By on December 23, 2009

TTAC is something of a family affair these days. Though our contributors are still scattered around the country and the world, TTAC’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor are now a father-son team that, despite living a few hours drive from one another, hardly ever see each other in person. So with the holidays upon us, we’re slowing down our relentless coverage in order to spend some time together as a family. From now through Sunday, we’ll continue to post some content, though at a more leisurely, holiday-like pace. But don’t worry: though on-page content will slow, we will be taking the time to put finishing touches on several new series to debut here on TTAC as we head into the new year. We’ve got some great stuff lined up for 2010, and we’re thrilled at the prospect of another year of automotive truth-telling. So on behalf of the TTAC family, here in Oregon and around the world, we wish you all a very happy holidays.

By on November 26, 2009


Well, it’s that time of year when we call a quick time-out here at TTAC and retreat to our families to celebrate Thanksgiving. Having already celebrated their Thanksgiving, our crack Canadian tech team will be taking advantage of our holiday lull to perform some maintenance behind the scenes. TTAC will be down for several hours today, but we’ll be back to our usual coverage tomorrow, barring any tryptophan-related brain damage. On a final housekeeping note, our moderator team will be trying out a new tool known as disemvowelment, for comments that straddle the line of acceptability.

With that out of the way, thank you all for reading and supporting TTAC. Thanks to our talented contributors, our brilliant commenters, our dedicated moderators and our patient owners. A special thanks is owed (once more and always) to Robert Farago for creating this amazing community. Happy Thanksgiving!

By on November 4, 2009


Surprise! There’s some good news coming out of Chrysler’s five-year plan presentation. Okay, the really surprising part first: Sergio Marchionne has revealed that Chrysler has $5.7B in cash, up from $4B when it exited bankruptcy in June. The somewhat less surprising part: Jeep is bringing a stop-start-equipped, diesel-powered Wrangler. How niche-tastic is that?

By on October 11, 2009

Whaaaat? (courtesy

WFAA-TV reports that a North Texas Church has found a new way to save souls for Jesus: free car repairs.

The Cross Timbers church in Argyle was turned into mechanic’s alley on Saturday, powered by volunteers and a strong faith in helping people in need. “I love them with all my heart. Jesus Christ sent me a sweet bunch of guys,” said driver, Judy Phillips. With her 15-year-old truck barely running, Phillips came to the church for help, knowing her truck needed pricey repairs to pass an upcoming inspection. “If it wasn’t for these people here, I couldn’t do it,” she said. The church offered free car repairs to people down on their luck. “I would just have to ride it out until God knows what would have happened,” said Cindy Garcia, another driver.

Well exactly.

By on September 19, 2009

GM Deathwatches 1-75 (PDF)

Inside GM: Mystery Of Crap Interiors Explained

Subaru Tribeca Review

Embargo This

GM Deathwatch 2: Dan Neil Takes a Bullet

Ruf 3400S Review

GM Deathwatch 60: Bankruptcy Is Good For The Soul

300C Review


Pagani Zonda Review

Got a favorite that we forgot? Post a link to it in the comments.

By on September 16, 2009

Clean diesels are a dirty business (TTAC/Andrea Blaser)

Just be prepared to pay for them. Audi USA honcho Johan De Nysschen explains to Automotive News [sub] that “there certainly is a price premium [for diesel offerings], which we are partially recovering but not totally.” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler adds, “I think the problem is that we don’t really have an honest discussion.” So here it is, America: Audi’s going out on a limb so that you can enjoy some of the finest oil-burners Europe has to offer. Now it’s up to us to buy tons of them at exorbitant prices so that Audi doesn’t look stupid for taking the risk. That’s just how these things work, America. Now go grab those checkbooks and start learning about the difference between low-sulfur diesel and ultra-low-sulfur diesel. And don’t forget to refill that urea tank!

By on September 14, 2009

By on September 9, 2009

Well, not yet anyway. But you do have to become a “fan” before you’re even allowed to see the official ZDX page. Does this mean crossover weirdness is acceptable from a luxury brand? Or is there something we’re missing that makes the ZDX appealing but the Accord Crosstour a sin against nature?

By on September 8, 2009

GM set off something of an insanity bomb a few weeks back by claiming their Volt moonshot would get 230 mpg based on draft EPA testing standards. Nissan countered via Twitter, claiming that its forthcoming Leaf EV would get 367 mpg using the same test, and the age of EV efficiency madness was initiated. Needless to say, neither the Volt nor the Leaf can be directly tested to give an apples-to-apples comparison to internal combustion-powered vehicles, and this opening salvo seemed bent on removing plausibility from the EV efficiency equation. But sanity in EV efficiency has an unlikely new champion in luxo-EREV maker Fisker.

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By on September 5, 2009

GM is taking decisive action to rectify safety issues stemming from the sale of roughly 200,000 Chevrolet Malibus, Cobalts and Impalas without “standard” side airbags. The cars in questions were sold to fleet buyers with the bags deleted, saving purchasers $145 per vehicle. They then found their way into the resale market, including GM-certified franchises, where they’ve been sold as side airbag-equipped. No more, from one end of the food chain to the other. “Brian Latouf, director of GM’s Global Structure & Safety Integration Center, said the company wouldn’t allow the airbags to be deleted from the list of features available when they are bought by fleet buyers,” reports Detroit News. “He also said that vehicles without side airbags are clearly marked in the owner’s manual.” As for the cars already out there, somewhere, GM is making moves to address labeling issues for used car buyers. . .

Read More >

By on September 4, 2009

Ford has announced that its 3.7-liter V6 will power the base (in the entry level sense of the word) Mustang for the 2011 model year. The Mustang Source reports that the mill will produce 315HP, which represents a 105 horsepower boost over the current V6-powered Mustang. That’s also 11 horsepower better than the Chevrolet Camaro V6, for those of you who think the term “Pony car wars” doesn’t sound like something you’d see on Cartoon Network. There’ll also be a 400 horsepower “Coyote” 5.0-liter V8 on offer, mated with a six-speed manual transmission, s’il vous plait. As for an EcoBoost (nee Twin Force) option, fuhgeddaboutit. Apparently, a 365HP EcoBoost powerplant wouldn’t leave enough marketing daylight between the base V6 and the Coyote-powered GT. One thing: Coyote, Road Runner, inevitable failure. Anyone else see a marketing problem here? Nope, didn’t think so. Carry on.

By on September 2, 2009

“Culture change is not simple to do,” GM CEO Fritz Henderson tells Bloomberg. “In the end, if you reinforce what you want in how you behave and how you act, the organization picks it up.” But Fritz isn’t merely turning GM around by example. “You’ve got to get your people involved,” he explains. “You’ve got to get your leadership involved, you have to be consistent, you have to be simple and have everyone understand what you’re trying to get accomplished.” And just what is Henderson trying to accomplish? Nothing less than a total change in perspective . . . in 50 employees.

Read More >

By on September 1, 2009

Better than what, you ask? Why, better than the previous Rubbermaid-meets-snap-together-model version, of course. Is it good enough? Somehow we aren’t feeling positive enough to predict that this will reverse the Caliber’s doomed-to-China fate. Hit the jump for the most positive spin possible on the Caliber’s improvements, courtesy of Chrysler PR.

Read More >

By on August 31, 2009

Volkswagen’s BlueSport is still in concept form, but that didn’t stop Autobild from taking it out and comparing it to Mazda’s Miata, the industry standard for affordable fun. “Not bad, truly not bad,” is how the BlueSport’s creator Marco Fabiano describes the Miata, his concept’s intended prey. Which means the BlueSport will have to be “damn good, truly damn good” to break Mazda’s 20-year stranglehold on the entry-roadster market. At least VW is clear on that much going into the project.

Read More >

By on August 30, 2009

Sometimes companies do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes expediency rules the day. Not infrequently, legal compulsion provides the motivation. Whatevs. The Detroit News reports that New Chrysler has donated Old Chrysler’s Political Action Committee (PAC) lobbying fund to the United Way. The semi-nationalized automaker will write checks to local chapters totaling $525,000. This also means that New ChryCo will not use union/taxpayer money to support/reward the election/re-election campaigns of politicians friendly to the unions/federal bailouts. Chrysler gets props for avoiding an obvious conflict of interest. Or it that confluence The ball’s now in their fully nationalized cross-town rival’s court. “GM transferred its PAC from the bankrupt Motors Liquidation Co. — the GM entity that remains in bankruptcy — to the new GM. The fund had $418,000 in cash through May 31. GM has said political contributions will not resume until next year at the earliest.” I’ve got an idea: how about never?

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