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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Toyota and Honda Extend Shutdowns Through This Week, Prices To Rise

On: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 9:27AM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota and Honda Extend Shutdowns test 2

Two of Japan's Big 3 have extended production shutdowns until this weekend, in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami events that ravaged Japan on March 11. Both companies are experiencing issues with parts supplies and have been forced into extending shutdowns.

Honda said yesterday that it will extend the shutdown of two auto plants and a motorcycle plant until March 27. Toyota extended its shutdown until March 26.

General Motors Forced To Shut Down Plants

On: Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 4:01PM | By: Chris Weiss

General Motors Forced To Shut Down Plants  test 1-1

It's no secret that the Japanese auto industry has been reeling from the earthquake that hit the nation more than a week ago. All of Japan's major automakers have been forced to shut down certain operations, and some shut-downs will continue until later this week, if not longer. With a ravaged parts supply chain, damaged power supply network, and disrupted transportation infrastructure, Japan's auto industry may not be completely back on track for months to come.

But Japan's auto industry isn't the only one that's being affected. Automakers here in the States rely on a list of parts from Japanese manufacturers, and are starting to feel the effects. GM has been forced to shut down two plants here in the U.S. and may shut down more before the story is over.

Koenigsegg Details Specs Of The Agera R

On: Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 2:44PM | By: Chris Weiss

Koenigsegg Agera R  test 2

We learned just about all there was to know about the Koenigsegg Agera R back at the Geneva Motor Show: 5.0-liter twin turbo V8 worth 1,115 hp and 885 lb-ft, 2,926 lbs. worth of  weight, 273 mph "theoretical top speed", and custom gear from Thule and ski-maker Extrem for a special winter package. We were impressed.

What we didn't learn, however, was nearly as important as what we did. Koenigsegg offered the very shifty 273-mph speed, but didn't say a word about acceleration or other performance specs. This week, it's come clean.

1,000-MPH Car Nearing Testing Phase

On: Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 5:24PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bloodhound SSC test 2

When it comes to production cars and speed, the 268-mph Bugatti Veyron Super Sport reigns supreme. But, if you're willing to invest millions toward building a massive, bullet-shaped vessel powered by a series of F1, jet, and rocket engines, then you're looking at numbers surpassing three times the speed of the Bugatti Veyron. The current absolute land speed record—you know the kind that's achieved on dried salt flats, as opposed to paved tracks—stands at just over 763 mph. But an ambitious team plans to best that by more than the world-record speed of the Veyron SS. The Bloodhound SSC has an estimated top speed of 1,050 mph, and it is nearing testing.


Renault To Produce DeZir Roadster Under New 'Renaultsport' Brand

On: Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 8:56AM | By: Chris Weiss

Renault  DeZir Roadster test 2

Generally speaking, I'm not that interested in Renault. Or Peugeot or Citroen, for that matter. Not because of some dumb, misguided disdain for the French, but simply because I know that I won't be able to buy one here in the States. Or see one on the road for that matter. So why get attached?

But the DeZir concept that launched at last year's Paris Motor Show was just too fetching to ignore. Smooth curves. Can't-miss red paint job, Electric powertrain and Kevlar body panels. It refused to be missed.

Volkswagen-Porsche Merger Faces Major Hurdles

On: Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 4:29PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen-Porsche Merger Faces Major Hurdles  test 2

Things have been going along swimmingly between Porsche and Volkswagen—at least as swimmingly as they can when you play a game of corporate chicken, like Volkswagen and Porsche did for years. Porsche has assumed a new role developing large-sedan and sports-car architecture for the VW Group—a role that it pulled out from under less contentious VW brand Audi—and all appears to be going smoothly toward Volkswagen's goal of becoming the world's largest automaker by 2018.

At least that's what it looks like from the outside looking in. According to a recent Reuters report, Volkswagen's merger with Porsche still faces significant hurdles—hurdles that threaten the future of the merger.

Enough Already! Chrysler Suing Local Clothing Company Over Imported From Detroit

On: Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 12:39PM | By: Chris Weiss

Imported From Detroit test 2

Chrysler has hit a hiccup in its otherwise seamless "Imported from Detroit" ad campaign. It seems like Chrysler isn't the only one in the city that wants to capitalize on the message. The automaker has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Detroit against Pure Detroit, a local clothing manufacturer. According to the suit, Pure used the "Imported From Detroit" slogan on its own t-shirts without any permission or licensing deal from Chrysler.

An excerpt from the lawsuit reads: "Upon seeing Chrysler's stunning ad, capped off by the powerful tagline, defendants immediately and opportunistically sought to usurp Chrysler's goodwill and exploit Chrysler's investment for themselves. They both copied Chrysler's tagline exactly and used it on some of the very goods for which Chrysler had filed a trademark application, clothing."

Tata To Run $7 or $8K in U.S.

On: Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 10:50AM | By: Chris Weiss

Tata Nano test 2

If and when Indian automaker Tata succeeds in bringing the world's cheapest car to the United States, it won't be so cheap anymore, at least not when compared with its pricing in India. The tiny, four-seat Nano earned the rank of world's cheapest car when it debuted in 2008. In India, it sells for 100,000 rupees, which roughly equates to $2,000. Pretty damn cheap for a car. However, if the Nano is exported to the United States, as is Tata's plan, the price is likely to increase nearly fourfold, diminishing some of its appeal and buzz.

Porsche Details Cajun Production

On: Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 4:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche Cajun Rendering test 2

Porsche has announced plans to build the "Cajun" crossover at the same Leipzig plant that is currently responsible for both the Cayenne and the Panamera. Expansion on the plant will begin in late 2011 and is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.

Porsche chairman Matthias Mueller said in a statement: "During the production of the Cayenne and the Panamera, our Leipzig plant has impressively proved that it can produce premium vehicles of highest quality.The decision in favor of this location is proof of our trust in the skills and qualifications of our Leipzig associates, and at the same time another contribution to the economic advancement of the region."

Godzilla Rattled: 2012 GT-R Shipments Delayed By Earthquake

On: Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 1:41PM | By: Chris Weiss

2012 Nissan GT-R  test 2

What's more powerful than a massive, fire-breathing lizard? Mother Nature herself. Nissan has told the media that it will be forced to delay shipments of the new GT-R, the bang-for-the-buck supercar nicknamed after Japan's most famous reptile, due to the massive earthquake that has left the island nation in tatters. The Tochigi Plant where the GT-R is manufactured is one of six Nissan plants that were shut down by the quake. Production has been suspended until this Friday.

To The Bottom Of The Problem: NHTSA To Investigate Seat Warmer Hazards

On: Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 9:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

Seat Warmer Hazards  test 2

Seat heaters are one of those luxurious, little options that you invest in if your average year includes numerous mornings of scraping frost off your windshield and warming your car via remote start. You could live without them, but they're a nice little comfort that takes the chill out of those icy, leather seats.

But, there may be a problem with your backside pampering. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA ) is investigating whether seat heaters pose a significant threat of burning your cheeks. If so, expect to see a rash of seat-warmer recalls over the next few years.