By on September 9, 2016

Jeep Comanche

Each year, Jeep builds a few concept vehicles and takes to the Easter Jeep Safari through off-road trails in Moab, Utah. Jeep uses the nine day trek to show off the off-road capabilities of its vehicles while celebrating its storied past. Maybe our invitation was lost in the mail.

Fortunately, Jeep did invite us to a different Jeep Safari, which took place during the week of Metro Detroit’s Dream Cruise. All the vehicles involved in this event have completed the Jeep Easter Safari in Moab. The Detroit Jeep Safari route may have been be a much shorter and less treacherous than Moab’s trails, but electronic locking differentials are helpful traversing the craters Detroiters refer to as roads.

(Read More…)

By on August 24, 2015

IMG_0295

I have a friend and colleague, for the purposes of this post we’ll name him Jack, that races cars and has an active social life with attractive women. It’s not likely that he’d be jealous of a decrepit grandfather like me, but indeed his envy was as green as his old Audi S5 when I recently got to tour the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant where FCA assembles the Viper.

That’s because Jack is an unabashed and unashamed fanboy of Dodge’s handbuilt V10 powered American supercar. (Read More…)

By on August 28, 2014


Click on the settings icon to watch in 2D or your choice of 3D formats.

It seems that most of the media coverage of automotive startup Elio Motors and their proposed $6,800, 84 mpg reverse trike can be sorted into two groups: general media outlets that have taken a bit of a credulous gee whiz attitude, and automotive folks who have cast a more skeptical eye on the enterprise. I’m as skeptical and as cynical as the next guy but unlike many in the automotive community I actually think that Paul Elio and his team have a decent chance of at least getting their vehicle to production. Also unlike most of the critics, I’ve actually taken the time to talk with members of Elio managment along with one of their major backers and I’ve spent time with their prototypes. Perhaps because I’ve tried to give the project an even break the people at Elio have been pretty forthcoming with me and now they’ve let TTAC be the first automotive publication to have an extended and unsupervised test drive of their latest prototype. They figuratively tossed me the keys and literally said, “bring it back when you’re done.” That takes some confidence.

(Read More…)

By on August 20, 2014

2014-08-19_19

Let’s start this off with a caveat. I make no pretensions to being a photographer. At best I can compose and frame a decent snapshot. Years ago I realized that if I wanted to get more serious about photography I’d have to start learning a bunch of technical things like depth of field and f-stops and I already had enough hobbies. As a result, I have a great deal of respect for professional and serious amateur photographers and cinematographers. That respect has grown since I started writing about cars, as that gig often requires taking photographs to accompany my words.

Last Wednesday, Derek Kreindler and I worked together to make sure that The Truth About Cars had someone to cover the Dodge Charger Hellcat reveal on-site at the event, which wrapped up around noon. We managed to get almost 100 high definition color photographs of the event and the car picked out, cropped and up on this site by mid-afternoon. We also decided that the reveal, and subsequent Woodward Dream Cruise, would be a great opportunity to show you how long you would have had to wait to see color photos of an event back in the pre-digital era. (Read More…)

By on August 4, 2014

2015-Dodge-Charger-SRT-Hellcat-Spy-Photo-3

 

For some reason, we at TTAC expected that the Dodge Charger Hellcat would debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. We were wrong.

(Read More…)

By on August 19, 2013

RAM-Rumble-Bee-Concept

At a time when some question the overall value of big auto show media previews, car companies continue to look for new ways to reveal new product and concepts.

 

The domestic car manufacturers have long had large displays set up near the huge annual Woodward Dream Cruise, held every year in mid-August. At this year’s Dream Cruise, held this past Saturday, for the first time one of them decided to use the event to show off a new concept vehicle the Ram Rumble Bee truck.

Not only is the Rumble Bee the first concept vehicle revealed at the Dream Cruise, it’s also most likely the first concept vehicle to use an insect as interior trim. The knob that selects the 8-speed transmission’s gear has a real bumble bee embedded in amber (Chrysler says it’s a bumble bee, but it looks more like a common honey bee to me).

The Rumble Bee concept hearkens back to two previous high performance vehicles, the original Dodge Super Bee muscle car, circa 1968-71, and the limited edition Ram 1500 Rumble Bee pickup from 2003.

Based on a two-door standard cab Ram 1500 R/T, the Rumble Bee has a custom matte pearl yellow paint job with black stripes and decals. The Ram badges are blacked out. The pickup’s cargo bed is covered with a body color tonneau that incorporate a spoiler at its back edge. The hood has scoops and the front fascia has an integrated splitter.

Inside the truck is black leather and yellow detail stitching. The seat backs are embroidered with Rumble Bee and the seating surfaces are a yellow/black honeycomb fabric. Under the hood is the corporate 5.7-liter, 395-horsepower Hemi V-8 coupled to ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission. The truck sits fairly high on its 24″ wheels, also in black. True to the Rumble Bee’s name, there’s an exhaust bypass that can be activated by a button on the dashboard.

By on August 15, 2013

Ram-concept-Teaser

News of a new Ram performance truck was bolstered by these images released by Ram yesterday, that preview the new model set to be unveiled at this weekend’s Woodward Dream Cruise.

(Read More…)

By on August 22, 2010

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.

(Read More…)

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