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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Texas and New York Included in Early Launch For the Volt

On: Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 10:35AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Texas and New York Included in Early Launch For the Volt test 1-1

The Chevy Volt will soon be upon us.  Chevrolet plans to launch the new electric car in select markets across the county, but there are a few select markets that will have access to Volt much earlier than the fall 2010 scheduled date.

GM has made the decision to include extra markets for the Volt due to the extensive interest that has been shown in the electric hybrid.  “We can add markets as diverse as Texas and New York because the Chevrolet Volt can handle both urban commuting and longer trips, in Austin summers and Manhattan winters,” Whitacre said. “The Volt can be your primary vehicle, giving you the freedom to drive gas-free without the stress of planning every trip around the battery’s charge level.”

New Technology May Allow the Blind to Drive

On: Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 3:41PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

New Technology May Allow the Blind to Drive test 1-1

When it comes to innovative automobile technology, the possibilities are seemingly endless. In recent news, there is actually a new driving interface being developed that is intended to allow the blind to independently drive a car on the open road.

The new technology being designed by engineers at Virginia Tech utilizes several methods to inform the driver of his/her surroundings. One such non-visual cue is sent via a set of gloves called “Drive Grip.” The gloves vibrate on various portions of the knuckles to signal to the driver with information regarding where he/she needs to turn. Another type of interface  is called “AirPix,” which uses compressed air to inform a blind driver of where other cars and obstacles are located in his/her immediate environment, creating a type of map that the vehicle operator would use to understand when and where to navigate the vehicle.

The project started in 2007, when a group of Virginia Tech researchers participated in a competition to develop a vehicle that could drive itself. Later, that same group received a grant from the National Federation of the Blind to incorporate the laser detection system, which allowed the car to navigate and detect obstacles, into an interface that could be understood through tactile senses instead of sight.

Last Dodge Viper Rolls Off the Assembly Line

On: Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 10:01AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Last Dodge Viper Rolls Off the Assembly Line test 1-1

In Detroit news, the very last Dodge Viper rolled off the assembly line as 400 loyal Viper owners and members from both the Motor City Viper Club and the Viper Club of America participated in a celebration to watch the presentation of the factory custom, 2010 Viper Coupe being given to new owner D’Ann Rauh by Dodge Brand President and CEO Ralph Gilles.

New owner, D’Ann, and her husband, Wayne Raugh, from Arp, Texas, own more than 40 Dodge Vipers—the largest personal collection of Vipers in the world.

This was the last of the current generation of Vipers built at the Connor Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit. A spokesperson for Chrysler stated that “Dodge has created more special-edition Viper models for the 2010 model year than all other years that the Viper was produced combined. Assembly of the Dodge Viper started in 1992.”

Rauh, who is a member of the Mid-South Viper Club of America, was given the privilege of working with the design specialists at Chrysler, in order to select many of the custom personal features that she wanted on her car.

Like many other final models built, the 2010 Viper SRT10 Coupe was a highly customized special edition. Rauh was allowed to work directly with the design team to select a custom bronze gold exterior paint supplied by the “House of Koler.”  The extraordinary paint job was complimented by two racing stripes painted by Bob Soroka, from Chrysler Group LLC's Street and Racing Technology team, featuring airbrushed layouts of Viper-significant race tracks into the custom-painted copper stripes. The five-spoke forged-aluminum wheels are custom painted in the color—dark graphite.

Micro Machine

On: Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 11:47AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Micro Machine test 1-1

It seems that the bar for car size keeps dropping every year. (Anyone remember when a Honda Civic looked tiny?) Big cars are almost extinct, small cars are now big cars, and the smallest cars today won't be for too much longer. If you haven't heard of the British-born company Gordon Murray Design yet, you will in the next year or two. The new kid on the block, who hasn't quite moved in yet, has designed a car that will make the current Mini Cooper look like a portly slob.  It’s called the T.25, and we believe the T should stand for 'Tiny'.  

Small does not begin to describe this car. At a hair under eight feet long (94.5 inches) and a hair over four feet wide (51.2 inches), this 1265 pound car will remind many of their childhood Power Wheels toys more than a revolutionary paradigm-shifting answer to pollution.  


Lotus Cars Consults With Advisors From BMW and GM

On: Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 10:41AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Tom Purves test 2

It has always been said that if you want to be rich, surround yourself with millionaires; advice that Lotus Cars Ltd., British automaker, has taken seriously as the company plans to team up with automotive expert, Bob Lutz from GM, and retired BMW and Rolls Royce exec.; Tom Purves, regarding a 5-year turn-around plan.

According to auto week.com source, Lutz who has been retired only 2 months from GM, is talking to Lotus, but no formal offer has been accepted.  Purves reportedly stated, in a phone conversation, that he wants to be involved in the project, but plans have not yet been finalized.  Purves was quoted as saying; “The goal is to make a contribution to projects of the future--improving the quality, the product offerings and the operations of the company,” Perves also stated: “It's exciting, and there is no question it is a great brand and has a good future.”

Chrysler Sales Soar To 35% Increase Over June 2009

On: Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 4:37PM | By: John Welch

Chrysler Sales Soar To 35% Increase Over June 2009 test 1-1

Numbers numbers numbers numbers . . . every story always has a ton of numbers. I'm getting really sick of numbers. Currently Chrysler is nutty about numbers. Compared with the same time last year, June's numbers were good numbers. They're still numbers, and I still hate 'em. College Algebra can bite it!

Here are some numbers for you: 68,297. That is the number of vehicles sold by Chrysler in June, 2009.

92,482, the number of vehicles sold in June 2010. Jeep sales rose 25%, on an 86% jump Jeep Wrangler sales. Dodge sales increased 67% due to strong sales of the Charger, Avenger (puke!) and Challenger (yes please!). Even the lowly mini-vans got in on the act, sales of the Chrysler Town & Country rose 34% and sales of the Dodge Caravan jumped nearly 50%.

“This 35% increase in year-over-year sales shows that we continue to build on our sales momentum," said Fred Diaz, lead executive for Chrysler’s U.S. sales, in a statement. Sure sure, but do you have to use so many damn numbers to help make your point? I mean, isn't there another way? Is it strange that a grown adult is searching for some sort of flow chart that involves bright colors and pictures and not so much numbers? Continue into the post for more info on Chrysler's uplifting month . . .

Range Rover Celebrates 40 With New Compact SUV

On: Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 3:47PM | By: John Welch

Range Rover Celebrates 40 With New Compact SUV test 1-1

Land and Range Rovers receive altered styling so in frequently that you could time said updates by Margret Thatcher's "cycle". That is to say, almost never.

For their 40th anniversary however, Range Rover is introducing a new compact SUV (I think I might get shot if I call a Rover a "CrossOver" . . .) that represents a serious departure from the typical military-grade kiddie carrying boxes we are used to seeing from Rover.

Rumored to be based on the LRX concept seen at larger auto-shows the last two years, the new SUV will be unvieled during an event in London at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

Rover isn't telling us everything about the new vehicle, saving some of the juiciest morsels for the Paris Motor Show this fall.

Ganassi Fined By GRAND-AM For Engine Violation

On: Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 3:20PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 Ganassi Fined By GRAND-AM For Engine Violation test 1-1

The Grand American Road Racing Association has assigned penalties to the No. 01 team that will compete in the Daytona Prototype class at Daytona International Raceway this weekend. The penalties are because of a violation that occurred at the June 19 Rolex Series race in Ohio.  After the race an inspection found that the team was in violation of an engine eligibility regulation that names engine components and performance levels and must be strictly abided by.

Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett have had their points lead reduced to 7 as they prepare for Saturday July 3rd’s Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona.

Ford Pays $3.8 billion in Cash To Health Care Fund

On: Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 1:00PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 Ford Pays $3.8 billion in Cash To Health Care Fund test 1-1

Although the auto industry is no longer the giant of the U.S. market it once was, Ford Motor Company is confident enough about the future of its brand that the company is planning to pay $3.8 billion to its union health care fund this quarter.

The requirement was for Ford to pay $859 million to the United Auto Workers Medical Benefits Trust for Ford retirees by June 30th. Not only did the Detroit auto maker pay its obligation on time, the company paid in cash, even though there was an option to pay $600 million from its stock under last year’s union contract. Ford also opted to prepay $2.9 billion toward the company’s commitment for health care expenses.  

“There was speculation that they would pay with equity; that would have been a bit alarming,” said Colin Langan, an analyst with UBS Securities. “With all of the risk out there, it’s a good sign that they feel they can pay with cash.”

Watch the Daytona Holiday Race In 3D!

On: Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 12:55PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Watch the Daytona Holiday Race In 3D! test 1-1

If you are disappointed because you cannot make it to the holiday races in Daytona this year (like me), why not do the next best thing; watch the race in 3D!  The media group, NASCAR Media Marketing and Entertainment along with Turner Sports recently announced that NASCAR’s very first venture to produce a 3D program will take place on July 3rd with the special presentation of the Coke Zero 400.

U.S. Auto Sales Predicted to Be Low in June

On: Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 12:06PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

U.S. Auto Sales Predicted to Be Low in June test 1-1

The automotive industry in the U.S. is not looking like recovery will be just around the corner, in fact Bloomberg News reports that; “U.S. auto sales this month probably posted the smallest increase since February as consumers concerned about unemployment and the economy avoid large purchases.”

Forecasters predict that sales of cars and light trucks may have slowed in June after May’s improvement.  Automakers sold 1.1 million vehicles in May, the best month so far this year. J.D. Power and Associates, Truecar.com is predicting that June sales will drop below 1 million.