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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.

Fairfield County Concours Seeks Earliest And Longest-Owned E-Types

On: Fri, May 20, 2011 at 1:59PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Fairfield County Concours d'Elegance logo test 2

How early is your “E”?

The fine folks at the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance in Westport, Conn., need your help. As part of the Sept. 17-18 show’s festivities they are honoring the Jaguar E-Type—and its 50th birthday—with a “Featured Judging Class” that will include two rare representatives for which they’ve created special awards.

Why should you care? Because one—or both—of those awards could be yours just for owning an early E-Type.

[Not that owning the car Enzo Ferrari himself—yes, THAT Ferrari—called “The most beautiful car ever made” isn’t reward enough…]

Japanese Automakers To Work Weekends Only

On: Fri, May 20, 2011 at 10:20AM | By: Tim Healey

Japanese Automakers To Work Weekends Only test 2

In a bid to reduce the stress on Japan's power grid following March's earthquake and tsunami that destroyed a nuclear power plant, the Japanese automakers and suppliers will take select weekdays off in order to ease stress on the nation's power grid.

The companies will take Thursdays and Fridays off and work on weekends during the summer in order to relieve stress from the grid.

Lamborghini Aventador Already Getting Tuned

On: Fri, May 20, 2011 at 8:53AM | By: Chris Weiss

Lamborghini Aventador Already Getting Tuned test 1-1

Like the all-new Aventador, but don't like the all-wheel drive system? Or maybe you just want a more exclusive, tuned version? Either way, tuner Oakley Designs has developed just what you need: the Aventador LP760-2.

Two things are immediately apparent when you see Oakley's package: it's got 60 extra horses and two less wheels of drive power over the standard Aventador 'LP700-4.' The former comes by way of a larger airbox, titanium exhaust system, and bigger intake feed pipe diameter. Along with the 760 horses, Oakley aims for 550 lb-ft of torque (up from 508).


Chevy Cruze Eco: A Great Choice To Beat High Fuel Costs

On: Thu, May 19, 2011 at 12:03PM | By: Chuck Arehart

Chevy Cruze ECO test 2

When General Motors announced the new Chevy Cruze as the replacement for the Cobalt, it was easy to dismiss it as another ho-hum small car from GM that lacked refinement and was nothing more than basic transportation. Let's face facts. GM has a nearly 40-year record of making small cars that never competed for top-of-class honors. The new Chevy Cruze changes that.

All it took was years of red ink and the death bed of bankruptcy, but GM finally put the resources that transformed the rest of its line from middle-of-the-road to world-class into creating the Cruze. The result is what we always knew GM could do and the Cruze really can go toe-to-toe with Japanese competition. Those words are typed from the fingers of a driver who's owned Japanese products for the last 20 years.

Volkswagen Developing Cars That Pick You Up On Demand

On: Thu, May 19, 2011 at 11:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen Developing Cars That Pick You Up On Demand test 1-1

"I need ya, buddy." Those four simple words are all that The Hoff (a.k.a Michael Knight) needed to mutter before getting a reassuring: "Right away, Michael." Now that's a friggin' car.

Children of the 80s are among the most keenly aware of the promising possibilities of automated vehicles, thanks largely to the sheer awesomeness that the Trans Am known as K.I.T.T. brought to the table in a timeless little series called Knight Rider. And it looks like those children, now adults, will soon be able to direct their cars in a similar manner, although they may have to name it Klaus rather than Kitt.

Top Gear Runs Out Of Juice In Nissan Leaf

On: Thu, May 19, 2011 at 9:53AM | By: Chris Weiss

Top Gear's Clarkson, May runs out of power in Nissan LEAF test 2

BBC television series Top Gear is just not having any luck with electric cars lately. Not only does it have to deal with the lawsuit smacked down on it by Tesla Motors, but it ran out of battery power once again. This time it was in a Nissan Leaf.

Jeremy Clarkson and James May were outed when they rolled up to the University of Lincoln looking for a place to plug in. And by rolled, we mean they rolled the powerless car by way of good, old fashioned elbow grease.

Zagato-Designed Perana Z-One Goes Live

On: Thu, May 19, 2011 at 9:37AM | By: Chris Weiss

agato-Designed Perana Z-One Goes Live  test 2

I'm officially designating May 2011 as "Zagato Month." The coach-builder isn't a foreign name to automotive blogs and media, but I've never seen it mentioned so much as I have in the past couple weeks. First, it was the Alfa/Dodge TZ3 Stradale (okay, that was late April, but the buzz carried over). Then it was an Aston Martin-Zagato teaser. And now it's news about the Perana Z-One.

Unlike the other two Zagatos of recent fame, the Perana isn't a new car; it was introduced more than two years ago at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. However, orders have officially opened for the South African supercar as of this week. The car will be available in the United States, and U.S. distributor Superformance plans to offer 99 models per year.

Fiat Looking For Higher Than Expected Loan

On: Wed, May 18, 2011 at 4:43PM | By: Tim Healey

iat Looking For Higher Than Expected Loan  test 2

Now that Fiat has raised its stake in Chrysler, it's seeking to expand a credit line to $2.14 billion. Fiat will begin negotiating with banks as soon as it finalizes the purchase of a 16 percent stake in Chrysler for $1.27 billion.

That could give Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne control of Chrysler two years sooner than planned. Right now, Marchionne is aiming to increase Fiat's stake to 46 percent in the second quarter, after Chrysler pays down $7.5 billion in loans to the U.S. and Canadian governments.

Crisis In Japan Leaves Up To 200K Shoppers Available To Rival Makes

On: Wed, May 18, 2011 at 2:48PM | By: Tim Healey

Crisis In Japan Leaves Up To 200K Shoppers Available To Rival Makes  test 2

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan that occurred in March are leaving customers who normally shop the Japanese up for grabs to rival automakers.

Up to 200,000 shoppers are in play, thanks to the production and supply problems caused by the natural disasters. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan stand to lose the most.

Jeep Executive Whispers Of The Future

On: Wed, May 18, 2011 at 2:03PM | By: Chris Salamone

Mark Allen, head of Jeep design studios  test 2

After returning from the Easter Jeep Safari event in Moab, Utah, Mark Allen, head of Jeep design studios, sat down for an interview about the Jeep brand. Allen is a true Jeep enthusiast that appreciates the off-road capability and versatility of Jeep’s products. Even more importantly, he understands the tao of Jeep culture and respects the history of the brand’s 70 years of achievement. Allen’s executive position at Jeep requires that he guide and inspire the design team to create exhilarating and functional vehicles that still embody the spirit of Jeep’s rockstar heritage.

The following is the text of the full interview just posted by Jeep. Prepare for whispers of a 75th Anniversary Wrangler and the potential return of the legendary Jeep Cherokee, oh my.