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And Car Reviews

Volvo Recalls 2,700 New Cars

On: Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 9:51AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Volvo Recalls 2,700 New Cars test 2

If you happen to have just purchased a brand new 2012 Volvo S60 or XC60, you may just be one of 2,742 new owners that will have to turn that Volvo right back around and head back to the dealership. It seems that while on the assembly line, the factory may have over sprayed the coating they use on the underbody of these cars. An over application of this coating can (like any liquid) cause it to drip down, and in this case, cause it to form icicle-like structures. 

The coating-icicles are not necessarily the problem -- it's the fact that these icicles can actually puncture fuel lines, causing fuel to leak and potentially a fire. Owners will be contacted beginning in mid-April, but early appointments are okay too.

Read on for the full report from Safercar.gov ...

March Madness Mecum's Way: Its Kansas City Sale Is Supertruck Central

On: Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 12:06PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by Author test 2

It takes a special kind of person to see nature’s most useful vehicle and—for whatever reason—convert it into something like the “trucks” you see here. Were these vehicles’ owner/builders overcompensating for something? Were they convinced that gasoline has a shelf life such that if they didn’t burn it all as fast as possible that it’d “go bad”?

You can (presumably) put these questions—and any others that might come from you reading about these rigs in a second—to said owner/builders directly at Mecum Auction’s Kansas City, MO, sale, March 29-31.

Just make sure you’re “diplomatic” about the whole thing. The kind of mind it takes to create something like one of these probably won’t cotton to dealing with your brand of humor. At all. Trust me on this one…

Prius C Throws Down Sales Gauntlet

On: Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 9:54AM | By: Chris Salamone

Prius C test 2

Since last week, any doubts we’ve had about the potential market for Toyota’s new-entry Prius c have been erased. This brand new Prii has suddenly become one of Toyota’s fastest-selling vehicles and churned up loads of media attention in the meantime. But strong sales and media support really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Toyota is actually attempting to give people what they want – rather than forcing something undesirable down our collective gullet.

In the Prius c’s first three days of sales Toyota moved 1,201 units, a quantity which overshadows Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt sales over the entire preceding month.

Infiniti Shows The Sporty Side Of Green With Emerg-E Concept

On: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 5:31PM | By: Chris Weiss

Infiniti Emerg-E Concept test 2

Infiniti pulled the cloth off of what is likely its sexiest, most dynamic car ever at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. The Emerg-E concept is part Earth-hugging range extender, part menacing, pure-blooded super sports car. We tend to love both parts equally.

The third in a line of "E" concepts designed to showcase what Infiniti calls its Adeyaka design language (the Essence and Etherea being number 1 and 2), the Emerg-E is a lightweight, range-extending sports car. Infiniti turned to Lotus for help in equipping the Emerg-E. The concept uses a 402-hp pair of electric motors driving the rear axle. Those motors, which were also seen in the Lotus Evora 414E concept, provide up to 30 miles of all-electric capability. Hethel's 47-hp 1.2-liter three-cylinder range-extending engine delivers up to 270 additional miles for a nice, round total of 300.


Subaru's EyeSight System Offers Suite Of Safety Technologies

On: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 3:46PM | By: Chris Weiss

Subaru's EyeSight System Offers Suite Of Safety Technologies test 2

Like other automakers around the world, Subaru is working to make roads safer by the application of new technologies. Its Eyesight system is a camera-based safety feature that provides collision prevention, intuitive cruise control and other driver assistance functions.

Subaru will launch its new EyeSight system at the New York Auto Show next month. The automaker describes the system as a suite of safety and driver assist technologies. Those technologies include adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and vehicle lane departure warning.

The Eyesight system is based around two charge-coupled device cameras mounted on the upper inside edge of the windshield. Subaru says the location was chosen in part to prevent damage that could easily occur to bumper-mounted hardware.

Next Jeep Liberty Bringing Smaller Pentastar Engine

On: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 11:22AM | By: Chris Weiss

Next Jeep Liberty Bringing Smaller Engine test 2

The Jeep Liberty...it's kind of like the awkward step sister of the Jeep family (although, to be fair, there are several awkward step sisters in that family). It's not as big or coveted as the larger Jeep Grand Cherokee. It's certainly not as capable as the Jeep Wrangler. It doesn't have the history of the standard Cherokee it replaced. It's $8,000 more than the Patriot (we're not too big on that one, either, but at least it's cheap). Some pretty knowledgeable voices have argued that the Liberty is a watered down departure from Jeep's heritage. We agree, and frankly, we don't understand why anyone even buys the thing.

Jeep will have another go at giving us a reason to like the Liberty, when it introduces the next generation model next year. One reason to like the model is that it will be the launch vessel for a new, smaller Pentastar V-6.

Cars on Film: Lambo Aventador J And Ferrari F12 Berlinetta (Video)

On: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 10:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

Aventador J and F12 Berlinetta test 2

There were a lot of impressive new cars and concepts at this year's Geneva Motor Show. If we were forced into picking our favorite two, we couldn't really do better than the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and the Lamborghini Aventador J. The former has the prominence of being Ferrari's new two-seat flagship and the latter is just an awesome, extreme one-off. And if you put money on Lamborghini and Ferrari in any type of car contest, you usually come up a winner.

Well, the tide has officially changed from dramatic on-stage presentations to post-unveil videos. Both Lamborghini and Ferrari have released videos of their respective Geneva debuts.

Jaguar To bring Its "ALIVE Driving Experience" To A City (Possibly) Near You

On: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 4:00PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Jaguar Alive Driving Experience logo test 2

In an effort to “reestablish the storied British brand among luxury consumers in a new modern context” the fine folks at Jaguar are taking their “Jaguar ALIVE [sic] Driving Experience” on the road, starting at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, AZ, April 13-15.

They say that this “multi-day brand event invites consumers to learn about and drive the company’s full model line-up with professional drivers, view heritage Jaguar vehicles and fully experience the brand in a dynamic setting.”

I say it’s an opportunity to immerse one’s self in everything Jaguar, including serious seat-time behind the wheel of each model—from the XF and XJ sedans to the XK coupe and convertible—they make.

Interested? Read on...

Sexy Fiat Model is Back...With Charlie Sheen (Video)

On: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 2:27PM | By: Chris Weiss

Sexy Fiat Model is Back...With Charlie Sheen test 2

Charlie Sheen may have fubared his way right off the set of Two and a Half Men, but that isn't keeping him off your TV screen. The extreme middle age crisis that is Sheen has two entertaining commercials on TV as we speak. The first one is a DirectTV spot that we're not particulary interested in, though it is pretty excellent. The second one has Sheen putting whatever celebrity endorsement power he has left into the Fiat 500 Abarth. Stepping from highest paid actor on TV to a commercial filler is usually the sign of a career crisis, but Sheen's making it look good.

Spoiler alert: If you want to be surprised by the commercial, skip straight to the video.

A Third Of Americans Are Sacrificing Something To Put Gas In The Tank

On: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 12:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

A Third Of Americans Are Sacrificing Something To Put Gas In The Tank test 2

I don't typically trust surveys done by organizations like "CouponCabin.com," an online coupon aggregator, but in this case, the results are fairly intuitive. Also the survey was conducted by Harris Interactive, an actual research and polling organization, so it appears legitimate enough to contemplate. The survey in question shows that more than a third of American adults are considering giving up some expense just so they can continue to afford to drive.

So far, 2012 has been an historical year for gas prices - and not in a good way. According to AAA, gas prices had risen for 32 consecutive days and hit daily record highs for 141 consecutive days as of February 29. Some analysts predict that the national average will hit $5 a gallon this year, and even modest estimates put the average around $4.25 by Memorial Day, 14 cents more than the record high experienced in July 2008.

Fastest, Most Powerful Ferrari Ever Coming Next Year

On: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 11:14AM | By: Chris Weiss

Fastest, Most Powerful Ferrari Ever Coming Next Year test 2

Not two weeks ago, Ferrari introduced the F12 Berlinetta (pictured), the 740-hp car that's now the fastest, most powerful Ferrari road car ever. That coupe will have a pretty short ride at the top, though. The F70, Ferrari's Enzo successor that was originally supposed to debut this year, will make its debut sometime next winter. Ferrari describes the car as its fastest, most powerful road offering ever, meaning it will bump the F12 to number 2.

In spring 2010, Fiat laid out several years of new Ferraris and said that the Enzo successor was due for a 2012 debut.