Tag: Enthusiasm

By on June 9, 2017

tesla model x, Image: Tesla Motors

A horrible situation transpired in Midtown Detroit yesterday evening, in which the driver of an old Chevrolet Silverado pickup crossed the center line on Canfield Avenue, near Second Street, and struck four people standing outside the Shinola store.

According to the latest reports, a 73-year-old man has died, while two others remain in hospital in serious condition. The 42-year-old driver, who has reportedly never held a license in his life and was driving with illegal plates, was arrested at the scene. He told police he had taken two Ecstacy pills, Xanax, and officers also suspect he was under the influence of alcohol.

An unidentified passenger riding in the truck told media he didn’t know why the driver crossed the line, adding that he tried to stop the vehicle by jamming the gearshift lever into “park.”

What makes this story different from the many instances of innocent bystanders being injured by passenger cars not being where they’re supposed to be (not to mention criminally irresponsible behavior on the part of vehicle operators) is the location of the crash, and the reason those pedestrians were standing along Canfield.

It was a Tesla pop-up event. And those bystanders were looking at Tesla vehicles near a mobile design studio. As early reports filtered out, some decided to take speculation to new heights. (Read More…)

By on February 9, 2017

Citroen Traction Avant 11C, Image: Citroen

The Volkswagen Golf GTi may be what many consider the definitive “hot hatch,” and most enthusiasts credit it with popularizing the idea of a functional yet fun-to-drive and economical daily driver. From its roots have sprung countless pocket-sized performance variants, right up to today’s current Focus RS.

But the Volkswagen Golf was far from the world’s first hatchback. It wasn’t even close.

So where did the idea of a hinged-rear body panel begin? More than 40 years prior to the launch of the GTi, another innovative car introduced the world to the idea of the hatchback, among a few other new features. Are you surprised that it was French, after our Matra article last month?

(Read More…)

By on January 17, 2017

2018 Ford Mustang

After luring journalists away from last week’s Detroit auto show for a sneak peak, Ford is ready to show the world its new 2018 Mustang.

That face. Online backlash was moderate to severe when leaked b-roll footage of the new ‘Stang appeared online last night, with some wags claiming the updated model must be unhappy. Beneath the downturned face, however, there’s a host of upgrades designed to satisfy performance-minded enthusiasts.

On that front, ‘Stang purists can breathe a sigh of relief. The 5.0-liter Coyote V8, rumored to be replaced by a 4.8-liter unit, won’t disappear after all. But one long-running engine choice had to skip this party to attend its own funeral. (Read More…)

By on November 17, 2016

passat_gt_concept_ (Image: Volkswagen of America)

A concept, or the first of many? That’s what Volkswagen execs need to decide once feedback rolls in from the conservatively sporting Passat GT concept shown off at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Hot, but not too hot, a Passat GT would be an affordable enthusiast offering for the embattled automaker, spicing up an aging model that’s slipping in the U.S. market. The public’s reaction — be it interest or yawns — is the real deciding factor, but here at TTAC, we’ve been of two minds. (Read More…)

By on October 12, 2016

2017 Dodge Viper Snakeskin Edition GTC was inspired by the origi

The Dodge Viper’s plug is damn near pulled.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles steadfastly claims that 2017 is the final year for the Viper, and recently halted orders for the V10-powered road beast, The Detroit News reports.

However, this doesn’t mean the model has reached the end of the line. At least, not just yet. (Read More…)

By on August 4, 2016

2016 Kia Optima SX

Kia plans to let its sister division handle the sensible grocery getters and track-ready racers (assuming Hyundai’s N-Division bears fruit), while it churns out hotter “normal” cars.

According to the automaker’s performance development chief, Kia plans to offer a global GT line of its most popular vehicles, boosting the models’ performance and appearance, Autocar reports. (Read More…)

By on August 4, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

There’s already plenty of evidence of a looming mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette variant, but multiple sources with knowledge of General Motors’ plans now say the near-mythical model will absolutely arrive in early 2019.

Insider sources told The Detroit News that not only will a mid-engine ‘Vette bow in 2019, it will soon be the only Corvette offered by GM. (Read More…)

By on July 25, 2016

2016_passat_5383

Volkswagen is toying with the idea of creating a hot, performance-oriented Passat variant that grabs people’s souls, assaults their eyes and won’t let go of their imagination. It shouldn’t bother.

According to Motor Authority, the automaker wants to wring more sales out of its increasingly overlooked midsizer by appealing to the enthusiast set. Even with visual cues and a power boost, it’s extremely unlikely that Golf fanboys will move their lust (and cash) to the Passat camp.

If Volkswagen wants to halt falling sales, it needs to change the foundation and house, not just paint the window trim. (Read More…)

By on June 19, 2016

Young Matt Fink with Shelby Cobra

On this Father’s Day, I’m thankful my dad showed me his love of cars.

Unlike some fathers and sons, we have never turned a wrench together. Instead of teaching me how to fix cars, my dad, a quality engineer at Honda, taught me how to look for paint runs and inconsistent panel gaps. While some families sit around the dinner table sharing stories of a classic car they restored, my dad reminisces about the time I found a hair in the paint of a new Dodge Viper at a car show.

(Read More…)

By on May 18, 2016

Ford-GT-1

If you missed your chance getting into a limited edition Ford GT supercar last week, your EcoBoost-powered dreams might not be over.

Dave Pericak, director of Global Ford Performance, recently told Autocar that the 600-plus horsepower heart of the GT could beat on — in other low-volume specialty models. (Read More…)

By on January 15, 2016

2016_NAIAS_Lexus_LC_500_004_95F374BA6129389D4AC952A4EE1FC4E069F08948

If you’ve never been to a press day at a major auto show but always dreamed of being there for all the big releases and parties and executive speeches, I’m afraid I must burst your bubble: The shows just aren’t all that awesome. This year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit was no exception.

It’s true that there was some fun to be had, but it was mostly the same sort of fun that one has at a high school reunion. I had a blast karting with the Jalopnik crew the Saturday before the show, and I definitely enjoyed hanging out with my friends Matt Farah and Sam Smith late on Sunday. But the show itself was a giant MEH.

(Read More…)

By on August 21, 2015

The fine folks over at The Atlantic (yeah, the fancy magazine) have posted a 5-minute short film on the experience that is LeMons. We love it.

(Spot fellow TTAC scribe Murilee Martin in the robe at 1:45.) 

For the uninitiated, it’s a expertly captured glimpse at the personalities that make home-grown racing the best kind of racing. For the car nut, the film serves as motivation to get out and work on your race mongrel — now. (Read More…)

By on May 26, 2015

 

Old one and new

Old and new.

If you’re into Volkswagens – especially of the modified variety – Wörthersee is to you what Sturgis is for Harley riders or Carlisle to Mopar fans. Thousands and thousands of VW fans take over several small, quiet towns around a beautiful mountain lake and turn them into a festival of belly-scraping Volkswagens, Audis, Seats and Škodas.

And there’s beer. Lots and lots of beer.

(Read More…)

By on May 22, 2015

Nissan IDx Freeflow Concept

Nobody at Nissan is talking about IDx.

That’s what we learned from Pierre Loing, Vice President of Product Planning for Nissan North America. But, there’s a chance certain styling elements could make their way to other products, or possibly even a front-wheel drive performance option below 370Z.

While at the 2016 Nissan Maxima media preview in Nashville, Tennessee, we had a chance to prod Loing on what could be the future of IDx considering its overwhelmingly positive reception in Tokyo and Detroit.

(Read More…)

By on May 22, 2015

2003 Chevrolet SSR

Every so often, my mind starts to wander to various random automotive related topics. Take, for instance, the Chevy SSR. Here’s a car that makes absolutely no human sense: a half-convertible, half-pickup truck with two seats and a cover over the bed to make sure you can’t transport anything larger than a toilet seat.

So GM develops the SSR, and they bring the thing to market, and it just draws universal laughter. I mean, car enthusiasts, the press, random people on the street. They see this thing and its huge fenders, and its ridiculous size, and its substandard interior, and everyone asks: what the hell was General Motors thinking?

And now, guess what? The damn SSR is still averaging more than $25,000 on AutoTrader. The thing is ten years old, and it’s still bringing half its value, whereas a 10-year-old Chevy TrailBlazer is worth approximately the same money as a yard sale copy of Monopoly with a couple of plastic hotels missing.

So I wonder about how this happened. And then also, sometimes, I wonder about station wagons.

(Read More…)

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