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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Technology

BMW, Audi And Mercedes Will Build U.S. Factories

On: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 10:11AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 BMW, Audi And Mercedes Will Build U.S. Factories  test 1-1

The official word from the automotive world is clear: “the world’s three largest luxury automakers will expand factories this year to ease capacity constraints.” Translation: BMW, Daimler, and Audi are building bigger factories which means new jobs all around! Why can’t they just say that?

Actually, the race is on between those three big European automakers to see who is going to come out on top. However, they’re not only thinking about sales this year, but they they’re already talking about who is going to be the industry leader for 2015. That’s confidence.

Porsche Working On A New Flat Four

On: Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 6:00PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche Working On A New Flat Four  test 1-1

Porsche executives confirmed at the Detroit Auto Show that Stuttgart is working on a new, small powerplant that will be applied to future versions of the Boxster, Cayman, and possibly the 911. The new flat four-cylinder is still under development.

Outgoing head of development at Porsche Wolfgang Durheimer said of the engine: "We have a four-cylinder boxer engine under development," adding that it could be applied to the Cayman and Boxster. According to reports, the engine will have a displacement of 2.5 liters and will put out around 360-hp in turbocharged form.

Jaguar Executive Confirms Expansion Plans, C-X75 In the Mix

On: Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 10:44AM | By: Chris Weiss

Jaguar Executive Confirms Expansion Plans, C-X75 In the Mix test 1-1

It seems that Jaguar is really intent upon expansion. Confirming some of the details of an Autocar report last month, global brand director Adrian Hallmark put it quite simply in a discussion with Inside Line: "The market has changed and it's no longer enough just to focus on sedans." That comment mimics an aside that Hallmark made to Autocar when he said that Jaguar needs to stop being a saloon-based company.

Automakers Duke It Out With Small Cars At This Year's Detroit Auto Show

On: Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 10:27AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Automakers Duke It Out With Small Cars At This Year's Detroit Auto Show test 1-1

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Dateline: the Detroit Auto Show. In this corner we have the redesigned Honda Civic squaring off against the downsized Toyota Prius with the sporty Hyundai Veloster waiting to step into the ring. But before these upstart Asian entries think they’ll take home the championship belt, look out for the American Detroit Big Three as they step into the ring with their own small car knock outs.

We’ve got the GM subcompact Chevy Sonic itching to take on the Honda Fit and the Ford Fiesta. But hold onto your seatbelts! Ford is coming into the arena with their own newly redesigned Ford Focus that they’ll pit against the Chevy Cruze or the Hyundai Elantra any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Folks, this is shaping up to be a small car battle royale the likes of which we’ve never seen before. No matter who is victorious in the auto show showdown, it will be the America car buyer who’s going to come out on top as the winner!


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.

NAIAS 2010: The Europeans

On: Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 1:35PM | By: John Welch

2011 MINI Paceman Concept test 2

Our ability to judge whether the global economic scourge is still affecting the auto industry is strained at best. Car makers, such as Porsche, returned to the North American International Auto Show this year, and brought pretty fantastic product with them. Well, Porsche did anyway; the rest of Europe sort of threw up a mulligan, introducing little and exciting few. Volkswagen insulted us with another beancounter design, the Passat; BMW rolled out its new 6 Series convertible, as well as the highly publicized 1M Coupe; and Mercedes brought along their new S Class BluTec. Audi, of course, introduced its newest schnozmobile, the A6. Seen that A7? Yeah, I don't care about the A6 anymore either.

We break the new cars down by brand inside the post; let us know if you agree or disagree with our assesments, in the comments.

Porsche 918 Gets A Healthier Engine And Harder Top

On: Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 5:07PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche 918 Gets A Healthier Engine And Harder Top test 1-1

It's not quite the all new, high-end supercar that we had hoped for, but leading up to the Detroit Auto Show, we expected Porsche to deliver a hard top version of the 918 Spyder Hybrid. And deliver Porsche did. Stuttgart debuted an all-new, race-ready 918 hard-top that packs even more power than the original concept from last year. And the 918 RSR looks pretty hot too.

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 . . .

Audi Discusses New 3D Heads-Up Displays At CES

On: Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 3:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Discusses New 3D Heads-Up Displays At CES test 1-1

When I first eyed a headline about Audi incorporating 3D displays, I was completely taken aback. Just imagine putting on your 3D glasses just so you could see roads and directions on your navigation system in 3D—sounded like yet another technological recipe for disaster. Plus, 3D technology still seems as though it could fail at any minute, so I was perplexed as to why an automaker would choose to incorporate it so early.

Luckily, Audi's system is more level-headed than I feared and may prove to be useful, if executed correctly. The 3D heads-up display that Ingolstadt detailed at the Consumer Electronics Show last week could provide some intriguing benefits.

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.