Autos

First Drive: 2009 Ford Flex

Over the past week, Grinding Gears editor David Goodspeed has been privileged to drive a pair of all-new vehicles from Ford and Lincoln, both of which will arrive in dealerships this summer. The first stop was Washington, D.C., for the 2009 Lincoln MKS. That was the trip whose highlights included a visit to a winery, a sneak peek at a future Lincoln, outrunning tornados, a dead turtle and not quite making it back to our starting point. All-in-all a very memorable trip. And a great new Lincoln. Next stop: LA – Santa Monica to be precise – for the launch…



Ford Shelby GT500 and Bullitt Mustangs: Pony Power

… Like Steve McQueen All I need’s a fast machine And I’m gonna make it all right … Sheryl Crow Four decades after hitting the big screen and redefining the on-screen car chase, the Ford Mustang Bullitt returns to the streets in 2008, blending the best Mustang ever with the latest Ford Racing technology. Not only did we spend a week with the Bullitt, but we also got our hands on the Shelby GT500 Mustang, an icon of true American musclecar partnered with a legendary American racing spirit.


The 2008 Scion xB Gold Rush Mica Release 5.0

In recent months I’ve been looking at getting a new car.  Actually, at first, I was looking at used cars, but, eventually, I ended up looking at new hatchbacks.  I was replacing a sports car and the point of the exercise was to get a vehicle that would save me gas, and be a little more utilitarian without totally giving up the fun factor.  After doing tons of research on the Internet, I ended up buying a special edition of the 2008 Scion xB – the Gold Rush Mica Release 5.0.


HHR+SS=One hot little Chevy

Another SS model from Chevy? What’s so special about this one? Given the vehicles with the SS badge slapped on the fender in recent years, our less-than-overwhelming enthusiasm is deserved. And the lack of fanfare over the release of the SS edition HHR should be punishable by law (and just might be in some states).


2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is based on the iconic FJ40 that was sold here in the U.S. between 1960 and 1983. Designer Jin Kim took on the daunting task of creating an exciting vehicle poised between RAV4 and 4Runner that appealed to a younger, more active consumer. Kim’s approach is described as “industrial modern” meaning a tool-like combination of ruggedness and functionality with an honest look and modern surfaces.



Honda CR – Go-Kart on steroids

While Honda lists the “CR” designation of the S2000 CR as referring to this new version as a “club racer” edition, I kind of thought it would also fit the bill as “Corvette reduced.” The new Honda produces about half the power of the Corvette from half the number of engine cylinders, costs about half the price of a Corvette and is about half the comfort and convenience as the Chevy roadster.


Dodge Journey – Sometimes it’s about the destination – this time it’s about the JOURNEY

The crossover segment has seen huge growth in recent years, and even more growth in recent months. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is about to or has introduced a new crossover utility vehicle of some sort into the automotive market. The Dodge division of the new Chrysler/Cerberus corporate pairing is jumping into the fray as it introduces what is being called its first crossover vehicle, the all-new 2009 Journey. I beg to differ as Caliber sure seems more crossover than car, but we will play along – for now.


First Drive: Pontiac G8

We got our first opportunity to drive the all-new Pontiac G8 performance sedan recently. The automaker rolled out the red carpet for this regional press launch as well as for the new Vibe sport hatchback.


What ‘Wood’ Tiger Drive?

Had he not been on TV competing on a rain-soaked Doral golf course in Miami, folks might have thought Tiger Woods was in Dallas on Easter having dinner at Trader Vic’s. Parked right up front was a pair of shiny new Buick Enclave luxury crossover utility vehicles, the vehicle Tiger helped launch at its auto show debut last year.


Range Rover Sport Supercharged

“Range Rover Sport is a high-speed, performance-oriented luxury SUV,” Land Rover North America Executive Vice President Richard Beattie said. “As the best driver’s vehicle Land Rover has ever made, it is ideal for fast, comfortable long-distance driving and a fitting compliment to our award-winning Range Rover.”


First Drive: Lexus LX 570

In my haste to bring you the exciting news about the upcoming IS-F luxury sports car from Lexus, I nearly overlooked the fact that we were in the Mobile Bay area recently to get our first impressions of another new vehicle from Toyota’s luxury division, the LX 570.


2008 Jaguar XKR Convertible

I find it only fitting that on Valentine’s Day I write about one of the vehicle’s I am most in love with – the Jaguar XKR, and in convertible form no less. Since Jaguar redesigned the XK line for the 2007 model year, we have been raving about how much we adore this Castle Bromwich pussycat doll which, in hardtop coupe form, looks as much at home in a museum of modern art as it would in the carriage house. And while Mother Nature may preclude us from truly benefiting from the passionate driving experience offered by the convertible version…


An Afternoon with Ford

Tuesday I was in Dearborn, Michigan, with about 200 other journalists attending an event held in and marking the reopening of the renovated historic Ford Dearborn Glass Plant. Before I get into the particulars of our day, I want to mention that the Dearborn Glass Plant was designed by Albert Kahn and built in 1922. It has a “front wall and ceiling made of glass” which allowed the plant to “let air and light in and excess heat out, providing a more comfortable work environment for employees.” This building was closed in 1998, and after its recent extensive renovations, it…


Review: Tersano Lotus Sanitizing System– Cleaning Has Never Been This Easy.

Imagine if I told you there was a device out there which could replace all of your soaps and cleaning supplies with water. Pretty unbelievable, isn’t it? Need to remove some heavy duty mildew? No more heavy abrasive cleaners. Just use tap water. Need to remove food stains from clothing? No more spray cleaner. Just use ordinary tap water. Preparing fruit? Preserve it with tap water. Just about anything you can think of can be made better with tap water…according to Tersano, the creators of the Lotus oxidizing system.