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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

BMW Opens Its First i Store, Shows Updated i3 Concept

On: Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 9:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW Opens Its First i Store, Shows Updated i3 Concept test 2

Because electric vehicles have one foot (or set of wheels) in the technology sector and the other in the automotive sector, electric automakers like Tesla (which actually hired a former Apple retail exec) have taken inspiration from tech companies (particularly Apple) in redefining the consumer experience. Instead of the stereotypical big car lot on the side of the highway, Tesla and co. use small, interactive, slickly designed urban showrooms to highlight their cars. The latest example is BMW's new i Store, which opened this month on Park Lane in London.

BMW says that its network of i Stores will be part of a restructured sales strategy. The multi-channel approach, which will be available in selected markets (read: wealthy cities), will include a mobile sales team, a Customer Interaction Centre (CIC) and an Internet sales hub. Customers can utilize one of the channels or switch between them at any point in the process.

Smart USA Topples Challenger In Twitter Tussle

On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 4:36PM | By: Chris Salamone

Smart USA Topples Challenger In Twitter Tussle test 2

Just yesterday, the hawk-eyed folks at Jalopnik spotted a Twitter slugmatch which validated everything we’ve learned from Jay-Z, Kanye West and 50 Cent over the years – when someone makes a polite, but witty critique about you…the best option is to respond with a less polite, but more witty comment.

The tussle began when Clayton Hove, a Twitter user and pseudo-ad critic, felt compelled to poke fun at the Smart Car. To his delight, and surprise, Smart USA responded with a complicated mathematical analysis and handy infographic. Hove, as it would turn out, merely brought a tweet to a Calculus BC fight.

BMW Recalls 2,642 New X5 And X6 Models

On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 2:49PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

BMW Recalls 2,642 New X5 And X6 Models test 2

Well, you finally made it! You got that brand new BMW you've always wanted! Congratulations! However, before you start showing off that new BMW SUV, you may want to take a ride back to the dealership.  That is, if you are one of the 2,642 unlucky folks who picked up a 2012 X5/X6 or a 2013 X6 equipped with a diesel engine you may have already noticed or smelled some leaking power steering fluid.

Unfortunately, because of a mistake made during production, the steering gear surface was machined improperly, causing the leak. The bigger issue is that if that fluid comes in contact exhaust manifolds it could catch fire -- ruining that brand new Bimmer pretty quickly.

Read on for the full report, and how to contact BMW to schedule your free fix.

Ford Still Getting Dragged Down By MyFord Touch

On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 1:04PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Still Getting Dragged Down By MyFord Touch test 2

If you're wondering why nearly every automaker in the industry is turning to the Apple iPhone for its in-vehicle electronics, it could have something to do with the fact that developing car electronics in house is a thankless task. The MyFord Touch system is one of the more advanced systems out there, but it seems to be getting nothing but complaints. Last year, Ford's slide in major studies like the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study and Consumer Reports Reliability Study were largely attributed to MyFord Touch and Sync problems. Despite issuing an update that was supposed to solve those woes, Ford is still feeling the effects.

Ford customers continue to complain about infotainment complications in this year's Initial Quality Study. Before the study was released on Wednesday, Ford said that it anticipated performing about as poorly as last summer, when it fell from 5th to 23rd, dropping below the industry average. That drop was attributed nearly exclusively to hiccups with the infotainment technology.


Chevy Sonic And Chevy Spark To Be First Cars With Apple Siri Tech

On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 12:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Sonic And Chevy Spark To Be First Cars With Apple Siri Tech test 2

At its World Wide Developers Conference last week, Apple teased the upcoming Siri Eyes Free integration for automobiles. The tech giant didn't go into much detail about the system or when it will appear, but it did provide a list of nine automakers that will integrate it. That left us wondering: What car will get it first? If a new report is to be believed, the answer may be the Chevy Spark and/or Chevy Sonic.

GM Authority reports that the Spark and Sonic will be the first GM vehicles to integrate the new technology. The timing of the release is still unclear, but the blog cites a GM media representative in stating that an announcement should come within the next year, which leads us to believe that the technology will be part of 2014 models.

Brilliant Or Insanely Stupid? Dodge's Crowd-sourced Advertising Plan

On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 11:24AM | By: Chris Weiss

Dodge's Crowd-sourced Advertising Plan test 2

Here's an idea that couldn't possibly go wrong: Launch a guerilla marketing campaign that encourages average people (many of whom will be in cars) to become auto paparazzi. That's what Chrysler has done in its latest ad campaign for the Dodge Dart.

The 2013 Dodge Dart will be making its way out to dealers beginning this month. To help pump up some excitement around the model, Chrysler is encouraging folks to "spot the 2013 Dart." The "Darting Across the Country" campaign seeks to create an army of citizen journalists that snap photos of trucks stacked with new Darts. Of course, it can't actually pay thousands of people for their journalistic efforts, but it will select 25 for a $50 gift certificate for Dodge clothing and gear.

BMW Supercar May Be Back On The Table

On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 10:15AM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW Supercar May Be Back On The Table test 2

Rumors about a new BMW M1 supercar have been a little scattered and schizophrenic. After hearing about the possibility of a new M1 for years, BMW brass laid the rumor to rest last year. Or did they? A new report with roots in Germany says that the M1 is indeed being developed.

A report trail that winds its way back to Germany's Auto Bild suggests that BMW is working on an M1 successor to be introduced in 2016. Taking the report's info at face value, the car will be a lightweight blend of aluminum, magnesium, titanium and plastic. Power will come from a ~600-hp V-8 turbo that pushes the car to around 205 mph. Thanks to its turbo engine and start-stop system, the car will deliver high performance without the detriment of atrocious fuel economy.

Plug-ins Go 4WD With Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

On: Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 2:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

Plug-ins Go 4WD With Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV test 2

Mitsubishi announced this week that it will unveil the 2014 Outlander PHEV at the Paris Motor Show in September. The automaker calls the model the "first permanent 4WD electric car in series production."

Living in the mountains, I've discovered two things about vehicles: I need four-wheel drive for snow and dirt roads, and SUVs with four-wheel drive tend to get terrible gas mileage. I've been waiting patiently for an electric or plug-in hybrid with all/four-wheel drive. I thought it was going to be the Toyota Rav 4 Electric, but Toyota sticks with two-wheel. It looks like the Outlander PHEV will finally fill the void.

Next-Gen Chevy Volt To Get More Powerful Turbo Engine

On: Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 11:56AM | By: Chris Weiss

Next-Gen Chevy Volt To Get More Powerful Turbo Engine test 2

The 2013 Chevy Volt is in line for a boost in range, but if you really want to see the Volt's performance soar, you'll have to wait a couple years. When the Volt is revamped sometime after 2014, it will get a bigger 2.0-liter turbo gas engine.

According to a source consulted by InsideEVs, the next Volt will use a 2.0-liter turbo engine that could be worth as much as 270-hp. That's quite a jump in power from the current Volt's 89-hp 1.4-liter range extender.

Nissan Gets Down With The Juke Box

On: Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 2:23PM | By: Chris Weiss

The Juke Box test 2

Nissan sure knows how to have some fun with its strangest car. We thought the production Juke Nismo would be the only new Juke we'd see at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but Nissan had other ideas. It introduced the whimsical 'Juke Box' at the event. If you thought that bass-thumping audio system you had in high school was the shiznit, you were sadly mistaken.

The Juke Box isn't just a special edition Juke, it's a sound system that Nissan claims is the "world's ultimate mobile sound system." Given that Nissan's not really an audio company, it teamed up with the Ministry of Sound, a global entertainment group whose 'Box' nightclub sound system design inspired a miniature version. Audio expertise was provided by Martin Audio, the same outfit that designed Ministry of Sound's Box.

Nissan explains in its announcement: "In 1991 Justin Berkmann, one of the clubs founders, alongside James Palumbo and Humphrey Waterhouse, created a club never seen before in Europe; where the music and sound system came first. The pair created the ultimate club sound system - 'The Box' - a five-sided room within a room that was acoustically perfect, and is still considered today to be one of the best sound systems in the world."

Chevy Selling More Volts Than Corvettes

On: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 2:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Selling More Volts Than Corvettes test 2

The Chevy Volt hasn't been a top seller at GM, but it is outselling one icon in its second year on the market. We're close to halfway through the year, and the Volt has a comfortable lead over the Chevy Corvette.

Last year, Chevy sold around 13,200 Corvettes, not too far from double the 7,641 Volts that it sold. This year, however, the Volt has come from behind (not that it's really a competition) to outsell the Corvette. Through the first five months of the year, Chevy has delivered 7,057 Volts to dealers and 5,547 Corvettes. Since those are dealer delivery numbers and not actual sales, some of those Volts (and Corvettes) are certainly sitting at dealerships, so the number of actual customers may look different. Still, it's not a bad feat for the hybrid.