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Next-Gen Mustang May Ditch Retro Look

On: Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 10:41AM | By: Chris Salamone


Ford Evos Concept test 2

Just yesterday Michael Ramsey of The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting article regarding the future of Ford’s ultimate pony car. Instead of continuing the retro trend, Ramsey speculated that Ford would dramatically shift the direction of the Mustang brand. Citing “people familiar with Ford’s plans,” the article fervently declared that the next-generation Ford Mustang will likely retain a few currently recognizable features – shark-nosed grille and roundish headlights – but will ultimately look more like the current Ford Fusion over our beloved, but aging Mustang.

The change in focus has everything to do with Generation Y buyers – born 1980 to 1990. Gen Y is just entering the car buying arena and Ford wants Mustang to remain relevant. Apparently cars channeling the bygone era of sex, drugs, and rock & roll are considered less sellable to the emerging youth-buyer market.


Carolla Takes Cake At Long Beach Grand Prix

On: Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 3:52PM | By: Chris Salamone


Adam Corolla test 2

We’ve seen Adam Carolla do movies, standup comedy, pseudo-journalistic auto enthusiast TV shows, and celebreality. We’ve also seen him pick up a healthy appetite for vintage racing. Somehow though, despite frequent at bats, Mr. Carolla has struggled to achieve automotive stardom – following the burnt rubber of industry giants like Steve McQueen or Jay Leno.

But no longer: as of Saturday’s 36th Annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Grand Prix at Long Beach, Adam Carolla has entered the annals of driving greatness by achieving victory despite nearby accidents and a late-stage challenger.


Chevy Avalanche Put To Pasture

On: Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 10:40AM | By: Chris Salamone


2012 Chevrolet Avalanche test 2

Last Friday, General Motors announced plans to cease production on the company’s most bizarre vehicle. Since 2002, the Chevy Avalanche has offered truck buyers a unique mix of interior space, fancy features, girthy dimensions, and a premium price tag – which, at least early on, seemed to be a winning combination for pickup consumers. Unfortunately, the year 2008 came and buyer perspective changed with a trimmed down world economy.

93,482 Chevy Avalanches rolled into new driveways in 2003 but, in comparison, only about 20,000 sold in 2011. And that means GM isn’t willing to update a new Chevy Avalanche in an upcoming truck renovation cycle. 2013 Chevy Avalanches will be the last of their kind, the final generation.


Lexus Building A $1 Million Bugatti Competitor?

On: Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 3:38PM | By: Chris Weiss


Lexus Building A $1 Million Bugatti Competitor? test 2

We've been hearing a lot of Japanese sports car rumors of late, but this is by far the weirdest of the bunch. A report this week has Lexus building a super-LFA supercar that could compete with notables like the Pagani Huayra and upcoming McLaren P12.

Now, Lexus already has the LFA, a $375,000 supercar that's basically the most impressive, exclusive supercar ever to come out of Japan. It's also more than enough supercar for a company that's next most expensive car is more than $250,000 cheaper. So why in the world would it build an even higher end, more expensive car?


 

Not The Volt! GM Battery Explodes

On: Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 12:40PM | By: Chris Weiss


Not The Volt! GM Battery Explodes test 2

GM just doesn't have much luck with batteries. Earlier in the year, the NHTSA concluded an investigation into potential fire issues with the Chevy Volt's lithium ion battery. Chevy issued a proactive fix; the NHTSA was satisfied; and the automaker moved on to other things, things like a Congressional hearing called to rehash the whole situation. And now it has another battery problem.

On Wednesday morning, GM experienced a battery explosion at its Warren, Michigan plant. Several workers were injured during the explosion, and GM evacuated about 80 employees.

GM was quick to come out and say that the explosion had nothing to do with the Chevy Volt or any other production model. According to the automaker, it occurred during extreme testing of a prototype battery.


Bugatti Shows Grand Sport Vitesse In New Video

On: Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 10:02AM | By: Chris Weiss


Bugatti Shows Grand Sport Vitesse In New Video test 2

Some cars just demand video action, and any car defined by 'world's fastest' anything is definitely one such car. Bugatti debuted the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse at the Geneva Motor Show last month, and it has released a new promo video showing the world's fastest convertible in action.

If you missed it, the Grand Sport Vitesse is essentially the convertible version of the Veyron Super Sport, the world's fastest car with a record of 267.8 mph. The Vitesse features the same beefed up quad turbochargers that push the W-16 engine to 1,200-hp and 1,106 lb.-ft. of torque. Bugatti strengthened the standard Grand Sport design to handle the extra power and speed.


Nissan May Launch GT-86 Competitor

On: Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 5:30PM | By: Chris Weiss


Nissan May Launch GT-86 Competitor test 2

The Japanese sports car industry is in the midst of a renaissance that's showing no signs of slowing down. Japanese sports car options may soon be as plentiful as they were in the 1990s. Toyota and Subaru are very close to getting their jointly developed coupe to market, and word is that Toyota might be working on something a little more upscale. Honda is in the process of building a revived NSX, and now it appears Nissan is looking to do something at the other end of the market.

The first thought that comes to mind when talking about an entry-level Nissan sports coupe is a 240SX revival. Nissan built the 240SX back in the 1980s and 90s as a cheaper complement to the 300Z. The car's rear-wheel drive configuration set it apart from front-wheel competitors at the time.


Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts Of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 4:38PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Honda S2000 test 2

When you think of classic sports cars that have been sold throughout the US over the years, there are a few cars that come to mind -- certainly the venerable Corvette and the Porsche 911 take the lion's share of the credit (and deservedly so), but what others? Maybe a car like the Mazda Miata which has been going strong for more than twenty years, or more recently cars like the Porsche Boxster or even a Lotus or two might spring to mind. But more often than not, one of the most impressive traditional sports cars to ever grace a showroom in America gets almost no credit whatsoever: The Honda S2000.

Yes, the S2000! It was an easy car to overlook in the annals of automotive history. In a way, the S2K was a victim of its own successful design. Don't believe it? Well, let's see just how much you might have known about the high-revving Honda.


Mercedes Shows 2013 G-Class

On: Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 2:19PM | By: Chris Weiss


2013 Mercedes G-Class test 2

Mercedes-Benz introduced the 2013 G-Class off-roader earlier this week. The new model, which hits the market in the summer, gets a few minor updates inside and out.

If you look at the 2013 G-Class, you could easily think you're looking at the 2012 G-Class. That's because Mercedes (unlike Land Rover) has the good sense to recognize exactly what works in its hardcore off-road model. What works is a burly body, hard edges and sharp lines. So the automaker maintains the overall look and structure and adds simple updates like daytime running LEDs and new rear-view mirrors. The AMG model gets an AMG radiator grille with double louvers, new bumpers with large air intakes, and available red brake calipers and 20-inch wheels.


Hybrid Owners Quick To Jump Back To Gas

On: Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 11:12AM | By: Chris Weiss


Hybrid Owners Quick To Jump Back To Gas test 2

After paying hundreds of dollars a month (or week) at the pump, you might be thinking about ditching your gas powered vehicle and never looking back. Turns out, though, you may just look back - at least if you're like the average hybrid owner. A new study shows that hybrid owners are more likely than not to ditch gas-electric power.

On Monday, automotive research firm Polk released the results of an analysis that shows that only 35 percent of American hybrid owners came back for seconds when shopping in 2011. If you take the popular Toyota Prius out of the equation, hybrid owner loyalty drops below 25 percent. That's despite high gas prices and increasing selection of hybrids over the past several years.


Fisker Atlantic Sedan Barely Introduced, Delayed

On: Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 9:51AM | By: Chris Weiss


Fisker Atlantic Sedan Barely Introduced, Delayed test 2

According to new reports, the newly debuted Fisker Atlantic sedan will be delayed, just like its big brother the Karma. Fisker is still trying to figure out financing and production locations in the wake of the loss of its federal funding.

The Atlantic delay really doesn't come as a surprise given the turmoil going on at the company lately. Actually, more surprising is that Fisker was able to get the concept launched at the New York Auto Show.