Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.
AutoShopperBlog

Subscribe To The Blog:




Follow Us



The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Technology

Auto Manufacturers Secure Their Future In Lithium.

On: Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 8:12PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Auto Manufacturers Secure Their Future In Lithium. test 1-1

A very important development in the lithium market has recently taken place and appears to be trending. Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation has agreed to buy about 30 per cent of battery-grade lithium carbonate output from Galaxy Resources' Mt Cattlin mine in Western Australia. Galaxy said in a statement today it was close to finalizing similar agreements with other major groups and high-end users of battery-grade lithium carbonate in China and other parts of Asia. We can only assume these other high end users are other automotive or the sophisticated computer and cell phone makers. And the demand will continue to grow as the automotive world reinvents itself.


New Shelby Cobra Sheds Iron Block Engine

On: Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:38AM | By: John Welch


New Shelby Cobra Sheds Iron Block Engine test 1-1

The Shelby GT500 has been interesting, if not odd and misconceived, since its debut in 2007. Five hundred horsepower, unique body cladding, and a mean-ass exhaust note set this car apart from run of the mill Mustangs. But there were problems. Ford has always told anyone who will listen that they saddle the Retro-Stang with a solid rear axle in the name of satisfying drag-racers. Okay, that's complete BS, but they were able to make this axle work so well it can almost be overlooked.

That sort of mercy doesn't get extended to the Shelby's iron-block 5.4 liter V8. An iron block? Really? Other automakers are able to churn out much more then 500 horsepower from aluminum blocks, the Gen three Chevy small-block comes to mind. Why would Ford go with an iron block at a time when iron was being phased out of every engine, even the trucks that this re-badged Triton came from. To save a few pennies? Really?

So, the automotive press bitched and moaned. Regardless, Ford still sold a respectable number of Shelbys. The iron block wasn't going to sink this vessel as the pundits so vehemently thought it would. Which was fine, until Ford realized that it could eliminate the Gas Guzzler Tax with better economy and less weight. And that is exactly what Ford dun did: tossed the iron in favor of aluminum, saving 120 pounds and a little MPG at the same time . . .


The Rolex 24 At Daytona: The 'Shopper Preview

On: Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 3:15PM | By: John Welch


The Rolex 24 At Daytona: The 'Shopper Preview test 1-1


Twenty four hours is a long time to be driving a car, at part throttle. Wide open throttle, for nearly half a minute, and then brakes, hard, and then full left-hand lock and then full right-hand lock and then full throttle again, three times a lap, for twenty four hours; why, that is just plain stupid.

Or "awesomelybadass", depending how you look at it. The 'Shopper tends to fall into the latter category. If you do too, then maybe you would like to know what we were up to this weekend . . .


USF1 Type 1 Breaks Cover

On: Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 12:34PM | By: John Welch


USF1 Type 1 test 2

Here it is, boys and grrls, although it's still a glorified CAD drawing. None the less there are several interesting things going on here, and the livery will NOT be the stars and stripes barfed up all over the Type 1's sinewy flanks. Details inside yonder post . . .


 

Red Light Camera Ticketing Company Resorts To Bogus Threats

On: Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 9:07AM | By: Clay Ritchings


Red Light Camera Ticketing Company Resorts To Bogus Threats test 1-1

Red light camera companies’ profits are falling far below expectations all over the country. The cash cow is drying up for the cities because of the citizen effort to ban the cameras is gaining steam, and more and more drivers are ignoring the tickets they get in the mail after hearing from fellow speeders that there are often no consequences to doing so.


Mercedes SLS So Awesome It Hurts!

On: Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 3:23PM | By: John Welch


Merceds Benz SLS AMG test 2

Yes yes , I know, I know! This is the second post in a row with a video kyped directly from a competing website. It happens to us all the time; check the date on this post, and then the date on this one. Yeah, exactly. That same thing has happened many times since the 'Shopper Blog went live in September. I'm not mad at all, just pointing out that we are not the only shameless thieves.

This, my friends, is the best audio I have found of the Mercedes AMG SLS. Eff Jay Leno and his weirdness; these videos are here to celebrate the SLS, in all its glitteringly perfect glory . . .


Ford Takes The Fight To Chevy; New Power For Mustang On The Way

On: Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 3:16PM | By: John Welch


Ford Takes The Fight To Chevy; New Power For Mustang On The Way test 1-1

The Ford Mustang has always been a desirable car. Not a good car per se, but certainly desirable. From the compact proportions of the Fox-body cars to the muscular quarter-window dogleg found on SN-95 Mustangs, there were always things to like about the modern Mustang. In 2005 Ford decided that the car deserved an influx of 'cool'. The consumer climate at the time was arguably as fertile for Ford as it was in 1965. Having the intensely popular "pony-car" market to yourself (GM killed the Camaro/Firebird in 2002, and there was no offering in the sub-thirty grand price range featuring a V8 and rear-wheel drive . . . from any manufacturer!) is one thing, but Ford placing itself on the leading edge of 2005's retro-styling trend was sheer genius. The Mini was selling like Copenhagen at a Marine BX and Ford had learned many lessons on how not to produce a retro car from the ill-fated 2002 Thunderbird.

Using this knowledge and the market reports from Mini, among others, Ford redesigned the Mustang and pooped out a serious winner. Ford took the car racing. They won . . . everything. Grand-Am, Euro GT3 and 4, even the Shelby Cobra began to rack up victories in the Speed World Challenge GT division.

For 2009 the Mustang was updated with smoother exterior styling and a niffty one-piece dash. The car is nice looking, but as usual the powertrains offered in the non-Cobra models left something to be desired. Still, the Mustang was able to take comparison test wins from the Camaro and Challenger despite being down nearly 100 bhp to those to cars. Ford hath conquered, but there is no rest for the wicked.

For 2010 the Mustang GT gets the power it has been sorely lacking, in the form of a high-tech DOHC beast affectionately named "Coyote". To those of us occupying real estate in Central Florida, the engine is called, simply: "Five-Oh" . . .


Schumacher Trades Rosso For Silver

On: Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 4:27PM | By: John Welch


Schumi to Mercedes! test 2

Yesterday the 'Shopper reported on the possiblity of Michael Schumacher returning to F1, under the MecedesGP Petronas (formerly 'Brawn GP', a mouthful, I know!) banner. Well, this morning (for Germans anyway, we were all still asleep), Schumacher made the announcement we have all known was coming: He is returning to the Formula One grid in 2010.

Inside the post you will find extended quotes from the central parties involved: Schumacher, Ross Brawn, and Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz Sporting Director. Welcome back, Michael!


BBS A Fixture At American Race Tracks

On: Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 5:06PM | By: John Welch


BBS Race Wheels test 2

Most casual fans may not think to deeply about the wheels underpinning most sports car racers. Could the fact that ninety percent of the IMSA GTP and GTO cars ran BBS wheels have anything to do with it? A casual fan couldn't tell them apart; they were all gold. In the Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties BBS dominated the European and American sports car scenes, not because their rims are prettier, but because they worked. In fact, they were, and still are, the best.


Forza 3 Blowing Sony Into The Weeds

On: Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 5:41PM | By: John Welch


Forza Motorsport 3 test 2

Forza Motorsport 3 is handily beating the crap out of its cross-Pacific rival Gran Turismo 5, mostly because Gran Turismo 5 doesn't actually exist. Shame on you, Sony. Shame.

The third installment of the Forza series has offcially crested the one million sales mark, AND they have a Christmas present for us all! Those darn oil-drenched fools at the Turn 10 studios have put together ten new cars that didn't make it to the original release, and pasted them on Xbox Live for your approval. Full press release inside yonder post . ..


Dyson-Mazda Racing Into 2010

On: Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 12:34PM | By: John Welch


Dyson Racing test 2


The Lola-built LMP2 coupes of Dyson Mazda Racing are arguably the most visually stimulating cars entered in the American Le Mans Series. Good lookin'? Yes. Reliable? Eh, not so much.

Last season saw the Dyson team constantly battling mechanical gremlins - problems with the turbo, fuel delivery issues, overheating . . . when the car ran well however, it was unstoppable. And let's not forget, ravishing.

For 2010 the team has put serious man-hours into engineering a bullet proof racer. Lola has been working on some new tricks as well. Pending IMSA approval, the team will also switch to bio-butanol fuel for both cars . . . busy off season!