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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Land Rover Thinks Next Defender Could Be Its Bestseller

On: Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 10:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover Thinks Next Defender Could Be Its Bestseller test 2

Despite underwhelming the world with several renditions of its DC100 concept, an early preview of the next generation Defender, Land Rover is confident that the model will do well. A company executive told media that Land Rover believes the Defender will go on to become its best-selling SUV, once it spawns a family of different sized and configured models.

Brand director John Edwards told Inside Line: "We're being encouraged to look at it as a 20-year plan with global potential, a family of vehicles offered on different wheelbases with different bodies. The leisure market is huge. We get a very significant share of the premium SUV market that BMW and Porsche compete in, but the leisure segment is bigger, it's growing and our share is smaller. Our ambition is to grow here."

The $400 Ferrari... Hair Dryer

On: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 5:23PM | By: Chris Weiss

The $400 Ferrari... Hair Dryer test 2

If you're ever looking for a gift for that difficult-to-buy-for car fanatic in your life, you should note that most supercar makers have a line of lifestyle products, typically aimed at men. Sometimes they design these in house, as is the case with Porsche Design, and sometimes they license their brand name to other high-end manufacturers. It's kind of a cool way that the average guy can 'own' a Lamborgini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, and on and on.

The latest products to slide into our awareness are a pair of hair clippers and a blow dryer from Ferrari. The clippers will cost you a lot more than the Wahl kit you can buy at Walmart, but a whole lot less than an actual Ferrari.

Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S Production Kicks Off

On: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 2:00PM | By: Chris Weiss

Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S Production Kicks Off test 2

A journey that we began in 2009, and Toyota and Subaru began in 2005, is finally coming to its apex. Subaru started production of the BRZ sports coupe at its Gunma Main Plant in Japan on Friday. The sporty two-door will be built alongside its Toyota cousins - the Toyota GT 86 and Scion FR-S. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) President Akio Toyoda was on hand to celebrate the launch.

Fuji Heavy Industries' (Subaru's parent company) President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said in a press release: "The car symbolizes our corporate strategy in two significant aspects: good progress of our alliances; and advancement of our 'select and focus' approach. The start of production today made a huge step for us, but it is not our goal. By constantly refining both models, TMC and FHI hope to nourish each model to be loved by customers all over the world for a long time to come."

Enzo Ferrari Museum Opens Its Doors

On: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 11:01AM | By: Chris Weiss

Enzo Ferrari Museum test 2

Ferrari already has a museum dedicated to its race and road car legacy - the Museo Ferrari, located at the Prancing Horse's headquarters in Maranello. Ferrari is broadening its museum footprint in opening the new Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, a museum dedicated to the life of Ferrari's founder.

Ferrari officially opened its latest facility on March 10. The striking design of the Enzo Museum began in 2004 when London's Future Systems studio submitted its winning bid to design the building. The architecture was designed by the late Jan Kaplicky, his last work before passing in 2009, and completed by Andrea Morgante of Shiro Studio, who had worked at Future Systems prior to Kaplicky's death. Engineering and project management were performed by Società Politecnica. The museum was built with an investment of some 18 million euros.


Volvo Recalls 2,700 New Cars

On: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 9:51AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Volvo Recalls 2,700 New Cars test 2

If you happen to have just purchased a brand new 2012 Volvo S60 or XC60, you may just be one of 2,742 new owners that will have to turn that Volvo right back around and head back to the dealership. It seems that while on the assembly line, the factory may have over sprayed the coating they use on the underbody of these cars. An over application of this coating can (like any liquid) cause it to drip down, and in this case, cause it to form icicle-like structures. 

The coating-icicles are not necessarily the problem -- it's the fact that these icicles can actually puncture fuel lines, causing fuel to leak and potentially a fire. Owners will be contacted beginning in mid-April, but early appointments are okay too.

Read on for the full report from Safercar.gov ...

Prius C Throws Down Sales Gauntlet

On: Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 9:54AM | By: Chris Salamone

Prius C test 2

Since last week, any doubts we’ve had about the potential market for Toyota’s new-entry Prius c have been erased. This brand new Prii has suddenly become one of Toyota’s fastest-selling vehicles and churned up loads of media attention in the meantime. But strong sales and media support really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Toyota is actually attempting to give people what they want – rather than forcing something undesirable down our collective gullet.

In the Prius c’s first three days of sales Toyota moved 1,201 units, a quantity which overshadows Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt sales over the entire preceding month.

Next Jeep Liberty Bringing Smaller Pentastar Engine

On: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 11:22AM | By: Chris Weiss

Next Jeep Liberty Bringing Smaller Engine test 2

The Jeep Liberty...it's kind of like the awkward step sister of the Jeep family (although, to be fair, there are several awkward step sisters in that family). It's not as big or coveted as the larger Jeep Grand Cherokee. It's certainly not as capable as the Jeep Wrangler. It doesn't have the history of the standard Cherokee it replaced. It's $8,000 more than the Patriot (we're not too big on that one, either, but at least it's cheap). Some pretty knowledgeable voices have argued that the Liberty is a watered down departure from Jeep's heritage. We agree, and frankly, we don't understand why anyone even buys the thing.

Jeep will have another go at giving us a reason to like the Liberty, when it introduces the next generation model next year. One reason to like the model is that it will be the launch vessel for a new, smaller Pentastar V-6.

A Third Of Americans Are Sacrificing Something To Put Gas In The Tank

On: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 12:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

A Third Of Americans Are Sacrificing Something To Put Gas In The Tank test 2

I don't typically trust surveys done by organizations like "CouponCabin.com," an online coupon aggregator, but in this case, the results are fairly intuitive. Also the survey was conducted by Harris Interactive, an actual research and polling organization, so it appears legitimate enough to contemplate. The survey in question shows that more than a third of American adults are considering giving up some expense just so they can continue to afford to drive.

So far, 2012 has been an historical year for gas prices - and not in a good way. According to AAA, gas prices had risen for 32 consecutive days and hit daily record highs for 141 consecutive days as of February 29. Some analysts predict that the national average will hit $5 a gallon this year, and even modest estimates put the average around $4.25 by Memorial Day, 14 cents more than the record high experienced in July 2008.

Fastest, Most Powerful Ferrari Ever Coming Next Year

On: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 11:14AM | By: Chris Weiss

Fastest, Most Powerful Ferrari Ever Coming Next Year test 2

Not two weeks ago, Ferrari introduced the F12 Berlinetta (pictured), the 740-hp car that's now the fastest, most powerful Ferrari road car ever. That coupe will have a pretty short ride at the top, though. The F70, Ferrari's Enzo successor that was originally supposed to debut this year, will make its debut sometime next winter. Ferrari describes the car as its fastest, most powerful road offering ever, meaning it will bump the F12 to number 2.

In spring 2010, Fiat laid out several years of new Ferraris and said that the Enzo successor was due for a 2012 debut.

Hyundai Has The Most Fuel Efficient Fleet In America

On: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 9:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

Hyundai Has The Most Fuel Efficient Fleet In America test 2

With a national gas price average that's likely to break the all-time high, we all could use a more efficient car. The best place to look appears to be your local Hyundai showroom. The EPA declared Hyundai Motor America the most fuel efficient automaker in the US earlier this month.

The EPA's recently published 2011 Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends Report looks at fuel economy averages for the 2010 model year, the last year that complete data is available for. Hyundai and sister company Kia both scored solid 27.0 mpg ratings, up from 2009 ratings of 25.1 and 24.2, respectively. Hyundai jumped three spots to capture top billing, beating out 2009 winner Toyota, which held steady at 25.4, and 2009 #2 Honda, which rose from 24.6 to 24.9.

To Hell With Safety...Fisker Karma Shoved Onto Market Early, According To Ex Employee

On: Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 12:19PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fisker Karma test 2

Last month, the media reported that Fisker had lost millions of dollars in loan money from the Department of Energy. The plug-in start-up is still reeling from the loss and trying to figure out where to turn now. It has a new leader at the helm who appears confident (or at least good at giving the appearance of confidence to appease investors and the media) and is moving forward with plans to get the money back from the DOE or elsewhere. A new report alleging that Fisker essentially threw caution to the wind to get the Karma to market and secure DOE funding probably won't help its case.

According to a conversation between a former Fisker employee and technology blog GigaOM, Fisker rushed the launch of the Karma so that it could meet the milestones necessary to maintain its funding. That would explain why the Karma has been guilty of everything from battery fires to less-than-advertised fuel economy to fizzling out on delivery (for Consumer Reports, nonetheless).