By on August 23, 2013

Long-time TTAC readers will recall that some time ago, I accidentally became embroiled in a Facebook-wall argument with Motor Trend editor (and TTAC alum) Jonny Lieberman. When Jonny’s best friend and boss, Edward Loh, quite sensibly leapt to his defense, I said a lot of mean things that I probably should have just thought quietly to myself. Sometimes I forget that it’s not my job to make sure other people adhere to particular standards, ethical, aesthetic, or otherwise. I’ll do a better job of remembering that in the future.

As part of TTAC Homecoming, I’m featuring one of Jonny’s videos. In this episode of “The One”, Jonny pretends to be a British auto journalist as he drives the Challenger SRT-8 “Core” around what I think is probably the Streets of Willow. While I will freely admit that this sort of automotive journalism is not for me — the last straw on the proverbial camel’s back is probably when Jonny talks about his “good friend” Ralph Gilles, I’m of the opinion that our readers, not the PR people, should be our good friends — it’s definitely unique and it’s all part of the MT YouTube channel which, I am reliably informed, is the biggest automotive media source in North America. Not bad for a guy who used to write here for free, huh?

By on May 31, 2012

While on the Infiniti JX launch event, I met a gentleman who now works with Nissan. He had a number of interesting stories about his tenure at GM, and what it was like to work on the EV1 program, as well as the technology that he swears was the forerunner to the Chevrolet Volt.

(Read More…)

By on May 3, 2012

Nissan sent a blow to the automotive press today, with the announcement that none of the upcoming limited production Juke-R crossovers would be allocated for long-term testing.

(Read More…)

By on December 9, 2011

There’s a nice comfortable cushion of years between the present and the 1970 and 1976 Motor Trend Cars of the Year, which gave our discussions about What Might Have Been a certain detachment. Today’s Car of the Year Revisionism discussion, however, takes as its subject a car that’s still with us in large numbers. (Read More…)

By on December 8, 2011

We went all 20/20 hindsight on the 1970 Motor Trend COTY choice yesterday, and today we’ll be jumping right into the depths of the Malaise Era for the MT gurus’ 1976 choice: the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volaré (Read More…)

By on December 7, 2011

Having just spent a weekend officiating at a race with one of the perpetrators of the latest Motor Trend Car of the Year choice, I got to thinking about past controversial COTY choices… and what choices we might make today, with the benefit of hindsight. Second-guessing the 1971 and 1983 choices is fish-in-a-barrel stuff (though I think the very radical-for-Detroit Vega deserved the award in spite of its terrible execution), but you can find tough choices all the way back to 1949. Today we’re going to talk about 1970′s Car of the Year winner: the Ford Torino. (Read More…)

By on November 16, 2011

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Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award has been a lightning rod of criticism among automotive gadflies ever since… well, you decide. Corvair? Vega? Mustang II?  Every year, MT picks one “best” car from a market that serves a wide variety of needs, and every year, the autoblogosphere rushes to help the tottering “contest” collapse under the weight of its own pretense. This year, with Motor Trend picking Volkswagen’s new de-Euro’d Passat (a car that has received a decidedly mixed critical reception) for its highest honor, is it any wonder that the peanut gallery is frothing over the choice?

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By on December 10, 2009

Groan

What’s that you say? Chrysler’s planning on spending $170 per projected vehicle sale on advertising next year? That could be as much as $1.4b! Well, we can’t give the Journey a prize for obvious reasons, but they do have a new Ram out this year… Truck Of The Year it is!

By on November 17, 2009

(courtesy: Motor Trend)

The Ford Fusion is a perfectly competent yet utterly bland vehicle. It’s proof that American firms can compete in the mass-market vanilla sedan segment, but not because it does anything particularly well. Its strength is nothing more than an absence of the glaring issues that kept Detroit out of the Accord/Camry sweepstakes. Which is why Motor Trend doesn’t get overly carried away with the credibility-straining praise of the vehicle itself (with the requisite glaring exceptions, to wit: “the Fusion SE goes from mild-mannered commuter to worthy canyon charger”). So instead, the praise gets spread to the lineup as a whole: “the 2010 Ford Fusion’s impressive bandwidth as a model range was one of the many factors that helped it earn the 2010 Motor Trend Car of the Year award,” we’re told. What this boils down to: you can get a hybrid powertrain in addition to four-pot and six-pot engines. In short, MT gave the Fusion COTY because it does everything a Camry does, but, crucially, it’s from Detroit. Well, Hermosillo, Mexico, actually. Still, its advertising budget still comes from Detroit, and that makes all the difference.

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