December 2017

AMG E-Class Wagon: An American tradition

(December 31, 2017) The AMG E63 S Wagon went on sale in October as one of 22 AMG models in the U.S. that have standard all-wheel drive (out of a total 40 AMG variants).  Although some of the well-known SUV models such as the G-Class, GLS, or GLE usually come to mind when referring to all-wheel drive, the E-Class Wagon has become synonymous for all-wheel drive capability, with a very exclusive customer base.

F1: Threat versus reality

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(December 31, 2017) It gets a little tiring reading the European press prattle on about the Americans ruining Formula One. True to form, the establishment looks down on Liberty Media simply because it is an American company, and is predicting all sorts of mayhem should the new owners of the series make substantial changes. Changes like those rumored to the fee and payment structure that, for quite some time now, has generously benefitted Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Toyota's angry face

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(December 30, 2017) What is it about the RAV4’s angry “face”? The front fascia scowls like a raccoon-inspired comic book character, expressing a surprisingly high level of anger for such a mild-mannered vehicle. It’s almost as though the vehicle itself is in a perpetual state of road rage. What does it have to be angry about? That’s it’s a Toyota? That it’s a hybrid? That it gets 34 mpg city and 30 highway? I don’t get it. What is this small crossover so mad about?

McConaughey back pitching for Lincoln, and specifically the new Navigator

(December 29, 2017) DEARBORN, Mich. — The initial campaign spot for the all-new Lincoln Navigator, featuring longtime Lincoln collaborator Matthew McConaughey, "showcases the impressive, commanding presence of the full-size luxury SUV." “Perfect Rhythm,” the first of two spots starring McConaughey and the 2018 Navigator, combines dramatic visuals and eclectic music to drive home the message that the all-new Navigator is a powerful, capable vehicle that elevates travel to a new level of comfort and style.

BMW gives 'M' treatment to vaunted 5-Series with M550i xDrive

By Paul Borden

(December 28, 2017) BMW — which is much easier to remember than“Bayerische Motoren Werke” AG, or in English, “Bavarian Motor Works” — has championed the slogan “The  Ultimate Driving Machine” since the 1970s, and it doesn’t take a long time behind the wheel of just about any of its models to see that that is no idle boast. Though I haven’t had the opportunity to drive every one of its offerings, I have never been disappointed by the performance of any of those I have.

Goodyear reimagines mascots as giant tire sculptures

(December 28, 2017) DALLAS — In celebration of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and college football, Goodyear has teamed up with the Classic to create tire-based sculptures of the two participating teams' mascots for the second consecutive year.

The Ohio State University's Brutus and University of Southern California's Tommy Trojan were constructed from more than 400 Goodyear-branded tires, took 375 hours to make, stand more than six feet tall and weigh between 250-300 pounds.

Seats are the thing in Infiniti's New Year's Day ad for the QX80

(December 28, 2017) NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the first TV spot for the new 2018 QX80, the brand's flagship full-size SUV, Infiniti takes the position that luxury is inclusive and sophistication is something to be shared. Airing for the first time on Jan. 1, the national spot, titled "Thrones," opens with a series of images of the most luxurious seats from around the world. Taking inspiration from various regions and historical eras, the thrones featured were custom made.

Army surplus

This large diesel Army truck, which we think is from the decade of the '60s, was found resting in the back of a salvage yard. Its useful life is probably over, but if needed we wouldn't be surprised to see it resurrected and put back into active duty.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)