Category: Editorials

By on July 9, 2019

On Tuesday, 23 governors signed a joint statement urging the Trump administration to reconsider the proposed rollback of Obama-era fueling regulations. Led, unsurprisingly, by California Governor Gavin Newsom, the letter suggests a “common-sense approach” to national requirements with an emphasis on rising standards.

A minor update in the gas war to be certain — and yet annoyingly framed by a large portion of the media as a victory for California when the realities are far more complicated. To be frank, we’re getting pretty tired of these lopsided takes. This whole thing is a regulatory and political quagmire… on all sides.  Read More >

By on July 9, 2019

Ever wanted a rally car from 1985 which is brand new and pieced together from an old hatchback? Well now’s your chance. Let’s take a look at the MG Metro 6R4.

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By on July 8, 2019

With Ram having surpassed Chevrolet as North America’s number two truck brand, automotive outlets everywhere rushed to report on it — we sure did.

Unfortunately, General Motors hasn’t been fond of the framing used to discuss the matter. Tough cookies, right? Well, the situation is pretty nuanced and we should always strive to be thorough. GM officially still trumps Fiat Chrysler in terms of overall full-size pickup sales, thanks to the one-two punch of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. And the company is also keen to point out that Ram’s volume has been inflated by the previous-generation 1500 being sold alongside the new version as a “Classic” model.

GM feels that this has made FCA’s win less legitimate and takes umbrage with the media sensationalizing the news as it prepares to totally destroy Ram by making a “massive move in full-size pickups” that will absolutely blow the doors off anything you could have possibly imagined. Insane!  Read More >

By on July 8, 2019

Wary that China might have the battery market totally cornered by the time electric vehicles become mainstream, the European Union is trying to jumpstart the industry at home. This year, the EU has started working with manufacturers and financial institutions to develop a reliable supply chain of the lithium-ion packs that have been difficult to come by.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic is targeting 100 billion euros ($113 billion) for the program, which Bloomberg said would help the EU “act like China.”  Read More >

By on July 8, 2019

When the new mid-engine, C8 Chevrolet Corvette finally debuts, it’ll be one of the most teased auto launches in history. While it seems like we’ve been talking about it forever, we still haven’t had a chance to take a look at the car without any camouflage. But since the internet exists, we don’t have to wait until the official unveiling later this month to check out unwrapped parts of the vehicle.

What you are seeing below (the break) is an Instagram post purporting to be the rear end of the new Corvette. It’s not the best quality of image, but we can see some key details that match up to the camouflaged version. We believe this to be an accurate picture. The exhausts, pushed all the way to the outside of the car, is one giveaway. The second is the rear spoiler that appears to curve down in the middle, following the lines of the decklid. Read More >

By on July 8, 2019

2020 Ford Explorer

For four generations, Ford offered the Explorer with rear-wheel drive as standard. It went front-drive for the fifth.

Now, the standard drivetrain is rear-drive again. Back to basics, so to speak.

Except, not really. First-gen Explorers didn’t have infotainment systems, or 10-speed automatic transmissions, or available hybrid powertrains. Those staples of modernity have been added over the years.

Whether it was out of nostalgia or an attempt to capitalize on the resurgence of dinosaur-themed tent-pole cinema, or simply an attempt to make us overfed journos get a quick guffaw, Ford PR trotted out an early ‘90s example, complete with Jurassic Park livery, for us to gawk at (rumor has it we may be able to get behind the wheel someday. Fingers crossed). I opened the door and was greeted with what was the new-car smell of my youth. This Explorer needed no 10-speed, no Sync, no hybrid, to charm. Could the 2020 version do the same as it returned to a rear-drive base?

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By on July 8, 2019

Today’s Rare Ride is the much sportier (but mostly the same) liftback version of the Horizon that everyone forgot. It’s a Plymouth TC3, from 1982.

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By on July 8, 2019

2005 Audi S4 in Colorado wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Keeping any Audi on the road can be costly, once the car gets a decade or so old, and I see plenty of solid-looking four-ringers in the self-service junkyards I frequent. You’d think that the factory-hot-rod Audis would be worth enough to keep them out of the clutches of The Crusher, but such is not the case; just in the last year, I have seen a 2001 S8 and a 2001 S4 in low-priced self-service yards. Now I’ve spotted this even newer S4 in Denver, with the allegedly valuable Recaro seats still inside. Read More >

By on July 3, 2019

Hey y’all out there — incoming message from the Big Giant Head here (if you get that reference, you’re probably an old). We’re shuttin’ her down early today so we can get nice and patriotic here south of the 49th parallel.

Over the weekend, some of us are going to take a page from The Simpsons and celebrate the birth of our nation while blowing up a small part of it. Yes, I just slightly tweaked one of the best lines in the shows’ history in order to make a silly joke. That’s freedom, baby!

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By on July 3, 2019

Digging up names from the past is a popular hobby at most car makers, to the point that a few of them would be well served to hire their own archaeologists to smooth out the process. Some are wantonly ditched prematurely in the pursuit of alphanumerics (*ahem* Legend, Vigor *ahem*) while others are relegated to the dustbin of history after being appended to a particularly horrid car.

Others simply slip away into the night like a silent bandit after the shuttering of its brand. Voyager is one of these, with FCA deciding to trot it out again and apply it to entry-level versions of the Pacifica (which, by itself, is a recycled name).

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By on July 3, 2019

We spent the last three Wednesday editions of Question of the Day discussing the awesomeness which was Nineties truck and SUV design from America, Europe, and Asia. Now we’ll flip things around, and bring a critical eye to designs which didn’t age so well.

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By on July 3, 2019

Gambler 500 Crown Victoria, Image: Gambler 500 Washington Facebook and Nate Watters

Kurt writes:

Hello Sajeev,

Appreciate your postings!  Perhaps in future you or associates can find out why the USA (and by eventual inclusion, rest of world) has become infatuated with Lifted Trucks to point of lifting anything SUV or wagon under the sun (locally, we have folks trying to lift Foresters and Outbacks)?

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By on July 3, 2019

Sometimes, motorcars of high specification end up off-limits to some markets due to issues relatively outside the manufacturer’s control: funding, distribution, or perhaps regulation. Aston Marton took a different approach with the Lagonda Taraf, and intentionally limited their super sedan to just one market.

Maybe that was for the best.

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By on July 2, 2019

A Canadian man was arrested in Vancouver’s West End over the weekend after trying to usurp someone else’s Corvette. The owner had reportedly left the vehicle’s top off in a public lot and a passerby, assuming the car was a free agent, climbed inside. By the time the Vette’s owner returned, the man had settled in and was refusing to leave.

This wasn’t officially a theft, mind you, just a case of some weirdo declining to get out of a Corvette on the grounds that simply occupying the driver’s seat magically made it his. As you have correctly assumed, the situation escalated once authorities arrived.  Read More >

By on July 2, 2019

Rear-engine, rear-drive cars are few and far between, limited mostly to excellent things like the Porsche 911, and terrible things like the VW Karmann Ghia and Chevrolet Corvair. But there’s another car with an “RR” configuration that’s a bit more obscure. Presenting the Suzuki SC100.

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