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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Press Release: GM Builds 100-Millionth Small-Block Engine

On: Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 12:09PM | By: Peter C Sessler

GM Builds 100-Millionth Small-Block Engine test 2

General Motors will build its 100-millionth small-block engine today – 56 years after the first production small block. Chevrolet introduced the small-block in 1955 and the production milestone comes in the same month the brand marked its 100th anniversary.

The milestone engine is a 638-horsepower supercharged LS9 small block – the power behind the 205-mph Corvette ZR1 – which is hand-built at GM’s Performance Build Center, northwest of Detroit. It represents the fourth generation of the small block and is the most powerful engine ever built by GM for a regular-production car. GM will preserve the engine as part of its historical collection.

Hertz For Heroes Program Offers $3M In Free Weekend Rentals To Returning U.S. Service People

On: Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 4:54PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Illustration by author test 2

In a campaign they say is designed to “honor…U.S. troops returning home” and “thank them for their bravery, sacrifice, and dedication,” the folks at Hertz Corp. will be giving said service people 40,000 vouchers that entitle each of them to a free weekend (Friday to Monday) rental of a “midsize”—more on that later—car anywhere in North America.

If you do your part.

[It’s easy. Honest.]

Toyota GT 86 Production Version Comes Alive (Video)

On: Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 12:46PM | By: Chris Salamone

Toyota GT 86 test 2

Newspapers, blogs, community forums, magazines, and the like have exploded with buzz surrounding Subaru and Toyota’s joint-venture RWD sports coupe. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, just recently, fan excitement reached some kind of boiling point as Subaru officially revealed an actual production version BRZ in the flesh…or shall we say metal. Now, right before the Tokyo show, Toyota has fallen suit with an official reveal of the company’s take: the GT 86 sports car. Devout followers will note that Toyota has chosen to drop the concept version’s name, the FT 86, for a slightly altered moniker.

The model, as depicted above, will launch throughout Europe and Japan, but is expected to appear in North America under a Scion FR-S badge. While the car looks quite aggressive in stance, the vehicle’s starting engine output appears less than exciting – 197 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque derived from Subaru’s new horizontally opposed 2.0-liter flat-four boxer engine.

2012 Cadillac XTS: Most Technologically Advanced Caddy Ever

On: Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 11:39AM | By: Chris Weiss

2012 Cadillac XTS: Most Technologically Advanced Caddy Ever test 2

One of the biggest stories from this month's LA Auto Show is the launch of the 2012 Cadillac XTS, a car that Cadillac calls its "most technologically advanced production car" in brand history. The luxury sedan delivers a rich combination of technological convenience, comfort and performance.

The XTS is larger and more luxurious than the CTS. It is powered by a 300-hp direct-injected 3.6-liter V-6 engine, and Caddy's Haldex all-wheel-drive system delivers power to the quartet of wheels. The car features Magnetic Ride Control, a suspension system that Caddy calls the world's fastest reacting. Magnetic Ride Control was also used on the Chevy Camaro ZL1.


Press Release: BMW Announces Price Adjustment In The USA

On: Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 10:22AM | By: Peter C Sessler

BMW Announces Price Adjustment In The USA test 2

BMW of North America recently announced a modest inflationary price increase effective January 1, 2012. The destination and handling fee for all models will be increased to $895 on that date as well. This increase is less than one percent and applies to the models listed below. In these tough economic times a careful balance was attained between the competitive situation, inflationary conditions, and market realities.

Maybach Is Dead. Again. Drinks All Around.

On: Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 9:20AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

Everything has been all sunshine and rainbows over at Rolls-Royce recently—as I’ve mentioned in various articles in this space that you can search for if you’re so inclined—but despite my thorough coverage of the various goings-on I failed to ask (at least) one simple question: If Rolls is the super-luxury-car sales windshield, who’s the bug?

Well, now I—or more correctly we—now know: Maybach.

See, unlike their owners’—R-R’s is BMW and Maybach’s is Mercedes-Benz—lifelong struggle for supremacy, it seems that in the case of these “ultra-premium” brands the boys at M-B just didn’t want to draw things out beyond 2013, so they aren't. According to Autoweek it seems that instead of keeping things going in the usual “waiting for better times” manner—and continuing to shovel container-ships’-worth of Euros into the fire—they are effectively ceding the ultra-luxury-car sales high-ground to their Bavarian nemesis after just over a decade of trying to come out on top.

But are they?...

Mercedes-Benz Leaks 2012 SL Images

On: Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 9:34AM | By: Chris Salamone

2012 Mercedes-Benz SL test 2


At the upcoming North American International Auto Show, spectators will be treated to an array of sights and sounds from automakers around the world. The Mercedes-Benz exhibit, however, won’t have flashy color schemes, techno musaque, or gimmicky advertising signs. Instead, this particular automaker will showcase a sophisticated fleet of new vehicles – beyond the need for marketing puffery. A centerpiece of the Mercedes-Benz lineup will almost certainly be the company’s newly-redesigned 2012 SL.

For 2012, consumers will be delighted to hear about three main improvements (in addition to scores of already magnificent features). Other than aesthetic changes, the most significant change will be a 20% more rigid chassis and reduction in nearly 310 pounds of weight over the outgoing model. Weight and rigidity improvements stem from the vehicle’s use of aluminum-focused construction and hydro formed, chilled cast longitudinal members.

The company claims these changes will amount to a 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency.

Goodbye Arctic, The 2014 Liberty To Become More 'Carlike'

On: Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 9:25AM | By: Chris Salamone

2012 Jeep Liberty Arctic test 2

‘Tis a dark day in the world of off-roading Jeepdom. Car and Driver reports that a Jeep company executive has spoken the words no true Jeep fan wants to hear: the 2014 Liberty will be vastly more carlike, based on a front-wheel drive platform, and possibly mated to smaller Fiat-supplied engines.

The current and previous Liberty models (including the 2012 Liberty Arctic shown above) employ a car-type unibody reinforced by a rugged-duty frame underneath, a building technique Jeep calls uniframe construction. However, the next generation 2014 Liberty will likely drop Jeep’s current uniframe and pick up one of the company’s other car-based platforms. Hopefully Jeep Liberty enthusiasts also like the current Patriot and Compass models.

But it’s not all bad news. New Liberty buyers will have a choice between front-wheel and all-wheel drive. Fuel economy will almost certainly increase and Jeep will have a broader set of vehicles – maybe with the ability to finally compete with brands like Toyota or Honda. In theory, ardent supports of Jeep’s off-road heritage can still raise the mantle of rock-crawling with Jeep’s four-door Wrangler Unlimited.

Aston Martin Hits One Million Facebook Fans, Will Build Fan-Inspired Car

On: Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 1:38PM | By: Chris Weiss

Aston Martin Hits One Million Facebook Fans test 2

Aston Martin has used its fame and prestige within the exotic car segment to rack up a million Facebook fans. To show these loyal Facebookers that an Aston Martin fanship is more than just Aston spam plastered on your wall, the automaker is doing a unique promotion: It's building a crowdsourced Millionth Fan Car.

Land Rover Updates DC100 Concepts For LA (But Not Enough)

On: Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 9:04AM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover Updates DC100 Concepts test 2

Land Rover has updated the DC100 and DC100 Sport at the LA Auto Show. Unfortunately, as we feared, these are very minor updates and do little to bring the DC100 in line with the Defender that it will replace. The DC100 is looking as feeble and Stepford-ish as ever.

Land Rover brand director John Edwards recently told the media: "Sometimes we talk too much about the NAS [North American specification] 90 Defender and surfer dudes, and not enough about the Red Cross, Zambia or the Australian Outback. We want to get back to our roots, but it would be nice if in doing so, we can also sell it to the Californian surfer dude."

Unfortunately, the latest DC100 updates look plenty surfer dude, but not at all Australian Outback.

The Next Godzilla: 2013 Nissan GT-R Revealed

On: Sat, Nov 19, 2011 at 10:44AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Next Godzilla: 2013 Nissan GT-R Revealed test 2

The Nissan GT-R is not-that-arguably the best pound-for-pound (lb.-ft. for British pound?) sports car on the planet, offering supercar performance for a non-supercar price. Thing about owning any type of bragging rights, though, is that you don't keep them without evolving and getting stronger. Lay dormant and someone is going to pass you by.

Nissan clearly understands this, and for the second year in a row, it is upgrading the Japanese-spec GT-R with more horsepower and tuned handling.

The current Nissan GT-R took a leap from 485-hp to 523-hp and the 2013 model follows with an increase to 542-hp. The engine remains the familiar 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6, but it gets tuned for more output and increased efficiency.