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Entries in Nissan Pathfinder (2)

Friday
Nov022012

November 2012

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.

 

Thursday
Aug022012

August 2012

August 31, 2012: It’s Editor Sawyer’s birthday today, but his present came early in the form of a column David Wilks photo.from race driver and entrepreneur Andy Pilgrim (pictured). The British-born racer joins the TVD staff as an occasional contributor, and reviews a vehicle you might find surprising. We certainly did. Speaking of surprises, we discover tires that can spell. And Osram introduces a low-cost LED solution for front fog lights. Dan Brochstein takes us behind the scenes at the recent Concours d’Elegance of America, and picks a few favorites. Al Vinikour drives the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport, and comes back impressed. Former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar sues his former employer while it puts his former company car on the auction block. Editor Sawyer takes a look at the new CAFE standards, and gets a Red scare. And Al Vinikour take aim at the one of the most annoying, exasperating and stupid devices ever fitted to an automobile.

 

August 24, 2012: The week was filled with travel, specifically out to Laguna Seca where Editor Sawyer attended the U.S. launch of the BMW M5, M6 and Gran Coupé. And while running around the Corkscrew was fun, the real tale was told out on the road. Are these cars road course  heroes and rolling ego strokes, or are they capable of dispatching with the daily grind as well as trail braking? The heavy travel schedule also meant Al Vinikour was only able to give us his view of vinyl roofs, a.k.a. bad toupees for cars. White hot in the 1960, 1970s and even the 1980s, these plastic abominations still pop up today. Which is enough to make Al see red.

 

August 17, 2012: There were two major unveilings at Pebble Beach this week. First up is the new Ferrari F12berlinetta. With more than 700 horsepower and lb-ft of torque, it’s so fast the name ran together. Next up is the latest Range Rover. With an aluminum body/chassis unit, it’s significantly lighter than its BMW-designed predecessor. Ford launched its new Advanced Electrification Center this week, but it only underlines the fact that politics, not demand is driving the market in this direction. Also, Harris Interactive polled drivers from 18 to 66 about in-car connectivity, and the results may surprise you. Ever want to dress up your garage door, but wanted something that was more visually arresting than a new paint color? A company in Munich, Germany has just what you need. Finally, Al tells us why, if you don’t like you child’s driving, you’re to blame.

 

August 10, 2012: As we were going to press, news broke that Jay Penske, owner of IndyCar’s Dragon Racing team had been arrested along with his older brother on a variety of charges. This comes on the heels of AJ Allmendinger’s problems, and sets a high bar for punishment. This isn’t a story with shades of gray, but of yellow. Al Vinikour features prominently this week. The Editor takes a chance and sends the automotive technophobe to Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission plant to report on the company’s new in-house hybrid transmission. He also spent a week with a supercharged Range Rover (poor baby), and gives us his impressions. Plus, his Tirade take a backwards glance at rearview cameras and their place in the automotive firmament. Editor Sawyer, meanwhile, spent a week with Audi’s S4 quattro sport sedan, but couldn’t quite give it a 5 out of 5 rating. Find out why. Plus, he gives a preview of the lighter, more fuel-efficient 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and the sybaritic 2013 Lexus LS with its sport-oriented F Sport variant.

 

August 3, 2012: First came word that Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick “resigned” before GM issued a terse press release calling into question Ewanick’s character. It was followed by word that designer Dave Lyon was fired a week or so before heading to Germany to lead design operations over there, and rumors began to fly that the new Corvette isn’t very handsome. We speculate what might be behind this busy but bad week at GM. On a lighter note, we drive Audi’s supercharged A6 quattro. Jump inside to see if it’s everything you could ever want or less than expected. Al drives the 2013 Audi allroad, the first car is seven years to wear that badge in the U.S. BMW adds a new bike to its lineup, the HP4. We take a look. And Al Vinikour asks why automakers can’t design a decent cupholder.