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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Rumors

VW's Plan To Rule The World

On: Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 11:38AM | By: John Welch

VW and Suzuki test 2

Welp, they're gonna own us all one day. Volkswagen, I mean. Earlier this year the fiesty automaker declared its intentions to be the world's number one car manufacturer by 2018. And then VW set about doing just that. They purchased a 49.9% stake in Porsche and then moved on to consuming companies with strong Indian and Chinese presence. Suzuki, for instance. Look at the big brain on Dieter!

Twelve Drivers Linked To USF1

On: Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 11:22AM | By: John Welch

Jonathan Summerton test 2

America needs a pick-me-up. A cattle-prod to the collective face. We need to go out and trounce the rest of the world at their own, uhm . . . some game of theirs. We got our Basketball "Cojones" back, now how about our Engineering-Prowess "Cojones." USF1 plans to do just that, albeit with a British co-owner and some sort of European driver.

Which is fine. Lately I don't trust us enough to assume we could dominate the most technically advanced sport in the world without any experienced help. I mean, seriously, Taco Bell invents asinine, Newspeak, adver-words and we don't out-and-out boycott them over it?! ("Melty"?! How stupid are we, really?) Eff, I had Taco Bell yesterday!

Even if I and most of the rest of us are hopeless trainwrecks, Ken Anderson most definitely is not. He's put together a world-class F1 program in North Carolina, and now he's ready to employ some drivers. The first year might not be pretty, but 2011 could be the year America wins its pride back . . .

Nissan/Renault To Enter The Micro Death-Trap Race

On: Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 6:06PM | By: John Welch

Nissan Micra test 2

They have the Micra. They have the Twingo. Though larger than those two cars, the Verse could even be included. Yet Nissan and Renault is dead set on building an even smaller, even cheaper auto by 2012. Not extremely relevant to us, assuming you overlook the decline in new car markets among the developed world.

India currently moves 2 million cars a year. By 2019, that number could be over six million. These are inexpensive cars, so the profit margin is low; why care so much about cars you can't make very much money on? Well, if you aren't spending all that much to produce them, you are making money, hand over fist . . .

BMW M3 Test At The Nurburing; New CSL?

On: Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 1:43PM | By: John Welch

BMW M3 Test At The Nurburing; New CSL? test 1-1

Car companies currently have an unhealthy obsession with the Nurburing. Everything from Trailblazers to GTRs are tested there, and now manufacturers are dueling for the fastest 'production car' laptime. It's a drug, that dern Nurburing, and the auto industry is selling their VCRs and golf clubs just to get a taste.

What about companies who are ahead of the curve? Companies who have been testing at the Nurburing for thirty years? Companies like BMW . . . oh, they still test on the Nurburing, and photo-spys were able to capture their most recent visit to the "GreenHell" . . .


15 Cars to Watch In 2010

On: Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 3:47PM | By: John Welch

15 Cars to Watch In 2010 test 1-1

Detroit Free Press columnist Mark Phelan has compiled a list of 'hot cars' to watch for 2010. He lives in Detroit, he writes for a Detroit-based newspaper, Mark Phelan should know what we should be interested in next year, right? Meh, it's hit or miss. My thoughts on his thoughts and the cars he thinks about to follow . . . also, what should be omitted from this less than authoratative list . ..

The Wraps Are Off The Toyota / Subaru Sports Car

On: Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 11:11AM | By: John Welch

The Wraps Are Off The Toyota / Subaru Sports Car test 1-1

What is this grainy image we are looking at? That, my friends, is a flat-four lurking beneath the hood of. . .a Toyota? MMmmm, and that Boxer engine is attatched to . . . a chassis that is 'rear-drive only'?! What is going on? Could this get any more weird? Oh yes, it sure can. One word . 'Zippers'.

Penske Plans For Saturn Cleared Up, Sort Of

On: Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 2:21PM | By: John Welch

Penske Plans For Saturn Cleared Up, Sort Of test 1-1

Saturn has always been an eclectic brand. Offering nothing more then two different versions of the same car for nine long years (the 'S' which came in SOHC and DOHC versions between 1990 and 1998), Saturn always found another way to connect with customers. Their dealership policies concentrated on a personal relationship with the customer, simple to understand pricing, and friendly rapport keeping the showrooms packed. Competing for the GM design teet with GM's other brands was often a losing battle for Saturn, leaving them with sub-standard products at a time when the Japanese and Koreans were pumping out higher quality vehicles for the same price.

No amount of customer loyalty can make up for a bevy of off-putting products, leading to a serious decline in sales. Saturn is looking at moving less then 100,000 units this year, way down from Saturn's sales peak, 286,000 units in 1994.This year alone overall sales for the division have dropped 58 percent. Instead of killing Saturn, ala Pontiac, the General is adding this beleaguered brand to the auction block, along with Saab, Opel, and Hummer.

It looks like Roger Penske is interested. Recently, certain details of his purchase have come to light, clearing up exactly what the (real) 'most interesting man in the world' plans to do with his new baby . . .

GM Finalizes Opel/Magna Deal

On: Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 12:40PM | By: John Welch

GM Finalizes Opel/Magna Deal test 1-1

Opel employees were able to breathe a sigh of relief this morning, as it appears GM has agreed to sell a 55% stake in Opel/Vauxhall to Magna and its Russian partner Sberbank.

GM had reservations about selling to Magna, not wanting to release intellectual properties to its Russian partner. A deal has been reached, and apparently the patent drawings for the Ecotech engine are safe. German workers and government officials strongly supported take over by Magna because the Canadian firm has pledged to keep all Opel manufacturing plants in Germany open, saving as many German jobs as possible. The other company in the running for Opel, RHJ International, made no such claims. The German government was less then willing to put in the required national funds if these jobs were not secure.

GM released a statement, making it clear that the deal is not final (are they ever?!), stating deals with labor unions and the German Parliament still need to be ironed out.

"This has shown that the patience and single-mindedness of the federal government has paid off," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had uncharacteristically stuck her neck out in favor of Magna, lobbying in both Washington and Moscow.

Hopefully this will bring closure to this facet of New GM's reorganization, and they can get to work turning the G8 into an Impala already . . . (never gonna happen, I know, I know . . )

Source: The New York Times

All The Dirt On The New McLaren MP4-12C

On: Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 2:48PM | By: John Welch

All The Dirt On The New McLaren MP4-12C test 1-1

We've all heard rumors about McLaren's new super car, known internally at McLaren as the 'P11'. Now we have some solid information on the car. For instance, it will be named the MP4-12C, a nod to the code McLaren uses to name its F1 cars. We also know that the car is powered by a mid-mounted, McLaren-built V8, and that it will feature a seven-speed, paddle-operated gear box. My beef? The early renderings of the car look like a Ferrari kit-car. Hopefully the exterior design undergoes some updating before the car is actually released. A full report can be found here.

Jay Leno (aahhggkk) was given a look at pre-production bits earlier this year. He has written a fairly shtick-free article outlining his experience. Highlights: the carbon fiber monocoup is so light Jay was able to pick it up without the forklift's assistance. That's mighty impressive. The price is also fairly impressive, McLaren aiming for a sub $200K base price. Fix that nose and I'll start knocking over Brinks trucks in earnest.

Source: The Times Online

BMW To Produce Two New Minis

On: Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 2:50PM | By: John Welch

BMW To Produce Two New Minis test 1-1

BMW wouldn't dare sell front drive cars under the nameplate 'BMW'. Good. I don't want them to. If you are just dying to own a front drive BMW, why don't you go buy a Mini. 'Cause that's what a Mini is, a front drive BMW.

Now that that's out of the way, BMW has confirmed it will expand the Mini line up with two new models, the 'Mini Coupe' and 'Mini Speedster'. I LOVE the Coupe; it's sultry and porportional in all the right ways. Not so hawt on that 'Speedster' deal though, it doesn't look right to my eye. I'm sure the production model will look much different when it is actually produced, I hope so anyway.

Howabouts a nice video introducing the Coupe Concept?...