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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

Nissan Leaf Gets Stretched Into A Limo

On: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 4:52PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Leaf Limo test 2

The Nissan Leaf may not be the right choice for a taxi cab, where it would risk running out of power meeting the varying demands of street customers, but it could perform as a hotel limo, where specific guidelines could ensure that it never travels too far from home. At least one hotel in Nashville, Tennessee seems to think so.

We've heard whispers about a Nissan limo being designed in Missouri, but this is the first time we've seen a comment from Nissan on it. In a press release, the automaker quotes a hotel executive in calling it "the world's first road-worthy, licensed, street legal electric limousine."

Mansory Gives Lamborghini Aventador More Carbon Fiber

On: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 3:21PM | By: Chris Weiss

Mansory Carbonado test 2

Lamborghini is a big proponent of weight savings through lightweight composites. It opened a composite research center two years ago, and it uses generous amounts of carbon fiber in its models. It even built the Sesto Elemento as a sort of ode to lightweight carbon fiber construction. But it has taken the tuning of Mansory to give Lambo's latest model an overdose of carbon fiber.

While the standard Aventador uses plenty of carbon fiber, the Mansory Carbonado takes it to the next level, replacing non-carbon exterior components with the auto industry's favorite weave. Mansory says every element of its aerodynamics package is crafted from carbon. Those elements include an apron with optimized air inlets, front lip, side sills, rear apron with diffuser and rear wing. Mansory also replaces body panels, the engine and roof covers, and the hood with carbon fiber versions. Aerodynamics are enhanced while weight is kept to a minimum.

Stylish Lexus LF-LC Coupe Looking Good For Production

On: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 11:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

Stylish Lexus LF-LC Coupe Looking Good For Production test 2

Toyota has already begun its journey to become a more sporty, fun to drive brand. Not only has it developed cars like the GT 86 (and maybe a Supra successor), it's also restructured its marketing strategy. If it keeps things up, it will regain the reputation for sporty driving it had back when the Celica and Supra were household names.

Toyota also appears interested in carrying the strategy over to its luxury brand, Lexus. In fact, it already has with the LFA. Of course, a super-expensive, limited run supercar isn't enough to get many customers really excited. According to a new report, it is developing the LF-LC coupe as a more mainstream but still high-end sports car.

2013 Chevy Malibu Eco, Most Disliked Car Of The Year?

On: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 10:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Chevy Malibu Eco test 2

It wasn't all that long ago that a bright-eyed GM issued pricing information on the 2013 Chevy Malibu. It was full of hope and excitement, referring to the Malibu Eco as the "most fuel efficient Malibu" ever. Somewhere over the past few weeks, things went awry, and the descriptor now filling headlines is "most disliked car of the year (so far)."

The unofficial award comes courtesy of Alex Taylor III, senior editor-at-large of Fortune magazine. Taylor's premise is tenuous at best and based in part on a phenomenon he defines as "damning with faint praise." He says that while many notable reviews have had good things to say - Motor Trend and Detroit Free Press are quoted specifically - there is an undercurrent of discontent. He implies that journalists and reviewers essentially want so badly to like the Malibu Eco for what it is - an affordable, efficient midsize sedan - that they gloss over inadequacies. After that, he delves into some reviews that don't have any problem taking the Malibu Eco to task.


Nissan Working On An FR-S Competitor

On: Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 5:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Working On An FR-S Competitor test 2

It appears that all the iterations of sporty Jukes we've seen aren't just for fun. They've also allowed Nissan to work on sportier applications of the Juke's components, which should help in the development of a new entry level sports car based largely on the Juke.

Interestingly, the new sports coupe, which Motor Trend calls the Mini Z, won't be a revival of the Silvia/240SX. Instead, it will be an all-new sports car with front-wheel-drive architecture. The car appears inspired by, and will take aim at, the Toyota GT 86/Scion FR-S/Subaru BR-Z.

ATS Ad Campaign Challenges...Planet Earth

On: Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 3:48PM | By: Chris Salamone

ATS vs. World test 2

If you’ve been watching the Tour de France lately, then you must already know Cadillac is making a major advertising play this year – especially with regard to sporting events. The trend looks to continue with the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics on July 27, when Cadillac will unleash a series of 60 and 30 second television spots which are sure to grab some attention.

Appropriately titled Cadillac ATS vs. the World, the company hopes to take the viewing audience on a “cinematic adventure.” From Monaco to Morocco, China to Chile, the ATS will tackle some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging-to-handle pavement.

More Mazda6 Teasing (Video)

On: Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 2:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

More Mazda6 Teasing test 2

Mazda is passing the long, hot summer afternoons by teasing its upcoming Mazda6. The Takeri concept whetted the world's appetite for the new flagship sedan, and a series of teasers are keeping anticipation high. With more than two months left before the official Paris Motor Show debut, we expect to see a few more teasers. Number 2 and 3 are officially here.

The first Mazda6 teaser focused on the driver side front. Number 2 takes the tour to the profile by way of the front fender, and number 3 pulls us around back.

Chevy Volt Experiencing Electric Mileage Drops In The Heat

On: Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 11:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Volt Experiencing Electric Mileage Drops In The Heat test 2

A few weeks ago, we reported that some Nissan Leaf owners have been experiencing battery capacity issues. Those owners were concentrated in hot states, supporting the fact that hot weather will be an obstacle for electric vehicle performance. Now that it's a scorching mid-July, Chevy Volt owners are reporting some problems with battery performance.

Infiniti's Flagship May Be Emerg-E...Or An SUV

On: Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 10:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

Infiniti's Flagship May Be Emerg-E...Or An SUV test 2

Things were going so well. The Infiniti Emerg-E was looking good to fill the role of Infiniti flagship, and if it didn't make it, it was looking like it would be an Essence-inspired sports car - even better! The latest report throws that little slice of Infiniti utopia into question. While the Emerg-E is still a possibility, the other possibilities aren't as attractive.

After what we assume was the same discussion with Nissan that brought news about the 370Z, Inside Line reports that Infiniti's flagship could be either the Emerg-E, a sedan or ... an SUV. Interestingly, the report doesn't mention the Essence-based sports car that Car & Driver talked about just two weeks ago.

Perfectly Plum Fit, Still Sitting Pretty

On: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 4:35PM | By: Chris Salamone

2013 Honda Fit test 2

Whenever subcompact car comparisons pop up, and the Fit is listed as an entry, the outcome can – more often than not – be predicted in favor of Honda’s most true-to-form econo hatchback. Even without a substantive update since the vehicle’s introduction in 2006, except minor aesthetic improvements in 2007, the Fit has continued to be a fan favorite amongst an increasingly popular segment.

So, you’d think that 2013 might be some kind of watershed or big update year for the Honda Fit, especially in light of recent subcompact makeovers coming from Hyundai, Chevrolet, Fiat, et al. Whether it’s because of last year’s series of catastrophes or the company’s continuing market success, Honda has chosen to stay the course and maintain the 2012 Fit, nearly in the vehicle’s present form.   

There is, however, one change worthy of note. Consumers will have a few color choices aside from the usual subcompact classics (blue, red, white, and black), including the new-for-2013 color Midnight Plum Pearl.

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish: The Next Ruler Of All The Lands

On: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 2:40PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish test 2

The king is dead, long live the king!  For those of you who can afford the most expensive cars in the world, you might find yourself chanting this same mantra when it comes to the newest Gran Turismo. Of course, you could just be like us and like to keep up with the current world of extreme automotive luxury and performance cars, even if they may still be just a bit out of our price range. That being said, whether it comes as simply news, or a change in your next purchase considerations, Aston Martin has decided to axe their flagship DBS model and replace it with a name from the not-so-distant-past, the Vanquish.  

In typical Aston Martin style, they've taken the former model, and made it into a car that is bigger, badder, and bolder than ever before. Borrowing extensively from the One-77 show car that made its rounds on just about every circuit in the world, the new Vanquish is a bit sleeker, while accentuating its aggressive rear fenders, while trumping the outgoing DBS in length, height, and width. Of course, that is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to being a car, but thankfully physical dimensions are not the only realm the Vanquish bests the DBS.