As much car and truck news and opinion as you can possibly take. From electric vehicles all the way to big trucks, we got ya covered on this car blog - and now video blog!

Sunday, September 30

MySpace Video: VW Microbus is better than you thought



Have you seen those Toyota commercials where the Tundra does impossible-looking stuff? Well, here's some news, Tundras suck. They get brake problems and aren't even really Japanese. What you got there is an American truck without the self-esteem.

On the other hand, the modest Microbus, is still a hardcore steel box that you just can't kill. Check out this amazing video from MySpace. Let's assume, for fun, that the VW in the video still works fine after a jump and a splash.

As for the future of the Microsbus, Volkswagen scrapped plans to produce a retro-rehash of the Type 2/Transporter VW van based on the 2001 VW Microbus Concept - in the spirit of the new Beatle.
So, for now, there's little hope for the man who wants a van that's fun too with no Mystery Machine contenders coming our way.

Wednesday, September 26

What's the Deal with Germans and Hydrogen?

Hindenburg disaster
Generally, we don't like the 7-Series. iDrive sucks and it's a lot ugglier than the model it replaced. But we don't mind alternative fuels and BMW is eeking closer and closer to offering us a Hydrogen-powered 7-Series, which takes balls. At the moment, they're only being used for BMW's PR around the world. They loaned some to NASA for about eight weeks and now, it seems they just go around the world, loaning them out to high-profile VIPs, business folks and especially politicians.

The halo fleet of super green cars is mmm mmm good PR when you're the company that's known for gas guzzlers like the M5 - close 300 g/km of CO2
emissions. The 750hL spews nothing but water vapor when running on hydrogen. Since you can't buy hydrogen very readily, the thing also runs on gas - which is what most normal folks would end up using in this now-heavier, V12 big boy.

All the hydrogen fuel cell stuff adds an extra 550 pounds to the already massive 7 and according to this Ben Lage article, just the materials in each of the 100 or so examples of the 7-Series 750hL costs around $400 grand. With the research, they're about a mil-point-five a piece.

The not-at-all-pompous-sounding
BMW hydrogen technology researcher, Dr. Frank Ochmann explains,"We have no price on the car. We reHydrogen BMW car 750hLgard this as an offer to society to show society where we stand on clean energy."

"We have no price on the car," said BMW hydrogen technology researcher Dr. Frank Ochmann. "We regard this as an offer to society to show society where we stand on clean energy."

I can't help but wonder - how much will gas prices have to go up for you to give up the truck? Take the poll below!





Saturday, September 22

You Fricken kidding me? Jeep releases Jeep Brand House Paint!

jeep paint
It's not that we mind car brand branded stuff. I got a pair of Jeep jeans, they resist water (and beer) with some sort of Teflon-like beading action. Very cool, but even those were a gift. And I think I had one of those Jeep boom boxes, or at least really wanted one.

Now colors like Sahara brown will be available for your house - inside, outside, the basement, all of it. It's not that they're taking the time out of figuring out how to make the Commander even uglier to make paint. This is just part of Jeep's licensing drive. You can now buy clothes, toys, bikes even bed linens and 'grooming kits; that are Jeepafied - which usually means it's extra tough, or at least water resistant - or at least carry the logo. That's the first time we've ever said 'linens' here.

Next year, watch out for Jeep's own navigation system that also includes an MP3 player, a video player and is tough and cool looking. We're usually more cynical here, but that sounds kinda cool.paint

Jeep's so good at licensing, they've won an award from it from the companies that license their stuff association or whatever it's called (Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA).

I've only seen this story on Chrysler's password-required blog, launched a month or two ago. It's not great.

To check out all the crazy Jeep crap you can ever possibly want to own, check out www.AllThingsJeep.com or www.JeepWorld.com

Tuesday, September 18

It's Coming! Dodge Challenger starts getting made! Cooler than Camaro? You decide!

All the car blogs are letting you know that Dodge is ready to auction off the first three, production Challengers! That means the tooling's done and we're ready for the oldest-looking, new muscle car yet! Meanwhile, Chevy is so close to the Camaro that they're already showing you the Convertible version at Frankfurt.

But only Basic Transportation lets you tell me which one you'd go test drive, haggle over, finance and drive to work!



Hell Yeah! Jeep Wranglers back in the Army with a Pickup to Boot


You know we love Jeeps at Basic Transportation. I've even owned one. And now the cheapest and best 4x4 is going back to where it all started. War! Jeep has announced the J8, a reinforced, diesel version of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. And, for extra awesome, they're even making a pickup version called the JT. (Jeep Truck, 'tard). So, a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that produces 158 hp and 295 lb.-ft. of torque - that's a cool truck you can down with!


No word if the J8 will be available for regular, none shot-at people, but hard to imagine they'd keep it from us. Finally, back to simple, agricultural basics for the Wrangler and the long-awaited Wrangler pickup - though not really as cool as the Gladiator.

Check out the full story pic gallery and J8 press release on Jalopnik here.

Friday, September 14

Basic Transportation Car and Truck Blog sells out and gets ads!

homeless
After hours of code bull crap, you're now surrounded by ads! Look, above, below, to the side, ads, ads, ads everywhere! Yes, we've sold out, mostly because we're so damn broke and can use the extra couple nickels every month. Superballs and stickers, even gumballs are now almost within out might, Google Ad-powered grasp!


Thursday, September 13

Volvo gets an extra 4 1/4 mpg from the C30 with simple tweaks - why are they alone?

Volvo C30 Efficiency
Fuel cells, hybrid drives and thousands of batteries. There's lots at the Frankfurt show to show off car companies as whale kissing, tree hugging, environmental freaks. Lots and lots of technology we might see in like ten years to help save the planet and help you score with hippie chicks.
hippie chick
For the moment, Volvo has decided to keep it real and, as Autoblog points out, simple as hell with the C30 Efficiency - a 1.6L Diesel Volvo that, by the way, already gets better gas mileage than Google's Prius Fleet (none-plug-in).

Tweaks (listed in another Autoblog post here) to the gears, undercarriage, even oil and tires and wheels and viola - 9 g/km (grams per kilometer you drive in it) less CO2 AND, AND, wait for it, AND 4.25 mpg more! That's savings you can take to the money bank and you can shit on Prius drivers, since - the new mileage I used a calculated, so I assume Basic Transportation - Car and Truck and Electric Vehicle (why not) blog brought it to you first. Click on title to see Autoblog's C30 Efficiency image gallery (not exciting, but efficient).

VW GTI Convertible (I mean, Cabrio) - Make it, Make it, Make it!

VW GTI Cabrio Concept
VW Convertible
Notice, we haven't even mentioned Frankfurt because that stuff only effects super rich people looking for a 1million euro Lamborghini etc. At Basic Transportation - we're pretty much about basic transportation. Which means, when a cool spin on a groovy hatchback comes along - we're gonna flag it up!

Remember the 80s GTI Cabrio, that somehow was all 'fun in the sun' without any of the girliness? Like the Miata, the Vdub was just too fast and fun to be a chick car. And so, we're taking a stand right now. If VW makes a GTI Cabrio again, it'll be too awesome to be for girls! (they already got the Beatle and the EOS.

Build it!

Wednesday, September 12

This Week in Gas Price History: California's paying less, Texas paying more, but we're all screwed

To be precise, we're screwed at a rate of 20 cents since last year, about buck since this week 2004. So, really, the long-term outlook for being able to guzzle as much gas as we want is probably on the decline. So, again, I gotta ask - how much is too much - remember this poll? Vote now!



Tuesday, September 11

Hatchback Sales are Way Up. Uh....yay!

Plymouth Horizon Dodge Omni
VW GTI

Here's a couple examples of hatchbacks that don't suck; The VW GTI, which exists and is great and the Dodge Hornet, which may or may not be getting made or not made in China or America, some say.

And, of course, there's the Fiat 500 which I hyped up so big a couple days ago that I don't feel the need to talk about it anymore. Dodge Hornet

Either way, according to the L.A. Times, which uses fancy 'sta-tis-tics', sales of hatchbacks were way up in July 07 while overall car sales were down. This could simply mean that the economy is crumpling a little faster than it seems and that the only cars people feel they can afford are small and cheap - The Nissan Versa is on the list of big winners...but then so is the not-at-all-cheap Mini. So it's not the crumbling economy. It must be that some people are seeing the up side of having something relatively roomy that's not too expensive and, of course, gets ridiculous gas mileage. We're talking in the 30mpg range for most of these rear-window-wipered bastards!

So maybe, slowly, the image of the 80s hatchback is slowly going away...slowly. The Dodge Omni, pictured above, is, unquestionably, the hatchback that ruined the word 'hatchback' for all cars with a hatched back the same way hitler ruined that little mustache for everyone. It was a horrendous piece of car crap but did help get Chrysler saved by Congress. It was also Motor Trend's 1978 Car of the Year - which just proves Motor Trend is bullshit. Let's root for cars like the GTI and the Mini to make hatchbacks not suck.

You Decide: Roush Silverado - coolest truck ever or gaughty redneck fantasty?



Roush is famous for the crazy stuff they do to Fords. And, their Roush F150 is damn sweet. Unlike the....let's say...'understated' mods you get when you score yourself a Saleen F150, the Roush is loud, growling, brightly colored and generally obnoxious. And it looks like Roush has applied the same winning formula to a possible truck. And, look at it, if they don't end up making it - someone else will. Would you drive a bright orange truck with what looks looks like a shaker hood? Would you want it in a quad cab?

My vote's 'hell yes'





Driving the 2007 Escalade - Cool, wrong, really badly made

2007 EscaladeThere's too many car reviews online - so we hate doing them. But when given the chance to jump behind the wheel of a 2007 Escalade - the ultimate SUV - I said 'what the hell, let's do it.'

It goes without saying that the Escalade is sexy as hell and ridiculously roomy. But, of course, so is the Tahoe, which costs half as much. While they no longer share a platform and 95% of the parts, the two trucks are still the same size. The Escalade has an unnecessarily bigger, V8 and, most importantly, the constantly adjusted, futuristic-magnetically-charged shocks.

2007 Escalade InteriorAt one point, the Cadillac man that came along for the ride insisted, with no hint of sarcasm, that I try to flip the Escalade and - since it wasn't mine - I was happy to give it a shot. It didn't take long for me to get the four-ton bastard up to 50 on a surface street and, bracing myself for rollover goodness, I yanked the wheel for a hard left (after all, Tony Soprano flipped his Escalade and walked away).

The king of bling just turned into the parking lot where I pointed and screeched sideways like a Camaro. Expensive computers told one side of the car to become stiffer to make up for...physics. The truck was unflippable.

So, drivability is impressive and who doesn't like 22inch chrome rims from the factory. Quality is another issue altogether. Bare in mind that the $77 grand on the Escalade's sticker can buy a slew of different luxury cars. Before even getting a close look at the Caddy, I could see the seam of the drivers' door was crooked, narrow on the top and much wider on the bottom. This was without looking very closely - it didn't occur to me to check the body on a new car - I usually reserve it for salvaged pieces of crap like that Buick Riviera I had.

Crooked doors, on a brand new, $80K Cadillac. Seriously? Inside, the plasticky feel of fake wood panels glued onto pickup dashboard panels is a bit better than it was on the old, pickup-based Caddies - but not much better. The second time I went to backup, the backup camera had stopped working. The time before, it had shown the rear bumper on the navigation screen, which was cool. I put the car into 'drive' and then 'reverse' again. Nothing, the camera toy had gone too. Again, this Escalade had 40 miles on it at the time.

I was done. The Bose, 5.1 Dolby sound system also sounded like crap. The guy tried to explain that every Escalade's sound settings were adjusted at the dealer when it was purchased. 'So, it just sounds crappy from the factory?'

Maybe we, as a society, need to find a new pimpmobile? Maybe better-made and with better gas mileage?

Sunday, September 9

What the Hell? The Fiat 500 is a small car I actually like.



OK, so, at heart, I'm a redneck, and as such, I like big, comfortable and cheap cars/trucks with V8 engines, hooked up to the rear wheels. Small cars are for people that can't afford those and girls, right? And, yeah, the Mini is a great car...for girls. Even the Scion Xb is pretty cool...and yet it's for girls and high schoolers. But, there's hope for my gas guzzling ways (maybe). The Fiat 500 coming out in our fifty-first state, Europe makes me think twice. The interior is so convincingly old fashioned like. The safety rating is so good (top score from the EU folks). And the ridiculously amazing gas mileage of the Fiat 500 (56mpg) is just mind boggling. Yes, it's over 10 seconds 0-60 and yes, that sucks from a standing stop at a freeway onramp - but damn!

At the end of the day, my car might easily be a Chevy Silverado Extended cab...yeah...with leather. Although a Mustang GT Convertible also whispers my name at night. But if the Fiat 500 comes to to the States (and there's a tiny chance it will), I might think about it for my Hollywood, green car cred.



Wednesday, September 5

A 'Green' car that doesn't bore the crap outta ya? - Check out the Citroen C-Cactus Concept

Citroen C-Cactus Concept
Yes, the Elettrica in the last post is very...responsible. But it's basically a golf cart. And yes, the Prius makes people feel good about their environmental mindedness. But it's a horrible, fish-shaped, boring, cloth-seated five-door hatchback. So, at this year's Frankfurt Autoshow, Citroen is showing off a concept that won't have you shrugging your shoulders until they're sore and discolored. Instead, marvel at the chunky Citroen's curves and bulges, windows that look like they were crudely drawn with a crayon. That's what you want from a car that gets about 70mpg - which totally craps on the Prius's 40 and change to the gallon.

Plus, the C-Cactus achieves this gas economy through fancy diesel technology, variable valve timing and other cleverness. Not just using electric when going slow. And, finally, while Prius uses damn-near-impossible to recycle batteries - lots of them, the C-Catus is made to be easier to recycle and more green to produce. Now let's hope Citroen actually produces it!

Check out more pix from Autoblog Green - Citroen C-Cactus Concept!

Monday, September 3

New Elettrica electric vehicle take on GWiz and NICE Mega City on London streets




Today, Future Vehicles in UK, best known for retrofitting original Minis with electric running gear, announced that they'd be making the first electric car actually manufactured in UK. While India-made GWizzes and French NICE are abound in central London, the tiny Elettrica will be able to offer more range, taking two passengers up to 70 miles on a single charge - as opposed to 50 like the NICE or Gwiz.

The added range is thanks to a Lithium battery. The GoinGreen and their GWiz expect to offer these on new models and as upgrades in early 2008. Another important feature of the Elettrica, if you like living, is the safety. The GWiz got into some hot water because, since these EVs aren't classed as cars by the EU, the safety standards are pretty lax. Future Vehicles created a safety 'shell' for the Elettrica similar to the on Smart ForTwos.

The Lithium-powered Elettrica will gost £12,750 inc VAT - compare that to the newly-reduced cost of
£7,299 for the AC-drive GWiz or around £10K for a Mega City - both can (uncomfortably) seat four. Expect to see these funky-looking green machines on the streets of London soon. Test drives are already being scheduled in the capital. Check out the link when you click the title.