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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

BMW M Division To Build Its Own Supercar?

On: Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 9:16AM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW M Division To Build Its Own Supercar? test 2

It looks like we have a little German envy. BMW M engineers are looking at their counterparts over at Mercedes AMG and thinking "Why can't we do that?" By "that", they mean develop their own supercar, the way that AMG did with the SLS AMG. BMW M is a little tired of just improving upon existing vehicles and wants to get the green light to build a car all its own.

How Ironic: Toyota FT-86 Leaks

On: Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 3:35PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota FT-86 Leaks test 2

Lately I've been getting a little irritated at Toyota and Subaru. I'm eager to see their respective versions of a jointly developed sports coupe, but they've just been beating around the bush for too long. I'm almost ambivalent now.

Toyota showed the original concept in Tokyo 2009, an FT-86 II in Geneva this past winter, a Scion FR-S version in New York and an orange FT-86 II in Frankfurt. Am I missing anyone? Meanwhile, Subaru has been tooling around with plexiglass powertrain layouts. So we've seen like half a dozen different concepts, none of which are actually production ready.

That was set to change next month in Tokyo for both Toyota and Subaru, but a leak has pushed the official reveal to.....today!

Motor Trend Crowns Evoque 'SUV Of The Year'

On: Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 2:23PM | By: Chris Salamone

Motor Trend Crowns Evoque 'SUV Of The Year' test 2

Motor Trend has recently announced that the brand-new 2012 Range Rover Evoque has received the company’s coveted designation as Sport/Utility of the Year. To those in the know, the Evoque’s sudden popularity will come as no surprise. We’re talking about a completely new SUV design featuring the smallest, lightest, and most fuel efficient Range Rover tech ever sent into mass production. And, to compound this latest Range Rover’s victory points, the Evoque is priced very competitively within the small luxury SUV market—making this a vehicle which is sure to stimulate some kind of enthusiastic response.

Since time immemorial the good folks at Motor Trend have arduously tested new vehicles in the pursuit of finding the best of the best. In order to win, candidates for Motor Trend’s analysis must achieve high scores under six criteria: advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value, and performance of intended function.

Rolls-Royce Expands Into South America; Now THEY Can Be Wait-Listed Locally, Too!

On: Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 9:38AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

Yes, Rolls-Royce has announced that it will “enter the South American market for the first time in the company’s history.” This is not to say that there haven’t been Rolls-Royces all over that continent—armored Phantoms have always been a particular favorite among “certain types”—for decades now, but instead to say that there will now be R-R dealerships in South America.

Right now there are plans to open one each in Brazil and Chile, but as with everything announced by today’s record-sales-and-revenue Rolls-Royce—including expanding their Bespoke department and home-base Goodwood Factory—this is just the beginning.

Still, two dealerships may not seem like a lot to you—especially seeing as how they are presumably intended to serve an entire continent—but seeing as how announcing it “delights” Rolls-Royce’s umlauted CEO, there just might be something to it….


Honda LA Debuts: CR-V And Fit EV

On: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 10:22AM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda LA Debuts: CR-V And Fit EV test 2

Honda has two new production vehicle debuts in store for the 2011 LA Auto Show, both of which are quite interesting in their own right. The company announced that it will debut the 2013 Fit EV, Honda's first fully electric car, and the 2012 CR-V at the show.

The Fit EV is definitely the more interesting of the two from where I'm sitting. It isn't exactly revolutionary, and specs-wise actually falls below the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus EV, but it will provide another electric-car option and should be attractive to Honda customers already driving a Fit or CR-Z hybrid. The car combines the Fit's layout with a three-mode driving system used on the CR-Z. It offers an EPA-estimated range of 70 miles (just below the Leaf's EPA-rated 73 miles) and a top speed around 90 mph.

Nissan Building A Plug-In Hybrid

On: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 9:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Building A Plug-In Hybrid test 2

When Nissan confirmed that it's developing its own hybrid powertrain earlier this month, there were two ways of thinking about a potential plug-in hybrid. On the one hand, it would only make sense to merge the pure hybrid system with the all-electric powertrain of the Leaf to develop a plug-in system that's greener than the Altima Hybrid, but farther-driving than the Leaf. On the other hand, since Nissan was the first major automaker to commit to an electric vehicle, and because the Leaf has had a strong sales start, handily outpacing the Chevy Volt, maybe it would make more sense to focus all R&D efforts on all-electric technology, which offers the greatest long-term potential for clean vehicles.

Well, Nissan is going the safer route, admitting to Reuters that it will launch a plug-in within four years.

Audi Flashes 2013 A4 Models, Including Allroad And S4

On: Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 2:19PM | By: Chris Salamone

2013 Audi Allroad test 2

With a new BMW 3 Series headed to market, Audi has chosen an ideal time to launch a modernized lineup for the currently aging set of A4 models. Expect big changes to overall design and powertrains coming in the summer of 2012, listed as 2013 models, when the next wave of all-new Audi A4s comes to fruition.

From a distance the latest A4 looks very similar to previous generations. However, perusing the pictures, it’s easy to appreciate just how dramatic this redesign will actually be. The front fascia, bumpers, hood, headlights, accent lines, and overall shape have been modernized. The one characteristic that harks to Audi’s past, and may also have the effect of lulling viewers into a false sense of out-datedness, is the vehicle’s stance. The 2013 Audi A4s remain squat, sturdy-looking vehicles.

British Charger Company Says Public Chargers Not For Range Extending

On: Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 11:16AM | By: Chris Weiss

British Charger Company Says Public Chargers Not For Range Extending test 2

Right now, limited range and the fear of getting stranded by a drained battery—a fear that's colloquially called 'range anxiety'—are the biggest factors hampering the viability of electric vehicles. A car is a means of getting from point A to point B, after all, so if your point A to point B is often, or even occasionally, longer than the 100 miles or so that current generation electric vehicles offer, an EV really isn't a sound option.

In the US and abroad, municipalities and EV charging companies are working to address this issue by installing charging stations. After all, a gas powertrain doesn't have enough range for some longer trips, but, thanks to the fact that there are gas stations in towns and on roadways across the world, this isn't an issue for gas-vehicle drivers. So, once electric charging stations are as diffuse as gas stations, the EV will be viable for everyone, right?

Not so fast, says a U.K.-based Polar Network, an electric charging manufacturer that's been building level 2 charging stations in the U.K. Charging stations are meant to top your juice off, not fully recharge and boost your range.

Land Rover Defender Will Be Around A Few Extra Years

On: Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 5:28PM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover Defender Will Be Around A Few Extra Years test 2

The Land Rover Defender, Land Rover's most rugged, hardcore off-roader, is due to be replaced by a new model. The model was previewed by the DC100 and DC100 Sport models last month in Frankfurt. These models were a true exercise in the purity of "meh". They basically took the most distinct Land Rover, an icon rivaled only by the Jeep Wrangler when it comes to of hard-nosed off-roading, and turned it into every other SUV in an effort to give it more mass market appeal.

Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to the day when Land Rover replaces the Defender with anything even remotely resembling the DC100. Luckily for those that agree, the full replacement will now take a couple extra years.

Lexus Set To Reveal 2013 GS 350 F Sport At SEMA

On: Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 3:42PM | By: Chris Salamone

2013 GS 350 F Sport  test 2

The date is set. Lexus will reveal the 2013 GS 350 with an optional F Sport package on Tuesday, November 1 at 1:30pm during SEMA. Following a most-glamorous exhibition, members of the media will have an opportunity to experience track rides in Lexus’ fourth-generation monster sedan.

Although much of the F Sport package equips the GS 350 some not-so-subtle cosmetic changes, this future GS 350 does receive some interesting upgrades. On the exterior the F Sport gets exciting body work and ground effects, topped off with 19-Inch staggered width wheels—high fives warranted here. Mechanically, the vehicle gets a suspension bump with a self-adjusting system labeled Adaptive Variable Suspension and some larger front brakes with high friction pads.

No Toyota FT-86 Yet, But We Do Have An FT-86 App

On: Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 10:24AM | By: Chris Weiss

FT-86 App test 2

I can't think of a car that I've ever been so sick and tired of as the FT-86. At this point, I don't even want to see the production version in Tokyo. I really don't care anymore. Toyota has shoved this thing down our throats to the point that I think even the biggest Toyota sports car nuts don't care that much.

You would have thought that with three separate concept versions—a bright orange version of one of those concepts and an equally slow-to-develop Subaru sibling—Toyota would have had its fill of FT-86 teasing. But that's not the case. Toyota just launched a new app for its sports coupe. If that's not bad enough, the app is actually designed to get people to try to look for the concept that they've already seen oh so many times before.