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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

Toyota Is World's Largest Automaker - Again

On: Thu, May 17, 2012 at 5:01PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota Is World's Largest Automaker - Again test 2

If you've never followed the world's largest automaker race, it's a thrilling contest in which a very select few automakers make goals of overtaking their competitors, do so for a while and then relinquish the title to one of the other few brands large and wealthy enough to take the crown. It's must see TV, and the latest episode stars Toyota taking back the top spot from General Motors.

GM took the "world's largest automaker" honors from Toyota last year, after Toyota spent three years at the helm. Toyota took it back in the first quarter of this year, selling 2.49 million autos to global consumers, compared to GM's 2.28. Volkswagen, which has vowed to take the title by 2018, came in third with 2.16 sales.

Porsche May Develop A Second Sedan

On: Thu, May 17, 2012 at 12:58PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche May Develop A Second Sedan test 2

Dear Porsche: You were once the badge of obtainable dreams, something that got young children excited about going to college and making enough money to be "The Guy" on the other side of that black 911 with massive spoiler sitting in the local mall parking lot. What happened? Now all our Porsche coverage is filled with stories about sedans and small crossovers, not so much about actual sports cars. And, we bet those children are moving their attention away from Porsche. We're rather regretful to report on a baby Panamera at this stage in the game. Please speed up development of the 918 Spyder Hybrid and possible 959 successor so that we can once again look at the Porsche shield with love and admiration.

Cadillac XTS To Offer Concierge Experience And iPad

On: Thu, May 17, 2012 at 9:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Cadillac XTS To Offer Concierge Experience And iPad test 2

Cadillac isn't really leading the pack when it comes to US luxury sales, so it's doing what any good, determined company looking for new customers would do - buttering them up with free schwag. The 2013 XTS will come with a free iPad and some A-list-level technical support.

In what sounds like an effort to avoid some of the problems Ford has experienced with the end user experience of its Sync system, Cadillac is offering a hands-on approach with the CUE system, which launches on the 2013 XTS. Each Cadillac dealership across the nation will have technology experts to assist customers, and Cadillac will even come to customers' homes to help with CUE questions. Customers will be able to reach Cadillac reps via toll-free number and push-button OnStar communication.

Ferrari Confirms Enzo Hybrid

On: Wed, May 16, 2012 at 11:39AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari Confirms Enzo Hybrid test 2

It was really just a formality at this point, but Ferrari has officially confirmed that the F70 Enzo successor will be a hybrid. Ferrari spiced up an otherwise dull press release by confirming the F70 for debut by year end.

Ferrari said in a press release about its first quarter earnings: "At the end of the year, we'll also be unveiling the new Enzo, a limited series model and our first ever hybrid car."


Chevy Makes Trax Away From USA

On: Tue, May 15, 2012 at 1:42PM | By: Chris Salamone

Chevrolet Trax test 2

Pop quiz: What all-new Big Three micro CUV will be sold in more than 140 countries, including Canada and Mexico, but not the United States? If your answer sounds anything like a brain exploding from frustration, you’re right on track – or Trax, as the case may be.

In September, GM will debut the company’s latest Sonic-based addition to the Chevrolet brand, a cheeky small CUV called Trax. Despite class-leading cargo space, room for five passengers, and city-appropriate physical dimensions, Trax will not be offered in the United States “[b]ecause of the strong position of the Chevy Equinox.”

Hyundai Unleashes A Pack Of Baboons Onto The i30 (Video)

On: Tue, May 15, 2012 at 10:32AM | By: Chris Weiss

Hyundai Unleashes A Pack Of Baboons Onto The i30 test 2

We've all seen those "when animals go wild" type videos where an unsuspecting station wagon full of tourists becomes victim to a stomping, punching and clawing pack of wild primates. Usually, those encounters are an inadvertent side effect of visiting a safari-type amusement park (or actual safari). In the case of the Hyundai i30, there was nothing inadvertent about it.

Hyundai's British division took an i30 hatchback to Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool. Their goal was to do a unique type of endurance test, and they selected baboons for their penchant to tear visitors' cars apart. They rolled the i30 into the park and essentially let the pack of baboons go to town - for 10 hours.

EPA Rates Tesla Model S Range

On: Mon, May 14, 2012 at 4:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

EPA Rates Tesla Model S Range test 2

Tesla will begin Model S deliveries next month, a little earlier than initially planned. The EPA has tested and rated the model, keeping Tesla at its untouchable pinnacle in terms of EV range.

When tested by way of the EPA's new stricter 5-cycle testing, which adds cold-weather with heater, hot-weather with air conditioner and high-speed driving to its 2-cycle testing, the EPA stamps a 265-mile rating on the top-tier Model S, only about 12 percent lower than Tesla's 300-mile claim. Considering ratings of cars like the Nissan Leaf take a hit of nearly a third when tested by the EPA, that's not bad at all. Further, when tested under the 2-cycle procedure that the Roadster was judged by, the Model S exceeds Tesla's estimates, earning 320 miles of range.

Some Good News On Gas Prices (Sort Of)

On: Mon, May 14, 2012 at 3:00PM | By: Chris Weiss

Some Good News On Gas Prices (Sort Of) test 2

Well, after hearing for several months that 2011 would be the year to remember for exorbitant gas prices, it looks like we're in for a treat. The government is backing off predictions of record-high prices. Gas prices won't exactly be low, but they won't soar as high as originally anticipated.

As recently as a few weeks ago, we were hearing that 2012 could see a record high in gas prices, but that prediction is officially out of date. According to the Detroit Free Press, the most recent predictions from the US Energy Information Administration put gas at an average of $3.79 for the summer driving season. That's below the $3.80 average record high set in 2008 and well below the $3.95 that previous predictions called for.

The Fiat 500 Goes Electric...And Underwhelms

On: Mon, May 14, 2012 at 12:58PM | By: Chris Weiss

The Fiat 500 Goes Electric...And Underwhelms test 2

We have the Fiat 500; the 500 L is on its way; and the 500 X is possible. However, we haven't heard much recent news on the 500 E - at least not from Fiat. The minicar makes so much sense as the lightweight home of an all-electric powertrain, one German company had to build it before Fiat.

Hamburg-based electric vehicle manufacturer and Fiat commercial vehicle supplier Karabag has equipped a 500 with a small lithium-polymer-powered drivetrain that puts out 37 hp. The motor has an unusual source: a Linde electric forklift. With a 62-mile range and 65 mph top speed, the car isn't all that practical for anything other than city driving. Since it's a German endeavor, though, we anticipate that European city centers are exactly what it was built for.

Golf R Fans Faceoff For Ultimate Fan Experience

On: Mon, May 14, 2012 at 10:00AM | By: Chris Salamone

2012 VW Golf R test 2

The date is set. Volkswagen’s Golf R Ultimate Fan Experience competition will end today, May 14, 2012. Unlike other, gimmicky pseudo-advertisement, commercial competitions, the Golf R Ultimate Fan Experience gives contestants a prize worthy of note: seven days, six nights in Germany with a tour of VW’s global headquarters and an actual test track run on Nurburgring.

Entering the running is as simple as downloading an official ‘Drivers Forever’ application and describing why you want to win in less than 256 characters. As a disclaimer, though, if you need to be reminded that the number 256 is incidentally the same amount of horsepower found on the 2012 Golf R, then perhaps this competition isn’t for you.

Buick Hires Supermodel Marisa Miller For Ad Campaign (Video)

On: Sat, May 12, 2012 at 11:02AM | By: Chris Weiss

Buick Hires Supermodel Marisa Miller For Ad Campaign test 2

It looks like Buick is determined to rectify its ambiguous branding in one strong move. It has hired on supermodel Marisa Miller to star in a new ad campaign around its Enclave. Though Kate Upton may be getting all the buzz these days, Miller is still the type of blonde bombshell that delivers instant electricity to anything she appears in.

One of the problems that Buick faces in today's market is that it's a wishy-washy brand without a firm definition. It's a sort of middle-road, semi-luxury brand between Chevy and GM. But even that definition isn't really a definition at all. And in reality, Buick is known more as a brand for the older generation, especially since Oldsmobile (which brought the “old” right in the brand name) was discontinued.