By on September 8, 2020

While Tesla’s Model 3 sedan is supposedly taking the world by storm, some hot competition has been reported in China. The Hongguang MINI EV has eclipsed the offspring of Elon Musk to become the country’s best-selling electric vehicle. Though at just 28,800 yuan ($4,200), it hardly seems a fair comparison. Tesla’s minimalist sedan is larger and costs roughly 10 times what SAIC Motor, General Motors, and Liuzhou Wuling Motors decided the MINI EV was worth.

That’s right, it took the combined strength of three automakers to birth this baby and we’re wondering what it would take to get you to drive one home if they were offered here.

Read More >

By on September 4, 2020

fca

Big Jeep day yesterday, wasn’t it? Hoo boy. The off-road brand tempted buyers not just with a plug-in hybrid Wrangler, but also a taste of what’s to come in the full-size segment.

The Grand Wagoneer Concept, which closely mirrors a production vehicle we can expect next summer, generated an instant reaction from TTAC chatroom denizens — not all of it favorable. Far from it, in fact. Looking at this hulking, three-row SUV with ultra-premium aspirations, what would you do to turn a B into an A+? Read More >

By on September 2, 2020

We walk through life full of our own biases, veritable containers brimming with grudges and bad feelings and memories of being burned. You’ll never hurt me again, we think of certain corporations and companies and products. And countries of origin. And people. Like cold honey, these lingering resentments harden over time.

Sometimes we realize too late that our feelings were outdated, unwarranted, or misplaced. Read More >

By on September 1, 2020

Chrysler Corp

It’s late 1995, and your author is blundering through his first year of high school. Gangly, awkward… frankly, the whole thing is best left unremembered. Beyond those school walls, however, world events were coming to a head. O.J. apparently didn’t do it, Quebec almost became a country, the Unabomber’s manifesto made it to print, and in two assembly plants in Ontario and Delaware, big things were taking place between the front seats.

There, Chrysler Corp was busy outfitting two variants of its 1996 model-year LH cars — the Dodge Intrepid ES and Eagle Vision TSi, to be exact — with a new type of transmission. Called Autostick, it allowed the driver of Chrysler’s sportiest cab-forward sedans to make the most of their four forward gears. Read More >

By on August 27, 2020

Ford Tbird 2002. Steve Lagreca/Shutterstock

I was channel surfing over the weekend and stumbled upon 2002’s Die Another Day, the last entry in the Pierce Brosnan era of James Bond flicks. Arguably the worst of the four. I’m a GoldenEye man myself, in no small part due to the video game that was big among my social groups in high school and on into college.

Anyway, while watching Die for about the fifth time this month (hey, it’s on Showtime a lot, what can I say?), I took note of the scene in which Halle Barry’s character pulls up to the ice-palace hotel in Iceland in a Ford Thunderbird. One of those retro models sold from 2002-2005 that came out with much fanfare — it was even a Motor Trend Car of the Year — before sales fell off a cliff. Read More >

By on August 26, 2020

ford

Your author was backing out of his parking spot last night when something stopped him in his tracks. A glimpse of something in the side-view mirror led to a moment’s hesitation… and some serious, judgmental eyeballing.

While yours truly will always stop to admire a Fox-body anything, there was plenty wrong with this example. An example that may have been closer than it appeared. Seems the kids across the street have a visitor — or perhaps even a new ride.

Due to a lack of taste on the part of the owner, or perhaps a prior one, your author hopes this automotive outsider doesn’t linger too long in the ‘hood. Read More >

By on August 24, 2020

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

Movies and television have delivered countless heroes and villains, more than a few femme fatales of dubious loyalty, and still more ethically challenged antiheroes. Quite often, they do not take public transportation.

What’s interesting to note is that, when you think back to all the famous TV and silver screen characters strongly associated with a specific car, the star vehicle, more likely than not, sports just two doors. The mind immediately flashes to the famed Bullitt chase between two well-matched ’68 coupes. Magnum’s Ferrari 308. Rockford’s unusually powerful Firebird Esprit. Anything Don Johnson drove. Even Jerry Seinfeld’s Saab 900 convertible.

Yes, you could even throw in Uncle Jesse’s Ford pickup or Daisy Duke’s Jeep. With this mind, what fourdoor vehicle with an acting credit deserved to be remembered? Read More >

By on August 21, 2020

So, it seems the Cannonball Run record was smashed once again this week, with a team from Ohio making the New York-Los Angeles run in XX hours and XX minutes thanks to a specially outfitted German land missile and plenty of electronic help. The actual duration of the feat has no bearing on today’s question, so we’ll leave you to read about it somewhere else.

These Cannonball Run attempts are, frankly, getting annoying. They’re also inherently dangerous. But the news did dredge up an old article about a very different cross-country trip that proved far more interesting to this writer. Read More >

By on August 20, 2020

Whoa, whoooaaaa, easy there. Take a breath — especially you, writers and alumns of a particular blog. In no way is that headline referring to anything political.

You’ll see. Read More >

By on August 18, 2020

fca

There’s no more secrets when it comes to the Ram 1500 TRX. The brand’s brawniest light-duty pickup appeared Monday with a Hellcat V8 nestled between its bulging fenders, ready to tackle high-speed runs across the desert (or Nebraska) for anyone with $71,790 burning a hole in their wallet.

Bragging rights sometimes fetch a steep price, and the TRX’s after-destination sticker only rises from there. Sure, it’s potent and contains all the goodies a sophisticated moonshine runner could want, but what about the truck it’s meant to challenge — and beat? Read More >

By on August 14, 2020

best led headlights

It happens from time to time, even to people who spend their days gazing at the long, shapely flanks of the world’s most dazzling crossovers. Sometimes other vehicle types, too.

Often, there’s just too much rolling stock out there. Too many models that hit the scene, only to be quickly forgotten amid the constant deluge of new metal, new fascias, new nameplates. Driving along in heavy traffic, pulling up to a light, or even just standing there, watching cars pass, you sometimes come across a vehicle whose identity flummoxes you. The brain draws a blank.

I should know what that is, your mind says, but what the hell is it?

Read More >

By on August 13, 2020

Image: Ford

Let’s keep our minds far away from the gutter, folks. We may be talking inches today, but they’re cubic inches.

Yes, displacement, a unit of measurement that spans the gamut in today’s new vehicle lineups. Thanks to the advent of the subcompact crossover segment and the proliferation of big boy HD pickups, the breadth of displacement choice has only grown in recent years. General Motors can now sell you Chevrolets ranging from 1.2 to 6.6 liters, but Ford has them beat: 1.0 to 7.3 liters.

There’s plenty to choose from out there, but today we’re looking only in one direction. Read More >

By on August 12, 2020

This Question of the Day took form as your author drove into the hills, away from the city, in a fruitless search for awe-inspiring meteors. What a bust. And something sauntered past in the dark, too, so that wasn’t great for the ol’ nerves.

On the trip up to that spooky secluded roadway overlooking a fog-cloaked valley, yours truly got to thinking about the Toyobaru Twins and their low sales numbers, and the fact that a successor is nearly upon us. Who’ll buy such a vehicle in today’s hostile buying climate for small, sporty coupes? A few possibilities come to mind. Read More >

By on August 11, 2020

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx badging in California junkyard, Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars

It was a wild weather day in parts of the Midwest yesterday, something that’s to be expected when temps soar and humidity turns your drapes into a damp dishcloth. When violent weather threatens, the first concern is protecting life and limb.

Second on that list? House and home.

Then comes the car. Read More >

By on August 10, 2020

Today’s Junkyard Find, despite its dilapidated nature, delivered a jolt of adrenaline right when it was needed most. Monday mornings can be a slow-to-rouse affair, but the ’73 Century Gran Sport was a car aimed at reducing the sudden onset of depression afflicting America’s drivers. It still carries that same therapeutic effect.

Yes, the Seventies — a decade talked about heavily in the TTAC chatroom, though not nearly as much as the two that followed. Starting with a bang and ending in a forlorn whimper, the 1970s was a tumultuous time for the U.S. auto industry, with geopolitical events and government regulation kicking off a stigmatizing Era of Malaise that still echoes to this day.

Let’s see if we can find some points of light in all that darkness. Read More >

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