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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Saab Introduces New 9-4X Crossover

On: Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 9:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

Saab Introduces New 9-4X Crossover  test 1-1

With Paris officially out of the way, automakers are turning their attention to the next big show: the LA Auto Show, which runs from November 19 through November 28 (press days November 17 and 18). Saab gave the world a sneak preview of the next car in its revamped line-up: a crossover called the 9-4X.

The 9-4X is built on the same platform as GM cars like the Cadillac SRX and Chevy Equinox (GM owned Saab until earlier this year). Saab has detailed two engine options that will be offered in the mid-size crossover: a direct-injected 265-hp 3.6-liter V6 and a 300-hp turbocharged 2.8-liter six-cylinder in the Aero trim. Both engine options come with six-speed automatic transmissions with paddle shifters and will power all four wheels through Saab's XWD all-wheel-drive system. According to NY Times Wheels blog, Saab will not offer a diesel engine option.

The car hits 62 mph in 8.4 seconds and gives drivers the option of powering all the way up to 143 mph.

Ford Focus Electric Will Offer Easy Ways To Charge Up

On: Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 9:57AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Focus Electric Will Offer Easy Ways To Charge Up test 1-1

The new Ford Focus Electric vehicle (one of 5 new electric vehicles Ford plans to launch in the next 3 years) will be unveiled in late 2011 and Ford is already figuring out convenient ways for consumers to recharge their Fords. Designs range from the 240 volt conversion kit that will allow the Focus to be quickly charged from any residential electrical outlet, to Ford's innovative plan to easily charge the all-electric Focus in remote locations. Not only will consumers be able to recharge their electric Ford vehicles from a wall-mounted 240 volt charging station in their homes, a 120 volt “convenience cord” will enable them to charge up at standard plug-ins in remote locations as well.

Director of the Ford Electrification program Sherif Marakby stated: “Focus Electric owners can look forward to having a ‘refueling’ device they can call their own.” Marakby also stated: “Since Focus Electric owners are likely to handle one of the charge cords two or more times every day, we’re providing a distinctive and durable device for their plugging-in experience.”

GM Workers Must Transfer or Lose Benefits

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:49PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

GM Workers Must Transfer or Lose Benefits   test 1-1

General Motors has announced that approximately 375 laid off workers must transfer to the Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio next month or they will lose all supplemental unemployment benefits. The recall of unemployed workers is part of the agreement the company made with the United Auto Workers that will pay union workers decreased wages in order to make building of small economy cars profitable in the United States.

The laid off workers had earned as much as $28 per hour before the Orion assembly plant in Detroit closed last year in November.

Orion will transfer workers to the Lordstown plant to build the Buick Verano compact vehicle, in addition to the Chevrolet Aveo. The plant is calling for 800 of the 1,175 workers who are laid off to return to work at full wages of $28 per hour, plus 400 entry-level workers who will do the same work for only $14 per hour. This information courtesy the United Auto Workers Local 5960.

Update! Ford To Sell Mazda?

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:40PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

2012 Mazda BT-50 test 2

Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda Motor Corp. CEO announced that the Japanese automaker will not be partnering with any new automotive companies, in spite of recent news reports that Ford would be selling its remaining interest in Mazda. Though earlier reports suggested a new manufacturing partner, Mazda and Ford will remain attached at the hip for the foreseeable future.

"We have an agreement to continue our strategic partnership with Ford. Therefore, we are not thinking at all of forming an alliance with companies other than Ford," Yamanouchi told a news conference on Wednesday.

"In any case, under any circumstances we believe it is important to maintain the Mazda brand." The official statement from CEO Yamanouchi is that Mazda’s business partnership with Ford is intact in spite of the previous automotive news report posted on the Auto Shopper that stated Ford Motor Company would be selling its 11% stake in Mazda, (which has a value of over $500 million).


Porsche to Offer Hybrid Version of Every Model

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 11:59AM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche to Offer Hybrid Version of Every Model test 1-1

It's not yet clear if we'll ever get a chance to see the baby Cayenne (hoping not), but if we do, we'll also be seeing a hybrid version sometime thereafter. Porsche is in the process of some priority shuffling now that new chief Matthias Mueller is holding the reigns, and one of its priorities is making its line a little greener with a full injection of hybrid powertrains.

Porsche development chief Wolfgang Dürheimer told Auto News: "In the future we will have hybrid drive in every model." The automaker will use hybrid powertrain options to help it cut the carbon footprint of its line. It also indicated that it's considering using direct-injected turbo four-cylinder engine options to assist in cutting emissions.

Nissan Drops Details On Next-Generation Godzilla

On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 2:58PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Drops Details On Next-Generation Godzilla test 1-1

Nissan will debut the next-generation GT-R sports coupe at the 2010 LA Auto Show. As it promised back in Paris, the company has released the juicy details of the next iteration of its top-end sports car.

Nissan showed a very superficial teaser of the 2012 GT-R at the Paris Motor Show, but didn't reveal any hard drivetrain or performance specs on the model; kind of disappointing since the exterior looks all but identical to the current GT-R. In fact, all that the Paris debut really showed was modestly revised front and rear bumpers and daylight running LEDs. The company put the real reveal off until this week. Now that the information is out, Godzilla is looking better than ever.

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival: Hot Rods And Muscle Cars

On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 12:12PM | By: John Welch

The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival: Hot Rods And Muscle Cars test 1-1

Every type of car you could imagine attended the Lake Mirror Classic this year; there were more show classes at the LMC than some shows have cars in general! Not only that, the 2010 edition of the Lake Mirror Classic was attended by more spectators than ever. Good thing, the weather was too good to waste! Because we took so many pictures and have only a limited amount of space, we have divided our images into our own, loosely defined categories. Today we feature Hot Rods and Muscle Cars.

What denotes a Hot Rod? A Muscle Car? Is there a certain era that these cars must fit into? A certain motiff? This is an argument that could go on for decades so we just pulled any car that was missing fenders or powered by a V8 or  . . . shiny. Here we have standout American Muscle from Modern to Pre-Mustang; there is a car or 'Rod here for everyone. These images were taken by Drew Christy, bright and early Saturday morning. Tomorrow: The Classic's Classics.

Is Facebook A Good Marketing Strategy for The Automotive Industry?

On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 9:33AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Is Facebook A Good Marketing Strategy for The Automotive Industry? test 1-1

A dealership technology panel was recently formed by the Rainbow-PUSH coalition in Detroit. The panel gathered at an automotive conference in order to evaluate whether advertising on Facebook is really effective for the auto industry.

National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers representative Damon Lester says that many members are interested in setting up Facebook pages for their dealerships. The concern is that the social media site may be a way for employees to waste vital work time on the internet.

Other concerns dealers voiced was that Facebook could be a vehicle for bad public relations if disgruntled employees or customers decide to use the media site to “bad-mouth” the dealership. Auto dealers are also concerned that once negative statements are live online, there is nothing that can be done to remove them or reverse the effects.

SUPERcar: The Hennessy Venom GT

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 5:00PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

SUPERcar: The Hennessy Venom GT test 1-1

Growing up, I read comic books all the time. I had an account at the local store and a ‘mailbox’ of sorts that allowed me to pick up my subscriptions every week. I read, read, and read some more, but always the same types of comics. I was more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan, only because outside of Batman and Superman, DC characters seemed to lack a certain … Edge. But aside from that, I focused on the strong, fierce characters, Wolverine (before the stupid movies and Hugh Jackman made him a pop culture icon), Gambit, Cable, Bishop, Venom, Colossus, and the list goes on and on. The reason I liked these certain characters slightly more than others was simple:  They looked, and in most cases were bigger, stronger, and/or faster than most of the other superheros, who were already bigger stronger and faster than any human on the planet. They were the elite of the elite.  

The same feeling transcended my affinity for automobiles. Sure, I like most fast cars. I might prefer one company over the other, but for the most part I pick and choose what my favorites are based on their individual abilities. I like Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, the occasional Maserati, and most things that have a prefix or suffix of AMG or M. But, there is a special place in my automotive heart for those extra special supercars that play in the rarified air of 200 miles per hour and up. These are the cars that put up 0-100 numbers that usually are impressive 0-60 numbers for your average fast car.

New Ford Ranger will be Launched In 180 Countries; U.S. Not One Of Them

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 12:44PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

New Ford Ranger will be Launched In 180 Countries; U.S. Not One Of Them test 1-1

The good news: Ford’s new Ranger pickup is here; the bad news: although the Ranger will be sold in as many as 180 countries, the U.S. will NOT be one of them.

The refreshed Ranger pickup offers some great features such as the rear-view camera, adaptive load control, as well as trailer sway control. At the end of 2011 when the Ranger goes out of production in St. Paul, Minnesota, it will not be replaced. This will be the first time in 30 years that Ford will not offer a compact pickup. The new 5th generation Ranger, manufactured by Ford and Mazda, made its debut at the Australian International Motor show in Sydney. The Ranger is assembled on a new “global platform” with plans for assembly in South Africa, Thailand, and Argentina.

Tesla Received $ 60 Million for RAV4 Production

On: Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 12:37PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Tesla Received $ 60 Million for RAV4 Production test 1-1

Tesla recently negotiated a $60 million dollar contract with Toyota to develop the drive-train and other parts of an all-electric version of the Toyota RAV 4 SUV. Tesla plans to modify its lithium-ion battery packs, motors, power electronics, software, and gearbox in order to adapt to Toyota’s RAV 4 compact sport utility vehicle.

According to Tesla, the California-based automaker: “The terms of the deal, initially announced in July, were completed Oct. 6."

"Its initial investment in Tesla shows Toyota has decided electric cars aren't going to be fringe vehicles,” said James Bell, executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California. “Companies like Nissan and GM are heavily committed to electric car programs, and it looks like Toyota has decided to step up its efforts.”