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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Reports

2013 Viper Will Go On Sale To Viper Owners First

On: Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 2:03PM | By: Chris Weiss


2013 Viper Will Go On Sale To Viper Owners First test 2

We're still not all that excited about the Viper nameplate being moved from Dodge to SRT, but we are very excited for the dawn of a new snake. Rumors have been running wild on the 2013 Viper for years, and in a few months, we'll finally get to see it. "See" is the operative word there because only preexisting Viper owners will be invited to buy the model upon launch.

MSNBC reports that only Viper owners will have the chance to buy one of the first models to launch. If you don't already have a Viper, you'll have to wait until the loyalists get first pickings. The report doesn't have any details in terms of launch time frames, so we'll have to wait and see exactly what Dodge..er SRT has in mind.


Audi's Ahab Seeks Elusive White Nemesis

On: Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 1:05PM | By: Chris Salamone


Ahab Screenshot test 2

Just recently Audi released a new ad campaign during the National Football League’s division playoffs. Although originally a 60 second clip, a 30 second version will air nationally. For those of us unwilling to accept a watered down version, the original commercial – in all its glory – is shown below. And ‘tis glorious. Audi’s ‘Ahab’ campaign pays homage to Herman Melville’s epic tale of a devout (aka crazy) sea captain and his precious white whale.

But in the world of Ahab, our winter wonderland tow truck driver, only one white nemesis can lay claim to the man’s fractured mind – coming from the very same manufacturer that offers all-wheel drive in every single model, overcomes 37.5 degree inclines, and shreds enough fresh snow to leave tow trucks lonely for years to come.

Look! Just there, an elusive Quattro beast looms on the horizon. Missed it? Such a pity, perhaps next time.


2013 Scion FR-S Debuts In Detroit

On: Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 10:47AM | By: Chris Weiss


2013 Scion FR-S Debuts In Detroit test 2

We've long known that the Toyota GT 86 would be branded as a Scion here in the United States. At last year's Detroit Show, Toyota introduced the Scion FR-S concept, and at this year's show, it introduced the production model. Unlike the Toyota version of the sports car, the Scion model carries its concept name into production.

Outside of the subtle color change from orange to orange-red, the FR-S is nearly identical to the GT 86 debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show. The only obvious change that I can spot up front is the removal of the fog lights that were equipped to the GT 86. Instead, the FR-S features uninterrupted air inlets on both sides of the bumper. Out back, the FR-S uses a more modest spoiler than the Tokyo GT 86.

Other than that, the cars are one and the same. Both use Subaru's horizontally opposed 2.0-liter boxer engine driving the rear wheels for a total of 200 hp and 151 lb.-ft. of torque. Both give buyers the option of six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmissions.


North American Car And Truck Of The Year

On: Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 10:05AM | By: Chris Weiss


North American Truck of the Year: Range Rover Evoque test 2

The North American International Auto Show was last week, and the North American Car and Truck of the Year Awards were announced at the show. The awards haven't been given out just yet, but the winners have been selected.

Out of the pool of six finalists, judges chose the Hyundai Elantra and the Range Rover Evoque as the respective car and truck winners. The Elantra beat out the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Passat for the honors and the Evoque beat out the BMW X3 and Honda CR-V.

The Land Rover crushed the competition with a score of 254 compared to 142 points for the CR-V and 94 points for the X3. The race was a little closer in the car segment, with the Elantra getting 174 points, the Passat 161 and the Focus 155.


 

Tesla Model X Coming In February

On: Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 12:38PM | By: Chris Weiss


Tesla Model X Coming In February test 2

Last August, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla planned to introduce a concept version of its next car--the Model X crossover--before the end of the year. Well, guess what? The champagne is drained; the confetti is cleaned and all but the most monumental hangovers have cleared. And we still haven't seen the Model X.  Musk cleared this up in saying that the new concept will make its debut next month.

In a statement from Musk published on tech blog GigaOM, Musk confirmed a February 9 unveiling. He didn't specifically say the Chicago Auto Show, but given that the show starts that day, it seems like a highly likely venue.

Musk didn't reveal any new details on the Model X, but it's known to be a crossover built on the same platform as the Model S. It will offer three rows of seating.


2012 NAIAS: What We Didn't Learn

On: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 1:57PM | By: Chris Salamone


Honda Accord Concept Reveal test 2

While the press viewing of Detroit’s full bounty has expired, and many newly-exciting models are slotted for market, we have to ask ourselves one remaining question: what did we miss? Sure, Acura unveiled a new NSX, RDX, and ILX. Yes, we learned about the Accord, Buick’s Encore, the Dodge Dart, and a few Audis meant for ski country. But amongst all the ad posturing, marketing plans, and novel product innovations we can also glean some interesting non-information about the auto industry in 2012.

Welcome to the flip side of automotive journalism, where a company’s actions might – in themselves – speak volumes about what is or isn’t happening.


Bentley SUV Looking Very Likely

On: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 12:13PM | By: Chris Weiss


Bentley SUV Looking Very Likely test 2

The Range Rovers, BMW X5s and Audi Q7s are about to be displaced. If we're to believe the latest reports, the long-rumored Bentley SUV is very close to reality. If true, the Bentley model may kick off a new era of ultra-luxury SUVs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bentley chief Wolfgang Durheimer expressed confidence in a greenlight and said that a decision is expected in the first quarter of this year. While Durheimer has publicly supported the SUV, the final decision rests with Volkswagen, Bentley's corporate owner.

Durheimer promised that a Bentley SUV would be above and beyond anything currently available, stating, "If we bring this to the market it will be positioned significantly above the vehicles that are currently available in this segment."


Test Track To Be Re-Imagineered

On: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 10:47AM | By: Chris Salamone


GM Test Track test 2

Thirteen years ago car enthusiasts everywhere finally found an excuse to visit Walt Disney World without sacrificing too much face. Epcot unveiled a joint-venture ride, between GM and Walt Disney Imagineering, labeled Test Track – which attempted to fulfill every car buff’s mechanical fantasy by weaving through the trials and tribulations of a simulated test track.

Since Test Track originally opened, however, the ride has remained virtually unimproved. Needless to say, both car and testing technologies have improved dramatically since the late 1990s, particularly with regard to GM. And so, GM and Disney have come together, once more, to renew a long-term business relationship towards modernization and a newly-single brand focus.


Buick's Encore, Sonic-Based Crossover

On: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 3:08PM | By: Chris Salamone


2013 Buick Encore test 2

Over the past few years Buick sales have steadily increased – making the company a silent, but deadly, contender brand in the luxury market. But those years of unrecognizable nameplates and wish-washy styling are over. With the Encore, an all-new luxury small crossover, Buick’s former marketing strategy of covert operations just went nuclear, simply because it will be impossible to keep the Encore below the radar.

The 2013 Encore uses the same underpinnings found in today’s Chevy Sonic. Even the Sonic’s 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder can be found in both vehicles. So what makes the Encore worthy of a second glance?

How about class-leading luxury, fuel economy, and a maximum storage capacity of 48.4 cubic feet? What we have here is a miniature luxury crossover which doesn’t pretend to be functional like the Smart, won’t cost a fortune like the Aston Martin Cygnet, and actually manages to look somewhat sporty…unlike the Fiat 500.


Nissan Confirms Juke R Performance Specs

On: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 1:30PM | By: Chris Weiss


Nissan Confirms Juke R Performance Specs test 2

A Juke R body with the soul of a GT-R sports coupe--that's the recipe for the much publicized Juke R crossover that executives at Nissan weren't too fond of until it became the darling of the auto media. Despite its bulky body, we knew that a 485-bhp powertrain wouldn't be for naught. Nissan has released the specs for its "supercar crossover concept," and they look every bit as good as we expected.

According to Nissan's UK test numbers, the Juke R can hit 62 mph in 3.7 seconds. That's a little slower than the Hennessey Jeep Grand Cherokee HPE800, but given that the Juke has some 315 less horses, it's pretty close. The Juke R tops out at 160 mph.


The Fit Is Go(od): Consumer Reports Ranks It Best Value Along With Many Other Japanese Cars

On: Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 3:25PM | By: Chris Weiss


The Fit Is Go(od): Consumer Reports Ranks It Best Value Along With Many Oth test 2

Consumer Reports has released its latest Best New-Car Value List, a list that combines metrics from its performance, reliability, and cost of ownership data pools to determine value scores for some 200 vehicles. Japanese vehicles perform particularly well this year, with the Honda Fit topping the pack again.

Out of 48 "best value" picks, 34 come from Japanese manufacturers, while other countries only rank in the single digits (six European models, five American and three South Korean).