Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
Porsche already has experience building one of the most capable hybrid supercars of all time in the 918 Spyder, and now it's moving on to an all-electric car. The Mission E concept that it revealed at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show has been given the go-ahead for production and will launch before decade's end.
We didn't see a camper quite as wild in 2015 as the seaplane camper we saw in 2014, but we have seen many a cool mobile living solution since we last compiled a list of our favorite RVs. New camper vans followed big events in the van market, including the launch of the Volkswagen T6 Transporter, US launch of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4, and discontinuation of full Ford E-Series vans. Beyond the Type Bs, there were also versatile expandable trailers and efficiently packaged roof- and chassis-top designs. Here are the coolest, most interesting motorhomes and camping trailers of 2015.
California's Bespoke Coach used the recent LA Auto Show to reveal its latest luxury van. The 144 Executive Coach is a smaller, less expensive alternative to its full-size Sprinter 170 coach, but the new model doesn't slouch on comfort or luxury. The van comes stuffed with everything from custom-made recliners, to a built-in bar, to an entertainment system with dual LED TVs and available Apple TV and DirecTV.
Yet another entrant in the "odd but interesting" electric bike category, the OKO from Danish bicycle company Biomega blends electric-powered mobility and clean, unique carbon fiber design. It's ready to cruise city streets and turn a few heads while doing so.
The term "fire truck" can inspire images of long, boxy trucks painted in bright red, but the worldwide fleet of fire trucks consists of models of many shapes and sizes. One of the latest, the Red Rhino LF5G features a much smaller, more agile design based around an Isuzu D-Max platform. Engineering firm HOPE Technik blends form and function to give this truck the ability to negotiate the tight urban spaces of Singapore in responding to fire and medical emergencies.
We recently got a look at the all-new W Motors Fenyr Supersport, an ultra-aggressive, highly exclusive exotic supercar from the United Arab Emirates. One of the creative forces behind that car has now revealed an automotive vision from a very different corner of his mind. The Sand Racer from startup Zarooq Motors is arguably every bit as cool as the Fenyr, but it's designed to thrash about on hot sand instead of just asphalt.
Production of the Bugatti Veyron ended earlier this year, leaving a void up around the top of the supercar food chain. That void will be filled soon enough with a Veyron successor, but while there have been plenty of unconfirmed rumors and reports about the "Chiron" not much has come from Bugatti itself. That will all change this week, with Bugatti set to confirm both the model's name and its coming debut at next year's Geneva Motor Show. In just a few months, the world's fastest car gets an even more capable successor.
Few would argue against the idea that the Jeep Wrangler remains one of the most off-road-capable 4x4s on the planet it roams. California-based aftermarket builder US Specialty Vehicles sees some room for improvement in the way the Wrangler expresses its intentions, though. It's slapped a rugged, military-style body kit on the four-door Wrangler Unlimited and upgraded the interior into a warm, supple space. The result is the Rhino XT, the all-terrain SUV reinvented.
Beyond the brand new cars of the 2015 LA Auto Show, there are plenty of other notable rides on show. In fact, some of the most interesting cars there are decades old – or built to look like it. The LA show also gets a fair amount of spillover from SEMA, with customs and restorations galore. Take a tour of this side of the show in our feature gallery.
We can't imagine there were many people that saw the recently finalized Rezvani Beast and thought, "Gosh, that 1,650-lb (748-kg) roadster is woefully underpowered at 500 hp." But the Southern California boutique believes there are at least five such customers out there willing to spend double the price on a suped-up, twin-turbo two-seater. For them, there's the all-new Beast X.