Cars

Rise of the Machines

Rise of the Machines

On the Fast and the Furious movies

Every film franchise is a testament to growth and conquest. In the case of the Marvel movies, that growth is exponential and expanding: movies beget more movies, more spinoffs, more series that emerge from spinoffs. What sets the Fast and the Furious series apart from franchises like this—at least for now—is its habit of folding all that hot-media-property energy back into itself, making the movies all the more strange and intense.

Less of a Machine, More of a Pal

Less of a Machine, More of a Pal

The car of the future will be needy and unnerving, and will lack comic timing.

Imagine the value of a car that, thanks to an exclusive multi-year partnership, autonomously drives past Dunkin’ Donuts and heads straight for Starbucks when you say, “Leaf, get me a coffee.” Or, a car in which Nissan Pay replaces Samsung Pay or Apple Pay and takes a piece of the action.

The American Pickup

The American Pickup

As far as most consumers and producers are concerned, a pickup isn’t a pickup unless it’s big.

The pickup once demanded some accommodation. If you had a “need” for a pickup, you had to forego some of the creature comforts and utility of a car. You did without a good stereo and learned to appreciate poor handling.

The VW Bug

The VW Bug

On diesel and scandals

I should come clean here and admit that I was involved in the sale of a VW TDI myself. In 2010 I received the following email: “Dear n+1 car guru, I need to buy a car! What’s your assessment of the Prius vs. the new clean-diesel VWs? I look to you…”

I Am Not an Uber

I Am Not an Uber

A night with LA's Uber drivers

Twenty to thirty people, mostly men, show up for secret meetings on Los Angeles’s East Side, near the neighborhood of Little Armenia where most of them live. Clutching coffee and packs of Marlboros, they share war stories and ask for advice. Female drivers whose passengers send them sexually explicit texts, drivers of both genders who have been slapped or threatened—everyone speaks up.

Rise of the Machines

Rise of the Machines

On the Fast and the Furious movies

Every film franchise is a testament to growth and conquest. In the case of the Marvel movies, that growth is exponential and expanding: movies beget more movies, more spinoffs, more series that emerge from spinoffs. What sets the Fast and the Furious series apart from franchises like this—at least for now—is its habit of folding all that hot-media-property energy back into itself, making the movies all the more strange and intense.

Less of a Machine, More of a Pal

Less of a Machine, More of a Pal

The car of the future will be needy and unnerving, and will lack comic timing.

Imagine the value of a car that, thanks to an exclusive multi-year partnership, autonomously drives past Dunkin’ Donuts and heads straight for Starbucks when you say, “Leaf, get me a coffee.” Or, a car in which Nissan Pay replaces Samsung Pay or Apple Pay and takes a piece of the action.

The American Pickup

The American Pickup

As far as most consumers and producers are concerned, a pickup isn’t a pickup unless it’s big.

The pickup once demanded some accommodation. If you had a “need” for a pickup, you had to forego some of the creature comforts and utility of a car. You did without a good stereo and learned to appreciate poor handling.

The VW Bug

The VW Bug

On diesel and scandals

I should come clean here and admit that I was involved in the sale of a VW TDI myself. In 2010 I received the following email: “Dear n+1 car guru, I need to buy a car! What’s your assessment of the Prius vs. the new clean-diesel VWs? I look to you…”

I Am Not an Uber

I Am Not an Uber

A night with LA's Uber drivers

Twenty to thirty people, mostly men, show up for secret meetings on Los Angeles’s East Side, near the neighborhood of Little Armenia where most of them live. Clutching coffee and packs of Marlboros, they share war stories and ask for advice. Female drivers whose passengers send them sexually explicit texts, drivers of both genders who have been slapped or threatened—everyone speaks up.