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Month: August 2018

Lyft celebrates 175 years of the Oregon Trail with covered wagon rides

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The dream of the 1840s is alive in Portland, Oregon, this week. That’s because ride-share service Lyft is offering covered wagon rides downtown to commemorate 175 years of the Oregon Trail from Tuesday to Thursday.

Lyft admits that the service isn’t as much about efficient transportation as it is about celebrating history. Riders who use the promo code OREGONTRAIL175 via the Lyft app get a free ride with pioneer-era experts as docents. They’ll be treated to a view of some of Portland’s oldest buildings and they’ll receive what Lyft said in a statement is a “commemorative memento.”

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Lyft said the rides are free but asked participants to bring a canned food item to donate to the Sunshine Division food bank. The rides start at the Oregon Historical Society in downtown Portland.

The Lyft rides have more in common with the popular educational video game that debuted in the 1970s than what as many as 400,000 fur trappers and early settlers experienced 175 years ago as they sought to tame the frontier. The original Oregon Trail was a wagon route from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon, first laid by trappers and later used by settlers fulfilling the “manifest destiny” ethos popular at the time.

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Use of the Oregon Trail declined rapidly after the Pacific Railroad’s final spike was driven into the ground near Promontory Summit, Utah, in 1869. Today, Interstates 80 and 84 follow much of the same route Ruts from wagons used in the trail are visible in some areas today, most notably near Guernsey, Wyoming.

While actual Oregon Trail veterans dealt with disease, food shortages, and hostile territory, those waiting for the Lyft rides can play the Oregon Trail video game on iPads to pass the time.



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2019 Ford Taurus Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos

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The 2019 Ford Taurus provides as close to a throwback to Detroit boulevardiers as we’re likely to see for a while. We like the Taurus SHO well enough, but our score here is based on the more popular non-performance models. They have a ride that’s soft, if not especially controlled, and handling that doesn’t mask its heft as well as its rivals.

We take back a point for the way the Taurus flops around on a curvy road, putting us at a 4 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Most Taurus models use a 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 288 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque that pairs to 6-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. The V-6 is smooth and refined and a low first gear helps it feel brisk enough around town. At highway speeds, the V-6 simply can’t overcome the Taurus’ curb weight.

The same is true for the way the Taurus handles. Its steering is direct, but this big sedan never feels nimble. Our compliments to the police officers who deftly hustle the Taurus around city streets. Instead, we’ve found that the Taurus is at its best when it settles into a comfortable cruise at highway speeds.

The Taurus SHO uses a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard equipment, and it does a good job of putting that power to the ground. Though the Taurus SHO is outmuscled by the Dodge Charger R/T, its smooth, broad torque curve makes highway passing a cinch. The SHO features a firmer suspension that we think does a better job of taking in most road surfaces.

An optional Performance Package for the SHO adds stronger brakes, revised steering tuning, different suspension settings, and summer tires. So-equipped, the Taurus SHO handles surprisingly well, although snow-belters will need to plan for a set of winter tires.

Review continues below



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What’s New @ The Car Connection

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2019 Subaru Forester compact SUV costs $25,270 to start, about $500 more than outgoing model

The 2019 Subaru Forester crossover SUV will cost $25,270 when it goes on sale later this year, the automaker announced Thursday. Top-of-the-line Touring versions will cost $35,270. All prices include a mandatory $975 destination fee.

2019 Nissan Sentra adds Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

The long-servicing 2019 Nissan Sentra gets a few important updates and a slight price bump for the new model year, highlighted by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on most trim levels.

Kroger supermarkets jump into self-driving car grocery delivery in Arizona

With Waymo, Uber, and more testing all over the state, Arizona is a hotbed (pun intended) of self-driving car activity, and Kroger supermarkets said Thursday that it would be starting self-driving grocery delivery with partner Nuro at a single store in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, Arizona, according to Reuters.

'Revenge of the Electric Car' premiere: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on red carpet

‘Revenge of the Electric Car’ premiere: Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk on red carpet

From Motor Authority:

Opinion: It’s time for Tesla’s Elon Musk to step aside

It’s hard to understate Elon Musk’s contributions to the 21st century.

Ford to spend $740M to turn Detroit train station into tech HQ

Ford recently made news when it purchased the defunct Michigan Central Station. Closed in 1988, the former Amtrak hub is now going to be turned into a tech center for the Blue Oval brand. Now Ford has revealed it will shell out hundreds of millions of dollars to get the old building into shape.

2018 BMW M5 recalled for faulty fuel level sensor

The 2018 BMW M5 is a powerful beast, but some owners may also think they are getting fantastic fuel economy. Sorry, that’s not the case. The 2018 BMW M5 is being recalled for a faulty fuel level sensor.

2015 Porsche Cayenne Diesel

2015 Porsche Cayenne Diesel

From Green Car Reports:

Swiss authorities halts some diesel Porsche, Mercedes-Benz over emissions

Authorities in Switzerland halted registrations of some new Mercedes-Benz and Porsche vehicles because their diesel engines skirted emissions regulations, Reuters reported Thursday.

EPA staff disputed fuel-economy freeze would save lives

What’s $132 billion between regulators?

Tesla privatization bid, quality control face increasing scrutiny

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is facing mounting pressure from regulators and critics since his tweet last week to take the company private and the fallout that has followed.



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