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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

That new Aveo might've been a bad idea

On: Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 9:32AM | By: John Welch

That new Aveo might've been a bad idea test 1-1

As the final Cash For Clunkers results poured in from dealerships across the country, many participants have developed a case of buyer's remorse.

CNW Purchase Path, of Bandon, Oregon, conducted a survey among 1,000 Cash for Clunkers participants. Of the the thousand polled, 17 percent reported "serious doubts that they should have made the new-vehicle acquisition."

The main reason, obviously, is the new $300 bill showing up every month. Apparently some people didn't take into account the fact that they would have to pay for most of that shiny new Focus Coupe. Shoulduh bought a 20 year old BMW, which probably has all the same options (minus that infernal 'Sync' system), is rear-drive, fairly efficient, has huge aftermarket support and receive no bill every month. I'm just sayin' . . .

Source: Edmunds Inside Line

The Purest Auto-Poetry You Will View This Week

On: Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 2:54PM | By: John Welch

The Purest Auto-Poetry You Will View This Week test 1-1

I promise I will not ride Jeremy Clarkson's coattails on a weekly basis. Even though I'll read his column every week, I leave it up to you do do the same. Sometimes however, the jerk is just so achingly eloquent that I feel like it's my holy duty to bring Mr. Clarkson and his articles to your attention. This is one such time. I give you a quote, and then a link, and I hope you are bright enough to devote five minutes of your Big Mac-gobbling day to read it. If not, well, you're a dummie and I hate you.

Per Clarkson: "Not once did the car pitch or lurch. There was never a shimmy from the rear or a squeal from the tyres. We just went up that smooth, brilliant road with the roof down and me looking at the stars flying by as though we were on the Starship Enterprise’s observation deck. It was, I think, the most enjoyable drive of my life: to be in a car that good, with its V10 bark echoing off the limestone and a bit of Steely Dan on the stereo, doing about a million with a man who truly knows what he’s doing at the wheel. This is what those of a Guardian disposition don’t understand: that a car can be a tool but it can also be so much more. It can be a heart-starter, it can be a drug, it can be a piece of art, it can stir your soul and it can get you from Marbella to Ronda before the bar closes."

If that doesn't stir your soul then either you're dead or illiterate. Period. The entire article can be enjoyed at The Times Online

Ecclestone releases 2010 F1 schedule

On: Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 9:48AM | By: John Welch

Ecclestone releases 2010 F1 schedule test 1-1

The schedule for the 2010 Formula One season was confirmed yesterday. As per the demands of most of the major teams, Formula One will return to North America next year. Most the manufacturer-based teams (Ferrari, Mclaren-Mercedes, Toyota) consider North America to be their most important consumer market. They certainly sell more passenger cars in the United States, for more money, than any other country.

After the debacle that was the 2005 US Grand Prix, interest in F1 supposedly waned in our country. The race was canceled after 2007, and the Canadian Grand Prix canceled after last year. (Robert Kubica won that race, bringing the only win to the BMW-Sauber team. I was pleased).

The F1 circus is going to return to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Contrary to popular rumor the European Grand Prix will be held on the Valencia street circuit, as it was last week. Eh, this track makes for a boring race, but hey, they have a bridge!

Personal beefs aside, the race schedule increases to 18 races from the 17 races scheduled this season. For more info you can visit Speedtv.com.

Audi announces return to Petit LeMans

On: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 2:55PM | By: John Welch

Audi announces return to Petit LeMans test 1-1

. . . All of my wildest dreams are coming true. Last week, Autoshopper reported that Peugeot and ORECA will both contest the Petit LeMans this year, with no immediate word from Audi. Well, that word has been given; Audi will campaign two R15 Diesels in this years Petit.

Following this announcement, the LMP1 field is now so populated with awesome cars and teams that I don't think I can stand it (I'm excited; can you tell?). Along with Team Joest Audi, LMP1 will feature both Peugeot 908s, ORECA's Courage-derived prototype, De Ferran and Patron/Highcroft Acura ARX-02s, as well as the Intersport Lola, the Zytek Hybrid prototype, and several other private entries. Somebody pinch me, I'm dreaming.

Joining the LMP1 fracas are the LMP2 cars, BP Lola/Mazda coupes, as well as the Fernandez Acura ARX-01b. I've already gushed wildly about the GT2 class, featuring BMW, Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, Panoz, the Robinson Ford GT, and many others. This is literally shaping up to be the best Sports Car race, on American soil, ever. If you'll excuse me, I have to go hyperventilate into this paper bag for a minute . . . I wonder if this ridiculous 'Joker Smilex' grin will ever leave my face?

The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Mobil 1 Presents Grand Prix of Mosport at 3:05 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 30. The race will air live on SPEED.

The ALMS release can be found here, on americanlemans.com


Samoans change lanes

On: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 1:46PM | By: John Welch

Samoans change lanes  test 1-1

Here is an interesting story. The island nation of Samoa has enacted legislation to officially change which side of the road commuters drive on. This is the first such major 'right of way' policy change by an industrialized nation since Ghana switched lanes in 1974.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, the Prime Minister of Samoa provides some decent reasoning for the change: Australia and New Zealand, Samoa's two largest neighbors, both drive on the left, a-la Britain and Japan. Until now, Samoa has been a right hand-driving nation, like the U.S. and Germany. In order to benefit from the thousands of used right-hand-drive autos available from its two large and wealthy neighbors, Samoa is altering its 'side of the road', if you will. There is civil unrest, of course, but this seems like the right idea for the country.

This story was taken from The Wall Street Journal

GM procrastination, Re Deux

On: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 1:10PM | By: John Welch

GM procrastination, Re Deux test 1-1

Boy, New GM may have shed plenty of toxic debt, but they've retained every bit of the arrogance they've compiled over the years. In an earlier post we outlined the "Saab/Koenigsegg" deal for you, a financial transaction that is moving at a snail's pace. Well, GM likes to spread the procrastination around. Opel, a long time subsidiary of the General, is currently up for bids. It has been since GM declared bankruptcy, and there have been several bidders. Why hasn't it been sold already? Simple; GM wants to maintain a stake in the company so that it can regain management of Opel should the capital become available. "Hedging their bets," so to speak.

Web Review: Cadillac

On: Mon, Aug 24, 2009 at 5:45PM | By: John Welch

Web Review: Cadillac test 1-1

Last week we examined Porsche's impressive website. This time I'd like to exercise my unrealistic auto fantasy by checking out an American manufacturer. Cadillac, to be specific. If there is an American company producing desirable cars (even after all of Detroit's marketing puffery, this is still debatable), it is Cadillac. The Cadillac V-Series line has produced some interesting offerings, from the original CTS-V to the XLR-V, with its Bvlgari-designed dash and gauge cluster. Everything I have read regarding the new CTS-V makes me a little hawt under the collar. Let's see if Cadillac has done an acceptable job with their web campaign.

We don't want more Buicks—bring on the Caprice!

On: Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 12:01PM | By: John Welch

We don't want more Buicks—bring on the Caprice! test 1-1

New GM, Old GM, same dummies, different titles. First Fritz Henderson blasts my hero, Bob Lutz, publicly, stating that "Lutz may have his opinions, but he works for me." That's pretty pompous right there. Then Henderson turns around and tries to pitch a re-badged Saturn Vue as a Buick. Fortunately NEW GM has to listen to potential customers, who all verbally retched at the idea. Twitter officially killed the Vue-ick ('ick' being the operative suffix there . . .).

Here's the real crime: The G8 chassis is already re-badged as a Chevrolet, for the MIDDLE EASTERN market!! You scumbags!! Introduce a vehicle that I actually drool over, that actually stands its ground against the German competition, that can be made into a Chevy EASILY, but you're still stuck on the SUV/Crossover gravy train. I thought you didn't like 're-badging,' Fritzy? Or does that apply only to cars that aren't completely cost effective to produce? Or are you just laughing in the face of the American public because we are to stupid to notice? It's obvious that no one is going to buy crap, so why talk to us as if we are still falling for the 'Super Rebate' Ponzi scheme of the late Nineties . . . also, why isn't Lutz in charge instead of this 'Washington Puppet' Henderson? Age probably has a lot to do with it; Lutz is in his late seventies . . .

sigh . . . Edmunds accurately explains the Vue-ick debacle . . .

Toyota to boost engine production Stateside

On: Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 10:48AM | By: John Welch

Toyota to boost engine production Stateside test 1-1

In a surprise announcement Toyota has made it clear that they plan on increasing four cylinder engine production at their Huntsville, Alabama plant. This is a surprising announcement considering Toyota completely abandoned its NUMMI plant earlier this month.

The original (rather short) story ('blurb,' if you prefer) comes from The Wall Street Journal

Web Review: Porsche

On: Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 10:47AM | By: John Welch

Web Review: Porsche test 1-1

I like to pretend that I'm rich instead of just good looking. I like to pretend that I am able to wake up in the morning, dine on Eggs Benedict and lobster, then trot off to buy any new car my heart desires. In the process of feeding these irrational fantasies, I tend to peruse manufacturer websites, finding out exactly what ultra-expensive vehicles with what ultra-expensive options are available in my area. Most of these experiences are good; the car companies definitely drop a little cash on their websites. However, sometimes the site is clunky, or the interface doesn't provide an option I'd like, etc. This series of posts will leave no stone unturned in the name of finding the best, most informative, most complete Auto Manufacturer Websites. This week's subject: Porsche.

BMW wins GT2 at Road America

On: Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 3:43PM | By: John Welch

BMW wins GT2 at Road America test 1-1

BMW finally made its way to the top of the ALMS podium this weekend, finally taking their first win in the GT2 category. "Big Deal," you say. "I wanna hear about the Corvettes!" you say. "This Hot Pocket isn't cooked all the way!" I hope you just suck it up and chew the ham/ice/cheese in the middle. Also, I'm a Bimmer Nut Case so they will receive just as much attention on this blog as the Corvettes. Is that Hot Pocket tolerable?