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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Good, Bad & Ugly

World's Ugliest Supercar Now On Sale

On: Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 9:14AM | By: Chris Weiss


World's Ugliest Supercar Now On Sale test 2

There are ostentatious, excessive and gaudy cars and then there are cars that are just plain 'WTF were they thinking'. The Anliker "999 Red Gold Dream" Mercedes SLR McLaren is 100 percent in the latter category. It's one thing to cover a hot supercar like the SLR in weird aerodynamic parts and expensive accents, but it's another thing to pretty much destroy the car's styling with a lip gloss-red paint and gaudy gold. This is one of the most heinous pieces of tunage I've ever seen. And if you're wealthy, you now have a chance at owning it.

The car was modified by Swiss designer Ueli Anliker several years ago. The car's modifications are primarily cosmetic with tasteless things like 24-karat gold-plated wheels, ruby-encrusted lug nuts, gold-trimmed interior and ruby-covered drive components. It even has 11 lbs. of gold dust mixed in with its paint. All in all, the 999 Red Gold Dream cost about $5.4 million in parts alone.

Anliker still plans some engine modifications that will push the SLR's twin-turbo V-8 up around the '999' mark. A garish number for an unbelievably garish car.


Honda Struggles With Latest Lineup, Three Little Pigs

On: Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 3:15PM | By: Chris Salamone


Honda Crosstour test 2

After earthquakes and Thai flooding, Japanese automakers have certainly faced an array challenges for one year. So much so that the damage caused by those events can still be seen today in lackluster 2012 model updates and limited supply offerings, a fact which Honda readily admits. However, with Honda’s latest sales report, devout followers may begin to question yet another aspect of sales operations: the model lineup.

What could be wrong with a lineup marked by year-after-year of Car and Driver 10Best Awards, widely recognized as the most reliable and efficient set of cars around? Considering those awards only went to Honda’s traditional fan favorites – Accord, Civic, Fit, Prelude, and so on – the issue rests squarely on the shoulders of Honda’s latest niche additions, aka the three little pigs.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Honda is an amazing company which currently produces some of the best vehicles on the road. But, the Ridgeline, CR-Z and Crosstour are not helping the company’s fiscal bottom line or reputation.


Just How Far Gone Is TOO Far For A Car?

On: Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 2:01PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Lake-find 1925 Bugatti Brescia Type 22 Roadster test 2

You may not have noticed, but in today’s car-selling market there’s nothing hotter than the “barn find.” For whatever reason, people—mostly Europeans—are paying the same price for any car-shaped hunk of corroded scrap that drifts in front of their noses as they used to for a similar vehicle in concours-quality condition.

Now I’m not talking about those weathered-but-all-there “unrestored originals,” as I can completely agree that an all-original as-built car in decent-but-not-perfect condition should always be worth more than the same car “restored” as “they are only original once” and—and this is the crux of the argument—anyone can buy a restored car, so the “survivor” cars are by definition more rare—and they’re getting rarer by the day.

But does that mean that each of the three “cars”—if they could even be called that—I’m about to cover should be worth the fortune paid for them because they are, due to their decrepit condition, “unique”?

Hmmmm…


Toyota Looks To Mimic Nissan For Success

On: Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 10:55AM | By: Chris Salamone


Toyota Half-Annual Results test 2

Dire circumstances call for special measures. Usually big corporations avoid positive competition name dropping, especially with the ever-present specter of shareholder power. However, at Toyota’s basement midterm financial meeting the company made a few intended references to a chief competitor: Nissan. While Toyota has suffered an operating loss of 32.6 billion yen (or $417 million dollars) to date, Nissan has recorded an operating profit of $309.7 billion yen ($3.88 billion dollars) despite similar obstacles in the form of massive earthquakes and Thai flooding.


 

Classic Car Cultist: Subaru BRAT

On: Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 3:13PM | By: Chris Salamone


Subaru Brat test 2

Remember that insanely popular kid from high school? The one with the mullet and cigarette pack carefully rolled into his sleeve? What made him popular was not that outlandish haircut, and certainly not any strange ability to communicate better than the rest of us, nor was it the product of a highly confused and misguided generation. Instead, his claim to fame can only be attributed to the one universally recognized symbol of a ‘top of the food chain’ status. Say hello to the Subaru BRAT.

The BRAT, a clever acronym for Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter, was a car which defied categorization. Part car, part utility truck, Subaru essentially chopped the rear top off of the company’s four-wheel drive station wagon and released the BRAT as a competitor for the then heavily popular Chevrolet El Camino and Ford Ranchero market.


WARNING: Future Genesis Coupe Photoshop Leak!

On: Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 10:04AM | By: Chris Salamone


Photoshopped Image from TheCarBlogger.net test 2

Don’t believe everything you hear… or see, for that matter. Websites all across the blogosphere are announcing an ‘official’ Hyundai Genesis Coupe reveal, which after some due diligence has turned out to be no more than an elegant sham. The sly dogs over at thecarblogger.net managed to captivate the entire auto journalism sphere this morning by releasing the above image.

What threw so many upstanding and credibility-seeking bloggers off? This photoshopped image depicts a vehicle which looks a lot like images we’ve seen of the upcoming 2013 Genesis with a face mask. So really, thecarblogger.net sort of did us all a favor—producing an image we could assemble only in our minds. The only real problem is that Hyundai has already distributed notes rejecting this as an official image.


Who Really Wants To Buy A ZL1?

On: Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 4:11PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Who Really Wants To Buy A ZL1? test 2

So by now you know all about the upcoming Chevy Camaro ZL1. It will be a beast, no doubt. Nearly 600 horsepower and 600-lb-ft or torque out of a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA motor borrowed from its cousin, the CTS-V. A bigger and stronger driveshaft and differential connected to big (and light!) 20-inch wheels shod in massive 305-millimeter wide rear tires (and equally massive fronts) will help this car put all of that power to the pavement. Electric power-steering, huge six-piston 14.6-inch front/four piston 14/4-inch rear Brembo brakes, and the highly touted magnetorheological shocks all serve to help the ZL1 offer a measure of all-around performance and not just hit the market as a one trick pony (car). We also know this ZL1 will definitely not be the sleeper its great, great grandfather was. A big power-dome hood, carbon fiber insert (a la ZR1), a more exaggerated body kit, and shinier (and louder) exhaust all help distinguish its owner as someone with slightly deeper pockets than all of those silly SS and, even worse, RS owners running around. 

But here's the thing; although it's safe to say that we all will rejoice and nearly strain our necks to turn and watch one of these super-Camaros roll by, the big question this writer keeps coming back to is this: "If it were my money, would I spend it on a Camaro?"


R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Holy Van Commercials, Ya Dig?

On: Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 11:12AM | By: Chris Salamone


Custom VW Van test 2

From the A-Team to Scooby Doo, no vehicle is more controversial, yet respected, than the van. They come in many different shapes in sizes, ranging from the Mazda 5 to those monster commercial conversion vans over at Sportsmobile. So diverse are these vans, that a determined rundown of all the individual makes and models would create a list as colorful and ongoing as Herman Cain’s anti-Muslim rhetoric. Instead, we’ll focus on the most important aspect of vanenvy: awesome ads.

Prepare for some of the greatest van commercials of all time.       


Fisker Karma Gets EPA Rated And Gives Us A Few More Reasons Not To Buy It

On: Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 9:28AM | By: Chris Weiss


Fisker Karma Gets EPA Rated And Gives Us A Few More Reasons Not To Buy It test 2

Poor Fisker. Once a highly respectable name in cutting edge green car innovation, the auto start-up is now left trying to peddle an overpriced plug-in that was basically out of date before it was ever available. Two or three years (and several production delays and price increases) ago, a $97,000 plug-in sports-luxury hybrid with 400 hp might have seemed like a really attractive alternative to the Tesla Roadster. But with the equally sporty, cleaner, Tesla Model S ($57,000 to $77,000) preparing to hit the market next year, the Karma just looks like a last-generation green car arriving to the market way too late.

And its final clearance toward that market arrival isn't helping. The EPA tested the car and the finalized numbers fall well short of Fisker's own projections, making the Karma look even more clunky and outdated.


GM Being GM Launches, Then Pulls, Controversial Bicycling Ad

On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 11:22AM | By: Chris Weiss


GM Being GM Launches, Then Pulls, Controversial Bicycling Ad test 2

Remember a couple years ago when GM, once a world leader in the automotive industry, was failing miserably and had to go ask the government for a couple bucks just to stay in business? Well, one of the big problems in Detroit at the time was the lack of forward thinking and self-awareness. In fact, self-awareness and thinking were so absent in Detroit that the minds behind GM thought it was appropriate to fly private jets to Washington to ask for billions of taxpayer dollars to keep the $#!*-show afloat.

Well, after a couple years of making an effort to turn its old fashioned ways around with products like the Chevy Volt, GM is back to doing what it seems to do best: making itself look like an organization full of stodgy good ol' boys completely ignorant to the ways of the world. Luckily, this time, it didn't run the company into the ground. But it did launch a completely out-of-touch ad that it later got cornered into retracting.


Mecum Brought The Weird And Wacky To Its Dallas Sale, Too

On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 2:37PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Photoillustration by author test 2

Life at a modern car auction like Mecum’s October 6-8 Dallas sale doesn’t revolve around ’69 Camaros and 1950s fin-tails alone. In fact, in order to fill out every slot on every planned sales day, the large majority of lots are actually filled with the mildly-collectible, the odd-but-mundane and the lightly-used/late-model “just a” cars.

But hidden among the 80 Camaros and 95 Mustangs and the bazillion other “usual” lots are the truly unique, interesting and just plain weird. They are what my grandfather would call a “hammer without a nail,” but if you have a particularly-bizarre itch that needed scratching—say for the “fastest F450 in the world”—then these might be right up your alley.

So join me for a trip through the seven wackiest lots—actually eight, but two were linked—Mecum had on offer, from a $12,500 Honda to a $333,000 Camaro. They may not be your cup of tea to own, but you can’t say that they’re not “interesting” in their own way(s)…