April 6, 2014 |
As a general rule, gas-electric hybrid cars and trucks are not fun; their very nature precludes it. Hybrids are made to maximize conservation at the expense of stimulation. The thrill of driving one is seeing the m.p.g. indicator creep higher, rather than the speedometer. Certainly that's true of the Toyota Prius, which loudly proclaims its mission without any endearing aesthetic quality. But a fuel-sipper doesn't have to look ugly to be efficient; you could opt for the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid.
January 6, 2013 |
Lost at Sea The Jon Ronson Mysteries By Jon Ronson Riverhead Books. 416 pp. $26.95 Jon Ronson is enormously likable. And though likability is not a quality necessary to successful journalism, for the kind of writing he does, it really helps. A practitioner - possibly a pioneer - of a certain "Well, I'll be damned" style of reporting, Ronson investigates oddities amid the everyday and shows us how weird a place the world truly is. In his first major book, the provocative and charming Them: Adventures With Extremists , he investigated the belief held by some that the world is controlled by a small group of people, a "shadowy elite" made up of Christian fundamentalists, or members of the British Parliament, or something.
September 30, 2012 |
I walked into a room whose white walls were densely populated by early renderings of the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion. Those drawings suggested that from the outset, Ford's designers were quite infatuated with the Aston Martin signature grille, a design element that ultimately added significantly to the stylishness of Ford's new midsize sedan. Samantha "Sam" Hoyt, the Fusion's brand manager, smiled wanly when I mentioned the Ford grille's kinship with that of the British sports car. "The people at Aston Martin were not happy about us using it," she said.
August 13, 2012 |
Is it possible to live your life as an automotive Jekyll-and-Hyde? Can you pull up to the soccer field in a sedate station wagon, disgorge a mob of howling little David Beckhams, then slip off to a winding country road and do a convincing imitation of a Corvette ZR-1 in mid-scream? It is possible if you can dollar up for a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG High Performance Wagon (base price $91,500) or a Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon ($63,215). These Benz and Caddy wagons have to be the ultimate wolves in sheep's clothing.
March 26, 2012 |
It comes in an eye-popping shade of orange and zooms from 0 to 60 m.p.h. in less than four seconds with a feature called "launch control" on its way to a top speed of 200 m.p.h. - if you dare. And most buyers come to Chester County's sleek new McLaren Philadelphia dealership insisting on the fully loaded model at more than $300,000, or roughly 50 percent more than the current median price of a house in the region. Who buys such a pricey set of wheels when so many are standing in unemployment lines, drowning in underwater mortgages, and feeding their families with food stamps?
January 29, 2012 |
The dramatically redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion, which makes its regional debut this week at the Philadelphia Auto Show, demands one's attention intellectually as well as aesthetically. Midsize family sedans like the Fusion have long been citadels of conservatism, largely because conservative styling sells in this segment. The Toyota Camry has been the sales king in this category for years, and no one would accuse that car of having look-at-me motives. When Toyota redesigns this automobile, adjectives like evolutionary, gradual and incremental come to mind.
January 29, 2012 |
Buddies Derrick Dickens and Virgil McClendon make a pilgrimage to the Philadelphia Auto Show every year in an exercise that is part male bonding and part shopping trip. This year, Dickens, of Lumberton, is looking to buy. "I want a midsize SUV or larger," said Dickens, a senior manager at Peco Energy Co. "I need something to cart my two kids around, and I've got to have a place for the golf clubs. " Dickens, 47, and McClendon, 46, of Cherry Hill, walked the floor of the Convention Center Saturday, surrounded by 700 cars on one floor.
June 24, 2011 |
Pixar is famous for a tough-love in-house creative committee that makes harsh criticisms and drastic revisions, hewing to a ruthless goal of perfection. I wonder, though, if the committee took a year off while Pixar chief John Lasseter was making "Cars 2. " This sequel seems a few rewrites short of Pixar's usual standards. "Cars 2" hardly seems like a Pixar movie at all - it lacks the studio's usual emotional ambition, it settles for the gag-a-minute style of its commercial rivals, and is by far the studio's least original movie.
June 6, 2010 |
Lee. Jerry Lee. The owner of WBEB-FM (101.1) is getting much mileage over his plan to sell one of his prized possessions and use the proceeds to fund one of his passions. Lee, 74, owns one of the original Aston Martin Silver Birch DB5s used in the James Bond films Goldfinger and Thunderball - complete with nifty options such as smoke screen, radar, and passenger ejector seat. Kept in a spot of honor in his basement amid Bond lore for four decades, the sports car is in Canada being prepped for an Oct. 27 auction.
April 21, 2008 |
TATTLE WOKE UP humming "Baby You Can Drive My Car" (beep beep'm beep beep yeah!), which may explain the proliferation of automobile-related items in today's column. 007's car The car being used in the latest James Bond film plunged into a lake in northern Italy while being driven to the set. Producers say the driver of the Aston Martin was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. They say that James Bond's iconic car was being delivered to the filming unit in heavy rain on Saturday morning when it went off the road and plunged into Lake Garda.