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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

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.

Volt and Leaf, Meet The Competition: 2012 Ford Focus Electric Debut

On: Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:12PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volt and Leaf, Meet The Competition: 2012 Ford Focus Electric Debut test 1-1

As promised, Ford introduced the Focus Electric at an event at the Consumer Electronics Show on Friday. Ford's first all-electric passenger car will be available later this year, and is the first of five electric vehicles that Ford plans to release by 2013. Little was known about the drivetrain of the Focus Electric ahead of time, so Ford's event was really the first look. The Focus Electric is driven by a 100 kW electric motor powered by 23 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The motor gives the car 123 hp, 181 lb-ft and 84 mph. Ford hasn't provided a final range estimate, but indications are that it will be around 100 miles.

Ferrari Doubles Sales In China

On: Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari Doubles Sales In China test 1-1

In announcing its sales numbers for 2010, Ferrari indicated that year-over-year sales doubled in China to nearly 300 models. Ferrari, which has sold cars in China for only six years, now considers the country one of its top 5 international markets (when Hong Kong and Taiwan sales are included). China's consumption of premium sports and luxury cars is a reminder of the growing economic position of the country .

Ferrari's numbers mimic numbers of other premium brands. Last month, the Detroit News reported that Germany luxury car sales in China were up by 40 percent in 2010. Increased global demand, of which China was the largest part, inspired German automakers like BMW and Mercedes to shorten holiday breaks and keep the assembly lines running. Audi led the way in China's luxury car explosion.

Ford Says Focus Electric Requires Half the Charging Time of Nissan Leaf

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 5:27PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Electric powertrain test 2

Ford’s new 2012 Focus Electric will require only half the time to charge its all-electric power source than the Nissan Leaf electric sedan, while being able to travel the same distance as its Japanese rival. The Focus EV will require only 3 to 4 hours to fully charge its battery on a 240 volt home electric outlet charging station, according to director of Ford’s electrification division, Sherif Marakby. The charging station will reportedly cost between $500 to $700, less than Nissan Leaf’s upgraded electrical station. It takes 7 hours to charge the Nissan Leaf when plugging into a 220 or 240 volt charging station.


Porsche Wins Court Case to Dismiss Lawsuits

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 5:24PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Porsche Wins Court Case to Dismiss Lawsuits test 1-1

Somewhere, there are a bunch of lawyers who are already off to a good year. They were retained by Porsche Automobile Holding SE and just scored a major victory in court. As a result of their lawyerly arguments, Porsche dodged a $2 billion lawsuit. If that’s not a reason for an end of the year bonus, nothing is!

The issue before the U.S. District court involved a suit brought against Porsche from a bunch of shareholders who felt that the automaker wasn’t being honest with dealings about the upcoming Volkswagen AG acquisition. Specifically, hedge fund managers claimed Porsche was misleading short-sellers. Got that?

Lotus Wants To Be The Porsche of the U.K.

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:38PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Wants To Be The Porsche of the U.K.  test 1-1

Lotus CEO Dany Bahar may have history with Ferrari, but under his guidance, Lotus plans to move toward a Porsche model. No, that doesn't necessarily mean that Lotus will make a stable of cars that all have near-identical looks every single generation (though some of its Paris concepts looked eerily alike). It means that Lotus wants to offer a range of cars, rather than a small line focused only on the highest-performance sports cars, ala Ferrari or Lamborghini.

GM Sales Up 8% For December

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:38PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

GM Sales Up 8% For December test 1-1

General Motors has posted an 8% increase in sales for the month of December; the rising numbers account for the 4th consecutive month that the Detroit automaker has seen a rise in profits.

All four of GM’s U.S. brands saw sales increases for the last month of 2010, including Buick which produced a 40% increase, Cadillac posting a 13% hike in sales, and Chevrolet with a 35% increase.

Pagani C9 Official Name: Huayra?

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:36PM | By: Chris Weiss

Pagani C9 Official Name: Huayra? test 1-1

C9 is just so easy to say. Apparently too easy. For as long as we've known Pagani's prototype, it's been known that 'C9' may just be a prototype name and not the actual production car name. A recent report sheds some light on what the new Pagani may be called, and it's a lot harder to read/say than C9; it's the Huayra. Mysterious, but not the most intuitive word to speak or write—not in English, at least.

Toyota Being Sued By 7 Additional Insurance Companies

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:36PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota Being Sued By 7 Additional Insurance Companies test 1-1

When any large company, such as Toyota, is sued it always makes the news headlines. If the lawsuit proceeds to trial and the company loses it's possible to tie up the awarding of any monetary settlement for years. However, if that same company decides to settle, many times it brings out the sharks who start swimming for their own piece of the potential prize. This appears to be what is happening to beleaguered Toyota as they attempt to close the books on the mounting lawsuits that have resulted from the recent acceleration recalls. Now 7 auto insurance companies are jumping on the lawsuit bandwagon with Allstate Insurance by going after Toyota with the full magnitude of their legal teams.

Auto Industry is on the Upswing for 2011 Detroit Auto Show

On: Sat, Jan 8, 2011 at 1:25AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Auto Industry is on the Upswing for 2011 Detroit Auto Show test 1-1

How many tires can you fit into 750,000 square feet of convention center space? To get the answer to that riddle you’ll have to attend the upcoming North American International Auto Show set to open next week at the Cobo Convention Center in Detroit. Due to the increase in domestic auto sales, the rise in retail spending, and the improvement in unemployment numbers, automakers are more than excited about the prospect of the upcoming auto show.

The last two years weren’t especially good for the Detroit auto show. Because of the downturn in the economy, automakers were staying away in droves. But now they’re all back with a vengeance. Nineteen new sponsors will be joining last year’s 23 returning companies. Those are good numbers for a convention of this size. And every corner of the 750,000 square feet center is booked solid!

Rare Ferrari FXX Evoluzione Goes Up For Sale This Month

On: Sat, Jan 8, 2011 at 12:11AM | By: Chris Weiss

Rare Ferrari FXX Evoluzione Goes Up For Sale This Month test 1-1

It's been a good couple of weeks to be an ultra-wealthy rare Ferrari collector. Earlier this week, we reported that a one-of-a-kind Ferrari Enzo prototype is up for sale, and today word of another rare, Enzo-era Ferrari. The 2006 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione will be going up for auction on January 21. The car is part of the collection of the late Benny Caiola, an Italian immigrant turned real estate mogul. The collection, which will be auctioned off by Gooding & Company, includes 11 cars altogether.

Caiola's collection has been hailed as one of the largest and finest collection of Ferraris in the world. And no car is finer than the FXX Evoluzione. The car is a track-only limited-edition based on the Enzo, and features a 6.2-liter version of the Enzo's V12 engine that puts out 789 horses. After Caiola's FXX was retrofitted with the Evoluzione package, the car put out 860 horses. The auction house describes it as Ferrari's most advanced production car ever.