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Film Review: Wagonmasters
Jul31

Film Review: Wagonmasters

In addition to seeing a lot of cool cars at the recent Concours d’Elegance of America, I also had a chance to catch one of the first screenings of Wagonmasters, a 40-minute documentary that had its public premiere at the event. It’s the work of North Carolina filmmakers Sam Smartt and Chris Zaluski, and represents a paean to the classic American station wagon; that means full size and rear-wheel drive with an expiration date of 1996—when the last of such cars, the Buick Roadmaster and Chevy Caprice wagons, went out of production.

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Why Japan’s Automotive Sector Lost Its Competitive Edge
Jul31

Why Japan’s Automotive Sector Lost Its Competitive Edge

To most people in the world, Japan is the ultimate Asian model of industrialised success. After World War II, its economy rose spectacularly to become the second largest in the world, behind only the United States and surpassing the growth of any other nation within such a short time span. Western observers were curious about the Japanese model of industrialisation, perplexed that there is, perhaps, another way of running an economy instead of the tried-and-tested ways of capitalism.

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Mercedes Watches as Competitors Shift (More) Gears
Jul30

Mercedes Watches as Competitors Shift (More) Gears

On 14 May 2003, Mercedes announced its new 7G-TRONIC gearbox, a world’s first for an automatic gearbox with seven gears. In its day, it was something revolutionary when its competitors were either on 5-speed or 6-speed automatic gearboxes. Seven gears, Mercedes said, would vastly improve fuel consumption and acceleration.

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Review: 2012 Volvo C70 T5 Inscription
Jul30

Review: 2012 Volvo C70 T5 Inscription

Volvo designs tend to have a long shelf life, and the C70 is no exception. The Volvo C70 went on sale in 2006, so is now in its seventh year of production. The versatile C70, with its retractable metal roof is a stylish, comfortable “personal luxury” coupe which just happens to be able to retract its roof and become a convertible. It is comfortable for two people, and works for four in a pinch. Despite the fact that the C70 is nearing the end of its production life cycle (due to impending closure of the factory where it is being manufactured following the 2013 model year), it remains a stylish, comfortable coupe.

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Ask Techshake: Who or what is CAFE?
Jul27

Ask Techshake: Who or what is CAFE?

Sometimes, with our minds almost completely immersed in the car business, we forget that not everyone reading this site pays as much attention to cars and the car business as we at Techshake tend to do.  This reality landed in my inbox this morning with a comment pointing out that I referred to the acronym CAFE without defining it in the article about the 2015 F-150 moving to a mostly aluminum body.  Let’s take a step back and explain what CAFE is, in the context of the auto industry.  (If you want to know what it is in the context of a place to eat lunch, you’re on the wrong website).

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Ford’s 2015 F-150 Will Shed 700 Pounds Thanks To Aluminum Body
Jul27

Ford’s 2015 F-150 Will Shed 700 Pounds Thanks To Aluminum Body

Ford is planning to meet new, tougher CAFE standards for its fleet by updating its next-generation F-150 pickup line with a body made largely of aluminum, .  The paper based its story on unnamed Ford executives familiar with the company’s plans.  This is far bigger news than Audi moving to aluminum construction in its A8 several years ago.

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Singapore’s Vehicle Tax Structure Finally Moves Forward
Jul27

Singapore’s Vehicle Tax Structure Finally Moves Forward

From 2013, some radical changes will be taking place in Singapore’s highly-regulated automotive scene.

A new Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) will take effect from 1 January 2013, which is a rebate or surcharge that would be levied on a car depending on its CO2 emissions. According to government studies, most cars sold in Singapore will fall in the ‘neutral’ band of 161-210 CO2 g/km, where neither a rebate nor surcharge will be implemented.  This appears to be a step in the right direction, penalising cars that emit more carbon emissions while rewarding cars that are less polluting.

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First Drive Impressions: 2013 Ford Focus ST
Jul26

First Drive Impressions: 2013 Ford Focus ST

Some weeks ago, we received word from Ford about “THE THRILL OF A LIFETIME” being offered in the parking lot of a local stadium on weekends during the summer. With a mug of hot coffee and the anticipation of the aroma of burnt clutches, we headed to Boston to experience it for ourselves.

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