2011 Volvo XC60

Safe. A Volvo must be safe. It doesn’t matter if the subject of the safety wand is a big sedan, compact wagon, or mid-size crossover like the XC60. Now gripped in Chinese automaker Geely’s chopsticks, the very-Swedish Volvo proves it…

2011 Ford Shelby GT500

Snakes are just nasty. My mother would be the first to tell you. They slither, shed, hiss, rattle, suffocate, and sometimes bite. Mostly, they just do their own thing, wishing to live in peace. Despite every warning, somebody always has…

Book Review: Overhaul, By Steven Rattner

AUTOS BEYOND THE CRISIS In Steven Rattner’s new book Overhaul, he quotes former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel as saying, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Ford lost $8.7B in 2Q08, while GM burned $15.5B — crisis indeed….

2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

Cadillac once represented the unquestioned standard of the world among automakers. High fins, big V8 power, and a level of panache desired by kings made Cadillac the hottest thing in rubber loafers. Those cars caused people to stand back, wide-mouthed,…

2011 Lincoln MKT

At first glance, the MKT looked like its designers tossed every historic Lincoln design cue into a plastic bucket, shook it 23 times, and tossed it at the closest clay model in the studio. We got a stylized version of…

2010 Jaguar XF

Every decade or so, Jaguar launches a truly advanced car that shocks the brand faithful. I’ve heard and said plenty about the current XF and XJ sedans.  They are nothing like previous Jaguars, yet are completely like previous Jaguars.  People…

2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD

Taking the re-engineered 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD to pick up a credenza at IKEA is like commissioning a stealth bomber to extinguish a tent camp. The big Chevy is capable of pulling insane loads through prairie and mountains with five…

Lexus Is Still Pursuing Perfection

Thumbnail image for 2011-Lexus-LFA.jpg Since introducing the LS400 and ES250 at the Detroit and Los Angeles auto shows in 1989, Lexus has adhered to its famous tag line, “The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection.” That pursuit gave Mercedes and Cadillac a rude awakening, and it has led to an array of excellent products. It’s interesting to consider all Lexus has become.

Before Lexus, Toyota’s flagship was the Cressida sedan — a car that would be completely out-classed by today’s Camry. The idea that Toyota would rival the mighty Mercedes-Benz for prestige luxury seemed like a joke, but people didn’t laugh long: the $35,000 LS400 earned a reputation as one of the finest cars in the world with near-perfect durability – a Mercedes S-Class at half the price. The ES250 was a well-appointed mid-size competitor to the Cadillac Seville, Acura Legend, and Mercedes 190E. Lexus service was (and is) beyond compare, earning heaps of awards and schooling rivals.

The Other Star of A SINGLE MAN

Thumbnail image for MercedesBenz220s.jpg Somewhere between wallowing in memories of past love, brooding in loneliness, lecturing at a university, engaging in mid-night trysts, frequenting gay bars, being pursued by a beautiful young man, romping in the ocean, confiding in Julianne Moore, and planning an exit from this earth, A Single Man’s Colin Firth drove a Mercedes 220S Coupe. If I were a college prof in 1964 and lost my partner in a tragic accident, I might have been driven to indulge in these diversions. I would also have driven the Mercedes.