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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Toyota Is World's Largest Automaker - Again

On: Thu, May 17, 2012 at 5:01PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota Is World's Largest Automaker - Again test 2

If you've never followed the world's largest automaker race, it's a thrilling contest in which a very select few automakers make goals of overtaking their competitors, do so for a while and then relinquish the title to one of the other few brands large and wealthy enough to take the crown. It's must see TV, and the latest episode stars Toyota taking back the top spot from General Motors.

GM took the "world's largest automaker" honors from Toyota last year, after Toyota spent three years at the helm. Toyota took it back in the first quarter of this year, selling 2.49 million autos to global consumers, compared to GM's 2.28. Volkswagen, which has vowed to take the title by 2018, came in third with 2.16 sales.

Porsche May Develop A Second Sedan

On: Thu, May 17, 2012 at 12:58PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche May Develop A Second Sedan test 2

Dear Porsche: You were once the badge of obtainable dreams, something that got young children excited about going to college and making enough money to be "The Guy" on the other side of that black 911 with massive spoiler sitting in the local mall parking lot. What happened? Now all our Porsche coverage is filled with stories about sedans and small crossovers, not so much about actual sports cars. And, we bet those children are moving their attention away from Porsche. We're rather regretful to report on a baby Panamera at this stage in the game. Please speed up development of the 918 Spyder Hybrid and possible 959 successor so that we can once again look at the Porsche shield with love and admiration.

Cadillac XTS To Offer Concierge Experience And iPad

On: Thu, May 17, 2012 at 9:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Cadillac XTS To Offer Concierge Experience And iPad test 2

Cadillac isn't really leading the pack when it comes to US luxury sales, so it's doing what any good, determined company looking for new customers would do - buttering them up with free schwag. The 2013 XTS will come with a free iPad and some A-list-level technical support.

In what sounds like an effort to avoid some of the problems Ford has experienced with the end user experience of its Sync system, Cadillac is offering a hands-on approach with the CUE system, which launches on the 2013 XTS. Each Cadillac dealership across the nation will have technology experts to assist customers, and Cadillac will even come to customers' homes to help with CUE questions. Customers will be able to reach Cadillac reps via toll-free number and push-button OnStar communication.

Chevy Makes Trax Away From USA

On: Tue, May 15, 2012 at 1:42PM | By: Chris Salamone

Chevrolet Trax test 2

Pop quiz: What all-new Big Three micro CUV will be sold in more than 140 countries, including Canada and Mexico, but not the United States? If your answer sounds anything like a brain exploding from frustration, you’re right on track – or Trax, as the case may be.

In September, GM will debut the company’s latest Sonic-based addition to the Chevrolet brand, a cheeky small CUV called Trax. Despite class-leading cargo space, room for five passengers, and city-appropriate physical dimensions, Trax will not be offered in the United States “[b]ecause of the strong position of the Chevy Equinox.”


Some Good News On Gas Prices (Sort Of)

On: Mon, May 14, 2012 at 3:00PM | By: Chris Weiss

Some Good News On Gas Prices (Sort Of) test 2

Well, after hearing for several months that 2011 would be the year to remember for exorbitant gas prices, it looks like we're in for a treat. The government is backing off predictions of record-high prices. Gas prices won't exactly be low, but they won't soar as high as originally anticipated.

As recently as a few weeks ago, we were hearing that 2012 could see a record high in gas prices, but that prediction is officially out of date. According to the Detroit Free Press, the most recent predictions from the US Energy Information Administration put gas at an average of $3.79 for the summer driving season. That's below the $3.80 average record high set in 2008 and well below the $3.95 that previous predictions called for.

Toyota Supra Successor To Get 400-HP Hybrid Powertrain

On: Fri, May 11, 2012 at 1:22PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota Supra Successor To Get 400-HP Hybrid Powertrain test 2

The rumored Toyota Supra successor may be taking a move upmarket. Instead of battling mid-level sports cars like the Nissan 370Z, it may be battling flagships like the Honda NSX. A new report is the second we've read that gifts the Supra revival a 400-hp hybrid powertrain that could help it to be Toyota's halo.

We first read about a possible 400-hp hybrid drive unit late last year in Motor Trend. The latest issue of the magazine gives a few more details on the model, which isn't expected to bring back the Supra name.

TechShop Fuels Ford IP Folio

On: Fri, May 11, 2012 at 11:42AM | By: Chris Salamone

TechShop Detroit test 2

Sometimes US automakers get it right. TechShop Detroit, a recent addition to Ford’s Dearborn product development campus, is the perfect example. Although originally from California, TechShop is a DIY workshop business which offers a wide array of cutting edge (pun intended) tools to paying members. And the best part: Ford is working closely with TechShop to incentivize employee inventions to bolster the automaker’s patent portfolio.

Ford already has about 17,000 pending and issued patents, but expect that number to skyrocket in the coming years. Ford Global Technologies now offers a free three-month membership to TechShop Detroit for potentially patentable ideas. The company projects that 2,000 incentive memberships will be awarded this year…and more to come in the future.

Ford Recalls 10,500 New Cars!

On: Fri, May 11, 2012 at 9:47AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Ford Mustang test 2

This week Ford issued a recall of 10,500 select 2012-2013 Mustangs, 2012 Expeditions and Navigators, and 2011-2012 F-150s due to what they claim is a transmission range sensor that was calibrated incorrectly. Basically, this means that when the driver shifts into what he or she thinks is reverse, the car may not actually be in reverse. Or another scenario may be that when the transmission actually is shifted into reverse, the "R" on the dashboard may not light up to let the driver know the car is in gear. The last issue that may be caused by this defective sensor is that even though the car is in reverse, the reverse lights on the rear of the car may not actually light up, which could cause a whole host of issues for any adults or children that happen to be walking behind one of these cars at just the wrong moment.  

Ford is planning to notify owners beginning at the end of June, but owners may contact Ford before then at 1-866-436-7332 to schedule an appointment for a free inspect and replacement of the sensor if necessary. Read on for the full report from Safercar.gov.

Convertible Scion FR-S May Show Up Next Year

On: Thu, May 10, 2012 at 4:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

Convertible Scion FR-S May Show Up Next Year test 2

After years of development, the pieces are all in place for the Toyota GT 86 (Scion FR-S) and Subaru BRZ. The models went on sale a few weeks ago and should start showing up on roadways soon. Next step? An open-topped FR-S/GT 86.

If Toyota is serious about bringing back its past reputation for sporty, fun-to-drive cars, it won't be able to ignore the sports convertible segment. An entry level sports coupe might be a fun ride, but it doesn't offer quite the same experience as a summer jaunt down a coastal highway with the top down. Toyota needs a convertible to return some excitement to driving.

OUCH! Toyota RAV4 EV Starts Over $50K

On: Thu, May 10, 2012 at 12:30PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota RAV4 EV test 2

As promised, Toyota debuted its RAV4 EV at the 2012 Electric Vehicles Symposium this week. If you were awaiting the RAV4 EV with high hopes that it would give you an intriguing electric option with more space and utility than the tiny city cars that currently carry electric powertrains, you had better have a decent bank account. The RAV4 EV will start at $50,610 (including delivery) when it goes on sale this summer.

Given the high premium demanded by electric vehicles, we're not entirely surprised at the high price of the RAV4 EV. Still, that price looks much more Lexus than Toyota and is more than double the price of the gas-powered RAV4. Toyota doesn't even mention an all-wheel-drive option, so while the RAV4 EV may be the "only all-electric SUV on the market," it won't really be a proper SUV and won't have the same utility or all-conditions driving capability. It's basically another "twice the price for half the car" EV.

Google-Equipped Toyota Prius Is First Car With Driver's License

On: Thu, May 10, 2012 at 10:44AM | By: Chris Weiss

Google-Equipped Toyota Prius Is First Car With Driver's License test 2

After passing a law opening the door for self-driven cars, the state of Nevada is following with the bureaucratic actions necessary to put those cars on the road. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles has approved the very first autonomous vehicle license. And the Google Toyota Prius in question is not happy with how its picture turned out.

In last year's bill, the Nevada legislature authorized the Department of Transportation to devise rules and regulations for autonomous vehicles. Google was one of the strongest supporters of the bills, as it sought to use Nevada roadways to test its fleet of self-driving Toyota Prii.