Posts from ‘Chrysler’
I joined the Consumer Guide team the summer of 2002. That means that, in just a few months, I will have been writing about cars full-time for 20 years. I mention this because I have only recently begun to consider just how much the automotive landscape has changed in the past two decades.
Instead of fumbling with task of explaining the concept of aerodynamics myself, I will simply lift some copy from the Porsche 924 ad seen below. Per Porsche:
I recall a time, oh, 38 years ago, when my folks forbade me from driving to a friend’s house because it was raining. At the time, even if I believed that rain in any way made driving more dangerous, I wasn’t prepared to admit it. Besides, real car guys were unafraid of driving in snow, at night, and through downpours. Honestly, I still enjoy driving around through fresh snow.
Twenty years ago, it would have seemed inconceivable that Europe’s most storied luxury and performance automakers would have gotten into the SUV business. Yet, here we are–Alfa Romeo (Stelvio), Aston Martin (DBX), Bentley (Bentayga), Lamborghini (Urus), Maserati (Levante), Rolls-Royce (Cullinan) are all now in the truck game. Most shocking, perhaps, is that Ferrari will offer an SUV (Purosangue) for the 2022 model year. And of course, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche got into the SUV game (and profited big) years ago.
In terms of general statistical sexiness, brake performance has long taken a backseat to acceleration. Horsepower numbers are fun, 0-60-mph and quarter-mile times are fun. But braking? Most car guys know that reaching 60 mph from a stop in less than 6 seconds is an impressive feat. How many folks, I wonder, know what a decent time would be for coming to a complete stop from 60 mph?
Let’s get one thing straight right away: The Chevrolet Monte Carlo WAS a personal-luxury car. I have received at least a dozen emails and instant messages on this issue, mostly from car guys who insist that a personal-luxury car must come from a luxury brand. Not the case. For anyone who would like to spend time learning about the origins of the term, Wikipedia has a nice entry on the topic.
By 1988, light-duty trucks—a category which includes pickups, minivans, and SUVs—accounted for roughly one third of new-vehicle sales. At the time, the popularity of trucks seemed scandalous to many in the automotive media, most whom wagged a stern figure at automakers, warning that a sudden surge in the price of gas would leave dealers with lots full of unsellable product.
If you were a computer nerd, 1975 was a big year for you. Featured on the cover of Popular Electronics magazine, the Altair 8800 made its commercial debut, heralded as the first “micro computer.”
Among the seemingly countless tragedies and hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon the world this year, the upending of the normal American summertime car-show season ranks relatively low on the list. Still, it hurts to have so many car shows, car races, cruise nights, and other automotive gatherings either cancelled outright or postponed.