Auto blogThu, 13 Nov 2014
The folks behind Generation Gap have lost their minds with this latest video. The goal here is to determine the ultimate family cruiser, but the choices are what you would least expect, with a heavily modded 1970 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser going up against a 2012 Ferrari FF.
You might anticipate an over-40-year-old Oldsmobile to pale in comparison to any modern Ferrari, but this wagon has a ton of secrets under its skin thanks to Lingenfelter. First, it packs a supercharged LS3 V8 with a claimed 650 horsepower and a six-speed manual gearbox. That big upgrade in power is further helped with air suspension and massive Wilwood disc brakes. The result is nothing short of deafening, with blaring yelps whenever the driver even nudges the accelerator.
The alternative sounds just as good, albeit in very different way. The Ferrari's 6.3-liter V12 pumps out 651 hp and 504 pound-feet with a part-time all-wheel drive system. While the FF lacks a lot of the hauling ability of the Olds, it makes up for the deficit in handling, luxury, and in many eyes, simply by having the famous prancing horse on the grille.
The last time I roped a coworker into an automotive debate, I lost. Resoundingly, I might add. Still, 2,385 voters chose to cast their lots for the Fiat 500 Abarth, as opposed to 5,273 choosing the Ford Fiesta ST, and so I can rest easy in the knowledge that at least 30 percent of you, dear readers, see things my way. I still like to think we have more fun, too.
My loss in the first round of our This or That series, in which two Autoblog editors pick sides on any given topic and then attempt to explain why the other is completely wrong, didn't stop me from picking another good-natured fight, this time with Senior Editor Seyth Miersma. Last time, our chosen sides were eerily similar in design, albeit quite different in actual execution. This time, our vehicular peculiarities couldn't seemingly fall any further from one another: A 1980 Oldsmobile 442 wouldn't seem to match up in comparison to a 1989 BMW 635CSi.
How did we come up with such disparate contenders? Simple, really. Seyth and I mutually agreed to choose a car that's currently for sale online. It had to be built and sold in the 1980s, and it had to be a coupe. The price cap was set at $10,000. The fruits of our searching labors will henceforth be disputed, with Seyth on the side of the Germans, and myself arguing in favor of the Rocket Olds. Am I setting myself up for another lopsided loss?
General Motors today announced a truly massive recall covering some 8.4 million vehicles in North America. Most significantly, 8.2 million examples of the affected vehicles are being called back due to "unintended ignition key rotation," though GM spokesperson Alan Adler tells Autoblog that this issue is not like the infamous Chevy Cobalt ignition switch fiasco.
For the sake of perspective, translated to US population, this total recall figure would equal a car for each resident of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, the District of Columbia, Vermont and Wyoming. Combined. Here's how it all breaks down:
7,610,862 vehicles in North America being recalled for unintended ignition key rotation. 6,805,679 are in the United States.
If you have a need to relive the 1970s, then here is the vehicle for you. This groovy blast from the past is a 1976 GMC Motorhome currently for auction in Florida on eBay Motors, and it is one green machine - just not in the modern sense.
The seller claims that this beast has had just two owners and has covered a mere 61,308 miles in its decades on the road. It's reportedly never been restored or repainted and comes with all of the necessary books and manuals. A 7.5-liter (455-cubic-inch) Oldsmobile V8 with a three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission powering the front wheels propels this far-out RV, and the double set of rear wheels out back use a self-leveling air suspension to provide a cushy ride.
The purported low miles and good condition really make this GMC a stand out, though. The exterior combination of lime stripes and beige with just a touch of green is like nothing else on the road today. Plus, the polished bumpers and wheels make it all pop. Inside, it's even better with monochromatic green upholstery and shag carpet. It features everything you'd ever need on a long trip, including a bathroom, kitchenette and lots of seating. The only hint of modernization is an HD TV next to the stove, but its size is a perfect fit for the hole there.
Ever since Gran Turismo 4, Jay Leno has had at least one of his cars included in the popular racing simulator (starting with the Tank Car), and more of his machines appears in Gran Turismo 6. They include this nose-heavy, front-wheel-drive V8-powered muscle car. Yes, that aptly describes a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - except Leno's is rear-wheel drive. And it has a Cadillac CTS-V race engine modified to pump out 1,070 horsepower.
For the latest Jay Leno's Garage episode, he takes his real Toronado out for a cruise and then drives the virtual one like he stole it, accruing some body damage along the way. Leno also drives the virtual supercar Mercedes-Benz designed for GT6, the AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept that debuted at the LA Auto Show, along with the real one, which is a 1:1-scale model. The model is radio-controlled and equipped with a small electric motor, sufficient to move it on and off of auto show floors.
Head below to watch the episode, which includes a few words from GT6 creator Kazunori Yamauchi.