Report: Average US car now a record-setting 11.4 years old [w/poll]

Filed under: Car Buying

Heavy traffic is shown on north-bound Interstate Highway 5, Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, in Seattle. Commuter traffic was congested but moving slowly in Seattle on the first weekday commute following the nine-day closure of the elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct, one of the city's main north-south highways. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Cars are becoming less and less of a disposable item, according to a report from The Detroit Free Press. The average age of the 247 million cars and trucks in the US fleet is now up to 11.4 years, an increase of two full years since 2007 and 0.2 years since 2012. The newspaper spoke with Mark Seng, vice president of industry research firm Polk, who cited consumers’ desire to avoid monthly payments and the ever-improving quality of mainstream cars and trucks as reasons for the increased age.

The first item is fairly obvious – no one really likes to carry a monthly car payment. The second point, though, is perhaps less obvious. The fact of the matter is that modern vehicles are just so reliable that people aren’t feeling the need to scrap them as quickly. In fact, scrappage has fallen 50 percent since the start of the recession, a stat that is sure to pain junkyard scroungers everywhere.

But while the nation’s average vehicle age is likely to continue to increase, it is expected to do so right along with increasing sales of new vehicles. After a 30-year low of 10.4 million vehicles in 2009, the annual average is running right along at 15.5 million according to The Detroit Free Press. While it seems counterintuitive for these two stats to climb together, the combination of improved reliability, lower interest rates and readily available longer-term financing options has created a kind of perfect storm for both long-term ownership and new vehicle sales.

How old is your primary vehicle? Participate in our poll below, then let us know your thoughts in Comments.

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Average US car now a record-setting 11.4 years old [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Aug 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Tanner Foust completes record-setting Team Hot Wheels jump at Indy 500

Team Hot Wheels
Team Hot Wheels’ “Fearless at the 500” record jump attempt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Prior to the start of today’s Indy 500, fans finally got to see the long-awaited Team Hot Wheels world-record jump attempt. The mystery “Yellow Driver” piloted specially-prepared truck down the 90-foot ramp that had been under construction in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s infield over the last several weeks. The neat gimmick behind Hot Wheels’ “Fearless at the 500” event was that the launch ramp itself was built to simulate that orange track we all grew up with, hung from a giant 10-story door. Talk about pandering to a guy’s inner child…

Anyhow, the stunt itself was a success, and fans at the Brickyard watched the truck sail, ramp-to-ramp, 332 feet through the air, setting a world record for four-wheeled vehicles in the process. Upon landing, the mystery driver doffed his helmet to reveal himself as American Top Gear host Tanner Foust. If you want to see the jump yourselves, be advised that ABC will air the stunt at 3:30 PM Eastern time today, following the conclusion of its Indy 500 race coverage. Check out the first few photos from the event below, and follow the jump for the press release.

UPDATE: Video of the jump now added after the break as well.

Gallery: Team Hot Wheels “Fearless at the 500” Jump

Continue reading Tanner Foust completes record-setting Team Hot Wheels jump at Indy 500

Tanner Foust completes record-setting Team Hot Wheels jump at Indy 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 May 2011 14:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Peugeot EX1 rips ’round the ‘Ring with record-setting EV run

Filed under: Concept Cars, Motorsports, Europe, Peugeot, Specialty, Electric

Peugeot EX1 at the Nurburgring

Peugeot EX1 sets electric vehicle ‘Ring record – Click above to watch video after the jump

For decades now, automakers have turned to the famed Nürburgring in Germany to put vehicles to the test. On April 27th, Peugeot sent its radically styled EX1 electric ’round the ‘Ring, setting a record for battery-powered vehicles with a time of 9 minutes 1.338 seconds.

The Nürburgring actually consists of several interlacing tracks, with the main stretch, the Nordschleife, comprising almost 13 miles of hairpin turns, undulating surfaces and lengthy straightaways.

Peugeot’s electric sports car averaged a rather impressive 85.9 miles per hour on the demanding 12-plus mile Nordschleife track. The EX1 smoked the previous electric vehicle record of 9:51, set by a modified Mini E back in 2010. Hit the jump to catch official video of the EX1 whizzing ’round the ‘Ring.

Continue reading Peugeot EX1 rips ’round the ‘Ring with record-setting EV run

Peugeot EX1 rips ’round the ‘Ring with record-setting EV run originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 May 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: See Bentley’s record-setting 205 mph run on ice

Filed under: Motorsports, Convertible, Performance, Europe, Videos, Bentley, Luxury

Bentley ice speed world record

Bentley sets an ice-speed record – Click above to watch video after the jump

When we first heard that Juha Kankkunen and Bentley had managed to set a new ice-speed record off the coast of Finland, we immediately wanted to see footage of the action. The thought of watching a race-prepped Continental Supersports Convertible dash across just 20 centimeters of Baltic Sea ice is the kind of thing that haunts our daydreams. Fortunately, the automaker has been so kind as to slip the world a quick clip of the record-smashing run, complete with angles from the sky, the ice and the cockpit.

Kankkunen demolished his old ice-speed record of 199.83 mph set in 2007. At the time, the World Rally champion was shooting to cruise past the 200 mph barrier but just barely missed his mark. He had no such trouble this go-round. His drop-head clicked off a top speed of 205.48 mph.

Interestingly enough, aside from a set of winter tires, some safety kit and a couple of aero additions, the Continental Supersports Convertible that Kankkunen used as his weapon of choice was essentially a bone-stock machine. Hit the jump to check out the clip for yourself.

Gallery: Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible sets world speed record on ice

[Source: Bentley via YouTube]

Continue reading Video: See Bentley’s record-setting 205 mph run on ice

Video: See Bentley’s record-setting 205 mph run on ice originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Feb 2011 16:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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