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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Nissan To Ramp Up Leaf Distribution

On: Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 9:47AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan To Ramp Up Leaf Distribution test 1-1

The Nissan Leaf has gotten off to quite a sluggish start since hitting the market late last year. Nissan has sold only about 500 Leafs through March in the United States, and despite easily meeting its goal of 20,000 reservations last year, Nissan has found actual sales more difficult to fulfill, with roughly 40 percent of reservees moving forward with purchase.

Nissan indicated this week that it doesn't plan to sit idly by and let the story change from "world's first mass-produced electric vehicle" to "limited-range electric that no one wants to buy." The company plans to ramp up distribution and sales throughout the rest of 2011.

Next-Gen Ferrari Enzo Drawing Influence From Bugatti Veyron

On: Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 10:43AM | By: Chris Weiss

Next-Gen Ferrari Enzo test 2

Veyron. Enzo. Few two-syllable words bear greater weight in the automotive world than those two. So it's quite intriguing to hear that the former has influenced the latter. According to an Autocar report, Ferrari has drawn influence from the Bugatti Veyron in developing its next-generation Enzo flagship.

We got word of the Enzo revival during a Fiat presentation last year. Fiat outlined the next several years in Maranello, and among the planned new models sat the most beautiful of all—the Enzo, which is scheduled for a 2012/2013 debut.

Land Rover Starts Work On A New Defender

On: Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 4:19PM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover Starts Work On a New Defender  test 2

While Land Rover has been watering itself down a little of late with offerings like the Evoque three- and five-doors, it still plans to live up to its rough-and-ready image in the future. In fact, the company plans to have products in the three SUV segments: luxury, leisure, and utility.

At the helm of the utility segment will be a new version of the company's Defender, its most hardcore, off-road-ready offering. Land Rover has begun work on a variety of body styles and intends to introduce the first of the new series within two to three years.

Despite Ridiculous Gas Prices, Toyota Prius Interest Declines

On: Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 2:55PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota Prius Interest Declines  test 2

Last week, survey results from research firm TNS demonstrated how public views on certain brands affected (or not affected but thought to be affected) by the natural disasters in Japan were leading consumers away from Japanese brands like Toyota and Honda. Consumers were wary of parts shortages and worried that prices would rise too much when compared with vehicles not so directly affected.

Well, of course, such ruminations are bound to extend beyond brands; people buy models, not brands, after all. According to some market research by Edmunds, consumers are starting to look away from the Toyota Prius, even as gas prices rise to historic levels.


Great(er) Roller's Ghost!

On: Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 10:04AM | By: Andrew W Davis

2012 Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase test 2

OK, folks, it's time to drag out your conversion charts. Yes, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has unveiled what it terms its "sixth new model," the 2012 Ghost Extended Wheelbase. Bet you can't guess what it is! Fine. The name pretty much gives away the game. But if there's one thing people like more than a Rolls-Royce it's more of one, and in this way, the stretch Ghost gets top marks.

Sure, it's Rolls' "economy" model, but that's like saying Texas is the low-price Alaska. At 5,399 mm the "regular” Ghost—as if there is such a thing considering  R-R’s stance that every vehicle they make is unique—isn’t exactly short on anything, but the company decided that what their baby elephant needed was an additional 170 mm in its length and wheelbase.

[Alright… you can skip your grumbling. From now on I’ll switch to ‘Murrican measurements. But I’m still going to use “litre” and there’s nothing you can do about it.]

Let’s see, that means Rolls-Royce is giving you an additional 6.69” with every purchase of Ghost Long Wheelbase, for a total of 18-plus feet of Ghostly goodness! And that’s just what the (Asia Pacific) doctor—if they’re paid anything like ours—ordered.

Potency Without Sacrifice: 2012 CTS Revealed

On: Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 9:46AM | By: Chris Salamone

2012 Cadillac CTS  test 2

Aside from living in San Diego, nothing says classy like driving a Cadillac. For 2012, Cadillac is making moderate changes to the CTS intended to boost horsepower and general cosmetics. A new grille showcases premium finishes with mesh and frame, and, of course, boasts the robust Cadillac Wreath & Crest logo.

The 2012 CTS will also feature a Touring Package which incorporates an exclusive Touring grille with a darker finish, larger wheels, metal petals, and dark wood and suede interior accents. But the critical feature of the 2012 CTS updates is the new 3.6L V-6 which is lighter and more efficient. Although fuel economy remains the same… horsepower goes up. That’s what we call a win-win.

California Lawmakers Aim To Corral Recalled Rentals

On: Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 11:37AM | By: Andrew W Davis

California Lawmakers Aim To Corral Recalled Rentals test 1-1

So, here you are, sitting behind the wheel of a clean, freshly-rented automobile. You checked, initialed, and signed the form in all the right places and the bright and shiny young person handed you the key you’re about to use to bring this car-of-no-repute to life.

It looks new. Well, newer than the heap you usually drive. It seems clean there in the cabin, though it does smell faintly of Lysol and plastic. It started right away, too, and it seems all the lights and gauges and chiming-things are awake and ready to go. [You would be, too, except you can’t find the emergency brake release handle. After a few seconds of frantic pantomime in their direction, that shiny young person comes running back to point out the large and clearly marked handle you should’ve noticed.]

Toyota To Continue 50-Percent Production Until June

On: Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 10:39AM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota To Continue 50-Percent Production Until June  test 2

Toyota restarted production at its 18 Japanese facilities as of this past Monday. While that was good news, the bad news was that it was going to run at only 50 percent of its usual production capacity. Later in the week, Toyota announced that it will continue work at 50 percent capacity until at least June 3.

American Consumers Backing Off Japanese, Korean Vehicles

On: Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 7:47AM | By: Chris Weiss

American Consumers Backing Off Japanese, Korean Vehicles test 1-1

The saying that "image is everything" is rarely off the mark. In the case of the Japanese auto industry, it's that very principle that's starting to allow the carriage to lead the horse.

After suffering a devastating trio of disasters early last month, the Japanese auto industry has been having well publicized struggles in procuring automotive parts and keeping production running on schedule. There have been numerous shutdowns and slowdowns, and problems are expected to continue for months to come.

As if those direct problems weren't enough, now Japanese automakers face a rather serious indirect problem: U.S. consumers are backing off of Japanese vehicles because of all the news that they're reading about parts shortages, production slowdowns, and rising prices.

First Image of 2013 Dodge Viper... Errr... Not Really

On: Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 4:38PM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Dodge Viper test 2

In preparation of its upcoming 2013 Viper, Dodge has released a single teaser image of the car doing some snow testing. Unfortunately, the test car pictured is nothing more than a 2010 Viper that Dodge is using to test some new equipment. So, while reports promise that the 2013 Viper will be more aggressive, we're still left looking at the same ol'  Viper we've come to know and love.

Toyota FT86 II Gets Hard Figures

On: Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 12:38PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota FT86 II Gets Hard Figures test 1-1

The Toyota FT86 II has been around for a year and a half, but has been a rather loose, conceptual shell of an eventual production car. We've seen two separate iterations of the concept, but Toyota still has much work to do before releasing the final design later this year. During that year and a half since the first FT 86 debuted at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota has been silent on hard figures like the car's output and weight.

However, that all changed this week; Autocar gleaned a number of key details from Toyota sources, providing us with a much fuller picture of what the FT86 can do.