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Nissan To Introduce 'New Genre' To The Automotive World

On: Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 5:13PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan To Introduce 'New Genre' To The Automotive World test 2

The Sao Paulo Auto Show may not be as big a spot on the radar as Paris or LA, but Nissan appears to have some big plans for this year's show. The automaker has teased a concept that it says will be a "unique new genre to the automotive world." 

Automakers don't have much shame when it comes to hyperbole about events, so we're not taking the new genre thing too literally until we actually see it. From the two teaser pictures, the concept appears to be fairly aggressively styled and looks like it could be a convertible, which was the subject of Nissan's last genre creation. Of course, the car is cut off in the photos, so it could very well be a hard-top.

Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser Heading To SEMA

On: Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 10:39AM | By: Chris Weiss

Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser Heading To SEMA test 2

The Fiat 500 hasn't exactly received a warm welcome since coming to the U.S., but maybe that's because people still think of the minicar (and Fiat in general) as too European. Maybe the car needs more of an American vibe, and what better way to supply it than with a nostalgic surf motif.

The Fiat 500 Beach Cruiser is one of about two dozen custom cars that Fiat/Chrysler brands will be bringing to the SEMA show at the end of the month. The Beach Cruiser's widened body is painted matte gray and includes a set of bulging fender flares. The prototype Mopar wheels get some red paint that offsets the gray. Satin, brushed finish decorates the center caps, door handles, mirrors and front fascia elements. The Mopar hood and rear deck lid get hot rod-style accents.

Special Edition Usain Bolt GT-R

On: Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 3:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

Special Edition Usain Bolt GT-R test 2

Usain Bolt already has plenty of gold hardware, but he's about to get a little more. Nissan is launching a one-off gold GT-R honoring Bolt's achievements on and off the track. The unique sports car is being sold off in a charity auction to benefit the Usain Bolt Foundation.

Nissan and Bolt teamed up before the Olympics in an ad campaign Nissan calls "WHAT_IF." Nissan has even bestowed Bolt with what we assume is an entirely ceremonial position called "Director of Excitement."

Ferrari F-70 Will Debut In Detroit

On: Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 10:29AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari F-70 Will Debut In Detroit test 2

Next to the McLaren P1, the most anticipated supercar of the year is easily the Ferrari Enzo successor, thought to be called the F-70. We had heard that the mid-engined car would debut this year, but we also heard it would be next year. It turns out both those were (kind of) right. Ferrari showed the carbon fiber monocoque that the F-70 is based on at the Paris Motor Show earlier this month, and it will debut the actual car at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in January.

The F70 is next in a lineage of high-tech, race inspired supercars like the Enzo and F40. That line has been silent since Ferrari ended Enzo production in 2004, so the F-70 is kind of a big deal for Ferrari and supercar fans.


Toyota Recalls 2.5 Million Cars

On: Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 10:09AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Toyota Recalls 2.5 Million Cars test 2

Sigh. That's about all one can do at this point when it comes to recalls and Toyota. It isn't even the fact that this recall isn't that incredibly significant (though any defect that can potentially cause a fire in the vehicle doesn't quite qualify as insignificant either), it is the fact that again, this is another Toyota recall of more than 2.5 million cars -- 2,519,424 to be exact. The recall affects 13 models spanning three model years. The Toyota Camry, Camry HV, Corolla, Matrix, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Rav4, Sequoia, Tundra, Yaris, as well as the Scion XB and XD, and finally the Toyota-built Pontiac Vibe. All of these cars potentially suffer from a poorly built power window master switch. The switches were supposed to be made using a specific amount of lubrication to help stave off overheating, however they did not all receive the proper amount of lubrication, and thus are prone to overheating and potentially melting and even possibly catching on fire. Clearly this is not a good thing. 

Again, it's not that this recall is of such substantial magnitude that it will put Toyota out of business. It is more the fact that this is yet another small little production mistake that the Toyota of old simply would not have made. For a company that had built a reputation of value and attention to detail, this is just one more piece of evidence that they have gotten away from that philosophy -- at least for a few years. 

Owners can contact dealers to schedule their free fix, which will either be the addition of a heat inhibiting grease or a complete replacement of the switch in question. Read on for the full report and list of model years affected.

A Four-Door Lamborghini Aventador Coming Next Year?

On: Sat, Oct 13, 2012 at 8:51AM | By: Chris Weiss

A Four-Door Lamborghini Aventador Coming Next Year? test 2

After years’ worth of sedan rumors, it's looking like Lamborghini's first four-door will come in a slightly different form. Instead of designing a new four-door model, like it did with the Estoque concept, Lamborghini will reportedly extend the wheelbase of its Aventador coupe and add a pair of clamshell doors.

CAR magazine reports that Lamborghini will unveil the Aventador GT at next year's Geneva Motor Show. It won't exactly be a proper sedan, but it will have two small jump seats in back, along with two small suicide doors. The GT will be planted on an extended wheelbase. To go along with its more road trip-friendly demeanor, the Aventador GT will also receive some softening in terms of styling - at least as much softening as you can get while still being a Lamborghini Aventador.

Restyled Nissan GT-R To Debut Next Month

On: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 5:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

Restyled Nissan GT-R To Debut Next Month test 2

Nissan has a tendency of detailing next-generation GT-Rs in the fall. It did it with the 2012 version; it did it with the 2013 model; and it will do it again with the 2014 model. A new rumor indicates an early-November debut for the next year of Godzilla.

The rumor hails from the North American GT-R Owners Club and suggests that Nissan will reveal the new GT-R on November 2. The model will allegedly go on sale in Japan about two weeks after that debut.

How Motor Racing Made Your Road Car Safer

On: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 9:58AM | By: Jon Summers

Formula 1 crash test 2

Watching NASCAR or Formula 1 it is hard to see how the lessons learned at nearly 200 mph, high on the banking at Daytona, could somehow make your commute across a congested town, never exceeding 50 mph, a safer experience. However, looking closely, almost every facet of the modern automobile has been shaped by motor racing, including many things which make everyday journeys safer:

Dodge Recalls 44,000 Pickup Trucks

On: Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 12:51PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Dodge Ram test 2

Chrysler has announced a recall of 44,300 of its Dakota and Ram trucks. The trucks in question have build dates between July 1, 2009 - November 30, 2009. It seems that the pinion nut may not have been manufactured with the proper amount of adhesive, and thus may be prone to coming loose causing the axle to lock up. If the axle locks up unexpectedly, it can cause the driver to lose control and crash.

Chrysler has said it will fix the problem free of charge by installing a pinion nut retainer on all potentially affected trucks. Owners may contact Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753 to schedule their free fix. Read on for the full report.

The World's Fastest Production Motorcycle

On: Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 5:17PM | By: Jon Summers

Kawasaki ZX14R test 2

Kawasaki has always had a reputation for building terrific engines; there is an urban legend this was because Kawasaki honed their skills in World War 2, building fighter plane engines. The story went that since they built planes, their test track was in fact a runway – no corners but lots of straight, explaining why the bikes went well, indeed perhaps rather too well for the way the bike performed in the turns, leading to a whole generation of seventies Kawi’s being labeled “widow-makers”.

Electric Kia Soul Rumors

On: Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 3:44PM | By: Chris Weiss

Electric Kia Soul Rumors test 2

Kia will soon offer an electric version of its venerable urban box, the Soul, according to new reports this week. The electric Soul will follow the launch of the next generation gas version within the next two years.

What the electric vehicle market needs is more cars with style and, dare we say, it...soul. The Kia Soul certainly isn't for everyone, but compare it to the Mitsubishi i-Miev or Nissan Leaf, and all of the sudden, it doesn't look so bad.