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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

The Biggest Mini!

On: Tue, May 24, 2011 at 7:57AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Mini Cooper Countryman S All4 test 2

It seems that carmakers these days want to make sure they explore every avenue imaginable. They want to see that there is a car to fit every need, want, or even whim. We have all-wheel drive Ferraris, Porsche SUVs, and even four hundred horsepower Jeeps; there really is something for everyone. And now, there's one more option out there for those that have been dreaming of it:  The Mini Cooper Countryman S All4.  

Don't be mistaken, this car, err, truck, er, uh... crossover... yeah, crossover is still a Mini. It runs with the same 1.6-liter inline four cylinder 181-horsepower engine as the standard Cooper, the same six-speed manual gearbox, same big tachometer front and center, and has the same standard Cooper's quirky personality. The only real difference is that the Countryman S All4 is bigger by two doors and taller by a few inches. The only other big difference is that the All4 runs through... you guessed it... all four wheels instead of the traditional two Coopers have been accustomed to.

Ferrari Superamerica 45 Revealed

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 6:37PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari Superamerica 45 test 2

Announced a couple of weeks ago, and revealed ahead of its official debut at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este last week, the Ferrari Superamerica 45 is the latest, privately commissioned one-off built by Ferrari Special Projects. It was commissioned by New York real estate mogul Peter Kalikow to celebrate his 45 years of Ferrari ownership.

First Official Pics: Honda CR-Z Mugen Hot Hatch

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 5:21PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda CR-Z Mugen test 2

Honda has released the first official photos of the CR-Z Mugen, a tuned-up concept that will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this July. The prototype is a supercharged version of the CR-Z that adds some pep and performance to the hatch's eco-heavy resume.

The CR-Z Mugen is being developed jointly by Honda and Honda's tuning arm Mugen Euro. It will provide an enviable mix of hybrid-powered fuel economy and on-tap speed and performance.

Aston Martin Zagato Is Here!

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 4:42PM | By: Chris Weiss

Aston Martin Zagato test 2

Once again, Zagato is here and it doesn't disappoint. Built to celebrate 50 years of Aston-Zagato collaboration, the all-new Aston-Zagato concept, which doesn't appear to have a unique name outside of "V12 Zagato", was unveiled a day ahead of its official debut at the Villa D'Este Concours in Lake Como, Italy last week.

Aston and Zagato's first collaboration was the 1960 DB4GT Zagato, so the V12 Zagato was built with that roadster in mind, a fact that is immediately evident from the concept's short, muscular stance. Much more of a fastback design than modern Astons, the V12 has an impressively sharp, slung-back roofline that dives right down to the rear-end, a rear-end that is in itself thoroughly sharp and angled. The handcrafted aluminum body allows for curves and shapes that wouldn't be possible with pre-formed panels, according to the companies. The muscular haunches immediately jump out as a defining feature.


Popular Mechanics Picks The Most Deserved Fails In Car History

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 4:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Popular Mechanics Picks The Most Deserved Fails In Car History  test 2

When I first read Popular Mechanics article title "10 Cars That Deserved to Fail," I immediately started thinking about some of the most notorious failures in automotive history. The explosively terrible and embarrassing Ford Pinto. The not-buying-it-no-matter-how-cheap-it-is Yugo GV. And so on.

Indeed, both those models showed up not far down the list. It would be hard to write any list of "car fails" without including them. What's more interesting about the list is some of the more recent, more subtle car failures that I probably would never have thought of.

VW Set To Open Tennessee Plant

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 3:36PM | By: Tim Healey

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn test 2

Volkswagen is getting ready to open its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on May 24. The plant will build the new Passat, and it’s a key piece in VW's strategy to become the world's largest automaker.

The $1 billion factory will eventually build up to 150,000 Passats. The next Passat will be priced at $20,000, about $8,000 cheaper than the European version, thanks to the fact that U.S. wages are lower, the design is simpler, and local content will be used.

Blasphemy! Fords, Mopars, And More Invade The National Corvette Museum

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 1:57PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Charger in front of National Corvette Museum test 2

Now I have to warn you Corvette people: What you’re about to read may be upsetting and could result in conniptions and all manner of carrying-on. So if you have a heart condition, a “Jake” tattoo, or a child named “Zora,” you better stop reading right now.


For the rest of you, it might interest you to note that you can see an incredible collection of American Muscle—built by all the finest brands in the business—from now until Father’s Day weekend at a little spot in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the locals like to call the National Corvette Museum.

No, I’m not kidding. Right in the very place created to revere the Corvette there’s a display of 14 of the finest classic muscle cars America ever produced, with nary a Corvette—and only three Chevys—to be seen.

Maserati SUV Coming In A Few Years

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 12:00PM | By: Chris Weiss

Maserati SUV test 2

I wish that someone would poke a fork into the whole SUV/CUV/crossover trend and just end it all ready. But unfortunately, the closest we're going to get is putting a fork on an SUV, a trident to be specific. According to Car and Driver, Maserati will be the next high-end brand to build an SUV, following in the footsteps of Porsche, Alfa Romeo, and others.

The report says that Maserati will debut an SUV by 2014. The SUV will be developed at Chrysler HQ in Detroit and will be based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Not much else is offered on the Maser jeep, but we don't have high hopes (Cayenne with a trident? No, thanks).

More Details On Subaru FT-86

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 10:39AM | By: Chris Weiss

Details on Subaru FT-86  test 2

So far, the partnership between Toyota and Subaru has been all Toyota. Beginning in 2009, Toyota has shown three versions of the jointly developing sports car platform: the original Toyota FT-86 in Tokyo 2009, the Toyota FT-86 II at this year's Geneva Motor Show, and the Scion FR-S at the New York Auto Show just last month. Meanwhile, Subaru has shown only a shell of a concept meant to convey its rear-wheel layout.

But, that will all change this year, with Subaru catching up in a hurry.

Purse-o-holic's Beware - Hyundai Unveils Genesis Prada

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 9:40AM | By: Chris Salamone

Hyundai Unveils 'Genesis Prada'  test 2

Just days ago, Hyundai Motor Company began sales of the extremely limited edition Genesis Prada. Hyundai plans to sell 1,200 vehicles initially in the Korean market, then later expand into the Middle East and China. Genesis Prada is such an exclusive vehicle that each car will be built to customized personal orders, uniquely sporting a GP500 emblem intended to emphasize scarcity.

Gas Prices + Japanese Earthquake = Rising Car Prices

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 9:22AM | By: Chris Weiss

Gas Prices + Japanese Earthquake = Rising Car Prices  test 2

It's a story that began unfolding just shortly after the Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor meltdown ravished the nation and stagnated its auto production in mid March. Auto analytical group Edmunds suggests that the worst is yet to come, with soaring gas prices and model shortages combining to create the perfect storm of rising car prices.

With gas prices edging toward a nationwide average of $4 per gallon, consumers have been inspired to shop for new, efficient cars. At the same time, production on cars like the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf has been affected by the ongoing aftermath in Japan. Both those factors have led to depleted inventories at dealerships, a situation that's left little motivation for dealers to offer discounts, incentives, and sale events, something that they'd typically do during this time of year.