Archives For December 2012

The Bentley EXP 9 F concept.Credit:

The Bentley EXP 9 F concept.

It’s funny which cars get made and those that fail to make the grade.

Sometimes it’s counter-intuitive. As much as we love concept cars, they’re not always brilliant.

The Bentley EXP 9 F (pictured left) is probably a great example. And then there are the no-doubters, like the Lexus LF-LC.

You can see plenty of pics of the latter here.

Also make sure to click here to check out the top 10 concepts as determined by Car and Driver.

Want to see even more concepts?

(Early warning these look like crazy cars from the future, like something out of the movies Total Recall or Minority Report.)

OK, you were warned! Want to see even more concepts? Check out what they’re working on at the ArtCenter’s school of Transportation Design.

Credit: YouTube.

Credit: YouTube.

There’s no end to the technical wizardry on the near-horizon for new cars.

Toyota’s U.S. division head, Jim Lentz, announced that the company is working on gesture control for certain functions in the vehicle. Make a motion with your hand and you can adjust the volume of the radio, for instance.

Hopefully the system won’t misread your hand movement when you give in to road rage, if you know what we mean.

Believe it or not the engineers are currently testing this technology on a skateboard!

However, they’ve also have been developing an Insect, Smart Insect, that is, with on-board motion sensors.

It’s all pretty trick.

Get the details on the wave-of-a-hand ride from The Wall Street Journal below:

Future Driving: Controlling a Car with a Wave of the Hand?

mustang_retroWe see a lot of custom cars, but this one truly caught our eye.

It’s a “retrobuilt” ’69 Mustang Fastback. In fact, it’s a ’13 Ford Mustang GT.

Pretty much the best example of combining old and new we’ve seen in some time. If you like classic design but the advantages of new technology then this car is for you.

To quote the Autoblog piece:

“The retro-coupe features power-operated sport buckets with lumbar support, ice-cold air conditioning, six airbags and a full factory warranty. Lest anyone forget, it also comes with a modern fuel-injected 5.0-liter V8 generating 420 horsepower.”

Call the guys at Retrobuilt in Lamar, Missouri, if you want for yourself.

Read the feature to see how they transform a great new car into an incredible “classic” ride. Wonder if they could do something like this for a classic Euro.

Click below to read the entire Autoblog piece on the retrobuilt muscle machine:

Retrobuilt 1969 Mustang Fastback

The Toyota Corolla.Credit: Wikipedia.

The Toyota Corolla.
Credit: Wikipedia.

Forbes has a new report out on the 10 most reliable cars.

They note the Tundra was Motor Trend’s ’08 Truck of the Year, and also won J.D. Power’s award for most reliable pickup after three years of ownership. But according to CarMD, it’s in the shop more than most vehicles and the repairs are expensive.

Believe it or not, the same assessment applies to an older Honda Civic.

Given the economy and the overall improved quality of cars in general, buying used is a smart idea, but you still have to do the research and be selective.

But in the end, a used car can be a great value. And moreover, no new car warranties to worry about in terms of adding aftermarket gear from your favorite car security company!

Check out some of the cars that made CarMD’s “Top Ten most reliable” list:

1.  2010 Toyota Corolla

2.  2008 Toyota Yaris

3.  2009 Honda Pilot

4.  2009 Honda Accord

5.  2010 Subaru Forester

See the whole list over at Yahoo and also check out Forbes’ related story: 13 New Cars to Avoid.

2012-07-24 16.01.04

Think those reminders to teens about not texting and driving are working?

Well, probably not.

Asia’s largest automaker (Toyota) and the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found in a new study that teens are 26 times more likely to send texts while driving than their parents expect.

A whopping 69 percent of teens regularly drive with their peers and no adults. About 54 percent said they use a handheld mobile phone while driving.

All this tends to point to more unsafe behavior behind the wheel.

On the flip side of this story though is the anecdote about a teen who drove his Mustang off a cliff and survived, thanks to his iPhone. He wasn’t talking or texting but after the accident occurred, his father was able to locate him by tracking down his phone through AT&T.

The car was totaled and he had to have brain surgery but apparently he will be all right.

Check out the Automotive News story on the teen texting report on here and see the Mustang and the surviving teen story from Jalopnik here.