General Motors' 'Comeback' Thanksgiving ad.
The spot featured iconic American images -- NASA, Popeye, "Animal House" -- and closed with the tag, "We all fall down. Thank you for helping us get back up."
I liked it. I thought it was appropriately direct and heartfelt without piling on the treacle. What did you think?
The build-your-own BugE electric scooter.
The BugE solves the latter issue by having buyers assemble the covered 3-wheel electric scooter themselves. The machine was created by Mark Murphy, an Oregon resident who has worked as a concept designer for the likes of BMW, Chrysler and GM. The BugE's range is quite limited -- only 30 miles -- but like all good do-it-yourself projects, various stock parts can be swapped out for increased performance.
Next world car is a smart move for Ford.
When Ford announced that it would finally bring its European Focus (pictured) to the United States starting with the 2011 model year, U.S. fans of the long-dead hatchback version of the compact rejoiced. After all, it was apparent that Ford was going to offer the vehicle only in the 5-door body style here. Unfortunately, though, there’s a problem with that philosophy: For reasons that remain unexplainable by science or common sense, American buyers are notoriously hatchback-averse, preferring less functional coupes and sedans to their 3- and 5-door counterparts.
NHTSA examines rental-car companies' response to vehicle recalls.
According to "Wheels," NHTSA last week opened an investigation -- called an "audit query" by the agency -- into whether fleet vehicles are brought in for repair when the models in question are part of larger manufacturer recalls. The investigation is due, in part, to Enterprise rental company admitting in a California court that it failed to fix a PT Cruiser before renting it to two California women, who died when the car caught fire and crashed.
By Michelle Koueiter
The McLaren MP4-12C sports car will have a sticker price of between $230,000 and $250,000 when it goes on sale in the United States about a year from now.
McLaren said on Wednesday that the sports car will be priced at 168,500 pounds (about $265,800) in the United Kingdom and at 200,000 euros (about $267,200) in Europe when it goes on sale in that region in early 2011.
A final price for the U.S. market will be set in early 2011, McLaren spokesman Mark Harrison said.
The MP4-12C's performance comes from a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8, rated at 592 hp, mated to a lightweight carbon-fiber chassis. The car has a curb weight of 2,866 pounds.
Ducati's new power-cruiser.
Ducati has released specs for the bike, and it is certainly cool, but it also takes steps that are not usually associated with Ducati, such as a wet clutch and, well, the fact that the thing is entering sport cruiser territory -- decidedly unlike the Italian brand's previous offerings of hypermotards, sports nakeds and superbikes.
By Greg Migliore
James Dean famously drove one in Rebel Without a Cause, and perhaps Mercurys have never been cooler. That was more than 50 years ago and the brand is now on the verge of extinction. But as Plymouth, Pontiac and even Edsel have shown, some brands have legs that stretch long after new cars are gone from dealerships.
So where does that leave Mercury? Officially, it’s done as of Dec. 31, but enthusiasts are sure to have interest in select models as their availability becomes scarce and their exclusivity elevates.
No, we’re not talking Tracers. This means there could be a decent market for Mercurys on the auction circuit, though experts are mixed in their opinions.
Video shows the perils of icy roads.
Come to think of it, many of my colleagues were having trouble getting to and from the office yesterday, thanks to the huge snowstorm that hit the area. Hopefully it's not because they were playing bumper cars against their will.
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Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5
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