This Week In Motoring: The new Batmobile caught on camera, Ferrari loses its chairman, Honda’s dream of a collision-free world and more.
The Best of the IIHS's Top Rated
When purchasing a new car, crash safety ratings tend to fall below other priorities like style, fuel economy, performance, amenities, cost and even brand loyalty. That’s unfortunate, since more than a handful of cars will consistently fail to perform well in the one situation we all hope to avoid: a serious accident. If you’re smart, and especially if you have kids in tow, you’ll take the time to bone up on which vehicles are the safest. Of the 22 cars that received the highest safety rating from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), these are the absolute best.
What's New, Now
Today in Gear: Motorola’s new line of products, the Honda Shadow Aero, Polk’s wireless audio system and more.
It's the little things that count
A car is certainly more than the sum of its parts, but sometimes it’s the little details that make an otherwise good car iconic. These details can be subtle as the Mona Lisa’s smile or bold as the LED spire on the new Freedom Tower, or, more often, somewhere in between. We’ve assembled a list of some of the best automotive features — both innovative and artistic, groundbreaking and evolutionary — to ever see the light of day.
10 Concepts We're Praying Find their Way to Production
Watching concept cars bow at international auto shows is like watching the festivities at Paris Fashion Week: displays are daring, beautiful and sometimes just downright petrifying. The world gets to see bold, shocking statements or captivating ones that might just make it to market. The best examples are fuel for dreams of what may come. This year, the Geneva Motor Show proved to be fertile ground. From a student-submitted sports car to a practical van, here are our 10 favorite concept cars from the show.
Old-School Looks, Meet Modern Power
Some modern motorcycle manufacturers — some of the best, in fact — have designed and built bikes that harken back to timeless style. Though we don’t recommend that you get out there with a flimsy leather helmet and goggles, we do strongly urge you to invest in the right gear and then hit the road on any of these five fantastic vintage-style motorcycles, looking damn good while you do it.
Rising Suns of Anarchy
2014 promises to offer up a ton of great bikes by which to dispel your winter blues, a handful of those out of the Far East. Japanese motorcycles are well built, reliable and typically more affordable than their counterparts from Italy and America, and they also have a strong history of great performance. From cruisers to sport-tourers to sport bikes, here are our five favorite new Japanese bikes of the year.
Rising Stars from the Rising Sun
Japanese cars have long been the epitome of reliability and trustworthiness, but they haven’t always been beautiful to look at. Things have changed with the current generation of Japanese cars, which boast great design and more personality than ever, along with driving dynamics that can rival (and even best) the Germans in some cases. Their bombproof reliability hasn’t been altered through the generations, either. Here are the ten best rising cars from the land of the rising sun.
Gifts for the Rubber Burner
Drivers can be a picky bunch. It’s likely that fuzzy dice and sheepskin seat covers won’t cut it this (or any) year, so take some direction from us this holiday season. Car or motorcycle guys tend to appreciate things that enhance the experience or provide a bit of insight into the hobby/obsession. And you have no excuse to be stingy. He’s given you rides in his vintage roadster, and he even bought you some driving gloves for your Camry SE in hopes of steering you toward a more legitimate ride someday. It’s time you ponied up for something he’ll appreciate. Of course, you can still stuff his stocking with a box of synthetic 5W30.
50 ways to ride like the wind
They are equal parts simple and complex, a mechanical interpretation of form meeting function with attitude to spare. Whether it’s chrome glimmering in the sun, the artful engineering behind a single-sided swingarm or their ability to outrun just about anything, motorcycles are more than just simple transportation. They strangle attention. Ride one down the street and watch as babies point and smile mid-whimper, dogs chase joyfully, angsty teens fight the curling in the corners of their mouths, old biker types in leather nod with supreme comprehension. There are countless combinations of weapons-grade speed, sex, beauty, design and freedom found between two tires, sure — but these fifty, specifically, are the icons hand-picked by Gear Patrol as our favorites of all time.
Dyson Hard Ostensibly aimed at the wealthy set looking to ditch those tacky, white trash Swiffers for good, the Dyson Hard is a floor cleaning device that answers the question, “how can I pay way more for this?” Using the famous Dyson Digital Motor and the company’s cyclone suction tech, this dubiously named creation both…
Not a buzzkill among them
One of the “luxuries” of being a home owner is having a yard — having the space to grill, garden, and maybe even build a moat (it is your castle, after all). Sadly, that yard is just waiting for you to turn your back so it can start creeping and growing past its carefully manicured boundaries. You need an arsenal to fight back; luckily, the weapons are a lot of fun, one of the many stress-relieving, get-it-done perks of being a man. Below are just the tools to help your yard from turning into a Discovery Channel episode of “Life after People”.
No ride like the present
Now that the riding season is under way in many parts of the country, it’s time to sign up for riding lessons and start thinking about the machine that’s best suited for your needs. You could jump right into researching bikes for months online, but we’d recommend starting with our roundup of the 5 best starter motorcycles first.
A new generation of four-doors
Family sedans tend to be the automotive equivalent of Valium (minivans are horse tranquilizers, in case you were wondering), but times have changed. Family men no longer need to sacrifice
too much in the way of driving excitement and looks in order to transport tykes and trikes. We get it. You’d rather be doing some tire ripping, engine-snorting performance runs on your way to drop off your son at school. Still, we’ve compiled our list of “family sedans” that take let you perform your dad duties with aplomb while still allowing you more than a modicum of manly fun.
Great, in concept
As nearly every auto show evidences, status quo just doesn’t cut it — and concept cars, as crazy as they can sometimes be, give us a glimpse into the realm of automotive possibility. The concepts of NAIAS 2013 were no exception. Some were radical new designs for existing models and others are new to the…
More dignified than a Zipcar
If the tumble off the fiscal cliff should ever occur, you can blame it for everything from your thin wallet to your kid’s meager college savings account. Another unwelcomed consequence of our current financial disrepair? Motorcycle riding isn’t purely for fun anymore — more and more people are opting for two wheels to save some coin at the pump. The 2013 Honda NC700X is evidence of that change — but in this case, it’s change we can get behind.
While smartphones and google calendar might have replaced much of the functional need for a physical calendar these days, we’re still nostalgic for the analog. Following in the tradition of our Grandfather’s garage, our pick for 2013′s planner is the Custom Motorcycle Calendar from Bike Exif. What it lacks in Bettie Page pinup curves it…
Honda makes cars. Honda makes mowers. Honda makes robots. Inevitably something like this was going to happen. Seeking to break into the home-automation-please-do-my-job-while-I-have-a-beer industry, the Honda Miimo is an autonomous mowing device which uses a new fan cutting system developed by Honda to slice up your grass only 3mm at a time. The Miimo is…
Does your hate for shoveling snow equal your disdain for poor fuel economy? Then Honda’s first-ever Hybrid Snow Blower ($8,000) was designed for you. It’s gas-powered four-stroke iGX390 engine provides enough spinning auger and blower power to discharge 83 tons per hour at distances of up to 62 feet (bombs away!). The fossil fuel burner…
The Ultimate Mutt-Mobile
Tails are wagging at the news. This fall, Honda’s dog-centric Element will hit lots with K9-specific accouterments to assist with dog transport that will have Fido cruising in comfort: cargo area cushioned pet bed, walk-up ramp, bone patterned rubber floor mats, 12V DC ventilation fan, spill-proof water bowl, pet restraint systems in second row and…
As if there aren’t already enough cars you’re lusting after, Honda has to go and make the HondaJet. A 1+6 passenger Business/Personal Jet capable of taking you and your lucky passengers 1400 nautical miles (2583km) and a maximum speed of 420 knots (483mph). That’s enough to get you from LaGuardia to Miami-Dade International for a…