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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

Lighting The Way

On: Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 9:04AM | By: Peter C Sessler

Lighting The Way test 2

Drivers that want to see better at night have several options. Let’s take a look at what’s available:

Sealed-beam headlights: There are two types available, tungsten and halogen. Of the two, tungsten is worse, but very cheap. You’ll find these on older cars. The main problem with old-style sealed beams is that they produce a very dim, unfocused beam of light that doesn’t have much range and also doesn’t produce much light on the sides of the road. In addition, backglare, which occurs when it’s snowing, raining or foggy, can cause accidents. Halogen sealed beams are only marginally better, producing a brighter, white light.

Koenigsegg Agera R: Fast As Advertised

On: Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 4:40PM | By: Chris Weiss

Koenigsegg Agera R: Fast As Advertised test 2

Supercar makers seem to like to spend holiday weekends working hard. Granted, the supercar companies in question don't necessarily celebrate these holiday weekends, but it's nice to see them working just the same.

Last year over Fourth of July weekend, Bugatti took its Veyron Super Sport to the track and came home with the world's fastest production car title for its 267.8 mph run. This past Labor Day weekend, Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg made some world records of its own. While it didn't gain bragging rights for the ever-important top speed or 0 to 60/62 mph categories, its feats were quite impressive.

Audi A2 Goes Electric

On: Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 2:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi A2 Goes Electric test 1-1

Volkswagen is really getting its green on in Frankfurt this year. We've already seen the Audi Urban Concept and VW Nils, and here's another all-electric concept: the A2 electric. Unlike the previous concepts, this one is a preview of a definite production model.

The A2 is a five-door hatchback with four seats. It shares some of its underpinnings with the A1 hatchback, which debuted at last year's Geneva Motor Show. Unlike the A1, the A2 will get an electric powertrain, though Audi has yet to release the full details. According to Car magazine, Ingolstadt plans to offer it in all-electric and range-extending hybrid varieties. In concept form, the A2 packs an 85 kW motor and lithium-ion battery that is good for about 125 miles of range.

Want To Test Drive A GM? Go To The Dealer Like Everyone Else

On: Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 1:28PM | By: Chris Weiss

Want To Test Drive A GM? test 2

It was only a few months ago that GM was heavily marketing its "Main Street in Motion" program, a sort of traveling test-drive in which it took a variety of products from GMC, Buick, and Chevy (no Caddies for the masses, unfortunately) and offered test drives at events and stadiums. Interestingly, it not only offered test drives of its own vehicles (including the Camaro and Chevy Volt), but also of competitors, so you could get a true, head-to-head comparison. For GM, it was a good way to get out into the community and try to change any negative perceptions and reinforce positive ones. For consumers, it was a good way to test a variety of vehicles at once. Frankly, it seemed like a great idea.

Apparently, despite GM's best efforts, the Main Street in Motion program wasn't particularly successful, because GM has shut it down in favor of more conventional advertising routes.


Toyota Announces 2012 Tacoma Pricing

On: Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 10:54AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Toyota Announces 2012 Tacoma Pricing test 2

Toyota announced this week the pricing for its perennial all-star pickup truck. In a press release, Toyota cited several updates we can expect in the 2012 Tacoma, including a slight facelift, a new multimedia system called 'Entune,' as well as two new exterior colors:  Spruce Mica and Nautical Blue Metallic.

The price announcement is a very real reflection of the current US economic state—only the base (read cheapest) model gets anything higher than a 3% increase in base price. Some models, like the PreRunner Access Cabs (both auto and manual versions), have not been increased by a single penny.

Keep reading to see the full press release and find out just how much that model you had your eye on has gone up, if at all.

1971-89 Mercedes-Benz SL

On: Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 9:29AM | By: Peter C Sessler

1971-89 Mercedes-Benz SL test 2

The updated SL made its debut is Europe in 1970, but it wasn’t available for sale in the U.S.A. until 1971. The new SL wasn’t based on the previous Pagoda 230/250/280 SL; instead, Mercedes-Benz used the chassis from the W114 sedan model along with six and V-8 engines from the W116 S-Class.

The result was a car that looked a lot bigger than the previous SL. However, it actually wasn’t much larger, at least in the beginning. The first American SL had a wheelbase that was 2.9 inches longer, its length was 3.8 inches more, its width at 1.5 inches and its height at 1.00 less. It was the styling that made it seem much larger. It’s paired round 5.25 inch headlights and fluted taillights made the car appear much wider and longer. And in 1974, when the longer bumpers were mandated, that added 13.6 inches to the car’s length. Different bumpers were again used in 1986 which were 2 inches shorter.

Engine And Other Noises

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 5:17PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Engine And Other Noises test 2

There's nothing more disconcerting than hearing a new noise from your car, especially if it comes from the engine. More often than not, it means it's going to cost you. Still, there are some occasions when letting the noise continue won't hurt anything, provided you can put up with the annoyance of it.

Frankfurt Teaser: Toyota FT-86 II Concept

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 4:25PM | By: Chris Weiss

Frankfurt Teaser: Toyota FT-86 II Concept test 2

Over the past two years, Toyota has been engaged in the process of developing an entry level sports car. The cycle is almost complete. Toyota launched the original FT-86 concept at the Tokyo Motor Show nearly two years ago, and will launch the production version at the 2011 Tokyo Show later this year. In between those two cars, it launched the Scion FR-S, previewing the model that we'll see here in the U.S., and the FT-86 II.

With the Frankfurt Show so close to the Tokyo show, it's no surprise that Toyota doesn't have a new concept to show. The only surprise is that it's teasing the FT-86 II, which we already saw in Geneva.

Lease Trading **Uncensored**

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 3:46PM | By: Chris Salamone

Lease Trading test 2

There are a few popular websites that push lease trading, but LeaseTrader.com is perhaps the most recognizable and easiest to work with. In as few as four days to six weeks, the seller’s leasing company can process the transaction and put you in a previously leased vehicle at significant savings. But the process is unclear, obscured from the suspicious lens of the prudent buyer. Hopefully, we can clear up some of the muddy water with a lease trading rundown. 

For starters, people who assume leases don’t have to pay any down payment on their new car. And the reason is simple: the former owner already paid!

The Caddy That Fibs!

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 2:36PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

The Caddy That Fibs! test 2

If you haven't already seen it, there is a new commercial for the CTS-V Coupe out there (scroll down and watch it before you continue if you don't know what I'm talking about). The commercial is technically about how the Caddy has been using Magnetic Ride Control for some time and recently Ferrari has purchased this technology from GM to put into their cars. The idea is supposed to be that now Cadillac is ahead of the game and somehow technologically advanced well beyond some of the finest moving Italian masterpieces out there. 

That's what the commercial is technically about...

Car Insurance: Shop Around - Please!

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 12:17PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Car Insurance; Shop Around - Please! test 2

If you have a car, then you have to have car insurance, and for many car owners, the insurance premium can be the deciding factor in what type of car they drive. In some cases, the monthly insurance premium can be as much as the car payment itself. Insurance premiums can vary widely between companies, and if you think getting insurance from a big company guarantees you lower premiums, you’re wrong. You have to shop around.

The premium a driver pays is based on a number of variables. Most people think that their driving record is a factor. Obviously, someone who has accumulated speeding tickets will pay more, and so will someone who owns a sports or high performance car. Putting a lot of miles on your car is another factor, and having a young driver in the household will run up insurance costs.