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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

How To Change Your Transmission Fluid

On: Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 9:04AM | By: Peter C Sessler

How To Change Your Transmission Fluid test 2

If you do your own car maintenance, eventually you’ll get around to changing your transmission fluid. How hard could that be? Actually, it is quite easy.

First, you must know what type and how much fluid you’ll need, so you should have you car’s manual handy. With that information in hand, go to the nearest parts store and purchase the fluid and a gasket for the transmission oil pan. While you at it, you might as well get a transmission oil filter as well, since it is really easy to change.

Chevy Sonic Goes Airborn And Breaks New Ground

On: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 2:31PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Sonic Goes Airborn And Breaks New Ground test 2

The Chevy Sonic is a tiny hatchback that starts around $14,650. Given its inexpensive, all-American, small-car appeal, there's a good chance that we'll be seeing plenty of these on roadways. But not before we see a few of them in the air.

In an ad campaign that it calls "Let's Do This", Chevy has been tossing the Sonic out of planes, launching it off cranes, and putting it at the forefront of other off-the-wall firsts.

I first saw a headline about Chevy sending the Sonic on a skydiving mission, and thought: 'Eh. Publicity stunt, whatever.' But then I came across another story about the Sonic bungee jumping and realized we have more than just a single publicity stunt, we have a full blown auto-adrenaline campaign. And that's just interesting enough to get a little Autoshopper attention.

All-New S60, Most Dynamic Volvo Ever?

On: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 12:58PM | By: Chris Salamone

All-New Volvo S60 test 2

“Dynamic” is one of these advertising words that incorporate lots of different meanings conveniently into one fancy sounding concept. But when Volvo says the all-new 2012 S60 is “the most dynamic Volvo ever”, suddenly a word without a concise definition becomes a bit clearer. The S60 is a car with a range of skills, a range of driving characteristics, and most certainly a flashy new exterior. By all accounts, the 2012 model is faster, more efficient, and better looking than the outgoing model, thus making this latest redesign a Volvo with many powerful attributes.

For starters, the 2012 S60 is best-in-class within a few different luxury sedan categories. The T5 model achieves an estimated 30 mpg and yet delivers a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds. Also, Volvo provides best-in-class coverage with a 5-year/50,000-mile warranty on all components (maintenance, wear & tear, roadside assistance, etc.). Like previous models, this newest S60 comes with two chassis settings (instead of three) for driver comfort and optimum handling.

Audi TT RS: We Don't Need No Stinking R8!

On: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 11:48AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Audi TT RS: We Don't Need No Stinking R8! test 2

So, if you're an Audi fanatic, then you already are aware of the big, bad R8 halo car. Sure, it's gorgeous, it's fast, and when it comes to four-ring badges it has no equal, right? Wrong. Enter the 2012 Audi TT RS. Sure, it's not as pretty as the R8, but it might be deserving a bit more respect than you might originally be willing to bestow upon it. 

For starters, you have to acknowledge that the new(er) styling of the TT is an extreme improvement over the original VW Bug-look. It's sportier, cleaner, and much, much more aggressive than ever before.  But, this TT RS has a bite to back up its bigger bark. Although it starts with half as many cylinders as the R8 V10, the TT RS utilizes a turbocharger to bolster its 2.5-liter inline five cylinder motor to produce a very impressive 360-horsepower and 343-lb-ft of torque. Yes, a straight-five, and yes, horsepower and torque in the mid-300 range. Not too shabby, huh? That wacky engine is backed up by a six-speed manual transmission—your only choice of shifting gears by the way, none of that silly dual-clutch semi-automatic whatever-the-heck. That traditional tranny sends power to all four wheels, thanks to Audi's ever-present Quattro all-wheel drive system, and gives the TT RS a ton of grip off the line and through the tightest of curves.


Ferrari FF Is 2011 Neiman Marcus Car

On: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 10:12AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari FF Is 2011 Neiman Marcus Car test 2

Every year, Neiman Marcus selects a hot sports or luxury car to be featured in its famed Christmas Book, the shopping list of the rich, ultra-rich, and even richer. Last year it was a sexy Chevy Camaro Convertible with light-changing Deep Bordeaux paint.

This year, Neiman Marcus has chosen the all-new Ferrari FF grand tourer to appear on the Fantasy Gift list in its catalog.

Acura NSX Debuting Next Month?

On: Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 9:17AM | By: Chris Weiss

Acura NSX Debuting Next Month? test 2

Well, this seems to be moving just a little too fast to be believable, but who knows. The long-rumored Acura NSX revival got official confirmation from Honda chief Takanobu Ito just two months ago. Then more details. And now reports that a near-production-ready concept of the car could debut as early as the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show in November/December, with a production version following next year.

Color us skeptical, but we won't be all that disappointed if no NSX concept shows up in Tokyo. Carscoop reports that Honda sources said the launch is tentative and could very well get pushed back due to the delays and problems that Honda and other Japanese automakers have experienced after the natural disasters earlier this year.

How Ferrari Coulda Had Four Before: The Pinin Four-Door Sees The Bidding Floor In London

On: Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 4:45PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by Author test 2

OK, so maybe you already own a bachelor pad and therefore find the second-home-sized Ferrari tour bus I just covered more-than-a-little too large for your lifestyle.

Fear not, gentle reader, for there’s another one-of-one custom Ferrari that has a liaison-sized interior going up for auction at RM’s London sale, and this one isn’t the size of a wingless jumbo jet.

Yes, before Porsche had even thought of the Panamera, before Aston-Martin succumbed to Rapide fever and long before Lamborghini even entertained the Estoque, there was a top-shelf exotic car maker that toyed with the idea of adding another set of doors aft of the two God intended be there: Ferrari.

Sort of.

RM To Offer Ferrari's Ultimate Party-Pad-On-Wheels At Its London Sale

On: Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 3:38PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

It’s an age-old quandary: Sure, your Ferrari attracts the ladies, but wouldn’t it be great if you could skip the whole “driving somewhere to tryst” stage of the evening by going straight from the “Let’s get out of here” to the “Welcome to my basement. We have to be quiet, though, as my mom’s asleep upstairs” without any messy driving-about?

If only there was a Ferrari that WAS somewhere to tryst. Not only would it save you from any embarrassing “What the hell are you kids doing down there?!” type yelling from rudely-awakened parental-types (plus, you could get well and truly hammered if you chose to as there's no driving on the menu).

Well, you and your lady friend no longer have to worry about such things as Ferrari has handed over its own house-on-wheels to RM Auctions so that you—and every other dude in this predicament—can financially fight over it at the firm’s London sale on Oct. 26.

GM To Launch 2013 Cadillac XTS In LA

On: Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 2:37PM | By: Chris Weiss

GM To Launch 2013 Cadillac XTS In LA test 2

Though the auto world has quieted a lot since Frankfurt, there are still two major auto shows left in 2011: Tokyo and LA. GM announced that it will use the latter to launch the production version of the XTS sedan, which will hit the market as a 2013 model.

The XTS will serve as a fresh replacement for the DTS and STS full-sized sedans, which just look a little outdated and weary in a line with sexier cars like the CTS-V. The XTS will bring the sedan's styling more in line with the rest of the range and will serve as a flagship sedan.

Long-Term Test: 2011 Subaru Outback

On: Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 12:02PM | By: Chris Salamone

2011 Subaru Outback test 2

A common hallmark of most car reviews is the invisible hand which gently guides the reviewer into a state of fluffy feedback-inducing euphoria: aka the manufacturer. All too often vehicles are lent to reviewers who receive inexplicable perks in exchange for a positive review. So what makes this long-term test any different? My tester Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium didn’t come from the manufacturer and, much to my chagrin, no perks were sent in my direction. Even without an exciting array of hidden incentives, I attempted to put this slightly-used beaut through its paces.

At 22,000 miles it’s fair to say that we have a pretty good picture of this vehicle’s stats.

NHTSA Going To Disney World! (To Test Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications)

On: Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 10:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

NHTSA: Going To Disney World! (To Test Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications) test 2

Technology is going to be a growing story in the automotive industry. While some of that technology is of questionable value to safety and driving, some is designed specifically to make cars and commutes safer. You can actually find examples like blind spot detection and electronic stability control in current vehicles.

The future promises even more safety-driven technology, and one such aspect that companies like BMW are working on is vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Essentially, cars would be able to communicate with each other, process important traffic data, and deliver it to the driver to make the commute safer and more efficient.

The National Highway Transportation Authority NHTSA) recently held a vehicle-to-vehicle test event at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Florida.