Tag: Retro

By on October 15, 2019

Startups come and go, and in the age of electrification a great many companies are issuing promises their meagre resources can’t deliver.

Time will tell if a reborn Morris Commercial follows through on a plan to return the iconic J-type commercial van to the rainy streets of Britain — and beyond. Retro appeal has its perks, but getting a new production vehicle, least of all an electric one, off the ground and into garages is fraught with challenges. So, without further introduction, here’s the Morris JE. (Read More…)

By on November 6, 2018

The Rare Rides series has explored once before what happens when a Japanese manufacturer designs a modern car with retro appeal, when we covered the little-known Toyota Origin. Today we take a look at something else in the new-but-retro category. It’s a Nissan Pao, from 1990.

(Read More…)

By on September 25, 2018

Image: PSA Group

There’s no debating the fact that I draw far more inspiration from older, classic designs than futuristic ones. Hardly progressive of me, I know. While some want nothing more than to gaze upon an autonomous egg and envision a life where the act of driving gives way to the act of commuting, face buried in smartphone, to me that sounds like a vision of Hell.

That’s why last week’s Peugeot e-Legend concept — an unabashed nod to an attainable French coupe of the 1970s — grabbed my attention. It absolutely looked the part, yet incorporated all of the things we’re supposed to lust after in 2018: autonomy, electric propulsion, etc. Compare the e-Legend to Mercedes-Benz’s Vision URBANETIC. Two takes on the future; one desireable, the other terrifying.

What Peugeot and its “Unboring the future” tagline attempted to do was show we needn’t abandon our emotional connection to a car just because it doesn’t burn gas. Just because it drives itself some of the time. But can anyone trust this rosy vision? (Read More…)

By on February 21, 2018

We covered this one a couple of years ago but it’s being featured again today because *just look at it*!! Plus, your author happened upon a fantastic example in rural British Columbia just yesterday, causing him to dance excitedly in the snow like a hotwired puppy.

The 4Runner showed up in 1984, based off the Pickup/Hilux platform and providing the off-road chops to challenge the original Cherokee. For its ’90 redesign (available in calendar year ’89), Toyota saw fit to depart from the agricultural roots of the OG 4Runner, which was essentially a pickup truck with a fibreglass cap grafted onto the box.

Now sporting handsome and cleanly contoured sheetmetal, the gen-2 4Runner arrived at the perfect time to ride the wave of customers trading their cars for SUVs, a trend which, it must be said, has not abated in the least.

(Read More…)

By on September 17, 2016

N2A Camaro 789 SS

It wasn’t for kit cars, the Pontiac Fiero would have never realized its dream of becoming a Ferrari or Lamborghini, and we’d be just fine with that.

That product, born of the heady 1980s, seems tame compared to N2A Motors’ latest offering. The U.S. coachbuilder has taken three classic American designs and melded them, Island of Dr. Moreau-style, into the 789 SS.

It’s a questionable way of hiding a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. (Read More…)

By on February 24, 2015

Porsche Classic GPS Unit 01

Happen to own a classic Porsche? Want a more elegant solution for GPS than a smartphone on your dash? Porsche Classic has the solution.

(Read More…)

By on May 30, 2013

Ross writes:

Several years ago a friend suggested to me that I had an old soul. I pretended to not understand what he meant even though I watched old television shows, saw old movies and listened to the big band sounds of the thirties and forties.

I’m beginning to come to grips with my old soul though and I need a bit of advice. (Read More…)

By on April 5, 2013

If you have a spare four minutes and four seconds (plus time for the commercial) take the time to check out the following discussion over at Bloomberg.com. As a layman, I find these kind of discussions very interesting and would like to hear the best and the brightest, many of whom I know to be connected with auto industry, give a little perspective to what seems to me to be a very shallow look on the subject of modern car design.

(Read More…)

By on February 12, 2013

Last time we had a Challenger SRT8 to review, well, we didn’t review it so much as we burnt the rubber off the rear wheels. Sorry Dodge, we couldn’t help it. After a few Facebook requests, we put Dodge’s 470HP retro coupé back on our wish list and someone at Chrysler decided to trust me with their retro cruiser. If you couldn’t afford that Challenger in the poster on your wall when you were in college, click through the jump to find out what Dodge’s 470HP two-door is like to live with for a week before you throw down 45-large on this retro bruiser.

(Read More…)

By on April 18, 2011

What was old has become new… again! After letting the old New Beetle languish on the market for a remarkable 13th year, VW has revisited its ’90s retro hit with a longer, lower, wider update on the new Jetta’s platform [The 2012 Beetle is 71.2 inches wide (3.3 inches wider), 58.5 inches tall (.5 inches lower) and 168.4 inches long (6 inches longer)]. The engine options are largely the same as the Jetta’, with TDI, 2.5 liter five-cylinder and 2.0 Turbo mills on offer, with a 200 HP range-topper offering an electronic limited-slip diff and dual-clutch gearbox.

Convertible and Hybrid versions should be coming down the pipe shortly, but for now all VW wants to talk about is the Beetle’s return to an original-style profile, its status as a “new original” and its ability to “respect the past while looking to the future.” Which is all well and good, but no matter how well the New New Beetle may tickle the Boomers’ retro sensibilities, it’s got nothing to to do with original Beetle’s values. If anything, the New New Beetle should do some of its best work by making at least a few sub-Boomers just a little bit nostalgic for the late 1990s, a simpler time when retro cars didn’t even have to be faithful to the original as long as they offered a plastic flower vase. Now those were some special times…

By on March 10, 2011

The first time VW showed a retro-inspired Van concept, they said they would build it but never did. Now, having shown a new, far smaller retro-inspired microvan [gallery here], VW says they will not only build the thing, but thanks to their modular MQB platform, they’ll be able to build variations of it for markets around the world. Though VW’s development honcho Ulrich Hackenberg insists the microvan won’t be built at VW’s new plant in Chattanooga, TN, he does tell Autocar that it will be sold in the US and

aimed at the XB produced by Toyota’s youth brand, Scion.

Which means it will be built in Mexico, alongside the New Beetle. And come to think of it, the New Bulli and New Beetle seem to have quite a bit in common: both trade heavily on heritage-inspired looks while having little (if anything) to do with their actual inspirations. Which means the Baby Boomers will love it.

By on May 20, 2010

What is it about former (or ostensible) communist leaders and retro limousines? China’s Hu Jintao got a tip of the hat from us last October for stepping out in style at the country’s National Day celebrations in a retro-fabulous Hongqi HQE. Now, The Guardian reports that

President Dmitry Medvedev has decided to trade in his Mercedes and bring back the ZiL, in what appears to be the latest attempt by Russia’s nostalgic leadership to turn the country into a Soviet theme park. Medvedev has asked aides to examine whether the austere and enduringly sinister limousine can be brought back into production.

And why not? After all, what’s more authentically Russian than being ferried through Red Square in an “enduringly sinister” vehicle made by a company that was at one time known as “Stalin’s Factory”? Is it too soon to ask about American-market availability?

By on March 20, 2010

Statistically speaking, it’s a little early to be ragging on the baby boomers. In addition to numerical advantages, the boomers also haven’t slipped fully into retirement, meaning mainstream culture will be stuck for a little longer in the era of unrepentantly rosy nostalgia. And though the pasturing of America’s second-greatest-by-default generation will be ruinous for little things like government entitlement programs, the benefits to important stuff like car design will be profound. Unlike subsequent generations, the baby boomers still had the privilege of living during the golden age of the automobile, a time before Detroit’s decline, the massive government regulation of safety and emission standards, and the general blandifying of the car. As a result, boomers bring a bizarrely retro-sensibility to the modern car market, not just for restored classics, and retro-muscle cars, but for the vehicles that brought an end to the era of Detroit Baroque. Which is where things get interesting.

(Read More…)

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