American automakers keep complaining about the allegedly closed Japanese market where just about nobody wants their big brutes since … the last world war. The Japanese market is full, it has too much local capacity, and it is getting smaller by the day. At the same time, Detroit does not seem to have its ear on the ground in a much bigger market close-by: China. Despite being in China in full strength, Detroit hasn’t capitalized on a huge trend in the Middle Kingdom: Pickups for urban cowboys. According to Chinacartimes, money is left on the table for Chinese who are ready to cash in. (Read More…)
It’s been almost a year since the Internet was treated to the story of a boy, a girl, and a dodgy take on a dead supercar. The story had all the makings of a classic tale: ambition, speed, deceit, accusation, busty Asian women in leopard-skin print outfits dancing on top of cars in the desert.
Well, the story isn’t quite over yet.
For someone who prides himself on slaughtering the sacred cows of automotive journalism, such as the irrational infatuation with the CTS-V Wagon, it was about time that I got a taste of my own medicine. The Ford Mustang V6 ended up being the bitter pill that finally bitch slapped by bloated, post-adolescent head back down to normal proportions. But just as I had swallowed the last bit of humble pie, there came another vehicle that led me to question the received wisdom propagated by enthusiast publications.
Edmunds emission-tested a 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Crew Cab and a 2012 Fiat 500 against an Echo PB-500T and a Ryobi RY09440 leaf blower.
The Raptor has a 411-horsepower 6.2-liter V8. The Fiat 500 is powered (if you can say that) by a 1.4-liter four.
The leaf blowers tested receive their blow from a 50.8cc two-stroke air-cooled single-cylinder engine for the Echo and a 30cc four-stroke engine for the Ryoby. Which pollutes more? (Read More…)
It would be difficult to conceive of a vehicle better-suited to demonstrating TTAC’s diversity of automotive reviewers than the massive and massively outrageous Ford Raptor. Robert Farago would have eviscerated it with a zero-star diatribe on the inadvisability of building three-ton boutique trucks with borrowed funds. Sajeev Mehta would rhapsodize about the graphics but demonize the chunky controls. Daniel Stern might be have complained about the lighting system. As fate would have it, however, I’m the fellow who got the Raptor to review. So I took it mudding.