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Entries in Ford Mustang (3)


September 2013

September 20, 2013: It’s been a week since the Frankfurt Motor Show, and two things stand out in the clutter of concepts and new cars. The first is Ford’s decision to launch a trim level above Titanium for the Mondeo, and the introduction of a lightly disguised new S-Max people mover. Both could have a big impact on Lincoln’s future. The second is Ducati’s 899 Panigale. Need we say more? Next, a recent discussion with a VW insider gives deeper insight into the company’s recent moves, and how it maintains its competitiveness. Despite the seeming non sequitur, there’s a lot of similarities between NASCAR’s Richmond race indignity and Mercedes’ plans to build luxury pickups. Really. Speaking of indignities, TVD friend and Cars In Context TV host John Clor comes to the defense of Ford’s Mustang II with both passion and logic. When it comes to this reviled vehicle will either matter? Also, we spend a week with the Lexus LX 570, and get to the heart of this luxury SUV’s reason for being. We also spend time with Hyundai’s Elantra GT, and come away surprised, just not pleasantly. Plus, Al Vinikour gives us his take on modern, button-festooned steering wheels.


September 6, 2013: Last time, we took a look at the rumors and facts surrounding Ford’s eagerly anticipated 2015 Mustang. This time we look at some of the designs that never made it off the drawing pad 

or from clay to steel. Two Toyotas are on the road with us this week. First up is the Toyota Venza, a vehicle that, Toyota says, defies definition. Second is the Lexus GS350 F Sport. Is it a true sport sedan or just a high-resolution digital copy? One thing that’s not a copy is Evanta. This tiny English craft shop builds some of the most desirable recreations around, and a lot more. Speaking of  British heritage, the folks at BMH have a couple of new parts for your old MGB. Cars in Context TV is back for another round, this time looking at the death of the small pickup truck and its possible resurrection. Also, two new technologies break cover. This first is a Dutch transmission without any gears that has an interesting origin. The second is a new way to get electricity from waste exhaust heat. Finally, Al Vinikour, as ever, asks a pointed question about a simple problem.




July 2012

July 27, 2012: Chris Sawyer is back from Atlanta where he drove the 2013 Cadillac ATS across the back roads and up and down the roller coaster that is Atlanta Motorsport Park. Read what he has to say about the car, the track and the eye-opening drive. While Sawyer was in Georgia, Al Vinikour was driving through New Mexico in Mercedes’ new GL-Class SUV. Al put it through its paces, and was pleasantly surprised by the technology — and the fold-flat second-and third-row seats. Having lived through the 1980s, we’ve heard of nose candy, but hose candy? See what it is and how it can dress up under the hood of your 1965-1969 Mustang. If that’s not enough, perhaps a little noise is in order? Check out a new cat-back exhaust system for 2012 Dodge Challengers from the folks at CORSA. Ever wonder where the idea for airbags came from and where the technology is going? We take a look at the past, present and future of inflatable restraints. Finally, Al takes issue with parents who lock their kids in the car on hot days. It’s not a pleasant subject, nor does Al mince words, but he wonders if there isn’t a technology that could prevent future tragedies like this from occurring.


July 20, 2012: Recently Al and Chris were at a drive event for the Hyundai Veloster Turbo, Elantra Coupe and Elantra GT. That’s when the idea hit: Why not share a byline and write a Point/Counterpoint on the Elantra models? (Al covered the Veloster Turbo in an earlier issue.) Though we’re not sure Sawyer will ever agree to do this again, we think you’ll find the resulting article very enjoyable. Elsewhere, the Virtual Rider, Scott Bowles, is back, this time with a review of Ducati’s Monster 796. And Al puts forward a theory about what it really takes for a foreign automaker to be successful in the U.S. market.


July 13, 2012: McLaren introduces a retractable hardtop version of the MP4-12C. We take a closer look. The Rumor Mill is back and filled with information, from Renault’s potential move into the upper luxury market to the truth behind the DeltaWing to Toyota’s craziest project yet. The Editor reviews Griff Borgeson’s seminal work on the early years of the American race car, and comes away impressed by the men, the machines and the book. Husqvarna introduces a pair of single-cylinder bikes for both on- and off-road. We give you the details. Finally, Al is reminded about his age, and proceeds to prove that he’s forgotten more than most young people remember — or ever knew!


 July 4, 2012: With both freedom and time becoming more precious every day, the staff of The Virtual Driver are taking this week off to catch up with friends and family, and to appreciate the freedoms that often are taken for granted.


June 2012

June 29, 2012: The old Driver’s Seat gets a real workout this week! First, we take a week with Volkswagen’s Passat with a 2.5-liter inline five cylinder under the hood, and ask if it meets the high standards set by the diesel and V6. Next, Chris Sawyer spends a day with Ford checking out what’s new for 2013. More of the same? Better? Read his report and decide for yourself. Finally, Al goes to California to drive Hyundai’s new Veloster Turbo. Can an injection of horsepower turn it from curiosity to sports car? Al also provides us with his words of wisdom about cruise control, including the adaptive version, and a new addition to that old saying about it raining cats and dogs.


June 21, 2012: Fresh off the Le Mans 24 Hours comes word that the organizers want to require that automakers wishing to compete race hybrids, and don’t care what happens to the DeltaWing. Incensed, Chris Sawyer cuts through the politically correct claptrap, and proposes a formula that would force alternative propulsion systems to actually compete. Al has a big week this week. First he drives the new Mercedes GLK350 in Virginia, and files a report. Next, he reviews Jaguar’s XJL Portfolio, and gives us his impressions of the biggest Cat yet. Oh, and just to let you know the old Al hasn’t been taken by space aliens, he files a Tirade on, of all things, steel wheels and hub caps! BASF is bringing its Chip Foose-modified Mercedes 300SL to the Concours d’Elegance, and sponsoring seminars on restoring your classic… only not with Chip Foose, unfortunately. Finally, our Director of Web Development stops by at the Eyes On Design show, and comes away focused on two interesting Fords.


June 15, 2012: Just in time for this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, we take a look inside Audi’s R18 twins; the R18 ultra and R18 e-tron quattro. One is a lightweight diesel, the other a four-wheel-drive diesel hybrid. Staying with the whole German diesel thing, Chris Sawyer tests VW’s Touareg TDI Lux and comes away smitten with diesel power and economy. Al reviews Paul Ingrassia’s book Engines of Change, and takes another shot at folks who dawdle at traffic lights. Finally, we take a look at the 2013 Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h, the current leaders in the near-luxury field.


June 8, 2012: Is the 2012 Beetle more of the same, or a vehicle that you really might want to own? We answer that question. Speaking of VW, what can Alfa Romeo and Mazda learn from its efforts to increase U.S. sales? And is Mazda’s foray into Grand-Am’s GX series the end of “Zoom Zoom” or a succinct way to reintroduce diesel power to U.S. buyers? Finally, Al almost gets blindsided while driving. See what technology has him calling for a government mandate.


June 1, 2012: Mini’s JCW Cooper Coupe crosses our path, and makes a good impression. Is it the return of the everyday British sports car? We find out. Sauber takes a saw to one of its old Formula One cars to give fans a look at what’s under the skin, and we have the video. Speaking of F1, the pit fire in Barcelona raises questions about fuel vapors and static electricity, but we wonder if the phenomena goes much deeper than that. The Editor reviews a book about aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss and comes away impressed with the man behind the machines, and wonders why it has taken this long to hear more about his accomplishments. Speaking of stuff that could fall from the sky, Al wonders aloud about bird poo and what can be done to prevent it from ruining your car’s finish.