Yes, the Prius. A different sort of car than we normally feature in this section, yet a car that has had a resounding impact on the automotive world in recent years. Everyone knows a Prius when they see one, and most people know that the car has become as much a political statement as a mode of transportation. Whether you buy into the whole Green movement or not, there is no denying that the Prius has been an incredible marketing success. It paved the way for an entirely new sort of car in the world, one that puts priority on efficiency and cleanliness over all else. We all know the car, but behind every car there is a story to tell. This is that story.
The Toyota Camry is not an enthusiast’s favorite car. It’s not a sporty car, it’s not a car that will draw throngs of fans on the streets as it drives by, and it’s certainly not a car that people buy for its driving style (whatever that means to Camry owners). But, for everything that the Camry is not, there are two things that the Camry is, to both its buyers and to auto buffs. It is reliable, practical, profit-generating, and inoffensive, as well as a reliable and safe automobile. So I may hate it for its lack of flair, but I like it for what it does well. My family owns a 2007 and a 2011 Camry Hybrid. I drove this 2007 model for about 6 months, until I gave it to one of my brothers, who drove it all over Indiana earlier this year. As of now, my other brother has driven it since June and will be shipping it out to California in a few days’ time. This review is chiefly about that 2007 model, and why I think it’s one of the best Toyotas to buy if one wants a hybrid and a real car in one package.
This was my first time driving a Prius of any sort, although I have driven other hybrids. The Prius is special though because society has made into the poster child for the green car movement. The Prius C is the newest, smallest member of the Prius family, and it is selling like hotcakes right now. Like many car guys, I have always had a good deal of contempt for the Prius over the years for various reasons, but I figured it would be a good idea to at least go try one out for myself before closing the book on the car for good. What lay ahead tuned out to be an interesting experience. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve gotten used to hybrids in the four years I’ve driven them. They aren’t glamorous, they aren’t designed to make you feel like Ayrton Senna in the mountains, and they’re certainly not designed to tow a boat. That is, of course, until General Motors decided otherwise. Meet the Cadillac Escalade. It’s the most expensive, most blinged-out, and most conspicuous SUV GM offers, and it now comes as a hybrid. I wonder what Greenpeace thinks? Well, in reality, I don’t give a damn what they think, so I decided to see what this V8-powered mild hybrid, full-size, full-frame truck was all about at the Radnor Hunt Concours last September. Read the rest of this entry »
Found this on Jalopnik today. I think that this shows exactly what is wrong with people here in America. First off, this woman has the audacity to come over and yell at this man and his family completely unprovoked. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in August, Nick and I were at the Pebble Beach Concours, as most of you know. The day we arrived, we got hosed by Air Traffic Control, and missed the debut of the Cadillac Ciel concept car. When we both saw it in the flesh the next morning, I was smitten. While GM is calling it a strict concept, I think that it really does represent a lot about the future of the Cadillac brand in two or three different realms. Read the rest of this entry »
Lotus is really teetering on the line between brilliance and stupidity lately. Things like the upcoming Esprit, the Evora GTE, and the V6 Exige are all strokes of pure brilliance, but then they come out with the Ethos city car and it all starts to unravel. Dany Bahar seems quite a peculiar fellow and continues to make very mixed decisions at the helm of Colin Chapman’s ship. Read the rest of this entry »
The Frankfurt Auto Show is on now and there are many new models coming out. I will go through my thoughts on each one that I found to be notable and interesting. Read the rest of this entry »
This week Audi announced the details on their new A8 Hybrid. It will be powered by the same system as the hybrid Q5: the 2.0T with an electric motor. This setup makes 245hp and 345ft/lbs of torque. While this is “decent” we must not forget that the A8 is in fact the flagship Audi model, so it is not good enough. Read the rest of this entry »
The Fisker Karma is for people who would buy a Chevy Volt…. if they were poor. It offers the same sort of hybrid setup as the Volt just with alot more power (around 400hp and 960tq, look at that torque figure again), alot more luxury, and looks that are breathtakingly beautiful. The Karma is well explained here except for when he tries the launch from a stand still. The Fisker’s traction system will not allow all 960ft/lbs to reach the road from a dead stop for safety reasons. If you want to experience that savagery, then you need to punch the throttle from probably 50 or 60mph. It is quite a cool car though, and hopefully it will open up a new luxury market segment.
Mind Over Motor was in attendance for the 2011 New Hope Auto Show in New Hope, Pennsylvania. We only made it for the first day because it rained like crazy on Sunday but it was definitely a good one this year. Here’s some of the highlights. Read the rest of this entry »
Anyone knows that saving gas saves money. Of course, those of us who have hybrids are occasionally so obsessed with it that they will do whatever is necessary to keep their MPG up and their costs down. Here’s a couple of ways to bring up your gas mileage without a lot of extra work. Read the rest of this entry »