A Tire for All Seasons or Marketing Myth?

After abusing their tires all winter driving over the crater filled terrain most Ohioans know as their local roads, some will be thinking about replacing their tires this spring. Many of us will choose what appears to be the sensible option. An “all-season” tire.

Since their inception in the late 1970’s “All-Weather” or “All-Season” tires have been a less expensive and convenient solution to America’s tread-based trepidations. While the name suggests a tire your vehicle can wear year round, Popular Mechanics suggests otherwise.

Most drivers are mistaken in believing that all-season tires provide superior performance to that of summer tires, or more accurately three-season tires, in spring and fall rainy seasons.
All-season, in reality, means a compromise. The designer has chosen a tread type and tread compound that give drivers acceptable performance in all-seasons or all-weather. However this is not the same, obviously, as great performance in all seasons. In matters of traction, all-season tires only outperform three-season or summer tires during one season, winter.

Popular Mechanics tells provides a pretty simple explanation of how this all works out for the consumer:

  • In damp or lightly wet road conditions the tread compound is the biggest traction factor. A soft, sticky compound will give you the best grip.
  • In high water, higher speed conditions the tread pattern and there-by the tire’s ability to disperse water matters most.
  • Good and bad high water tread patterns are found on all types of tires. And worn tread or improperly inflated, but expensive tires may be outperformed by newer, properly inflated tires of lesser quality.
  • Summer or three-season tires get great dry/damp traction for exactly the reason the perform poorly in the snow: a soft, grippy compound, which hardens too easily in the cold. The all-season tire trades road grip for a compound that remains flexible at colder temperatures.

So Jody, you will have to decide which type of tire you feel is best for your vehicle and when you want to drive it. Maybe keep a winter car and another car for the other seasons? Ha ha.

~ Joe Victor

Porsche Macan makes its debut this week in LA

Just revealed this week at the LA auto show, the Porsche Macan is a small (compact) crossover vehicle ready to compete with the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Land Rover Evoq and the Mercedes-Benz GLK. It’s built on a Volkswagen platform. The V6 engine choices are a 3-liter twin-turbo with 340 hp and a 3.6-liter twin-turbo with 400 hp. There are no diesel or hybrid options available now. The suspension can be raised for off-road.

They hope to have volume of sales of 50,000-55,000 vehicles. This 2015 Porsche will have a $50,000 price tag.

Find out more here.

Color Changing Concept

You might have heard of “mood rings” if you are old enough to remember the craze from the 1970s. They would change color according to your “mood”. What it actually did was detect your temperature and change color accordingly. So why am I talking about this, Jody? Because this month in the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota plans to display a color-changing vehicle in the show. It changes color according to the driver’s mood, warns of cars in blind spots, and suggest destinations based on your facial expression.

This car is codenamed Toyota FV2. See an image of it here.

~ Joe Victor

The new 2014 Corvette Stingray is here!

Sorry Jody, if you’ve been wanting to order the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with the Z51 package, you will have to wait at least a year! The suppliers are having trouble producing the necessary parts to meet the demand for them. The wait may vary from location to location because of allocations that are preset dealer to dealer.

So what are you waiting for? The Z51 package has a dry sump oil system, revised suspension, slotted brake rotors, larger front brake discs, an aero package, electronic limited-slip differential, larger wheels and revised gear ratios. This package will cost you an extra $2800.

The 2014 Stingray has an all-aluminum frame powered by a new 5.2-liter LT1 V-8 engine. A 7-speed manual transmission is standard but you can also get 6-speed automatic. The C7 has only been on the market for a few weeks so you will have a wait with or without the special Z51 package.

~ Joe Victor

Check out the new Bentley Flying Spur

Bentley Motors has just introduced the Flying Spur, a new luxury sedan. The car comes with a 6 litre W12 engine that goes 0-60 in 4.3 seconds to a top speed of 200 mph. It has specially-designed soundproofing in the floor and doors.

It has an optional wifi hub for internet access. It comes with 64 GB internal hardrive for sharing. Rear seats include DVD players, wireless headphones and LCD screens along with port enabling to connect consoles, tablets, cameras, music players and phones.

You can find the full specifications here.

Joe and Jody Victor

Hey Jody, How about a Corvette Station Wagon?

Seriously, I am shocked and of all the cool things I could have imagined I would never have thought of this one. Custom Corvette specialist Calloway has designed a Corvette hatchback of sorts and it is pretty hot. You still aren’t going to haul furniture in it but this is a pretty nice sled for an extended trip to the mountains! According to reports this conversion will not affect performance significantly. I am still stunned at the lines of this automobile and just the overall terrific looks, this is not your Grandma’s utility vehicle. Check it out here or here.

Joe Victor

How many cars have you had?

Hey Jody, most people go through more than 1 car in their lifetime. Some may even lease a new car and trade it in 2 years later for the newest model. Not Irv Gordon. He bought a brand new red Volvo P1800 in 1966. On September 15, he passed the 3 million mark. That’s right 3,000,000 miles on one car. That’s an average of over 63,000 miles per year. He set a world record for the most miles driven by a single person in a noncommercial vehicle in 1998 when he reached 1.69 million, but that didn’t stop him from continuing. The car still has its original engine!

Irv Gordon has driven through every state except Hawaii and 5 European countries with this car.

~ Joe Victor

Easiest 2013 Cars to Bargain For

Forbes has compiled a list of the 14 Easiest 2013 Cars to Bargain For in each of 14 major categories that TrueCar.com predicts will sell lowest below MSRP.

  1. Large Car: Chevrolet Impala
  2. Large Truck: GMC Sierra
  3. Luxury Car: Jaguar XJ
  4. Luxury Sports Car: Infiniti G37 Coupe
  5. Midsize Car: Nissan Maxima
  6. Small SUV: Mitsubishi Outlander
  7. Large SUV: Ford Expedition
  8. Minivan: Honda Odyssey
  9. Midsize SUV: Nissan Murano
  10. Small Car: Ford Focus
  11. Luxury SUV: Acura MDX
  12. Sports Car: Ford Mustang
  13. Subcompact Car: Smart ForTwo
  14. Small Truck: Nissan Frontier

So if you are looking for a new car, check out the site and see why they are marking them down before you make your purchase.

Here are the Forbes Hottest Cars for 2014

Hey Jody, if you’re shopping for a new car soon, check out these cars on Forbes list of the 15 hottest new cars for 2014.

  1. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
  2. Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  3. Jaguar F-Type
  4. Jeep Cherokee
  5. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
  6. Cadillac ELR
  7. Chevrolet SS
  8. Chevrolet Silverado / GMC Sierra
  9. Toyota Corolla
  10. BMW 4 Series
  11. Cadillac CTS
  12. Fiat 500L
  13. Infiniti Q50
  14. Acura RLX
  15. Kia Cadenza

Some of the cars may not seem like they are “new” but they have been remade for the new year.

~ Joe Victor