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Infiniti May Look To Essence Concept, Not Emerg-E For Flagship

On: Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 12:12PM | By: Chris Weiss

Infiniti May Look To Essence Concept, Not Emerg-E For Flagship test 2

 "Infiniti EMERG-E is physical proof of Infiniti’s intention to produce a bold halo model befitting the brand’s promise of Inspired Performance, and also signals an array of exciting new technologies that the brand will adopt in its quest to build dramatic and sustainable high performance cars." Infiniti used that sentence to introduce the Emerg-E performance hybrid at this year's Geneva Motor Show. While the statement doesn't say that the Emerg-E will be the "bold halo model," it certainly implies it. The fact that Infiniti has built a working prototype supplies further evidence.

Things may not be so clear cut, however. A new report casts doubt on whether the Emerg-E will be Infiniti's halo car, suggesting that Nissan's luxury arm will reach further back in its concept car portfolio. 

Jeep Asks: What Is 'Freedom Of The Open Road'?

On: Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 10:23AM | By: Chris Salamone

Jeep Wrangler Freedom Edition test 2

Ok, we all love free money. And, following closely behind, we all greatly enjoy free gift cards. In the spirit of our Nation’s most red, white, and blue holiday Jeep has officially issued a Freedom of the Open Road Contest & Sweepstakes.

As far as we’re concerned that long list of descriptors adds up to a $500 gift card to REI or 30 randomly awarded $25 iTunes gift cards to participants which answer the following question: what does ‘Freedom of the Open Road’ mean to you.

Only the three grand champions of the contest get the REI shopping spree. So unless you’re merely reaching for a few iTunes hits, pop on those wordsmithing caps, shed a few tears, and find your inner wanderlust, because nothing gets auto journos more excitable than glorifications of our favorite past time.

All-New SRT Rumors Churn, Roadster Or Truck?

On: Tue, Jul 3, 2012 at 11:37AM | By: Chris Salamone

2007 Dodge Demon test 2

In this upcoming September’s issue of Motor Trend magazine, readers will be treated to the possibility that three, and not two, SRT vehicles will eventually hit the road. For those of us currently counting, so far we know that the 2013 SRT Viper and 2015ish SRT Barracuda we be the SRT brand’s first two ponies out of the gate.

But Motor Trend speculates that another, altogether different, model will round out the nascent SRT lineup. The trouble is, of the two possibilities listed by author Mike Connor…neither seems like a viable option.

2013 Mercedes SL653: The Future Never Looked So Good!

On: Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 4:04PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2013 Mercedes SL653 test 2

Amidst all of the current hybrid nonsense going on in the world, it would be easy for a traditional gearhead to lose faith in the hope that the future will bring him bigger, better, and badder models to choose from. Considering how everything now seems to either plug-in, charge-up, or boast more about miles per gallon than horsepower, it is at the very least understandable to imagine how someone could think that our world's best hot rod days are behind us. But fear not, you weary worrywarts, we are here to tell you that not all is lost. In fact, one look at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 and all your fears will be quelled.


What?! Lamborghini May Build Four-Door Aventador

On: Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 1:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

What?! Lamborghini May Build Four-Door Aventador test 2

A Lamborghini sedan has been rumored since the Raging Bull unveiled the Estoque concept in 2008. Those rumors were largely put to rest when Lamborghini unveiled the Urus concept at the recent 2012 Beijing Motor Show. The logic is that the Urus crossover beat out an Estoque-inspired sedan for the third and final model slot in Sant'Agata Bolognese. Still, some voices say that Lamborghini hasn't abandoned the sedan entirely. The latest such voice explains that the first Lamborghini four-door may come by way of a four-seat Aventador.

Chevy Recalls 400,000 Cruze Models

On: Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 10:42AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Chevy Cruze test 2

Chevy has released a recall of 413,148 Cruze models made from October 2, 2009 through May 31, 2012 billed as 2011 and 2012 models. It seems that any oil that may spill or drip as a result of an changing an oil filter or adding oil to the car can gather in the engine shield at the base of the motor. Unfortunately, that is also in very close proximity to very hot engine parts (exhaust and catalytic converters), which may cause all of that collected oil to catch fire, which would ruin most any driver's day. 

Thankfully, owners can contact Chevy for a free fix of the shield at 1-866-694-6546 or simply wait until Chevy begins contacting owners later this month.

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

2013 Chevy Malibu Starts Just Over $23,000

On: Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 5:14PM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Chevy Malibu Starts Just Over $23,000 test 2

GM announced pricing on the 2013 Chevy Malibu last week. The mid-size sedan gets a modest increase of $280, starting at $23,150. That price includes a $760 destination charge. While the base price is a little higher, the upper echelon LTZ models are less expensive than last year.

Fresh off the win in the mid-size class of the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (2012 model year), the new Malibu is priced and packaged. The 2013 model has the benefit of the new 2.5-liter Ecotec engine, which puts out close to 17 percent more power (197 hp) than the outgoing engine. The 2.5-liter plant comes standard in the base LS, LT and LTZ trim levels. A 259-hp 2.0-liter Ecotec turbo is optional on the LT and LTZ models.

Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Runs Down A Golf Ball (Video)

On: Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 3:12PM | By: Chris Weiss

Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Runs Down A Golf Ball test 2

You know, when we declared 2012 the year of the air-land race, we had forgotten momentarily about the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster-meets-golf ball world record. It wasn't actually a race per se, but some racing was required for SLS driver David Coulthard to track down the golf ball and catch it mid-air. So it's yet another fine example of the great land-air competition of 2012.

We first heard about the Mercedes stunt last month. Only problem was, there wasn't any video to show you. Try as we did, you really can't tell the story of "world's farthest golf shot caught in a moving car" without an accompanying video clip.

Tuner Stuffs Ferrari 458 V-8 Into Fiat 500

On: Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 12:49PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fiat 500 Italia test 2

Small cars, big engines: It's a combination that inspires curiosity among car fans, even if the cars are ridiculously impractical and kind of counterintuitive (if you're going to have a supercar engine, you might as well have the supercar to go with it). Past examples have included the potential world's fastest Hennessey Venom GT and the Nissan Juke R. Now we have the Fiat 500 Italia from Roman design studio Lazzarini Design.

The idea is simple enough: reach across Fiat AG for one of the group's largest engines and fit it to one of its smallest cars. Lazzarini envisions the 4.5-liter V-8 engine from the Ferrari 458 Italia mounted in the rear of the 500, where it appears to take up a good portion of the hatch. In order to optimize traction, the firm plans to modify the engine output to a slightly lower 542 horses. That may be light for the 563-hp 458, but it's an arsenal of horsepower for the tiny minicar.

Chrysler Launches 'Imported From Gotham City' Campaign (Video)

On: Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 10:59AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chrysler Launches 'Imported From Gotham City' Campaign test 2

After the success of its "Imported From Detroit" campaign, Chrysler is always eager to put a new spin on the theme. In recognition of the much anticipated The Dark Knight Rises film, the automaker has released a new ad campaign entitled "Imported From Gotham."

Gotham is the fictitious New York City-like metropolis setting of the Batman comics and movies, for anyone that hasn't been paying attention to decades of Batman movies, television shows and comic books. In a garage deep in the heart of the city, a team of mechanics outfits a Chrysler 300 for sharp vigilante justice.

Bad Omen For EVs: Nissan Leaf Battery Capacity Complaints

On: Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 5:29PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bad Omen For EVs: Nissan Leaf Battery Capacity Complaints test 2

Battery range is already a major reason that electric vehicles are destined to remain a small niche in the market. An often overlooked demon lurking ominously behind the greater range issue is the penchant for battery capacity to decrease over time. Indeed, over the course of years, batteries will slowly lose their ability to hold charge, and range will get lower and lower until a replacement is needed.

If the experiences of some Nissan Leaf owners are any indication, battery capacity may soon displace range as the biggest drawback of electric vehicle ownership. Not two years after launch, some owners are already complaining about discernible capacity losses.