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Motoring :: Articles from The New York Sun

Last Build Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2018 19:41:36 -0400

Copyright: Copyright 2018 The New York Sun

Revenge of the Family Car

Fri, 8 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

The station wagon was supposed to be relegated to the dustbin of history.The heyday of the faux wood-paneled family truckster coincided with a time in American life when the Brady Bunch wasn't yet in reruns and the gas crisis the first one, that is hadn't affected society's penchant for large, body-on-frame automobiles.With the introduction of the 2008 Outback, however, we're told that this is now a "wagon-only" vehicle line. Subaru's announcement seems a bit peculiar at first, but it's...

Lady Liberty

Fri, 1 Feb 2008 00:00:00 EST

Khaki pants and TV dinners aren't the only staples of military life that the intrepid veterans of World War II introduced into mainstream society. America can also thank the U.S. Army for giving us the Jeep.In 1941, the military received an order of 1,500 light reconnaissance vehicles known as the Willys Model MA. An improved version, the MB, soon appeared on the front lines, but for reasons nobody knows for sure, soldiers began calling it a Jeep.It stands to reason that as the world became...

When Concept Becomes Reality

Fri, 25 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Chrysler has conquered the final frontier in the quest to produce the ideal environmentally friendly car. On paper, at least.The sleek ecoVoyager ranks among the best vehicles unveiled at this week's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It boasts great lines and a luxurious, spacious cabin designed to evoke a private jet.Its power source is based on a compact lithium-ion battery pack and is supplemented by the latest hydrogen fuel cells. The ecoVoyager ends the complaint that...

With Sporty Hummer, The Good Times Roll

Fri, 25 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Another notable concept vehicle coming out of Detroit is the Hummer HX. General Motors is extending this brand with impressive results.With gas prices as high as they are, the idea behind this concept Hummer is to make it smaller and more fuel-efficient without losing either its mean looks or its magnificent off-road presence.The HX concept treads brazenly into the open-air SUV territory that Jeep has closely guarded over the years. This Hummer has removable door and roof panels, and even...

Even Auto Racing Goes Green

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Here's a first: Officials at the American Le Mans Series announced this week that they've asked none other than the Environmental Protection Agency to develop protocols and criteria for a 1,000-mile "green" race this fall.The Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta, the so-called American version of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France, is based on the French race's guiding concept: exotic prototype and production-based sports cars competing in four different classes on the track at the...

King of the Road

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Automakers have been promising us a revolution for some time now. If this week's auto show in Detroit is any indication of things to come, then it seems they took the word "revolution" quite literally. Don't get us wrong. Sometimes returning to one's roots is the best decision. Especially when the company is Ford and the revolution centers 'round the GT500.Previews at the North American International Auto Show had been all too predictable this year. Alternative-fuel engines come in cars we...

Drawing Board Driving Appeal

Fri, 11 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

The mantra among speed enthusiasts, especially Porsche aficionados, is that the no-frills car is the one that has the best chance of winning the race. So we were fascinated by this week's announcement out of Stuttgart that Porsche is planning (hold on to your socks for this one) a four-door hybrid model.The lasting appeal of Porsche traditionally rested on distinctively styled coupes with throaty, straight six engines that could, with the addition of a skillful driver, outrun and outmaneuver...

Satellite Radio Unveils Its Threat Matrix

Fri, 11 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

If it's January, and you're in Detroit, then you're most likely an intrepid member of the automotive press corps in town for the North American International Auto Show. And if it happens to snow next week as it usually does in Detroit in January then the purveyors of the Threat Matrix will have a field day demonstrating their technology to auto columnists.Threat Matrix is the name of the real-time weather-tracking service behind XM Satellite Radio's new NavWeather feature. The same folks...

Crash-Test Dummies Become More Lifelike

Fri, 4 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Pin-up girls aren't the only ones getting silicone implants.Ford Motor Co. is working with prominent hospitals to develop more lifelike abdominal inserts for pediatric crash-test dummies."The major focus [with crash dummy testing] has always been on head and chest injuries," the senior technical leader with Ford's Passive Safety Research and Advanced Engineering Department, Steve Rouhana, said. "But the lack of an abdomen is not just a matter of priority. We really didn't have the technology...

Campaign Trail Escape Tale

Fri, 4 Jan 2008 00:00:00 EST

Ford Motor Co. is using the hype surrounding the presidential primary season to tout its new sport utility vehicle, the Escape Hybrid.Ford is running a print advertisement in several Capitol Hill publications, such as Roll Call, the Hill, and Politico, that claims the SUV is a favorite of many presidential contenders and their campaign staffs. "We may not know where all the candidates stand, but we know where a lot of them sit," the advertisement reads.Ford's campaign for the "green" Escape...

Forward, Felines

Fri, 28 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

A commercial for one of the most eagerly anticipated television programs of the past week promised to divulge the exact whereabouts of large, black Jaguars along the Eastern Seaboard.The TV special, which detailed the possibility that a large cat might be attacking dairy cattle in the hills of West Virginia, turned out to be a disappointment for motoring enthusiasts. We're far more interested in black Jaguars with purrs that emanate from finely tuned V8 engines.This beloved British motorcar has...

Great White Way

Fri, 21 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

For the first time in nearly a decade, silver doesn't take the gold.DuPont's latest Global Automotive Color Popularity Report finds that white has edged out silver as the top car color of choice, reflecting a growing trend among home furnishings and fashion that favors a return to minimalism.Popular culture's embrace of the white-on-white look not seen to this extent among home furnishings and cars since the height of the Reagan administration also suggests that hot new colors will soon...

Cadillac Rivington, Dodge Morningstar: Coming to Dealers Soon?

Fri, 21 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

We asked readers of Motoring+ a couple of weeks ago to come up with car nameplates based on New York City locations. The Subaru Tribeca SUV and the Buick Park Avenue luxury sedan are two popular models that originally inspired the request for suggestions.We were most impressed by the creative submissions of Jim S. and his friends from Brooklyn. In fact, we think certain automakers would do well to hire these guys.Luxury NameplatesAlbemarle: After Albemarle Road, BrooklynAstor: Place...

On the Island Road To Paradise

Fri, 14 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

One of the peculiar developments of late-20th-century society is the proliferation of the all-inclusive vacation resort. You might call it the "McDonaldization" of luxury travel: Wherever you go, you rest assured that there's a meticulously maintained hotel and resort facility with predictable meals, predictable leisure activities, and predictable crowds. The architecture of these places can best be described as "Disneyland meets Venetian palazzo." And in these pastel-colored villas, rotund...

A Cool Kind of Hybrid

Fri, 7 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) is an adrenaline junkie's best friend.The Canadian company manufactures and markets really cool vehicles that send adventurous riders cruising over just about every type of terrain. There are Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft and sport boats, and the always-dependable Evinrude outboard engines.They also produce Can-Am all-terrain vehicles, as well as ultralight aircraft engines. Even dyed-in-the-wool New Yorkers, for whom Central Park...

Would Anyone Buy A Chevy Avenue D?

Fri, 7 Dec 2007 00:00:00 EST

It's always fun to see a Subaru Tribeca drive by the headquarters of The New York Sun, which, of course, is in TriBeCa.The same goes for spotting a Buick Park Avenue or a Chrysler Fifth Avenue in those fashionable uptown neighborhoods.Automakers want the right people buying their cars, and geographical names often lend a hand in those marketing efforts. It's no wonder that upscale soccer moms in the trendy streets of TriBeCa have flocked to Subaru's smart-looking crossover sport utility since...

Cobra Copies

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

Racing legend Carroll Shelby sold his very own Shelby Cobra 427 for a whopping $5.5 million at auction earlier this year. That astronomical sum settled any doubts that the iconic 1960s roadster is the most collectible of vintage automobiles.The big issue facing the new owner is common among Cobra enthusiasts: Drive it or not? When a car is valued in the millions of dollars, the risks involved with taking it out for a spin a wayward pebble nicking the paint job, for instance are often too...

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Fri, 30 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

The Nextel Cup Series winner, Jimmie Johnson, returned to Midtown on Wednesday morning for Nascar's 27th annual Champions Week and led a victory lap around Times Square. Mr. Johnson, who is the first Nascar driver to win back-to-back championships in nearly 10 years, took the wheel of his No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet to lead the top 10 drivers of the 2007 Nextel Cup Series down Broadway and onto 42nd Street. From there, the stock cars took a left on Madison Avenue and another left on 53rd Street...

Bringing the Test-Drive to You

Fri, 23 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

Long live experiential marketing.That's the message coming from the savviest branding and marketing experts these days, as companies are learning how to target an audience of potential customers even before they pitch their products.The managing director of Strat@comm, the transportation-focused Detroit subsidiary of Fleishman-Hillard, Kim Skeltis, says that mass marketing might work well for certain items, but not for big-ticket purchases like automobiles.Ms. Skeltis says that her firm...

Morphed Into Movie Stars

Fri, 23 Nov 2007 00:00:00 EST

Movie directors don't commonly scope out automobile showrooms when looking for the stars of their next films. So when the director Michael Bay began poking around General Motors's design studio in Los Angeles, GM executives knew they had a sterling marketing opportunity on their hands.Mr. Bay directed "Transformers," last summer's blockbuster action movie based on the eponymous 1980s Hasbro toy line. Besides familiarizing a new generation of American boys with the age-old battle between the...