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And Car Reviews

Did Chrysler Spin Off SRT To Screw With Us? First Move: The Viper Camper

On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 10:47AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Viper Camper test 2

As you may or may not have heard, Chrysler spun-off their Street and Racing Technology division into its own standalone brand earlier this week, naming Dodge chief Ralph Gilles its CEO and president. The company didn't waste much time getting down to business, but chose an odd move as one of its first public maneuvers. It "teased" the 2013 Dodge Viper (or at least some form of Viper) in response to social media inquiries about the upcoming muscle car.

Lotus Will Build Its Own Range of Engines

On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 10:07AM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Esprit test 2

The tide of change continues to rise over in Hethel. Lotus revealed late last year that it planned to make a decision on whether to build its own engines for its upcoming sports car expansion. The automaker was supposed to come to the decision in the winter, but apparently it took a little longer to green-light an internal engine production program. What it took was the freeing up of some funds in order to allocate monies toward engine development.

Lotus found the funding it needed from the delay of the Elan 2 + 2, a decision that it announced recently. The automaker decided that the car was just a little too close to the Esprit and delayed its development for a few years.

Good Move/Bad Move? Nissan Launches Mobile EV Charging Station

On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 4:28PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Launches Mobile EV Charging Station  test 2

In building the market's first real, mass-produced electric vehicle, Nissan bravely went where no other automakers were ready to go. And now it's going somewhere else where no other automaker has gone. But the question is: should it? 

One of the primary reasons that other automakers are focusing more on hybrids and range-extenders is range issues. Batteries can get you only a fraction of the distance of gas engines and hybrid powertrains. Now, if there was a robust electrical charging infrastructure on highways and byways, this wouldn't be as much of an issue. But since there isn't, people are basically limited to home and work charging, something that's given way to the rightful fear of getting stranded. It's called range anxiety and it's a major obstacle that electric-vehicle manufacturers face.

Apple's Iron Fist Gets It Right: No More DUI Checkpoint Apps On iTunes

On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 4:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

DUI Checkpoint Apps on iTunes test 2

I can't say I'm the biggest Apple fan. The company just tries to exert way too much control over its products, third-party developers building software for its products, and its customers. Imagine if your computer came from the store with all kinds of websites disabled, limiting what you could access on the Internet. In my opinion, people should be able to make decisions as to what content they can access on their own equipment.

But Apple has always maintained tight control over applications that run on the iPhone and iPad, famously banning all porn-y apps from the App Store. It reviews each app one by one, and then decides whether or not it's appropriate for the App Store—the only place to buy apps for Apple products. A little overbearing, to say the least.


Surprise? Electric Rolls Royce Is Not Happening

On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 3:37PM | By: Chris Weiss

Rolls Royce Phantom 201EX test 2

At the Geneva Motor Show this past March, Rolls Royce made a rather strong impression with the 102EX, an electric ultra-premium. The move made some wonder whether Rolls may just cut its otherwise atrocious fuel economy numbers with a fully electric production version. At the time, Rolls would commit only to the fact that it would test the waters for an EV's potential. Apparently, those waters turned up pretty chilly, because Rolls has moved an EV off the table for the time being.

According to anAuto Evolution report based on a conversation with CEO Torsten Mueller-Otvos, Rolls has officially sidelined the EV because it doesn't believe that it makes sense at the moment. It's not so much that customers aren't interested in a premium EV, or that there was a tepid reaction to the 102EX, it's that Rolls doesn't think an EV fits its customer base very well.

NHTSA Working To Unplug Drivers From Mobile Devices

On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 12:57PM | By: Tim Healey

NHTSA Working To Unplug Drivers From Mobile Devices  test 2

Federal officials appear to be fed up with drivers texting and talking while driving, and they're increasing their campaign to get drivers to focus on the road.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administrator David Strickland said that the agency is continuing to study ways to get drivers to take time away from their smartphones to focus on driving.

Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster: A Wingless Angel

On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 10:26AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster:  A Wingless Angel test 1-1

Sometimes when car companies decide to resurrect a car or a nameplate, it doesn't quite work out. It seems as if someone somewhere in marketing (who obviously is not a gearhead) just got the job, thanks to Monster.com, comes up with the idea to bring back a name in the history books with no real idea of what the original bearer of that name stood for.  

But for every modern Malibu SS, GTO, or Thunderbird, once in a while we get a car brought back that is arguably even better than the original. In 2010 we saw the most recent rendition of retro in the form of the undeniably elegant, yet extremely powerful Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Harking back to the 1950's 300SL, the modern form of the gullwing was every bit as breathtaking as the first specimen. Now, only a little more than a year later Mercedes will bring back yet another model for us to enjoy, in the form of the SLS AMG Roadster. This droptop beauty will mirror the late 50s version of that same venerable 300SL Roadster. 

Mark Higgins Topples Isle Of Man TT Circuit Record With Subaru WRX STI

On: Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 6:18PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Subaru WRX STI test 2

The tiny bit of green that is known as Isle of Man is famous for its TT motorbike racing event held every year. Recently the island played host to one of the most remarkable displays of speed on the planet. As if rocketing down the 37.8-mile course by speed mongers on motorcycles in less than 18 minutes can get any better—it did. Subaru decided to have a go at beating that record, and sent a Subaru WRX STI sedan and former British Rally Champion Mark Higgins to make this record-breaking attempt.

Chrysler Goes Deeper Into The Aftermath; Dr. Dre In New 300 Spot

On: Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 9:30AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chrysler Dr Dre Aftermath Commercial test 2

When I first heard that Chrysler tapped Dr. Dre for its latest commercial, I thought they were really taking a good thing too far. I mean, the Eminem ad was one of the most interesting commercials of the year, a job well done. But Dr. Dre? He's not from Detroit. The only thing he has in common with Chrysler is the connection by way of Eminem, who is signed to his label Aftermath Records.

But as it turns out, there actually is a good reason for this rap-starred follow-up, and it works nearly as well as the first.

A German Rotary Supercar On The Way

On: Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 7:34PM | By: Chris Weiss

Predator GT-Rotary Supercar test 2

Rotary engines; not many cars sport them nowadays. And even fewer supercars have them. But a new teaser gives us a look at an upcoming German supercar powered by a four-rotor engine. It's called the Predator GT and it comes from the suitably named Rotary Super Cars.

Rotary already teased the Predator last year. But that car looked entirely different. Apparently, the company took some heavy flak for making a highly derivative car that looked like a Ferrari 599 GTB with a couple of extra vents and body mods. So, they went back to the drawing board and designed a completely new car. My man Viknesh, over at Motor Authority, likens it to a Lamborghini, which I can see from the rear cabin back, but the front still looks pretty Ferrari to me. But even a Ferrari-Lambo hybrid is more original than a straight 599 rip-off—especially when you throw in those weird, lightning bolt-esque lines (no, those aren't the result of a fuzzy picture).

Video: Koenigsegg CCXR vs. Supercharged Corvette Z06

On: Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 4:10PM | By: Chris Weiss

Koenigsegg CCXR vs. Supercharged Corvette Z06  test 2

Much like watching two heavyweight icons like Ali and Frasier gruel it out for supremacy, there's something magical about watching two ultra-powerful, iconicly awesome supercars go head to head. Even when the match-up is odd and skewed.

The latest piece of supercar throw-down to bubble to the surface of the Interwebs is a Drag Times piece with a supercharged Corvette Z06 and a Koenigsegg CCXR.