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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Car News

Volt Gets Cordless Charger

On: Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 3:13PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Volt Gets Cordless Charger test 1-1

If there is one thing that American consumers love it's gadgets and gizmos, exhibited by just how many of us carry a cell phone or iPod. An average check-list for leaving the home usually breaks down to: keys, wallet, cell. The mere fact that we can take these devices on the road with us is what makes them even more attractive. But there is a potential drawback. The more we use them, the more we use up their battery power.


Hyundai Gives Ford MyTouch Some Competition With Blue Link

On: Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 3:11PM | By: Chris Weiss


Hyundai Gives Ford MyTouch Some Competition With Blue Link test 1-1

January is a busy month in the car industry and it's only gotten busier since cars and trucks started becoming rolling computer systems. Some people barely shed their New Year's hangover when the North American International Auto Show rolls around, but now that tech and auto are so closely related, they have to shake it off even sooner. Big automakers have been using the Consumer Electronics Show to show off new interior hardware—and even new vehicles. This year, players like Ford, GM, and Hyundai all used the show to introduce new wares.

When Hyundai teased the Veloster several weeks ago, it mentioned that the car would have Blue Link Connectivity. Only problem was, we didn't really know what Blue Connectivity was. Hyundai relieved our curiosity at CES earlier this month.


Lincoln Is Ready For Max Wolff, Luxury Brand's New Design Chief

On: Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 11:15AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Lincoln Is Ready For Max Wolff, Luxury Brand's New Design Chief  test 1-1

Imagine that your brand new job is to come up with the designs for 7 new models of Lincoln cars within the next four years. That’s the task for new design chief, Max Wolff, as he moves over from the Cadillac division to the Lincoln brand. First step: hit the ground running.

“We have cars to design and a cycle plan, so we are going to have to get off our duffs and get it going,” said J Mays, Ford Motor Co.’s global design chief.


Kia Will Unveil New Rio In March

On: Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 11:12AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Kia Will Unveil New Rio In March test 1-1

The Kia Rio has sold well since its introduction in 2003. Through two model cycles it has captured the dollars, if not the hearts, of many North American buyers. It's time for a revamp, and if the Korean-market Picanto is any indication, the new Rio should be a sweet little subcompact. Changes will take place before it makes it to our shores, but the basic styling will remain the same.


 

BMW May Add Artificial Sounds For EV Safety

On: Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 10:42AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


BMW May Add Artificial Sounds For EV Safety test 1-1

German automakers Mercedes-Benz and Audi have both started implementing the procedure to add brand-specific artificial sound to electric vehicles for safety purposes when traveling at low speeds. BMW, however, have not yet decided for sure what its course of action will be regarding EV sound.

According to Tobias Hahn, neither the Mini nor the BMW prototype electric cars are equipped with an active sound system with artificial noise.   


Nissan Strives To Retain Profits While The Japanese Yen Rises

On: Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 5:06PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Nissan Strives To Retain Profits While The Japanese Yen Rises test 1-1

For financial analysts, spending their days surrounded by facts, figures, and spreadsheets is an everyday occurance. These are the financial gurus who tell us what is right and wrong with the economies of the world. Their pronouncements always have a ripple effect across the globe. Recent analysis has shown that the strong performing Japanese yen has forced Japanese automakers, such as Nissan, to rethink their American export business. Instead of shipping their cars from Japan, it is more economical to build them here. First on the agenda is 100,000 Rogues which are scheduled to be built at Nissan's Smyrna, Tennessee assembly plant.


Cadillac Back On Track: The CTS-V Coupe SCCA

On: Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 12:37PM | By: John Welch


2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe SCCA test 2

Cadillac has been here before. In 2000 General Motor's luxury arm commissioned Riley Technologies to build a chassis for Le Mans. Utilizing the then-popular World Sports Car prototype platform, Riley (named 'Riley and Scott' at the time) produced the Cadillac Northstar LMP. Modified by Nigel Stroud in 2001 and completely replaced by the purpose-built Cadillac LMP02 in 2002, the Northstar featured a very Audiesque 4.0 liter V8, complete with twin turbos and 90 liters of race gas.

None of these cars did very well in competition, failing to win anything, ever. Cadillac cut its losses at the end of 2002 and sat on their blemished laurels until 2004 when they decided to give GT racing a shot. Having just released the CTS-V, Cadillac saw an opportunity to use racing success as a marketing tool. What a novel idea.

No two ways about it, the CTS-V has always been a Badass. The street car was a breath of fresh air from Detroit. It had everything recent American cars were lacking: rear drive, third pedal, four doors, and slick styling. Love it or hate it, the styling turned heads. There were still plenty of old-Detroit issues such as flimsy-built quality, cheesy buttons, weird seating position, and that curve-free styling, but it was the coolest thing to come out of Michigan since Tim Allen. Who isn't all that cool.

Again employing Riley Technologies, Cadillac had a 73% stock-derived GT chassis built, slammed its 5.7 liter small block right against the firewall, and went racing. In 2005 they took the SCCA World Challenge title with ease; driver Andy Pilgrim never finishing lower than 10th in any race. He also didn't win any races, but that's neither here nor there; the CTS-V won two in 2004 and continued to win until the last customer cars was re-bodied in 2008.

Long story short: Cadillac has the thirst again. If their racing ventures get more serious with each attempt, and the last go at it was pretty serious, then this new CTS-V Coupe must be dead serious. Just look at it; the sheetmetal draped over the chassis and visually melting into the tarmac, the elegant endplates on the rear wing, the impossibly low front clip. This thing means business; pop inside the post to uncover its sporting credentials . . .


NAIAS 2011: Automakers Need Leaner Mid-Sized Pickups

On: Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 10:25AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


NAIAS 2011: Automakers Need Leaner Mid-Sized Pickups test 1-1

There is the pre-Detroit auto show buzz, the ongoing Detroit auto show buzz, and the post-Detroit auto show buzz. That’s a lot of buzz to sort through. Entering into the pre-show discussions is Jamie Hresko, VP of GM’s global powertrain engineering, who predicts that the days of the full-sized pickup being the GM’s No. 1 selling vehicle might be waning. He also says the same about Ford’s mighty F-Series line of pickups. The reality is that by 2025, automakers need to comply with new fuel economy standards. That puts a bull’s-eye squarely on gas guzzling heavy duty trucks.


The Next Generation Passat Hailing From Tennessee

On: Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 2:20PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


The Next Generation Passat Hailing From Tennessee test 1-1

There’s a new VW coming to town and it’s the next generation of the Passat. Volkswagen is proud to proclaim this is going to “change the rules.”What it’s also going to do is provide 12,000 jobs for some lucky Americans workers. That’s because this version of the Passat is going to be built at Volkswagen’s new plant based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The job forecast breaks down as 2,000 hires at the plant and the remaining 10,000 to be scattered across various suppliers. That’s good news all around.

All of this is part of the German automaker’s big plans for the coming years. Their goal is to triple U.S. sales of Volkswagen and Audi. That’s going to mean selling 1 million units by the year 2018. Last year, VW sold 359,889 of its vehicles in America. That’s a long way to go to one million, but it also represents an increase of 21% over sales in 2009. They are obviously headed in the right direction.


Audi Building A9 Sports Coupe, May Share Platform With Lamborghini Estoque

On: Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 2:03PM | By: Chris Weiss


Audi Building A9 Sports Coupe, May Share Platform With Lamborghini Estoque test 1-1

A report out of Autocar last week points to the possibility of a new, range-topping, sporty Audi four-door coupe: the A9. The car would serve as a high-end, sports alternative to the A8 and would be positioned against competitors like the Porsche Panamera and Mercedes-Benz CL. While the potential of an A9 is good news of and in itself, it also brings some exciting implications for another VW brand: Lamborghini.

According to the report, Audi hasn't decided on the car and executives are still working up a business case for the model. One of the elements of that business case is the potential to share much of the platform—namely the aluminium spaceframe and parts of the of the modular longitudinal architecture—with Lamborghini for a sedan based on the Estoque concept.


NAIAS: Big Mouth Styling Comes To Detroit

On: Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 1:41PM | By: John Welch


Chevrolet Sonic test 2

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Mitsubishi's open nostriled schnoz or Audi's? One could argue that Aston Martin, or even Rolls Royce started this trend. I wanted to write a no-nonsense info article about all the new fangled curiosities circling the floor of the COBO Center, but after seeing my subjects lined up next to each other, I am unable to shake the creeping fear that gaping grilles are 'in' and here to stay.

Off the top of my head I can think of no less than nine new models or concept cars that are sporting rhinoplasty. The Chrysler 300, Ford C-Max, Ford Vertek, Mini Paceman, Honda Civic, Hyundai Curb, Toyota Prius C, The Mercedes SLS E-Cell (but all SLS models count), and the Chevy Sonic all feature grille work that is large, wide and ornamental. Not to mention the Audi A6 and all of its variants as well as the E-Tron. Granted, most of these examples are evolutions of previous design themes, but they were less exaggerated in their original flavors. These are the hood ornaments of the 21st Century, if you will.

The 2011 NAIAS played host to a smorgasbord of new technology, concept weirdness, and delightful presentations, but I was too busy staring at gorgeous, hook-nose free debutantes, such as the Porsche 918 RSR (they've riced it out already?!) and Cadillac CTS-V Coupe SCCA. Expect full write ups on both cars. We will feature coverage arranged by region throughout the week, but for now let's explore the besnouted new concepts and models on the NAIAS floor.