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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Audi Building A9 Sports Coupe, May Share Platform With Lamborghini Estoque

On: Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 2:03PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Building A9 Sports Coupe, May Share Platform With Lamborghini Estoque test 1-1

A report out of Autocar last week points to the possibility of a new, range-topping, sporty Audi four-door coupe: the A9. The car would serve as a high-end, sports alternative to the A8 and would be positioned against competitors like the Porsche Panamera and Mercedes-Benz CL. While the potential of an A9 is good news of and in itself, it also brings some exciting implications for another VW brand: Lamborghini.

According to the report, Audi hasn't decided on the car and executives are still working up a business case for the model. One of the elements of that business case is the potential to share much of the platform—namely the aluminium spaceframe and parts of the of the modular longitudinal architecture—with Lamborghini for a sedan based on the Estoque concept.

NAIAS: Big Mouth Styling Comes To Detroit

On: Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 1:41PM | By: John Welch

Chevrolet Sonic test 2

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Mitsubishi's open nostriled schnoz or Audi's? One could argue that Aston Martin, or even Rolls Royce started this trend. I wanted to write a no-nonsense info article about all the new fangled curiosities circling the floor of the COBO Center, but after seeing my subjects lined up next to each other, I am unable to shake the creeping fear that gaping grilles are 'in' and here to stay.

Off the top of my head I can think of no less than nine new models or concept cars that are sporting rhinoplasty. The Chrysler 300, Ford C-Max, Ford Vertek, Mini Paceman, Honda Civic, Hyundai Curb, Toyota Prius C, The Mercedes SLS E-Cell (but all SLS models count), and the Chevy Sonic all feature grille work that is large, wide and ornamental. Not to mention the Audi A6 and all of its variants as well as the E-Tron. Granted, most of these examples are evolutions of previous design themes, but they were less exaggerated in their original flavors. These are the hood ornaments of the 21st Century, if you will.

The 2011 NAIAS played host to a smorgasbord of new technology, concept weirdness, and delightful presentations, but I was too busy staring at gorgeous, hook-nose free debutantes, such as the Porsche 918 RSR (they've riced it out already?!) and Cadillac CTS-V Coupe SCCA. Expect full write ups on both cars. We will feature coverage arranged by region throughout the week, but for now let's explore the besnouted new concepts and models on the NAIAS floor.

Ferrari Doubles Sales In China

On: Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari Doubles Sales In China test 1-1

In announcing its sales numbers for 2010, Ferrari indicated that year-over-year sales doubled in China to nearly 300 models. Ferrari, which has sold cars in China for only six years, now considers the country one of its top 5 international markets (when Hong Kong and Taiwan sales are included). China's consumption of premium sports and luxury cars is a reminder of the growing economic position of the country .

Ferrari's numbers mimic numbers of other premium brands. Last month, the Detroit News reported that Germany luxury car sales in China were up by 40 percent in 2010. Increased global demand, of which China was the largest part, inspired German automakers like BMW and Mercedes to shorten holiday breaks and keep the assembly lines running. Audi led the way in China's luxury car explosion.

Last Mercury Rolls Off The Line Without Fanfare

On: Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 11:46PM | By: Chris Weiss

Last Mercury Rolls Off The Line Without Fanfare test 1-1

Consider Mercury officially gone. The very last Mercury ever—a white 2011 Grand Marquis commissioned by a fleet customer—rolled off of the assembly plant in St. Thomas, Ontario  on the morning of January 4. The sad, lonely Mercury made its way out of the factory with little acknowledgement or fanfare.


Chevy and Nissan Release EV Sales Numbers

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 6:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy and Nissan Release EV Sales Numbers test 1-1

After more than a year of hype, the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf finally hit the market last month. And this week, the first-month sales numbers for the respective vehicles are out. As you'd probably expect, the numbers aren't exactly staggering, with less than a month on the market, but they do represent the first numbers for mass-produced EVs.

Hyundai Sonota Hybrid Travels 2,000 Miles Across U.S. on Two Tanks of Gas

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:07AM | By: Chris Weiss

Hyundai Sonota Hybrid Travels 2,000 Miles Across U.S. on Two Tanks of Gas test 1-1

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has some serious travel and green accomplishments under its belt. A cross-country drive by Hyundai just wrapped up, and the Sonata Hybrid made it across the southern U.S. on just two tanks of gas. If you plan to replicate the accomplishment in your own Sonata, you should note that Hyundai employed the help and expertise of hypermiler Wayne Gerdes, so your mileage will undoubtedly vary.

Robotic Valet Parking On Its Way In Chicago

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:01AM | By: Chris Weiss

Robotic Valet Parking On Its Way In Chicago  test 1-1

Robots parking cars? Even taking into consideration how much technology has advanced over the past couple decades, that still sounds like pure fantasy. It also sounds like pure awesome.

Unfortunately for sci-fi and futuristic cartoon fans, the Green Park Eco Garage in Chicago isn't nearly as cool as human-like robotic servants taking your keys and manually parking your car. Instead, the robotic part refers to an automated parking system that helps cram double the number of cars into a confined city space.

Brave New Year: Lincoln Gets Mercury's Ad Budget

On: Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 6:29PM | By: Chris Weiss

Brave New Year: Lincoln Gets Mercury's Ad Budget  test 1-1

We're sorry to tell you that 2011 is going to mean more men on your television screen. At least in terms of Ford advertising. With Mercury gone, Ford will work toward its goal of pushing its smaller lineup by transfering Mercury's ad budget over to Lincoln. And that means we're going to be seeing less of the sexy Jill Wagner, the old Mercury spokeswoman, and more of Mad Men's John Slattery.

Chrysler Closes The Old Year with New Recalls

On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 11:22AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Dodge (sic) Ram test 2

It would appear to the outside observer that for every positive step Chrysler makes on the road to its recovery, there is another step backwards causing a bump in that road. Chrysler has made great strides on the comeback trail considering the company was on the brink of total financial ruin just a year ago. Of course, that doesn’t mean they are completely out of the woods yet. Before closing out the year and saying good-bye to 2010, Chrysler needed to issue a bunch of recalls on several models of the company's vehicles.

German Luxury Cars In High Demand...But Not In Germany

On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 10:55AM | By: Chris Weiss

German Luxury Cars In High Demand...But Not In Germany test 1-1

In the otherwise calm and bright time of year known both here and across the Atlantic as the Christmas season, German auto plants are pumping cars out faster than ever, thanks to an increased global demand for models from companies like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. Growing markets in countries like the U.S., China, and Brazil have the big, German luxury carmakers working overtime this holiday season.

Gas Prices To Hit $5, Dealers Looking To Dump SUVs

On: Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 3:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

Gas Prices To Hit $5, Dealers Looking To Dump SUVs test 1-1

We all know that SUVs are entirely impractical for much of the country. They're huge, inefficient, expensive to buy, more expensive to own, and not really that necessary for average driving. Yet people continue to buy them. According to Kelley Blue Book analyst Alec Gutierrez, SUV sales have dropped by only 1 percent since the spring of 2008—the last time that we experienced a major gas price hike.

One would think that with the high gas prices over the past few years, combined with a growing sense of collective, environmental responsibility, SUV sales would be tanking by the double digits by now. While that's not happening yet, new predictions that gas prices could soar as high as $5 per gallon within two years have consumers and dealers rethinking their SUV strategies.