Absence of heat will not preserve a battery indefinitely. Electrodes decay naturally over time through simple charge/discharge cycling. Electrochemical decay is the real enemy for batteries as the active surface material of the electrode falls apart. It's unavoidable, especially in Li-ion batteries such as the Volt's.… » 4/23/14 10:32am Wednesday 10:32am

The manual on your 2010 was only rated at 27 highway, the CVT at 29. The new Outback gets a better CVT and the revised 2.5 from the new Forester. I'll only believe the 33 mpg highway number when I see it, but my folks have a 2012 and it most certainly gets 30+ highway at around 75 mph. I wouldn't trust the trip… » 4/17/14 2:25pm 4/17/14 2:25pm

Thanks, Ray. That was an extremely helpful post that really shed light on the finer nuances of top-shelf marathon training, and also served to calibrate my sense of what is "in" right now. Back when I started running I thought the Boston Marathon was relevant, but realize now that it is only so because it was the site of … » 4/15/14 1:06pm 4/15/14 1:06pm

Actually, it is about love or hate. You apparently hate post-1985 Saabs. And that's okay. In all serious, the pre-'85 (why 1985?) cars are slow, quirky, inexpensive and fun. The post-85 cars are quick, efficient, safe, relatively expensive and fun. I'm thinking of 900 SPG, 9000 Aero, 9-3 SE 5-door, 9-5 Aero of the… » 4/10/14 3:24pm 4/10/14 3:24pm

Getting unsafe drivers off the road is like trying to get uninsured people to stop using the emergency room as their primary care physician. It's a great idea, but good luck actually doing that without major policy effort. And it doesn't change the fact that people get in accidents, safe or unsafe. Anything operated by … » 4/08/14 5:22pm 4/08/14 5:22pm

Unless AP's reporting is wrong, the version of the law in effect when he bought the Tesla gives him double the value, not triple. Also, Tesla gets four tries to fix a specific problem, which could mean the car is in the shop for more than 30 days and still doesn't meet Lemon Law requirements. » 4/07/14 2:50pm 4/07/14 2:50pm

With the Ambassador, Michael is almost definitely referring to the 7-inch lengthening of the Ambassador wheelbase for 1973. He's not wrong about the bad timing on AMCs part, but yeah the Ambassador platform and nameplate was definitely not new. But it hardly mattered. They kept the shorter version and renamed it the… » 3/31/14 12:21pm 3/31/14 12:21pm

Thanks for cutting to the heart of this. Some of the cold-hearted crap I've been reading in these comments is sickening. Sure, most drivers can deal with sudden and unexpected power loss, no problem. I have a friend whose Cobalt has done this several times. But what about an 80-year-old who simply isn't strong enough… » 3/25/14 7:13pm 3/25/14 7:13pm

I have a feeling it'll be more like the Mazda Demio than the Spark. Compared to the Spark, you get better performance thanks to lighter weight and more power from a bigger engine. But it's got super-cheap plastic inside and little to nothing in the way of toys. It's a basic car that will probably be fun to drive like… » 3/19/14 11:33am 3/19/14 11:33am

Wood laminates date back to the 17th century but didn't reach anything close to a construction-grade material until the 20th century. Undoubtedly de Monge and Bugatti knew of de Havilland's Moth aircraft from 1930. But it was still an unusual way to construct an aircraft, and a good strategy for a high-speed aircraft.… » 3/10/14 4:21pm 3/10/14 4:21pm

These don't do that well on the twisties and shined mostly on the larger tracks in the '30s. When you have wheelspin in top gear at well over 100mph you have to accelerate with care. And the brakes are difficult to modulate. But the power to weight ratio is so high, they can't help but be fast. » 3/10/14 11:25am 3/10/14 11:25am

The Paceman has 5.3 in of ground clearance. The JCW version goes down to 4.2. My Saab 9-3 has 6 in of ground clearance. Mini gives you nothing in your fight against potholes. In fact, the low profile tires are a detriment; you'd be better off in a Corolla. » 3/10/14 10:59am 3/10/14 10:59am

Overvalued? Maybe. But it's not a ridiculous valuation at all. The latest news is that Panasonic may bankroll Musk's plant. Panasonic is the primary battery supplier for Toyota. In 2009, Panasonic said they could supply all the lithium-ion batteries Toyota needs. That's no longer true in 2014. A plant in the U.S. would … » 2/26/14 10:17am 2/26/14 10:17am