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Fisker Goes Surfing

On: Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 10:42AM | By: Chris Weiss

Fisker Goes Surfing test 2

Love it or leave it, it looks like we're going to have to get used to high-end shooting brakes. At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari created a stir—and some conflicting opinions--with the FF. And now, green sports car staple Fisker has made its own statement with the Surf Concept, a range-extending hybrid shooting brake based on the Karma.

Kia GT Concept Gets Detailed

On: Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 9:18AM | By: Chris Weiss

Kia GT Concept Gets Detailed test 2

In today's eco-conscious world, the turbocharged V-6 is quickly becoming the new V-8. So, maybe it should be no surprise that the rumored V-8 underneath the hood of Kia's GT concept is actually a turbo V-6. Still, after all the talk about two V-8 muscle cars, we're a little surprised by the official details.

The GT leaked pretty thoroughly last week, and Kia has updated the world with the full details of its sporty concept.

Kia's first ever rear-wheel drive vehicle, the GT draws up to 390 horses out of a turbocharged, direct-injected 3.3-liter V-6 engine. That plant is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Despite the downgrade from V-8 to V-6, the GT offers plenty of virility, particularly for a Kia-badged sedan.

What's In A Name?

On: Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 4:57PM | By: Peter C Sessler

What's In A Name? test 1-1

A friend of mine recently got a new car, a Kia Sorento. I know that Kia is a Korean car so I decided to look into them a little bit. And did they try to imagine what it would be like to answer someone when asked what kind of a car they drive? “Why, I drive a new 2011 Sorento” or  “Yes, I just got a new Sorento,” replied John proudly. What kind of a name is this? To me, it sounds like my friend just got some pasta and Sorento cheese.

Originally, cars were named after the people who built them, such as the Dodge brothers, Louis Chevrolet, or Henry Ford, and even REO (Ransom Ely Olds, who also founded Oldsmobile). Even so, a brand name other than the maker’s name can create excitement; that’s probably why so many cars have been named after animals, Mustang, Camaro, Impala, Jaguar all come to mind. Exotic places and names of towns have also been used freely over the years. Newport, Malibu, and so forth.

Of course, car makers for years have used car names to try to give their cars a sense of more than they really are. For example, Pontiac used Grand Prix for some time, but if you translate it from the French, all it means is “Grand Prize.” Obviously, Pontiac thought it sure would sound a lot better to say Grand Prix than Grand Prize. Think of how silly it is to say “I drive a Pontiac Grand Prize.” Some car makers have even made up words to describe their cars. Does anyone know what a “Camry” is?

2012 Rubicon Set To Wrangle Up Some New Customers!

On: Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 4:01PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2012 Rubicon Set To Wrangle Up Some New Customers! test 2

Under normal circumstances, we automotive writers are supposed to stay enthusiastic, but still impartial to most of the vehicles we cover. Emotion in our writing is good, but it is still supposed to retain a semblance of unbiased wording. However, I will tell you that when I saw what Jeep did with the 2012 Wrangler, I began to grin from ear-to-ear and decided that I had to have one in the very near future.

Having spent many of my childhood years damn near sideways in the passenger seat of more than one late 1970's Jeep CJ, I have always had a soft-spot for those go-anywhere, do-anything four wheel drives. The Wrangler has gone through many iterations since my first encounter with it, but the 2012 model—specifically the Rubicon variant—is quite possibly the best Wrangler to be produced, ever.


The Color Of Antifreeze

On: Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 2:38PM | By: Peter C Sessler

The Color of Antifreeze test 2

It really used to be much simpler than it is now. When you needed some antifreeze, you just went to the parts store and got some. All cars used the same old green or yellow/gold stuff. Today, it’s not that simple any more. There's now red, orange, green, yellow, and blue to choose from and they're not all compatible with each other. Still, the majority of the cars on the road use the good old green or yellow/gold antifreeze.

To find out for sure which one your car has, look in the owner's manual or, better yet, open the radiator cap and see what you've got. Before we look at the various types of antifreezes, let's take a look at why your car's engine needs antifreeze at all.

Engines Get Smaller: Ford's One-Liter Three-Cylinder To Debut On 2012 Focus

On: Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 12:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

Engines Get Smaller: Ford's One-Liter Three-Cylinder To Debut on 2012 Focus test 2

Ford has announced the availability of its next great efficient engine—the 1.0-liter Ecoboost I-3. Ford will officially drop a cylinder in the European-spec 2012 Focus, which will go on sale next year.

The I-3 engine was first seen on Ford's Start concept at the Beijing Auto Show last year. Despite losing a cylinder and dropping displacement down to a mere liter, Ford says that the turbocharged, direct injected Ecoboost I-3 will offer output comparable to a 1.6-liter I-4 while delivering the predictable bump in fuel economy. The new engine will come in 99-hp with five-speed manual and 118-hp with six-speed automatic varieties.

Jaguar C-X16 Hybrid Concept

On: Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 10:49AM | By: Chris Weiss

Jaguar C-X16 Hybrid Concept test 2

Around this time last year, Jaguar stole the Paris Motor Show with its ultra-awesome C-X75 concept. Not only was the concept a sexy hybrid supercar with jet turbine technology, and not only was it Jaguar's first supercar since the ever-lust-ible XJ-220, but it kind of came out of left field and overshadowed more anticipated debuts, like the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. It was show car through and through.

This year, Jaguar expands the C-X hybrid concept family with the C-X16. A look at a future entry-level sports coupe, the C-X16 isn't quite the show-stealer that the C-X75 was, but it's a car that more of the world has a chance at owning. And it's pretty sexy in its own right.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta Recalled For Being Too Hot!

On: Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 9:31AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2011 Volkswagen Jetta Recalled For Being Too Hot! test 2

It seems that the next time someone says your 2011 Volkswagen Jetta is a 'hot' car, be aware they might not be complimenting your ride. In fact, you might have a very angry passerby on your hands. It seems that the stainless steel exhaust tip on these cars extends just a bit too far from the car, and can become just a bit too hot—like skin-scalding hot.

Obviously, this may not seem like a huge problem to some, but if you have one of the 30,000 Jettas in question and little kids running around, this can become a very dangerous combination.

Read on for the full National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report.

Once Upon A Tune-Up

On: Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 3:14PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Once Upon A Tune-Up test 2

Once upon a time, cars needed a tune-up every 12,000 miles or so. That provided a lot of business for the local dealer and service stations. The process was somewhat complex as well. The points and condenser in the distributor needed to be changed, or, at the very least adjusted, as did the spark plugs. Then the timing had to be reset. As 99 percent of all cars had carburetors, those devices needed some attention as well.

It should also be remembered that cars weren't able to last as long as cars today do. After 50-60,000 miles, it was expected that some oil burning should occur and it was highly unusual for anyone to keep a car for 100,000 miles or more.

Well, oil technology has changed all that and electronic controls have reduced the need for that ever-frequent tune-up.

Rolls-Royce Is Bustin' Out All Over, Part 2: Now It's The FACTORY That's Expanding

On: Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 1:35PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Rolls-Royce factory shot test 2

It’s true: the global financial crisis is not only over, it’s been drawn, quartered, salted, burned, and cast to the winds. How else could ultra-luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce have not only hit its maximum plant capacity, but exceeded it?

Here’s their PR department's typically understated (read: "English") way of saying it: “The Home of Rolls-Royce at Goodwood in West Sussex is to expand in the months ahead. The news follows significant growth in worldwide sales over the last 18 months and a greater demand from customers for highly personalised Rolls-Royce Ghost and Phantom models.”

Or: Makin’ a killin’ is their business, and business is GOOD….

Hyundai i30 Go For Launch

On: Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 11:20AM | By: Chris Salamone

Hyundai i30 test 2

Back in 2007, Hyundai unveiled the company’s first i30 which was released exclusively in Europe. In 2010 alone, the i30 attracted 115,000 buyers—making Hyundai history as the largest-selling brand vehicle in Europe, totaling more than 350,000 units from 2007 to mid-2011. So, what’s the big deal about the next generation i30 to be premiered at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show?

Although this latest i30 will be available only to European buyers, it is a car which perfectly represents Hyundai’s ability to adapt to new markets and prosper, a symbol of the company’s incredible success both abroad and in the United States, and a firm statement that funky-practical vehicles don’t need a ridiculous nametag.