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And Car Reviews

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.

Fisker Previews Surf Concept

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 10:38AM | By: Chris Weiss

Fisker Previews Surf Concept test 2

We know that Fisker has some ambitious plans to expand well beyond its Karma range-extending sedan, and it's officially previewed its second vehicle. Called the "Surf," the new car will be a shooting brake and should feature similar technology to the Karma.

Outside of releasing the teaser picture above—which makes the car look rather bloated, if you ask me—Fisker hasn't provided much detail on its new concept. Between the name and obvious surfboard mounted up top, it's clear the concept is inspired by the beach, though we don't know if that inspiration extends to the styling of the car (hybrid woodie, anyone?) or just the overall green, Mother Earth-hugging nature of a series hybrid.

Land Rover DC100: Defender Or Dud?

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 9:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover DC100: Defender or Dud? test 2

Land Rover is developing a new version of the Defender, its classic hard-core off-roader, for production in 2015. In a first public step toward that goal, the automaker previewed the DC100 late last month. The concept will make its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in a couple weeks.

Gerry McGovern, Director of Design, and Land Rover said of redesigning the Defender: "Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide. This isn't a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century."

Let's just hope that four-year journey is a particularly long one, because this particular version exemplifies those difficulties a little too well.

New Vaporware: Electric, Croatian Supercar With Near-200 MPH Capability

On: Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 5:23PM | By: Chris Weiss

New Vaporware: Electric, Croatian Supercar With Near-200 MPH Capability test 2

It seems like all you need to start a supercar companies these days is a dream and a few fistsful of unlikely promises. The latest contender in the Transtar Racing - Rotary Supercars Not Holding Our Breath Fest is Rimac. Despite coming from an area of the world whose most famous automotive achievement is the Yugo, Croatia-based Rimac Automobili has a very ambitious project underway. We'll get a first look when Frankfurt gets underway.

Called the One Concept, Rimac's concept is an electric supercar. Alright, that's rare, but not unprecedented. But what makes Rimac's car seem highly unlikely is the ridiculous scope of its numbers. Not only will the One Concept boast a series of four motors (one per wheel) that produce up to 1,074-hp and spiral 2,802 lb-ft of torque onto the wheels, it'll also offer a 373-mile range. Oh, and it will weigh around 3,638 lbs.—not particularly superlight, but we'd expect it to weigh more like 7,000 lbs. when you imagine what type of battery pack can not only power a 1,000-hp motor, but can power it to more than 350 miles of driving.


Car Buyer Types

On: Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 4:31PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Car Buyer Types test 2

No one really likes to be classified, but the reality is that we all fit some sort of profile in one way or another. Just recently, the J.D. Power and Associates firm—the company that’s responsible for all those surveys of quality and other automotive issues—completed their Vehicle Shopping Process Study which analyzed how different retail programs have affected new car buyers. It's their first survey which tries to analyze how car buyers shop for their cars. The bottom line message for car makers is that what works in California may not work in New York.

The survey asked 8,300 new car buyers what, if anything, influenced their decision to visit a particular dealership. The results are listed as follows:

Fisker Expansion Plans Start in Frankfurt

On: Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 3:07PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fisker Expansion Plans Start in Frankfurt test 2

Though it seemed to have its hands more than full with getting the Karma to market, Fisker has been working on some other models too. The green luxury-sports automaker will showcase its latest creation at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

Fisker has a new production model to debut at Frankfurt. It will be based on the Karma's platform, utilizing the same dual-motor, range-extending powertrain and aluminum spaceframe. Past rumors have indicated the car will be a shooting brake/crossover model. It will go on sale next year.

Videos That Rock: Armored Car Exec Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is - AK-47 Style

On: Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 2:04PM | By: Chris Weiss

Armored Car Exec Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is test 2

Think that you stand behind the work you do? You may change your mind after watching this video clip.

Trent Kimball, president and CEO of Texas Armoring Corporation, an armored car outfitter, had a particularly hard day at work. Actually it wasn't that hard, it was just kind of scary as hell.

In attempting to "redefine what it means to stand behind his product," Kimball put on his safety glasses, got behind one of his bulletproof armored windshields, and let one of his employees fire away with an AK-47 assault rifle. This, despite the disclaimer at the end of the video that there's no such thing as 100-percent bulletproof glass. Scary stuff.

Kimball did live to tell the tale, with three shots spider-veining, but not penetrating, the windshield glass. Shards spraye everywhere, but it appears that the backside of the windshield is still fully intact.

If I were Kimball, I might have gone with something a little less potent than an AK-47—a paintball gun, perhaps. But luckily for us, Kimball sacked up and made a great piece of video.

1990-2002 Mercedes-Benz SL

On: Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 12:15PM | By: Peter C Sessler

1990-2002 Mercedes-Benz SL  test 2

By the time Mercedes-Benz finally brought the successor to the 1972-1989 SLs, it must have surprised some people how complicated, heavy, and expensive the new car was. Mercedes-Benz took almost every electronic option that was available and made it standard on the 1990 500SL Class. At the same time, the new car was beautifully finished—it just oozed with luxury. It was a combination of strong performance and the latest in German engineering.

The new SLs were a more contemporary and handsome than the outgoing R107—yet it was an evolution of what started in the 1950s. Perhaps fewer people remembered what that reason was, yet they knew what the SL Class was—a powerful, luxurious two-seat roadster. In the scheme of things, the SL was still “sporty” car, but it was more than that. It was a car for the well-to-do. For example, the 500SL had an MSRP around $95,000.00 while the V-12 version went for $125,000.00!

Jump Starting Your Car

On: Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 10:56AM | By: Peter C Sessler

Jump Starting Your Car test 2

This seems like a no-brainer topic to cover—jump starting your car—but there is more to jump starting than meets the eye. And this topic is especially relevant in cold weather, since winter is the most common time to give or to get a jump start simply because the cold reduces the battery's efficiency.

It's a good idea to carry a set of jumper cables in the trunk; you never know when you'll need a jump and conversely, you never know when you'll be able to help someone out.

ANOTHER Honda Recall!

On: Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 9:58AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

ANOTHER Honda Recall! test 2

Hot on the heels of last month’s massive 1.5 million car recall, it seems Honda has a few more problems on their hands. It seems that the power window switch found in the Fit, CR-V, and City models has been created with a defect that can cause it to heat up significantly and potentially catch fire, which is not on the list of things to do for most daily commutes.

Besides that bit of fun, Honda has issued another recall in tandem with the CR-V for its hybrid CR-Z model because when the battery is low on charge, the gas engine has stalled and the transmission is in gear, the electric motor may actually rotate in the opposite direction—meaning you could go forward when the car is in reverse. That would be a tough one to explain to the cops or the insurance company.

The good news is that no serious injury or deaths have been reported as of yet because of these defects, but the bad news is that over 936,000 units worldwide have been affected and are slated to head back to dealerships. Keep reading to see the full press release from Honda.

Volkswagen Nils Concept: Frankfurt Preview

On: Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 3:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen Nils Concept: Frankfurt Preview  test 2

It looks like the VW group is going to have two levels of ultra-compact, urban-maneuvering EVs on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show. We've already seen a bunch of the Audi Urban Concept, and now Volkswagen's revealed a concept of its own: it's called Nils.

Clearly developed in conjunction with the Audi model, the VW Nils features similar elements like the narrow, freestanding wheels. Unlike the Audi, though, the Volkswagen gets even smaller by eliminating the passenger—the Nils is a personal pod designed for a party of one. It also trades the unique slide-back door-roof for a pair of gullwings.

Built atop an aluminum spaceframe, the Nils weighs a mere 1,000 pounds and is powered by a small motor and 5.3 kWh battery pack. Volkswagen calls it a demonstration of "minimalist mobility." The engine pushes the car a total of up to 40 miles and speeds up to 80 mph, so it could foreseeably do some brief stints on the highway, though that's clearly not what it's aimed at. It takes two hours to recharge the battery.