Categories
Car Reviews

The Abt RS6-R Accelerates To 62mph As Fast As A McLaren 570S

Image via Auditography

If you liked the sheer brashness of Abt’s new RS7-R but need a bigger boot, the German tuner has supplied a solution. It’s the RS6-R, and the setup is much the same: more power, a production limit of 125, and in Abt’s words, “Carbon EVERYTHING!!” Yes, that’s verbatim.

As with the RS7-R, the RS6-R’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 has been boosted from 592bhp to 720bhp, while the torque has swelled from 590 to 679lb ft. Four-tenths have been slashed from the 0-62mph time, with the RS6-R taking just 3.2 seconds to hit the benchmark speed.

Image via Auditography

That’s as fast as a McLaren 570S, matching the supercar-bothering antics of another circa-two tonne V8 hulk – the BMW M8. It’s all thanks to the ‘Abt Power R’ upgrade, and although there are no details as to what that involves, previous thusly-titled kits from the company have comprised of tuning boxes, exhaust systems and beefed-up intercoolers.

Also on the menu are new coilovers, upgraded anti-roll bars and some 22-inch ‘Abt High Performance HR’ wheels. If 22s sound a little excessive, don’t forget – the standard C8 RS6 can be optioned with wheels that big if desired.

Mclaren - The Abt RS6-R Accelerates To 62mph As Fast As A McLaren 570S - Tuning

Along with the enormo-wheels, the RS6-R has – staying true to Abt’s promise – an absurd amount of carbon fibre. There’s a new front splitter, trim on top of the front grille, side skirts, a boot spoiler and a rear diffuser all made from carbon. Our favourite element is the CF rear windscreen – it’s almost as though someone added louvres and cut a chunk out of the middle, and it looks smashing, we think.

Mclaren - The Abt RS6-R Accelerates To 62mph As Fast As A McLaren 570S - Tuning

Prices haven’t been divulged by Abt, but the company has said it’s already taking €10,000 deposits for the 125 due to be made.

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Auto News

Road Traffic In The UK Drops 73% To Levels Not Seen In 65 Years

Road Traffic In The UK Drops 73% To Levels Not Seen In 65 Years - News

Right now, movement in the UK is severely restricted. British citizens have been told to “only go outside for food or health reasons or travelling to and from work but only where you cannot work from home,” and as such, that’s had a dramatic effect on traffic levels.

Following the announcement of the measures on 23 March – intended to curtail the spread of Covid-19 – UK motor vehicle traffic plummeted by 73 per cent compared to the same time in February, according to Department for Transport figures.

Road Traffic In The UK Drops 73% To Levels Not Seen In 65 Years - News

As reported by The Guardian, these kinds of traffic levels haven’t been seen since 1955. And remember, the road network was a lot smaller then, with the first motorway not built until 1958. As a consequence, the UK’s highways will seem deathly quiet in places.

It’s the same story across all modes of transport. Rail journeys, for instance, dropped by 90 per cent, while bus journeys in London are at just 17 per cent of the normal volume.

Traffic jams: a thing of the past, for now at least...

A week on from the announcement of the new restrictions – the contravention of which could land you with a £60 fine for the first offence – traffic did increase slightly. It was down a more modest 63 per cent compared to pre-lockdown levels.

Public Health England medical director Doctor Yvonne Doyle called the increase “concerning,” reiterating the government’s message for people to “stay at home”. We’ll update this piece with the latest traffic figures when available.

It’ll be interesting to see if the drastic lifestyle changes Coronavirus has forced upon us will have a longer-term impact on traffic. Many employees and firms will be finding that, in actual fact, sticking a load of people in an expensive office building five days a week isn’t always necessary.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a rise in remote working even when all this is over, with this unprecedented period of modern history proving to be a big home-working experiment for a lot of companies and employees. Such a change in working habits would mean fewer commutes and quieter roads for those who do actually need to get somewhere at rush hour, and less pollution. Sounds good, no?

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Categories
Bikes

The 1800cc BMW R 18 Has The Bike World's Biggest Ever Boxer Twin

BMW - The 1800cc BMW R 18 Has The Bike World's Biggest Ever Boxer Twin - Bikes

Just before Christmas, we were marvelling at the BMW ‘Big Boxer’ engine. Displacing a whopping 1802cc, it’s the biggest flat-twin ever, and BMW’s most powerful two-cylinder boxer. Now, we know what it’s for – the R18.

As expected, since it’s a heavy (110kg), low-revving, torquey kind of engine, the Big Boxer has been mounted in the frame of a cruiser. And doesn’t it look magnificent in there?

BMW - The 1800cc BMW R 18 Has The Bike World's Biggest Ever Boxer Twin - Bikes

It follows the R18 concept, taking the same basic shape but adding much more in the way of bodywork – the show bike looked like it was all engine with just a handful of components hanging off. The production version is still built around a double-loop steel frame though, mirroring the concept and BMW cruiser bikes of old.

The big ol’ twin provides 90bhp at 4750rpm, with peak torque of 116lb ft available from 2000 to 4000rpm. The rear wheel is turned via an exposed driveshaft, much like the 1936 R5, which the R18 takes styling inspiration from.

BMW - The 1800cc BMW R 18 Has The Bike World's Biggest Ever Boxer Twin - Bikes

Despite the retro styling, though, it’s chock full of modern tech under the skin. It has three riding modes – Rain, Roll and Rock (yes, really) – traction control, cornering ABS and cruise control. Hill Start Control and a reverse assist are on the options menu. Since the R18 weighs 345kg, you might wish to spec those.

Want to tweak the styling? There’ll be a whole host of official BMW Motorrad accessories available thanks to a partnership with Roland Sands Design. Two main flavours of parts will be available: ‘Machined’ and ‘2-Tone Black’. Seat options will be on offer from Mustang Seat, while Vance & Hines will be supplying different exhaust systems for the bike.

BMW - The 1800cc BMW R 18 Has The Bike World's Biggest Ever Boxer Twin - Bikes

Like what you see? The R18 First Edition – which includes white pinstripes, First Edition badging and a whole load of chrome – will be £18,995.

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Car Reviews

Tesla May Come Out Of The Current Crisis Ahead Of Legacy OEMs

Tesla’s demand is outpacing that of the auto industry as a whole.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX, which makes and sells aftermarket Tesla accessories. The opinions expressed therein are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs, nor have we been paid by EVANNEX to publish these articles. We find the company’s perspective as an aftermarket supplier of Tesla accessories interesting and are happy to share its content free of charge. Enjoy!

Posted on EVANNEX on April 06, 2020 by Charles Morris

The years of steady sales and plentiful profits for carmakers have experienced a “rapid unplanned disassembly,” if I may employ a bit of Muskian dark humor. The future is unpredictable, but no one doubts that the auto industry has a very ugly year ahead of it.

There’s an argument to be made that Tesla may suffer less than others, and that the current crisis situation may accelerate the disruptor’s rise to dominance, and the fading away of the legacy automakers.

At first glance, this may seem surprising, to say the least. Comparatively tiny Tesla has nothing like the financial resources available to the global giants, and it’s certainly true that, despite the company’s current strong cash position, it could get into trouble if the production shutdown of its US plants lasts too long.

On the other hand, Tesla’s vehicle sales have been comparatively strong. For Q1 2020, delivery figures were up 40% compared to the previous year (despite the expiration of the federal EV tax credit), while the overall US auto industry was down 29%.

As Loup Ventures sees it, Tesla’s demand is outpacing that of the auto industry as a whole, and it’s going to get harder and harder for the legacy automakers to catch up. In a recent article, the venture capital firm tells us, “Tesla is winning because they have a product that is measurably better than both gas and electric competitors.”

The first quarter’s strong delivery numbers aren’t likely to last—Tesla, along with all the other automakers, is bound to see sales slide in the next quarter. However, for the full year, Loup Ventures expects Tesla’s sales growth to outshine other automakers by 15-25%. “As the company scales to meet demand, Tesla’s price performance gap versus other car makers will widen,” says Loup.

How can this be? Other automakers have strong new EVs on the market, and if they start producing those in volume, they could leave Tesla in the dust. This is just what many in the mainstream press have been insisting would happen for the past couple of years. However, as better-informed observers have pointed out, this isn’t likely to happen, because the legacy automakers aren’t producing EVs at scale, and they have no intention of doing so.

As Loup puts it, the fossil brands are “producing EVs at subscale, which creates a dilemma: If traditional auto releases a car with features and range at parity and sells the car at cost, it will be priced 10-25% higher than a comparable Tesla. This will soften demand and lead to further market share loss. If traditional auto subsidizes vehicle cost to gain market share, they will lose money with limited margin cushion. The more they sell, the more money they lose.”

How does this topsy-turvy tale conclude? “Taking it to the logical end,” write Loup Ventures’ analysts, “we believe car companies that have been around for 50-plus years will eventually (10 years from now) be forced to restructure or go out of business.”

===

Written by: Charles Morris; Source: Loup Ventures

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX, which makes and sells aftermarket Tesla accessories. The opinions expressed therein are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs, nor have we been paid by EVANNEX to publish these articles. We find the company’s perspective as an aftermarket supplier of Tesla accessories interesting and are happy to share its content free of charge. Enjoy!

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Categories
Racing

The F1 tracks that could work in reverse

The idea of reversing Silverstone to add events to the delayed and shortened 2020 Formula 1 calendar gained traction this week after comments from the circuit’s boss. So Motorsport.com took a look to see at which circuits this might just be possible

“It’s not such a silly thought. We’re not licensed to run the other way, but these are extraordinary times, and I guess that extraordinary decisions are being made.”

Those are the words of Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle, who told Sky Sports News earlier this week that the British Grand Prix venue is opening to hosting multiple rounds of the delayed 2020 Formula 1 season – if that helps the mandated rounds of the world championship can take place this year.

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Categories
Car Reviews

Volkswagen ID.3 Promises The Industry’s Coolest Heads-Up Display

It’s an augmented reality system that looks like it’s straight out of sci-fi movies… at least in the official promos.

The Volkswagen ID.3 may have encountered some software issues just as it was about to start shipping, but even so, it’s arguably still worth the wait for many of the advanced pieces of tech it has to offer. One is the optional advanced head-up display system, which based on what we’ve seen in VW’s promo videos, is cooler and more advanced than anything else on the market.

Mind you, we’re still taking this with a grain of salt, since VW says that what it has shown so far is a near-production version of the system that will be available for the ID.3, so it is still subject to change. But the manufacturer clearly states that

“The augmented reality head-up display projects the navigation directions straight into the traffic situation ahead, as you’re driving.”

“The driver sees the information as a three-dimensional, staggered image at an apparent distance of three to ten meters in front of the vehicle – digital displays and the real world merge. Travel Assist controls the distance to the vehicle ahead by accelerating and braking, keeps the vehicle in lane and shows the surroundings on the Infotainment system display. The system’s function will be enhanced further at a later date: when drivers set a turn signal on motorways, Travel Assist will initiate a change in lanes, providing the surrounding traffic permits this maneouvre.”

In the promo video, the HUD appears to extend all the way across the windscreen. We’re pretty sure this won’t be the case, but it will still cover more glass surface that other similar systems. And within its confines, it will project graphics straight over what you’re seeing (hence the augmented reality part of the proposition.

So it will show you arrows hovering right above the intersection where you need to turn (as well as various other graphics to highlight other cars, for instance) and your destination will be displayed on this HUD too; it looks a lot like what you might see in a free-roam car game and it honestly looks a bit too good to be true.

But since VW does have a history of lying to its customers and legislators, we’re pretty sure they will want to steer clear of any misleading marketing. We’re really eager to see how well the system works in the real world once ID.3s become available for drives; it’s definitely one of the standout features that we want to put to the test.

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Categories
Racing

The day Senna enraged an unknowing Schumacher

Ayrton Senna never enjoyed the best of fortunes at his home grand prix, and although he’d managed to conquer gearbox problems to win at Interlagos in 1991, mechanical issues came back to haunt him a year later – and put him squarely in the sights of Michael Schumacher. Michael, seemingly unaware of Ayrton’s problems, would hit out after the race – believing Senna had been “playing some kind of game”.

The 1992 season was a Williams walkover, and Brazil would play host to the third 1-2 thus far for the Renault-powered team. Nigel Mansell overcame a fast-starting Riccardo Patrese for victory, so the real race was for third, which Senna was determined to take…

Riccardo Patrese, Williams FW14B Renault leads at the start

Photo by: Sutton Images

His new McLaren-Honda, for the second year running a V12 unit, was over 2s off the Williams pair when healthy in qualifying, but about six-tenths of a second quicker than Schumacher’s Benetton B191B (a development of the 1991 car that would serve the team until the definitive ’92 car became available in Round 4). However, it became apparent early on that Senna was encountering problems, waving his right arm in the air as he crossed the start/finish line.

With his laptimes getting ever slower – Senna’s quickest lap was only 21st fastest out of the 26-car field! – he managed to hold up a train comprising Schumacher, Jean Alesi (Ferrari), Martin Brundle (Benetton), Pierluigi Martini (Dallara), Karl Wendlinger (March) and Thierry Boutsen (Ligier). On the debut of the McLaren MP4/7A, Senna’s Honda V12 had developed a misfire that would eventually prove terminal – but that didn’t stop him from fighting hard while being cheered on by his adoring Paulista fans.

Senna had already startled Schumacher once, by coming back at him around the first corner, making up for a poor start having been boxed-in by the slow-away Mansell. Senna clung tight around the outside of the German through the left-hander, and decisively claimed the position of the following right turn as Schumacher wisely backed out.

Riccardo Patrese, Williams FW14B, Nigel Mansell, Williams FW14B, Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4/7A, Michael Schumacher, Benetton B191B

Photo by: Sutton Images

Senna pulled away until his engine began to misfire at high revs. “It cut out suddenly and in full straights, at 250km/h [155.5mph], as if I had taken my foot off the gas,” Senna said afterwards.

At the beginning of lap eight, Schumacher whistled past Senna on the long drag out of the final corner, as Senna’s engine continued to prove troublesome, but the Brazilian wasn’t about to give it up. While Schumacher clearly thought his wounded rival wouldn’t re-challenge for the position, Senna typically dived down his inside into Turn 1 and reclaimed third.

Ayrton Senna, McLaren MP4/7A

Photo by: Sutton Images

Now back in front, Senna tried to cure his problem by twice turning off the ignition to recycle the ECU, and also began to short-shift while altering the fuel mixture in a vain attempt to bring it back to full working order. The effect of this variation in pace would infuriate Schumacher.

“I was quicker than him and he was playing some kind of game, which surprised me, I wouldn’t have expected this style of driving from a three-time world champion,” Schumacher fumed. “For the first 10 laps he was going as fast as he could but then just made it very difficult for me to overtake. He braked in the slow corner, and then accelerated and drove away on the straight.

“Eventually when he allowed me to overtake him, he slipstreamed me and overtook me. This kind of driving gave the others close behind me the opportunity to overtake me and I feel upset about this.” 

Michael Schumacher, Benetton B191B Ford leads Jean Alesi, Ferrari F92A

Photo by: Sutton Images

Indeed, on a couple of occasions Schumacher found himself having to defend from Alesi’s Ferrari. After another five laps of toiling in Senna’s wake, Schumacher finally made a move stick on lap 13 – by which time he was well over 30s behind the Williams duo.

By lap 18 Senna called it a day, having slowly fallen down the order. He ended his race with one final huge angry rev of his ailing power unit before stomping off.

Senna described his issue as “a serious and intermittent engine cut-out”. He added: “The effect of this was totally unpredictable and could occur four or five times on one lap and or not at all on the next.

“At times the cut-out was so bad that it felt as if I had applied the brakes. I continued with this problem, trying to cover it in the hope that it would eventually go away, while at the same time raising my arm to warn the drivers behind of my problem.

“The cut-out did not go away and was the reason behind my retirement – it was really dangerous to be driving under those conditions.”

The Honda engine in one of the McLaren MP4-7As.

Photo by: Ercole Colombo

With Senna out, and Schumacher all but guaranteed the final spot on the podium, the race’s drama didn’t end there. Alesi clattered into Brundle at Turn 1, mortally wounding the Briton’s Benetton. Brundle went looking for the Frenchman at the Ferrari pit, in search of an apology, only to be told the Ferrari driver was still in the race (he’d finish fourth).

There was also drama in the Ligier camp: As Erik Comas was in the process of passing Johnny Herbert’s Lotus, Comas’s teammate Thierry Boutsen went for a gap that didn’t exist, hitting both Comas and the wall. Comas was sent flying into Herbert, putting the Lotus out too.

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Car Reviews

Tesla Becomes The Top Selling Brand In Iceland After Surge In March

Tesla turned the Icelandic car market upside down and now is the king of the island with the highest number of new registrations in Q1.

The latest car registration data from Iceland is pretty surprising, even if we were accustomed to the extremely high market share for plug-in cars (see report for February here).

Thanks to the surge of Tesla car deliveries in March (403), the Californian brand has become #1 not only for the month (with ease), but also for the first quarter of 2020 (415) with a huge advantage over Toyota (358) and Volkswagen (245). Of course, Tesla is selling only electric cars, while the other two mostly ICE.

Iceland New Car Registrations – Q1 2020

Since Tesla has been officially present in Iceland since fall 2019, customers can count on bigger manufacturer-support.

There is currently a single store, service center and Supercharging station in Reykjavík, the capital and largest city of Iceland. In the near future, Tesla plans to add four more Supercharging sites to allow long-distance travel around the island.


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Car Reviews

Watch This To Find Out If The Model Y Is The Right Tesla For You

You have options, and Ben Sullins lays them out.

It wasn’t too long ago that if you wanted a Tesla, it meant you were probably getting a Model S. Then in 2016 the Model X became available, followed two years later by the Model 3, and now two years later we have the Model Y. While it might be an instinct to want to get the latest, greatest and newest Tesla available, that might not actually be the right decision for you. 

In the video above, Ben Sullins of Teslanomics takes a close look at the Model Y and explains some of the advantages it has over its Model 3 sibling.

Sullins then suggests that a used Model S might offer similar utility as the Model Y and potentially save you some dough. He then looks at the list of used Model S on Tesla’s website. He pulls up some really nice, low-mileage Model S that could be had for much less than the new Model Y.

Might a used Tesla Model S be worth considering over a new Model Y?

While you might expect a used car to have a lower price than a new one, you have to consider that these Model S all cost a lot more when they were new than the Model Y does now, so you really can score a very good deal if you know what to look for. 

Sullins also points out that you should consider that some of the early Model S didn’t have autopilot, so don’t assume the vehicle has autopilot when shopping for used Model S.

Another thing to consider that Sullins didn’t bring up is that now that Tesla’s federal tax credits have been completely phased out. Therefore, there’s no federal financial incentive for buying a new Tesla. However, some states do offer rebates for buying new EVs, so you should make sure you know what state incentives you might qualify for before you make a buying decision. 

Is Sullins right to recommend people consider getting a used Model S over a new Model Y? Would you cross-shop a new Y with a used S? Check out the video and let us know what you think.

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Auto News

14 Vehicles With the Longest Running Nameplates

The automotive landscape is constantly changing, with makes and models coming and going at all times. But there are a few nameplates that continue to be renewed generation after generation. Here are 14 of the longest-running nameplates in the U.S.

Honda Accord

In 1976, Honda introduced a compact car that was larger than the Civic. The company chose the name “Accord” because its goal with the model was to achieve harmony between society, people, and the automobiles amid the 1970s oil crisis. The first-gen Accord was offered as a hatchback, with a sedan model added in 1979. Many different body styles have been offered since then, including coupes, wagons, and the crossover-like Crosstour, but the Accord is at its best as a midsize sedan.

BMW 3-Series

It’s hard to imagine a time when there wasn’t a BMW 3-Series, but before 1975, the acclaimed luxury sport sedan didn’t exist. The E21-generation 3-Series was the successor to the popular 2002. It was larger but—initially—not any more powerful because of stringent emissions regulations. A six-cylinder engine was eventually offered in Europe, but the U.S. had to wait until 1982 to get the inline-six that the 3 Series is known for today. The model comes in many flavors, including the performance-oriented M3.

Volkswagen Golf

Sold in the U.S. as the Volkswagen Rabbit until 1985, the Mark 1 Golf arrived in 1974 as a replacement for the venerable Beetle. The Golf was fundamentally very different from the model it was intended to replace, given its status as a front-wheel-drive hatchback with a water-cooled inline-four engine. But the car proved to be a hit, selling 1.5 million first-gen units in the U.S. The formula hasn’t changed much today, either.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class model has many iterations since it arrived in the early 1970s. The big, comfortable cruiser has been a signal of refinement and luxury ever since. Every time Mercedes releases a new one, it seems the bar for luxury is moved up a big step. The current S-Class is still the benchmark in its class and is offered in a number of guises, including high-end Maybach and sporty AMG trims.

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic arrived in 1973, just in time for the oil crisis. Like its big brother, the Accord, the Civic offered economical transportation at a time when high gas prices and choking emissions restrictions made other options less attractive. Since then, the Civic has become a compact segment staple, offering a good blend of fuel economy, handling, and value.

Nissan Z

The Z car helped put Nissan (then Datsun) on the map when it arrived for the 1970 model year. It also helped elevate Japanese cars as a whole—they were widely considered second-rate at the time. The Z had a six-year gap in production between the 300ZX and 350Z models, though production of the Z32-generation 300ZX continued in Japan until 2000. The Z car’s mission changed over the years, but the basic formula of a rear-drive, six-cylinder two-door carries on today.

Toyota Corolla

The Corolla was introduced in 1968. Following the naming convention started by the Toyota Crown, the Corolla is named after an ancient headdress. The model began life as a tiny rear-wheel-drive coupe but is best known today in the U.S. as a front-drive, compact sedan and hatchback. Not only is the Corolla an old nameplate, but Toyota claims it’s also the best-selling nameplate ever.

Ford Mustang

With more than 50 years under its belt, the Ford Mustang can safely claim to be one of the oldest continuous nameplates in America. First introduced at the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair, the Mustang was available as a coupe or convertible. A fastback model was added later, along with higher-performance variants like the GT, Mach 1, and Boss 302.

Porsche 911

The Porsche 911 arrived in 1963 as a replacement to the 356. The original car made the mold for all models that followed, with its streamlined coupe body, rear-engine layout, and flat-six-cylinder engine. Today, 911s are no longer air-cooled, and they come in turbocharged and all-wheel-drive flavors. That said, the lineage is still very easy to see.

Mercedes-Benz SL

The SL nameplate dates all the way back to 1954 with the famous gullwing-doored 300SL coupe. The letter designation stood for “Sport Leicht,” or sport lightweight, referring to the car’s aluminum body and tubular space frame. A roadster version came in 1957, and from that point on, just about every SL has been a convertible.

Chevrolet Corvette

The Corvette, which debuted in 1953, has the SL beat by only a year. The first-generation model, or C1, was offered only as a convertible with an inline-six or V-8 engine. A coupe model didn’t come until a decade later, with the C2-generation in 1963. Eight generations later, and the Corvette is still going strong. Even better, the C8 finally made the switch to a mid-engine layout, making it a true American supercar.

Toyota Land Cruiser

 

The Land Cruiser’s been on sale for more than a half-century. Much like the modern Jeep Wrangler, the Land Cruiser evolved from a military vehicle, which is where it gets its extremely rugged reputation. Over the years, the Land Cruiser has grown significantly, becoming more luxurious but still boasting impressive off-road capability. The now-departed FJ Cruiser was a tribute to the Land Cruisers of old.

Ford F-Series

Ford’s F-Series pickup family dates back to 1948, with the F-1, F-2, and F-3 models. By the second generation, the F-Series adopted the naming convention we’re familiar with today. Today, the F-Series is by far Ford’s best-selling product line, with 896,526 units sold in 2019—not far off the cumulative number of cars Ford sold last year.

Chevrolet Suburban

The Suburban is undisputed as the oldest surviving nameplate in the U.S., dating back to 1935. The first Suburbans were essentially station wagons built on truck frames. In 1955, the Suburban name was also used on a GMC truck called the two-door Suburban Carrier. Today, the Suburban is among the largest passenger vehicles on the road.

This story was originally published on February 23, 2015.

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