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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Panasonic Partners with Tesla For Battery Development Project

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:26AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Panasonic Partners with Tesla For Battery Development Project test 1-1

Tesla Motors is preparing to partner with the Japanese technology giant Panasonic. Automotive News stated yesterday that Panasonic, which is already working with Tesla to provide lithium-ion cells for the Model S, is planning to invest in the California automaker. Citing the Nikkei business daily, Reuters reported that Panasonic "aims to work with Tesla to develop battery systems for next-generation EVs."

Cheverolet Accounts for 68% of GM's Third Quarter Profit Gain

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:09AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Cheverolet Accounts for 68% of GM's Third Quarter Profit Gain test 1-1

In October, GM posted sales of 183,392 units, 13% more than it did in October of last year. Chevrolet sales increased 7%, Buick increased 39%, GMC increased 30%, and Cadillac increased 15%. The majority of the inflated sales numbers were accounted for by crossover and full-sized pickup sales. In fact, over 47,000 of the total vehicles sold were Sierras and Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks. GM sold 5048 units of the newly launched Chevrolet Cruze. GM picked up 2% of the total market share and Chevy sales made up 68% of the total.

GM Products Prominent At SEMA, Pt. 1

On: Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 4:18PM | By: John Welch

Chevrolet Corvette Jake Edition test 2

General Motors is on a rebound, of sorts, and the proof is in the SEMA pudding. Besides aftermarket tuners going absolutely bat-ess on the ubiquitous Camaro, GM itself offered up a few (more like a "bunch") of performance enhanced Chevrolets, covering every aspect of the market from tacked-on appearance upgrades to full-bore track mods designed to transform the Camaro and Corvette into asphalt devouring track beasts ala the Dodge Viper ACR-X. The General's front drive line up wasn't left out of the fun; GM introduced its new Z-Line series of visual and aerodynamic enhancements for the Volt, Cruze, and Spark commuter boxes.

The aftermarket spit out more than a couple modified GM vehicles, but by far the most intriguing came from our friends over at Hurst Performance. Allow me to pontificate for a moment regarding the base engines offered in modern "Muscle Cars". The key word is "modern" here. Though a V8-powered Camaro or Mustang is physically faster, in a straight line, than its V6-powered counterpart, when the going gets twisty the dynamic responses of the smaller-engined cars are superior. Even with cheaper/smaller/less grippy rolling stock. The designers of these machines are able to position the V6 engines with more freedom than the V8s, because of their smaller size and mass. A V6 can be crammed right up against the firewall of a car, keeping as much of the weight of the engine behind the shock towers as is mechanically possible. This translates to better weight distribution, which in turn translates to better handling.

What if the power output of these V6s were to match or exceed that of the throaty V8s? Hurst asked themselves that question and then got to work. We will tell you all about it tomorrow. First, the General has some presents for you . . .

Automotive Industry Offers Great Incentives for Leasing

On: Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 2:26PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Automotive Industry Offers Great Incentives for Leasing test 1-1

The U.S. auto market has posted low profits of new car sales for the past couple of years, but according to Automotive News.com, there is a "silver lining" in the weak new car market.  Fewer new cars being sold translates to lower numbers of used cars available on the market for the next 2 or 3 years. Lower used car inventory will enable automakers to promote leasing without concern for whether or not returned lease cars will flood the market in 2012 or 2013.

As a result, automotive leasing has been making a come back in the past few months. In fact, leasing has climbed to approximately 21% of U.S. sales through September 2010, compared to only about 16% for all of 2009, according to Emunds.com.


The New 2011 Ford F-150 Gets 23 MPG Highway

On: Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 10:13AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The New 2011 Ford F-150 Gets 23 MPG Highway test 1-1

Ford Motor Company has announced the upcoming launch of the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup truck on the market—the 2011 F-150, equipped with the all-new 3.7-liter V6 engine. Good economy is expected with a base V6, but what about some power? Try 302hp, 278 lb.-ft. of torque . . . from a base V6! It is projected to deliver best-in-class 23 mpg highway, pending EPA certification. Ford’s new Ford 2011 F-150 3.5-liter V6 engine and its new 5.0 V8 are projected to deliver best-in-class, provided EPA certification comes through.

Commercial To Concept: Kia Soul Hamstar

On: Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 9:18AM | By: Chris Weiss

Commercial To Concept: Kia Soul Hamstar  test 1-1

Usually a new car begets a commercial, not the other way around. But in the case of a new Kia SEMA concept, the Korean automaker pulls inspiration from its commercials for a modified Soul. The Hamstar debuted this week in Las Vegas.

At this point everyone's seen at least one version of Kia's hamsters. Those cute little urbanized rodents that drive around in their Kia pumping bass like white suburban teenagers with a chip on their shoulder. Kia seems to have the right idea with those commercials: regardless of our views on the Soul, we certainly love hamsters more than the annoying Sienna family or "earnest" GM executives that appear in other automaker commercials.

Volkswagen Working On BlueSport Convertible For 2013 Debut

On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 4:12PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen Working On BlueSport Convertible For 2013 Debut test 1-1

Like the Porsche Boxster, but don't quite have the money to justify a $50,000 roadster? Porsche's daddy Volkswagen is working on just what you crave. The BlueSport roadster was originally launched as a concept in 2009, and word is that the German automaker plans to debut the production version in 2013. Development is underway.

Debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show, the BlueSport bore some definite resemblance to the Boxster, but lost the overdone Porsche headlights in favor of a more angular pair similar to those seen on the Jetta, only sharper and more narrow. Smaller than the Boxster, the BlueSport measured in at 13 feet (the Boxster is over 14) with a 96-inch wheelbase.

Toyota Asks For Class-Action Suit To Be Dismissed

On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 4:10PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota Asks For Class-Action Suit To Be Dismissed test 1-1

Toyota Motor Co. has requested that the judge in a California class-action lawsuit drop the charges of alleged defective parts causing unintended acceleration on the grounds that no electronic throttle defects have ever been identified. Toyota states that while claims have been made on behalf of all Toyota owners with electronic throttle control systems, “only a tiny fraction of the vehicles in question” have accelerated out of control.

Out of thousands of mechanical/technical examinations of Toyota vehicles that allegedly sped out of control, Toyota Motor Co. engineers and federal regulators have been unable to find any evidence of electronic defects that could possibly be the cause of unintended acceleration.

Three Dealer Candidates Take House Seats from Incumbents

On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 3:09PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Former Cadillac dealer Mike Kelly test 2

Three of four current and former dealer candidates took seats from House incumbents yesterday.  Mike Kelly, Republican from Pennsylvania, got involved in the election after he learned that his Cadillac franchise was one of the dealerships that were scheduled for termination by General Motors. The election received a national wave of republican votes, and resulted in a total of 6 dealers (all Republicans) with seats in the House, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, that’s twice as many as before yesterday’s election. 

When Too Much Is Never Enough

On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 11:07AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

When Too Much Is Never Enough test 1-1

It's an age-old mantra most gear heads will recognize:  Run what ya brung, and hope it's enough!  Whether it's at the track, road course, or just the next traffic light, every hot rodder knows that feeling of getting beat out when you weren't expecting to lose.  Watching taillights pull ahead of you when you're giving your own car everything its got is demoralizing, disheartening, and feels worse than watching your favorite team lose the Superbowl.  After a loss, there are stages of rehabilitation:  Surprise, Anger, Denial, Sadness, Acceptance, and in some cases, Resolve.  


Surprise that another car is able to beat a car that you believed was unbeatable, then anger quickly on its heels that you spent money on a car that isn't as fast as the car now humbling and/or humiliating you.  The denial comes a little later.  The denial usually stems from the transmission:  "Oh I missed a shift" or sometimes, "He caught me in the wrong gear" or the ever popular, "I need a new clutch, this one is slipping pretty badly, but next time ..." Each of these excuses, along with hundreds of others like it all boil down to the same result:  You lost.  Winners never make excuses for why they won.  


Such is the life of any car enthusiast, but maybe none more than the drive-it-to-the-track guy.  Sure he is only a weekend warrior, sure he might have 85,000 miles on his three year old racer because much like the driver himself, his car leads a double life as a Clark Kent-type daily driver grinding through the Monday to Friday commute before they can both jump in a phone booth and transform into Superman and Supercar.  But the problem is, even if drive-it-to-the-track guy explains all this to trailer-queen racer guy, he still lost and trailer-queen guy is king of the race.  


It seems Audi has heard the cry of the daily driver track star, and has tried to help bridge the gap between the two worlds with the new Audi R8 GT.  Although it might seem redundant and almost unnecessary to try to improve the R8, Audi officials seem to think otherwise and seem to have taken on a mentality that Ferrari has all but perfected when it began introducing its Challenge Stradale and Scuderia models in recent years.  It's very similar to a hardcore bodybuilder at a health club.  Sure he can bench 450, and that might be the best anyone at that club has seen, but if he can do better, why not? 

BMW, Porsche, Subaru All Post Sharp Sales Increase In October

On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 10:21AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

2011 BMW X3 test 2

Subaru, BMW and Porsche posted sharp increases in October U.S. auto sales today as manufacturers appear poised to report a solid month. Analysts are saying that the October seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) is expected to be the highest since the falsely inflated automotive sales numbers that occurred during the government Cash- For-Clunkers program that offered $3 billion in buying incentives in September of 2009.

According to AutoData Corporation; “The average of nine analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg is a SAAR of 11.9 million, slightly higher than September's 11.8 million. Excluding sales volume for September of 2009; 11.9 million is the highest sales reported by the automotive industry since September of 2008." Due to Election Day, many manufacturers have delayed the release of October sales numbers, but others such as BMW, Porsche, and Subaru have already posted huge gains in last months’ auto sales.