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And Car Reviews

The Luxury Volt: Cadillac To Send Converj Concept To Production

On: Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 12:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

The Luxury Volt: Cadlillac To Send Converj Concept To  test 2

The striking Cadillac Converj concept debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, with word a year or so thereafter that it was on its way to production. Then, production plans were officially canceled, and the Converj became what so many other concept cars have become: a rare, pretty hunk of fiberglass and metal never to be driven by paying customers. According to a new report, the Converj is back on the table and will be sharing the range-extending plug-in powertrain with the Chevy Volt.

GreenCarReports says that a GM insider confirmed that the Converj has been given the official green light by GM execs. It is likely to hit the market in 2013 as a 2014 model.

Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 9:52AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Haunted Highways: Saleen S7 test 2

There are fast cars out there—sure a WRX is quick or even a BMW 335is, perhaps. Then there are really fast cars—a Corvette Grand Sport or Shelby GT 500 both fit that bill. But even beyond those cars lie another realm of speed that is reserved for the truly remarkable examples of machinery made to move.

Steve Saleen had always been a man who took fast cars and turned them into really fast cars. A simple Mustang became an S281 or an even more potent S351, and Saleen quickly became legendary in the tuner community. But, there were always questions as to whether or not Steve Saleen could build a car of his own. So Saleen attempted to put those questions to rest and put all of his amassed tuning know-how into building a supercar from the ground up, catapulting his namesake into the highest echelon of road-going automobiles on the planet.

Fornasari RR99: An Odd Frankenstein If Ever We've Seen One

On: Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 5:30PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fornasari RR99: An Odd Frankenstein If Ever We've Seen One test 2

A luxury grand tourer with off-road ability. Nothing too revolutionary there, but it's likely to be a bit of a mish-mosh as a company tries to inject luxury and refinement into a hard-nosed, off-road-ready package. The stage is set for a Frankenstein-like vehicle, and Italian coachbuilder Fornasari acts out the play in superb fashion.

Fornasari's RR99 is essentially a luxury crossover, designed to deliver comfort and appeal within a capable package. The thing about this car is that the package is a collage of parts and styling from around the world. The car shares taillights with Lamborghini, a hood and headlamps with Aston Martin, and stacked exhaust tips with Lexus.

It's a true Frankenstein if ever we've seen one, and it doesn't necessarily pull it off. That gaping mouth, for instance, just isn't really the place that you want to see the curvy hood end. And the rear quarter is not necessarily something you want to see on any car, ever.

The New Dodge Durango Calls Out Ford's Explorer (Video)

On: Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 12:59PM | By: David Walter

The Dodge Durango Calls Out Ford's Explorer  test 2

After being away for two years, the Durango has re-emerged with a new design, improved performance and some witty commercials to let everyone know that it's back and better than ever. Two in particular are sure to grab the attention of domestic rival Ford. Commercials "Ultimate" and "Responsibility" feature the Dodge SUV utterly shaming the Explorer. And Dodge doesn't stop there. Another ("Long Lost Performance") laments the lack of “S” in today’s SUVs and even mocks "the kind of cars people are making" and "the kind people are buying".

Dodge may be stepping on some toes with these commercials (and enjoying every second of it), but they're also trying to reignite America's love for sport utility vehicles despite rising fuel prices and many other economic uncertainties.

Read more to see the commercials...


Alfa Romeo To Kick-Off U.S. Launch With 4C

On: Mon, Aug 15, 2011 at 9:15AM | By: Chris Weiss

Alfa Romeo To Kick-Off U.S. Launch With 4C  test 2

When we first laid eyes on that curvy, rouge two-seater known as the Alfa Romeo 4C, it was impossible not to think 'Damn, I hope that's one of the models that Alfa/Fiat will bring to the United States when they return to the market.' Alfa didn't leave that question lingering long, indicating that it would indeed bring the 4C over to U.S. shores. According to a new Automotive News report, that model will be the very first Alfa to hit the States, possibly ensuring a 2012 return.

What a fitting way to return. Sergio Marchionne is quoted as referring to the 4C as "the first Alfa Romeo car to re-enter the U.S. market." Fiat will use the model to help it meet a self-imposed late-2012 deadline for Alfa's return. The company will start selling a small number of 4Cs by the end of 2011, but a full return won't happen until mid-2013.

Audi Shows Off Light, Green 'Urban Concept'

On: Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 5:22PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Shows Off Light, Green 'Urban Concept'  test 2

After an inadvertent reveal via spy shot, Audi has provided some official information and pictures of its Urban Concept. The car, which will make its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show next month, takes compact and lightweight to the next level.

This one is definitely more of a fully conceptual, tinkering-with-ideas-type concept than a preview of a future Audi car. Audi describes it:

"The Audi urban concept is not based on any previous model—its development is solely oriented on the strict principles of lightweight construction, efficiency and reduction. The result is a concept car with no unnecessary weight, and one that concentrates on the pure essence of sporty motion."

2012 Nissan Versa: A Great Investment!

On: Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 1:48PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2012 Nissan Versa: A Great Investment! test 2

Unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere, it should come as no surprise that the US economy is in a bit of turmoil as of late (well, for a while actually, but even more so lately). The stock market is down 600 points one day, up 400 the next, gold is up to about a million dollars an ounce, and America's sterling credit rating just got a kick in the teeth. Fun times! So as our GDP comes dangerously close to zero, odds are we are going to see consumers scaling back even more than they have been recently.

But, such is life. Just when you really start making progress with your savings account, that's when the water pump on your 1998 Cutlass Ciera convertible goes and, although you've gotten used to the rickety seat, and the window that doesn't fully close, or the horn that doesn't always blow, not to mention that weird shake in the steering wheel at around 68 mph, or that slight pull to the left when you have to slam on the brakes, shelling out another $600 for a replacement pump on a car whose company doesn't even exist anymore just doesn't make much financial sense, and lo and behold, it's time for a new car! But after being out of the new car game for two decades, it can be quite intimidating for some, leaving them wondering where to even begin. Well, your local Nissan dealership might just be the place, because the 2012 Versa is a legitimate automobile that can fit into just about any budget.

Bristol Developing A 200-MPH Hybrid For 2013

On: Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 4:31PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bristol Developing a 200-MPH Hybrid For 2013 test 2

Cars like the Jaguar CX-75 and Porsche 918 Spyder have us pretty excited for the next-generation uses of "green" technology. These cars highlight that hybrids can compete with any car on the track, and can do it while offering a bit more efficiency. According to Edmunds, there's another hybrid supercar coming within the next few years, and it's coming from tiny specialty British automaker Bristol Cars.

C63 AMG Black Series: Black Out Fast!

On: Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 12:46PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

C63 AMG Black Series: Black Out Fast! test 2

M3 owners beware, because Mercedes is gunning for the top spot among two-door coupes, and they may just have done it. Sure, the AMG C63 is a badass ride, but the sportier M3 still managed to outperform it around the track, and the folks over at Mercedes were none too happy about that. So, the AMG guys sent the C63 back to the gym and what came back for 2012 was the very powerful, very intoxicating black out fast C63 AMG Black Series. 

So fast and highly tuned are the Black Series models that the C63 is only the fourth model to get the Black Series treatment. That is because the Black Series is a far cry from your average E-Class sedan. There is no coddling here, no floaty suspension to snuggle up with over long, leisurely Sunday afternoon drives. Oh, no; the Black Series is a track-bred monster. Don't think so? Well, let's put it this way: when was the last time you heard of a Mercedes offering the back seat as an option?

The Porsche 911: World's Sportiest Tractor

On: Thu, Aug 11, 2011 at 9:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Porsche 911: World's Sportiest Tractor test 2

The insurance industry is a chicken-and-egg-type conundrum. Those that believe human beings are inherently evil could argue that fraud and dishonesty amongst their customers force insurance companies to find ruthless, penny-pinching ways of making profits. Those that believe corporations are naturally more evil and self-serving than any disorganized group of humans could ever be could just as easily argue that customers have to use fraud and corner-cutting in order to squeeze their money out of ruthless, more experienced insurance companies.

Whichever side or combination of sides you choose, the insurance market is a contentious system that can often play like a battle of legal (and not so legal) and technical wits. Insurance companies find any small-print excuse to dismiss your claim and raise your rates, and consumers dismiss law and truth in order to get what they believe is rightfully theirs. It's not uncommon to hear even the most honest and law-abiding folks discussing—without inhibition or remorse—ways of sticking it to the insurance man.

BMW i4 And i5 Rumored

On: Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 5:26PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW i4 And i5 Rumored test 2

When BMW officially introduced its "i" sub-brand, it announced two initial vehicles under the brand: the i8 (aka Vision EfficientDynamics) and the i3 (aka Megacity Vehicle). Given that disparity, it was quite easy to read between the lines: BMW will build a whole model line-up between the 3 and the 8. A recent rumor originating on BMW Blog provides a look at the next i models on tap.

According toBMW Blog's source, BMW is already planning an i4 and i5. The i4 will essentially be a sporty two-seater based on the i3 city car. While it will be based on the i3 and may share that model's all-electric drivetrain, it will be positioned as a more affordable i8, so expect to see some fluid lines and styling.