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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Good, Bad & Ugly

Mini Sets World Record Parallel Park, Like A Boss

On: Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 3:17PM | By: Chris Salamone


Mini Parallel Park test 2

In the last two years, Guinness World Records has seen the title change hands five times for the tightest parallel park. Most notably, a German driver named Ronny Wechselberger achieved total victory last year, emergency braking into home via Volkswagen Polo, while garnering millions of internet views shortly thereafter. But last month, Wechselberger’s record was smashed by Patrik Folco, who managed to slide into a gap which measured a mere 8.66 inches wider than Mr. Folco’s vehicle. As it would turn out, not even 8.66 inches was small enough to ward off all challengers.

On the heels of an already impressive parallel parking record, Chinese stuntman and driver extraordinaire, Han Yue, laid waste to the competition – drifting to eternal glory at a mere 5.91 inches beyond the length of his China-market special edition Mini.

And this was no accident. Mini organized Yue’s world record attempt to occur in conjunction with the launching of a new special edition Mini, aptly named The Chinese Job.


Speed Trap Warnings, A-OK In Florida

On: Fri, May 25, 2012 at 9:55AM | By: Chris Salamone


Speed Trap Meme test 2

For those of us plugged into the internet meme craze, the above picture features the square-jawed splendor of Good Guy Greg – a meme backdrop which went viral late last spring. But instead of doing your chores or spreading random acts of kindness, this picture shows Good Guy Greg offering a warning to would-be moving traffic violators.

As it would turn out, though, highway patrolmen and blue jackets all over have been issuing citations for speed trap warnings. Last August, a Seminole County, Florida deputy did just that, ticketing Ryan Kinter (25) for flashing his headlights to warn neighbors of a nearby speed trap.

Except Circuit Judge Alan Dickey ruled on Tuesday that (1) a law banning motorists from flashing after-market emergency lights does not apply to headlight-speed trap communication AND (2) headlight communication is a form of First Amendment Speech, protected by the First Amendment.

So polish off the high beams, head light warnings are a-ok in Florida.


GMC Shanghai Offers 5 Ton Incentive

On: Wed, May 23, 2012 at 5:06PM | By: Chris Salamone


2012 GMC Sierra Denali test 2

We’ve witnessed some pretty impressive truck incentives over the years, perhaps with the deepest discounts seen during the beginning years of the Great Recession. From Employee Pricing, to months of free gas, trucks are becoming harder and harder to push on new vehicle buyers. In the spirit of desperation, then, at least one GMC dealer in Shanghai, China has taken the truck sales incentive to a whole new level: the 2012 GMC Sierra Denali includes five tons of free gas.

That translates to about 2,000 gallons of gasoline, or slightly over three years of relatively normal use. Sounds interesting, right? Wait till you hear the catch.


Hyundai Unleashes A Pack Of Baboons Onto The i30 (Video)

On: Tue, May 15, 2012 at 10:32AM | By: Chris Weiss


Hyundai Unleashes A Pack Of Baboons Onto The i30 test 2

We've all seen those "when animals go wild" type videos where an unsuspecting station wagon full of tourists becomes victim to a stomping, punching and clawing pack of wild primates. Usually, those encounters are an inadvertent side effect of visiting a safari-type amusement park (or actual safari). In the case of the Hyundai i30, there was nothing inadvertent about it.

Hyundai's British division took an i30 hatchback to Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool. Their goal was to do a unique type of endurance test, and they selected baboons for their penchant to tear visitors' cars apart. They rolled the i30 into the park and essentially let the pack of baboons go to town - for 10 hours.


 

Barf! Government Vehicles Found Sitting Pretty

On: Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 12:18PM | By: Chris Salamone


Miami-Dade County cars test 2

What do twelve Ford F-250s, at least fifteen minivans, five Toyota Prii, and a hodgepodge of barely used government-purchased vehicles have in common? They make up a portion of the 100 or so Miami-Dade County cars which sit idly at the Earlington Heights Metrorail garage, totaling about $965,000.00 in dormant assets.

Since 2006 and 2007, Miami-Dade County has left the vehicles parked, out of service, and lying in wait. And, as we all know, unused cars don’t exactly remain maintenance or cost free – tires, batteries, fluids…and let’s not forget insurance. So why, in the name of all things holy, does Miami-Dade have 100+ cars collecting dust?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is anything but satisfying. The County decided to purchase these vehicles just before the Great Recession unfolded. Shortly after buying, the economy tanked and Miami-Dade had to trim their workforce and – you guessed it – number of cars on the road.


Chevy Avalanche Put To Pasture

On: Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 10:40AM | By: Chris Salamone


2012 Chevrolet Avalanche test 2

Last Friday, General Motors announced plans to cease production on the company’s most bizarre vehicle. Since 2002, the Chevy Avalanche has offered truck buyers a unique mix of interior space, fancy features, girthy dimensions, and a premium price tag – which, at least early on, seemed to be a winning combination for pickup consumers. Unfortunately, the year 2008 came and buyer perspective changed with a trimmed down world economy.

93,482 Chevy Avalanches rolled into new driveways in 2003 but, in comparison, only about 20,000 sold in 2011. And that means GM isn’t willing to update a new Chevy Avalanche in an upcoming truck renovation cycle. 2013 Chevy Avalanches will be the last of their kind, the final generation.


Fantastic, Valuable Cars Sold At Barrett-Jackson's Palm Beach Auction - These Freaks Sold There Too

On: Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 10:15AM | By: Andrew W Davis


Photoillustration by Author test 2

Now other people are going to cover the high points of Barrett-Jackson’s April 5-7 Palm Beach sale, so I won’t bore you with talk of customs, resto-mods or (half)million-dollar-sales. Instead I’m going to shine a light on the auction’s seamy underbelly to expose the creatures known as “filler” lots.

But I’m not going to bother with the late-model lease-returns and beat-up aged exotics that tend to occupy 75 percent of any B-J sale’s slate. No, I’m going right down into the bilge of the USS BJPB to show you six of the freakiest lots they had on offer (or seven, if you count the trailer).

Is everybody wearing their protective gear? Thenbad pun cominglet’s dive in…


Narrow Escape As Big Rig(s) Fall Off Mountain (Video)

On: Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 1:56PM | By: Chris Salamone


Norwegian Truck Incident test 2

Sometimes, when the going gets rough, the tough get going. Unfortunately, in a case of man vs. mountain, only one of the two drivers in the following video narrowly escaped disaster. The other chose to remain in his rapidly descending semi-truck.

BBC Europe reports that the driver of the semi is in stable condition after having fallen at least 200 feet. The tow truck operator, on the other hand, did manage to abandon his vehicle in time…but just barely.


Celebrity Apprentice Affirms Buick Brand Confusion

On: Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 11:22AM | By: Chris Salamone


Debbie Gibson test 2

Unlike a few years ago, Buick is a company with a lot of momentum going forward. The Regal has been universally accepted as an impending classic, the Verano shares DNA with an already superstar GM product (Chevy Cruze), and the soon-to-be youthful Sonic-based subcompact Encore all define a brand lineup which has undergone substantial evolution. Indeed, for the first time in a long while Buick, as a brand, looks to have a sunny financial forecast. Then Sunday’s episode of The Celebrity Apprentice aired.

But the problem with Buick’s brand messaging on Donald Trump’s wildly successful celebreality show wasn’t the fault of the program’s cast, Mr. Trump, or the quality of Buick’s Verano – the vehicle which happened to be showcased. Buick’s brand confusion came from a much larger, more systemic, issue. At least on the televised recording, Buick’s executives failed to specifically address what type of brand concept the celebrities should focus on.


Gas Price Hikes And Used Car Blues

On: Mon, Mar 5, 2012 at 12:03PM | By: Chris Salamone


Gas Blues test 2

A particularly savvy reader recently submitted an interested query: “I would love to see a blog about the rapid moving stats of trade in SUVs and compact car purchases. The gas hike is early this year, how is it impacting the pre-owned market.” As you might expect, nailing down market trends relative to gas price influence is a difficult task – especially so early in the year. But we’re always up for a challenge.

Fortunately or not, depending on your perspective, the premature gas price increases we’ve experienced have generated more than just oodles of critical media attention. Fuel efficient new car sales have also soared.


SNL + Clint Eastwood = Best Spoof Ever (Videos)

On: Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 11:55AM | By: Chris Salamone


SNL's Bill Hader as Clint Eastwood test 2

 After Clint Eastwood’s “Halftime in America” spot aired, Fox News fans everywhere collectively cringed in discomfort – well except in the UK and Canada, where Fox is banned. Many spectators were left inspired, but perhaps just as many felt confused by Eastwood’s supposed Chrysler endorsement. In our time of political jockeying and accepted corporate intertwining with the government, people raised questions about the advertisement’s intended goal. Was Chrysler selling cars or Obama’s 2012 candidacy?

As has become something of a norm in the United States, we feel compelled to be distracted or laugh at our present situation, much like the Roman Empire’s emphasis on satire or overly-aggressive sporting events. Which is what makes SNL so ridiculously entertaining: the wackier our society gets, the more material there is to comment on. Take the music videos of the 1990s and early 2000s, for example. These look like the inspirational blueprint for SNL’s vastly popular Lonely Island series. And Clint Eastwood’s original spot provides the perfect backdrop for a little SNLification. Nothing says ‘spoof’ like an aging gunslinger giving a pep talk.