What muscle car flexes more often on the big and small screen than Ford's main pony?
When people talk about the rekindling of the muscle car wars, they usually discuss horsepower, handling, torque -- all those good things. But to my mind, there's another, less cut-and-dried way to measure who's currently reigning supreme: the car's place in pop culture.
I bring this up because it's being reported that the Ford Mustang will play a major role in the network remake of the island-cop drama "Hawaii Five-O," and it seems to me that the 'Stang has got to be the most ubiquitous of the big three muscles, right? I mean, the Chevy Camaro obviously scored a major pop-culture coup with its none-too-subtle tie-in to the "Transformers" franchise (a coup in terms of exposure, not the quality of the movies in question), but where else does it pop up in the film, television or music universe? Likewise the Dodge Challenger -- sure, a classic version was featured in the original "Gone in Sixty Seconds," and I'm pretty sure Vic Mackie drove a purple one in the latter seasons of FX's cop drama "The Shield" (or was that a Charger?).
Automakers back 'minimum noise' requirements for electric vehicles.
According to the proposal, federal auto-safety regulators would design a minimum sound rule for EVs over the next 18 months. The automatic sound would have to activate automatically, and the standards would be phased in by regulators and automakers over three years.
By Dino Dalle Carbonare
The electric-vehicle revolution is upon us--or at least, that's what manufacturers such as Mitsubishi would like us to believe.
We've had plenty of exposure to EVs, including several short drives in Mitsubishi's first mass-production zero-emissions car, the i-MiEV. But none of those drives gave us a chance to live with an EV in the real world, to see how it really performs when subjected to the stresses of everyday use.
For our test, we borrowed an i-MiEV in Tokyo, using it day and night for a week as we would any other car in an urban setting. Initial skepticism faded within minutes after we silently rolled out of Mitsubishi's headquarters and onto the streets of Tokyo. There is something quite satisfying about zooming through traffic in a little city car like the i-MiEV. The responsive and eerily quiet 63-hp electric motor puts a smile on your face every time you tap into that instant 133 lb-ft of torque, making it feel far faster than its gasoline-powered equivalent. With 88 lithium-ion batteries tucked away under the floor, the little i-MiEV also offers a confidence-inspiring low center of gravity.
Scott Forrest has made a career of saving people big bucks on their car purchases. Here's his advice on how to approach your next car purchase.
I met Scott Forrest at a friend's party here in Los Angeles, and we got to talking cars. Turns out, Forrest loves cars -- almost as much as he loves getting a great deal. He's combined those two passions into a company, UnderBlueBook, that specializes in helping people get the best possible deal on any car, new or used.
Since Forrest has made it his mission to understand the car sales industry from the inside out -- who's allowed to buy what inventory, what the banks actually do with lease returns, how to get the lowest price for anything from tires to transmissions -- we asked him to lay down some professional knowledge on how best to navigate the car-buying process and walk away with a better deal than you thought possible.
NHTSA investigates Ford Windstar axles.
Given that both of the crashes and many of the complaints occurred in the so-called Salt Belt states, an early theory is that the Windstar's rear axle structure, an inverted U-shaped piece of metal, collects road salt and deteriorates over time.
A straight-talking Akio Toyoda on the state of the world's largest (still) automaker.
Case in point: this interview with Automotive News, from the Nurburgring in Germany, where Toyoda was on hand to cheer on the Lexus LFA supercar. Not only did he reiterate that the company's quality problems are not a recent phenomenon -- he traced early issues to the global expansion that brought sales up to 6 million vehicles per year all the way back in 2003 -- but he even acknowledged that stalwart models such as the Camry are getting dated and that the company is feeling competitive pressure from the likes of Ford (he specifically mentioned the Taurus), GM and Hyundai.
Ford engineers recently tested the 2011 Mustang GT500 at Virginia International Raceway.
What's it like to drive the 2011 Ford Mustang GT500? Watch this video and get a taste of it.
Ford's Special Vehicle Team engineers recently put this new Pony Car though its paces at Virginia International Raceway. In this video, you get to sit in the cockpit as one tester flogs the car. Cool right?
The driver hits better than 140 mph, and there's plenty of engine, road and brake noise to arouse your senses.
It's three minutes and 15 seconds of your life worth spending on something very ‘Stang.
The weird, the wonderful Blastolene Hemi-powered Trike -- with video.
An "Exhaust Notes" follower just sent us this picture of -- well, it's hard to describe. At first, this machine looks like a cross between a drag racer and a chopper after a visit to Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory. Then, we saw this cool (albeit very strange) video of the thing in action, and we just had to post something on it. I mean, just listen to that thing roar. That's what happens when you have two double pumpers just dumping fuel into an engine that puts out an insane 1,000 horsepower.
Did we mention the whole thing, called the Frogman Rocket II, was created by the same team that executed Jay Leno's Tank Car? You can sort of see the resemblance.
Just a quick note on the video: It's, uh, sort of weird. A lot of lingering shots of owner Tim Cotterill burning up pavement and shattering eardrums in Southern California (or an area that looks just like it). There's a whole subplot -- if one could say the short has anything resembling a "plot" -- with a hitchhiker, who then disappears ... ahh, forget it. Just watch and listen to a truly unique machine doing what it does best: going fast and turning heads. Enjoy after the jump.
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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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