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Automakers' Green Strategy Switching From Hybrids And EVs To Small Gas Engies

On: Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 9:42AM | By: Chris Weiss


Automakers' Green Strategy Switching From Hybrids And EVs To Small Gas Engi test 2

Hybrids and electric vehicles are great at making headlines. Because they're new technology, these vehicles make headlines on technology blogs and magazines that could care less about the latest small turbocharged gas engine. Problem is, while everyone likes reading about new technology, not everyone is as quick to buy it, especially when it proves more expensive. Automakers are starting to respond to consumer apathy to hybrids by putting more emphasis on building efficient gas vehicles.

According to the Detroit News, the expense of equipping cars with batteries and electric motors combined with the increasing fuel economy of small gas engines has convinced some automakers to spend more resources on increasing the efficiency of gas cars. A few auto retailers quoted in the article explained that hybrids start a nice conversation about eco-friendly automobiles in showrooms, but the conversation often ends in the customer deciding that hybrids are too expensive.


Dodge Recalls 9,600 Police Chargers

On: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 5:16PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Dodge Recalls 9,600 Police Chargers test 2

Dodge has issued a recall to bring back 9,688 Chargers built in 2011 and 2012 equipped with its police package. It seems these criminal catchers have multiple issues. One problem has to do with the low-beam headlamps, which can burn out due to the bulb harness connector burning out. The second issue stems from the power distribution center having the propensity to overheat and shorting out the ABS and electronic stability control systems.

Obviously, being able to see the road as well as having the aid of safety systems are all paramount to any kind of high speed pursuit and Chrysler has said they will begin the recall as early as March.

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


Nissan Recalls 36,000 Versas!

On: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 4:12PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Nissan Recalls 36,000 Versas! test 2

If you are one of the 36,608 owners of a Nissan Versa produced between June 9, 2011 and January 13, 2012 you may want to get it back to the dealership with some haste. It seems that because of a factory defect in how the shifter rod and shift knob interact, drivers may inadvertently shift the car out of park and into gear without warning.

Obviously, this can have severe and potentially fatal consequences to not only the driver and passengers, but also to those walking by and around the cars. Nissan will notify all owners, but owners may contact them at 1-800-647-7261 with any questions or to set up an appointment.

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


Smoldering Kia Soul 'Red Rock' Edition Oozes Style

On: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 2:29PM | By: Chris Salamone


Kia Soul Red Rock Edition test 2

Unfortunately for most subcompact or compact car buyers, the range of vehicle color options is usually pretty limited. There are exceptions, of course, with Mini and Fiat. But for the most part we’re stuck with vehicles offered in Satin Pearl While, Radiant Red, and the like. Kia, on the other hand, has taken some big risks with their most youthful vehicle, the Soul: from highlighter green, appropriately labeled Alien, to the last six special edition Soul variants which offered wacky colors and accessories to boot.

And the company’s latest seventh special edition Soul tops them all. Just a few days ago, Kia Motors America announced the production of an all-new Red Rock Soul which takes inspiration from the epic rock formations found in the Southwest United States – featuring a snazzy color theme and premium features.


 

Tesla Reveals The Model X, And It Makes An Impression

On: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 11:43AM | By: Chris Weiss


Tesla Reveals The Model X, And It Makes An Impression test 2

Well, Tesla didn't disappoint. After calling its Model X crossover "pretty revolutionary" for an SUV when teasing it, we thought for sure we were listening to marketing hype. But the car does indeed have some surprises up its sleeve.

Tesla introduced the Model X on Thursday night from its California design studio. It also streamed the live event over the Internet.

The new crossover is definitely sportier than pretty much any crossover or SUV we can think of. It effectively translates the Model S' styling into a larger form. The only real visual complaint that we have is that the roof seems a little too round and long - it has a little bit of "large head" syndrome like the 2012 Honda CR-V. Overall, though, we're impressed with how Tesla was able to give us the utility of a crossover while still presenting a car that we don't want to stop looking at.


Major Failure: Maybach Lost $440,000 On Every Model

On: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 9:59AM | By: Chris Weiss


Major Failure: Maybach Lost $440,000 On Every Model test 2

The fact that Daimler's ultra-premium Bentley competitor Maybach has been struggling is not a news story. Daimler has barely managed to sell a couple hundred Maybachs a year while Bentley approaches five-figure sales. What is somewhat surprising and newsworthy, though, is just how bad Maybach has been doing. A new report puts some figures to the soon-to-be-defunct brand's struggles.

Based on its own calculations, CAR magazine estimates that Daimler has been losing about 330,000 euros on every model sold. That's about $440,000 by today's rates, which coincidentally, puts the loss figure neatly between the cost of the Maybach 62 ($430,450) and the 62 S ($470,350).


Obama's All-American Auto Tour Angers Foreign Car Companies

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 4:55PM | By: Chris Weiss


Obama's All-American Auto Tour Angers Foreign Car Companies test 2

The Washington Auto Show is typically lost among bigger, more important shows like the Detroit Auto Show and Chicago Auto Show. This year's show made some headlines, though. It's not for crazy concepts or big debuts, but instead for an incident involving Washington's most famous resident.

According to Bloomberg, President Obama angered foreign automakers when he focused his tour of the show entirely on domestics. Despite the fact that White House staff told automakers including Honda, Kia and Mercedes-Benz that the President wanted to see green cars and planned to ask them questions, Obama focused all his attention on American automakers and took photographs with decidedly non-green models like the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and Corvette ZR1.


XSeed Hybrid Buggy Concept

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 2:33PM | By: Chris Weiss


XSeed Hybrid Buggy Concept test 2

The Peugeot EX-1 just got a little competition. The EX-1 was one of the few vehicles that we could think of that compares to the new XSeed concept, a small hybrid speedster that's part go-cart or buggy and part car.

The Xseed is the work of designer Marcus Beltrao, according to Ubergizmo. It's just a design, so take the actual design features and hard figures with a grain of salt.


All-New Mitsubishi Outlander To Debut At Geneva

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 12:23PM | By: Chris Salamone


Mitsubishi Outlander test 2

From March 6 through March 18, Mitsubishi will debut an all-new global version of the company’s much-adored Outlander model at the 82nd Geneva International Motor Show. Which, as it turns out, is great news for Outlander enthusiasts and converts alike – the new model will be built with an eco-friendly focus on fuel efficiency, low CO2 emissions, and enhanced storage space functionality.

Launching this summer in Russia, the latest Outlander will then go on to markets in Europe, Japan, Oceania, China and North America.

In the same bold maneuver, Mitsubishi will also unleash an EV-based Outlander which will utilize the same charge system found in the company’s already-to-market MiEV.


Ferrari 599 Successor To Be 'F620'

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 11:20AM | By: Chris Weiss


Ferrari 599 Successor To Be 'F620' test 2

If you've been following Ferrari, you knew that the 599 GTB Fiorano was destined to be the last in a line of "500" models. It succeeded the 575 M and 550 Maranello, and given that there isn't another whole number in the 500s, it was bound to be the last model in that lineage starting with a 5.

Well, if rumors are true, not only will the 599 successor be the first of the 600 models, it will also use a slightly different naming structure.


Scion FR-S Commercial Shoot Goes Awry (Video)

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 9:51AM | By: Chris Weiss


Scion FR-S Commercial Shoot Goes Awry test 2

Toyota has been busy producing footage and commercials of its new GT 86/Scion FR-S. The videos we actually get to see are smooth, aesthetic footage that highlight Toyota's sporty new cars. But it's not always so smooth behind the scenes. A new video shows one unexpected blooper that surely caused the director to yell "Cutttttt!!!"

During the video shoot, professional driver Ken Gushi is surprised by a sudden flash of fast, spry deer. The deer leaps right out into the road and hops across just inches from the FR-S' bumper. Gushi appears to swerve ever so slightly but is admirably unrattled and steady at the wheel.