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And Car Reviews

2012 Kia Soul Review

On: Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 12:42PM | By: Peter C Sessler

2012 Kia Soul test 2

If you got to have a foreign car with funky styling, then the Kia Soul has to be your choice. In the Kia Soul, introduced in 2009, the Korean manufacturer decided to inject some pizzazz into their rather staid lineup and, now, three year later, the whole car line is looking “Grand Funk(y).”

Is the new styling for you? Well, we’ll leave that up to you—you’ll know in about a few years if it holds up or not.

30,000 BMWs Recalled!

On: Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 11:40AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

30,000 BMW's Recalled! test 2

BMW has just issued a recall to bring back 32,084 5-Series, 5-Series Gran Turismo, 7-Series, X5, and X6 models produced from 2008-2011. Apparently, the electric auxiliary water pump can overheat which can obviously lead to big trouble, most notably a fire.

Read on for the full report from Safercar.gov, and get those BMW's back to the dealer ASAP!

5,000 Lotus Elise/Exige Models Recalled!

On: Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 10:28AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

5,000 Lotus Elise/Exige Models Recalled! test 2

Without many of us noticing, Lotus has quietly become significantly more popular in recent years than they ever have before. Credit goes to the exotic looks, racecar handling, and potent yet fuel efficient engines. But, unfortunately, the more of these cars that are out there increases the risk of something going wrong with a few, or a lot of them. It seems that 5,037 examples of both Exige and Elise models from 2005-2006 are being brought back due to a faulty oil cooler line that has a propensity to become detached and potentially start a fire.

Read on for the full report from Safercar.gov!

Nissan Unveils The Juke R

On: Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 10:23AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Unveils The Juke R test 2

Nissan previously said of the Juke R: "the car is not for production." After seeing the live pictures, we're more happy about that fact than ever. The emphasized reflections of the original rendering helped to obscure some of this thing's pure unadulterated fugitude. It's a pretty rough stretch of highway that looks way too busy for a small crossover.

After a serious teasing campaign about its development, the Juke R was unveiled in a somewhat of a surprise move in Spain. The Juke R was tacked onto the unveiling of the Qashqai, a Euro-market crossover.


Rolls-Royce Expands Into South America; Now THEY Can Be Wait-Listed Locally, Too!

On: Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 9:38AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

Yes, Rolls-Royce has announced that it will “enter the South American market for the first time in the company’s history.” This is not to say that there haven’t been Rolls-Royces all over that continent—armored Phantoms have always been a particular favorite among “certain types”—for decades now, but instead to say that there will now be R-R dealerships in South America.

Right now there are plans to open one each in Brazil and Chile, but as with everything announced by today’s record-sales-and-revenue Rolls-Royce—including expanding their Bespoke department and home-base Goodwood Factory—this is just the beginning.

Still, two dealerships may not seem like a lot to you—especially seeing as how they are presumably intended to serve an entire continent—but seeing as how announcing it “delights” Rolls-Royce’s umlauted CEO, there just might be something to it….

The Next Porsche: 911 Heaven!

On: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 4:01PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

The Next Porsche: 911 Heaven! test 2

Goodbye 997, hello 991. Although it may not look like much of a change from the outside—sure, there are LED running lights (who doesn't have them these days?), longer and narrower tail lights, and a gas tank flap relocated to the right front fender, big deal right? Those minor changes hardly call for the clamor of an entirely new model designation, right? Wrong. If you're an avid enthusiast, stare at the new 911 long enough and slowly but surely, your eyes will start to insist that there is something different about this Porsche from ones you have already committed to memory, and your eyes would be right.  

It seems that Porsche has realized that their latest sports car creation, the Cayman, actually has much better design DNA than their perennial all-star 911 which has been flawed by physics since its inception decades ago. Basically, having the engine sitting out over the rear axle makes the car extremely difficult to deal with on the track, or even just when it's being driven hard. Trying to compare a rear-biased 911 to a mid-engine sports car like the Cayman actually proves there really is no comparison. The Cayman has nearly perfect weight distribution and is so predictable its driver will feel like Miss Cleo. Why do we bring up the Cayman while mentioning the new 991, you ask? Well, because Porsche knows this, and they are slowly modifying the 911 to make it more of a mid-engine car than staunchly holding on to their past design. Now, thankfully they are changing the car ever-so-slightly so as not to incite a riot among the German faithful.

Audi E-tron Spyder Out In The California Sun (Video)

On: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 2:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi E-tron Spyder Out In The California Sun test 2

If you had to scout the perfect location for filming a plug-in sports convertible, it would most certainly be California. Not only is the Golden State a permanent launch pad for all cars electric, it's a sunny state with beautiful vistas of all kinds—kind of the ultimate spot to take an open-top e-roadster. And if you had to select a spot within the large state of California, you couldn't do much better than Malibu, a scenic coastal utopia.

Well, Audi follows that very logic and recently released a video of the e-tron Spyder tackling the coastal hillsides of Malibu.

Tokyo-Bound Mazda Takeri Concept Previews Next Mazda6

On: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 12:28PM | By: Chris Weiss

Tokyo-Bound Mazda Takeri Concept Previews Next Mazda6 test 2

Mazda has released its first picture of the upcoming Takeri concept. Not to be confused with the sporty Shinari concept (which could rhyme depending upon how you're reading the names in your head), the Takeri is a mid-sized concept that previews the next-generation Mazda6. It will make its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show next month.

Review: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

On: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 11:23AM | By: Mary McRae

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid test 2

On the subject of hybrids you are thought to simply have two options: You can buy a Toyota Prius - a hard-core, 50-mpg hybrid with trendy styling and a utilitarian interior - otherwise you will pay more and get less-spectacular mileage in a more leisurely sedan, like a Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry hybrid. Hyundai joins the second group with the first hybrid, which is based on the Sonata sedan.

So what is it that will make the Sonata Hybrid stand out from the Camry and Fusion hybrids? It features a more advanced battery pack, better mileage on the highway, a traditional six-speed automatic transmission … and it looks cool, too! Overall, the strategy works well. It's flashy enough to shout “hybrid,” additionally it provides a feeling of cool, not of smugness.

Honda LA Debuts: CR-V And Fit EV

On: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 10:22AM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda LA Debuts: CR-V And Fit EV test 2

Honda has two new production vehicle debuts in store for the 2011 LA Auto Show, both of which are quite interesting in their own right. The company announced that it will debut the 2013 Fit EV, Honda's first fully electric car, and the 2012 CR-V at the show.

The Fit EV is definitely the more interesting of the two from where I'm sitting. It isn't exactly revolutionary, and specs-wise actually falls below the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus EV, but it will provide another electric-car option and should be attractive to Honda customers already driving a Fit or CR-Z hybrid. The car combines the Fit's layout with a three-mode driving system used on the CR-Z. It offers an EPA-estimated range of 70 miles (just below the Leaf's EPA-rated 73 miles) and a top speed around 90 mph.

Nissan Building A Plug-In Hybrid

On: Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 9:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Building A Plug-In Hybrid test 2

When Nissan confirmed that it's developing its own hybrid powertrain earlier this month, there were two ways of thinking about a potential plug-in hybrid. On the one hand, it would only make sense to merge the pure hybrid system with the all-electric powertrain of the Leaf to develop a plug-in system that's greener than the Altima Hybrid, but farther-driving than the Leaf. On the other hand, since Nissan was the first major automaker to commit to an electric vehicle, and because the Leaf has had a strong sales start, handily outpacing the Chevy Volt, maybe it would make more sense to focus all R&D efforts on all-electric technology, which offers the greatest long-term potential for clean vehicles.

Well, Nissan is going the safer route, admitting to Reuters that it will launch a plug-in within four years.