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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Lincoln's Dracula-like Town Car Gets Heart-Staked... Sort Of.

On: Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 2:30PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

The latest installment in my non-existent series “They Still Build That?!?” brings terrible news for car-hire businesses and old people alike: 2011 is the final year for FoMoCo’s finest model, the range-topping (oh, yes, it is!) Lincoln Town Car.

Like the Mercury Grand Marquis (OK, Mercury, period) and non-cop Ford Crown Vic before it, this last of the rear-drive, body-on-frame luxury sedans from the Blue Oval Boys will greet its first sunrise and be converted to ash or whatever happens to vampire-like vehicle lines when they get tired of living forever without aging.

But fear not; Lincoln has seen fit to “transfer” the Town Car name to a wholly inappropriate vehicle the named-after-the-dude-on-the-penny folks want to cram down our (and limo/taxi companies’) throats.

[More on that in a minute.]

BMW Frozen Black Special Edition M3

On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 1:22PM | By: Chris Salamone

BMW Frozen Black Special Edition M3  test 2

BMW of North America just announced a twenty-car production run of identical 2011 Frozen Black Edition M3 Coupes lined up for the good ole’ US of A. Although the 2010 M3 received similar treatment with the Frozen Gray Coupe, in 2011 the Frozen Black edition will feature red brake calipers, 19-nch GTS wheels, Novillo leather upholstery, red-on-black juxtaposed stitching, “carbon leather” trim, and, of course… matte black exterior paint with gloss black accents.

Lotus Will Build Its Own Range of Engines

On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 10:07AM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Esprit test 2

The tide of change continues to rise over in Hethel. Lotus revealed late last year that it planned to make a decision on whether to build its own engines for its upcoming sports car expansion. The automaker was supposed to come to the decision in the winter, but apparently it took a little longer to green-light an internal engine production program. What it took was the freeing up of some funds in order to allocate monies toward engine development.

Lotus found the funding it needed from the delay of the Elan 2 + 2, a decision that it announced recently. The automaker decided that the car was just a little too close to the Esprit and delayed its development for a few years.

NHTSA Working To Unplug Drivers From Mobile Devices

On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 12:57PM | By: Tim Healey

NHTSA Working To Unplug Drivers From Mobile Devices  test 2

Federal officials appear to be fed up with drivers texting and talking while driving, and they're increasing their campaign to get drivers to focus on the road.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administrator David Strickland said that the agency is continuing to study ways to get drivers to take time away from their smartphones to focus on driving.


Bigger, Stronger And More Efficient - The 2012 Mercedes M-Class

On: Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 3:32PM | By: Chris Salamone

2012 Mercedes M-Class test 2

As of yesterday, the official unveiling of the 2012 M-Class has reached the far corners of the internet. Although the upcoming M-Class shares many design cues from former models, this third generation Benz looks to showcase many significant improvements. Just based on appearance, the front grille is more distinctive, the sides and taillights have more drastic angles, and rims are offered from 17 to 21 inches. Yes, consumers may be reminded of former models, so please put on your monocle, raise your thinking pipe, and take a quick peek. Hopefully all concerns will be laid to rest.

Audi's New Top Convertible: R8 GT Spyder

On: Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 12:15PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi's New Top Convertible: R8 GT Spyder  test 2

There's a new top convertible in Ingolstadt. Audi unveiled the R8 GT Spyder last week, a car that pairs the performance and technology of last year's R8 GT coupe with a fabric soft top. The high-performance Spyder is a limited edition model, with less than 350 units planned.

The R8 GT Spyder begins with underpinnings of the former top R8 convertible—the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro. But it cuts about 187 lbs. of fat by using materials like an ultra-light, magnesium engine frame and carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer front spoiler, rear bumper, and rear side panels. Final curb weight comes in around 3,615.5 lbs. Inside components like the glass fiber-reinforced polymer-chassis bucket seats also help weight savings.

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet Falls Victim To Earthquake

On: Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 7:49AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet test 2

There really hasn't been much good news to come out of Japan since the March earthquake that ravaged the nation. It's been nearly three solid months of natural disaster and ensuing economic, infrastructural, and industrial turmoil. But we may just have a small tidbit of good news: Nissan is having problems producing its painfully awkward Murano CrossCabriolet.

The Murano CrossCab debuted at last year's LA Motor Show, where it became the first convertible, AWD crossover. And it quickly proved why it's the first AWD crossover convertible—because the big chunky body of a crossover looks absolutely awful from nearly every angle without a roof. Still, though, it's a unique offering that may develop some kind of following.

Audi To Build R4 Sports Car

On: Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 9:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi To Build R4 Sports Car  test 2

After a number of on again/off again rumors, the Audi R4 is on again. And it looks like this time it's for good. Autocar reports this week that Audi has given the official go-ahead to the mid-engined, two-seat roadster, which will be a smaller, more affordable complement to the R8 supercar.

While its big brother shares underpinnings with the Lamborghini Gallardo, the R4 will look to VW's other performance brand in borrowing front-end elements from the 911-derived Porsche Boxster. While its front will be shared, its rear will be "radically different."

Which Way Will They Go? Summer Gas Prices Remain a Mystery

On: Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 12:06PM | By: Chris Weiss

Summer Gas Prices Remain a Mystery  test 2

Well, last weekend we celebrated the unofficial start of summer. Because weather remains cool, unpredictable, and sometimes downright inclement in many places during late May, many people around the country undoubtedly celebrated Memorial Day by flocking to warmer, more southerly locales.

I sure did. And while my overall weekend was excellent, it served as a big reminder: Gas prices are pretty awful. I spent the weekend camping for free, doing free outdoor activities, and eating super-cheap food like grilled hot dogs and sandwiches. Yet, I still managed to spend somewhere around $150 or $200 just on gas.

Ford To Offer Turbo V-4 On Mustang?

On: Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 9:14AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford To Offer Turbo V-4 On Mustang test 2

Chevy may not be the only U.S. automaker looking to smaller, turbocharged engines for its muscle icon. According to Motor Authority, Ford is considering shrinking its base Mustang engine to a turbocharged four-cylinder. Like Chevy, though, Ford doesn't plan on abandoning Mustang purists and will offer a range of engine options, including the Mustang GT's 5.0-liter V8. 

According to MotorAuthority's report, Ford will use a 2.3-liter version of its turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four in the next-generation Mustang beginning around 2015. There's no word on what the output of that engine will look like at this early stage in the game.

Audi Plans A9 Flagship For 2014

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 6:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Plans A9 Flagship For 2014  test 2

Mercedes CL, Porsche Panamera, and BMW 6 Series, watch out, there's a new Audi in town. Or at least there will be in a couple of years. An Audi A9 has been rumored for a while now, and Britain's Car magazine has some new details on the top dog. While the final form(s) (four-door coupe, 2 + 2) that the A9 will take is still undecided, it looks to be all but a sure thing.