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Bentley Talking Diesel And Hybrid Options

On: Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 3:10PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bentley Talking Diesel and Hybrid Options  test 2

If you had to identify the two Bs of sheer environmental carnage and destruction, you couldn't do much better than "Bugatti" and VW stablemate "Bentley." Along with a few other perpetrators like Rolls Royce and Aston Martin, these two Volkswagen ultra-premium brands make up a who's who of the worst EPA ratings. And that happens year after year.

Luckily for them, both Bugatti and Bentley can sit back and rely on more efficient Volkswagen brands to offset the hefty numbers choked out by their massive-engined, heavy-bodied sports and luxury offerings. But that doesn't mean the brands aren't at least looking at ways of becoming more fuel efficient and eco-friendly. Even the richest of the rich want to feel good about themselves sometimes.

Worlds Collide: Audi Planning A Pickup Truck?

On: Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 10:59AM | By: Chris Weiss

Worlds Collide: Audi Planning A Pickup Truck? test 1-1

Pickup trucks. Luxury cars. These are two terms that don't tend to intertwine, save perhaps for auto dealership inventory sheets. There's really nothing luxurious about hard-driving, utilitarian haulers designed to truck gear, dirt and manure around the work site. Nor should there be.

But, lately, the terms have been appearing together every so often. BMW released its own bedded four-wheeler, though it revealed that it was meant only as an April Fool's prank. This week brings some photographic confirmation of another German luxo-ute: It's an Audi-branded pickup and it may be for real.

Tesla Model X To Launch In December

On: Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 9:05AM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Model X To Launch In December test 2

Out with the old, in with the new... This year, Tesla will officially end production of its Roadster, a car that has invigorated the world of all-electric vehicles. According to a quarterly earnings call with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Tesla will also launch a concept version of its next vehicle—the Model X crossover—before the end of 2011.

Ford Revamps An Old Favorite - The 1.0-Liter

On: Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 4:17PM | By: Chris Salamone

2011 Ford Fiesta test 2

The Big Three hasn’t graced the US auto market with a 1.0-liter engine since the early 1990s. But, rising gas prices combined with a sudden consumer appetite for small cars has captured the attention of at least one US automaker: Ford.

At the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show, in September, Ford intends to showcase a 1.0-liter inline 3-cylinder engine which includes all the bells and whistles of modern technology. Their latest 3-cylinder looks to mark significant improvements over engines of yesterday, offering both efficiency and some modicum of fun-factor. In total, the latest 1.0-liter hopes to offer the same or better power as Ford’s current 1.6-liter normally aspirated engine while delivering better fuel economy and reduced emissions.

“No one’s ever built a three-cylinder engine quite like this,” stated Joe Bakaj, Ford Vice President of Global Powertrain Engineering. A bold claim indeed.


More Powerful Veyron Grand Sport Coming?

On: Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 2:30PM | By: Chris Weiss

More Powerful Veyron Grand Sport Coming?  test 2

A more powerful Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport converible has been rumored. For those counting, that's a convertible with more than the 1,001-hp of the standard Veyron Grand Sport. So, even though the report reads like a bit of a conclusion-jump by the media, it's worth considering.

What makes the report a stretch is that it's based on an interview between Bugatti chief Wolfgang Durheimer and Dutch magazine Autovisie. The only solid quote that auto folks are using to denote the potential of a bigger, badder Grand Sport is: "1,200 horsepower is too much, but more than 1,001 is absolutely possible."

Nissan Sells Out Its Japanese Brethren

On: Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 12:32PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Sells Out Its Japanese Brethren test 1-1

Ordinarily, in the wake of great tragedy comes great solidarity. When a nation is hit by a disaster of natural or manmade origin, it bands together, pulls itself up and gets back on track. Rivals become allies and enemies turn friends in light of the greater struggles facing them.

But one automaker has chosen to abandon its country mates as they continue to struggle with production issues stemming from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of earlier this year. In a new commercial, Nissan basically sells out Toyota, Honda and other Japanese brands in saying that it is the first to be officially back on track.

Society Of Automotive Historians Sets The Date

On: Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 11:30AM | By: Chris Salamone

Jeff Mahl with the Thomas Flyer test 2

A car enthusiast, you say? What’s the difference between a member of the Society of Automotive Historians and your general car buff? The answer, it seems, is somewhat simple: professionalism. The folks down at the SAH take cars seriously. From books, to articles, to archives, the SAH exists for the sole purpose of exchanging knowledge about cars. Members have free access to their extensive resources and also receive the Society’s three publications: the SAH Journal, the Automotive History Review, and the ever-enticing Membership Directory (connecting members of similar interests around the globe). And most recently, the SAH released an announcement of the upcoming Annual Meeting in Hershey, Pennsylvania to be held October 7, 2011. Chocolate and cars, is there no greater glory?

Ready To Be Loved, The 2012 Subaru Impreza

On: Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 10:30AM | By: Chris Salamone

2012 Subaru Impreza test 2

While other models like the Forester and Outback have blossomed, the Impreza has been waiting on the metaphorical bench for a much needed update. This Fall, Subaru intends to release the latest redesigned Impreza into dealerships. So far, so good. Positive reviews are pouring in from all around the auto industry, not least of which is Motor Trend’s First Look which proclaims the Impreza has “the right stuff.” Subaru is the only carmaker in the industry to post consecutive sales increases over the past three years and the latest Impreza looks like it will likely contribute to the company’s success.

Michael McHale, Subaru’s head of corporate communications, recently stated that “With the 2012 Impreza, we’re heavy up on style, and we’re heavy up on fuel efficiency. That’s where we go next.”

And they’re not joking.

Largest Display of James Bond Cars Ever Coming to U.K.

On: Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 9:24AM | By: Chris Weiss

Largest Display of James Bond Cars Ever Coming to U.K. test 2

James Bond is more than just a movie character; he's the epitome of manhood. To be cliche, women want him and men want to be him. What man hasn't watched a James Bond flick and fantasized, even just for a moment, about being a wealthy, debonair international hero that always gets the girl. And the car.

Yes, James Bond's famous wheels rival only his catch phrases and girls in defining the timeless icon. Whether it's the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 from "Goldeneye" or the 1999 BMW Z8 from "The World is Not Enough," the car was as much a main character as the actor driving it. Many of the world's hottest marquees—Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Lotus and so on—starred in a James Bond flick at one point or another, and now the largest collection of those cars is coming to a U.K. museum exhibition.

The Tiny, Subcompact Yaris Not As Tiny in 2012

On: Sat, Aug 20, 2011 at 9:45AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Tiny, Subcompact Yaris Not As Tiny in 2012 test 1-1

Though the auto media has seemed to exaggerate the growth of small cars in light of this year's record-tickling gas prices—small car sales actually dropped last month—there are undoubtedly many consumers looking closer at subcompacts, possibly for the first time. Well, for those looking at the Toyota Yaris, the transition to tiny subcompact could be slightly easier. Toyota has increased the size of the Yaris for the 2012 model year, adding passenger and cargo space, along with making a few other notable revisions.

The Yaris gets stretched by three inches. In a world where we tend to deal in miles and feet, three inches doesn't sound like much, but according to Automotive News it's enough to seat a six-foot driver-side rear passenger comfortably behind a six-foot driver. If you fold the rear seats, storage increases up to 68 percent over the outgoing Yaris.

The Manlier Mini!

On: Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 6:29PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

The Manlier Mini!  test 2

It seems that Mini has noticed that their premiere happy-go-lucky hatchback has attracted a rather... one-sided... customer base. Although the Mini Cooper has been extremely popular, it seems that mostly women, not men, tend to go for the go-kart. So in an attempt to take back some of the masculine market share, Mini has chopped the top (and the name) on the Cooper, and is bringing the manliest Mini to the states for 2012 in the form of the Mini Cooper Coupe.