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Press Release: New 2013 Cadillac XTS Control And Alert Strategy Assists Drivers

On: Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 9:59AM | By: Peter C Sessler

2013 Cadillac XTS test 2

On the all-new XTS, Cadillac will debut a network of cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors to bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards and intervene to help avert potential crashes. This is the strategy Cadillac calls control and alert.

In some cases, Cadillac’s enhanced vision and sensing systems will act without the driver, such as though automatic braking based on information indicating potential obstacles.

The new XTS contains several features using visual and audible alerts designed to identify potential threats with sufficient warning for the driver to react and make changes. One example is the Safety Alert Seat feature, which vibrates either the left or right side of the driver’s seat cushion depending on the location of the impending concern. Intervening features, such as automatic braking, take action automatically if the driver is slow to initially react.

Press Release: Dodge Offers Special Services Police Truck For Extreme Duty

On: Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 4:37PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Dodge Offers Special Services Police Truck For Extreme Duty test 2

Starting this November, Ram Truck will be offering a new Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Special Service package for law enforcement and other emergency agencies through Chrysler Group Fleet sales. The newest Ram model features a selection of severe-duty-adapted equipment available on the 2012 Ram 1500 and several unique features.

Made for extreme-duty cycles, emergency and municipal service trucks are sometimes can be left idling for extended periods of time. The Ram 1500 includes 100,000-mile sparkplugs and a larger oil cooler to protect the engine.

To handle the high electric loads, the Ram 1500 Special Service Truck includes a 220-amp alternator. A unique wire harness is capable of providing power, ground and fusing for a variety of law enforcement lighting, siren, computer, modem, radar or camera systems. The package also includes a Power Distribution Center (PDC) with fusing and relays for circuits contained in the wire harness. The PDC is supplied from the battery with two separate 100-amp main fuses for camera, computer, modem and printer systems.

Press Release: Mercedes-Benz's New ML 63 AMG Arrives

On: Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 3:14PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Mercedes-Benz's New ML 63 AMG Arrives test 2

The new Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG is more of a high-performance SUV - and rightly so, if you look at the horsepower figures. The standard engine is the AMG 5.5-liter V8 bi-turbo engine with an output of 525hp - which is 15hp more than last year’s model. And if that isn’t enough, there is the AMG Performance package which puts out 557hp.

The new ML 63 AMG comes with an interesting technology package: the engine features spray-guided direct fuel injection with piezo injectors, ECO start/stop system, an all-aluminum crankcase, four valves per cylinder with camshaft adjustment, air-water charge air cooling and generator management. With a displacement of 5461cc, the eight-cylinder engine generates a maximum power output of 525 hp. Engine dry weight is 449 lbs.

Ultra-Versatile Workhorse: Nissan's 12-Man Van Hits The Consumer Market

On: Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 12:54PM | By: Chris Weiss

NV3500 test 2

Earlier this month, Nissan showed how one of its NV people movers will help to transform the way that New York taxi passengers commute around the city. More recently, it showed us how its NV series can transform private commutes.

Nissan previewed its NV3500 HD Passenger Van ahead of its commercial launch next year. This big monster can carry up to 12 people or all kinds of equipment, depending upon what you need it for.


Four Exhaust Pipes?! Beetle R Shows Stateside

On: Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 11:34AM | By: Chris Salamone

VW Beetle R Concept test 2

Since VW’s booming announcement that a Golf R model would be coming down the pipeline soon, US fans of Das Auto have waited patiently – toes tapping all the while. But before the Golf R has even hit US showrooms, VW has seen fit to release another race-inspired prototype cast from an altogether different mold. During the vehicle’s initial debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Beetle R landed in US headlines with an appropriate level of enthusiasm and jealousy. We wanted the seemingly more virile Beetle R, and we wanted it first.

The LA Auto Show may not be the first Beetle R showing, but at least we finally get a close-up.

New Holistic Racer Training Site SAFE Is Fast Is Serious, Star-Packed And FREE!

On: Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 10:11AM | By: Andrew W Davis

SAFE Is Fast test 2

Now I was a high-performance-driving natural, earning seven straight Big Wheel Racing Championships in my neighborhood (and/or mind) before I turned pro at 11. Since then I’ve moved up the ranks to professional “production car test driver that sometimes does so on race tracks,” which—though short on trophies—is big on, well… seat-time, I suppose.

It took a long time—and many expensive driver training courses I mostly didn’t have to pay for—to get to my level of awesomeness. But let’s say you don’t have the “connections” it takes to bill someone else for your driver training, let alone the scratch it takes to pay your way into them the way you’re supposed to.

If only someone could package the combined knowledge of nearly every professional in auto racing—including drivers, team owners, car builders, receptionists, and anyone else nearby—regarding nearly every aspect of racing, into video clips that could be found at one slick website….

2013 Ford Escape Hype Hits Fever Pitch

On: Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 9:09AM | By: Chris Salamone

2013 Ford Escape test 2

As of today, almost every major news source has picked up and extolled the virtues of Ford’s 2013 Escape. During an official unveiling at the LA Auto Show, automotive journalists and enthusiasts alike were treated to a huge array of information and sexy ad posturing. The trouble is, this latest Escape sort of downgrades the things about the former Escape which we’ve all come to know and love. Sure, the 2013 version looks refreshed, more modern, and offers superior gas mileage, but what happened to the Escape’s rugged, boxy look? What happened to a mini-SUV that made us feel like going on holiday?

Now we’re stuck with a CUV, strongly resembling the Ford Focus, which looks best navigating the crowded supermarket parking lot. There are some good points though…

Press Release: The 2012 Ford Mustang's New Features

On: Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 3:49PM | By: Peter C Sessler

2012 Ford Mustang's New Features test 2

For 2012, the Ford Mustang has some new features that make it an even better car - American style with powerful engines delivering outstanding fuel economy across the lineup and it puts the driving experience in the customer’s hands with new selectable steering. The 2012 Mustang offers customers selectable steering that tailors the driving experience to fit their needs. With a choice of three settings, the feature allows the customer to select the steering effort, depending on his or her style of driving.

Sport mode provides the most road force felt through the steering wheel and requires the highest level of steering effort, allowing the driver to be more in tune with how the vehicle reacts to the road. Comfort mode provides the least amount of road force felt through the steering wheel and requires the least amount of steering effort, which is ideal for long, relaxing drives. A standard mode also is available and is a balance between the comfort and sport settings. The settings are accessed and programmed through the message center.

Two new optional packages, the Reverse Sensing System and Security Package and HID Headlamps and Security Package, also debut for 2012.

2011 Festivals Of Speed Orlando

On: Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 1:58PM | By: David Walter

2011 Festivals Of Speed Orlando test 2

The 2011 Orlando Festivals of Speed was originally scheduled for October 7 – 9, however, due to uncooperative weather, the Motorsports Collection Display portion of the weekend event was postponed to November 13.

We were there, cameras in hand; so were some of the greatest cars on the planet.

Check out our pictures from the event.

New Corvette May Not Be As Radical As Expected

On: Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 1:27PM | By: Chris Weiss

Corvette Concept test 2

For over a year, rumors have suggested that the next generation Corvette (C7) will be one of the most radical redesigns in the car's history. Some aspects, like the split-glass Stingray-style rear window, have been attributed directly to GM sources, while others, including the mid-engined layout, have been loose rumors. Between the official sound bites and rumors, it has long appeared that the C7 Corvette would be somewhat of a revolutionary redesign.

A new report this week suggest that the new Corvette will benefit from evolution, not revolution. While GM will look to update the Corvette, the sporty flagship will likely look a lot like the same, ol' Corvette that we see now.

Press Release: GM Opens Engine Plant In Uzbekistan

On: Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 9:17AM | By: Peter C Sessler

GM Opens Engine Plant In Uzbekistan test 2

General Motors and its local joint venture partner UzAvtosanoat opened a new state-of-the-art engine plant in Tashkent today, 400 kilometers from the automakers’ vehicle manufacturing facility in Asaka. It represents GM’s most significant powertrain investment in Central Asia.

GM has a 52 percent stake in GM Powertrain Uzbekistan and its partner has a 48-percent stake. The facility, which covers 40 hectares, is GM’s first engine plant in Uzbekistan. It will produce more than 225,000 new fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.2L and 1.5L engines for use in GM small passenger cars sold around the world.

The first engines produced at the plant starting this month will be installed in the Chevrolet Spark mini car that commands 94 percent share of the Uzbekistan domestic market and is exported to Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.