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And Car Reviews

Classic Car Cultist: Pontiac Aztek

On: Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 1:17PM | By: Chris Salamone

2003 Pontiac Aztek test 2

The Pontiac Aztek?! How can a vehicle which tops Edmunds’ “100 Worst Cars of All Time” and ranks 39th in AOL’s “50 Worst Cars of All Time” be featured as a classic? While not a mainstream classic – to be sure – the Aztek was a vehicle of immeasurable, yet quirky practicality that charmed nearly 30,000 sales per year from a dedicated following. But the Aztek looked like some sort of pseudo-futuristic Orwellian disaster – a fact which has landed countless criticisms.

Love it or hate it, the car’s freaky looks and uber practicality are precisely what made this vehicle a classic among certain demographics. Ok, fine. Generation X hardly qualifies as a demographic.

Forget Maids A-Milking: Six New Camaro ZL1 Videos

On: Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 11:45AM | By: Chris Weiss

Forget Maids A-Milking: Six New Camaro ZL1 Videos test 2

As we close out a very eventful year in the automotive industry, the Camaro ZL1 may no longer be the newest muscle top dog on the block (that's the 2013 Ford GT500), but it's still one of the coolest sports car debuts of 2011. And we still can't get enough of it. As a little Christmas present to us and you, the Camaro5 forums have industriously uncovered six new videos of the icon-in-the-making. And the blogosphere has spread the holiday cheer by singing out their praises.

I can't think of a better way to waste those last dwindling hours leading up to the holidays than playing back to back to back to...you get the idea..ZL1 videos. The videos range from track footage to exterior walkarounds to interior close-ups, with some featuring the hard-top and some featuring the newer convertible. It's everything a good car lover would put on his Christmas list.

Ford Unveils An Ecoboost Concept Sleigh For Santa

On: Mon, Dec 26, 2011 at 10:02AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Unveils An Ecoboost Concept Sleigh For Santa test 2

In a whimsical bit of holiday merriment, Ford introduced a concept sleigh that it thinks can save Santa a lot of money. The company's Ecoboost Sleigh uses a tiny, 1.0-liter Ecoboost engine to deliver some serious fuel savings to the jolly, old guy.

Personally, I would have thought that traveling by way of reindeer was already about as green as you can be, but according to Ford, Santa's herd puts out some 214,670 tons of CO2-equivalent emissions a year. I was going to challenge that assessment, but then realized I'd be arguing about a fanciful concept created for a fictional character. Plus Ford actually provides a pretty thorough breakdown of its numbers.

Chevy Malibu Eco: A Hybrid, Hybrid?

On: Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 4:46PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Chevy Malibu Eco: A Hybrid, Hybrid? test 2

Truth be told, when you look at the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco with eAssist, it doesn't look like anything special. Same old Malibu, blah blah blah. That's not to say it's a bad looking car, but to enthusiasts, the Malibu is what it is - a company car. Chevy plans on the Malibu being its first global offering in the year ahead, and with that in mind, the GM guys went out of their way to make a version of the Malibu that has drawn our attention.

To your average enthusiast, a hybrid (outside of the exotic Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid) is nothing more than a harbinger of death for our beloved internal combustion engines. While some see a decrease in oil consumption, we see a decrease in performance and driving enjoyment. Well, it seems that the guys over at Chevy are enthusiasts, with an eye for the future. The Malibu Eco is a sedan that starts with a gasoline powered engine (thankfully), and then utilizes a small electric motor powered by a 115-volt lithium-ion battery. Now, that probably sounds pretty familiar by now, but instead of using a tiny 98-horsepower motor like the Prius, the Malibu uses a legitimate 150-horsepower 2.4-liter inline four cylinder engine to begin with, making the Eco a legitimate sedan even in the non-hybrid segment.


Ford Recalls 16,000 New Trucks!

On: Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 2:56PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Ford Recalls 16,000 New Trucks! test 2

It seems "Built Ford Tough" doesn't always mean "built without flaws". Ford has issued a recall of 16,091 trucks -- some F-150 models built between September 9th through the 22nd of 2011, and then F-250, F-350, F-450, and F-550 models built between September 12th through the 22nd of 2011. For one reason or another, the F-150 models are designated as 2011 models while the rest of the group are 2012 models. Either way, the issue with these trucks lies in the transmission. It seems that the tranny can be shifted out of park without depressing the brake pedal first.

Although it is being deemed a 'theft protection' issue, the real problem is the safety issue that can arise out of a huge truck being dropped into drive by accident. Ford says they will notify dealers and owners towards the end of December, but getting that truck in sooner than later will no doubt be the safer option.

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

Honda EV-STER Headed Toward Production

On: Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 12:01PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda EV-STER Headed Toward Production test 2

Toyota has already set a clear goal of returning to its sporty roots. Now it looks as though it will be joined by one of the other Japanese Big Three. Not only does Honda have a new Acura NSX concept on the way to Detroit, but indications are that it will also be building a sporty electric two-seater based on the EV-STER concept it showed in Tokyo.

According to a conversation between Honda CEO Takanobu Ito and German magazine Auto Motor und Sport--a conversation we ran through Google Translate--Honda plans to build a production version of the EV-STER. While the concept was shown as a pure electric vehicle, Honda may offer it in both electric and gas varieties, helping to broaden the appeal of the sporty roadster.

Nissan Recalls 28,000 Jukes!

On: Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 10:01AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Nissan Recalls 28,000 Jukes! test 2

All it takes is one bad weld. Yup, thanks to a defective weld on the Juke's boost sensor bracket, the bracket may detach itself from its perch, and as you could imagine -- cause quite a bit of destruction, especially if the car is in motion. Besides coming separated from the engine, Nissan has also said the defect could cause the engine could stall with no warning whatsoever, again causing some serious issues. The defect has affected 28,294 Juke models built between April 9th and May 12th 2011 according to Nissan. Owners will be notified beginning January 9, 2012 and the fix will be done free of charge.

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

Bugatti's Latest Special Edition: Super Sport Edition Merveilleux

On: Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 5:16PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bugatti's Latest Special Edition: Super Sport Edition Merveilleux test 2

Boy do I envy everything about this guy. Not only does the media refer to him by his first name, but he gets a special one-off edition of the world's fastest car for his birthday. That's some James Bond-level stuff right there.

The man is known simply as "Simon" and the car is called the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Edition Merveilleux.

NSX Rival? Toyota Supra to Pack 400-HP Hybrid Powertrain

On: Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 3:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

NSX Rival? Toyota Supra to Pack 400-HP Hybrid Powertrain test 2

Last week, Honda/Acura finally confirmed the debut date for the NSX successor. The concept will debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show and is expected to use an AWD hybrid powertrain with V-6 engine and dual electric motors.

The NSX hasn't even debuted yet, but it looks like it may have some competition from another possible Japanese sports car revival: the Toyota Supra.

Detroit News Columnist Blasts GM For Saab Collapse

On: Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 12:05PM | By: Chris Salamone

Saab Factory Workers Departing After Being Informed Of Bankruptcy test 2

Issued today, Daniel Howes delivered a gut-wrenching opinion column in The Detroit News which effectively decried Saab as the ‘neglected stepchild’ of GM’s scheme for worldwide automotive colonization. Considering Saab CEO Victor Muller filed for bankruptcy on December 19, after years of questionable GM leadership and a final rejection of the proposed Chinese restructuring, Howes’ article would appear to be accurate.

However, in the spirit of fairness, let us not forget that a theoretical opportunity still remains during the bankruptcy process for a buyer to step in – a fact that GM and Saab execs are certainly aware of. Further, GM’s initial Saab makeover was anything but neglected. The company gave Saab the full American treatment, intended to take Saab from the quirky nether realm of Swedish aircraft devotees to a mainstream public.

The problem: GM failed to capitalize on the makings of Saab’s trademark oddball practicality.

New Automotive YouTube Channel 'Drive' Launched

On: Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 10:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

New Automotive YouTube Channel 'Drive' Launched test 2

With the success of shows like Top Gear, the automotive category has exploded in terms of television and video content. Discovery is making a dedicated auto channel, more and more auto shows seem to show up on the networks, and auto video content is booming over on YouTube. In fact, there will soon be a new, all-auto YouTube channel. Drive will start delivering your daily speed fix this January.

"Drive celebrates the culture of cars. On the road, to the races, to the factories, to the studios -- to the places you can't go"-- that sounds like a winner for any channel, but especially one you can get for free and watch nearly anywhere over the Web.