We’re not out of the woods yet. The global economy is still fragile, and automakers are still cautiously evaluating the new world order after the shocking bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler; Toyota‘s precipitous fall from grace following its poorly handled unintended acceleration fiasco; and Ford‘s fire sale of its Premier Automotive Group brands. Can a leaner, meaner GM claw its way out of government ownership? Will the Chrysler-Fiat marriage really work? Can Toyota win back the cast-iron consumer confidence it spent 50 years building? We don’t know yet. We don’t know, either, how Jaguar will fare under Indian management; what Volvo‘s future is now that it has Chinese owners; and how Mazda will survive as a stand-alone automaker. What we do know is that the field assembled for the 2011 Car of the Year evaluation was one of the strongest in years. If the auto industry is still in crisis mode, it’s not showing up in the product. Yet. Once again, … [Read more...] about 2011 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Contenders and Finalists
10 collective nouns
According to Webster’s dictionary, the word “test,” used as a noun, is an examination or evaluation of something or someone. By the same authority, a “contest” is a competition or a challenge. When two cars race down a dragstrip, it’s a competition. If the same two vehicles are subjected to examination of individual performance categories, such as fuel mileage, idle quality, power, and handling, it is then a test. What separates this test of a Demon carburetor and Mass-Flo’s EFI system from others is that the results are derived with the same fuel and on the same day. Both HPP and RaceKrafters Automotive Machine in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, went to extreme lengths to execute this protocol so the results would be 100 percent valid and have meaning. If we had taken the easy way out, we would not have had to spend as many long days nor had to drive as many miles as we did, but the data would have been suspect. Most of the time, HPP generates its … [Read more...] about Installing A Mass-Flo EFI System – New-Age SD-455
Every now and then a journalist sticks his foot in his mouth, and so it was with me and a Nissan PR person. PR person: we go the extra mile to make sure the press has access to everything we make, we don’t hide anything. Me: (after a long pause) oh yea? What about the NV Passenger van? How about that!? Eh? Why haven’t I seen one before? Hiding something? My Nissan minder whipped out his phone, made a call and a ginormous shiny black box appeared a week later. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I did not, I repeat, did not grovel and beg to Nissan’s top brass to get my hands on a full-size van. Public opinion on the NV’s styling ranged from “I love the bold grille” to “dear God, put my eyes out.” Let us know what you think in the comment section. The dominant feature on the NV is certainly the front end which features an honest-to-goodness hood. This might sound totally banal at first glance, but anyone who has … [Read more...] about Review: 2013 Nissan NV3500 HD SL 12 Passenger Van (Video)
Note: A bug in the GPS software inverted the overall and moving averages. After this paragraph, you’ll have the chance to read nearly 6,300 words about the fastest transcontinental drive in history. Most of the important stuff is near the top; the rest of it is a detail-oriented interview with Alex for the community of fans across the country who live and die for this sort of thing. A personal disclaimer: In my opinion, having the “transcontinental record” is an accomplishment roughly on the same level as having the most awesome fox suit at a furry convention. But TTAC isn’t a charity. It’s a business. And we need those sweet, sweet clicks. Integrity? What’s that? — jb“I’ve always said I’d never do this again, but as a minor Bond villain put it, never say never.”So says Alex Roy – the Doctor Evil of illegal long-distance driving events. According to Roy, women want him, and men want to be him. According to actual … [Read more...] about NY to LA. 26 Hours. 28 Minutes. With A GT-R-Powered, Dual-Control Infiniti Q50.