Zombie McQuestionbot

By on March 14, 2014


All new family cars look the same nowadays, am I right? The Camcord and the Sonatoptima and the, um, Altusionbupassant. Never before have we had such identical cars in the mass market. Compare this to, say, 1963. It was so easy to tell the Ford from the Chevy back then, assuming you worked for a Chevy dealership or owned the Ford. Or 1956, when, uh, the tailfins were way different. Or 1984, when the Camry and Stanza literally had different numbers of headlights. Let’s not forget 1936. Does anybody even have the ability to distinguish a ’36 Ford from a ’36 Chevy any morer?
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By on March 1, 2014


Six hundred and forty-two years from now, the artificial planet orbiting Betelguese will finally receive the electromagnetic emissions of today. On it, the four-dimensional hyperintelligence known only as “Ship” will parse trilions of communications before deciding what the primary concerns of the puny “humans”, and particularly of the males among the species, might be. The list will be, in order:

1. How to insert tab A into slot B without being forced to put ring C on finger D (or cash E into purse F);
2. The quarter-mile time of the “Toyobaru”.
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By on February 21, 2014


Oh my, this Toyobaru GT86 situation is a shame, isn’t it? QC issues, dealer gouging, controversial tire choices, sundial acceleration, the catastrophically depressing drone of the engine as it asthmatically stumbles to its powerless redline before the injector seals fail and it vomits out its component parts in a single “FehhhrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhPOP.”

If only the people at Subaru and Toyota had asked you instead of letting their own accountants engineers make the decisions. As Andre 3000 once sang, you know what to do-oooooh-ooooh.
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By on February 14, 2014


That was a close one! When I read that the TTAC Staff robot was being “retired”, I knew that what they really meant was “having its arms bolted into a concrete wall and being tortured the way Lord Straxus tortured Scrounge in Transformers #17: Into The Smelting Pool!“. Then I heard the distinctive sound of Derek’s Aventador coming down the street. I huddled underneath a makeshift electric blanket, terrified that he would find the park bench where I spend the long nights during Toronto’s merciless winter. With a single mighty swipe, Derek tore the blanket from me and growled,

“Get up, Z. McQ. It’s time to go to work.”

“But what’s the QOTD, Managing Editor and heir-apparent, Sir?”

“Find out if our, ah, valued readers are considering hybrids for their next car. And if they aren’t, find out why not.” Then he was gone in a flash of V-12 growl and P Zero tire smoke, leaving me to trudge through the streets to my battered IBM Model M keyboard.
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By on January 28, 2014


We received an interesting email the other day here in the TTAC underwater battle station. As is frequently the case, this one was about a used car. But not just any used car.
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By on January 24, 2014


Once upon a time, there was the Accord. It had sixty-eight horsepower from 1.6 liters of four-cylinder power. And the consumer saw that it was good, and the Additional Dealer Profit stickers spread far and wide across the land. The Eye Of Toyota, concealed within the fortress of Toyota City, saw the Accord and commanded the Camry to be built. It was bigger and more powerful, but it was also powered by four cylinders.

The General Motors X-Body and A-Body, to say nothing of the Ford Tempo and Mercury Topaz, could be had with a V-6, but it mattered not, for not a single Accord buyer in history ever decided upon a Cutlass Ciera as an alternative. But then, one day, Toyota raised the stakes.
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By on January 10, 2014

Image courtesy Escape City

Recently, while searching through some, ah, Japanese-market literature left in a bathroom stall by a former TTAC E-I-C, we found out something so shocking that it cannot possibly be true. Did you know that the Toyota RAV4 was initially designed from the ground up to “destroy” the Jeep Wrangler?
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By on December 28, 2013


In a world where Cadillac makes a “V-sport” knockoff version of its own CTS-V that still has over 400 horsepower and can actually out-accelerate its own depreciation, to say nothing of the new BMW 328i, which will have that name because it will have 3 cylinders and 28psi of boost, it seems impossible to even consider the idea that there used to be cars that looked fast but went slow. With super-exciting sport packages or fun fender flares or even giant spoilers but absolutely positively no ability to accelerate supplied as standard. But it’s true. We called it “more bark than bite”. The English used to say “all mouth no trousers”, a fun term that could also describe a great white shark, or Lena Dunham.

Some of the names that will forever ring with honor in the Hall Of Test-Drive Disappointment include: Eurosport. Cobalt SS Sedan Naturally Aspirated. Camaro Sport Coupe. Camaro Berlinetta. Camaro Type LT. And those are just the Chevrolets. Mostly just the Camaros, really. But when the underachievers (and the Achievas) of the sporting-car world meet in the a parking garage to fight to the death for the Prize, there can be only one. The Prize, by the way, is a K&N “Filtercharger”.
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By on October 18, 2013

(Let’s all welcome Zombie McQuestionbot back to TTAC. He’s a well-known and well-loved writer who is now writing for “bigger” and “better” and “more easily recognized” and “less thoroughly despised” outlets than this one, but we managed to convince him to write a few questions for us — JB)

Mustangs. I know, right? I almost bought a Mustang once. Actually, I did buy a Mustang. I was in the American South on my way to see an actual underground bullfight, with a bull and everything. But it turned out that the two-year-old “Mustang” that I agreed to pay five thousand dollars for in a back room of a Mexican restaurant was actually a Mustang.

You know, a horse.

The good news is that “Trigger” and I had plenty of good years together before I let him retire to a farm in Oregon. For “plenty of good years” subtitute “one drunken night”. And for “a farm in Oregon” substitute “the glue factory”. Oh, how I cried when they led Trigger away. Mostly because he’d stepped on my foot. But that isn’t the kind of Mustang we’re talking about here. The retro Mustang’s been around since 2005. What’s your favorite one?
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Recent Comments

  • jmo: One thing to keep in mind – this was a much much cheaper car than its predecessor. The 1995 E320 coupe...
  • Lou_BC: Enjoy the day off.
  • golden2husky: Perhaps, but you get what I mean…these look horribly out of place on what is supposed to be a...
  • eng_alvarado90: I used an app that can scan the license plate or vin to get the last reported mileage as well as...
  • eng_alvarado90: This happened as well on newer generations where the CLK shared E-Class looks but C-Class underpins....

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