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By on October 22, 2021

Despite most automakers proudly proclaiming their intention to shift toward EV-dominant portfolios, customers haven’t been sharing their enthusiasm. While there’s a subset of loyal early adopters that are eager to see electrification become the norm, the relative infancy of the technology and prevalent gaps in the charging infrastructure has kept them from becoming a majority. But manufacturers seem to think it’s just a matter of time and that they’ll be able to make up the difference through fleet sales.

Advertised with lower than average operating costs and juicy subsidies being offered throughout the developed world, automakers have convinced themselves that EVs will soon become the de facto rides for various entities needing to round out their stables. Meanwhile, we’re hearing inklings that Ford is seeing pushback from fleet customers over its s new F-150 Lightning pickup and E-Transit van.  Read More >

By on October 22, 2021

Ford

The same forum that told us to anticipate the order bank opening for the 2022 Ford Lightning next week is now saying “not so fast, my friend” (apologies to Lee Corso).

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By on October 22, 2021

Rivian

A VIN decoder appears to have revealed the names of Rivian’s planned vans.

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By on October 22, 2021

Following several months of news that Apple Inc. was in talks with battery suppliers to set the company up with the necessary hardware and know-how to manufacture electric vehicles, it looks like the iPhone purveyor is back to square one. Reports have emerged claiming the discussions with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) and BYD have stalled.

While the tech giant is said to be keeping a channel open, companies informed Apple over the last two months that they would not be willing to establish teams and U.S. facilities catering exclusively to its needs. While Japan’s Panasonic is still in the mix as a potential partner, it’s looking like the other companies are bowing out. Reasons are said to vary, however, political tensions between the U.S. and China are alleged to be a contributing factor.  Read More >

By on October 22, 2021

Rare Rides Icons continues the history of Imperial today, after Part I left us neatly at what would become an unfortunate aerodynamic turning point. Ready for some Airflow?

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By on October 21, 2021

best oil filters

There are some things best enjoyed without filters – Instagram photos, discussions about pay with your boss, and those Camel cigarettes from the ’80s. What definitely does require a filter is the oiling system on your car’s engine. We’ve gathered a few of them here.

As a programming note, know that for purposes of making a vaguely apples-to-apples comparison in this post, we selected a common vehicle we figured would be roughly representative of the awful cars efficient daily drivers pressed into service by the readers and authors of this site. In this case, we’ve specified a ten-year-old Honda Civic.

You’ll be glad (and unsurprised) to learn we’ve all had our name on the title of some terrible rotbox at some point during our driving careers. We bet you have, too.

By on October 21, 2021

With automobile prices ballooning to egregiously high levels, one might assume that the industry would be in rough shape. But they’d be dead wrong. Supply chain disruptions have actually created a captive market where consumers are desperate to lay their hands on whatever products are available. In the automotive realm, this has allowed retailers to set ludicrous prices and rake in larger profits per transaction. While inflation may eventually catch up to these entities, the gravy train is currently parked at the station and dousing big business with its warm, brown effluence.

Nobody knows this better than the folks at AutoNation. Because the company just released a quarterly profit report that blew its rosiest projections out of the water. Net income its ongoing operations was $361.7 million for Q3 2021, double the $182.6 million witnessed in Q3 of 2020, while revenue rose 18 percent to $6.4 billion.  Read More >

By on October 21, 2021

 

2021 Tim Healey/TTAC

We are constantly making decisions as we all hurtle through this life toward a destination unknown.

Sometimes these decisions turn out to be the “correct” decision, however “correct” is defined within the relevant context. Sometimes it’s the opposite.

The problem is that while the outcome of our decisions is sometimes obvious – I know when I order that one more beer that I’m kicking a payment of minor pain down the road to tomorrow – sometimes, the outcome isn’t foreseeable. Especially when you’re making a decision that feels correct at the moment (and defensible in hindsight), and yet a nasty surprise is just seconds away from smacking you in the face.

In other words, sometimes you make a decision that seems correct, seems low risk, one that others would agree with – and it still all goes to hell.

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By on October 21, 2021

Last week, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made a pledge to legalize millions of vehicles being illegally imported from the United States. While it sounds like a phenomenal way to help the nation to contend with product shortages that are driving up vehicle prices around the globe, all of the cars had been smuggled previously and many were presumed to have been stolen.

This has created a lot of tension. Despite there being evidence that these vehicles frequently end up becoming workhorses for criminal cartels, illegally imported beaters also provide a cheap alternative to poorer residents right when automotive prices (new and used) have started to disconnect from reality. Times are tough and destitute families aren’t going to care where a car comes from when it’s the only one they can afford. So López Obrador has officially launched a new regularization program designed to bring these automobiles into the fold.  Read More >

By on October 21, 2021

Ford

When I wrote my 2022 Ford Maverick review a month or so ago, I didn’t know the mpg of the hybrid version.

No one did. Because it wasn’t finalized yet.

Now, it has been.

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By on October 20, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride is the third car in the series from designer Franco Sbarro. Our premier Sbarro creation was a windsurfing-specific take on the Citroën Berlingo, and the second was a very hot hatchback called the Super Eight – a Ferrari underneath.

While both of those creations were one-off styling exercises, today’s Sbarro actually entered very limited production. Presenting the Windhound of 1978.

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By on October 20, 2021

On Wednesday, Chevrolet Performance announced the ZZ632/1000 — a naturally aspirated 632-cubic-inch (10,348 cc) V8 producing 1,004 horsepower and 876 lb-ft of torque on pump gasoline.

While 100 hp per liter may not be an engineering marvel today, delivering a crate motor that’s sized to embarrass every other powertrain installed into a production vehicle is an achievement in itself. This 10.3-liter behemoth makes the 8.4-liter V10 installed in Dodge’s Viper (rest in peace) look like it’s supposed to be fitted to a riding lawnmower. Of course, it’s also huge in comparison to literally every powertrain we’ve seen on a project car that didn’t source its parts from vintage aircraft.  Read More >

By on October 20, 2021

Ford

A report from one of our corporate parent’s forums suggests that orders for the Ford Lightning may open up next week, on October 26.

That’s based on a message left to a forum user by a Ford salesperson.

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By on October 20, 2021

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has decided that residential lawn equipment is a major problem. Claims have been made that the small engines found inside of the average leaf blower emit the same amount of smog-forming pollution in a single hour as a 2016 Toyota Camry could produce over a 1,100-mile drive.

Assertions like these have been used to forward Assembly Bill No. 1346, which requires the board to define and then pull the trigger on new regulations designed “to prohibit engine exhaust and evaporative emissions from new small off-road engines” by 2022. CARB then has to decide whether or not it can outright ban them, so they may be replaced by zero-emission equivalents after 2024. Considering how decent most electrified tools have grown to be, this doesn’t sound infeasible. But it’s another example of California’s obsessive hatred of consumers utilizing liquid fuel and bound to have major ramifications.  Read More >

By on October 20, 2021

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

We’ve covered the Civic sedan on these digital pages in the past, noting improvements in several areas over its predecessor save for one detail – a manual transmission. Honda gets it right with the ’22 hatch variant, offering a six-speed stick in this body style.

Sure, the build-n-price tool isn’t officially live on Honda’s site as of this writing but there’s no lack of information about this model on their media site. Which is the best bang for your Honda hatchback buck?

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