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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

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.

New Details On Porsche 918

On: Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 9:49AM | By: Chris Weiss

New Details On Porsche 918 test 1-1

The Porsche 918 Spyder is one of the most exciting cars on the horizon and we're following the story closely. Thanks to the leak of an internal dealership document, we have some new details to report. Actually, they're mostly just confirmations of existing details—but hey, it's the Porsche 918 Spyder; all news is good news.

The document, which was given to 'World Car Fans' by an anonymous source, confirms that the Porsche 918 Spyder will be using the same powertrain that it had when it debuted at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show: a 500-hp 4.0-liter V8 engine assisted by two electric motors worth a combined 218-hp. A seven-speed PDK takes on gear control.

Alfa Romeo's U.S. Launch Pushed Back to 2013

On: Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 1:16PM | By: Chris Weiss

Alfa Romeo 4c test 2

The U.S. is about to get a little more European over the next few years. Fiat Group vehicles from Alfa Romeo and Fiat itself are poised to start returning to our highways this year and next. Or they were, in the case of Alfa Romeo. Originally planned for a late-2012 U.S. launch, Alfa cars like the Giulia sedan and station wagon are now unlikely to make it here before mid-2013, according to an Automotive News report.

Nissan Leafs Have Problems Starting... And Not Just Because The Electricity's Drained

On: Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 9:11AM | By: Chris Weiss

Some Nissan Leafs Have Problems Starting test 2

Well, this isn't good news for Nissan. After getting off to a rather sluggish start in terms of sales, the Leaf, Nissan's much-hyped electric vehicle, has been experiencing problems with starting. Those few customers who have bought the Leaf have reported that it sometimes fails to start. Nissan announced that it is launching an official probe into the matter.

Nissan says that the problem is limited to a select number of Leaf models and that it is caused by a sensor in the air conditioning unit. Models in both the U.S. and Japan have experienced problems.


Ferrari 599 Successor To Be Lighter, More Powerful (+ Spy Video)

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 4:44PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari 599 Successor test 2

Now that the Ferrari FF has been detailed, photographed, and filmed, auto-world rumors are turning to the next great Prancing Horse: the 599 GTB successor. According to a new report, Ferrari's top dog will get more bite in the way of a retuned engine. It will also lose some weight.

As told by an Autocar report, the next-gen 599, which is codenamed F152, will get upwards of 700-hp, a marked increase over the 599's 612-hp, an increase that will bring Ferrari in line with the likes of the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 and the Pagani Huayra. If you look at the FF's recent jump to 651-hp—up from 533-hp in the 612 Scaglietti—it's not hard to believe that Ferrari will be looking at 700 + for the 599 successor. They'll achieve that with a tuned version of the FF's 6.3-liter V12.

BMW Cars To Feature Smarter Automatic Transmissions

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 4:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW Cars To Feature Smarter Automatic Transmissions  test 2

If recent BMW concepts and technologies are any indication, the cars of the future are going to drive themselves with ease. In Geneva earlier this year, BMW presented the Vision ConnectedDrive, a concept designed to showcase technologies such as an intuitive information system with 3D heads-up display and advanced vehicle sensor systems. A new BMW component shows how the German luxury company will use technology to redefine automatic transmissions.

Today's automatic transmissions upshift and downshift through gears based on on-board computers and/or valves. The process can be less smooth and efficient than manual shifting because the automatic transmission does not have the same feel for the road as the driver.

Diesel Engines And V8s Headed To Jeep?

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 11:27AM | By: Chris Weiss

Diesel Engines and V8s Headed To Jeep test 2

Carmakers just love to jump the gun, don't they? You would have thought that Chrysler could have waited a week or two to show off its special edition, Mopar-ized Jeeps. After all, the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab is really the kind of place where people interested in hardcore, off-road-ready Jeeps tend to congregate.

But, alas, Chrysler couldn't quite hold it to the finish line and did a full sneak-peek event in Auburn Hills, where you won't likely see many people actually driving big-tired, stripped-down rock crawlers. While the special editions were interesting to look at, they're not bound for production and are basically showpieces designed to highlight what Mopar parts can do. More interesting were some comments by Jeep chief Mike Manley that point to some possible new engine options in Jeep's future.

Toyota To Resume Production Next Week

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 10:39AM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota To Resume Production test 2

After more than a month of production problems caused by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor events of last month, Toyota is poised to restart production. It announced last week that it will begin production at all of its 18 Japanese plants on Monday April 18. The company will not be up to full capacity, however, and plans to run at only 50 percent capacity through April 27.

After April 27, Toyota will enter its normal spring break period. It has not decided how production will run after the spring break ends on May 9 and plans to make that decision a little closer to that date. The company will reassess its parts supplies and decide how to proceed with production.

Jeep Pickup Is Here... Kind Of

On: Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 4:19PM | By: Chris Weiss

NuKizer 715 test 2

Rumors of a pickup version of the Jeep Wrangler have been surfacing for years. Chrysler is still thought to be considering the model and only stoked the flames when it introduced a Mopar special edition called the NuKizer 715 at last year's Easter Jeep Safari. Fiat/Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne was later quoted as strongly supporting that model for production, and the jeep/off-road world has waited for official word ever since.

Well, we now have an official Jeep pickup. Only it's not a production Wrangler pickup, but an aftermarket conversion kit offered by Mopar. Still, it's a step in the right direction.

Hats Off To Land Rover In Sierra Leone

On: Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 10:44AM | By: Chris Salamone

Hats Off To Land Rover In Sierra Leone test 1-1

After eleven years of ‘official’ civil war and twenty years of physical and economic devastation, residents of Sierra Leone hope to build a brighter future. Land Rover is working to make that happen by supporting the Red Cross in its mission to aid people and communities in Sierra Leone to recover and create a better environment for all.

The eleven-year conflict claimed over 50,000 lives, destroyed communities, and left individuals and families physically and emotionally traumatized. Of particular interest are the children. The Red Cross estimates that nearly 17,000 kids have fought as child soldiers, even from the ripe age of six. These kids have witnessed and experienced unspeakable atrocities, but through the Child Advocacy and Rehabilitation (CAR) program they have a second chance to change their lives forever.

Pagani Names Two U.S. Dealers

On: Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 3:54PM | By: Chris Weiss

Pagani Huayra test 2

While the biggest story of the Pagani Huayra is the car itself (and maybe that weird name), a pretty large subplot is that the 700-hp supercar will be the first Pagani available in the United States. As such, Pagani will obviously need to set up a dealership network where the uber-rich can go to browse and order the $1.4 million coupe. Earlier this week, Pagani announced its first two U.S. dealerships.