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The Camaro ZL1: Designed For Downforce

On: Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 11:08AM | By: Peter C Sessler

The Camaro ZL1: Designed For Downforce test 2

With 580 hp, the Camaro ZL1 can now hit 170 mph at the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife course in Germany. Obviously, it takes quite a bit of aerodynamic downforce to do this, and do it safely.

“The Camaro ZL1 lapped the Nürburgring in an incredible 7:41.27 seconds, which would not have been possible without work of our aerodynamics team,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “The design of the ZL1 creates downforce like a race car, harnessing air pressure to press the tires against the track for extra grip and control at high speeds.”

2012 Challenger SRT 392 Yellow Jacket Hemi Buzzing At Los Angeles Auto Show

On: Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 9:03AM | By: Peter C Sessler

2012 Challenger SRT 392 Yellow Jacket Hemi Makes A Buzz At Los Angeles Auto test 2

Dodge continues to remind us of the muscle cars that were introduced in the late 1960s-early 1970s with the new special limited-edition Dodge Challenger SRT8 featuring exclusive Stinger Yellow exterior and interior appointments. This sort of thing works because when these cars finally become collectors’ items, they'll be worth more.

“The Challenger SRT8 392 Yellow Jacket adds another piece of performance car nostalgia to our rear-drive muscle coupe lineup in 2012,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO—SRT Brand and Motorsports. “The Stinger Yellow paint and interior accents speak directly to the performance enthusiast who appreciates a memorable and collectible color that helps deliver even more excitement and exclusivity.”

The Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team announced on November 9 an exclusive production run of special-edition 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Yellow Jacket models featuring Stinger Yellow exterior paint and interior appointments.

Ford To Update MyFord Touch (Video)

On: Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 3:55PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford To Update MyFord Touch test 2

Despite offering a cutting-edge technological interface, the MyFord Touch system hasn't proven all that popular among reviewers and drivers. In fact, MyFord Touch was a big reason that Ford slid dramatically in Consumer Reports' recent reliability survey.

Ford hasn't let those complaints go unheard. It will simplify the MyFord Touch system beginning with the 2013 Escape, Flex and Taurus models.

The 2013 MyFord and MyLincoln Touch systems will get an easier-to-use interface, simplified graphics and faster touchscreen graphics, addressing some of the loudest complaints among existing users. Those existing users will be included in the upgrade, receiving the revised Touch system via a free software upgrade.

Race To The Finish: Chevy Volt Tops Nissan Leaf In October

On: Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 2:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Volt Tops Nissan Leaf In October test 2

After months of Nissan Leaf domination in the sales race between the Leaf and Chevy Volt, the Volt is back, beating the Leaf in October sales. With only two months to go before the full year is over, the Chevy Volt's sales are on the rise.

Chevy sold a total of 1,108 Volts in October, an increase from the 723 it sold in September. That number easily beat the 849 Leafs that Nissan sold during October. While Chevy has experienced a sales increase for two months in a row (it sold just 302 models in August), Nissan Leaf sales have slid during that same period (from 1,031 in September and 1,362 in August).

Despite those trends, the Nissan Leaf still has a major lead on the Volt in terms of full-year sales. After 10 months of 2011 sales, Nissan has sold 8,048 Leaf models compared to 5,003 Volts sold by Chevy.


Chevy TrailBlazer Debuts In Dubai (Video)

On: Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 11:55AM | By: Chris Salamone

All-new Chevy Trailblazer test 2

Just today, Chevrolet debuted a worldwide 'show' version of the company’s highly anticipated all-new TrailBlazer SUV at the Dubai International Motor Show. Starting with Thailand in early 2012, Chevy plans to sell TrailBlazers globally. The vehicle features seven seats which are capable of folding flat, a body-on-frame SUV with the ride comfort and fuel efficiency of a crossover, and chassis meant to handle serious off-road conditions or city driving—if you’re into that thing.

But if you’re also thinking the TrailBlazer looks somewhat familiar, your powers of perception are right on. The latest Chevrolet Colorado shares similar DNA, design cues, and both vehicles were built in tandem. From all angles, the TrailBlazer looks sophisticated, aggressive and capable—a sort of physical manifestation of what GM intends this SUV do be.

2012 Audi A7 Is Motor Press Guild's Vehicle Of The Year

On: Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 10:30AM | By: Peter C Sessler

2012 AUDI A7 Is Motor Press Guild's Vehicle of the Year Award test 2

A big day indeed as Audi today announced that the 2012 A7 has been selected by the Motor Press Guild (MPG), the largest automotive media association in North America, to receive the first-ever Motor Press Guild Vehicle of the Year (VOTY) Award. Laura Burstein, MPG President, will present the trophy at Audi's press conference on the first day of the Los Angeles Auto Show press days on November 16.

Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America, said “The A7 is the epitome of high style and artistry, with a five-door coupe design that is both sporty and elegant. Response to the launch of the A7 this year has been outstanding. We’re proud to be selected by Motor Press Guild as the recipient of their first-ever Vehicle of the Year award.”

Jaguar Land Rover Going To Delhi Instead Of Detroit

On: Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 9:21AM | By: Chris Weiss

Jaguar Land Rover Going To Delhi Instead Of Detroit test 2

In a move that demonstrates how diverse and large the global auto market is becoming, Jaguar Land Rover has decided to attend the 2012 New Delhi Auto Expo in favor of the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The shows almost completely coincide, with New Delhi running from January 7th to the 11th and Detroit running from the 9th to the 22nd. While the U.S. was once the clear leader in auto sales, other nations are catching up and even surpassing it.

Jaguar said that its decision was a strategic way of covering more global ground. Because it will show all of its latest concepts and cars at the LA Auto Show this month, it won't have anything new to show in Detroit. So instead of just parading the same wares around the U.S. once again, Jaguar Land Rover will bring them to a different market.

2012 Chrysler 200 Convertible

On: Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 4:38PM | By: Peter C Sessler

2012 Chrysler 200 Convertible test 2

I have always felt that the current 2012 Chrysler 200 Convertible, known previously as the Sebring, was a bit of a dud. All you have to do is to look at the car; the rear end is so jacked-up, it’s like driving a car that resembles a cat in heat. I guess that most cars these days have an accent line that accentuates the rear, but Chrysler, in my opinion, has gone overboard. Who wants to be seen in that?

The previous Sebring (built from 1996-2007) was built on the same body that had varied front end treatments through the years. It received its share of negative feedback, yet it was popular, and you still see many of them today. The 2008 model still carried the Sebring name with the new body style, but the 200 name is new on the 2011-up model.

Audi Urban Concept May See Production

On: Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 12:25PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Urban Concept May See Production test 2

When Audi introduced its Urban Concept before the Frankfurt Motor Show, it appeared like a concept in the strictest definition of the term. Audi called it a "technology study" and it didn't look like anything we'd imagine driving around city streets. In other words, it didn't appear to have a prayer at seeing production.

However, production may actually happen. Car magazine reported last week that Audi is not only considering, but close to approving, a limited production run.

Toyota Looks To Mimic Nissan For Success

On: Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 10:55AM | By: Chris Salamone

Toyota Half-Annual Results test 2

Dire circumstances call for special measures. Usually big corporations avoid positive competition name dropping, especially with the ever-present specter of shareholder power. However, at Toyota’s basement midterm financial meeting the company made a few intended references to a chief competitor: Nissan. While Toyota has suffered an operating loss of 32.6 billion yen (or $417 million dollars) to date, Nissan has recorded an operating profit of $309.7 billion yen ($3.88 billion dollars) despite similar obstacles in the form of massive earthquakes and Thai flooding.

Toyota Recalls 420,000 Cars!

On: Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 9:09AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Toyota Recalls 420,000 Cars! test 2

Toyota voluntarily announced today one of the biggest recalls in automotive history, hauling back 420,200 vehicles for a faulty crankshaft pulley on one of its company V6 engines.  Models included in this are the 2004 Avalon, 2004-2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solara, 2006 Highlander HV, as well as 2004-2005 Lexus ES330, 2004-2005 RX330, and 2006 RX400h models.

Thankfully no accidents have been reported, but Toyota isn't taking any chances. If you own one of these models and hear any strange noises coming from the engine bay, you can call the company to make an appointment ASAP. In terms of the technical side of things, Toyota says the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley might not be aligned correctly with the inner ring, which could ultimately result in power steering pump belt coming detached from the crank pulley and creating a sudden change in steering.  

Read on for the full report from the Toyota pressroom ...