Today’s Thread of the Day comes courtesy of Kenny-D, who wants to know what new car you would bring back to the past and why? And unlike the DeLorean in “Back to the Future” that had to remain hidden while traveling through the past, the car you bring can be shown off to anyone you please. Here are our rules: the car must be a new car, truck, or SUV five years old or newer and you can’t go further back in time than the 20th century. Also, tell us why you chose that car. Kenny-D starts things off by saying he would bring the Ford Atlas concept truck to 1903 “so that I could show Henry Ford what his brand has come up to.” PR32A would show off a Jeep Compass to the Chrysler Corporation in 1992 and warn Lee Iacocca of what his company will produce. That said, what would you take back to the past? … [Read more...] about TOTD: What New Car Would you Take to the Past and Why?
Past and future
The mere mention of the word “Toyota” incites different responses from different people. The average consumer no doubt has visions of Corollas, Camrys, and Highlanders dancing in their heads — safe, reliable, and affordable automotive appliances Toyota has become known for, designed to shuffle people from point A to B. Then there are auto enthusiasts — some Toyota lovers, others Toyota haters — who remember the days when Toyota had the Celica, MR2, and Supra on the showroom floor. That’s not to say today’s Toyota is completely devoid of exciting products, but while it’s difficult to find a set of wheels in Toyota’s massive three-brand portfolio that elevates anyone’s heart rate, they do exist. Lexus, for example, has the IS F and the LFA (yes, we know both are out of reach of the average enthusiast) and Scion has the tC (OK, maybe not a true heart-racer). It’s no secret Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is determined to bring more … [Read more...] about Top 14 Toyotas Enthusiasts Crave – Past, Present, and Future
Bloomberg, automotive parts supplier Delphi is working on technology that would bring Tesla-like over-the-air software updates to cars going back as far as 2010. If all goes as planned, the technology would also be installed in new vehicles as soon as 2020. The updates could affect systems such as the ECU, braking controls, and infotainment systems. Delphi says reducing the number of dealership visits has the potential to greatly reduce ownership and maintenance costs.Since the release of the Tesla Model S, the automaker has been providing occasional wireless updates that can be applied overnight while the vehicle is parked, similar to updates on your smartphone. While not everything can be fixed over the air, Tesla has implemented features like Autopilot through these wireless updates. Delphi hopes to provide the same level of service to a variety of automakers.While reduced warranty and maintenance costs might be good for owners and automakers, dealerships that depend on regular … [Read more...] about Delphi working on Tesla-like updates for past and future cars
BMW if not everything in this concept comes true in the next century. It's the first of several that will celebrate BMW's centenary this year – concepts from Mini, Rolls-Royce, and BMW Motorcycles will follow later – and aims to guess what and how we'll be driving in the distant future. Although it's no longer a question of if, we still don't know when cars will make the switch to autonomous driving. So yeah, there's a lot up in the air. It starts inside with an out-there dashboard display. Going a step further from the typical head-up display, the Alive Geometry transforms everything in your periphery into a digital blanket of context stretching from the interior to some of the exterior panels. This tessellation of moving triangles is supposed to mimic a flock of birds to bring you subtly changing information about what's going on around you. About the car driving itself: BMW highlights two new driving modes for the concept, Boost and Ease. Boost is for when the driver is … [Read more...] about BMW’s Vision Next 100 concept celebrates past, predicts future
Almost exactly a year ago, I received a phone call informing me that the founder and editor of The Truth About Cars, Robert Farago, would be leaving the site. Robert and I had already discussed (in theoretical terms) the possibility of such a move, and he’d mentioned that I would be in line to replace him when the time came. Still, nothing could had prepared me for the actual realization that TTAC had become my baby. A year later, the shock is still wearing off.And why not? Comments in our posts announcing the transition overwhelmingly expressed disappointment to be losing Robert, and a kind of tentatively supportive “don’t screw this up for us” attitude towards my succession. The term “big shoes to fill” figured heavily in much of the commentary. And as usual, the Best & Brightest had it right: stepping into Robert’s shoes has been the challenge of my (not particularly long) lifetime.Perhaps the most challenging aspect of taking … [Read more...] about Has It Really Been A Year?: Reflections On TTACs Past And Future
hooptie is a once-semi-luxurious car that’s depreciated down to just-above-scrap value and is getting its final owner some quality, low-buck miles before being crushed. The Buick Electra 225 was the archetypal hooptie of the 1980s and 1990s, but how about today? More importantly, which current models will be the hoopties of 2025?Sir Mix-a-Lot pretty much said all there was to say about the Electra as Über Hooptie of 20 years back, and other hoopties of that era are measured by their similarity to the Deuce-and-a-Quarter.Chrysler LH (Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Vision, Chrysler LHS/Concorde/300M/New Yorker) is the King of the Hoopties in 2011. If you see a big car with red tape for taillight lenses doing 90 on the highway with a space-saver spare on the front nowadays, it’s probably an LH.faded glory that really gives a car an edge in the hooptie battles.GM H Platform cars as King of the Hoopties, particularly the LeSabre of the 1990s, and the ’92-up Panther Grand … [Read more...] about Question of the Day: Hoopties Past, Present… and Future?
One fond memory I have of the pre-recession era was cheap cars. A pristine 1992 Mercedes 190E in a garage kept red that I bought for $1000. The two year old 2002 Infinit Q45 that I bought for $23,600 and sold for $32,500. Heck, even the beaters. Old late 80’s Town Car’s and Crown Vic’s with only 80k or so. The last of the good Saab 900’s. Volvo 240 wagon’s that had been given Volvo OEM components from day one. All of them I bought for $500… or less.It had been a great time to be a used car dealer and an automotive enthusiast. I sold over 150 vehicles in a space the size of a driveway and had plenty of time to travel, do some local bid calling, and begin my writings at TTAC. I was a happy man.Then it all went to the proverbial pot. 1000+ new car dealers got shuttered and the remaining dealers looked at their sleds (trade-in’s that were $5000 or less) as new sources of revenue instead of assets that needed to … [Read more...] about Hammer Time: Past Profits, Future Prophets
From the March 2003 Issue of Car and Driver The Mustang has been one of the top automotive icons from Detroit since the end of World War II. A lot of Camaro owners would disagree, but of them we ask, "So where's your Camaro now, sport?" Requiescat in pace, that's where. Now, as the Mustang moves nearer to its first floor-to-ceiling makeover since 1979, it does so as the descendant of a family (Pony carus americanus) established by its great-great-grandfather back in the mists of the mid-20th century—April 17, 1964, to be exact. The competitors it inspired have all succumbed, leaving the species progenitor alone at center stage. And as far as the Ford Motor Company is concerned, center stage is no exaggeration. Philip R. Martens, V-P of Blue Oval Vehicle Programs (Ford's product engineering and development group), calls this new Mustang "the critical linchpin in bringing Ford back into the public eye on the car side of the business. "What we need … [Read more...] about The Once and Future Mustang
I’ve noticed that car manufacturers have stopped advertising automatic parking features on cars (is the feature even available anymore?) Back in the 90s, four-wheel steering was the rage for a few years. I’m wondering what other tech didn’t last and why (reliability or lack of a selling point, I’m guessing). Also, what current tech in our tech-laden cars do the editors (or readers) think will be dead in coming years.Take to the comments, and list your picks for past, present, and future technology flops in cars.[Images: Honda, GM, Chrysler, YouTube] … [Read more...] about QOTD: Automotive Tech Flops – Past, Present, and Future
When I was but a tyke, my parents would give me extremely vague, outlandish and downright wrong clues as to what sat under the Christmas tree for me every year. My mom and dad, being ever clever (or at least thinking they were), would disguise my gifts with a Matryoshka doll arrangement of boxes, fill those boxes with pieces of wood or other noisy-when-shaken household accoutrements, wrap the presents up and shove them under the tree. This Christmas Present Camouflage™ would typically produce quizzical looks on my face, and those of friends and family members, as we shook the boxes and communally attempted to ascertain what was inside.Which, now that I think about it, is similar to how I viewed TTAC when I started back at the end of April.But first, let’s roll back the calendar a few years.July 13th, 2012:From: Mark StevensonHi Derek,Thanks for answering me on Twitter. Nick Dasko (in your Toronto office) pointed me to your … [Read more...] about Merry Christmas, And Now a Retrospective Look Eight Months Later