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VW To Go Retro With Beetle Convertible Launch

On: Wed, May 30, 2012 at 5:07PM | By: Chris Weiss


VW To Go Retro With Beetle Convertible Launch test 2

The Beetle may be a timeless design, but it's a car that evokes a certain amount of nostalgia for decades gone by. Stare at it long enough and you may find yourself transported to Woodstock or the 1970s gas crisis. If new rumors hold truth, Volkswagen will play upon the Beetle's nostalgia when it launches the new Beetle convertible. Instead of just launching the production convertible, it will launch at least three special edition models.

According to Car & Driver, the special edition convertibles will play up the Beetle's illustrious 74-year history. Based on some trademark filings, the magazine expects each one to be dedicated to a given decade - 50s, 60s and 70s. Volkswagen filed European trademark applications for the numeric and written designations for those decades, so it looks likely that it will show convertibles styled specific to each decade.


More Ferrari Fire Problems? FF Goes Up In Poland

On: Wed, May 30, 2012 at 3:40PM | By: Chris Weiss


FF Goes Up In Poland test 2

"Fire" must be the most feared word in Maranello these days. After a very public fire problem with the 458 Italia, another new Ferrari model is having a bout of fire problems of its own. An FF burned to the ground near Krakow, Poland recently, making three publicized FF fire incidents. Even if it has nothing to do with Ferrari's manufacturing, it's another fire headline that the Prancing Horse really doesn't need.

According to a report from Polish site Kontakt 24, the Ferrari burned to the ground on the A4 outside of Krakow. Firefighters tried to douse the flames but, as you can see, were unable to save the grand tourer. The site reports this as the third FF fire, and the Polish incident joins a February FF fire in Shanghai and a test drive incident in Germany last year.


Acura Recalls 52,000 TL Models

On: Wed, May 30, 2012 at 11:12AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Acura Recalls 52,000 TL Models test 2

Honda has issued a recall of 52,615 Acura TL models thanks to some questionable hoses. It seems that after dealing with high under-hood temperatures for extended periods of time, that heat along with high power steering fluid temperatures can cause the power steering hoses to deteriorate. That deterioration can lead to leaking fluid which can find its way to the catalytic converters and ultimately cause a fire.  

Honda/Acura is planning on contacting all owners of the affected cars staring next month, but if you'd like to get the jump on the crowd, contact Honda's customer service at 1-888-327-4236 to schedule a free-of-charge appointment for the installation of high-temp resistant hoses.  

Read on for the full report ...


Fuel Economy Ranks Higher Than All Other Considerations For Buyers

On: Wed, May 30, 2012 at 9:51AM | By: Chris Weiss


Fuel Economy Ranks Higher Than All Other Considerations For Buyers test 2

A new Consumer Reports study shows that fuel economy is a leading consideration among new car buyers. In fact, it surpasses all other considerations, leaving factors like quality, capacity and value in the dust.

Consumer Reports' survey, which is based on responses from 1700 people nationwide contacted at random, shows that 37 percent of car buyers consider fuel economy the most important factor in a new car purchase. Only 17 percent of those surveyed pick quality as the most important consideration, with 16 percent citing safety and 14 percent citing value. That's a pretty strong statement in favor of fuel economy.


 

Volkswagen Unveils CC 'R-Line'

On: Tue, May 29, 2012 at 2:04PM | By: Chris Salamone


Volkswagen CC R-Line test 2

On Sunday, Volkswagen of America revealed a new sportiest version of the CC four-door coupe to debut physically at the Auto Mobil International car show in Leipzig on June 1st, the CC R-Line. In addition to all those perky German technologies associated with the CC Sport Plus, the R-Line will be mated to an optional six-speed manual transmission, beefier lower air intake, upgraded lights, and aggressive aesthetics.

If there’s one thing we’ve always appreciated about the Volkswagen CC, it’s the vehicle’s sophisticated style – often fitting in with equally distinctive, but significantly more expensive makes. The R-Line model appears to take style to a whole new level, aimed to find the perfect nexus of sport and luxury.


High Gas Prices = Less Traffic

On: Tue, May 29, 2012 at 11:54AM | By: Chris Weiss


High Gas Prices = Less Traffic test 2

I remember back when I got my first car, gas reached a jaw-dropping low of $0.89 a gallon and hovered between there and $1.00 a gallon for quite some time; $1.50 was almost unthinkable. Between having a new, pristine license and the low cost of pumping up, I used to just drive and drive - no real destination, just pick a direction and go.

I don't do that these days. I drive when I have to and stay home when I don't.  And it appears like a lot of people are using that strategy during these times of sky-high gas prices. A new study shows that traffic has taken a major fall over the past year.


Subaru Tribeca Not Long For This World

On: Tue, May 29, 2012 at 10:40AM | By: Chris Weiss


Subaru Tribeca test 2

Subaru is reportedly getting ready to wind down the Tribeca crossover, according to reports out of Japan. The crossover was never exactly a hit and has long been overshadowed by its brethren like the Outback and Legacy. Subaru is finally prepared to put it out of its misery.

According to Motor Trend, Subaru will discontinue the model by the end of this year. A spokesperson told the magazine that it is committed to selling the model through the 2013 model year but wouldn't commit to anything beyond that, and an anonymous source said that 2012 is it for the SUV.


Porsche's Experience Center To Cater To Human And Vehicle Performance

On: Sat, May 26, 2012 at 12:06PM | By: Chris Weiss


Porsche's Experience Center test 2

Porsche has detailed some plans for its upcoming California 'experience center'. The new facility will be equipped with a test track as well as an upscale gym.

Porsche North America announced this week that it's moving the operations of Porsche Motorsport North America from Santa Ana to the new Experience Center in Carson, California, just outside LA. The addition of Porsche Motorsport will add to the atmosphere of performance being developed at the new facility, which will include a road-handling course.


Nissan To Debut 'Easy Fill Tire Alert' System

On: Fri, May 25, 2012 at 4:51PM | By: Chris Weiss


Nissan To Debut 'Easy Fill Tire Alert' System test 2

Nissan will debut a simple new technology it calls Easy Fill Tire Alert on the 2013 Altima. The new tire fill system automatically lets you know when you've reached proper pressure without the need for those annoying gauges.

We've already seen the 2013 Altima and its 38 mpg at the New York Auto Show. This week, Nissan details one more feature of the car. The Easy Fill Tire Alert system is an intuitive feature that lets you know when your tires are below pressure and when they're back to normal.


Hyundai Confirms Super Bowl Advertising For Next Year

On: Fri, May 25, 2012 at 3:40PM | By: Chris Weiss


Hyundai Confirms Super Bowl Advertising For Next Year test 2

If GM was hoping to drum up greater industry support in thumbing its nose at the Super Bowl, it's backfiring so far. Somewhat predictably, a competitor used GM's announcement as springboard to highlight its own Super Bowl efforts - because an announcement that you have something planned for the Super Bowl is much more interesting press than saying that you're foregoing it.

GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick had barely choked his quote all the way out when Hyundai emailed a sort of response to the Detroit Free Press. Hyundai marketing vice president Steve Shannon said: "The Super Bowl is a perfect venue for a brand like Hyundai. We are extremely pleased to be an advertiser on the 2013 Super Bowl. In addition to the fact that this is far and away the best-watched television program in the U.S. the social media opportunities continue to grow every year and we expect even more impact from this aspect of our advertising on the Super Bowl next year."


Nissan Juke R Tackles Norwegian Ice (Video)

On: Fri, May 25, 2012 at 11:55AM | By: Chris Weiss


Nissan Juke R Tackles Norwegian Ice test 2

The Nissan Juke R is one of those vehicles that when it acts, we watch - partly because it's just such a cool little car and partly because it's usually doing cool things. Like racing supercars. And tearing up ice in Norway.

After his stint racing around the streets of Dubai, Nissan driver Lucas Ordonez got sent to the other end of the world. Instead of hot asphalt and hot supercar engines, he's battling cold ice on the Losna Isbane Ice Track in Norway. As you might expect, the suped-up small crossover looks all kinds of comfortable shaving ice and fishtailing across the great north.