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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Pre-Production Mini Coupe Pricing And Pics, Oh My

On: Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 8:44AM | By: Chris Salamone

2012 Mini Coupe test 2

A full seven months prior to production, Mini has released loads of pictures and statistics about the upcoming two-seater Mini Coupe. Although we saw official teaser photos earlier this month of a seemingly camouflaged pre-production vehicle, these new pics claim to be actual photos of the Mini Coupe which is expected to land on US soil this fall; and timing couldn’t be better. Since the contemporary version of the Mini Cooper hit the consumer market it seems like these once-cheeky clown cars just keep getting more expensive, less fun, and let’s be honest—less Mini.

However, this new coupe looks to draw from some of the grandeur of days past with decidedly less volume and a reasonable, albeit still high, price tag. In the United States, the Coupe will come in all three currently available trim levels: Cooper Coupe, Cooper S Coupe, and the John Cooper Works Coupe.

Scarce Tire Supplies Costing Automakers

On: Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 3:52PM | By: Tim Healey

Scarce Tire Supplies Costing Automakers test 1-1

Thanks to plant closings and a surging demand for specialty tires, North American automakers are finding the costs for tires rising quickly.

With some tire plants now being shuttered, and low-volume specialty tires now in higher demand, tire makers have now gained leverage in terms of pricing, which is costing automakers more. Price increases from last year have hit the double-digit percentage range.

Tire makers say they can't keep up with demand, but the shortage doesn't appear to be affecting automaker's production plans. Still, automakers are trying hard to make sure they have enough supply on hand.

One automaker official estimates it will take a year or so for the shortage to clear up.

ZR1 Runs A Ring Around The Competition!

On: Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 2:43PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

ZR1 Runs A Ring Around the Competition!  test 2

It should come as no surprise that when a company builds a fast car, they would very much like it to be the fastest car out there. But, for there to be a unanimous agreement that anyone one car is faster than another, an understanding must first be met about how these cars will be tested. That agreement, my friends, is called the Nurburgring. No, I didn't just pass out and fall face first onto the keyboard. The Nurburgring is basically a track built around the German town of Nurburg (now it makes a little more sense already, I bet). The 'Ring as it's been also called, is not just any track, but is nothing short of being one of if not the meanest, most unbelievably difficult tracks on the face of the Earth. The 'Ring is a 12.8 mile track that can twist, turn, shake, rattle, and roll even the most courageous driver into nothing more than a mess of embarrassment and driving gloves, surrounded by broken glass and crumpled sheet metal. 

Bentley Introduces Its Mulliner More-So For The 2012 Continental GT

On: Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 9:44AM | By: Andrew W Davis

2012 Bentley Continental GT with Mulliner Classic Pack test 2

If you were thinking of plopping down your $200k on a new 2012 Bentley Continental GT coupe but felt it was too short on carbon-fiber (or “fibre” as those crazy Brits put it) exterior widgets, Bentley has just the thing for you: its new “Mulliner Styling Specification” gear.

Either in full body-kit form as the “Classic Pack” and/or individually-orderable “design features,” the folks at Crewe have gone carbon-crazy. And as if that wasn’t enough, they’re bypassing the usual ride-pimpers to offer a direct-to-consumer 21-inch “Elegant” alloy wheel option, too.

Now you should be forced to do the right thing and opt for it all at once for “just” $29,459, but seeing as how the Conti is Bentley’s “budget” model, they’re giving you skinflints the option to buy some bits by themselves.

Well, of COURSE I know YOU don’t have to ask, as we can both clearly afford it (all). But for all the plebeians out there, details follow…


Auto Demand Rising In June

On: Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 10:32AM | By: Tim Healey

Auto Demand Rising In June test 1-1

After slumping in May, sales of new cars and trucks appear to be rebounding this month.

The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) is now expected to be around 12 million units when results are released on July 1.

This comes after a month of May in which the industry was battered by high fuel prices, lowered incentives, and shortages on available vehicles that were caused by March's natural disaster in Japan.

Another Gallardo? Another Gallardo!

On: Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 9:41AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

new Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante test 2

Okay, so in case you haven't been keeping up Lamborghini has a few Gallardo models on display. Technically, the newest drop-top was introduced back in November, but honestly with blustery winds and sub-zero temperatures right around the corner, we didn't think that it was the best timing. However, now with summer officially kicked off, there is quite a bit more interest in a nearly 600-horsepower open-air beast. The following is Lamborghini's official press release for the new Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante, albeit with much better timing.

Sant'Agata Bolognese. With the new Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante, Lamborghini is setting a new benchmark in the most fascinating automobile segment of all—the open-top super sports car. As "Performante", the Gallardo Spyder is even lighter thanks to CFRP technology, even more agile and even more dynamic. The new Spyder Performante is an automotive high-performance athlete that combines sheer sporting excellence and extreme performance with that unique open-air feeling that only a soft-top spanning the ten-cylinder power unit can offer. Ultimately, every spin in the Spyder Performante is like a journey into the eye of the storm.

Latest Mitsubishi i Buzz Looks To Early 2012

On: Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 3:13PM | By: Chris Salamone

 Mitsubishi i EV test 2

Whether or not you love the new Mitsubishi i, or electric vehicles in general, it’s impossible to ignore the palpable hue of anticipation surrounding the latest and greatest in fuel saving technology. Not surprisingly though, the upcoming 2012 Mitsubishi i is fast becoming the poster child for EV practicality vs. greener tomorrow debates. That’s because this new Mitsubishi can travel only 85 miles on a single tank… err, charge. On the flip side, Mitsubishi’s MiEV technology ensures that all systems are operating as efficiently and economically as possibly. Mitsubishi estimates that the 100% electric i will cost the average driver $2.40 per 85 miles driven, while a hybrid vehicle rated at 50mpg costs about $6.80 to travel the same distance. Like it or hate it, those savings are hard to ignore.

Saab Listed As One Of Ten Brands That Will Disappear In 2012

On: Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 11:10AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Saab Listed As One Of Ten Brands That Will Disappear In 2012 test 1-1

Now I love me some A&W All-American Food Restaurants and Soap Opera Digest, but when 24/7 Wall Street includes a car company (especially one I like) on its list of “Ten Brands That Will Disappear in 2012”, well, it got my attention.

That they couldn’t back it up with a successful pick-rate in their 2011 list of dead brands walking, however, kept me from panicking.

[The car company they predicted that would fold this year—Kia Motors— is doing just fine, thank you.]

They're At It Again: Forbes Misses Mark In Naming

On: Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 5:40PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

Forbes—a publication you’d think would have better things to do—has come out with another automotive character-assassination list, this time directed at “Used Cars to Avoid.”

Their list—based on information they say they’ve gathered from a variety of sources, including “TrueCar.com” and “J.D. Power & Associates”—basically names 2008-model-year vehicles they say you should stay away from, including: Chevrolet Aveo & Colorado [and sister pickup GMC Canyon]; Dodge Avenger, Charger & Magnum; Jeep Liberty & Wrangler; Land Rover Range Rover Sport; Mitsubishi Eclipse & Lancer; and Suzuki XL7.

Now I’m going to tell you why they got it wrong.

2011 VW POLO BlueMotion: Embrace Your Inner Diesel

On: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 10:37AM | By: Clay Ritchings

2011 VW POLO BlueMotion test 2

We have all seen the rise in popularity of such cars as the Prius, Toyota's stab at a fuel efficient eco-friendly car that, because of a drag coefficiency, has a “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” label attached. Let us not forget the Honda Insight; actually produced and available to the public way before Toyota pumped out any Prius from their factories. These are two examples among many Hybrid vehicles available today that squeeze as many miles out of a gallon of gas as technically possible and reign champions to the penny pinching public… that was until the VW Polo BlueMotion came along.

The Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion (BlueMotion is VW’s name for its line of hyper-frugal diesel vehicles) and is simply one of the most efficient cars on the market today.

Honda S2000 Concept Revived For Launch In 2013

On: Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 4:14PM | By: Chris Salamone

Honda S2000 Concept Revived For Launch In 2013 test 2

According to Auto Express, sources in Japan claim that Honda intends to implement both car and motorcycle technologies towards creating a front-wheel drive, sports coupe as a possible successor for the long-departed S2000. This reborn coupe will be based on the current gasoline-electric CR-Z platform, but is expected to have a smaller body and shorter overhangs. Styling cues will derive from Honda’s OSM concept car (pictured above).

Most excitingly, the next generation Beat will incorporate some of Honda’s cutting edge technology. Engine specifics remain unclear, but either or both the 1.3L and 1.5L advanced VTECs are likely candidates to be offered to an eager public.