Friday Fast Facts 5/10/2019

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Love cars and the stories behind them? Join us on the drive to automotive enlightenment in this week’s edition of Friday Fast Facts!

The Last Car to Have a Cassette Deck Come Standard was the Lexus SC430 in 2010

The 2010 Lexus SC430 was the last line of defense for automotive analog music. Tape decks in cars were largely replaced by CDs by the mid-2000s with Lexus and a handful of other manufacturers holding out until the end of the decade. However, the reign of the compact disc has not been a long and fruitful one. Today, more and more drivers are using the aux cord and/or pairing their phones to the stereo via Bluetooth.

Chevrolet Used a Ford SuperDuty to Set Up Their Chevy Truck Display at the Texas State Fair

Chevy vs. Ford is a marquee rivalry on par with the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. Both have had successful runs and compete directly against one another to prove the superiority of their product. The team setting up the Chevrolet display at the 2012 Texas State Fair gave the Ford truck marketers a picture worth a thousand words (and millions of dollars) when they used a Ford SuperDuty on the job. That’s like Colonel Sanders serving Popeye’s at a dinner party.

Americans Waste Nearly $2 Billion a Year Putting Premium Gas in Cars That Don’t Need It

We have a habit of succumbing to marketing here in America. That’s why we waste billions of dollars on premium gasoline which, according to CNN’s Peter Valdes-Dapena, has no real benefit over regular: “Premium gas has a higher octane than regular gas. That means it’s able to tolerate higher pressures inside the engine.” Valdes-Dapena further explains that premium doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality. This higher-octane gas is only necessary in engines where the pressure is so great that it’s required. An estimate by AAA estimates that about 70% of vehicles on the road today require only regular fuel meaning about 16.5 million drivers wasted money on premium.

Many New Cars Manufacture Fake Engine Noise Because Modern Engines are So Quiet

Today’s engines have greatly evolved to be more efficient and powerful than their predecessors. As the thirst of new engines declined, so did the volume of their roar. Improved fuel economy is always a plus in a consumer’s eyes, but it seems we buy with our ears too. Drew Harwell put it best in a piece for the Washington Post: “automakers say they resort to artifice because they understand a key car-buyer paradox: Drivers want all the force and fuel savings of a newer, better engine — but the classic sound of an old gas-guzzler.” 

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