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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Aftermarket

Carfax Releases Android App

On: Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 12:47PM | By: Chris Weiss

Carfax Releases Android App test 2

As annoying and incessant as those Carfax commercials are, if there's one service they provide, it's in reminding you that you should do your research before putting that down payment toward a used car. And what easier way to do that than with a mobile app you can load up on the dealership floor? You don't even have to ask the dumbfounded yet deceitful dealer to "show you the Carfax."

Carfax released an app for iPhone users last year, and this week it's released the Android version. The app gives users on-the-spot access to Carfax Vehicle History Reports. All you have to do to access the report is enter information that's readily available at the dealer. You can enter the VIN or license plate number or scan the barcode to bring up the report.

BMW On Demand Offers Flexible Rentals In US

On: Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 9:43AM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW On Demand Offers Flexible Rentals In US test 2

About two years ago, BMW launched the On Demand service in its hometown of Munich, Germany. Designed to give car rental customers more flexibility, the program offers BMW vehicles for hourly rental. So far, the service has been concentrated in Europe, but BMW will bring it to the United States in the coming weeks.

BMW has launched the website bmwondemandusa.com, which isn't fully up and running yet. Auto Blog reports that the first On Demand location will be BMW of Manhattan and will launch with about 100 328i models in stock. The models offered will change over time, and BMW is expected to expand to other major cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington D.C.

Design Your Own Scion FR-S, Win SEMA Trip

On: Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 10:00AM | By: Chris Weiss

Design Your Own Scion FR-S, Win SEMA Trip test 2

Apparently, California tuner Stillen wasn't paying attention when Aston Martin unveiled its DB9 1M. If it was, it would know that crowd sourcing a car design does not always end well. We suppose it probably already realizes the possibility for failure but is hoping its contest will turn out better. The contest offers amateur designers the opportunity to build their own body kit for the Scion FR-S.

Stillen isn't handing over full control; the contest only allows designers to work on the front lip, skirts and rear valence. Participants will download templates at the contest's website (stillen.com/frscontest), design their kit and send it back by August 14. Both hand-drawn and digital renderings are accepted. Multiple entries are allowed.

Nissan Leaf Gets Stretched Into A Limo

On: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 4:52PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Leaf Limo test 2

The Nissan Leaf may not be the right choice for a taxi cab, where it would risk running out of power meeting the varying demands of street customers, but it could perform as a hotel limo, where specific guidelines could ensure that it never travels too far from home. At least one hotel in Nashville, Tennessee seems to think so.

We've heard whispers about a Nissan limo being designed in Missouri, but this is the first time we've seen a comment from Nissan on it. In a press release, the automaker quotes a hotel executive in calling it "the world's first road-worthy, licensed, street legal electric limousine."


Mansory Gives Lamborghini Aventador More Carbon Fiber

On: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 3:21PM | By: Chris Weiss

Mansory Carbonado test 2

Lamborghini is a big proponent of weight savings through lightweight composites. It opened a composite research center two years ago, and it uses generous amounts of carbon fiber in its models. It even built the Sesto Elemento as a sort of ode to lightweight carbon fiber construction. But it has taken the tuning of Mansory to give Lambo's latest model an overdose of carbon fiber.

While the standard Aventador uses plenty of carbon fiber, the Mansory Carbonado takes it to the next level, replacing non-carbon exterior components with the auto industry's favorite weave. Mansory says every element of its aerodynamics package is crafted from carbon. Those elements include an apron with optimized air inlets, front lip, side sills, rear apron with diffuser and rear wing. Mansory also replaces body panels, the engine and roof covers, and the hood with carbon fiber versions. Aerodynamics are enhanced while weight is kept to a minimum.

Bad News For Cowboys: Study Finds Highest Repair Costs In The West

On: Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 5:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Study Finds Highest Repair Costs In The West test 2

Cowboys might want to consider ditching their big diesel pickup trucks in favor of the real horse power of their ancestors. A new study shows that repair costs relating to the dreaded "check engine" light are highest in some of the states where cows and cowpokes still graze freely. CarMD, manufacturer of the Vehicle Health System diagnostic tool, released its study results last month.

It's a fateful moment for any driver: The brightly colored check engine light pops on during an otherwise routine drive, and your mind immediately starts racing. You're thinking about everything from when your last oil change was to whether you secured the gas cap after your last fill up to cashing out your entire bond and stock portfolio in order to pay for a full emissions system overhaul. It's not a good day.

Tuner Stuffs Ferrari 458 V-8 Into Fiat 500

On: Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 12:49PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fiat 500 Italia test 2

Small cars, big engines: It's a combination that inspires curiosity among car fans, even if the cars are ridiculously impractical and kind of counterintuitive (if you're going to have a supercar engine, you might as well have the supercar to go with it). Past examples have included the potential world's fastest Hennessey Venom GT and the Nissan Juke R. Now we have the Fiat 500 Italia from Roman design studio Lazzarini Design.

The idea is simple enough: reach across Fiat AG for one of the group's largest engines and fit it to one of its smallest cars. Lazzarini envisions the 4.5-liter V-8 engine from the Ferrari 458 Italia mounted in the rear of the 500, where it appears to take up a good portion of the hatch. In order to optimize traction, the firm plans to modify the engine output to a slightly lower 542 horses. That may be light for the 563-hp 458, but it's an arsenal of horsepower for the tiny minicar.

Ford Heightens Media Blitz With Automated Driving

On: Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 11:44AM | By: Chris Salamone

Traffic Jam Assist test 2

We’ve seen a lot of fireworks shooting from the Ford media engine lately – which seems appropriate with the Fourth of July looming – especially with regards to new vehicle technologies. But apparently the movers and shakers at Ford have been up to more than just EcoTech engines, KeyFree, and improvements to the company’s lagging MyFord Touch.

Ford is in the midst of developing two next-generation systems that could improve or eliminate some of the most despised driving obstacles: traffic jams and reverse perpendicular parking.

Nissan Gets Down With The Juke Box

On: Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 2:23PM | By: Chris Weiss

The Juke Box test 2

Nissan sure knows how to have some fun with its strangest car. We thought the production Juke Nismo would be the only new Juke we'd see at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but Nissan had other ideas. It introduced the whimsical 'Juke Box' at the event. If you thought that bass-thumping audio system you had in high school was the shiznit, you were sadly mistaken.

The Juke Box isn't just a special edition Juke, it's a sound system that Nissan claims is the "world's ultimate mobile sound system." Given that Nissan's not really an audio company, it teamed up with the Ministry of Sound, a global entertainment group whose 'Box' nightclub sound system design inspired a miniature version. Audio expertise was provided by Martin Audio, the same outfit that designed Ministry of Sound's Box.

Nissan explains in its announcement: "In 1991 Justin Berkmann, one of the clubs founders, alongside James Palumbo and Humphrey Waterhouse, created a club never seen before in Europe; where the music and sound system came first. The pair created the ultimate club sound system - 'The Box' - a five-sided room within a room that was acoustically perfect, and is still considered today to be one of the best sound systems in the world."

Production Nissan Juke Nismo Debuts

On: Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 4:39PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Juke Nismo test 2

The Juke R was a wild pipe dream that somehow managed to turn itself into a reality. The Juke Nismo, on the other hand, was always much more of a realistic, grounded vehicle headed toward production. Nissan introduced the production version of the tuned Juke at the weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans event.

Nissan originally showed the concept version of the Juke Nismo at last year's Tokyo Motor Show. Nismo will enjoy an expanded role at Nissan, and the performance Juke is the first example of that role.

A123 Systems Announces New Lithium Ion Technology

On: Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 11:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

A123 Systems Announces New Lithium Ion Technology test 2

It seems advisable for A123 Systems to focus on fine-tuning its current generation battery technology (read: make sure it works), but it's already looking ahead to the next generation of lithium-ion technology. The battery company that supplies packs to automakers including Fisker and Chevy says that its Nanophosphate EXT will improve operation in extreme temperature ranges.

Outside of more electric range, one of the first 'must haves' for electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid consumers would certainly have to be lower prices. A123 Systems implies that Nanophosphate EXT can give them just that by eliminating expensive thermal management hardware.