Posts from ‘Review Flashback!’

May
09
1980 AMC Eagle Sedan

1980 AMC Eagle Sedan

I’ve long believed that if American Motors had been able to muster the capital to fully redesign its cars sometime around 1980, the company might have lasted well into the Nineties, maybe longer. Instead, AMC management—at the time already working with the company’s soon-to-be partner, the French automaker Renault—played a hunch, and built a line of full-time AWD passenger cars off of a long-serving existing platform. The result helped buy AMC a few more years, but in the end wasn’t enough to save the company.

May
03
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP

2009 Pontiac G8 GXP

We lost Pontiac sometime in 2010. A few fleet-special G6 midsize sedans were made available as ’10 models, though many of them found their way into rental fleets before the end of 2009. After that, the lights went dark at General Motors’s Performance Division.

Apr
22
2005 Acura NSX

2005 Acura NSX

You have to respect Honda Motor Company’s minimalistic nature. Honda and Acura vehicles are packaged in such a manner that they are not offered with stand-alone options. The Honda model lineup is among the smallest of any major automaker, and the company even keeps available trim levels to a tidy minimum.

Apr
09
2001 Hummer H1

2001 Hummer H1

Created for the U.S. military, the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, and more colloquially, Humvee) was engineered as a replacement for the M151 jeep vehicles and other light trucks that were previously the Armed Forces’ primary modes of light-duty transportation.

Apr
04
2005 Toyota MR2

2005 Toyota MR2

In many ways, the Toyota MR2 is a lot like the Honda Del Sol. Both cars seem like they should have been hits with young enthusiasts, but neither one ever truly found an audience. But unlike the Del Sol, which lasted for just a single generation of production, the MR2 was redesigned twice before it was withdrawn from the U.S. market.

Mar
21
2006 Ford GT

2006 Ford GT

 If you were looking for a solid investment back in 2006, you should have bought Ford. Not Ford stock, mind you, which is worth about the same $8.50 today as it was 13 years ago, but the Ford GT.

Mar
14
2011 Tesla Roadster

2011 Tesla Roadster

Introduced in 2012, the Tesla Model S was the first vehicle that Tesla, Inc. designed, manufactured, and sold on its own. Though the electric-car maker didn’t make good on its promises that the Model S would cost around $40,000 and travel 300 miles on a single charge, it did produce a large, stylish, and surprisingly fast luxury sedan that met with overwhelmingly positive reviews from both the press and the public.

Mar
06
2002 Chrysler Prowler, Inca Gold

2002 Chrysler Prowler

What comes of a car like the Prowler? Despite a long list of credentials–including its striking open-wheel design, the fact that it survived the death of of its original brand, and a spate of cool special-edition colors–the Prowler doesn’t seem to engender the kind of present-day enthusiast interest one might think it should.

Feb
22
2011 Lincoln Town Car

2011 Lincoln Town Car

Dealing with legacy product is probably one of the most challenging parts of an automaker product planner’s job. What does a brand do with aging, unhip product that still sells relatively well, but compromises a marque’s image with the younger buyers that marketers so desperately want to attract?

Dec
20
2005 Ford Excursion

2005 Ford Excursion

There were two good reasons for the demise of the Ford Excursion, and only one really good reason for it to have been built in the first place.

Addressing the former: Gas prices rose alarmingly during the Excursion’s brief tenure in Ford’s product lineup. Also, there was probably a finite market for 7000-pound SUVs, and what demand there was for such a vehicle had been met fairly quickly in the Excursion’s 2000-05 model-year run.

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