America's ban on the sale of imported cars newer than 25 years old has rankled buyers for a long, long time. But today's news of U.S. Customs' public destruction of a 2000 Mini Cooper has to be the most egregious case yet. Publicly, the law exists for safety and emissions — to keep foreign cars that may not meet American crash test or clean air standards off our roads. On the surface it sounds like a noble enough goal, but that's not what it's really about. That's not what it has ever been about. The Mini was an interesting choice because it inadvertently proves why the law is so off base. Built between 1959 and 2000, the Mini received various updates throughout its long life, but the basic car remained much the same. The original Volkswagen Beetle had a similar story. You rarely see cars live that long anymore, thanks again to emissions and safety laws. I could import a 1970 Mini without much trouble. That's perfectly legal. But if I tried to import a 2000 Mini — … [Read more...] about So How Do We Fix America’s Stupid 25-Year Import Rule?
I have a new appreciation for the Carlisle Import and Performance Car Nationals, a combo show for vintage import cars and modern tuner cars all sharing the same fairground in Pennsylvania. Expect to see a V8-swapped Mazda RX-7 with a rear wing as big as a tea table next to a classic Land Rover and an actual tea table. We made it out this year and found some very Good Cars. Carlisle is known for its gigantic American car shows, but the Import and Performance Car Nationals ruled. Lots of people complained about the weather this year but that’s completely off base. It was low key and drizzly, which was wonderful for walking around and staying cool. Why car show people like to bake under the hot sun is beyond me, but all the wimpy owners who are afraid of getting their cars wet didn’t show, and all the good owners who don’t mind a little rain did make it out. There were very few BMWs. There were lots of Saabs. That probably says something. Even with the turnout as it was, … [Read more...] about Here Are Five Wonderful Cars At The Carlisle Import And Performance Car Nationals
This will be our third Sedan Showdown in a row. Kicking us off were some basic full-size models, and through the “Not nice enough!” complaints, the Charger took home the win. Giving the people what they want, we turned the budget up to $45,000 and presented some luxury full-size sedans instead. Again, FCA took home a win; the Chrysler 300 easily overpowered the base Lincoln Continental, and pipped the top-trim Buick LaCrosse. All the while, this third commenter-sourced trio waited in the wings, ready to pounce. Smaller than our previous two sets of cars, Bumpy ii wants to see you squirm and set fires. You ready? This couple is. Today’s target budget was set around $30,000, for mid-sizers that lean toward full-size. Volkswagen Passat GT North America has had its own special iteration of the Passat since 2012. An update for the 2016 model year brought considerable visual change to the Passat, and in fact only the doors, roof, and side rails are shared with the previous … [Read more...] about Buy/Drive/Burn: The 2018 Mid-size Import Sedan Showdown
Tweet TweetAnderson Germany released a new tuning package, this time for the Mercedes CL65 AMG. The tuner named it the Grey Stone Edition and prepared a series of styling and performance tweaks. To be more specific, the 6.0-liter V12 engine develops now 670 horsepower and 1056Nm of torque, quite enough to improve the stock 0-100 km/h time of 4,4 seconds. The additional power is available thanks to a revised ECU unit and a new high-flow air filter. A revised quad-pipe exhaust system also plays an important role in this package. At the exterior, Anderson Germany provides a matte grey finish, new alloy wheels, revised optical blocks, large alloy wheels, carbon fiber housings for the side mirrors and window frames. Inside, buyers will benefit from new floor mats, a black leather upholstery, revised dashboard and carbon fiber trim. Pricing and availability details were not released yet by the company. … [Read more...] about Mercedes CL65 AMG Grey Stone Edition unveiled
Earlier this week I was driving from Cologne to Calais on the A4 and approaching Aachen on the German-Dutch border passed the Weisweiler power plant that was belching out smoke/steam at a prodigious rate. I think it may be nuclear but am unsure as Germany has a non-nuclear policy, but you could smell it in the car long before you could see it. The stuff being emitted may be clean and green, I don’t know, but the thought did cross my mind that if one of these things was sitting in Hampstead in north London, in Versailles near Paris, in Santa Monica in California – you get my drift – would the passion for electric cars be so prolific. Call me cynical if you like, but I couldn’t help thinking of the NIMBY – not in my back yard – phrase. I am touching upon this because today Ricardo, the highly respected engineering consultancy, has published a strategic white paper setting out its vision for an electric future for the passenger car. With all its … [Read more...] about Grey is the colour