicle has on the ground. What’s the difference between four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive? In one word: Marketing. Want to know more? Click past the jump as we dive in […]

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2012 Jeep Patriot Latitude, Exterior, trail rated badge, Photography by Alex L. Dykes

Four wheel drive, all wheel drive, 4WD, AWD, full-time, part-time, 4Hi, 4Lo, 4×4. There are many names and just as many ways of motivating every wheel a vehicle has on the ground. What’s the difference between four-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive? In one word: Marketing. Want to know more? Click past the jump as we dive in the most controversial topic since “Dodge vs Chevy.”

Motivating four wheels in a car isn’t new, we’ve been doing it for over 110 years. If you thought this was a recent affectation, you’re not crazy. Over the last 30 years there has been an explosion in the number of vehicles powering a quartet of tires. There has also been a similar explosion in the number of ways we power four wheels. At the same time the way systems are designed, marketed and used have converged and with them the terms AWD and 4WD have have practically merged. Of course, the SAE does have a definition “an all-wheel-drive vehicle is one that has an on-demand feature that occasionally sends power to the non-primary powered wheels.” But what that means has changed a great deal over time.

The Good Old Days

Let’s set the way-back-machine to 1970. Trucks and “Jeeps” had 4WD aka 4×4 systems. The system had to be engaged manually once you were on a loose surface because they “locked” the inputs of the front and rear differentials together making turning difficult on high traction surfaces. Engaging AWD on pavement could result in damage to the systems, or at the very least strange road manners. These systems were found on vehicles that would otherwise be RWD like trucks and truck-based “things.” Frequently the transfer case featured a reduction gear for more severe situations. 1970 Land Rover Range Rover, picture courtesy of Land Rover

Then came the 1970 Land Rover Range Rover (above), the self-proclaimed “first mass-produced vehicle with full-time AWD.” (Note they didn’t call it 4WD until later.) The system used a lockable center differential that allowed the front and rear axles to spin at different rates on pavement allowing the system to be engaged at all times. The system was designed with off-roading in mind, so the transfer case had a low range like like the rugged truck based systems at the time in addition to the full-lock feature.

Then came the AMC Eagle. AMC jammed a new NP119 transfer case made by New Process Gear behind a Chrysler transmission. The unit featured a viscus coupling to the front axle that would allow power to flow to both axles simultaneously while still allowing them to turn at different rates. But this AMC wasn’t a truck, didn’t have a low-range and had an independent front suspension. Not knowing what to call it, AMC called it 4×4. So much for standards.

16 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin

Then Audi released the Quattro in 1980, but despite featuring a manually lockable center differential, Audi chose to call it “all-wheel-drive” or AWD. (Later Quattros were automatic.) The AWD vs 4WD differentiation was born. Soon everyone was getting into the four-wheel-motivation game but nobody agreed what to call the systems. In 1982 Fiat introduced the world to the first four-wheel-motivated vehicle with a transverse engine layout and a transaxle (the Fiat Panda 4×4). It was the start of a revolution. Some car companies followed Audi’s suit and referred to car systems as AWD while the  Toyota Tercel, Dodge Colt and others sported 4WD or 4×4 labels. This was the start of the “that’s not four-wheel-drive, that’s all-wheel-drive” argument.

By the ’90s SUVs started to roam the land. The box-on-frame creatures borrowed their drivetrains from  truck parts bins and brought with them 4×4 and 4WD monikers. (And a bevy of full-time and part-time systems.) Meanwhile, the proliferation of AWD systems exploded and we soon started seeing them in everything from Chrysler minivans to the Porsche 993. Despite the proliferation, the industry had more-or-less settled on calling longitudinal “truck” systems 4WD/4×4 and “car” systems (especially transverse systems) AWD.

2012 MINI Countryman, Exterior, rear, Photography Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

The 21st Century

Crossovers happened. In truth the crossover was born in the 20th century, but the era of the “modern crossover” dawned within the last 15 years. In 1995, crossovers were a microscopic segment composed of jacked-up station wagons. By 2005 the non-truck utility vehicles accounted for more than 50% of the segment. At the dawn of the 2014 model year there are few “traditional” SUVs left, especially in the volume mid-sized segment. Those that remain account for a minority of sales.

Back to the marketing. Now, more than ever, the lines between truck and car are being blurred by marketing speak. Ford calls their Explorer AWD while Nissan is claiming the Pathfinder had 4WD and Chrysler says the Jeep Patriot is a 4×4. The truth is all three drivetrains operate on the same general design as that 1982 Fiat Panda: the transverse AWD system. The system Fiat called “4×4″ in the 1980s is now thought of as “AWD” by Fiat in this decade. What gives?

2012 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design, Exterior, Photography Courtesy of Alex L Dykes

The Current State of Affairs

This brings us to the present. Now that we know the AWD vs 4WD vs 4×4 battle is a war of marketing speak, and we have a bit of history under our belts. Let’s talk about how AWD systems work. Why? Because it’s more important to know how the systems work than what they are called. Let’s go over them one by one. Since I’m not a graphic artist I’ll toss in a rough power-flow diagram to show how each system works.

Part time locking AWD System, Drawing Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Part time locking systems with a longitudinal layout

In the picture above we have a traditional “truck” system, the one that some people will call a “real 4×4.” There is no center differential so the system shouldn’t be used on-pavement because the front and rear axles cannot spin at different speeds. The system has to be engaged by the user in some manner, either with a lever or a button. Most systems use a chain drive to connect the front and rear axles so power flow is (in theory) locked 50/50 front/rear. If one rear wheel is freely spinning, the front wheels will still have grip. If one front wheel and one rear wheel freely spin, the vehicle won’t move. To solve that problem the systems usually include some form of locking or limited slip differential in the rear or both rear and front axles. The systems are typically very rugged and if the system employs fully-locking axles on the front and rear power is exactly 25/25/25/25 percent wheel to wheel and if three wheels lost traction the remaining wheel can consume all 100% of available power. Some systems integrate a low-ratio reduction gear into the transfer case.

Full time locking RWD based AWD System, Drawing Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Full time systems with a longitudinal layout

Based on the part-time systems we just talked about, Land Rover was the first company to use an existing idea to improve their new luxury off-roader and added a center differential after the reduction gear. This system became all the rage after AMC brought it to the mainstream in 1979 for the 1980 Eagle. These systems can take a variety of different forms. The “center differential” can be a simple open unit, a limited slip, a Torsen that apportions power unequally (i.e. 75% rear, 25% front unless slip occurs) or a simple viscous coupling which isn’t technically a differential at all. Each type of stem has benefits and drawbacks depending on your application. Open diffs apportion power equally, but if the front or rear wheels loose traction the car can’t send power to the other axle. Limited slip systems (including manual or auto-locking units) can connect the front and rear together, thus operating like a part-time system when the unit is fully engaged. If the system engaged on pavement however you can get a “binding” feel in tight turns. Torsen units are primarily used in performance oriented systems like high-performance variants of SUVs where you want added traction but a decidedly RWD bias.

You’ll find full-time systems of some description in the current Audi Q7, Jeep Grand Cherokee/Wrangler, Mercedes ML/GL/GLK/G, BMW X1/X3/X5/X6, GM’s full-size SUVs, Dodge Durango, Infiniti EX/FX, Land Rover LR4/Range Rover/Range Rover Sport, Lexus GX/LX, Nissan Armada, Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg, Subaru Forester/Tribeca/Outback/XV, Toyota FJ/Land Cruiser/4 Runner/Sequoia.

Is that a long list? Yes. However that a complete list (insofar as I know) of SUVs currently sold on our shores with this type of a system. Why did I bother to list them all? Because it shows how few of this type of system there really are in the utility vehicle segment. Just a few years ago this number was higher and the market share of this system was higher still.

Subaru AWD Comparison, Courtesy of Subaru

Subaru and Audi you ask? Yes indeed. Audi’s longitudinal systems and Subaru’s AWD systems claim to be different or superior to the competition, but in reality the only difference is that they merge the center and front differentials into the transmission housing resulting in a space savings, but not necessarily a weight savings. (Mercedes claims 4Matic will take a scant 150lb toll in 2014, 50lbs lighter than Quattro.) This also means that the Subaru systems share design elements with traditional rugged body-on-frame SUVs, something that Subaru owners seem to rarely know but might want to brag about.

Front Wheel Drive Biased Transverse AWD System, Drawing Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

Transverse engine based systems

British Motor Corporation popularized transverse engine front-wheel-drive systems in 1959 with the launch of the original Mini. The drivetrain layout has been so popular that the same basic design is used by 16 of the top 20 best-selling vehicles in America. (Everything but the full-size pickups on the top-20 list.) This drivetrain layout represented a challenge to AWD development, so it wasn’t until 1982 that Steyr-Daimler-Puch produced a four-wheel motivation system based on a transaxle. (For that Fiat Panda.)

What’s a transaxle? Excellent question. A transaxle is a transmission that integrates a front differential into its casing. That’s an important thing to keep in mind because the transaxle is why FWD layouts are preferred for fuel economy. In a transverse transaxle the power doesn’t have to “turn” 90 degrees to spin the front wheels. HOWEVER, in a transverse transaxle based AWD system, the power has to make two 90 degree turns on its way to the rear wheels. First power leaves the transmission, then heads to an angle gear which sends it to the back. Then power flows to the rear differential which turns power 90 degrees to the wheels. This is part of the reason that transverse full-time systems that always send power to the rear are [in general] just as efficient as longitudinal “RWD based” AWD systems. (This is why most of them disconnect the rear wheels whenever possible.)

V70R_AWD_System

While there are exceptions to this rule, 99% of transverse FWD systems have a fundamental difference from longitudinal systems because of the integrated front differential. Instead of creating a purpose built AWD transaxle, what car makers do is just extend the power output of the transmission (before the differential) out of the transmission case and into the angle gear that sends power to the back. (See the diagram above.) This means that the input to the front and rear differentials are tied, just like a part-time locking system that we discussed above. To keep the system from binding and improve fuel economy a clutch pack or a viscus coupling is placed between the angle gear and the rear differential. This allows the rear wheels to be uncoupled, but does nothing about the front wheels. Systems like this are incapable of sending more than 50% of the power to the rear unless the front wheels have zero traction. Acura’s SH-AWD system takes things one step further and uses an “acceleration device” aft of the clutch pack to make the rear wheels spin faster than the front wheels thereby giving the vehicle a slight rear “bias” even when the front wheels have traction.

Transverse systems come in many different flavors so it’s important to know what you’re buying before you sign on the line. Some systems on the market are “slip-and-grip” systems like the Honda CR-V which won’t lock the center clutch pack unless front wheel slip occurs. Then we have systems like the Ford Explorer which usually sends some power to the rear, locks the coupling during hard acceleration and varies it depending on vehicle dynamics. The Honda Ridgeline allows the center coupling to be locked in first gear while Jeep’s Patriot allows the center coupling to be almost fully locked at all speeds.

Jeeo Cherokee Front Wheel Drive Biased AWD System, Drawing Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

Perhaps the ultimate hybrid and head scratcher will be the 2014 Jeep Cherokee. Chrysler has yet to release complete details about the system, but what we can glean from the spec sheets and interviews is a system that meets all the criteria of a “traditional” 4×4/4WD system but has a functional layout similar to the systems “real” off-roaders would laugh and point at. We have a 9-speed automatic, nothing unusual there, but next we get something new for a transverse vehicle: a 56:1 (I4) or 47:1 (V6) reduction gear positioned after the transmission but infront of the differentials. (That’s lower than the Grand Cherokee and not too far off the 71:1 in the Wrangler.) Like the other systems, inputs for the front and rear diffs are mechanically tied and a clutch pack is used to connect or disconnect the rear axle from the transmission. Unlike many of the systems however, the 2014 Cherokee can fully lock the center coupling and Jeep tossed in an electronic locking rear differential.

I’ll close by posing a question: If my 2001 GMC Envoy (GMT360 SUV) with its two-speed transfer case and locking center differential can be considered a 4WD/4×4 vehicle. What is the Cherokee? AWD or 4WD? With 4-Low range and a locking rear differential it meets all the traditional requirements, but under the hood you’ll find a four-cylinder or V6 engine sitting sideways. This author’s humble opinion is that the name doesn’t matter if the vehicle does what you expect of it. That Cherokee? We’ll have to wait and see but I suspect it will be as capable as a Grand Cherokee mostly thanks to a substantially lighter curb weight.

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Buick Regal Reskin Neuters GS http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/buick-regal-reskin-neuters-gs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/03/buick-regal-reskin-neuters-gs/#comments Tue, 26 Mar 2013 17:43:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=482379 The General giveth and The General Taketh Away. The 2014 Buick Regal Turbo and Regal GS will now get all-wheel drive as an option, with the ability to send up to 90 percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels. But both the Turbo and the GS will get the same engine, a 259 […]

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The General giveth and The General Taketh Away. The 2014 Buick Regal Turbo and Regal GS will now get all-wheel drive as an option, with the ability to send up to 90 percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels. But both the Turbo and the GS will get the same engine, a 259 horsepower, 295 lb-ft 2.0T 4-cylinder. Only the GS model will get a 6-speed manual.

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Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Gets AWD, You Get An RS6 Alternative http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/mercedes-benz-e63-amg-gets-awd-you-get-an-rs6-alternative/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/mercedes-benz-e63-amg-gets-awd-you-get-an-rs6-alternative/#comments Thu, 06 Dec 2012 21:06:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=469355 Although I’m not much of a fan of Mercedes current product lineup, the AMG vehicles hold a special place in my heart – they’re not dynamically superior to BMW’s M cars, or even some of the quicker Audis, and you can’t get them with a proper manual gearbox; but they are a naked display of […]

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Although I’m not much of a fan of Mercedes current product lineup, the AMG vehicles hold a special place in my heart – they’re not dynamically superior to BMW’s M cars, or even some of the quicker Audis, and you can’t get them with a proper manual gearbox; but they are a naked display of conspicuous consumption, and for that, I love them. So news of an all-new, all-wheel drive AMG product neither surprises nor disappoints me.

As Car and Driver‘s Csaba Csere points out, AMG has ceased to become a skunkworks special for most customers – instead it’s merely another trim level, and therefore just a status symbol for Mercedes customers. If you want the real goodness, you have to step up to the Black Series.

The 2014 E63 will be sold with rear-wheel drive in world markets, but the North American version will only be offered with 4Matic all-wheel drive. Mercedes denies that this is some kind of move to broaden the AMG cars appeal in the snowbelt. It’s hard to take this denial seriously, but even so, who cares? Most Mercedes cars sold in the United States are 4MATIC anyways, and there are plenty of M5 customers who likely buy their cars due to its pricetag, not performance. AMG now has another competitive advantage against Audi, which is becoming a real threat to both M-B and BMW.

Purists will undoubtedly complain that the AWD system adds “weight” or “complexity”, but let’s be real here; these cars are so heavy and complex that another 130 lbs is inconsequential. And nobody has ever complained about the level of grip in an Evo, GT-R or any of the RS cars. Besides, we now have a reasonable facsimile of the RS6 wagon, that can be bought in America. But it comes with a three-pointed star, rather than four rings.

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Junkyard Find: 1989 Dodge Colt DL 4WD http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1989-dodge-colt-dl-4wd/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1989-dodge-colt-dl-4wd/#comments Sun, 18 Nov 2012 14:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=467297 Denver junkyards don’t have quite as many W126 Mercedes-Benzes or 1960s Detroit classics as the ones I grew up exploring in California, but they do have examples of just about every four-wheel-drive Japanese car made during the 1980s. Four-wheel-drive Toyotas, Subarus, and Civics are all represented, though I’m still trying to find a 4WD 80s […]

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Denver junkyards don’t have quite as many W126 Mercedes-Benzes or 1960s Detroit classics as the ones I grew up exploring in California, but they do have examples of just about every four-wheel-drive Japanese car made during the 1980s. Four-wheel-drive Toyotas, Subarus, and Civics are all represented, though I’m still trying to find a 4WD 80s Sentra. But hey, now I can check Mitsubishi off the list of Weird Japanese 4WD 1980s Cars I’ve Seen In The Junkyard, because here’s this Colt!
With “Full Time 4WD,” you didn’t have to work any complicated levers or switches to choose between front- and all-wheel-drive; instead, this car would waste fuel, make extra noise, and wear out driveline components even when driving on dry pavement in June.
Imported For Dodge!
236,581 miles was a lot more than most Mitsubishi products of this era managed. Well done, little Colt 4WD!

22 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1989 Dodge Colt 4WD Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Subaru XT 4WD Turbo http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1985-subaru-xt-4wd-turbo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1985-subaru-xt-4wd-turbo/#comments Thu, 15 Nov 2012 14:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=466944 The junkyards of Colorado don’t have quite the selection of the ones I grew up crawling around in California, but they do have more Subarus than I ever imagined possible. I’ve been a fan of the Subaru XT since it was new— in fact, I’m half-assedly shopping for one now— and so it’s reassuring to […]

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The junkyards of Colorado don’t have quite the selection of the ones I grew up crawling around in California, but they do have more Subarus than I ever imagined possible. I’ve been a fan of the Subaru XT since it was new— in fact, I’m half-assedly shopping for one now— and so it’s reassuring to find them during my junkyard visits and know that I’ll be able to get parts. Today’s find is a rare turbocharged four-wheel-drive version from the XT’s first model year.
The XT Turbo had a cockpit that was wild even by the crazed standards of mid-80s Japanese cars. The instrument cluster moved along with the tilt wheel, so that no steering-wheel setting could obscure your view of the gauges. Wait a minute— the XT didn’t have lowly gauges! When you bought an XT, you got the most video-game-ish digital display of them all, and that includes the Mitsubishi Cordia digital dash.
I didn’t have any tools on me when I found this car, so I didn’t pull the cluster for my collection. Should I go back for it?
“TURBO” was the magic word of the 1980s, but you had to be a special flavor of weird to think that the XT Turbo was as mainstream cool as something like the 300ZX Turbo or even the Starion.
These things weren’t cheap. The list price for the ’85 XT 4WD Turbo was $13,589, which was close to 30 grand in 2012 bucks. That was about $1,200 more than the Nissan 200SX Turbo, nearly $1,500 more than a factory-hot-rod Mazda RX-7 GSL, and close to $2,000 more than a Chevy Camaro IROC-Z.
This one is a bit rusty and generally used-up-looking, but it still has a lot of good parts.
The engine in this car made 111 horsepower, which is 27 fewer than the base engine in the 2013 Kia Rio. Yes, we are living in the Golden Age of Horsepower.
We’re also living in the Not-So-Golden Age of computer nannies; rather than a quaint sticker advising the driver to slow down when the slushbox overheats, today’s cars just go into limp mode.

Alcyone!

26 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Real-World Review: Fleeing Hurricane Sandy Across 8 States In a Rented 2012 Kia Sorento http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/real-world-review-fleeing-sandy-across-8-states-in-a-rented-2012-kia-sorento/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/real-world-review-fleeing-sandy-across-8-states-in-a-rented-2012-kia-sorento/#comments Wed, 14 Nov 2012 13:30:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=466805 So the Halloween Hooptiefest 24 Hours of LeMons at New Hampshire Motors Speedway went well, with the Rust In The Wind Saab-powered Nissan 300ZX taking a very improbable overall win, and we of the LeMons HQ crew were packing up the gear on Sunday afternoon and getting ready to head home… when we heard that […]

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So the Halloween Hooptiefest 24 Hours of LeMons at New Hampshire Motors Speedway went well, with the Rust In The Wind Saab-powered Nissan 300ZX taking a very improbable overall win, and we of the LeMons HQ crew were packing up the gear on Sunday afternoon and getting ready to head home… when we heard that all of our flights out of Logan— in fact, all flights out of the northeastern United States— were canceled due to ZOMG THE END OF THE WORLD IS COMING PANIC YALL!!!1! The plan had been to drive our rental Kia Sorento 70 miles or so to an airport hotel, spend the night there, and grab our flights early Monday morning. We got to the hotel in Burlington, Massachusetts, where we convened an emergency meeting of the very exhausted LeMons brain trust.
The four of us— me, Nick Pon, Jeff Glenn, and Jay Lamm— figured we could hunker down in the hotel for what was shaping up to be at least three days of hurricane hell, probably without electricity and most likely fighting with roaming bands of storm-maddened locals for D batteries and maybe rat carcasses to roast over burning tires… or we could leap into the Sorento and drive west or south in order to get to an airport both out of reach of Sandy’s path and featuring flights to San Francisco (for them) and Denver (for me). If we were going to go for the latter choice, we’d have to start quickly; it was already 8:30 PM and the edge of the fast-approaching storm would soon be closing roads and probably gas stations along any route we might take. We’d all been running on a few hours’ sleep per night for the previous few days— running a LeMons race with 100+ entries takes a lot out of you even when you are catching eight hours of Zs each night— but each of us had plenty of wild-eyed road trip experience and we figured we could split the driving four ways, crank the Melt-Banana to stay awake, and arrive alive. After a flurry of calls to airlines and frenzied study of weather maps— all four guys on laptops and phones— we narrowed our choices to Cincinatti and Charlotte. The storm looked likely to head east, but it had already been south, so we opted for Charlotte, North Carolina, close to 900 miles to the southwest. OK, let’s do it!
Jay Lamm samples Pickle Vodka - picture courtesy of Judge PhilLeMons Chief Perp Jay Lamm, however, decided that he just wasn’t crazy enough to do the drive; he’d tried to dodge Hurricane Irene when in New York the year before and just ended up dealing with more hassle than if he’d just stayed put. So, he handed us the keys to the Kia and all the cash he could spare and sent us on our way. It was 8:50 on Sunday night and we had reservations for flights out of Charlotte for early Tuesday morning. No sweat, as long as we didn’t get trapped by closed roads and/or panic-stricken crowds clogging the roads in an escape frenzy.
Because we had visions of getting trapped on a dead-stalled highway in Maryland or Pennsylvania (I was getting sweated by visions from Cortázar’s endless-traffic-jam story La Autopista del Sur), we blew into the nearby Trader Joe’s to get provisions to last us a few days. I had several bottles of quality bribe booze from racers in my luggage, so I figured we’d be able to barter that for a few tin cups of mulligan stew from friendly hobos camped next to the miles of abandoned cars. Our shopping expedition was a whirlwind affair, since we showed up four minutes before closing time; three race organizers grabbing random stuff off the shelves as the apocalypse bears down results in a strange menu indeed. Two weeks later, I’m still eating leftover Plutonium Joe’s Isotopes-n-Capers Trail Mix™ and Hukbalahap Joe’s Balut Sticks™.
Assuming that the power was about to go out everywhere, we filled up the Sorento at the first gas station we found. While Jeff pumped, I went in to the station to buy Nitrute-Enhanced™ meat-stick snacks and caffeinated beverages. “Stocking up for the storm?” asked the clerk. “Hell no!” I replied, “We’re driving straight to North Carolina!” Everyone in the place turned and gazed upon me with respect. Or something.
The cargo area of the Sorento was just about completely filled with our luggage; we bring all the transponders and a bunch of other bulky race gear with us as checked baggage when we travel to races, so we had a lot of crap. It was a good thing that Jay had decided to stay behind, because we needed the unoccupied rear passenger seats for our food, phone chargers, and other stuff we’d need to be able to reach while the Sorento was in motion. So, if you’re traveling heavy, the Sorento barely has room for three adults and their equipment.
Even though Jeff had just spent a long day as Race Manager in the NHMS tower— that is, the guy who coordinates all the flaggers, emergency crews, pit-in/out staffers, sends me the penalty information, everything, a job akin to being an air-traffic controller combined with a police dispatcher— he swore he felt alert and ready to go and he insisted on driving the first leg of our journey.
We decided that we’d need to give New York City a wide berth, due to the increasingly scary reports of evacuations from the city, and so we planned a route that took us west to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and then southwest to Charlotte. Since Sandy at this time was just off the Virginia coast and moving due north, our route would be taking us down into the storm— or at least its western edge— but we figured we’d be far enough inland to avoid the worst effects.
The wind was getting wilder, the rain was starting to pelt down pretty hard, and I-84 was crowded with erratic-driving hurricane escapees, but Jeff kept saying “I feel great!” and kept the hammer down. The unibody, car-chassis-based Sorento proved to be surprisingly agile for a tall-looking CUV packed to the rafters with passengers and cargo.
One of my jobs as Chief Justice of the LeMons Supreme Court is to write the post-race summaries for the race sponsor, preferably on race day, so I tethered my laptop to my PDANet-equipped smartphone, fired up Photoshop to prep my shots of the winners, and got to work. The Sorento’s back seats aren’t up to, say, Crown Victoria levels of roominess (starting out, we felt that the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis would have been the ideal rental vehicle for this situation) and the ride got fairly bouncy, but I was able to get the job done before the laptop’s battery died. Meanwhile, the final game of the World Series was going on, and lifelong Giants fan Nick was doing his best to pick up the ballgame broadcast on the Kia’s radio.
We managed to pick up the final pitch of the game while we were somewhere in New York, and Nick wanted this shot to immortalize the moment (I’m an Oakland A’s fan, but— unlike most A’s fans— I don’t wish ill upon the Giants). Outside the car, the weather just kept getting uglier, but Jeff rebuffed all suggestions that someone else might take the wheel: “No, no, I feel good.”
At this point, the wind levels were getting worrisome. 18-wheeler drivers were pulling off at rest areas and hunkering down while many of the car drivers were getting increasingly erratic; some were creeping along at 35 while others pulled off head-clutching thread-the-needle passes on the road shoulder. Our Sorento was the quickest thing on the road, hauling distinctly un-CUV-ish levels of ass under dangerous conditions, and yet Nick and I weren’t the slightest bit nervous. Here is the place in this tale where I need to discuss the differences between good drivers and professional racers, because Jeff Glenn is a member of the latter group.
Jeff came from a racing family and was autocrossing an MGB and a Mini years before he was old enough to get a street license. As he got older, he graduated to faster and faster cars, until eventually he was piloting open-wheelers for a living. A few years older than the competition— because he’d opted to get a college degree and “wasted” four years— he realized that the reality of being a pro racer hadn’t turned out to be as much fun as he’d imagined as a kid, and so he became an automotive journalist and, when his editor started putting on goofy races, a race promoter.
Most of the time, Jeff is just the well-organized LeMons HQ staffer who talks to corner-workers on the radio, answers confused questions from racers who can’t figure out how to choose a car number, and makes sure all the gear gets shipped to the correct tracks. It’s when he gets behind the wheel of a vehicle— any vehicle— and the situation turns weird that you realize that you’re dealing with a heavy-duty, alien-DNA driving mutant here. Running late for your flight and need to do a 60-MPH bootlegger turn in an Aveo on a crowded airport road in order to get to the rental-car dropoff in time? No problem, Jeff makes it happen. Or, say you’re in Jamaica on the LeMons corporate retreat, you’ve got a diesel Toyota HiAce with 13 passengers and right-hand drive, and you need to navigate Jamaican roads teeming with stray dogs, overloaded buses, and “drug dons” in Escalades. Again, this is the guy you want driving.
Jeff gets an unnerving sense of focus when a driving situation becomes serious; his responses to communication go all robotic and he lasers holes in the windshield, looking several turns ahead at all times. In Jamaica, he had a way of knowing that there’d be a Montero with a busted axle blocking the road just around the next blind curve and he’d have the HiAce ready for it. In the Sorento, he got faster as the worsening weather conditions chased the other drivers off the highways and we knew that we had to outrace Sandy before she trapped us for three days at the Northern Maryland Chlamydic Lot Lizard Rest Area.
By the time we reached I-81, the southbound direction was empty save for a few hell-bent-for-leather diesel demons determined to get their 18-wheelers out of Sandy’s reach and barreling their wind-tossed trucks along at 85 MPH. The Smokeys were all tied up dealing with storm-related problems, and so Jeff really got on the Kia’s throttle at that point. I can’t say that the Sorento is quiet at speed in a hurricane, nor can I say that its ride is smooth. In fact, all that marketing talk about SUVs coddling you in a cocoon of isolation from the scary world outside— be it full of Uzi-packin’ carjackers or cataclysmic weather extremes— had nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of our Sorento experience. At one point I thought to fret about storm-addled cervidae hurling themselves into our windshield. “Don’t worry,” said Jeff, passing a careening Freightliner uphill as various tree parts bounced along the tarmac, “I’ll see them.” The storm got worse and worse as we blew through Maryland and the corner of West Virginia where we hold the Capitol Offense LeMons races, and we resorted to blasting Blood Sugar Sex Magick, repeatedly, to drown out the road noise. The sound system in our Sorento— I’m assuming the fleet version gets the El Cheapo stereo— was adequate, with a handy USB jack for our iPods, though the rear speakers deliver tinny sound reminiscent of the Flavoradio and the interface is on the maddening side.
We were in too much of a frenzy to keep track of fuel economy, but we had to make several fuel stops to refill its 18-gallon tank. Our all-wheel-drive, squarish pseudo-truck probably didn’t crack the 20 MPG barrier, given our not-so-efficient pace.
We encountered snow and sleet in the hills of Virgina, but the winds began to calm as Sandy and the Sorento headed in opposite directions. Nick and I gave up asking Jeff if he wanted to take a driving break, even as he began talking up the idea of roaring straight through to Atlanta, where we’d be able to catch Monday-morning flights.
Somewhere near the Virginia-North Carolina line, the skies cleared and the sun began to rise. We woke up the LeMons Travel Boss and official moonshine taster and had her start looking to move our flights out of Charlotte from Tuesday to Monday. Success!
Just before 9:00 AM Monday, exactly 12 hours after beginning our journey (that’s an average speed of just over 74 MPH, including fuel stops and the traffic-slowed leg to Scranton), we arrived at Charlotte Airport. We had a few hours to kill before our flight, so we blew some of Jay’s cash on an airport hotel suite to shower and catch a few hours of sleep. Then we dropped off the Kia at the rental-car lot (it turns out that the rental companies waived the drop-off-at-different-airport fees for customers traveling from Sandy-affected areas) and settled down to wait for our flights.
By 3:00 PM Monday, I was on a Denver-bound plane, just six hours later than I’d have been if my Logan-DIA flight had taken place.

As for Jay’s idea to ride out the storm in Massachusetts… well, he tells his story in the official LeMons wrapup video (all the 2012 season’s wrapup videos may be viewed here).

Here’s my (probably) NSFW personal wrapup video of the drive.
As I contemplated rummaging through my troubled fellow passenger’s carry-on bag— yeah, it was very difficult in my sleepless, giddy state to avoid provoking an entertaining incident with Mr. DO NOT Touch— I thought about the 2012 Kia Sorento as high-performance hurricane-fleeing machine. Was its impressive high-speed performance all driver/no car (as was the case when we stuck Randy Pobst behind the wheel of a worse-than-stock MGB-GT at Charlotte Motor Speedway)? If we had it to do over again with a different vehicle, would we have taken the Crown Victoria or— shudder— the Mitsubishi Galant from the rental-car lot? The choice of the Sorento makes more sense when you consider the “what if” scenarios. Say, the nightmare 48 hours stuck in the vehicle when the highway floods and you need to sleep in the thing, or the highway gets covered in a foot of mud and only four-wheel-drive can get you unstuck; in those cases, the Sorento provides the right mix of decent speed and versatility that your discerning race organizer prefers. The Kia Sorento: It’s Reasonably Competent™!

19 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Nick Pon 01 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Nick Pon 10 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 2010 Toyota HiAce  - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 2010 Toyota HiAce - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - Jeff Glenn at Laguna Seca - Picture courtesy of Jeff Glenn Jay Lamm samples Pickle Vodka - picture courtesy of Judge Phil 19 - Psycho Kia Sorento Drive - Picture Courtesy of Google 20- Kia Sorento Drive - Picture courtesy of Nick Pon 21 - Psycho Kia Sorento Drive - Picture Courtesy of Google 22 - 2012 Kia Sorento - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Jaguar XF, XJ Finally Getting All-Wheel Drive http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/jaguar-xf-xj-finally-getting-all-wheel-drive/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/jaguar-xf-xj-finally-getting-all-wheel-drive/#comments Thu, 16 Aug 2012 19:17:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=457130 Jaguar will finally offer all-wheel drive on their XF and XJ sedans – but only in one configuration, and where demand is highest. To get an AWD Jag, one must order an XF or XJ with the new 3.0L supercharged V6. With 340 horsepower, buyers won’t be giving up that much power versus the naturally […]

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Jaguar will finally offer all-wheel drive on their XF and XJ sedans – but only in one configuration, and where demand is highest.

To get an AWD Jag, one must order an XF or XJ with the new 3.0L supercharged V6. With 340 horsepower, buyers won’t be giving up that much power versus the naturally aspirated 5.0L V8, which makes 380 horsepower. The United States, Russia, China and Europe are said to be the primary markets for the AWD models (what, it won’t sell in Dubai either?). Interestingly, AWD won’t be offered in the UK, due to low demand in the luxury market.

 

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Junkyard Find: 1980 AMC Eagle Coupe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1980-amc-eagle-coupe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1980-amc-eagle-coupe/#comments Sat, 30 Jun 2012 13:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450472 The AMC Eagle must have sold better in Colorado than in any other part of the world, because I see so many of the things in Denver junkyards that I don’t even bother photographing most of them. This ’80, however, is a hyper-Malaise two-door with vinyl top and purple-and-red tape stripes, and that makes it […]

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The AMC Eagle must have sold better in Colorado than in any other part of the world, because I see so many of the things in Denver junkyards that I don’t even bother photographing most of them. This ’80, however, is a hyper-Malaise two-door with vinyl top and purple-and-red tape stripes, and that makes it special.
See, purple and red stripes! After this ’79 wagon, this ’81 SX/4, this ’82 hatchback, this ’84 wagon, this ’84 wagon, and this ’85 wagon, it was time for a proper Eagle coupe in this series.
Members of the Brown Car Appreciation Society will love this interior.
It was 106 degrees in Denver when I shot this photograph, and even the valve cover looked comfier than this scalding brown vinyl.
The good old AMC 258-cubic-inch L6, the most famous version of a family of engines built from 1964 through 2006. One of the better engines to come out of Detroit, er, Kenosha.
While cars don’t rust much in Great Plains Colorado, what with the single-digit humidity, the high-altitude sun is murder on vinyl tops. Someday I’ll add a selection of Peeling Vinyl Top images to my computer desktop wallpaper collection.
Because most drivers are just confused by the choice between two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive, AMC used a center differential in the Eagle and left it stuck in four-wheel-drive at all times (later versions could be purchased with an optional selector that enabled a fuel-saving rear-wheel-drive setting). This is a four-speed car, but it has “Automatic 4.W.D.” according to this dash emblem.
Even by the tolerant standards of 1980, this was a homely-looking car. But try taking your Fairmont or Cutlass up a 45-degree grade in the mud!

The Eagle has landed… on all fours. Huh?

24 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1980 AMC Eagle Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1993 Subaru SVX http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1993-subaru-svx/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1993-subaru-svx/#comments Fri, 22 Jun 2012 13:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=449849 The Subaru SVX, as I explained in the text of the previous SVX Junkyard Find, is one of those cars with a real-world price tag far, far lower than Internet Car Experts would have you believe. So low, in fact, that it is not at all difficult to find Subaru’s amazing last-gasp-of-80s-silliness car in wrecking […]

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The Subaru SVX, as I explained in the text of the previous SVX Junkyard Find, is one of those cars with a real-world price tag far, far lower than Internet Car Experts would have you believe. So low, in fact, that it is not at all difficult to find Subaru’s amazing last-gasp-of-80s-silliness car in wrecking yards. Here’s a ’96 I found in Denver a few weeks back.
I think the XT has the more appealingly bewildering Moon Base Japan controls, but the big 3.3 liter boxer six beats the XT6′s engine.
This car is pretty clean for a junkyard resident, and it ought to be with just 117K on the clock.
Subarus have become more reliable since the heyday of 80s/90s design madness, but they’re lost a lot of character on the way.

12 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 01 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 02 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 03 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 04 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 05 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 06 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 08 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 09 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 10 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 11 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 07 - 1993 Subaru SVX Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1991 Subaru XT6 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1991-subaru-xt6/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1991-subaru-xt6/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=447541 As I’ve mentioned before, Colorado junkyards are full of Subarus of the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Mostly I’m sort of indifferent to Subarus of this era, with two important exceptions: the BRAT and the XT. Both are fairly rare (the last time I saw a junked XT was last year, when I found […]

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As I’ve mentioned before, Colorado junkyards are full of Subarus of the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Mostly I’m sort of indifferent to Subarus of this era, with two important exceptions: the BRAT and the XT. Both are fairly rare (the last time I saw a junked XT was last year, when I found this Juggalo-abused ’91), so I came to a screeching halt when I found this XT6.
Someday I will own an XT, though I’m torn between the pseudo-powerful XT6 and the digital instrument cluster of the XT Turbo. Such science-fiction optimism and goofy lines!
The era of loony-looking steering wheels like this ended when airbags became mandatory equipment. In ’91, manufacturers could substitute those maddening automatic seat belts for airbags.
These cars were supposed to have aircraft-influenced styling, which was the reason for the Ki-61-esque shift lever.
Remember analog EQs on car stereos?
Using “H” to designate a boxer engine just never seems right. Maybe call this one an ɛɜ6?

19 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 01 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 02 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 03 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 04 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 05 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 06 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 07 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 08 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 09 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 10 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 11 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 12 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 13 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 14 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 15 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 16 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 17 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 18 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: Iron Duked 1981 AMC Eagle SX/4 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-iron-duked-1981-amc-eagle-sx4/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-iron-duked-1981-amc-eagle-sx4/#comments Thu, 08 Sep 2011 13:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=410681 I find a lot of AMC Eagles in Denver, both in and out of the junkyards, but almost all of them are wagons. During a recent junkyard visit, I spotted the first Spirit-based Eagle I’ve seen in a long time. The pushrod Iron Duke was standard equipment on ’81 Eagles, and it clattered out a […]

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I find a lot of AMC Eagles in Denver, both in and out of the junkyards, but almost all of them are wagons. During a recent junkyard visit, I spotted the first Spirit-based Eagle I’ve seen in a long time.
The pushrod Iron Duke was standard equipment on ’81 Eagles, and it clattered out a noisy, rough 82 horsepower. The optional 258-cubic-inch six-cylinder made 110 horsepower and orders of magnitude more torque, but was much thirstier than the four. That’s the Malaise Era for you!
The SX/4 was marketed as a sporty car, but AMC couldn’t really pull off that marketing trick with its $4.98 advertising budget. Buyers of these cars got them so they could drive through the snow and mud, period.
This one has been picked over pretty well, which is always less distressing than the sight of a complete, solid Eagle fixin’ to get crushed. Its parts will live on.

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Junkyard Find: 1991 Subaru XT, Juggalo Inside http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/junkyard-find-1991-subaru-xt-juggalo-inside/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/junkyard-find-1991-subaru-xt-juggalo-inside/#comments Sun, 28 Aug 2011 13:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=409017 When I lived in California, I never saw a car covered with Insane Clown Posse paraphernalia in a junkyard. Colorado is a different story. When a Juggalo slaps some ICP stickers on his or her car here, it’s next stop, junkyard! Usually such cars are pay-it-no-mind Contours or Accords, and so I don’t really notice, […]

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When I lived in California, I never saw a car covered with Insane Clown Posse paraphernalia in a junkyard. Colorado is a different story. When a Juggalo slaps some ICP stickers on his or her car here, it’s next stop, junkyard! Usually such cars are pay-it-no-mind Contours or Accords, and so I don’t really notice, but I’ve been not-so-secretly lusting after a Subaru XT as a winter driver and it pains me to see one end up like this.
Yes, this car is done. I just hope the driver was wearing a seat belt when the XT-versus-concrete-abutment incident occurred.
That’s right, no need to move a complicated lever (like older Subarus) or flip a confusing switch (like the AMC Eagle) to get four-wheel-drive in this car. Subaru had figured out by the time they built this car that throwing a center differential in the drivetrain meant that clueless drivers wouldn’t tear up their tires (or worse) by leaving their cars in 4WD for 3,000-mile drives on dry asphalt. Full-time!
Class of ’08! Well, young drivers sometimes have to use up a few cars before they get the hang of the driving thing.
Used to be, you put a Grateful Dead “dancing bear” sticker on your car to ensure that members of the law enforcement community felt an overwhelming urge to search you for contraband. These days, you want this sticker to get that reaction from John Law.
No amount of frame-straightening is ever going to make this car right. Next stop, Crusher!

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Junkyard Find: 1979 AMC Eagle http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/junkyard-find-1979-amc-eagle/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/07/junkyard-find-1979-amc-eagle/#comments Wed, 13 Jul 2011 13:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=402409 Since I’ve only been wandering about in Denver junkyards for a year, I have no way of telling whether the current glut of junked AMC Eagles I’m encountering (e.g., this ’84, this ’84, and this ’82, plus a few more that I haven’t photographed yet) is a recent development or a trend that’s been going […]

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Since I’ve only been wandering about in Denver junkyards for a year, I have no way of telling whether the current glut of junked AMC Eagles I’m encountering (e.g., this ’84, this ’84, and this ’82, plus a few more that I haven’t photographed yet) is a recent development or a trend that’s been going on for many years. Eagles are still plentiful in Denver, but a cheap used Subaru becomes more attractive once the youngest possible Eagle has turned 24 years old.

This one is much more 70s-looking than the others I’ve seen; note the disco-friendly two-tone brown paint job and tape stripes.

The interior is pretty nice for a 32-year-old car. Oh, well. Next stop: The Crusher.

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