Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.
AutoShopperBlog

Subscribe To The Blog:




Follow Us



The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Articles From December 2009

Ford Takes The Fight To Chevy; New Power For Mustang On The Way

On: Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 3:16PM | By: John Welch


Ford Takes The Fight To Chevy; New Power For Mustang On The Way test 1-1

The Ford Mustang has always been a desirable car. Not a good car per se, but certainly desirable. From the compact proportions of the Fox-body cars to the muscular quarter-window dogleg found on SN-95 Mustangs, there were always things to like about the modern Mustang. In 2005 Ford decided that the car deserved an influx of 'cool'. The consumer climate at the time was arguably as fertile for Ford as it was in 1965. Having the intensely popular "pony-car" market to yourself (GM killed the Camaro/Firebird in 2002, and there was no offering in the sub-thirty grand price range featuring a V8 and rear-wheel drive . . . from any manufacturer!) is one thing, but Ford placing itself on the leading edge of 2005's retro-styling trend was sheer genius. The Mini was selling like Copenhagen at a Marine BX and Ford had learned many lessons on how not to produce a retro car from the ill-fated 2002 Thunderbird.

Using this knowledge and the market reports from Mini, among others, Ford redesigned the Mustang and pooped out a serious winner. Ford took the car racing. They won . . . everything. Grand-Am, Euro GT3 and 4, even the Shelby Cobra began to rack up victories in the Speed World Challenge GT division.

For 2009 the Mustang was updated with smoother exterior styling and a niffty one-piece dash. The car is nice looking, but as usual the powertrains offered in the non-Cobra models left something to be desired. Still, the Mustang was able to take comparison test wins from the Camaro and Challenger despite being down nearly 100 bhp to those to cars. Ford hath conquered, but there is no rest for the wicked.

For 2010 the Mustang GT gets the power it has been sorely lacking, in the form of a high-tech DOHC beast affectionately named "Coyote". To those of us occupying real estate in Central Florida, the engine is called, simply: "Five-Oh" . . .


USF1 Launches Website; Chew On That, Bernie!

On: Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 3:13PM | By: John Welch


USF1 test 2

Politics, finance, lawyering, and F1, all business full of dirty, cheating scumbags. Industries rife with parasites, teeming with socio-economic disease. Foul people, doing underhanded work, making a gazillion dollars by holding down the little guy. Most unfortunately, without the work of these money-grubbing societal denizens, the world would cease to spin on its axis. Economies would collapse, professional atheletes would actually go to jail, and my Sundays would not be filled with carbonfiber-dressed, 3g-pulling, techno-overload. Filthy, filthy occupations, yet absolutely necessary. Now where's that phone book, I am going to contest every single one of these jay-walking tickets . . .


Merry Christmas, Jerks!

On: Thu, Dec 24, 2009 at 1:22PM | By: John Welch


Suitably festive Volkswagen . . . test 2

The 'Shopper is taking off for a few days - when your staff is four dudes with other jobs, it's kind of tough to fill space during time off . . . sorry.

We've had a great first "year" - Here's hoping 2010 is just as exciting (re: gutwrenching) for the car industry as 2009 was! Merry Christmas from everyone at the 'Shopper!


Schumacher Trades Rosso For Silver

On: Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 4:27PM | By: John Welch


Schumi to Mercedes! test 2

Yesterday the 'Shopper reported on the possiblity of Michael Schumacher returning to F1, under the MecedesGP Petronas (formerly 'Brawn GP', a mouthful, I know!) banner. Well, this morning (for Germans anyway, we were all still asleep), Schumacher made the announcement we have all known was coming: He is returning to the Formula One grid in 2010.

Inside the post you will find extended quotes from the central parties involved: Schumacher, Ross Brawn, and Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz Sporting Director. Welcome back, Michael!


 

Wild Racing Updates; F1, SuperGT, Danica Practice

On: Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 2:11PM | By: John Welch


Schumacher returns! test 2

We haven't really ever mentioned the Japanese Super GT. That is a bad move on our part. There's a first time for everything!

Also, the two biggest-deal racers in the world, (arguably) Michael Schumacher and Danica Patrick, both made news in the last few days; we cover it all inside the post . . .


BBS A Fixture At American Race Tracks

On: Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 5:06PM | By: John Welch


BBS Race Wheels test 2

Most casual fans may not think to deeply about the wheels underpinning most sports car racers. Could the fact that ninety percent of the IMSA GTP and GTO cars ran BBS wheels have anything to do with it? A casual fan couldn't tell them apart; they were all gold. In the Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties BBS dominated the European and American sports car scenes, not because their rims are prettier, but because they worked. In fact, they were, and still are, the best.


Lutz Takes The Wraps Off Of GM's Near Future Product

On: Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 3:47PM | By: John Welch


Maximum Bob Lutz test 2

Another day, another boring, useful-information free press conference from GM. The world has to be getting as sick of this as I am . . . has this blog even reported on anything other than GM in the last month? Yeah, I guess we have, but not much damnit!

Anyway, the esteemed Mr. Bob Lutz gives us small morsels of info regarding the next Malibu and its cousins, assuming anyone cares . . .


Forza 3 Blowing Sony Into The Weeds

On: Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 5:41PM | By: John Welch


Forza Motorsport 3 test 2

Forza Motorsport 3 is handily beating the crap out of its cross-Pacific rival Gran Turismo 5, mostly because Gran Turismo 5 doesn't actually exist. Shame on you, Sony. Shame.

The third installment of the Forza series has offcially crested the one million sales mark, AND they have a Christmas present for us all! Those darn oil-drenched fools at the Turn 10 studios have put together ten new cars that didn't make it to the original release, and pasted them on Xbox Live for your approval. Full press release inside yonder post . ..


Dyson-Mazda Racing Into 2010

On: Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 12:34PM | By: John Welch


Dyson Racing test 2


The Lola-built LMP2 coupes of Dyson Mazda Racing are arguably the most visually stimulating cars entered in the American Le Mans Series. Good lookin'? Yes. Reliable? Eh, not so much.

Last season saw the Dyson team constantly battling mechanical gremlins - problems with the turbo, fuel delivery issues, overheating . . . when the car ran well however, it was unstoppable. And let's not forget, ravishing.

For 2010 the team has put serious man-hours into engineering a bullet proof racer. Lola has been working on some new tricks as well. Pending IMSA approval, the team will also switch to bio-butanol fuel for both cars . . . busy off season!