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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Buick's Encore, Sonic-Based Crossover

On: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 3:08PM | By: Chris Salamone

2013 Buick Encore test 2

Over the past few years Buick sales have steadily increased – making the company a silent, but deadly, contender brand in the luxury market. But those years of unrecognizable nameplates and wish-washy styling are over. With the Encore, an all-new luxury small crossover, Buick’s former marketing strategy of covert operations just went nuclear, simply because it will be impossible to keep the Encore below the radar.

The 2013 Encore uses the same underpinnings found in today’s Chevy Sonic. Even the Sonic’s 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder can be found in both vehicles. So what makes the Encore worthy of a second glance?

How about class-leading luxury, fuel economy, and a maximum storage capacity of 48.4 cubic feet? What we have here is a miniature luxury crossover which doesn’t pretend to be functional like the Smart, won’t cost a fortune like the Aston Martin Cygnet, and actually manages to look somewhat sporty…unlike the Fiat 500.

Pathfinder Emerges On Detroit Floor

On: Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 12:13PM | By: Chris Salamone

Nissan Pathfinder Concept test 2

Although Nissan is still calling this particular Pathfinder a ‘concept’ model, the company – optimistically – still intends to produce and sell a fourth generation remake later this year. But perhaps the company’s use of a concept moniker is actually an encouraging sign. Perhaps all is not lost.

Because no one wants a Nissan Murano XL, mislabeled in some kind of cruel homage to Nissan’s trail-blazing heritage.

To be fair, the all-new Pathfinder will undoubtedly have a long list of intriguing and revolutionary features – including an anticipated 25 percent increase in combined city and highway fuel efficiency. Almost prophetically, Nissan has predicted a mixed media response and dropped a mouthful of excitement in a recent company press release.

2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee To Share Fiat Diesel

On: Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 11:20AM | By: Chris Salamone

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee test 2

You can forget about Cummings, in 2013 the Jeep Grand Cherokee will share diesel tech from Chrysler’s Italian counterpart. As usual, this particular diesel engine is already in use in the European variant of the Grand Cherokee and will be coming to America a few years late. On the up side, however, 1100 jobs will be added to the Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit and Fiat’s 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel is already widely regarded as a solid performer – with efficiency to boot.

In Europe, the CRD engine produces 237 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque while sipping a mere 22.8 mpg in the city and 32.7 mpg on the highway. Combined economy is currently 28.3 mpg.

But don’t expect every Euro-spec Grand Cherokee Diesel model to return home. A new 3.0-liter CRD is currently offered in Europe as a low power version – sacrificing performance for efficiency – which survives on 187 horsepower. Considering North America’s lukewarm acceptance of diesel engines, we feel comfortable predicting that a wide Grand Cherokee diesel lineup is unlikely, especially featuring ‘low power’ options. Whatever those are.

Proton May Sell Lotus In Near Future

On: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 4:41PM | By: Chris Weiss

Proton May Sell Lotus In Near Future test 2

Malaysian automaker Proton may be mulling selling off Lotus, if it's listening to investors. After owning the company for 15 years and not making a profit, many business folks believe the time to sell is now.

Increased speculation on Lotus's sale comes as Proton itself may be up for sale. A number of Malaysian companies are reportedly interested in purchasing the 43 percent stake of Proton currently held by state-owned Khazanah Nasional Bhd. If Khazanah sells Proton, prevailing wisdom indicates that a sale of Lotus is a matter of when, not if.


Chrysler Introduces 300 Luxury Series Flagship

On: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 11:24AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chrysler Introduces 300 Luxury Series Flagship test 2

Earlier this year, Fiat said that it planned to return Chrysler to a role of true luxury brand. The 300 Luxury Series, Chrysler's newly announced flagship luxury sedan, shows that the company is serious about the move but has a long way to go before Chrysler is truly a competitor to Cadillac, Lincoln and luxury imports.

The 300 Luxury Series uses the same 292-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 or 363-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 as the standard 300 models but straps it to a ZF eight-speed paddle-shift transmission. The V-6/eight-speed transmission combination delivers a best-in-class 31 mpg highway, according Chrysler.

Chevy Gives Indie Filmmakers Their Chance To Go To The Super Bowl

On: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 9:51AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Gives Indie Filmmakers Their Chance To Go To The Super Bowl test 2

Developing an ad for the Super Bowl is like...well, it's like the Super Bowl of ad gigs, the chance to showcase your skills in front of the biggest audience of the year and develop buzz for months and years to come. It's a big opportunity.

Instead of just hiring some big-buck, Mad Men-style agency to put together its Super Bowl spot, Chevy is holding competition for independent filmmakers across the world. The filmmakers will provide their take on Chevy's "Everyday Hero" campaign, part of the greater "Chevy Runs Deep" umbrella, and the most popular one will make it to game day.

Last Tesla Roadster Rolls Off The Line

On: Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 4:14PM | By: Chris Weiss

Last Tesla Roadster Rolls Off The Line test 2

Long ago, Tesla announced that it would end production on its groundbreaking Roadster by the end of 2011. And it really meant the end of 2011. Just days before the new year, Tesla built the very last Roadster.

The Roadster is one of five Final Edition Roadster models for the North American market and one of 15 worldwide. The model didn't receive any performance modifications but got a special exterior with Atomic Red paint, dual silver racing stripes and anthracite aluminum wheels.

2012 Toyota Prius Gets A 3 Percent Price Hike

On: Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 2:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

2012 Toyota Prius Gets A 3 Percent Price Hike test 2

Toyota has increased pricing on 2012 Prius models. Prices increase across the line, ranging from about 2 percent to just over 4 percent. Despite the increases, the Toyota Prius continues to offer one of the market's best combinations of fuel economy and price.

The base 2012 Prius Two starts at $24,760, with $760 destination charge. That's an increase of $480 over last year's Prius Two. The range-topping Prius Five, meanwhile, starts at $30,565, an increase of $1,015 over the 2011 model.

Cheeky Double-Deckers Return To Square Mile

On: Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 12:23PM | By: Chris Salamone

New Routemaster test 2

Back in 2005 the charismatic red double-decker buses of yore were removed from the streets, and simultaneously replaced by post-apocalypse reminiscent modern articulated buses (aka bendy buses). Indeed, anyone who has spent some time driving in a large city like London will tell you the world has surely ended if a 60 ft. bus has become a practical public transportation solution – nevermind those bi-articulated monsters which peak around 82 feet of double trailer insanity.

Fortunately, however, London’s current Mayor, Boris Johnson, committed to replace bendy buses with a transit vehicle Londoners would warmly welcome: an all-new, greatly improved hybrid diesel-electric red double-decker.

Kia GT May Spawn A Family

On: Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 10:29AM | By: Chris Weiss

Kia GT May Spawn A Family test 2

We've long heard that the sporty Kia GT concept introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show is likely to see production in one form or another. Now rumors are indicating that the GT may move well beyond a standalone model and may form the basis of a full family of sporty cars.

According to Inside Line, Kia is considering producing several different GT variants. In addition to the original four-door fastback, Kia is also thinking of a wagon and a two-door coupe. The two-door coupe seems like a natural addition, but I'm not sure that I can quite envision a GT wagon.

Chrysler To Bring Detroit Thunder, Mopar Style

On: Mon, Jan 2, 2012 at 4:20PM | By: Chris Salamone

Chrysler 200 S test 2

With so much media coverage on the upcoming Dodge Dart, Chrysler has decided to diversify their new offerings in the form of true blue American muscle. And with these two latest additions to the Chrysler lineup consumers can’t possibly confuse the company’s brand image as a watered-down Italian carmaker. Instead, Chrysler is going back to its roots.

Queue Aaron Copland’s Rodeo, a throaty engine, screeching, and drifting tire smoke. Chrysler has announced plans to introduce a 200 Super S and Dodge Charger Redline by Mopar.