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Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Reports

Nissan To Commission More High-Performance Nismo Models

On: Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 4:33PM | By: Chris Weiss


Nissan To Commission More High-Performance Nismo Models test 1-1

If the recent Juke R tells us one thing, it's that Nissan is itching for some performance models. You have to be just a little bored to come up with something as off-the-wall as a 530-hp small crossover.

Luckily for Nissan and its tuning wing Nismo, it won't be bored for long. The Juke Nismo Concept--a more realistic take on a high performance Juke--is the beginning of an increased role for Nismo. Nissan announced at the Tokyo Motor Show that it plans to start commissioning more Nismo models.


Honda Struggles With Latest Lineup, Three Little Pigs

On: Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 3:15PM | By: Chris Salamone


Honda Crosstour test 2

After earthquakes and Thai flooding, Japanese automakers have certainly faced an array challenges for one year. So much so that the damage caused by those events can still be seen today in lackluster 2012 model updates and limited supply offerings, a fact which Honda readily admits. However, with Honda’s latest sales report, devout followers may begin to question yet another aspect of sales operations: the model lineup.

What could be wrong with a lineup marked by year-after-year of Car and Driver 10Best Awards, widely recognized as the most reliable and efficient set of cars around? Considering those awards only went to Honda’s traditional fan favorites – Accord, Civic, Fit, Prelude, and so on – the issue rests squarely on the shoulders of Honda’s latest niche additions, aka the three little pigs.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Honda is an amazing company which currently produces some of the best vehicles on the road. But, the Ridgeline, CR-Z and Crosstour are not helping the company’s fiscal bottom line or reputation.


Hellish Chopper Fury: Confederate Motorcycles Unveils The Hellcat

On: Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 1:45PM | By: Chris Weiss


Hellish Chopper Fury: Confederate Motorcycles Unveils The Hellcat test 2

We don't really cover a lot of motorcycles here at Autoshopper--kind of an entirely different ball game. Every once in a while, though, a motorcycle is so brazen and distinguished that we just have to take notice. Confederate Motorcycles is the type of chopper builder that happens to build a lot of those types of motorcycles. And since we're still pretty high on hogs after last night's season finale of "Sons of Anarchy," we knew the Hellcat had to make the blog. Its latest is the X132 Hellcat.

Confederate Motorcycles just exude a feeling of raw, unapologetic, thigh-rattling power. The X132 Hellcat is just a perfect example. The 2,200cc V-Twin engine is simply spilling out of the bike's frame.


Hennessey Venom GT Gets Convertible

On: Thu, Dec 8, 2011 at 10:14AM | By: Chris Weiss


Hennessey Venom GT Gets Convertible test 2

The Hennessey Venom GT has stood as the most interesting supercar-by-tuner of the past several years. This supercar is what happens when car guys get a wee bit shop drunk and start coming up with outlandish ideas. In this case, the outlandish idea is fitting a tiny Lotus Exige with a massive, twin-turbo LS9 V-8 engine. That's 1,200 hp packed into 2,640 lbs.

The Venom GT is admittedly pretty exciting, but what good is an ultra-powerful, quirky two-seater if you can't take the top off? That's why there's now a Venom GT Spyder.


 

Toyota Has Supercharged GT 86 Deep In The Works

On: Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 1:25PM | By: Chris Weiss


Toyota Has Supercharged GT 86 Deep In The Works test 2

Well that didn't take long at all. We finally moved past all the teasing and got the meat on the Toyota GT 86. And now...more teasing.

Despite the fact that the GT 86 just debuted days ago after two years of concepts, Toyota is already teasing the next GT 86 variation. The automaker has a high-performance GT 86 well underway.

Autocar spoke to chief engineer Tetsuo Tada who said that not only is a GT 86 coming, but Toyota is already testing prototypes. The car is being developed by Toyota Racing Developments, Toyota's in-house tuning branch.


7,000 Nissan Rogues Recalled

On: Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 11:06AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


7,000 Nissan Rogues Recalled test 2

Apparently the devil really is in the details. If you own a Nissan Rogue made between August 17, 2010 and October 30, 2010 you might have already found that out the hard way. It seems that the circuit board for the power steering assist units may not have been installed correctly. Sounds troublesome doesn't it? A minor detail, yes, but one that can result in the connection between the solder and the circuit board becoming stressed to the point of separation ultimately resulting in the immediate failure of the power steering unit. Anyone that has had to deal with a non-working power steering unit, or is old enough to remember manual steering units will understand just how dangerous that could be at a moment’s notice, especially if the driver is not ready for it. Nissan is notifying owners, and has pledged to replace the circuit boards free of charge.

Read on for the full report...


126,000 Goldwing Motorcycles Recalled!

On: Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 9:58AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


126,000 Goldwing Motorcylces Recalled! test 2

Basically, if you know anyone that owns a Honda Goldwing 1800 since the turn of the new millennium, have them bring their motorcycle back to the dealership asap. Other than model year 2011, Honda is bringing back 126,000 models from 2001-2010 and 2012 (somehow 2011 missed the boat, but if it were my 2011 bike, I might just bring it in to be sure). The problem they have found is due to a mechanical defect (or combination of defects), the rear brake may have a tendency to drag while the bike is in motion. Now, aside from the obvious issues in acceleration and maintenance of speed, there is also a chance that the dragging brake may generate enough heat and friction to catch ablaze -- not a good road trip most people's minds. Honda expects the recall to begin next month, but getting those bikes in early might not be such a bad idea.

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


Tableau Of Costly Destruction, Exotics Pileup Sunday

On: Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 12:01PM | By: Chris Salamone


Police investigate the accident on Chugoku Expressway test 2

Sunday, in the southwestern region of Japan, 14 cars seemingly fell victim to sloppy road conditions on a 400 meter-long curve. What makes this pileup different than every other? At least eight Ferraris and one Lamborghini were found amidst the wreckage – in what could be the highest number of vehicles to cost ratio in history (14:$4,000,000).

To make matters more interesting, this particular group of exotics was traveling together in an amateur sports car aficionado group from Japan’s southern island of Kyushu to Hiroshima. While local authorities suggest this was not a case of “The Fast and the Furious,” the investigation remains open.


Toyota Debuts Smart, New Slogans

On: Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 12:56PM | By: Chris Weiss


Toyota Debuts Smart, New Slogans test 2

Given the failure of some automakers to come up with a catchy tagline, it's good to see that others still have it. Toyota is highlighting its new focus on sporty, fun cars with a pair of new slogans that should help it transition from its image of 'rock-solid reliable but dull' to 'fun and sporty once again'.

If you think back about a decade or two, Toyota was a serious force in the Japanese sports car market. It is, after all, the company that brought us the awesome Supra and the less awesome but more attainable Celica.

Since those cars disappeared in the earlier in the millennium, Toyota has been known more for its reliable commuter workhorses like the Corolla and Camry. It's also been known as a green innovator thanks mostly to the Prius. But it really hasn't been known for cars that are fun to drive.


Subaru And Lexus Come Out Tops In Residual Value Awards

On: Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 11:06AM | By: Chris Weiss


Subaru And Lexus Come Out Tops In Residual Value Awards test 2

When purchasing a new car it's easy to get caught up in the features and conveniences, both big and small. Horsepower, standard equipment, interior comfort, available colors, and similar considerations often dominate the purchasing decision.

It's easy to get swept away by that perfect new car and forget a simple truth: No matter how attractive, comfortable and performance-driven the model is, it won't be your last car. No, one day you're going to have to sell it or trade it in, and in order to ensure you're in a position to get the next-gen attractive, comfortable and performance-driven car of choice, you'll want to make sure you get as much money out of it as you can.

That's where residual value comes in. ALG, a TrueCar subsidiary that specializes in depreciation and residual value data, recently released its 13th Annual Residual Value Awards.


Amidst Growing Concerns, GM Offers Volt Refunds

On: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 2:26PM | By: Chris Salamone


Chevrolet Volts on Woodward Ave. test 2

This last month has not been kind to GM’s latest EV innovation, the Chevy Volt. From fire risks, to government probes, to competitor advancements, and an unexpected sales slump – a mere 60% of the company’s sales target for 2011 – GM will have to face some difficult hurdles in order to raise the Volt to the vehicle’s full market potential. But have no fear, the good General is always ready for decisive action. On Thursday the automaker said it would buy back any Chevrolet Volts from customers nervous about fire risks.

This is exactly the type of product ownership that consumers need to see. People must believe that Chevy will stand by the Volt, through thick and thin, stalwartly accepting responsibility. But, the true beauty of GM’s buy-back plan is that the company expects few, if any, of the 6,000 current Volt owners to ask for a refund.