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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.


Here's One For The Ladies: A Prince, His Princess, And A Lexus

On: Wed, May 18, 2011 at 1:49PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Prince Albert II's Royal Lexus test 2

Thanks to my wife there’s a People magazine cluttering up my mailbox every week. And as I’m contemplating throwing it immediately in the recycler or waiting until she reads it and then throwing it out, I can’t help but notice whatever cover-page foofaraw their “editors” are screaming about in 100-point type.

If I’m not mistaken there was recently some to-do about the Queen of England getting married to some hot chick with a hyphenated last name even though that hot chick’s sister was wearing a better dress or some such thing.


Details on McLaren Flagship

On: Wed, May 18, 2011 at 11:00AM | By: Chris Weiss


Details on McLaren Flagship  test 2

For most companies, a 592-hp, sub-3,000-lb. coupe that hits 62 mph in 3.3 seconds would qualify as a flagship. But when your name is McLaren, and your most famous road car not only held a world record, but also stood head and shoulders above every other supercar of its era, an MP4-12C is but a starting point, a middle of the road.

McLaren has already indicated that, unlike in the past, it will build a family of cars. And one of those cars will be a true flagship, reminiscent of the 240-mph F1 produced in the mid-90s. Late last week, Autocar published the most comprehensive look that we've seen as to what McLaren's car will look like.


 

New York City Gets Creepy With Speed Limits

On: Wed, May 18, 2011 at 10:47AM | By: Chris Weiss


New York City Gets Creepy With Speed Limits  test 2

Municipalities have all sorts of tricks when it comes to enforcing speed limits. Hidden police cars, flashing road signs that show your actual speed, and dummy patrol cars are just a few ways that towns get creative to get drivers to slow down.

New York City has a new one: morbid creepiness. It's building upon the radar-equipped road sign, adding a new graphic that may just creep the masses into loosening the muscles in their right legs.


There Are Cobras, And Then There Are Cobras; This Is The Latter.

On: Tue, May 17, 2011 at 2:53PM | By: Andrew W Davis


'63 Shelby Cobra Demonstrator at Mecum test 2

Known to folks that know these things as the “Shelby Demonstrator,” CSX 2096—a 1963 289 Cobra—was “one of a small handful of cars used for such PR purposes as the September 1963 Motor Trend road test and the August 1963 Playboy cover shoot.”

[It also served for 15 months in a “dealer demo”-style capacity at Shelby American, thus the name.]

Your chance to buy one of the most noteworthy Shelbys comes this Friday, May 20, sometime in the afternoon/evening during Mecum Auctions’ “Original Spring Classic Auction” coming to you live at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, or from there via “HD Theater, a Discovery Network.”

Can Mecum get a million or more for it? Maybe…


Not-So-Smart Fourtwo?

On: Tue, May 17, 2011 at 1:31PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Smart Fourtwo EV test 2

Technology for the most part is good. Technology is also fun, to some extent, but it does have its drawbacks. Sometimes, on the way to making something truly special, there are a lot of... not so innovative... innovations. The laserdisc player, the eight-track, video phones, Charlie Sheen, car stereo remotes, they all had high buy-in costs and low returns in terms of usability and entertainment. Most of these non-comedians eventually led to actual useful results in modern day life, but we had to go through a bit of a technological adolescence that was more infamous than famous.  

Right now, America is going through a similar period with automobiles. Before we can get to true freedom from oil, we have to get past this time of awkward growth. We know we can't survive on gasoline much longer, and ideally electric cars are the way we are going. We can see glimpses of the future with cars like the new Porsche 918 Hybrid and Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell on the high end, as well as the Prius, Volt, and Leaf on the low end of the price spectrum.


From Gullwings To Rotary Wings: Helo Takes Mercedes Brand To New Heights

On: Tue, May 17, 2011 at 11:50AM | By: Andrew W Davis


From Gullwings To Rotary Wings: Helo Takes Mercedes Brand To New Heights test 1-1

Yes, you read that right: Mercedes-Benz is getting into the helicopter business and I enjoy using terrible puns.

Unveiled at last year’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva—and delivered to its first customer today—the EC145 “Mercedes-Benz Style" helicopter is a joint venture with Eurocopter (want to guess where they are and what they build?).

[That odd “Mercedes-Benz Style” bit is THEIR idea. I know how to use quotation marks properly.]


The Sighting To End All Sightings

On: Tue, May 17, 2011 at 8:56AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


The Sighting To End All Sightings test 1-1

If you're anything like me, when you're out and about doing just about anything in life, your eyes are always open and scanning the roads and parking lots for that one rare automobile. It never has to be anything particular, just something a little more rare and unique than your average Honda Civic. Some cars garner more of a reaction than others:  Corvettes are nice, Porsche Turbos get a glance and a nod, a Nissan GT-R will probably get a peak in the window (no touching the windows, and not long enough to be confused with a potential carjacker, of course). A Viper will usually elicit a "Whoa!" from passers-by, and a Lotus Elise will have most novices wondering "Is that a dune buggy?"


Bmw Tops U.S. Luxury Market By The Skin Of Its Teeth

On: Tue, May 17, 2011 at 8:14AM | By: Chris Weiss


Bmw Tops U.S. Luxury Market By The Skin Of Its Teeth test 1-1

Usually when we talk about auto sales, we're working in thousands. But in the case of the luxury auto market, BMW sits on top by less than 30 individual cars sold. The German automaker managed to narrowly defeat its countrymate Mercedes-Benz by a margin of just 29 cars to become the leading luxury automaker in the U.S. so far this year.

BMW sold 18,801 models in April while Mercedes lagged closely behind with 18,042 sales. That pushed the 2011 sales totals to 71,417 BMW and 71,388 Mercedes. Year-to-year sales were up 2.3 percent for Mercedes in April and 8.9 percent for BMW.


Google And Ford Team Up On Fuel Economy Optimization Software

On: Mon, May 16, 2011 at 5:45PM | By: Chris Weiss


Google And Ford Team Up On Fuel Economy Optimization Software test 2

One of the cited advantages of the self-driving cars being developed by Google is fuel economy. By governing vehicle functionality by intelligent, inflexible software rather than leaving it to the proclivities of imperfect man, Google believes that it can push optimal miles-per-gallon from every vehicle.

While the world waits for Google to perfect its autonomous car, Google has teamed with Ford for a sort of interim fuel-savings technology. The platform is called Google Prediction API and, if all goes according to plan, will be equipped to Fords of the future.