The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry
Umberto Palermo (UP) Design has unveiled its Vittoria concept at the Qatar Motor Show. The concept, which was announced and teased last month, is a sporty coupe with some really flamboyant design elements. It gets some things right but goes awry in other ways.
Little has been published about the Vittoria, though it's rumored to have a hybrid powertrain with V-8 engine. If that's the case, it should drive as sporty as it looks. The only other hard numbers we've seen are its measurements: 4,750 mm long, 1,960 mm wide and 1,250 mm tall.
Posted In: Auto Shows, Concept Cars, Good, Bad & Ugly, Special / Limited Edition
Tags: UP Design, concepts, Vittoria, hybrids, sports cars, Qatar Motor Show
The Tesla Roadster was discontinued in the US last year and there's at least a few years before we see a replacement. One German manufacturer is stepping into the void and offering a Roadster-esque EV also built atop a Lotus chassis. The PG Elektrus promises even more all-electric performance than the Roadster...and a whole lot more price.
The Elektrus may look more Fisker Karma with that toothy grille and vehicle-mounted solar panel, but it bears more in common with the Roadster. Like the Roadster, it owes its underpinnings to Lotus. While Lotus stopped production of North American Elise and Exige models due to the loss of an airbag exemption, it continues to offer them in other markets.
Posted In: Exotics, Good, Bad & Ugly, Hybrid / Green
Tags: Tesla, Roadster, Lotus, Elise, EVs, electric cars, PG Elektrus
Chevy is really banking on this year's Super Bowl. Not only did it run the Route 66 contest to determine its Super Bowl commercial, now it has a new contest for viewers. Similar to the TweetDrive game that Lexus ran during the playoffs, Chevy's GameTime is a Twitter-based trivia game. Not so similar to the Lexus game, Chevy will give away 20 vehicles to lucky winners.
The GameTime app is available for free download from the App store, Android App Market and over the Web at Chevy.com/gametime. The minute that you download the app, you have the chance to win instantly. You'll also be assigned a license plate number, and if it shows up during Chevy's Super Bowl ad, you'll win one of the 20 vehicles.
Hot off the presses, Consumer Reports has discovered that the gap of automaker brand perception is shrinking. The 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey, conducted at the Consumer Reports National Research Center, randomly polled 2,045 adults across the country and uncovered some shocking results: specifically that brand leaders no longer stand out like they used to.
And while the nation’s top 10 favorites include an ever-decreasing margin of favor, some folks might also be a bit surprised to see their beloved Jeep as the 8th worst perceived automaker polled.
“Dramatic events in the automotive industry seem to be affecting how consumers view auto brands,” said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports’ deputy editor for autos online. “It is harder for a single brand to stand out among the competitive field. Many brands are starting to get strong in the qualities we are asking about.”
Posted In: Car News, Reports
Tags: Consumer, Reports, report, brand, perception, survey, big, shrinking, gap
Dodge, this is beneath you. We really thought all of this nonsense was over and done with. And with the economy in the state it’s in, you really should realize that people are starting to understand what true value really is all about. However, you have chosen to bring about the ... ahem ... mighty ... 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 Super Bee. Oh, great! A legendary name plate that one would equate with a better model than your garden-variety SRT8 Charger, right? Well, muscle car fans, don't get your hopes up.
The Dodge Super Bee seems like it is a bit of a bust, at least to one humble writer. Granted, it is difficult to call a RWD car that puts down 470-hp and 470-lb.-ft. of torque through an overhead valve 6.4-liter thumping V8 a bust, but that's just the thing -- it's the same motor as the 'regular' SRT8. No difference. The transmission is the same 5-speed automatic as the non-Super Bee. Wheelbase? Same. How about the base price? Yup, right about the same 42 grand as the normal SRT8.
The Chevy Volt may not have been the biggest product flop of 2011, but it wasn't exactly a runaway success either. GM fell about 2,400 units short of its original 10,000 goal, and the Volt was the subject of some seriously bad publicity in the form of a battery fire and NHTSA investigation. As Chevy moves on to year 2 of the Volt, it has a new problem on its hands: Its own network of dealers don't want to stock it.
According to Automotive News, GM is having trouble distributing Volts to dealers around the country. A GM spokesperson blamed the down orders on the ongoing NHTSA investigation, but some of the admissions from dealers indicate a deeper problem.
Posted In: Car News, Hybrid / Green, Reports
Tags: Chevy, Chevrolet, Volt, hybrid, business, GM, General Motors, dealers, plug in, green, mpg, eco, electric, EV
Super Bowl advertising might just be getting out of hand when we start seeing ads for ads. Commercials are, after all, nothing more than thinly veiled vehicles for picking our pockets by way of manipulating our minds. Should we really be getting this excited about them?
In Volkswagen's case, the excitement is somewhat warranted. Last year's "The Force" commercial was largely hailed as one of the best ads of the big game. So everyone's either rooting for or against VW in its attempt to follow that commercial up this year. So far, VW isn't disappointing, unveiling a creative teaser for this year's Super Bowl ad.
Posted In: Car News, Reports, Videos
Tags: Volkswagen, VW, commercial, ads, videos, Super Bowl
The Nissan GT-R has long been a world leader in performance-price ratio. While it remains so in its latest form, the price is slipping ever closer to six figures. Godzilla's appetite for power and performance grows, and consumers pay the price.
The redesigned 2012 GT-R received its first major power increase since the model launched. Power spiked to 530 hp from around 485 hp. Just a year later, Nissan found fit to boost the power once again, this time to 545 hp. Torque also receives a lift from 448 to 463 lb.-ft.
That power boost helps provide some notable improvements to the GT-R's performance. The 2013 model breaks the 3.0-second to 60 mph mark, boasting a 2.7-second time. The 2012 model took 3.1 seconds to reach 60 mph. The 2013 GT-R is also expected to lap the 'Ring a little faster - around 7:20.
Posted In: Car News, Reports
Tags: Nissan, GT-R, supercars, pricing, news, Godzilla
If you happened to watch the NFC championship game between the Giants and 49ers on Sunday, you may have noticed that it watched a little like the Super Bowl. And we're not just talking all-out on-the-field action ending in a game-winning field goal in overtime, but also the new, elaborate commercials that had the feel of Super Bowl ads. One of those ads - "Chevy Happy Grad" - is the winner of GM's Super Bowl ad contest.
The commercial was submitted by Zach Borst, a 26-year-old aspiring filmmaker from Long Island. It took home the top spot in the Route 66 contest.
The commercial depicts a young guy on graduation day who comes outside to see his graduation present. He totally misses the mini-fridge with a bow on it that his father is standing next to, believing that the neighbor's bright-yellow Chevy Camaro Convertible is his gift.
Posted In: Car News, Videos
Tags: Chevy, Advertising, Camaro, ads, Super Bowl, commercials, videos
If we learned anything from Detroit this year, it’s that American automakers are ripe with engineering innovation, bold design plans, and business strategy. And, to top it all off, rumors are popping up all over the internet of one particularly enticing possibility. A few credible sources mentioned by Motor Trend speculate that Dodge intends to replace the current Challenger with another blast from the past, the former Plymouth Barracuda.
But don’t expect a revival of the Plymouth nameplate, this Cuda might surface as soon as 2014 – just in time for the model’s 50 year anniversary.
Posted In: Classics, Miscellaneous, Rumors
Tags: Dodge, Challenger, Barracuda, Cuda, Plymouth, 2014, rumor, rumors
After bursting onto the scene at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show followed by ensuing rumors and reports about production and price, the Porsche 918 Spyder has been on an extended headline hiatus. Until now. A new report about the car's launch and production design has updated what we know about Porsche's hybrid supercar.
Unlike all the speculation and rumors that go on when it comes to a high-profile supercar in the vein of the 918, this one comes directly from Porsche by way of its in-house Christophorus Magazine. We can therefore take it as a "yes" rather than a "maybe."
Posted In: Car News, Concept Cars, Exotics, Hybrid / Green
Tags: Porsche, supercars, hybrids, 918, 918 Spyder, Frankfurt Motor Show