November 30, 2012: While the rest of the world was running from stand to stand at the L.A. Auto Show, TVD’s editors were taking in the scenery. The Lincoln stand’s homage to Lincolns past caught their attention, but so did something else. Speaking of retro, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering has a way to make your new Camaro look more like its ancestor. Despite sharing DNA with its predecessor, the 2013 Toyota Avalon is a big step forward, though the Sport mode button still baffles. Speaking of distractions, Toyota and the University of Michigan recently completed a study on driver distraction, and the results aren’t promising, especially for parents. We’re tech heavy this week with three stories you’re sure to like. First, French supplier Faurecia designs seats that move and coddle, interiors that take cues from major cities, and… an exhaust manifold for Ford hybrids? Meanwhile, Visteon shows just how detailed 3D instrument displays can be, and our Director of Web Development goes to Burger King with Ferrari’s design house. Finally, Al Vinikour beats a man when he’s down… with a hub cap!
November 20, 2012: It’s a short week for the staff at The Virtual Driver as they travel to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. Nevertheless, we’ve picked some of our favorite stories from the past for your entertainment. First up is the story of Andy Peace and his Maserati Tipo 250, a Fifties grand prix car you can drive every day. Next up is the Eagle Speedster, a rumored £500,000 ($796,000) re-do of the classic Jaguar E-Type, and one of the most beautiful Jaguars ever. Those more interested in modern metal might like the review of Chevy’s Volt; a very nice car that makes little economic sense. Judging from its readership, a perennial favorite is William Sawyer’s reminiscence of days of racing past; a time of innovation and lost innocence. Finally, those looking for a touch of comedy may enjoy the Al Vinikour/Chris Sawyer co-review of Hyundai’s Elantra Coupe and GT. We also invite you to wander the site and leave your comments along the way between football games and turkey and stuffing-induced comas. Here’s wishing you and yours the very best this Thanksgiving.
November 16, 2012: Australia’s Carbon Revolution just launched a set of carbon fiber road wheels for high-performance sports cars, but that’s not the news. The company has plans to bring these lightweight rims to automotive, aerospace and trucking at competitive prices. Speaking of revolutions, Ford introduces a new minivan closer in size to Chrysler’s original, and BMW announces plans to produce a new air-cooled boxer sport bike. Mini, meanwhile, has a new collection of bags inspired by the car and its native culture. Cadillac’s native culture used to be squishy luxury, but recent products have combined sport with luxury. Does the XTS continue this trend, look to the past or straddle these two worlds? And TVD’s own culture czar, Al Vinikour questions the placement of certain features on new cars.
November 9, 2012: Al Vinikour goes out on the trail to drive the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder, an SUV that has moved from body-on-frame to monocoque chassis. Has capability been lost in the translation? Honda has signed a letter of agreement with Proton/Lotus owner DRB-Hicom. Is there any fire behind this smoke, and what might it mean for the struggling British sports car maker? Mercedes has commissioned a limited number of 1:43 models of its 300 SL and its latest progeny, but you’d better be able to speak German if you want one. Speaking of presents, TVD has joined forces with Cars In Context Television to create a new car show. You can see the first episode here. If that’s not enough, Chris Sawyer drives the new Jetta Hybrid, a vehicle that brings performance to the hybrid competitive set while getting diesel-like mileage. Finally, Al Vinikour uses the S-word in public, and wants you to do the same.
November 2, 2012: Ford launches a new Cobra Jet, a twin-turbo V8-powered drag car concept that may hold the key to future performance Mustangs. If that isn’t enough, the company also relaunched the 1940 Ford; a sheetmetal tool room copy of the original Coupe designed for restorers and rodders. Controlled Power Technologies claims it has the answer to providing both the power and economy necessary to meet future fuel economy standards and customer performance demands. Editor Sawyer drives the Challenger Rallye Redline, and wonders if it’s a pony car competitor or luxo barge. And Al Vinikour talks about the days when he was a (tire) smoker too addicted to quit.