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By on September 20, 2019

On Friday, California and 23 other states filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over efforts to reverse state-driven emissions standards. Earlier this week, the president confirmed speculation that the federal government would be taking steps to revoke California’s fuel waiver — making the suit about as predictable as the setting sun.

We’ve told the story countless times. The Golden State wants to maintain stringent emission laws for automobiles, the Trump administration wants a fuel rollback, and automakers want a universal national standard. After months of nonproductive talks and all sides attempting to make their case to the public, it looks at though the Supreme Court will have the final say.  Read More >

By on September 20, 2019

best car paint protection films

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


Far beyond the reaches of old-school car bras and hood protectors are these clear paint protection films. Targeted at drivers who give a damn about their car’s paintwork, these options are dandy ways to keep a vehicle’s finish in good shape while not hiding anything under a leather protector.

Go ahead and expunge the mental image of a tired Camaro wearing a tattered LeBra, under which hides so much rust and miscolored paint. These modern-day solutions are a world apart from what was available in the bad old days. Also, my targeted ads are quite bizarre now after writing up all these commerce posts for TTAC.

Read More >

By on September 20, 2019

The European Union is keeping the possibility of retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. on the table should President Donald Trump follow through on threats to impose new duties on automotive goods.

European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom criticized Trump’s suggestion from May that EU cars and auto parts shipped into the American market posed a national security risk. The administration has issued a mid-November deadline to decide whether to not it’s worth trying to mitigate vehicle-related imports.

Why is this coming back up? November is fast approaching and, with the U.S. winning right to slap the EU with billions of euros in punitive fees thanks to the Airbus dispute, Europe is getting worried it’s heading for tariff town. Washington has already strongly hinted that it would follow through with tariffs if it won its case with the World Trade Organization and has prepared a broad list of EU products, including those stemming form the automotive industry.  Read More >

By on September 20, 2019

2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package

During Ford’s product presentation, held just north of the famed Golden Gate bridge on a chilly Bay Area morning in September, one of the men who worked on the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package trotted out a not unexpected comparison.

He brought up the old LX trim available on Fox-body Mustangs of yore, and compared today’s four-cylinder Mustang to that model.

It’s not the world’s worst comparison, although the LX back then was available with the same renowned 5.0-liter (yes, I know it that it’s really a 4.9) V8 that was under the hood of the GT. The LX’s claim to fame was that it was lighter, cheaper, and perhaps less expensive to insure, while still offering V8 power and a five-speed stick. That’s why your author bought a used ’89 example in the late 1990s.

As someone who owned that LX Fox body for five years, I sniggered a bit, since the Mustang parked in front of us had just half the cylinder count, but of course today’s turbocharged four-banger could smoke the V8 of yore. I understood where Ford was going with this, though – the EcoBoost Mustang High Performance Package is meant to be the value performance buy, and not just a rental-fleet darling or the car for Mustang shoppers who care more about show than go.

Of course, when I relayed this spiel to the ne’er do wells in the TTAC Slack channel, contributor Chris Tonn shot back “SVO”, typed out repeatedly, a la Nicholson’s manuscript in The Shining.

Read More >

By on September 20, 2019
Luxury, elegance, Mitsubishi: Three words that sound just right in a singular sentence. Similarly, one sedan expresses all three of those words in a magnificent way. It’s a very rarely seen Mitsubishi Sigma, from 1989.

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By on September 20, 2019

Image: Ford

While Ford Motor Company doesn’t have any trouble offloading F-150s and Rangers on a truck-hungry populace, there’s always another way to sweeten the pot. To boost the appeal of its full- and mid-size offerings, the automaker will now offer off-road levelling kits, perhaps saving a unlucky pickup from scraping its chin.

Developed by Ford Performance Parts, the kits are a dealer-installed affair, offering buyers a way to leave the store with a touch more brawn. Read More >

By on September 20, 2019

General Motors Renaissance Center

The first strike action by unionized General Motors workers since before the recession has entered its fifth day, with bargaining teams from both sides claiming progress on a number of issues. That said, reaching a tentative deal reached before the weekend is a long shot.

With American GM plants free of workers, the shutdown of the automaker’s manufacturing landscape has sent shock waves across the border and into Canada, where many workers are now “enjoying” a unexpected late-summer vacation. Read More >

By on September 20, 2019

Almost sounds sexual, doesn’t it? Well, listen, pal — sometimes a warm embrace is just a nice hug, but it doesn’t mean it won’t make you feel special. Special…safe…and content.

Coddled. It’s one of those words whose meaning never evolves, but its use in the automotive realm is usually associated with another word: luxury. And with good reason. The Oxford English Dictionary defines coddled as the act of being treated “in an indulgent or overprotective way.” Hey, that’s right up luxury’s street.

Yet one can feel coddled without all the trapping that come with luxury. Maybe you’ve experienced just such a human-vehicle relationship. What vehicle from your past (perhaps it’s in the present) coddled you the most? Read More >

By on September 20, 2019

vw

Mati writes:

Hello Sajeev!

Just finished reading your Piston Slap entry regarding the 2010 Audi A4, and I want to see what you think about my situation. Recently I relocated to the UK for work/travel and will be here for at least two years. I want to try something not available in the U.S. market and take advantage of the open roads here in the outskirts. I don’t live in a big town so no congestion/pollution tax to worry about.
My budget is £5,000 purchasing price, and my search for an euro hot hatch gave me only one Japanese branded product , some Fords, and a lot of interesting European models. But all around the 10 year mark give or take. In my situation would it be any better to go with an European 10-year-old hot-hatch then, say, a UK-Built Honda or a Ford?
A search on local classified and Bookface nets me a few nice results :
  • 2008 Honda Civic Coupe Type R
  • 2009 Ford Focus ST
  • 2007 RENAULTSPORT CLIO 197 F1 TEAM R27 LY 2.0
  • 2010 Citroen DS3
  • 2010 Peugeot RCZ
  • 2009 VW Scirocco
Looking forward to your reply! Cheers!

Read More >

By on September 19, 2019

Despite sales of the Infiniti Q50 looking a little light this year, Nissan’s luxury arm has decided the model moves in numbers substantial enough to keep it on offer. The same cannot be said for the vehicle’s entry level 2.0-liter turbo, however. The motor will be going away for the 2020 model year, leaving the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 as the sedan’s only available powerplant.

Replacing the base 2.0 Pure will be the 3.0t Pure. While a seven-speed automatic transmission continues sending power to the rear wheels (AWD is optional), base models now produce a claimed 300 horsepower. Considering the old 2.0-liter only produced 208 hp, you might think the change comes with a hefty price increase. But you’d be wrong. Infiniti is only asking for $36,400 (plus a $1,025 destination fee) for the base level Q50. That’s just $750 more than last year’s base model four banger. Read More >

By on September 19, 2019

Tesla scored its first big win with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) this week after the group graced the 2019 Model 3 with its coveted Top Safety Pick+ award. “Vehicles with alternative powertrains have come into their own,” IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby said. “There’s no need to trade away safety for a lower carbon footprint when choosing a vehicle.”

The Audi e-Tron and hydrogen-powered Hyundai Nexo also qualified. But Tesla’s position as North America’s electric vehicle sales leader is held by a wide margin, making its crash-test results a tad more noteworthy.  Read More >

By on September 19, 2019

Amazon

Isn’t Rivian the popular thing these days? Courted by Amazon and Ford with investments of $700 million and $500 million, respectively, the Michigan-based EV startup recently gained a cash infusion from Cox Automotive.

Now, that very first investment is bearing fruit — 100,000 pieces of it, promised for a three-year delivery window. Read More >

By on September 19, 2019

Fiat has introduced a new graphics package for the 124 Spider, yet it’s difficult to envision who this option is for. That’s especially true considering the package, intended to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Abarth and the 120th anniversary of Fiat, is exclusive to top-trimmed models.

We’re not even sure how much time FCA’s Miata-based roadster even has left in the country and don’t imagine a scorpion-themed graphics pack is going to change that. That’s a shame too, because the 124 remains a fun little car.

As this author has always been under the impression that roadsters were designed help drivers commune with nature, the Spider’s relaxed demeanor — at least in relation to the Mazda MX-5 — seemed like a positive attribute. While the Miata is clearly the car you’d want to take to a track, the 124 is noticeably quieter and more comfortable. There’s even pleasure to be found in the Fiat’s noteworthy turbo lag, assuming you’re somewhat nostalgic for early Nineties cars with forced induction.  Read More >

By on September 19, 2019

best car organizers

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.


Hey, you. Yeah, you with the messy car. It’s time to clean it up and get organized. Just because you used to allow empty Pepsi bottles and random tins of Skoal to roll around untethered in your college days doesn’t mean you can take the cavalier attitude from back when you had a Cavalier to today’s family vehicle.

It is said that the amount of stuff brought along in a car is inversely proportional to the age of the kids in the car and, to this, there is some truth. Having a spot in which to store all the detritus of daily life is important. It’s even more important to keep it in reach of the ankle biters unless you really like stopping every five minutes to find the juice boxes.

Even those of us who travel solo can use a bit of help keeping things in the car at bay. Here are eight of the best car organizers available, all found on Amazon.

Read More >

By on September 19, 2019

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

The 2020 Ford Escape Hybrid faces the same problem as its gas-engined sibling: Styling.

That’s the bad news for Ford. The good news is that this particular hybrid doesn’t sacrifice too much of the gas Escape’s fun-to-drive factor in the search for better fuel economy.

Read More >

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