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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Reports

Classic Car Cultist: Pontiac Aztek

On: Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 1:17PM | By: Chris Salamone

2003 Pontiac Aztek test 2

The Pontiac Aztek?! How can a vehicle which tops Edmunds’ “100 Worst Cars of All Time” and ranks 39th in AOL’s “50 Worst Cars of All Time” be featured as a classic? While not a mainstream classic – to be sure – the Aztek was a vehicle of immeasurable, yet quirky practicality that charmed nearly 30,000 sales per year from a dedicated following. But the Aztek looked like some sort of pseudo-futuristic Orwellian disaster – a fact which has landed countless criticisms.

Love it or hate it, the car’s freaky looks and uber practicality are precisely what made this vehicle a classic among certain demographics. Ok, fine. Generation X hardly qualifies as a demographic.

Ford Recalls 16,000 New Trucks!

On: Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 2:56PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Ford Recalls 16,000 New Trucks! test 2

It seems "Built Ford Tough" doesn't always mean "built without flaws". Ford has issued a recall of 16,091 trucks -- some F-150 models built between September 9th through the 22nd of 2011, and then F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 models built between September 12th through the 22nd of 2011. For one reason or another, the F-150 models are designated as 2011 models while the rest of the group are 2012 models. Either way, the issue with these trucks lies in the transmission. It seems that the tranny can be shifted out of park without depressing the brake pedal first.

Although it is being deemed a 'theft protection' issue, the real problem is the safety issue that can arise out of a huge truck being dropped into drive by accident. Ford says they will notify dealers and owners towards the end of December, but getting that truck in sooner than later will no doubt be the safer option.

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

Honda EV-STER Headed Toward Production

On: Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 12:01PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda EV-STER Headed Toward Production test 2

Toyota has already set a clear goal of returning to its sporty roots. Now it looks as though it will be joined by one of the other Japanese Big Three. Not only does Honda have a new Acura NSX concept on the way to Detroit, but indications are that it will also be building a sporty electric two-seater based on the EV-STER concept it showed in Tokyo.

According to a conversation between Honda CEO Takanobu Ito and German magazine Auto Motor und Sport--a conversation we ran through Google Translate--Honda plans to build a production version of the EV-STER. While the concept was shown as a pure electric vehicle, Honda may offer it in both electric and gas varieties, helping to broaden the appeal of the sporty roadster.

Nissan Recalls 28,000 Jukes!

On: Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 10:01AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Nissan Recalls 28,000 Jukes! test 2

All it takes is one bad weld. Yup, thanks to a defective weld on the Juke's boost sensor bracket, the bracket may detach itself from its perch, and as you could imagine -- cause quite a bit of destruction, especially if the car is in motion. Besides coming separated from the engine, Nissan has also said the defect could cause the engine could stall with no warning whatsoever, again causing some serious issues. The defect has affected 28,294 Juke models built between April 9th and May 12th 2011 according to Nissan. Owners will be notified beginning January 9, 2012 and the fix will be done free of charge.

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


NSX Rival? Toyota Supra to Pack 400-HP Hybrid Powertrain

On: Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 3:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

NSX Rival? Toyota Supra to Pack 400-HP Hybrid Powertrain test 2

Last week, Honda/Acura finally confirmed the debut date for the NSX successor. The concept will debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show and is expected to use an AWD hybrid powertrain with V-6 engine and dual electric motors.

The NSX hasn't even debuted yet, but it looks like it may have some competition from another possible Japanese sports car revival: the Toyota Supra.

New Automotive YouTube Channel 'Drive' Launched

On: Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 10:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

New Automotive YouTube Channel 'Drive' Launched test 2

With the success of shows like Top Gear, the automotive category has exploded in terms of television and video content. Discovery is making a dedicated auto channel, more and more auto shows seem to show up on the networks, and auto video content is booming over on YouTube. In fact, there will soon be a new, all-auto YouTube channel. Drive will start delivering your daily speed fix this January.

"Drive celebrates the culture of cars. On the road, to the races, to the factories, to the studios -- to the places you can't go"-- that sounds like a winner for any channel, but especially one you can get for free and watch nearly anywhere over the Web.

Nissan Seat Technology Keeps You Awake And Alert

On: Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 10:01AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Seat Technology Keeps You Awake And Alert test 2

Anyone that's ever taken a road trip knows that staying awake on a long drive gets difficult after a while. There's a lot of boring, monotonous country out there and driving through it for hours on end is bound to make you yawn and blink a little more frequently than usual. Of course, falling asleep at the wheel isn't an option and sometimes you have to just chug caffeine, blast freezing outside air onto your face, slap yourself and otherwise power through. Nissan believes that it has yet another solution: fatigue-reducing seats.

Ward's Picks 10 Best Engines, Direct Injection Dominates

On: Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 4:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ward's Picks 10 Best Engines, Direct Injection Dominates test 2

There are all kinds of factors that go into a car-buying decision, but perhaps none so elemental as the car's engine. What good is a car if its engine is unreliable, clunky, inefficient, prone to breakdown, etc.? Ward's recognizes the key importance of a vehicle's engine and annually releases a list of its 10 Best picks. On the surface, consumers would probably be more interested in a list of best cars, but given the importance of the engine, it's quite informative to identify what the experts consider the elite of the elite.

This year's list represents the 18th annual best-engine list from Ward's. The list awards engines that are affordable for most consumers (vehicle priced below $55,000), integrate well into their respective vehicles, boost horsepower and torque, and offer a good sound.

North American Car Of The Year Finalists Announced

On: Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 11:59AM | By: Chris Weiss

North American Car Of The Year Finalists Announced test 2

The panel of 50 journalists that has a say in such things has released its finalists for the North American Car of the Year. The Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat are all vying for the award on the car side. Over in the truck department, the BMW X3, the Honda CR-V and the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque are the three finalists.

The finalists represent all of the major auto manufacturing regions: Asia, Europe and North America. Past winners have represented this global affiliation, with 10 having come from North America, four from Europe, three from Japan and one from Korea. On the truck side, North American vehicles have won 12 awards, Japanese vehicles four and Europeans two.

Land Rover To Add Longer Evoque

On: Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 10:02AM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover To Add Longer Evoque test 2

When I first saw a headline about a bigger Evoque, I thought "Isn't that the Range Rover Sport? Wasn't the entire point of the Evoque to be a smaller, less expensive alternative to Range Rover's other SUVs?" But, inspired by the success of its smallest model to date, Land Rover is considering adding a larger Evoque model, which would occupy the space between the current three- and five-door Evoque models and the Range Rover Sport.

Autocar reports that the idea of a larger Evoque was conceptualized as a combination of the Evoque's success--which includes a recent Motor Trend designation as "SUV of the Year", Land Rover's greater success and the growing sales of competitor lines like the BMW X and Audi Q.

Lotus Previews V-8 Engine, Will Offer Esprit Hybrid Options

On: Sat, Dec 17, 2011 at 10:06AM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Previews V-8 Engine, Will Offer Esprit Hybrid Options test 2

The hybrid supercar: It's a concept that we're going to see more and more of in the future, both in the form of hybrid power-boosting systems and full-blown hybrid systems designed to increase fuel economy while keeping power and performance up. Perhaps the most iconic upcoming hybrid supercar on the horizon is the 2013 Lotus Esprit.

According to an Autocar conversation with Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, Lotus will offer a hybrid powertrain on the 2013 Esprit. This comes as a bit of a surprise since Lotus is known to be developing an in-house V-8 engine for the Esprit. And why build a hybrid powertrain around a big, dirty V-8 engine?