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Nissan Gets Down With The Juke Box

On: Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 2:23PM | By: Chris Weiss

The Juke Box test 2

Nissan sure knows how to have some fun with its strangest car. We thought the production Juke Nismo would be the only new Juke we'd see at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but Nissan had other ideas. It introduced the whimsical 'Juke Box' at the event. If you thought that bass-thumping audio system you had in high school was the shiznit, you were sadly mistaken.

The Juke Box isn't just a special edition Juke, it's a sound system that Nissan claims is the "world's ultimate mobile sound system." Given that Nissan's not really an audio company, it teamed up with the Ministry of Sound, a global entertainment group whose 'Box' nightclub sound system design inspired a miniature version. Audio expertise was provided by Martin Audio, the same outfit that designed Ministry of Sound's Box.

Nissan explains in its announcement: "In 1991 Justin Berkmann, one of the clubs founders, alongside James Palumbo and Humphrey Waterhouse, created a club never seen before in Europe; where the music and sound system came first. The pair created the ultimate club sound system - 'The Box' - a five-sided room within a room that was acoustically perfect, and is still considered today to be one of the best sound systems in the world."

Massive Parade Of Ferraris Works At World Record

On: Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 11:41AM | By: Chris Weiss

Massive Parade Of Ferraris Works At World Record test 2

A huge, never-ending line of Ferraris sounds like a dream that any car fan has had before. It's about to become a reality, though, as Ferrari North Europe prepares to create the world's longest Ferrari parade. While creating a parade of a Ferraris is a valuable proposition on its own, the group will be attempting to get itself recognized by Guiness.

Ferrari North Europe already has 600 cars registered, more than enough to beat the current record of 490. However, it won't be making the official attempt until September and is hoping to get an even 1,000 cars on board. It will be making the attempt at Ferrari Racing Days at the Silverstone Circuit in the U.K. (September 15 - 16).

Ferrari North Europe previously set the world record with a 385-car parade at the same event in 2007. The following spring, however, Ferrari North Europe was eclipsed by a 490-car parade put together by Cornes & Company Limited, a motor vehicle distributor in Japan, at the Fuji Speedway Circuit, Shizuoka, Japan. Ferrari North Europe hopes to get it back in a few weeks.

Hyundai Genesis Races An Arrow (Video)

On: Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 10:08AM | By: Chris Weiss

Hyundai Genesis Races An Arrow test 2

We'd think that the Hyundai Genesis (especially the 3.8-liter V-6 model) would be ill-equipped to race an F16 fighter. It might be able to handle a skydiver, but Hyundai thought that a soaring arrow would be a better fit. The automaker put the sports coupe to the test against a masterfully aimed projectile.

We're calling it now: 2012 is the year of the air-land race. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but every time we turn around, there's a new odd-ball race between a sports car and some type of stereotypically speedy air vessel.

In the latest such battle, Hyundai asks the question: "Can a car go faster than an arrow." While I never actually thought about it and couldn't care less in the long run, the manufactured question certainly has me wondering. Can it? It's safe to assume that since Hyundai made a whole video around it, it can. The video is part of Hyundai's New Thinking, New Possibilities campaign.

Classic Car Cultist: Buick Grand National GNX

On: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 3:13PM | By: Chris Salamone

Buick Grand National GNX test 2

From 1978 to 1987, Buick produced a series of rear-wheel drive ‘luxury’ coupes and sedans, fondly remembered as the Regal and later Grand National models. In conjunction with a series of NASCAR victories in the Manufacturers Cups of 1981 and 1982, Buick decided to bump the company’s performance aspirations to the next level. The Grand National was born.

But not until the Grand National’s last year of production, 1987, did Buick manifest the vehicle’s full potential – in a performance-oriented GNX. For twice the cost of admission relative to a standard Grand National, the GNX entranced a mere 547 buyers for the then-staggering sum of $29,900.

Today, the GNX’s reputation has grown. What was once seen as the flagship of the bygone muscle car era is now viewed as the last bastion of American automotive glory. The 1987 Buick Grand National GNX is the car which stood on the precipice of change and laughed in the face of environmental consciousness, practicality, and – of course – vehicular impotence.


Chevy Selling More Volts Than Corvettes

On: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 2:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Selling More Volts Than Corvettes test 2

The Chevy Volt hasn't been a top seller at GM, but it is outselling one icon in its second year on the market. We're close to halfway through the year, and the Volt has a comfortable lead over the Chevy Corvette.

Last year, Chevy sold around 13,200 Corvettes, not too far from double the 7,641 Volts that it sold. This year, however, the Volt has come from behind (not that it's really a competition) to outsell the Corvette. Through the first five months of the year, Chevy has delivered 7,057 Volts to dealers and 5,547 Corvettes. Since those are dealer delivery numbers and not actual sales, some of those Volts (and Corvettes) are certainly sitting at dealerships, so the number of actual customers may look different. Still, it's not a bad feat for the hybrid.

2013 Hyundai Equus Breaks $60,000 Mark

On: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 12:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Hyundai Equus Breaks $60,000 Mark test 2

A decade or two ago, the proposition of a $60,000 Hyundai would have caused an eruption of laughter. But these days, Hyundai has grown its reputation and upped its reach to higher ends of the market. Until it creates a distinct luxury brand, we'll have to get used to Hyundais costing up into the $60,000s. The 2013 Equus starts at just over $60,000.

Hyundai announced last week that the 2013 Equus will start at $60,150, after the $900 destination charge. That's only $250 more than last year's model, but it pushes the base price of the Equus over the $60K mark.

Volvo Dangles Polestar S60 Concept

On: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 10:32AM | By: Chris Salamone

Volvo Polestar S60 test 2

Last November, Volvo dropped the Polestar performance upgrade for the company’s hot hatch C30. And ever since, Volvo fans have wondered when the next Polestar treatment would come – and more importantly, which vehicle would receive the upgrade.

Fortunately for all involved, the wait was worth it. Just a few days ago, Volvo unveiled vehicle specs for an upcoming Polestar S60, injected to the brim with performance enhancers. Sure, the old school S60 Type R could jump from 0-60 in a blistering 5.4 seconds. But this S60 is a whole other animal.

Of course, that’s not surprising when you consider a T6 with modified cylinder head, combustion chambers, inlet manifold, and air intake. Tack on a Garret turbo and the Polestar S60 is good for 508 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of torque.  

Oh, and a projected 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds.

Production Nissan Juke Nismo Debuts

On: Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 4:39PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Juke Nismo test 2

The Juke R was a wild pipe dream that somehow managed to turn itself into a reality. The Juke Nismo, on the other hand, was always much more of a realistic, grounded vehicle headed toward production. Nissan introduced the production version of the tuned Juke at the weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans event.

Nissan originally showed the concept version of the Juke Nismo at last year's Tokyo Motor Show. Nismo will enjoy an expanded role at Nissan, and the performance Juke is the first example of that role.

Ford Launches MyFord Mobile App For Focus Electric

On: Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 2:22PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Launches MyFord Mobile App For Focus Electric test 2

It's not really an electric car unless it comes with a smartphone app for battery charging. Ford launched the MyFord Mobile app earlier this week, offering Focus Electric owners a mobile platform for monitoring and controlling battery charging.

Focus Electric deliveries started a couple of weeks ago, and the first owners can now download the mobile app from the iTunes store. The app connects with the car via an AT&T wireless module and allows remote access to battery charge information and other features. When the Focus Electric is plugged in, value-mode charging works with the Microsoft cloud to check local utility rates and activate charging when prices drop, helping to save owners money. Ford calls the technology an industry first.

Subaru Launches Online Guide For Summer Adventure

On: Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 12:48PM | By: Chris Weiss

Subaru Launches Online Guide For Summer Adventure test 2

Having lived in ski and mountain towns for the past five years, I can say with confidence: the Subaru is the quintessential American mountain car brand. Sure, there are more capable vehicles out there, but it seems that for every one of those you see in the mountains, there are half a dozen Subaru Outbacks.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Subaru has launched an interactive online guidebook focused on outdoor activities. It's called the "Subaru Guide to Everything."

A123 Systems Announces New Lithium Ion Technology

On: Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 11:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

A123 Systems Announces New Lithium Ion Technology test 2

It seems advisable for A123 Systems to focus on fine-tuning its current generation battery technology (read: make sure it works), but it's already looking ahead to the next generation of lithium-ion technology. The battery company that supplies packs to automakers including Fisker and Chevy says that its Nanophosphate EXT will improve operation in extreme temperature ranges.

Outside of more electric range, one of the first 'must haves' for electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid consumers would certainly have to be lower prices. A123 Systems implies that Nanophosphate EXT can give them just that by eliminating expensive thermal management hardware.