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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

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.

Alfa Romeo 4C To Get Porsche Power?

On: Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 9:07AM | By: Chris Weiss

Alfa Romeo 4C  test 2

Despite a strong denouncement of an Alfa Romeo sale by Sergio Marchionne himself, media reports indicate that Volkswagen is still interested in the brand. And one of the more interesting aspects of the rumors is that Volkswagen would share Porsche engines with its newest brand, should an Alfa deal between Fiat and VW ever come to pass. According to an Autocar report, Porsche would share its new flat-four with Alfa, an engine that is still being developed.

At the Detroit Auto Show in January, Fiat Chairman John Elkann made the automaker's disinterest in selling Alfa Romeo pretty black-and-white: "We would not sell Alfa even if we were offered tons of money."

Tesla Model S Pricing And Availability Announced

On: Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 12:43PM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Model S test 2

The Tesla Model S four-door will base at a price of $49,900 when it hits the North American market in mid-2012, the California-based automaker announced last week. That price is after the $7,500 federal tax credit and will buy drivers the sporty, 160-mile Model S variant.

Unlike the horsepower and speed that you expect pay more for in gas vehicles, buyers will have to pony up for increased range, and it won't come cheap. For an extra 70 miles worth of range, you'll be paying an extra 10 grand: the 230-mile-rated Model S will cost $59,900. No bulk discounts here.

Fast Cars Aren't Always Your Friend: McLaren Chief Loses License

On: Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 9:34AM | By: Chris Weiss

Fast Cars Aren't Always Your Friend: McLaren Chief Loses License test 1-1

When you lead a company with a history of building some of the fastest, most exotic supercars in the world, there's a pretty strong chance that you like to drive fast. But when you're not on a testing track, you should probably temper the need for speed just enough to keep your driving privileges. Otherwise, you'll end up like 63-year-old McLaren CEO Ron Dennis, who recently lost his U.K. driving privileges after pleading guilty of running a red light.


Spied At The Ring: BMW M3 Pickup, Huh?

On: Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 8:57AM | By: Chris Salamone

BMW M3 Pickup test 2

If you haven’t already collapsed from shock, please sit down. These images may cause confusion. This seemingly El Camino-esque BMW was spotted kicking off the new testing season at Germany’s Nurburgring. For those not in the know, Nurburgring, aka ‘The Ring’, is nearly 18 miles in length and wraps around 73 turns. The Ring is the proving ground for the world’s greatest super cars, including the Porsche GT2 and, in this instance, a pickup version of some potentially future BMW M3 model. Information remains scarce, but hopefully updates are to come.

Lamborghini Aventador To Have Similar Production Run As Murcielago

On: Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 6:00PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lamborghini Aventador test 2

In case you were wondering just how many $380,000 Aventador LP700-4 models Lamborghini plans to build, the answer—at least at the moment—is around 4,000, putting the planned production run right in line with the Aventador's predecessor. According to Lamborghini numbers, 4,099 Murcielago models were built before the flagship was retired last year. Murcielago production began in 2001 and ran for nearly a decade, winding down in May of 2010.

Lamborghini sources told Autocar that the molds that are used to craft the carbon fiber tub for the Aventador are good for 500 uses each. And the magazine discovered that Lamborghini has budgeted for eight molds. With a little, quick math, it's easy to deduct that Lamborghini is planning on a production run comparable to that of the Murcielago.

Redesigned FT-86 II Addresses Drivers' Complaints

On: Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 4:52PM | By: Chris Weiss

FT-86 II test 2

Earlier this month in Geneva, we saw what Toyota refers to as the "clearest indication yet as to the final design of Toyota's next sports car," a second iteration of the FT-86 sports coupe developed with the help of Subaru. While it was quite clear that the FT-86 II had gotten some significant modifications from the original FT-86, a concept launched a year and a half ago at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, it wasn't exactly clear why those design changes were instituted.

In a conversation with Autocar, Toyota design manager Akihiro Nagaya explained that the changes were made to improve driving dynamics. They were a direct result of driver feedback.

Mini Rocketman Concept to Influence Future Models

On: Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 9:48AM | By: Chris Weiss

Mini Rocketman Concept test 2

Don't expect to see the Union Jack-adorned roof on the road, but Mini is planning on siphoning some of the construction and technological elements of its recent Rocketman concept into its production line. The return to small previewed by the Rocketman concept will be a theme that appears in new production models over the next several years.

The design language of the Rocketman is expected to influence new coupe and convertible models that will debut in 2013.

VW Leaning Toward Bulli Microbus Production

On: Sat, Mar 12, 2011 at 11:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

VW Leaning Toward Bulli Microbus Production  test 1-1

In 2001, Volkswagen presented the Microbus concept, which it had planned to bring to production at the time. Unfortunately, production plans were scrapped earlier in the decade and it took years before VW gave it a second try with the Bulli concept, released earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show. Also unfortunate, Volkswagen's latest Microbus concept steps away from the classic design in resituating the engine to the front, a move that changes not only the driving dynamics, but also the look of the bus. Still, a Bulli is better than no bus at all.

And it looks like VW will inject some flavor into the van market. According to media reports, the German automaker is planning to bring the Bulli to market.

VW Microbus Rides Again, On Electrons

On: Fri, Mar 11, 2011 at 10:02AM | By: Chris Weiss

VW Bulli Microbus Concept  test 2

What exciting news for the auto world. As part of its Geneva presence, Volkswagen presented an all-new Microbus concept. Taking off on the Microbus Concept VW presented in 2001, the reinvented icon does its hippie, tree-hugging roots proud: it tosses the gas engine in favor of an electric motor.

The concept is called the Bulli, a name that represents Germany's nickname for the original Transporter buses, which were popularly called Microbuses in the U.S.

Bentley Nixing Entry Level Model, Leaning Toward Other Options

On: Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 5:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bentley Nixing Entry Level Model, Leaning Toward Other Options test 1-1

Rumors of new Bentley models have been surfacing for months now and the latest indicates that Crewe has no plans of watering its ultra-premium line down with a sub-Continental, entry-level model. Instead, Bentley will work within its current price range to offer something new but equally high-performing and luxurious. What exactly that will be remains a mystery, but there are several possibilities.