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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

General Electric Opens EV Comparison Center In Minnesota

On: Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 9:26AM | By: Chris Weiss

General Electric Opens EV Comparison Center In Minnesota test 2

While the most visible work in terms of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids comes from automotive manufacturers, there are many other players doing research, development and testing behind the scenes. One player that has stepped into a more visible role is General Electric, which has announced the opening of its Vehicle Innovation Center. The new center at GE's fleet management business headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota allows GE customers to research, test and compare various green vehicles.

The new facility was opened by GE Capital Fleet Services as a means for GE employees and fleet customers to test drive and compare the various alternative-fuel vehicles on the market. The center, which GE calls the first of its kind, has alternative-fuel vehicles from 20 different manufacturers, including staples like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. It gives businesses, researchers and industry groups a one-stop destination for comparing the broadening number of green vehicles with help and insight from GE’s fleet, transportation, energy and advanced technology experts.

McLaren MP4-12C Spyder To Get Innovative, Three-Piece Hard-Top

On: Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 4:16PM | By: Chris Weiss

McLaren MP4-12C Spyder test 2

The Ferrari 458 Spider may be the "world's first mid-rear Berlinetta equipped with a retractable hard top," but one of its big competitors will have an equally intriguing hard-top when it hits the scene. McLaren has turned to a familiar company in designing an innovative folding hard-top for the MP4-12C Spyder.

According to Autocar, McLaren has teamed with German firm Webasto, the same manufacturer that worked with Ferrari on the 458 hard-top. Like Ferrari, McLaren will offer its mid-level supercar with a folding hard-top. But the design will be a bit different. The MP4-12C system will reportedly use three roof panels, which will retract and stack on top of each other. They'll slide away into a compartment behind the seats.

Mercedes G-Wagen Tackles Scary, Metal Hill (Video)

On: Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 2:15PM | By: Chris Weiss

Mercedes G-Wagen Tackles Scary, Metal Hill test 2

If you had to pick a vehicle for climbing boulders, speeding through mud and careening down narrow rock fins, it probably wouldn't cost $100K stock - kind of a crazy amount of money to spend on a car that you're going to abuse the hell out of. And yet, the $107,000 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is one of the toughest-looking hardcore off-roaders on the market today.

To prove that the G-Class is much more than a luxury car in a boxy body, Mercedes recently introduced what it calls the IRON-Schöckl, a sort of terrifying cross between a metal ramp, a roller coaster, a draw bridge and a steep, narrow ridgeline.

Going, Going, Gone: Chrysler Holds Abarth Orders

On: Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 12:09PM | By: Chris Salamone

2012 Fiat Abarth test 2

Since last month, when the Fiat 500 Abarth first arrived in US dealerships, buyers have only continued to line up. And as of yesterday, supply and demand reached some kind of tipping point. The Detroit News reports that Chrysler Group LLC asked dealers to discontinue taking 2012 Fiat Abarth orders.

Walking a quick eBay stroll, 2012 Abarths can still be found at showrooms around the county. But buyers who aren’t nearby currently available 2012 models will have to wait until the 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth surfaces. In other words, customers can no longer place an order for the 2012 Abarth, but are instead required to take small comfort in Chrysler’s 2013 model waitlist and an optimistic delivery this Fall.


Mercedes SLS AMG Sets World Record For Running Down Golf Ball

On: Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 12:00PM | By: Chris Weiss

Mercedes SLS AMG Sets World Record For Running Down Golf Ball test 2

If you pop open the Guiness Book of World Records and peruse around a while, you'll quickly realize: you can set a world record for just about anything. In the case of Mercedes-Benz, the record is the "longest golf shot caught in a moving car." It may sound trivial, but it's actually a pretty cool feat.

David Coulthard and Jake Shepherd are both professional athletes, but they don't usually get to play on the same team. Coulthard is an F1 driver, and Shepherd is a golfer. But the two recently teamed up for the unlikely world record.

Chevy Recalls 4,300 New Malibus

On: Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 10:17AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Chevy Recalls 4,300 New Malibus test 2

If you happen to have just picked up your new 2013 Malibu, you might want to check just when your car was manufactured. If it was between October 24th of 2011 and March 31st of 2012 you should probably give Chevy a call to have it checked out.

In the General's most recent recall, 4,304 Malibus were called back to the factory due to some software issues with the car's Sensing and Diagnostic Module. The SDM may reset itself which may ultimately result in the roof rail airbag deploying without warning. Another nasty side effect could prevent the air bags from deploying and the seat belt tensioners from retracting  during a crash, which could cause serious injuries.  

GM has said it will begin the free recall this week, and fix the SDM free of charge. Read on for the full report.

Fisker Doing Just Fine Despite Setbacks

On: Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 4:35PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fisker Doing Just Fine Despite Setbacks test 2

Since arriving in the industry with fanfare back in 2007, Fisker has read like a textbook chapter about how difficult it can be to get a business off the ground. Despite having a beautiful product to sell, virtually nothing has gone smooth for the green start-up. It's been mired in all kinds of delays, has had publicity issues, has seen a leadership shake-up, and has fallen out of favor with government backers. We're sure we missed a few setbacks.

If you've watched any of the Great Fisker Debacle, you might be under the impression that a bankruptcy announcement is imminent. However, Fisker sales numbers actually seem encouraging.

According to the numbers released by Fisker earlier this week, it's delivered a total of 1,000 Karmas to customers in the US and Europe. Given that deliveries began in December of last year, that's not bad at all.

Do People Actually Buy This Thing? 2013 Ford Flex Price Hike

On: Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 10:46AM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Ford Flex test 2

The Ford Flex mid-sized SUV gets a price hike for the 2013 model year. The 2013 model starts at $31,710 (includes $825 destination fee), a $1,420 leap from the base price of the 2012 model. The price increase pushes the Flex over the price of some competitors.

Not only does the $31,710 price of the 2013 Flex make it well more than competitors like the $29,050 2012 Toyota Highlander, but it's also about $2,000 more than the 2013 Ford Explorer, which is based on the same platform, offers comparable space and delivers better fuel economy.

Cobra For A New Generation? Puritalia Teases 427

On: Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 4:41PM | By: Chris Weiss

Puritalia Teases 427 test 2

If you find the idea of "American muscle meeting Italian design" intriguing (personally, we're quite happy with American muscle meeting American design and Italian muscle finding its way to Italian design), you may want to keep posted to auto news over the course of the next month. Puritalia has teased a new sports car that it says combines those two iconic qualities.

There's about a month to go before the official debut, according to the teaser website that Puritalia set up. Other than that, there are no official details on the site. In fact, until today, we'd never even heard of Puritalia.

Nissan To Build All Electric Van

On: Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 3:02PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan e-NV200 test 2

Nissan announced last week that it will begin production on its second electric vehicle in the 2013 financial year. The vehicle in question is the e-NV200, which will add some serious people/cargo moving capability to the electric market.

With the exception of the costly RAV4 Electric, the EVs on the market today are all small compact and subcompact cars. The e-NV200, on the other hand, will be based on the standard NV200, a compact commercial cargo van that offers 123 cubic feet of cargo space in back.

Fiat Not Too Optimistic About 500 Electric

On: Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 12:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fiat Not Too Optimistic About 500 Electric test 2

The thought of a Fiat 500 Electric was exciting enough to get third-party manufacturers hacking their own version, but it's apparently not enough to stir any kind of emotion over at Fiat itself. While the tiny 500 might seem like an ideal place to stick a lithium-ion battery pack and small electric motor, Fiat isn't all too optimistic on the 500 Electric's future.

During the same interview in which he mentioned the fate of the Chrysler Town & Country and Jeep Compass, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne mentioned the upcoming electric 500. While you might expect Fiat/Chrysler to be upbeat about its first North American electric vehicle, the tale of the event paints everything but smiles on Marchionne's face. He said that Chrysler is essentially building the electric car only to meet requirements in California and other states and expects to lose money on every model sold.