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Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Reports

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.


LeMay Auto Museum Opens Its Doors

On: Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 10:05AM | By: Chris Weiss


LeMay Auto Museum Opens Its Doors test 2

Named after the late Harold LeMay, whose private auto collection was once certified by Guiness as the world's largest, LeMay - America's Car Museum opened its doors for the first time this past weekend. The museum will hold its public grand opening later this week.

The museum "spotlights America's love affair with the automobile" in a nine-acre facility in Tacoma, Washington. The museum serves as the centerpiece of the greater facility, and visitors will find up to 350 cars, trucks and motorcycles from LeMay's collection and private and corporate owners. The 165,000 sq ft, four-story museum, which has been called the largest in North America and one of the largest in the world, will also serve as a sort of ground zero for auto collectors, fans and other parties to gather, socialize and network. Other facilities of the greater campus include a 3.5-acre car show field, a cafe and a banquet hall.


Alfa Romeo Shows 4C In Deep Red, Wins Award

On: Thu, May 31, 2012 at 4:03PM | By: Chris Weiss


Alfa Romeo 4C In Deep Red test 2

We'd imagine the Alfa Romeo 4C's curves look good even before they're covered in paint, but the concept's paint schemes have been spot on. The original icy red simply refused to be ignored, and the follow-up fluid metal silver was nearly as luxurious. For the Concorso d'Eleganza Ville d'Este this past weekend, Alfa presented a new color of 4C. And it's every bit as mesmerizing as its predecessors.

We haven't seen the proper name for the new paint, but what we do see is a deep, robust red that hugs the 4C's curves as naturally as lipstick on a supermodel's lips.


Chrysler Will Cut Town And Country In Small Crossover Shake-up

On: Thu, May 31, 2012 at 10:31AM | By: Chris Weiss


Chrysler Will Cut Town And Country test 2

Years ago, minivans were gradually phased out as the ride of choice for families and soccer teams, first by the SUV, and then by the more efficient crossover. Only problem is, someone forgot to tell a few of the remaining minivan stalwarts from the 80s. Fiat/Chrysler is just now getting around to doing the job on the Town & Country.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said that it will phase out the Town & Country in 2014 to make room for a new small crossover. At the same time, it will axe the Compass from Jeep's lineup, essentially shifting the small crossover over to the Chrysler brand. The crossover should be more upscale and expensive than the entry level Compass, in line with Chrysler's identity of (or attempt at) luxury.


 

VW To Go Retro With Beetle Convertible Launch

On: Wed, May 30, 2012 at 5:07PM | By: Chris Weiss


VW To Go Retro With Beetle Convertible Launch test 2

The Beetle may be a timeless design, but it's a car that evokes a certain amount of nostalgia for decades gone by. Stare at it long enough and you may find yourself transported to Woodstock or the 1970s gas crisis. If new rumors hold truth, Volkswagen will play upon the Beetle's nostalgia when it launches the new Beetle convertible. Instead of just launching the production convertible, it will launch at least three special edition models.

According to Car & Driver, the special edition convertibles will play up the Beetle's illustrious 74-year history. Based on some trademark filings, the magazine expects each one to be dedicated to a given decade - 50s, 60s and 70s. Volkswagen filed European trademark applications for the numeric and written designations for those decades, so it looks likely that it will show convertibles styled specific to each decade.


More Ferrari Fire Problems? FF Goes Up In Poland

On: Wed, May 30, 2012 at 3:40PM | By: Chris Weiss


FF Goes Up In Poland test 2

"Fire" must be the most feared word in Maranello these days. After a very public fire problem with the 458 Italia, another new Ferrari model is having a bout of fire problems of its own. An FF burned to the ground near Krakow, Poland recently, making three publicized FF fire incidents. Even if it has nothing to do with Ferrari's manufacturing, it's another fire headline that the Prancing Horse really doesn't need.

According to a report from Polish site Kontakt 24, the Ferrari burned to the ground on the A4 outside of Krakow. Firefighters tried to douse the flames but, as you can see, were unable to save the grand tourer. The site reports this as the third FF fire, and the Polish incident joins a February FF fire in Shanghai and a test drive incident in Germany last year.


Acura Recalls 52,000 TL Models

On: Wed, May 30, 2012 at 11:12AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Acura Recalls 52,000 TL Models test 2

Honda has issued a recall of 52,615 Acura TL models thanks to some questionable hoses. It seems that after dealing with high under-hood temperatures for extended periods of time, that heat along with high power steering fluid temperatures can cause the power steering hoses to deteriorate. That deterioration can lead to leaking fluid which can find its way to the catalytic converters and ultimately cause a fire.  

Honda/Acura is planning on contacting all owners of the affected cars staring next month, but if you'd like to get the jump on the crowd, contact Honda's customer service at 1-888-327-4236 to schedule a free-of-charge appointment for the installation of high-temp resistant hoses.  

Read on for the full report ...


Fuel Economy Ranks Higher Than All Other Considerations For Buyers

On: Wed, May 30, 2012 at 9:51AM | By: Chris Weiss


Fuel Economy Ranks Higher Than All Other Considerations For Buyers test 2

A new Consumer Reports study shows that fuel economy is a leading consideration among new car buyers. In fact, it surpasses all other considerations, leaving factors like quality, capacity and value in the dust.

Consumer Reports' survey, which is based on responses from 1700 people nationwide contacted at random, shows that 37 percent of car buyers consider fuel economy the most important factor in a new car purchase. Only 17 percent of those surveyed pick quality as the most important consideration, with 16 percent citing safety and 14 percent citing value. That's a pretty strong statement in favor of fuel economy.


Volkswagen Unveils CC 'R-Line'

On: Tue, May 29, 2012 at 2:04PM | By: Chris Salamone


Volkswagen CC R-Line test 2

On Sunday, Volkswagen of America revealed a new sportiest version of the CC four-door coupe to debut physically at the Auto Mobil International car show in Leipzig on June 1st, the CC R-Line. In addition to all those perky German technologies associated with the CC Sport Plus, the R-Line will be mated to an optional six-speed manual transmission, beefier lower air intake, upgraded lights, and aggressive aesthetics.

If there’s one thing we’ve always appreciated about the Volkswagen CC, it’s the vehicle’s sophisticated style – often fitting in with equally distinctive, but significantly more expensive makes. The R-Line model appears to take style to a whole new level, aimed to find the perfect nexus of sport and luxury.


High Gas Prices = Less Traffic

On: Tue, May 29, 2012 at 11:54AM | By: Chris Weiss


High Gas Prices = Less Traffic test 2

I remember back when I got my first car, gas reached a jaw-dropping low of $0.89 a gallon and hovered between there and $1.00 a gallon for quite some time; $1.50 was almost unthinkable. Between having a new, pristine license and the low cost of pumping up, I used to just drive and drive - no real destination, just pick a direction and go.

I don't do that these days. I drive when I have to and stay home when I don't.  And it appears like a lot of people are using that strategy during these times of sky-high gas prices. A new study shows that traffic has taken a major fall over the past year.


Subaru Tribeca Not Long For This World

On: Tue, May 29, 2012 at 10:40AM | By: Chris Weiss


Subaru Tribeca test 2

Subaru is reportedly getting ready to wind down the Tribeca crossover, according to reports out of Japan. The crossover was never exactly a hit and has long been overshadowed by its brethren like the Outback and Legacy. Subaru is finally prepared to put it out of its misery.

According to Motor Trend, Subaru will discontinue the model by the end of this year. A spokesperson told the magazine that it is committed to selling the model through the 2013 model year but wouldn't commit to anything beyond that, and an anonymous source said that 2012 is it for the SUV.