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Which Way Will They Go? Summer Gas Prices Remain a Mystery

On: Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 12:06PM | By: Chris Weiss

Summer Gas Prices Remain a Mystery  test 2

Well, last weekend we celebrated the unofficial start of summer. Because weather remains cool, unpredictable, and sometimes downright inclement in many places during late May, many people around the country undoubtedly celebrated Memorial Day by flocking to warmer, more southerly locales.

I sure did. And while my overall weekend was excellent, it served as a big reminder: Gas prices are pretty awful. I spent the weekend camping for free, doing free outdoor activities, and eating super-cheap food like grilled hot dogs and sandwiches. Yet, I still managed to spend somewhere around $150 or $200 just on gas.

Ford To Offer Turbo V-4 On Mustang?

On: Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 9:14AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford To Offer Turbo V-4 On Mustang test 2

Chevy may not be the only U.S. automaker looking to smaller, turbocharged engines for its muscle icon. According to Motor Authority, Ford is considering shrinking its base Mustang engine to a turbocharged four-cylinder. Like Chevy, though, Ford doesn't plan on abandoning Mustang purists and will offer a range of engine options, including the Mustang GT's 5.0-liter V8. 

According to MotorAuthority's report, Ford will use a 2.3-liter version of its turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four in the next-generation Mustang beginning around 2015. There's no word on what the output of that engine will look like at this early stage in the game.

Audi Plans A9 Flagship For 2014

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 6:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Plans A9 Flagship For 2014  test 2

Mercedes CL, Porsche Panamera, and BMW 6 Series, watch out, there's a new Audi in town. Or at least there will be in a couple of years. An Audi A9 has been rumored for a while now, and Britain's Car magazine has some new details on the top dog. While the final form(s) (four-door coupe, 2 + 2) that the A9 will take is still undecided, it looks to be all but a sure thing.

"It's KISS, Baby!": Bid On Band Member-Branded Minis To Benefit UNICEF (Now Until June 8!)

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 2:15PM | By: Andrew W Davis

KISS-branded Mini ad test 2

It is said that if Gene Simmons could find a way to put the KISS logo on oxygen and sell it to us at a markup, he would. Despite the fact that his band’s fan base is relatively small (and aging), KISS nonetheless boasts more “branded” items (from “adult” toys to the kid-friendly kind) than almost any other band.

Ordinarily such licensing is aimed at benefitting Mr. Simmons and his band mates, but every so often the KISS (marketing) Army’s efforts are marshaled to the benefit of an important cause.

This go-round of goodwill-generation is not without irony; KISS has partnered with BMW/MINI to raise funds for UNICEF via the auctioning of four customized MINI Countryman via eBay, despite the fact that the charity is a children’s aid organization that assists a demographic sure to be absolutely terrified if they saw the fund-raising band in its full regalia.


Plug-In Porsche 911 A Possibility, But Not Anytime Soon

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 1:46PM | By: Chris Weiss

Plug-In Porsche 911 A Possibility test 2

The Porsche 911 (one of the greatest icons of the automotive world) is set for a redesign. The 2012 911 will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year, and rumors, spy shots, and speculation have been flying around willy nilly (yeah, I said willy nilly) as the new sports car draws nearer.

Now, if there's one thing we know about the Porsche 911, it's not going to look any different—the thing's looked pretty much the same for the past four-and-a-half decades, albeit with a very slow, steady stream of modernizations. So there's really no sense in speculating on what the 2012 911 is going to look like, just take a good look at the 2011 911.

Porsche GT3 RS 4.0: The Purest Purist's Car Ever.

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 11:19AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 test 2

So, maybe you’re a sports car purist. You want things simple, but deadly efficient on the road and track. You know that a low curb weight is just as important as the amount of power you are putting to the ground, so that means no turbo, no hefty all-wheel drive setup, and no silly self-shifting techno-crazed semi-automated, triple-clutch, paddle-shifted nonsense. Your dream car should have a clutch, and a shifter, and should be powered by a naturally-aspirated, high revving hero under the hood bred from pure racing DNA, and that's about it. 

Imported From Germany Or Detroit? I'm Confused

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 10:48AM | By: Clay Ritchings

Imported From Detroit Ad Rip-off test 2

Eight Mile Style, the Ferndale Company that handles song licensing for the Detroit rapper-Eminem, alleges that the new Audi ad uses an unauthorized interpretation of his "Lose Yourself"—the song utilized in Chrysler's highly acclaimed Super Bowl spot for its uplifting portrayal of Detroit.

Bad News/Bad News: Tesla Ending Roadster Production, Adding Crossover

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 10:30AM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Ending Roadster Production test 2

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen. But I just wish it didn't have to happen like this. Tesla filed some papers with the SEC last week, and in those papers was an admission that we all knew was coming, but hoped against: it will wind down Roadster production by the end of the year. A few stragglers will remain at dealerships until they're all sold, but the Roadster's days are clearly numbered.

Never fear, Tesla has a new car on the way. No, not an all-new sports convertible, but a crossover! Joy.

Sneak Peak: More MINI In 2013

On: Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 4:56PM | By: Chris Salamone

MINI Cooper test 2

For all practical purposes, a larger MINI Cooper actually should be defined as ‘less-mini’. However, in this case, there are several key improvements anticipated for the 2013 MINI Cooper which necessitate the use of the term ‘more’ with respect to other features… other than size. Wow, talk about a mouthful. Anyhow, WorldCarFans.com recently posted spy photos of a prototype for the 2013 MINI Cooper. Pictures indicate that the new MINI will likely be longer and wider than current models.

One theory to account for a larger MINI revolves around the need for extra space for mechanical purposes. MINI has made no secret of their plans to utilize several different types of alternative fuel powertrains. As we saw with the Mini-E, creative power sources require creative engineering. The MINI-E replaced the entire back seat with 575 pounds of batteries. Maybe the 2013 MINI will have enough engine space to preserve four-player seating and still offer unique engine options.

Trident 2020? Maserati GT Garbin Design Study

On: Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 2:47PM | By: Chris Weiss

rident 2020? Maserati GT Garbin Design Study test 2

Here's a little look at what the James Bond of the future could be driving around while trying to foil plots of international consequence. Actually, looking at that menacing face and those bright blue LEDs, it might be a better ride for Batman or a similarly shadowy crusader. Whoever you envision behind the wheel, it's a pretty interesting design.

The Maserati GT Garbin, as it's called, is a joint project thesis from three students—Jaime Cervantes, Andrea Coccia, and Chetan Rajput—for their Master's degrees in Transportation and Automobile Design from Politecnico di Milano. The recent graduates had the backing of Fiat in preparing the design.

Toyota Announces Recalls To Replace Faulty Nuts And Drive Shaft

On: Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 9:27AM | By: Andrew W Davis

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This is getting BEYOND ridiculous. Even I'm getting sick of these stories, and I'm being PAID to write them. But when you can turn Toyota's tragedy into dirty-sounding comedic gold, well, here we are.

This episode in Toyota’s ongoing series of product recalls deals with U.S. and Canadian 2001-2003 Priuses and 2011 model Venzas and Siennas with all-wheel drive.    Though I’m not old enough to be officially nostalgic about anything, I still fondly remember the days when people bought Toyotas because they DIDN’T want a car with problems. But that was then and this isn’t. Onto the dirty innuendos!