Autos

Future Trucks and Minivans: Coming Soon

Pickup trucks are still the best-selling vehicles in America. Millions and millions sell every year, for moving furniture, hauling construction gear, or towing your boat to the river. Throw in higher profit margins than SUVs or cars, and you have a vehicle segment the automakers will always covet and want to expand. A ton (or half-ton) of redesigned trucks have hit the market in the past few years, but there are still more to come in this highly competitive segment. Meanwhile, minivans may still be fighting to shed their image of parental capitulation, but it’s a fiercely fought segment all the same. We may not be buying as many crumb cruncher carriers as we used to, but when we do, we want them to be the absolute pinnacle of family transportation. So work continues to make them more...

Mercedes Made a Concept Car That Was a Convertible, a Pickup, AND a Wagon

When you’re shopping for a car, you must first identify your specific vehicular needs. If you’re buying it for work, where you’ll regularly need to haul things, then you’re probably looking for a truck. Need a family car? A sedan or wagon—or SUV, these days—might fit the bill. Or maybe this is a “treat yo’ self” occasion and you want a convertible. Those are all very different vehicle types, and rarely can you have the best of two worlds—let alone four—in one car. But in 1995, Mercedes-Benz challenged that notion with the transformable VRC concept. The Variable Research Car, or VRC, made its debut at the 1995 Geneva Motor Show. Its main gimmick was its interchangeable bodywork that allowed the concept vehicle to be configured in one of four body st...

1996 Chevrolet Express Retro Review: Still the Same

With the families of baby boomers growing older and their travel requirements changing, some industry analysts are predicting a swing upmarket from kid-toting minivans to recreational-toy-towing full-size vans. If the current trends continue, the full-size segment could grow as much as 30 percent by 2002. The new Chevy Express and GMC Savana are nothing short of a frame-up rethink of the full-size General Motors G-platform van—and we mean frame-up, literally. The 1996 Express vans rolling out of the Wentzville, Missouri, assembly line are built on an all-new welded full-ladder-type frame. Adding considerable stiffness for improved stability, ride, and handling qualities, the stout frame also provides the Express (and Chevy’s panel-van variant) with the backbone of a truck. See a...

These are the Top 10 Toyota Engines of All Time

Toyota’s legacy as an engine designer and producer is inextricably intertwined with the inline-six. After all, four of the power plants on this list fall into that configuration, including the desirable 2JZ-GTE from the A80 Supra. But Toyota’s talents go beyond six-cylinder engines. Think about the high-revving V-10 from the Lexus LFA or the flat-four the company co-developed with Subaru for the 86 and BRZ. More Videos 6 Reasons Why the MKIV Supra Became a Classic 2005 New York: Scion t2B Concept Video Of The Year: Scion xD – Motor Trends 2008 Car of the Year Contender Video SUPER STREET’s 8 Favorite Cars of SPOCOM Anaheim 2018 Rare Metals: Classic Cars of the 1990s at Throwback Meet II Behind the Wheel: the 2020 Toyota Supra Watch This! The Lexus LF-30 Electrified Need t...

Looking for Value? Try These Seven Rides Under $30,000

What seems cheap at the dealer could cost you unnecessary thousands down the line, and that’s especially important if your new car budget tops out at $30,000. The cost of ownership extends far beyond the number you’ll see at the bottom of the window sticker. Other factors include how much value it will lose, how much it will cost to maintain and repair, insurance costs, and fueling. Lucky for us, the whiz kids from IntelliChoice (a part of the MotorTrend Group) calculate those costs over five years for nearly every vehicle on the market, each year awarding Best Overall Value award winners in each segment. So if a low cost of ownership is important to you, choose wisely and consider these value-packed picks under $30,000. 2020 Toyota Tacoma See all 25 photos Toyota’s Tacom...

This INFLATABLE Scooter of the Future Blows (Up)

Electric scooters are a familiar sight, thanks in part to companies such as Bird and Lime that make it easy to ride around town. But what if you had a scooter you could fold like a sweater and stuff into your backpack? Say hello to Poimo, a clever inflatable scooter developed at the University of Tokyo. Right now, Poimo is just a prototype. But we’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Instead of bulky metal parts that require welding and complex assembling, Poimo is made from thermoplastic polyurethane. The result is a body that is simple to make and weighs about 5 pounds. A small, in-wheel motor gets this scooter up and running. Add all the pieces up and this scooter prototype weighs approximately 17 pounds. More Videos Yes, This Is an *Inflatable* Scooter That Fits in a...

From Roadsters to Rocketships at the Indy 500

This year, for the first time ever, the Indianapolis 500, The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, will not be held in the month of May. Due to the global health crisis, Indy race fans will have to wait until Sunday, August 23, to hear the sound of Honda and Chevrolet race engines shrieking at 230 mph around the fabled 2.5-mile track. They like their tradition at Indy, from the yard of bricks at the finish line that is the only remnant of the surface Ray Harroun’s Marmon Wasp rumbled over en route to victory in the very first 500 in 1911, to the rousing rendition of Back Home in Indiana that sets the stage for the most famous command in racing: “Start your engines!” And that’s what makes the Indy 500s held from 1963 through 1968 the most fascinating of them all. See all 46...

Mazda’s RX-Vision GT3 Is the Off-Limits Rotary Sports Car You Can Now Drive in Gran Turismo

The Mazda RX-Vision concept is just too good a design to exist merely as a static object, a concept car without a future out on the road. Its long nose and dramatically swept-back cabin are simply begging to be viewed in motion. If you’ve been waiting for the day this low-slung sculpture on wheels becomes fire-breathing, rotary-powered, roadgoing thing, that day is here. Well, virtually at least. The Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept is now downloadable and playable in Gran Turismo Sport on PS4, and it is awesome. The Mazda RX-Vision GT3 Concept takes the already-hot RX-Vision’s original design and reimagines it as a full-blown race car (hence the “GT3” in the name). The fenders now walk that fine line between cartoonishly wide and GT racer flared wheel perfection. The RX...

Future Cars: 2021 and Beyond

They may be out of favor right now, but traditional three-box cars will never go away. To make sure, automakers around the world are pouring enormous resources into design and engineering to keep sedans, coupes, and convertibles as interesting and as compelling as possible. Whether they’re built for fun, luxury, a bit of both, or just to get you where you need to go, the cars of the near future will offer more style and technology than ever as they try to woo you away from joining the SUV herd. Cadillac Celestiq See all 13 photos What’s New: The Celestiq is a massive four-door, four-passenger, full-size electric car with big wheels and a hatch instead of a trunk. It will be a hand-built grand tourer with tons of executive-style space in the very wide back seat. A tinted glass r...

More Mini Prices: 2020 Mini Countryman Adds Cheaper Oxford Edition Trim

The Mini Hardtop Oxford Edition brings some of the model’s most desirable features to a low-cost trim. Now, Mini is offering the value-oriented package on the Countryman, and it drops the crossover‘s entry price by a considerable amount. Prior to the introduction of the Oxford Edition, an entry-level Countryman started at $29,250. The new trim, however, brings the crossover’s price of admission down to $26,750. The Oxford Edition is available in both Cooper and Cooper All4 variants. The latter includes all-wheel drive and raises the cost of entry to $28,750. See all 31 photos Countryman Oxford Editions get all the standard equipment of the Classic trim, including a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display, leatherette upholstery, rear parking sensors, and a panoramic sun...

What’s New On the 2020 Mazda CX-9?

The current-generation Mazda CX-9 has been around since 2016, and it represented a critical step forward for the automaker. Based on the SkyActiv platform, Mazda’s midsize crossover got a polished look thanks to the new Kodo design language, making it more premium inside and out. Like with all Mazdas, the CX-9 is one of the best-driving SUVs in its segment thanks to its punchy turbocharged engine and well-tuned transmission. For the 2020 model year, the CX-9 got a midcycle refresh, and that includes important updates to its interior, as well as an increase in torque. More Videos Need to Know: Mazda CX-9 Signature 2015 LA Auto Show Mazda CX-9 First Test: 2019 Mazda3 From the Pressroom: the 2019 Mazda CX-5 2019 Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour: Charlotte 5 Cool Things: the All-New 2020 ...

Wait, Kramer Drove an Experimental Chevrolet on “Seinfeld”?

It’s no secret that Jerry Seinfeld is a car enthusiast. In fact, his namesake television show includes numerous nods to his automotive interests: Jerry’s fridge features a Skip Barber Racing School magnet; posters of Porsches line the walls of his apartment; and Kramer, Jerry’s across-the-hall neighbor, drives an experimental 1973 Chevrolet Impala. Yes, Kramer’s green Impala—the car that famously dons the license plate “ASSMAN” in the Seinfeld episode “The Fusilli Jerry“—is no ordinary Chevy, but one of 1,000 1973 Impalas that General Motors furnished with an experimental front airbag system dubbed the Air Cushion Restraint System (ACRS). How do we know? Well, take a look at the car’s interior in episodes such as “The Race” ...