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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

Alfa Romeo's U.S. Launch Pushed Back to 2013

On: Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 1:16PM | By: Chris Weiss

Alfa Romeo 4c test 2

The U.S. is about to get a little more European over the next few years. Fiat Group vehicles from Alfa Romeo and Fiat itself are poised to start returning to our highways this year and next. Or they were, in the case of Alfa Romeo. Originally planned for a late-2012 U.S. launch, Alfa cars like the Giulia sedan and station wagon are now unlikely to make it here before mid-2013, according to an Automotive News report.

Nissan Leafs Have Problems Starting... And Not Just Because The Electricity's Drained

On: Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 9:11AM | By: Chris Weiss

Some Nissan Leafs Have Problems Starting test 2

Well, this isn't good news for Nissan. After getting off to a rather sluggish start in terms of sales, the Leaf, Nissan's much-hyped electric vehicle, has been experiencing problems with starting. Those few customers who have bought the Leaf have reported that it sometimes fails to start. Nissan announced that it is launching an official probe into the matter.

Nissan says that the problem is limited to a select number of Leaf models and that it is caused by a sensor in the air conditioning unit. Models in both the U.S. and Japan have experienced problems.

Chrysler To Sell Natural-Gas Cars In 2017

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 5:19PM | By: Tim Healey

Chrysler To Sell Natural-Gas Cars In 2017 test 2

Chrysler will begin selling vehicles powered by compressed natural gas in 2017. Fiat, which currently owns 30 percent of Chrysler and plans on eventually owning a majority stake in the company, already offers compressed natural gas engines in some of its products in Europe. Chrysler has been looking into bringing the technology to American shores.

Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne likes the technology because it's cheaper than other alternative-fuel technologies, and Fred Diaz, the CEO of Chrysler's Ram truck brand, has expressed an interest in using the technology in pickup truck applications.

Ferrari 599 Successor To Be Lighter, More Powerful (+ Spy Video)

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 4:44PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari 599 Successor test 2

Now that the Ferrari FF has been detailed, photographed, and filmed, auto-world rumors are turning to the next great Prancing Horse: the 599 GTB successor. According to a new report, Ferrari's top dog will get more bite in the way of a retuned engine. It will also lose some weight.

As told by an Autocar report, the next-gen 599, which is codenamed F152, will get upwards of 700-hp, a marked increase over the 599's 612-hp, an increase that will bring Ferrari in line with the likes of the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 and the Pagani Huayra. If you look at the FF's recent jump to 651-hp—up from 533-hp in the 612 Scaglietti—it's not hard to believe that Ferrari will be looking at 700 + for the 599 successor. They'll achieve that with a tuned version of the FF's 6.3-liter V12.


BMW Cars To Feature Smarter Automatic Transmissions

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 4:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW Cars To Feature Smarter Automatic Transmissions  test 2

If recent BMW concepts and technologies are any indication, the cars of the future are going to drive themselves with ease. In Geneva earlier this year, BMW presented the Vision ConnectedDrive, a concept designed to showcase technologies such as an intuitive information system with 3D heads-up display and advanced vehicle sensor systems. A new BMW component shows how the German luxury company will use technology to redefine automatic transmissions.

Today's automatic transmissions upshift and downshift through gears based on on-board computers and/or valves. The process can be less smooth and efficient than manual shifting because the automatic transmission does not have the same feel for the road as the driver.

2012 Cadillac SRX To Get More Power

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 12:57PM | By: Tim Healey

2012 Cadillac SRX To Get More Power  test 2

Cadillac's SRX has been the company's answer to Lexus' hot-selling RX 350 mid-size luxury crossover SUV, and now it's getting some more power for 2012.

A 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 is on tap to replace the 3.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6 and the 2.8-liter turbocharged V-6. The 3.6 will put out 300 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. That's 35 more ponies and 37 more lb-ft than the 3.0, and the same amount of horsepower as the 2.8, although it's a reduction in torque of 35 lb-ft. The 3.6 is flex-fuel capable.

Diesel Engines And V8s Headed To Jeep?

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 11:27AM | By: Chris Weiss

Diesel Engines and V8s Headed To Jeep test 2

Carmakers just love to jump the gun, don't they? You would have thought that Chrysler could have waited a week or two to show off its special edition, Mopar-ized Jeeps. After all, the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab is really the kind of place where people interested in hardcore, off-road-ready Jeeps tend to congregate.

But, alas, Chrysler couldn't quite hold it to the finish line and did a full sneak-peek event in Auburn Hills, where you won't likely see many people actually driving big-tired, stripped-down rock crawlers. While the special editions were interesting to look at, they're not bound for production and are basically showpieces designed to highlight what Mopar parts can do. More interesting were some comments by Jeep chief Mike Manley that point to some possible new engine options in Jeep's future.

Toyota To Resume Production Next Week

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 10:39AM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota To Resume Production test 2

After more than a month of production problems caused by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor events of last month, Toyota is poised to restart production. It announced last week that it will begin production at all of its 18 Japanese plants on Monday April 18. The company will not be up to full capacity, however, and plans to run at only 50 percent capacity through April 27.

After April 27, Toyota will enter its normal spring break period. It has not decided how production will run after the spring break ends on May 9 and plans to make that decision a little closer to that date. The company will reassess its parts supplies and decide how to proceed with production.

The Summer Of '69s... Again!

On: Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 9:43AM | By: Andrew W Davis

1969 and 2011 pace cars test 2

The month of May is coming up, and for most car-focused folks that means the Indy 500—and all it entails—is on the way.

This year that last bit really means something as the 2011 race is being celebrated as the 100th anniversary of the first race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet.

Naturally, Chevy was given the nod to provide the Speedway with its pace and “Festival Committee” cars (the former leads the field of racers during the start of and any pauses in racing while the latter are used by officials and workers to reach various places and events around the Speedway. They also participate in the pre-race parade around the track.), and it chose the race as a good place to unveil its new Camaro Convertible.

Now's Your Chance For Rare Bertone Concepts

On: Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 6:49PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bertone Lancia Zero test 2

Bertone, the Italian design house that has brought us such cars as the $2-million Corvette ZR1-based Mantide, has been in court-supervised liquidation since 2008. The most recent turn in this process is that six classic concepts developed for Lamborghini, Chevy, and Lancia will be auctioned off by U.K.-based RM Auctions. The auction will give wealthy car enthusiasts the rare chance at owning a classic Bertone concept.

Gee Willikers, Batman! Replica Pulls $110,000 At Barrett-Jackson

On: Mon, Apr 11, 2011 at 4:41PM | By: Chris Salamone

Batman! Replica  test 2

Holy Roman Empire, Batman, the Batmobile is almost as valuable as a priceless collection of Etruscan snoods! That sums up my surprise when a modified 1977 Lincoln Continental sold this weekend for $110,000 at the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Palm Beach. But that’s not all. Apparently, the Batmobile has sold for drastically larger sums… even breaking the $200,000 mark. Wow, who would have thought a customized replica could attract so much consumer demand? Even more shocking are the companies which produce parts and complete replica Batmobiles for the collector market.