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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

Porsche Boxster: Round 3!

On: Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 2:48PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Porsche Boxster test 2

As if the outgoing Boxster wasn't good enough, Porsche felt the need to go ahead and make the next generation of one of America's best sports cars just a little better. Although there are quite a few details that are still a bit sketchy, from what we can tell so far, the new Boxster, which is code-named the 981 takes everything the old 987 did, and does it with just a bit more flair and fun. 

Taking a few cues from the venerable (and new in its own right), the 981 Boxster begins life with a slightly wider track and longer wheelbase than the 987, giving the new car a better platform to carve up corners. The 981 comes in 55 pounds lighter than the outgoing car, which in this day and age where excessive safety regulations seem to add so much poundage to cars every year it could almost be considered an epidemic, is nothing short of amazing.

Las Vegas May Get Its Own Nurburgring Track

On: Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 1:00PM | By: Chris Weiss

Las Vegas May Get Its Own Nurburgring Track test 2

The twisty behemoth known as the Nurburgring is perhaps the most famous race track in all the world. Not only does this track complex offer up a destination for full on racing events, its Nordschleife (northern loop) serves as the test bed for performance sports car bragging rights. Nordschleife times are nearly as ubiquitous as 0-to-60/62 mph times and top speeds on spec sheets.

The United States has a lot of race tracks, but it doesn't really have anything like Nurburgring. One motorsports company aims to change all that - by making a carbon copy of Germany's track.

According to reports, Speedway Motorsports, a company that owns and operates such US tracks as Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway, is currently working toward building a replica of Nurburgring on 8,000 acres of desert outside of Las Vegas. Vegas already has replicas of such icons as the Eiffel Tower and The Colosseum, so why not the 'Ring?

Celebrity Apprentice Affirms Buick Brand Confusion

On: Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 11:22AM | By: Chris Salamone

Debbie Gibson test 2

Unlike a few years ago, Buick is a company with a lot of momentum going forward. The Regal has been universally accepted as an impending classic, the Verano shares DNA with an already superstar GM product (Chevy Cruze), and the soon-to-be youthful Sonic-based subcompact Encore all define a brand lineup which has undergone substantial evolution. Indeed, for the first time in a long while Buick, as a brand, looks to have a sunny financial forecast. Then Sunday’s episode of The Celebrity Apprentice aired.

But the problem with Buick’s brand messaging on Donald Trump’s wildly successful celebreality show wasn’t the fault of the program’s cast, Mr. Trump, or the quality of Buick’s Verano – the vehicle which happened to be showcased. Buick’s brand confusion came from a much larger, more systemic, issue. At least on the televised recording, Buick’s executives failed to specifically address what type of brand concept the celebrities should focus on.

495,470 Toyota Tacomas Recalled!

On: Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 10:08AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

495,470 Toyota Tacomas Recalled! test 2

Just when you thought it was safe to finally get back into your Toyota, here comes another recall. This week, the Japanese based company has issued a mega-recall of nearly 500,000 of its famous Tacoma pickup trucks spanning from model years 2005-2009, which were built from September 14, 2004 through August 29, 2008.

It seems that over time vibration may damage the air bag control module in the driver's airbag, and as a result, the airbag may not deploy at all. Clearly this is a bit of a problem, and although it is not the worst recall of all time, 495,000 cars to bring back for a fix definitely puts another black eye squarely on a company that was just healing up from the few it earned just a couple years ago.

Read on for the full report ...


Bugatti Provides The Specs On Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse

On: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 5:34PM | By: Chris Weiss

Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse test 2

Bugatti revealed the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse well before the Geneva Motor Show, but it had to save a couple secrets for the big show debut. We knew from the beginning the car pairs the 1,200-hp powertrain of the fastest car in the world - Veyron Super Sport - with the convertible design of the traditional Grand Sport. What we didn't know until this week (and were quite curious about) was how fast the car was. Bugatti has satiated that curiosity.

As you'd expect from a sibling of the fastest car in the world, the Grand Sport Vitesse is outrageously fast. In fact, its numbers are bigger than nearly any hard top, so they're doubly impressive when you consider the open-top nature of the Grand Vitesse.

Valmet To Produce Marussia B2

On: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

Valmet To Produce Marussia B2 test 2

Finland-based Valmet Automotive has entered into agreement with Marussia to build the company's B2 sports coupe. The parties announced the deal at the Geneva Motor Show last week.

Marussia introduced the B2, its second model following the B1, in 2010. The car pulls 300, 360 or 420 horses out of a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. At first those numbers seem contrary to the car's extreme physique - which looks like it hides twice that many horses - but Marussia promises supercar levels of performance thanks to a 2,425-lb weight. The B2 hits 62 mph in 3.2 seconds.

Watch The Mini Countryman Brave Desert Sand And Alpine Snow (Video)

On: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 1:15PM | By: Chris Weiss

Watch The Mini Countryman Brave Desert Sand And Alpine Snow test 2

If you were planning a desert off-roading trip or ski trip past flashing "mandatory tire chains" signs, the brand Mini would probably be one of the last on your list for a vehicle source. But in advertising its new Mini Countryman with John Cooper Works package, those are exactly the two types environments that Mini filmed at.

Mini begs us to "Expect the Unexpected," and seeing a Countryman - even an upgraded AWD version - skate across hot desert sand and deep, powdery snow is definitely unexpected. It's also great automotive advertising.

Honda Exec Hints New Truck Model And More

On: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 11:51AM | By: Chris Salamone

Tetsuo Iwamura test 2

Back in October of 2011, Honda told us the Ridgeline was here to stay via a public service announcement. Of course, media junkies and auto enthusiasts acknowledged Honda’s stalwart optimism for the company’s most controversial product, amongst a recent model lineup of underperforming niche vehicles, but kept an existentially ubiquitous eyebrow raised in suspicion. Something would have to be done about the Ridgeline, and soon.

After a whirlwind year in 2011, featuring one natural disaster after another, Honda has some serious work to do for 2012. But, fortunately for us, the company refuses to back down – suggesting Honda is now stronger than ever.

Along with such a bold claim, Honda is quick to bolster their confidence with references to strong financial investments on US soil and unsurprisingly, a brief nod to an additional light truck model.

Car Owners Holding Onto Their Cars Longer Than Ever

On: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 10:30AM | By: Chris Weiss

Car Owners Holding Onto Their Cars Longer Than Ever test 2

New research reveals that car owners are eeking out every last mile of their vehicles. The record-breaking levels of car ownership duration are the result of both poor economic conditions and better-built cars.

According to a recent study by market research firm Polk, the average length of US vehicle ownership has risen to a record 71.4 months - just shy of six years (72 months). That figure relates to vehicles that were purchased as new. Ownership for used vehicles averages 49.9 months. Together, the average length of ownership for new and used vehicles is 57 months. That's an increase of 23 percent since the third quarter of 2008, a time period that equates to the economic downturn.

Jaguar Close To Giving The C-X16 Hybrid The Thumbs Up

On: Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 10:59AM | By: Chris Weiss

Jaguar Close To Giving The C-X16 Hybrid The Thumbs Up test 2

Jaguar already has one sporty hybrid on the way in the C-X75. But that model will be way out of the price range of most car owners. For those looking for a sporty, sexy hybrid with a little more of an affordable price, they may get it in the way of a production C-X16.

Inside Line reports that Jaguar is close to a decision on the C-X16, which it showed in concept form at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. If it gets the green light, the C-X16 could go on sale in 2014. Jaguar has done several months’ worth of market research on the model, and it sounds as though Jaguar is already making production plans, with the green light a mere formality.

The GTA Spano Supercar

On: Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 9:38AM | By: Chris Weiss

The GTA Spano Supercar test 2

We'll say it again: We love the Geneva Motor Show. It's THE place for seeing supercar brands that we've frankly never or rarely heard talk of. Here in the United States, GTA colloquially stands for the popular video game series "Grand Theft Auto." Over in Geneva, it stands for an exotic car company that builds cars worth stealing.

The GTA Spano is Spain's supercar. The car is powered by an engine rivaled in displacement by a very few, an 8.3-liter V-10 engine that heaves 820 hp. Two transmission options are available to buyers: a seven-speed sequential paddle shift and seven-speed sequential manual.

The Spano rests on an exotic monocoque chassis crafted from carbon fiber, titanium and Kevlar. It weighs just 123 lbs. and keeps the car's overall weight down to 2,970 lbs.

The Spano hits 62 mph in under 3 seconds and tops out over 217 mph.