Midnight Oil Auto Blog

Review: 2015 Porsche Macan

Tags:

IMG_1105Crossovers and small SUVs are typically not an area of great interest for car enthusiasts. So what would it take to get the motorheads of the world to pay attention to the debut of a baby ‘ute? When that vehicle is built by Porsche.

The purists have been scoffing at vehicles like the Cayenne SUV and Panamera four-door sports car since their arrival. But these vehicles have been proven sales successes, and their profits lead to the development of the next generation vehicles like the 911 and 918. As such, the purists can pipe down while Porsche generates the profits necessary to develop a world-class sports car in the 21st century. Porsche is building more cars than it ever has, and even their least-performance-focused car is still a million times more attractive and engaging than your run-of-the-mill daily driver.

read more

WEEKLY SAFETY RECALL CAMPAIGNS

Tags:

NHTSAJuly 21, 2014 – Here are the latest safety recalls from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). We have here a mixture of domestic and imported vehicles that runs the gambit from the grille to the taillights. Follow BestRide.com for all of the latest safety recall campaign news and updates. Log in regularly because you never know when more safety recalls will be released.

Remember to check inside of the driver door jamb (on most vehicles) to find the manufacturing date (month/year) of your vehicle.

read more

2014 Toyota Highlander

Tags:
2014 toyota-highlander-exterior

An upgraded vehicle deserves freshened, more modern sheet metal too. The handsome 2014 Highlander now looks more like a “proper” SUV than a minivan with a hood. Toyota

Toyota’s success in America stems from many things—a reputation for quality and low maintenance, sensitive pricing, a broad dealer base, consistent advertising and so on and so forth. Above all, however, might be the company’s feel for exactly what it is we want or need to drive. If Toyotas are down-the-middle mainstream . . . well, so is vanilla, the best-selling ice cream. It’s familiar, poses no challenges, and can be quite satisfactory.

That’s Toyota in a nutshell, and this 2014 Highlander in particular. Like vanilla ice cream, it gets the job done—the job description here being “pretty big and comfortable but still affordable family vehicle for all seasons that’s gotten even better for 2014.”

read more

2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Tags:

Jag frI must say that as flagrantly prejudiced as I am towards American made automobiles, the latest renderings from Jaguar (under the tutelage of the Indian conglomerate, Tata Motors) have certainly impressed. With the majority of the new Jaguar leadership force having been trained under some of the best automakers in Germany, it was only a matter of time until a more appealing and efficient product began to emerge from the soggy shores of Great Britain. The 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe is a perfect example of such an improvement.

read more

SPEAKING of MODIFIED MUSCLE CARS…

Tags:

ULT headerCheck out this mind-blowing 1967 Chevrolet Camaro built by the craftsmen at Orlando, Florida based Ultimate Auto. It has undergone some major modifications to the powertrain, interior, and the exterior. Why would an individual builder choose to modify a precious automotive treasure to this extent? Could it be an overwhelming desire to release his creative vision or could his judgment have been swayed by the propensity of other collectors to build a factory restoration car? The answers to all of these questions, and more, can be answered. The next time that you go to see Mickey Mouse, drop-in on the crew at Ultimate Auto and co-mingle with their creative guise. One thing is for certain, they have built one heckuva ride and it is for sale (on e-bay) to the tune of $295,000.

read more

CLASSIC USED CARS: MODIFIED vs. RESTORED

Tags:

Resto vs modWere you born with bad sense enough to wanna get a bunch of gear heads mad enough to fight? These two words will likely do the trick. The argument between the crowd that believes in the “institution of OEM” and holds it as sacred and the mob of creative thinkers, who think out of the box, has raged on every since the first Model-T had the muffler knocked off. The fact of the matter is that the vehicle frequently makes the choice for its owner. Hold on now, I ain’t talking about no hocus-pocus going on in the garage after dark (Christine-style), I am referring to the determining factors of the automobile in question:

read more

Latest Safety Recalls — July 15, 2014

Tags:

NHTSAHere are some more safety recalls from the four corners of the earth. Protect your automotive investment by staying up-to-date on all of the latest from the National Highway Traffic Safety Institute (NHTSA). Remember to look inside the driver door jamb to find the manufacturing date (month/year) for most vehicles. Check back frequently with BestRide.com for all of the latest safety recall campaigns with helpful suggestions to promote safe vehicle operation.

read more

2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

Tags:
2014 Mazda CX-5

2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD
 
Entry Price: $21,545
Price as tested: $31,760

This week, we’re driving the new 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring, a compact crossover delivered in all-wheel-drive (AWD) dress with roomy five-passenger seating. Mazda clearly states in its marketing that its Skyactiv technology is “our holistic, ground-up approach to re-engineering each component for the ultimate in efficiency, performance and lower emissions. Because when you change everything, you change everything.”

To prove to my readers that Mazda’s commitment to its Skyactiv Technology creed isn’t just another slick NYC ad agency promo, I traveled to Watkins Glen recently where I met with Mazda officials.

There, during the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, I saw further proof of Mazda’s “how and why” of Skyactiv Technology as it uses the exact same philosophical approach when it comes to building its current D-Prototype race car.

read more

Review: 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro

Tags:

IMG_0985If the World Cup has taught us anything, it is that Americans have a hot/cold relationship with certain European traditions/trends. Some are intrigued by it, some of your more progressive friends might even adopt it as their own, but at the end of the day, we’re Americans, want trends and tastes to react to what we want. We want American football in 52 countries. 

With that, consider Audi’s smallest (American) entrant, the A3. The German luxury automaker offers the even smaller A1 in Europe, but despite the steak-sauce-related name, such a small ride just wouldn’t play here. No, the A3 is the entry-level vehicle, which was a spot previously held by the A4, but as we’ll learn, with time, all things outgrow their place in the world.

read more

Cars We Remember 1970 Chevy Nova SS

Tags:

1970 Nova SS 396/375

1970-Chevy-Nova-SS-396-lg

Information on this 1970 Chevy Nova SS 396/375 is being sought so anyone who remembers this car in competition in the New York/Pennsylvania area back in 1970 can let me know. I will forward the information to Todd Werts, who is trying to track down its history. (Photo supplied). (Click for Larger Image.)

Hello Greg, during an internet search for Drag Racing in NE PA, I found your name and email from articles you authored on numerous Pennsylvania to Massachusetts websites.

I am helping a friend and fellow car collector find information on one of his cars.  His car was delivered to Krise Motor Company in Canton, PA, on 1/21/70.  It is a Black 1970 Turbo Hydramatic L78 (396/375 horse) Nova.  I’ve attached a picture of the car as it sits today after restoration.

It was originally advertised by a guy in Cheektowaga NY, [near Buffalo] on Ebay. He had bought the car from a local family and he told me the original owner had died and the Nova was in storage for awhile. It was definitely raced back in the day.

read more

NEW VW SUV to be PRODUCED in TENNESSEE

Tags:

VW fr 3July 14, 2014 – The Volkswagen Group of America announced today that it will invest nearly $1-billion into its latest North American project in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “The United States of America is and will remain one of the most important markets for Volkswagen. Over the past few years, we have achieved a lot there. We are now launching the second phase of the VolkswagWinterkornen campaign in the US. With the midsize SUV, the expansion of the Chattanooga plant and the new development center, the focus is on the wishes of the US customer. This is also a strong signal for the US as an industrial and automobile production location. The Volkswagen brand is going on the attack again in America,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, in Wolfsburg.

read more

2015 Audi A3

Tags:
Although the car is 10 inches shorter than an A4 and 19 inches shorter than an A6, the A3’s silhouette is unmistakably Audi. Note the truncated overhangs beyond the wheels. Audi

Although the car is 10 inches shorter than an A4 and 19 inches shorter than an A6, the A3’s silhouette is unmistakably Audi. Note the truncated overhangs beyond the wheels. Audi

If you believe that bigger isn’t necessarily better, then smaller needn’t be worse, right? The auto industry has tinkered with this concept—that is, tried to build small but premium and therefore profitable cars—for a long time. It’s been a struggle, especially here, where hats are 10 gallons and soft drinks are 24 ounces.

But the Big Three from Germany are taking a serious run at it. They have to; as their cars get larger, more complicated and expensive, they need new, smaller, simpler models to backfill their lineups and bring in customers with less than six-figure paychecks.

read more

Share:
Follow Me on Pinterest