Midnight Oil Auto Blog

New York City Hosts 2014 New York International Auto Show

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New York International Auto ShowRide along with Best Ride Midnight Oil Auto blog to the Big Apple as we cover the New York International Auto Show for 2014.  The show runs from April 18, to April 27, 2014.
You can see all the new cars and be a part of the action here: Best Ride Midnight Oil Auto Blog covers the New York International Auto Show.

Take me to the show!

 

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New York Auto Show: 2015 Subaru Outback

Subaru-Outback-2015What is it?

In 1995, the Subaru Outback was the only off-road station wagon on the market and looked positively silly trying to outdo the two titans of the $1-per-gallon era, the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Explorer. But its car-based chops and raised suspension — a look borrowed from the AMC Eagle — ushered in a crossover segment that swept all those truck-based SUVs into the forest. Now in its fifth generation, the Outback is still doing what it does best. It’s a simple, plain and durable family car that can take the hits and garbage roads that other crossovers can’t, without the style of a giant bubble.

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2015 Mazda 6 Gran Touring

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2015 Mazda6 Gran Touring Entry Price: $20,880 Price as tested $33,320

This week, we’re driving our first 2015 tester of the year, namely the 2015 Mazda6. This stunner features a new design from front to rear, and then adds a comfortable cabin, 40-MPG highway and good acceleration thanks to an energetic four-cylinder Skyactiv powertrain.

The result? You’ll be driving a mid-size sedan that dubs as a sports car when you’re navigating a twisty country road yet still delivers “gas miser” capabilities thanks to Mazda’s high end tech features.

Our tester came in top grade Gran Touring trim, pushing the base price to $29,895 from the entry Sport’s impressive $20,880. A mid-level Touring model starts at $24,495, allowing consumers the best of all worlds.

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2014 Audi SQ5

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Audi’s sleek 2014 SQ5 is the very image of a modern German bahn-burner. Note the red badge on the power-operated liftgate—and the quad pipes, fat tires and elaborate wheels. Quattro drive sends at least 40 percent of the 345 HP to the front wheels at all times. Audi

The 2014 Audi mid-size designer crossover 4×4 except for the tiny squares of crimson on its bow and stern, might be just another Q5, .

Well, the red bits plus the quadrophonic exhaust pipes, the 21-inch star-spoke wheels with the low-profile tires, and the supercharged 345-horsepower V-6. To spot the engine, you’d have to open the door to get at the hood latch, so you’d also notice the nifty sport seats and wheel.

This is no mild-mannered Q5, it’s Clark Kent’s alter ego, the super SQ5—another example of just what speed-crazed engineers now can do with a tall, heavy vehicle.

I really get a kick out of this car. I love how the tuner motor comes to life (push-button ignition, enabled by a key in my pocket) with a spasm of torque and a breathy chuff!

I love the small, chunky leather-wrapped steering wheel with its squared-off bottom. I love the adaptive Xenon headlights and even how the wing mirrors fold in when I lock the car and walk away.

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2015 Dodge Charger Unveiled at NYIAS

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charger fr 3While many Mopar faithful remain mad enough to fight about the fact that the Dodge Charger is a sedan instead of a coupe, Dodge has released the redesigned 2015 Charger live and in color during the 2014 New York International Auto Show. Grinding salt into the wounds of Chrysler purists, a Dodge executive said on Wednesday that the design team had taken their inspiration for the 2015 Charger from the 1969 Dodge Charger, which was a very popular muscle car with only two-doors. Seriously, the 2015 Charger will continue to satisfy a need for a practical family sedan with a great deal of oomph, as well as filling a need as a law enforcement vehicle —  it will just look a little better in so doing.

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2015 Audi RS-7 Dynamic Edition Debuts in the Big Apple

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RS7 fr3Making a stunning debut during the 2014 New York International Auto Show, the 2015 Audi RS-7 Dynamic Edition wowed automotive media onlookers Wednesday with its unique blend of high-performance swagger and luxurious sex-appeal. At a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $146,045 the exquisite and powerful sedans are scheduled to begin arriving in dealer showrooms in early summer 2014. Boasting a wide assortment of premium components which facilitate superior performance, including lightweight carbon-fiber elements, a fully adaptable sport tuned suspension, and an incredible engine complete with a free-flowing high-performance  exhaust system, this little German is more than able to take on the Big Apple.

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2015 Lamborghini Huracan Debuts in NYC

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Huracan Fr 3One legendary Italian automaker chose to debut their most current offering, called an entry level supercar for the masses, this past week during the historic New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Strangely enough, the Italians chose to avoid the hubbub of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, where the 2014 NYIAS is currently underway, and opted instead to unveil the new 2015 Lamborghini Huracan at an auxiliary location called the Bathhouse Studio on New York’s trendy Lower East Side.

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Ford Mustang 50 Years Old & Better than Ever

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Mustang Header.jpg&MaxW=630With the introduction of the 2015 Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition, Ford has kicked-off a nationwide celebration with Mustang lovers gathering at multiple locations in humble adoration of the original “Pony” car. As Ford executives unveiled the official commemorative car, at the 2014 New York International Auto Show in Manhattan, New York, USA, and visitors to the Empire State Building were treated to a 2015 Mustang parked on the 86th floor of this historic landmark, members from the Mustang Club of America (MCA) communed together from every continent forming at least two independent motorized wagon trains in a celebration of their own. It is a celebration that marks the past, embraces the present, and looks forward to the future of the Mustang. With all pomp and circumstance laid aside, this could very well be the best Mustang yet.

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Cars We Remember John Deere, 383 Chevy and Chevy Chevette

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The Chevy Chevette came to market in late 1975 as a 1976 model. (GM photo)

Reader seeks information on John Deere, 383 Chevy and Chevy Chevette

Q: Hi Greg, I’ve got three questions for you that I hope you can answer. I see your column every week and enjoy it much.  First:  Did John Deere ever build a car or truck?  Second: What is the formula for building a 383 cu. inch stroker Chevy small block (parts needed)?  Third: When did the Chevy Chevette come out? Thank you very much, Dwayne E. Brooks, Marion, Ohio.

A: Dwayne, no problem at all. Here we go and I apologize to BestRide.com readers if I get too technical with the 383 question. (And there’s way more tech I could have explained).

1: John Deere to my knowledge never built a car or truck. However, International Harvester (IH) did build pickup trucks and large heavy duty trucks under the IH brand, then IHC and present day Navistar International. Navistar continues to build medium- and heavy-duty trucks, school buses, and engines under the International brand name.

As for popularity, the IH Trucks from four-door pickup to sport utility IH Scout (see photo) were most recognizable on the nation’s highways.

Now, for a story of a tractor manufacturer that did build a car!  It has to do with Lamborghini, today recognized as one of the fastest and most expensive sports cars in the world. Founder Ferruccio Lamborghini was the leading tractor manufacturer in Italy, and it all started when Lamborghini bought a Ferrari back in 1962.

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Used Cars: 5 Great Retro-Rides for Under $15k

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2014 Camaro Z28 *NOT available for under $15k

2014 Camaro Z28 *NOT available for under $15k

When I build a motorcycle for myself, I like to build it to look old but to run like brand new. I like a ton of chrome and black with a bobbed rear fender and no front fender at all, but I also like a fuel injected v-twin beneath me so that I know when I am ready to roll it will be ready, too. American automakers are building cars that are a lot like that. It seems that each domestic automaker has at least one model that has its roots in another era. They are inspired by 1960s and 1970s muscle cars and every year they seem to take on more nostalgic characteristics but they run better than those old cars ever could. They are fun to drive, they have loads of curb appeal, and they make a great first car because of their overall “heft.” Here is a short list of some great retro-rides that can be purchased for less than $15k if you take advantage of used car websites like BestRide.com.

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New York Auto Show: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai-Sonata-2What is it?

The 2015 Toyota Camry has some fancier duds and a few more sprinkles on its otherwise dowdy flanks. It’s the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, however, that continues to make midsize family sedans ever more desirable.

Why should you care?

The previous Sonata was a design standout, with a fresh, almost “four-door coupe” profile that dispelled everything awful about Hyundai and the old Sonata with one breath. The new Sonata takes that theme further, with some of the most padded seats we’ve felt in a mass-market, non-luxury car.

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