Can the Focus RS save us from crossover malaise?

Focus RS

This is in no way exclusive, but it’s usually a mom, or someone planning to be a mom sometime soon.  They’re ready to dump the old cars they drove in high school or college, even though they’re extremely reliable OBD1 Hondas or 3800-powered Buicks.  It’s time to get into something more “serious.”  And it’s always a crossover.  Prospective moms want the utility of a minivan, of course, but the minivan is anathema, apparently a sign of surrender to age.  They’re just too momish.  What protoparents fail to realize is that those of us on the leading edge of car culture already view crossovers the same way, and the rest of society won’t be far behind.  Until then, we have to put up with roads packed and clogged with an endless stream of ugly, unwieldy, good-at-nothing crossovers.  It’s depressing.  But our warm salvation from crossover Antarctica could come from an unlikely hero: the Ford Focus RS. Continue reading “Can the Focus RS save us from crossover malaise?”

Looking Forward to the Cars of 2014

Happy New Year from StreetSideAutoThis post definitely wasn’t scheduled ahead of time.  Definitely not.  We’re all definitely here, working hard, and not asleep at home or out enjoying the snow we’re probably getting.  And by “working hard,” we mean, “coming up with cool cars of 2014.”

Here are the finalists.

Continue reading “Looking Forward to the Cars of 2014”

Is the 2015 Ford Mustang Still a Muscle Car?

2015 Ford MustangIf you were able to stomach today’s Good Morning America, you already know all this, but the sixth generation of the venerable Ford Mustang was unveiled this morning and will go on sale next year.  The looks are striking, from the angry, bladed headlights to the long and satisfying fastback, right down to the sharp, pronounced shoulders and a ramping tail.

But there’s something rather tame about the lines, something that begs for sanity and balance.  The power options, too, espouse a certain sensibility.  So we have to wonder, without all the madness and absurdity is the Mustang still a muscle car?  Or is it something else entirely? Continue reading “Is the 2015 Ford Mustang Still a Muscle Car?”

Wiper Blades Won’t Help: The 10 Worst Winter Cars

Fall is here and while we all get comfy wrapping ourselves in the thoughts of bright foliage and hot cider, few of us bear any love for what follows.  You’ll love it even less if you drive one of these beauties, and not all of them can be improved by PIAA’s super silicone wiper blades. Continue reading “Wiper Blades Won’t Help: The 10 Worst Winter Cars”

Building a ZSV Phase II: Truck Modification

Welcome to part four of our Countdown to The Walking Dead, that paragon of television excellence in post-zombageddon form.  In our last post, we discussed our top choice for the perfect ZSV platform: the 4WD Ram 3500 diesel.  Here’s what to do with it.  Full disclosure: I’ve included some links to the store so you can get started now.  Because I want humanity to survive.

Now that we have our Cummins-powered anti-monster monster, it’s time to make it better with some old-timey truck modifications.  Tough as it is, the truck has some weak spots that need shoring up, and there’s plenty of room for other work, too.  There’s a prison full of ways to customize a truck – some good, some bad.  Continue reading “Building a ZSV Phase II: Truck Modification”

Beyond Grille Guards: Building a Zombie Survival Vehicle

Phase 1: Choosing the Platform

For parts 3 and 4 of our countdown to the best TV show to ever take place in the great state of Georgia, The Walking Dead, we’re going to virtually build the ideal Zombie Survival Vehicle, or ZSV. 

Sam Elliott
Visual Aide For Reading Voice Over

If you’ve made it as far as Rick and crew, you’ll be guiltily nurturing the hope that humanity will actually pull through this, that the walkers will eventually die off and the remnants will rebuild.  And in that day, when the TV flickers back to life, you’ll see a car commercial, probably with a voiceover by Sam Elliot (unless he was infected, which is impossible, because he’s Sam Freakin’ Elliott), and he’ll say something like this:

“During the dark days, it wasn’t just a car.  You didn’t use it to go to work or on vaction.  It was a refuge.  A weapon.  A home.  A friend.  It helped you forage.  It was there when you found your family.  Introducing the all new 20** [make] [model].  For the brighter days ahead.”

And despite all the marketing butter, he’ll be right.  A vehicle will be absolutely essential to making it through the outbreak.  That’s why you should build yours now, before everything goes to crap and you have to put your mailman down because he wants to chew on you. Continue reading “Beyond Grille Guards: Building a Zombie Survival Vehicle”

The Top Ten Walking Dead Car Stars

It’s only a few weeks until the return of that greatest of all zombie shows, The Walking Dead, so we’re celebrating with a series of posts about the best things to drive after the plague turns most of the population into a pack of brainless, slavering walkers.  Check out last week’s post here

Yes, there will be spoilers.  You are advised to educate yourself via Netflix if you haven’t already.

We live in a mechanized society.  So if when man’s last disease comes knocking, cars, planes, and trains will only spread it faster.  But once most of the population loses the motor skills to pass a driving test, cars will be our allies.  Rick Grimes and crew have learned this well over three seasons of TWD.  Continue reading “The Top Ten Walking Dead Car Stars”

10 Zombiepocalypse Cars Better than a Hyundai

Make an informed decision

Walking Dead Hyundai Veloster

We’re counting down the weeks until the return of the best zombie television show ever made, The Walking Dead, with a series of posts all about cars in a post-outbreak nightmarescape.

At San Diego Comic-Con in July, Hyundai showed off their newest nod toward their longstanding product placement partnership with The Walking Dead: the Veloster Turbo Zombie Survival Machine. The VTZSM isn’t the first of Hyndai’s post-apocalyptic vehicles, as they brought an armored Elantra last year, and a Tucson is one of The Walking Dead’s main vehicle characters. Continue reading “10 Zombiepocalypse Cars Better than a Hyundai”

The Subaru BRZ – Feel Like Yourself

2013 Subaru BRZ
click any of the images to enlarge them

You don’t ask to drive a man’s car unless that man is in the business of selling it.  But when my friend Greg asked if I wanted a turn in his brand new Subaru BRZ, the Six-star version of the most anticipated sports car of our age, I didn’t turn him down. Continue reading “The Subaru BRZ – Feel Like Yourself”

NSX and i8: The Next Wave

BMW i8 Concept Car
click any of the images to enlarge them

Two new supercars are on their way in 2014.  They have different approaches, but they’re both mid-engine, and they’re both hybrids.  Don’t worry, though.  It’s the good kind of hybrid.  You’ve seen concepts of both of them in movies, but the reality may be even cooler.

Continue reading “NSX and i8: The Next Wave”