Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Beast of the Borealis: The 2014 Toyota Tundra LTD CrewMax 4X4

In frosted northern kingdoms, 

Past the  jackpines' ragged reign,

The tundra rolls 'neath blazing stars,

Way up the line from Maine.

While here in Maryland -- the Tundra rolls onto the drive. It gleams in the dew-laden air. Alerted by the gravel crunching under its 18-inch Michelins, squirrels dart from its path. Still the Toyota rumbles onward. Its immense presence draws near. Electronically-controlled four-wheel discs bring it to a halt. Its 5.7-liter V8 idles.

From the safety of nearby trees, the squirrels watch as I circumnavigate the thing. They note its newly enlarged and integrated headlights, fashionably straight body creases and 5.5-foot bed. 

The critters return to their bullet-headed pursuits while I, bearer of the reviewer's burden, pause to blink at the Tundra's massive front end. The grille rises menacingly, its tiers of chrome bars disappearing into the maw of an integrated, yet hood-mounted, air-scoop. The effect is ghastly -- yet I cannot turn away.

 MechaToyota: The 2014 Tundra LTD CrewMax 4x4

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fusion. Ford Fusion: From Somewhere on the Bosporus to a Soviet Dead Drop in an Energi SE

While you only live twice, James Bond has had many incarnations. Together, these have upheld Queen, Country and Film Franchise for more than a half-century. It's been a long run -- and one requiring much in the way of automotive hardware. That's how Bonds from Sean Connery onward have come to drive around in everything from AMC Matadors to ZAZ 965s.

Still, the essential Bond-mobile is -- and will remain -- the Aston Martin DB5.

The DB5 is cool -- and judging from its subtle bonnet bump, 007 sits at the banjo-spoked wheel of one in the above photo. With jaw firmly set, he glares at evildoers pursuing him in their Citroen Traction Avant. Not that Her Majesty's suave Cold-War paladin has anything to fear, for after negotiating a tire-squealing series of curves, his Aston will likely squirt a viscous, MI-5-developed fluid onto the roadbed, thereby causing the Traction to lose traction and plunge headlong into the Bosporus, or wherever.

The 2014 Ford Fusion. Photo: Neil Hayward
Odds are better than in baccarat that if Bond were to find himself chased down that same road by cyberterrorists in a new Ford Fusion -- things would be different.