By Roger Boylan
The world is divided into two kinds of drivers: real drivers—let’s call them “real drivers”–and the rest. Usually, I’m the first kind, a “real driver,” who, even on the way to the supermarket, or on a boring commute, is aware of what he’s driving, how it looks, and what it’s capable of. Occasionally, however, when I’m fed up, hungover or ill, I’m one of the rest. I care as little as possible about the shell around me and the mechanics underfoot and just want the sight of home and bed. Most drivers fall into the latter category all the time; they’re the ones driving the old Buicks with masking tape on their windows and the oxidized Honda Civics with Obamanos bumper stickers: the “just get me from A to B” types.
By Charles Krome
Frankly, I had my concerns when I heard the Chrysler Group was going to reconstitute its Street and Racing Technology group as its own individual brand. It didn’t seem like the best use of the automaker’s resources to me, especially when you consider that Chrysler is still in the process of getting its regular lineup sorted out—remember, the only Chrysler Group subcompact currently on the market is the low-volume Fiat 500, while its entries in the compact and mid-size sedan segments remain way behind the times. And beyond this, the automaker is already trying to support another new brand, Ram Trucks. But while the left side of my brain still had some questions after I attended the recent kickoff of the SRT High Performance Tour at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Mich., the gray matter in the right side of my skull came away more than satisfied with what’s going on.
By Carl Malek
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun looking into possible transmission issues in the 2011-2012 Ford Mustang. The NHTSA has received over 32 complaints ,which claim that the transmission is unable to shift gears when the vehicle is moving at speed.
Over 26,000 manual transmission-equipped V6 and V8 powered Mustangs from 2011-2012 are affected by the NHTSA’s investigation into the matter. Many of the reports and complaints received by the NHTSA regarding this issue appear to indicate that drivers are having difficulty engaging 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears when up-shifting and down-shifting especially when the transmission is cold. However, there are other reports that describe a grinding nosie as well as other issues with the gears when upshifts or downshifts are performed.
By James Wong
I swear that when I was asleep last night, I could hear the 1 Series M Coupe’s metallic rasp echoing around my ears.
I could even pick out the burbles of the exhaust on overrun, the growl on part throttle which had an uncanny resemblance to the V8 in the E92 M3, and the top-end bark that almost sounded like a flat-six. That the exhaust could produce such variation in pitch and tone was probably the reason why it lingered in my semi-conscious mind in my slumber. Although that is about all I could remember from my sleep, the memories forged behind the wheel of the 1M still stayed fresh in my mind.
By James Wong
When you think of a showroom dedicated specially only to the hallowed BMW M nameplate, the first place that comes to mind would be Germany. ‘It would definitely be there,’ you would think, the home of BMW and also to the Nürburgring, the choice testing ground for BMW M vehicles.
By Kevin Gordon
If you have ever watched the BBC’s Top Gear you have probably heard the presenters discuss how much they respect Ford’s cars. In fact, the Ford Mondeo is one of the very rare cars that all three presenters agree is a great car. I have always found this to be a bit odd considering the general ribbing that those pecky and hilarious Brits continuously give the stereotypical American. How can Ford’s products can garner such respect with the most stringent of automotive critics? If you listen closely their love of Fords cars come from the way that they drive, much the way the American auto magazines endlessly gush about BMWs. Here again was a point of confusion for me. I have driven a lot of Fords, including living in a family that owned a number of 1990s era Tauruses (SP?). Few of these cars ever caught my attention as being great to drive. Even their much-loved Mondeo was a commercial flop in the states when it came here as the Contour/Mystique. Sure the SVT version was a nice car, but what did they sell… 31 of them?
Back to the point. When the 2012 Ford Focus ended up in the Techshake parking lot for a week, I was expecting to spend my time focusing on economy, practicality, and other things that auto journalists have to do in order to have the chance to spend time in exotics and supercars. As it turns out I wasn’t in for such a boring week.
By James Wong
Boys love toys. Some like them on wheels, two of four or more, some like them on water, and some like them in the air. There is no denying that there is some allure in something that is engineered as a result of precision and imagination.
Saab is a brand known for its aviation roots. I won’t kid anybody by saying if I knew much about their history, but for an impressionable young man (relatively) like me I am very attracted to the aviation & automobile tie-up. I have always dreamt about the unfathomable intelligence of Man that he could design a machine that weighs impossibly heavy to fly so gracefully in the air. Likewise, I also marvel at how Man could fashion out of metal and four wheels cars that are desirable, sought after, loved.
By Kevin Gordon
I constantly find myself cringing when I am at a car dealership and I witness the following happen: Kenny “The Sap” Consumer walks into his local Honda dealership and is greeted by “slippery” Sam the salesman. Kenny says he is interested in a Honda Pilot, one “with the DVD system”. Sam the salesmen says that he thinks he might have one or two of those available, but immediately begins to explain how popular they are. Both people walk off to make a copy of Kenny’s license and Kenny the poor sap has taken his first steps towards paying thousands more than he needs to when purchasing a car.