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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

2011 Chevy Cruze - A Hint Of Lavishness To Inexpensive Small Cars

On: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 3:14PM | By: Mary McRae

2011 Chevy Cruze Exterior test 2

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is a completely new model that brings a hint of lavishness to inexpensive small cars. One of the utmost compliments you can give a car is to say it feels more expensive than it is; that is surely the case with the Cruze. In terms of small car competition, Chevrolet has never had a competitive player. The mediocre Cobalt, as well as the generally terrible Cavalier that preceded it, was doomed as its rivals consistently outperformed them in key areas. Having said that, Chevrolet did a lot right here; when compared to this segment's traditional leaders, the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, the Cruze is fully competitive (or even better) in terms of design and driving dynamics.

2011 VW POLO BlueMotion: Embrace Your Inner Diesel

On: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 10:37AM | By: Clay Ritchings

2011 VW POLO BlueMotion test 2

We have all seen the rise in popularity of such cars as the Prius, Toyota's stab at a fuel efficient eco-friendly car that, because of a drag coefficiency, has a “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” label attached. Let us not forget the Honda Insight; actually produced and available to the public way before Toyota pumped out any Prius from their factories. These are two examples among many Hybrid vehicles available today that squeeze as many miles out of a gallon of gas as technically possible and reign champions to the penny pinching public… that was until the VW Polo BlueMotion came along.

The Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion (BlueMotion is VW’s name for its line of hyper-frugal diesel vehicles) and is simply one of the most efficient cars on the market today.

Honda S2000 Concept Revived For Launch In 2013

On: Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 4:14PM | By: Chris Salamone

Honda S2000 Concept Revived For Launch In 2013 test 2

According to Auto Express, sources in Japan claim that Honda intends to implement both car and motorcycle technologies towards creating a front-wheel drive, sports coupe as a possible successor for the long-departed S2000. This reborn coupe will be based on the current gasoline-electric CR-Z platform, but is expected to have a smaller body and shorter overhangs. Styling cues will derive from Honda’s OSM concept car (pictured above).

Most excitingly, the next generation Beat will incorporate some of Honda’s cutting edge technology. Engine specifics remain unclear, but either or both the 1.3L and 1.5L advanced VTECs are likely candidates to be offered to an eager public.

A Review Of The 2011 Honda Fit

On: Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 1:54PM | By: Mary McRae

2011 Honda Fit Review test 2

Honda stepped away from the subcompact car segment that helped build the brand so long ago, but Honda has recently rejoined the game with its five-door Fit.

The Fit goes back to what made Honda popular in the first place—back to its roots, a vehicle that stays true to all the elements that made the Civic so popular—however, with the modern day comforts and safety features that were not available during the Civic's childhood. A car that is cute, frugal, fun-to-drive, and, above all, is reliable; again, back to the roots of the Civic. The Fit was created to challenge the new kids on the block such as Scion, Hyundai, and MINI, in addition to Toyota's econo-box Yaris sedan.

Even though the Fit is priced a little higher than most of the competition, Honda is designed with a substantial number of standard features, plus one attribute you will not find on any option list: Excellent resale value.


1990 Honda Accord Nears Million Mile Mark

On: Sat, Jun 18, 2011 at 10:45AM | By: Chris Salamone

1990 Honda Accord Nears Million Mile Mark  test 2

A man from Norway, Maine (yes, such a place-name exists and the pictures demonstrate why) is taking his 1990 Honda Accord above and beyond any insignificant six digit limit speculatively put on the odometer. Joe LoCicero intends to break the 1-million mark by September 2011. Seeing Joe’s initiative, Honda has taken this opportunity to put out a press release showcasing the reliability of Honda automobiles. As we say in the schoolyard, or the occasional jailhouse, the proof is in the pudding.

Since he purchased the vehicle in 1996, Joe has racked up an average of 62,500 miles a year. Yes, that’s nearly 5 times greater than most people. Around the 300,000 mile mark on his odometer, Joe began taking detailed records of his maintenance and vehicle achievements—including 661 photos of his odometer. Yikes.

Art-schmart; The Allure of the Automobile Compels You!

On: Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 4:02PM | By: Andrew W Davis

1933 Pierce-Arrow; photoillustration by author test 2

Though the “grownup” version of Merriam-Webster.com offers a definition of the word “allure,” it’s their kid-oriented “Word Central” that nails it: “allure (verb): to try to attract or influence by offering what seems to be a benefit or pleasure; (noun): power of attraction.”

And when it comes to the “pull” anyone conscious will feel from these automobiles, a truer word has never been selected than that one when used in the title for the Portland Art Museum's “The Allure of the Automobile," a gathering of over a dozen of the finest sheetmetal sirens ever produced that you can enjoy from now until Sept. 11.

Long Live The Wankel: Mazda (and Maybe Audi) Working On Next-Gen Rotary

On: Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 10:56AM | By: Chris Weiss

Long Live The Wankel test 2

With the Mazda RX-8 set to be discontinued, the rotary engine is teetering on the edge of the automotive endangered species list. But that's not stopping Mazda from working on it. The company is hard at work on an improved version of the Wankel, which should find its way into a sports coupe.

According to anEdmunds report last week, Mazda has a team of about 100 engineers working on the Wankel. The newest iteration of the spinning engine will incorporate laser ignition, eliminating the need for spark plugs, which will in effect make the engine cleaner and more efficient.

Chrysler Recalls 11k 2011 Models; Toyota Happy It's Not Them For Once

On: Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 5:47PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

Chrysler Group announced today the voluntary safety recall of approximately 11,351 2011-model-year vehicles built between April 15 and May 14, 2011 to inspect for the “presence and alignment of Steering Column Pivot Rivets.”

The vehicles involved in the recall are the Chrysler 200 (sedan and convertible) and Town & Country; the Dodge Caliber, Journey, Grand Caravan, and Nitro, and the Jeep Wrangler, Liberty, and Compass.

In its report filed June 16th, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that “some of these vehicles may have been built with a missing or incorrectly installed steering column pivot rivet.”

Yay or Nay? Laws To Deny Licenses To Dropouts

On: Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 5:21PM | By: Chris Weiss

Laws To Deny Licenses to Dropouts  test 2

Apparently there's a new driving legislation initiative underfoot in states around the country. Lawmakers in some states are considering legislation that would bar high school dropouts from getting driving licenses. The legislation aims to dissuade high schoolers from dropping out by using one of the most important things to a teenager—a car.

It's an interesting idea that could potentially impact high school drop-out rates, but is it the right move? Personally, I'd argue against it. First off, you'd think that high school dropout rates were at an all time high, and this initiative was created to stem a growing problem. However, according to data from the National Center For Education Statistics, dropout rates steadily declined over the near-two-decade period between 1980 and 2008. In fact, they were nearly cut in half during that time—from 14 percent to 8 percent. So why the push all of a sudden?

The Polish Supercar Steps Out of the Shadows (with Video)

On: Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 5:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Arrinera supercar test 2

As promised the Arrinera supercar (world's first Polish supercar) has made its official, early-June debut. The Lamborghini-esque ride looks a little less Lambo in person, but the influence is still pretty clear. We have full video of the event.

Arrinera got some help from none other than Lee Noble in designing the as-yet-unnamed supercar. The car features a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 worth 638-hp, which Carscoop says is, indeed, the Corvette ZR1 mill. It fits that engine snugly inside a tubular steel chassis and lightweight Kevlar and carbon body.

The Only Thing That's Ever Been Free On Rodeo Drive: 2011 Concours d'elegance

On: Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 9:26AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

I hear that it’s important to the highest of high-end stores that they set up shop “where the money is” to succeed, and in these United States that place/street is Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

This storied street is known around the world for its incredibly expensive yet relatively frivolous things, so it’s no wonder that it would be chosen to host a high fallutin’ car show. And if you had to pick the most expensive, yet least practical cars, chances are your first fifty or so would be Italian.

So the 2011 Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance theme (“The Art of Italian Motoring”) and its choice of Fiat as the event’s “honored marque” brings everything full-circle. And with an expected 125 “vintage Italian cars on display” at the free event Sunday, June 19th (Father’s Day!) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., what’s outside of the glass of the street’s superlux stores will be worth more than what they have within.