The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry
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.
Posted In: Car News, Racing, Special / Limited Edition, Videos
Tags: Golf, VW, Volkswagen, R, golf r, ultimate, fan, experience, fans, faceoff, germany, trip
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.
Posted In: Car News, Videos
Tags: Buick, GM, Enclave, supermodels, videos, ads, commercials, Marissa Miller
In what must be one of the biggest publicity and advertising misfires in the modern world, Ferrari - more specifically one of its dealerships - is in some hot water with the Chinese government. The problem? Someone from a Nanjing-based Ferrari dealership decided it prudent to do tire-smoking donuts atop the Great Wall of China.
The incident occurred when the dealership rented out a piece of the Great Wall of China in doing publicity for the new special edition 458 Italia. Apparently just getting some footage of the 458 Italia on and around the Great Wall wasn't enough for at least one member of this braintrust, because he got behind the wheel and proceeded to do donuts, burning tire marks into one of the greatest architectural achievements in the history of man. Good job, bro.
Posted In: Car News, Miscellaneous, Special / Limited Edition
Tags: Ferrari, news, China, Great Wall of China, 458 Italia
The rumored Toyota Supra successor may be taking a move upmarket. Instead of battling mid-level sports cars like the Nissan 370Z, it may be battling flagships like the Honda NSX. A new report is the second we've read that gifts the Supra revival a 400-hp hybrid powertrain that could help it to be Toyota's halo.
We first read about a possible 400-hp hybrid drive unit late last year in Motor Trend. The latest issue of the magazine gives a few more details on the model, which isn't expected to bring back the Supra name.
Posted In: Car News, Concept Cars, Reports, Rumors
Tags: Toyota, Supra, rumors, reports, sports cars, new cars,
Sometimes US automakers get it right. TechShop Detroit, a recent addition to Ford’s Dearborn product development campus, is the perfect example. Although originally from California, TechShop is a DIY workshop business which offers a wide array of cutting edge (pun intended) tools to paying members. And the best part: Ford is working closely with TechShop to incentivize employee inventions to bolster the automaker’s patent portfolio.
Ford already has about 17,000 pending and issued patents, but expect that number to skyrocket in the coming years. Ford Global Technologies now offers a free three-month membership to TechShop Detroit for potentially patentable ideas. The company projects that 2,000 incentive memberships will be awarded this year…and more to come in the future.
Posted In: Car News, How-To Articles, Miscellaneous, Reports, Technology, Videos
Tags: Tech, Shop, techshop, detroit, Ford, IP, intellectual, portfolio, fuels, fuel, folio, michigan
This week Ford issued a recall of 10,500 select 2012-2013 Mustangs, 2012 Expeditions and Navigators, and 2011-2012 F-150s due to what they claim is a transmission range sensor that was calibrated incorrectly. Basically, this means that when the driver shifts into what he or she thinks is reverse, the car may not actually be in reverse. Or another scenario may be that when the transmission actually is shifted into reverse, the "R" on the dashboard may not light up to let the driver know the car is in gear. The last issue that may be caused by this defective sensor is that even though the car is in reverse, the reverse lights on the rear of the car may not actually light up, which could cause a whole host of issues for any adults or children that happen to be walking behind one of these cars at just the wrong moment.
Ford is planning to notify owners beginning at the end of June, but owners may contact Ford before then at 1-866-436-7332 to schedule an appointment for a free inspect and replacement of the sensor if necessary. Read on for the full report from Safercar.gov.
Posted In: Recalls, Reports, Safety
Tags: Safety, Recall, Ford, Expedition, F-150, Mustang, Navigator, Reverse Lights,
After years of development, the pieces are all in place for the Toyota GT 86 (Scion FR-S) and Subaru BRZ. The models went on sale a few weeks ago and should start showing up on roadways soon. Next step? An open-topped FR-S/GT 86.
If Toyota is serious about bringing back its past reputation for sporty, fun-to-drive cars, it won't be able to ignore the sports convertible segment. An entry level sports coupe might be a fun ride, but it doesn't offer quite the same experience as a summer jaunt down a coastal highway with the top down. Toyota needs a convertible to return some excitement to driving.
Posted In: Reports, Rumors
Tags: Scion, FR-S, sports cars, Toyota, GT 86, Subaru, BRZ, convertible, roadster
Though its definition may be disguised to those that don't speak German, the Volkswagen is, quite literally, the 'people's car'. Last year, the German automaker put a whole new emphasis on this definition by launching the People's Car Project in China, a Web-based collaborative platform for new product and technology ideas. At the Beijing Motor Show this month, Volkswagen showed the first three concepts to come out of the project.
Volkswagen is quite happy with the success that the People's Car Project (we feel bad calling it "PCP") has had over its first 11 months. The website has attracted 33 million visitors and inspired about 119,000 unique ideas. It's been so successful, in fact, Volkswagen is extending its run indefinitely (it was originally planned for a single year).
Posted In: Auto Shows, Concept Cars, Technology, Videos
Tags: Hover Car, Volkswagen, VW, People's Car Project,
As promised, Toyota debuted its RAV4 EV at the 2012 Electric Vehicles Symposium this week. If you were awaiting the RAV4 EV with high hopes that it would give you an intriguing electric option with more space and utility than the tiny city cars that currently carry electric powertrains, you had better have a decent bank account. The RAV4 EV will start at $50,610 (including delivery) when it goes on sale this summer.
Given the high premium demanded by electric vehicles, we're not entirely surprised at the high price of the RAV4 EV. Still, that price looks much more Lexus than Toyota and is more than double the price of the gas-powered RAV4. Toyota doesn't even mention an all-wheel-drive option, so while the RAV4 EV may be the "only all-electric SUV on the market," it won't really be a proper SUV and won't have the same utility or all-conditions driving capability. It's basically another "twice the price for half the car" EV.
Posted In: Car News, Hybrid / Green, Reports
Tags: Toyota, Rav4, Rav4 EV, 2012 electric vehicle symposium, EV, new cars
After passing a law opening the door for self-driven cars, the state of Nevada is following with the bureaucratic actions necessary to put those cars on the road. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles has approved the very first autonomous vehicle license. And the Google Toyota Prius in question is not happy with how its picture turned out.
In last year's bill, the Nevada legislature authorized the Department of Transportation to devise rules and regulations for autonomous vehicles. Google was one of the strongest supporters of the bills, as it sought to use Nevada roadways to test its fleet of self-driving Toyota Prii.
Posted In: Car News, Reports, Technology
Tags: Google, autonomous cars, self-driving cars, Prius, Toyota
Last month, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute reported that the average fuel economy for new cars had broken 24 MPG for the first time. The 24 MPG figure didn't last long, though, as April's average dropped right back down to the same level as it was in February.
Despite the fact that some key hybrids increased twofold from April 2010, overall fuel economy still dipped to 23.9 MPG from 24.1 MPG in March. UMTRI cites a reprieve in gas-price increases in late April as a possible explanation. Prior to April, fuel economy had been on the rise all year - from 23.6 MPG in January to 23.9 MPG in February to 24.1 MPG in March.
Posted In: Hybrid / Green, Reports
Tags: fuel economy, new cars, business, car sales, green,