Hyundai Sonata Turbo And The Economics Of Added Horsepower

For some people (you know who you are), the 200 horsepower provided by the 2011 Hyundai Sonata’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine just isn’t enough. The traditional solution: a V6. But Hyundai, taking a page from Chrysler’s Iacocca-era playbook, has opted to offer a turbocharged 2.0-liter four instead. The specs look good: 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 269 pound-feet of torque from 1,750 rpm. The pricing? Even better. The Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T lists for $24,865, only $1,550 more than the regular Sonata SE. Are these the cheapest horses new car money can buy in a midsize sedan?

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Are Cars Still Cooler Than Phones?

The ad shown above seems to cement a sad reality for automotive enthusiasts: the objects of our passion are no longer considered the cutting edge of material culture. And this reality is reflected is reflected in more than just ads for mobile phones, the object that appears to have replaced cars as the touchstone of youthful cool. For a broad array of reasons, young people (the traditional arbiters of cool) are less obsessed with cars and car ownership than they once were. Even automakers themselves are rushing the automobile to the scrapheap of history by seeking to load ever more phone-like capabilities to cars, a trend that both fuels phone mania and disinterest in driving as an intrinsically rewarding experience. But, it seems, that cars can still be cool after all…

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Piston Slap: Your Stang? "It Was Waaaaaaaaaay Cool!"

TTAC commentator talkstoanimals writes:

Sajeev, I have a 2010 Mustang GT with the Track Pack that I love driving – when it works. The problem(s) is, after 6 months and just short of 5k miles, the car has had several driveline problems. First, the clutch failed and Ford replaced the pressure plate, clutch disc and slave cylinder – a fix that took two weeks to complete. A few days later the rear clutches in the differential failed and Ford replaced those – another two days out of service. Now, only 2 months after the first clutch work was completed, it’s pretty obvious that the clutch is failing again based on the way the gearbox resists clean engagement in almost every gear.

So my question is, WTF is wrong with the driveline in this car?

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Chart Of The Day: Pony Car Wars Edition

Over the long haul of the Pony Car Wars, Ford’s Mustang has set the standard to which all others aspire. Having handily outsold the old F-Body Camaros (to say nothing of the nearest import-equivalent, the Nissan Z), Ford reigned alone over the declining muscle-coupe segment for much of the last decade. But the Pony Car cannot thrive alone, and the Mustang couldn’t keep its sales from sliding ever further… it needed some competition. Now, rather than fighting for pieces of a shrinking segment, the Camaro, Challenger and Mustang have been able to grow their sales together, revitalized by the renewed Pony Car Wars. Though our simple volume projection shows the Camaro on track to take the Pony Car crown from the Mustang, the short-term trends indicate a close battle to the finish this year. Hit the jump for summer sales comparisons…

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Is Lotus Making a Mistake?

Later this month at the upcoming Paris auto show, Lotus will be revealing the first car that reflects their new strategic vision, a vision of going upmarket and luxurious to compete directly with the likes of Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin. The car, originally slotted to fill the role of the much beloved Esprit, will now be “something more” than the Esprit. The midengine supercar is rumored to be powered by the V10 engine that powers the Lexus LF-A. Toyota currently supplies Lotus with all of its production car engines. The LF-A’s announced production run of 500 units probably won’t cover that engine’s development costs, so the rumor makes sense.

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Capsule Review: 1999 BMW Z3 M Coupe

Stumping TTAC’s Best And Brightest is never an easy task, even with a relatively obscure picture clue. But if ever there was a car to do it, it’s the BMW M Coupe. Hell, three weeks ago, I had forgotten it existed… and now I own one.

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The Cobra And The Cheetah: A Muscle Car Tale (Part One)

The Shelby 427 Cobra is a curious car. There are few vehicles that more worthily deserve the description iconic. The originals are so historically significant and rare that each is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars (and in the case of the six Daytona Coupes, millions), yet stylistically identical replicas are ubiquitous. Chances are, if you see a Cobra, it’s probably not real baby seal. Over the decades thousands of replica Cobras have been produced to varying degrees of fidelity by a variety of kit car and turnkey manufacturers. When Carroll Shelby realized that he couldn’t sue the replicar makers into submission, he decided to make his own “continuation series” Cobra replicas (in your choice of carbon fiber, fiberglass or original aluminum bodies). He’s also come to a licensing agreement with Superformance, who make superb Cobra and Daytona Coupe reproductions. I’m a big supporter of the idea of intellectual property, and Ol’ Shel is entitled to make a living off his name and accomplishments, but Carroll Shelby’s proprietary attitude towards the Cobra borders on the absurd.

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Ask The Best And Brightest: What Car Is Worth Buying On Impulse?
Life Begins Under 500cc

Automotive enthusiasm is a hugely diverse phenomenon, and for plenty of hobbyists, the smaller the car the better. The NY Times recently caught up with a few such microcar mavens at the Microcar/Minicar World Meet, and helped shed some light on the miniaturist automotive subculture. Sure, some might call driving a Goggomobile pickup the length of Route 66 without ever exceeding 30 MPH a bit…eccentric, but the passion that these microcar maniacs exude is undeniable.

New York Times Video - Embed Player
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Ferry Porsche On The Importance Of Independence
Detroit, Race, And The Woodward Dream Cruise

One of the reasons why I started writing for TTAC was that, as a lifelong resident of the Detroit area I was tired of watching people with little direct knowledge of this region using stereotypes and caricatures to demean my neighbors. Typically people outside the region will describe Southeastern Michigan as a place of unemployment, indifferent workers, crime and racial disharmony. As with most prevarication, there’s an element of truth to those stereotypes, but it’s not the whole truth.

I can understand finding that kind of behavior in comment threads online, but it’s distressing when what is generally considered the leading newspaper in the country, the New York Times, lazily relies on a ‘usual Detroit template’ when covering an event in this area.

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The Future Sounds Better All The Time
How To Sell An Anachronistic Car

Whatever you do, don’t talk about anything related to the car itself. Reference an obscure previous ad for the car instead. Also, if the car’s target market is young men, be sure to make the ad’s protagonist an elderly female. Finally, the concept must be strange enough to be totally unmemorable. Then sit back and watch as your over-the-hill muscle car doubles its volume and still doesn’t quite match the Mustang or Camaro’s volume. Success!

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Enough With The Lancia Stratos Already!

OK, so we’ve been convinced that the re-born “Lancia Stratos” isn’t just a photoshop… but honestly, we wish it was. Because then the autoblogosphere might not have spent half the week running silly headlineslike “It’s Real!” and “Headed To Production!” and “My Sophisticated Appreciation For The Iconic Lancia Stratos Just Got All Over My Favorite Pair Of Blogging Sweatpants!” The reason that these headlines need to stop are simple: 1) Nobody will ever see this car on the road, 2) it will never be offered for sale, 3) It’s not even a freaking Lancia and 4) the entire story is so knee-deep in bullshit that it’s amazing anyone pays even the remotest bit of attention to it. And since we’re speaking truth to fanboyishness, I’ll just go ahead and say it : nobody actually wants a Lancia Stratos anyway… and even if they did, they certainly wouldn’t want this new one. Yes, you heard me.

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What's Wrong With This Picture: Modern Microbus Uncovered? Edition
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.
  • MaintenanceCosts Chevy used to sell almost this exact color on the Sonic, Bolt, and Camaro, as "Shock." And I have a story about that.I bought my Bolt in 2019. Unsurprisingly the best deal came from the highest-volume Bolt dealer in my very EV-friendly area. They had huge inventory; I bought right when Chevy started offering major incentives, and the car had been priced too high to sell well until that point.Half the inventory had a nice mix of trims and colors, and I was able to find the exact dark-gray-on-white Premier I wanted. But the real mystery was the other half of the inventory. It was something like 40 cars, all Shock on black, split between LT and Premier. You could get an additional $2000 or so off the already low selling price if you bought one of them. (Neither my wife nor I thought the deal worth it.) The cars were real and in the flesh; a couple were out front, but behind the showroom, there was an entire row of them.When I took delivery, I asked the salesman how on earth they had ended up with so many. He told me in a low voice that a previous sales manager had screwed up order forms for a huge batch of cars that were supposed to be white, and that no one noticed until a couple transporters loaded with chartreuse Bolts actually showed up at the dealer. Long story short, there was no way to change the order. They eventually sold all the cars and you still see them more often than you'd expect in the area.
  • EAM3 Learned to drive in my parents' 1981 Maxima. Lovely car that seemed to do everything right. I can still hear the "Please turn off the lights" voice in my head since everyone wanted a demo of the newfangled talking car. A friend of the family had a manual transmission one and that thing was fun!
  • FreedMike That wagon is yummy.
  • Syke Thanks, somehow I missed that.