Thanks to mis-steps on the part of Henrik Fisker, Elon Musk’s Tesla was the first major modern electric-car maker — but were they the most important? It seems unlikely.
Fisker was close to making electric cars before Tesla, but ran out of cash; Tesla has yet to turn an annual profit but has strong credit lines.… Read the rest
Car stereos have the best sound and features we have ever seen. Scant decades ago, cars came with single speaker AM radios; today, we can play music from phones, pods, satellites, and thumb drives, ignoring AM and FM entirely.… Read the rest
My “parade car” is a 1974 Plymouth Valiant. I enjoy driving it, now and then, and it still runs beautifully. It has plenty of torque, so there aren’t any issues with lack of power around town, though highway ramps require a little planning.… Read the rest
We took the opportunity to compare the major American pickups at the New York Auto Show. These are, by far, the market leaders, accounting for nearly all full-size pickups sold in North America.… Read the rest
Toyota announced two new transmissions today, quietly, as part of an otherwise fairly dull release on the Toyota Corolla Hatchback née Scion iM.
First is the new K120 CVT — a continuously variable transmission, but not purely driven by belts or bands.… Read the rest
Some very important cars will be revealed next week at the New York Auto Show. A host of major automakers will be hosting press conferences, from Acura to Volvo. Even though the “major reveals” schedule has been cut from two days to one, there are still some important revelations:
- The 2019 Toyota RAV4, one of the best selling crossovers in the world, will make its global debut in New York on March 28 at 9:10 am.
… Read the rest
Car radios have come a long way since their debut — with a single speaker and vacuum tubes that needed to be warmed up. Today, it’s not uncommon to see base economy cars with 200-watt six-speaker stereos — far from the old aftermarket-upgraded 30 watts per channel — that can read USB drives or use your phone as a music library.… Read the rest
Automakers announced their United States sales for February. If you sort the brand sales, at the very bottom, you will find some surprises.
First is Smart, which sells a cheap car with terrible safety ratings, midgrade fuel economy, and mediocre acceleration — but it’s easy to park.… Read the rest
In the United States, Toyota was most successful when it mercilessly copied General Motors. The Camry was specifically tuned for American tastes, using, among other things, former General Motors engineers. The first Avalon interior was practically a carbon copy of a past Chevrolet. … Read the rest
Generally, automakers try not to have their prototypes photographed by spy cameras. Rolls-Royce, on the other hand, actually provided “spy shots” to the media.
They went so far as to leave the hood ornament in place, apparently trying to entice people into photographing their station wagon — I mean SUV — and publicizing the images.… Read the rest