I love Jim Kenzie, but…

I’ve read Jim Kenzie’s columns in the Wheels section of the Toronto Star for more years than I can remember.  He’s a great read: informed, enthusiastic, and not afraid to have a politically incorrect opinion about the vehicles he reviews.

I have to take exception to his column in the Saturday, March 12th edition of the Toronto Star.  In it, Mr. Kenzie goes to considerable lengths to declare electric cars a waste of time and taxpayer money.  Let’s take a look at each his arguments. Continue reading

Are Manufacturers Exhausted?

Most manufacturers would agree that an essential performance feature of any car is a dual exhaust.  Twin pipes, quad pipes, chromed tipped and other variations on this theme have been a hallmark since the 1950’s.

These visual reminders of a time when chromed exhaust headers, Edelbrock four barrel carburetors and glasspack mufflers ruled the roads, seem to be going the  same way as these icons of speed.

The latest Mercedes-Benz M Class SUV’s have lost their dual exhaust tips. Acura’s upcoming MDX , the 2014 Ford Fiesta, and 2013 Toyota RAV4 seem to be following this trend.  The pure electric vehicles have no tail pipe at all, and hybrids like Toyota’s Prius line don’t accent the exhaust outlet.

Wanting to minimize the impact of each vehicle on the road seems to be the goal. Greenhouse gasses are warming the Earth’s atmosphere, and the symbol of this warming has become the tailpipe.

Then again, the new Corvette Stingray has four exhaust tips, the new Kia Cadenza, the Hyundai Santa Fe XL, and Volkswagen SUV concept show two chrome exhaust ports and there are very few concept models without these rear end accents.

Perhaps I’m off base, or, in this case, just blowing smoke.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe vs 2013 Honda CR-V

It’s funny how in places like New York you see nothing but massive sport utilities guzzling fuel at a rapid rate yet hybrid cabs everywhere.  Then again, driving in New York could be viewed as a full contact sport.  But I digress.  Those massive sport utilities are giving way to the rapidly growing compact sport utility segment.  The smaller ‘cute utes’  are growing by leaps and bounds in market share, given the ever higher price of liquid gold that we need to pour down the fuel pipes of our vehicles. Continue reading