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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry




Ford's Extreme Pothole Proving Grounds

On: Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 4:26PM | By: Chris Salamone


Ford's Extreme Pothole Proving Grounds  test 2

After a Viking-worthy winter and large spending cuts in both Europe and the United States, potholes are likely to be unfortunately common this spring and summer. But Ford drivers can relax, knowing their tried and true vehicles are tested for these exact conditions at the Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium and the Michigan Proving Ground in the US. Both test tracks feature real-world simulations and data acquisition supported by the best gearheads in the business.

Ford’s press release from March 30th indicated that several types of road conditions are simulated including moderately rough roads, such as those in Europe and North America, and severely rough roads, like those in emerging markets, taking into account that weather conditions can make these roads even worse. Further, both the Lommel and Michigan Proving Grounds include replicated roads from across the globe. Thus vehicles tested at these facilities might face something like the shambolic Lower Dunton Road in Essex, UK in preparation for real-world obstacles.


Making Of Ferrari FF Promo Video

On: Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 12:47PM | By: Chris Weiss


Making of Ferrari FF Promo Video  test 2

Ferrari already wowed us with its 3.5-minute official FF promo video showing the concept tackling about every type of terrain that a vehicle can tackle. Now it's done it once again with a making-of video that shows exactly how the promo was put together.

When it comes to auto videos, there's a massive disparity between the people who watch them and the people who make them. As viewers, we watch the video unfold within minutes. But on the other side of the camera, a crew of professionals works tirelessly for hours and days on end to create a visual masterpiece worthy of a car bearing a Prancing Horse or Raging Bull. All that work doesn't really matter to the viewer; the only thing that matters is the final product. Within minutes, viewers make a polar decision: thumbs up/thumbs down.


Obama Administration Wants U.S. Fleets To Use Alternative-Fuel Vehicles By 2015

On: Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 10:32AM | By: Tim Healey


Federal fleets to be alternative-fuel vehicles test 2

The Obama administration wants all new cars and trucks purchased by federal fleets to be alternative-fuel vehicles, such as hybrid and electric vehicles, starting in 2015.

Considering that the government operates for than 600,000 fleet vehicles, the Obama administration is trying to both lead by example as well as, perhaps, save some money on fuel, as well as some carbon emissions.


Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Sold Out For More Than a Year

On: Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 9:19AM | By: Chris Weiss


Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 test 2

Lamborghini executives' faces are probably even redder than the Arancia Argos paint that covers the Aventador LP700-4 that we're most familiar with. Not from embarrassment, but from sheer excitement. The Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 debuted earlier this month to rave reviews and plenty of the right kind of attention, and the buyers are really responding. We already knew the Aventador LP700-4 was sold out, first-year supplies were announced gone just barely after the car had even made its official entrance in Geneva, but reports last week indicate that it's even 'sold outer' than we thought.


 

BMW Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Plant Zero Prototype Factory

On: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 3:35PM | By: Chris Weiss


Behind the Scenes of Plant Zero test 2

When the BMW pickup car reared its uber-rad head a few weeks back, you were probably thinking something like "WTF is that and where did it come from?" Well, the first answer has already been cleared up: it's a rather tongue-in-cheek prototype that BMW built in celebration of April Fool's Day. As to the latter question, well, it comes from Munich, where it will debut on April 1.

As if to give us a more thorough, enlightening answer, BMW released a five-minute video clip about the facility it calls 'Plant Zero'. Named as such because it's the plant where every BMW—and the processes that are used to build it—originate; Plant Zero is the place where BMW magic begins. BMW doesn't cite the pickup car specifically, but since the facility is responsible for all of BMW's prototypes; this is the place where it happened.


March Sales Up, But Gas Prices Could Drag Them Down

On: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 12:36PM | By: Tim Healey


March Car Sales Are Up test 2

Sales of new cars appear to have increased in March, with the expectation that they'll be about 12 percent better than they were last year. However, high fuel prices and supply line disruptions due to the natural disasters in Japan could act as a brake on sales.

Economic analysts often look at auto sales as one of the first monthly indicators of what's going on with the economy, and the market is expected to have shown improvement over last year. However, lower incentives in March might cause sales to dip compared to February.


The Volvo XC70 and MacGyver

On: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 11:07AM | By: Chris Salamone


Volvo XC70 test 2

The Volvo XC70 and MacGyver are perfect for each other. Like MacGyver, the 2011 Volvo XC70 is a true Jack-of-all-trades with no apparent weaknesses. The vehicle is considered a crossover, but has strong wagon elements with a few crossover twists. Indeed, with ample ground clearance and monstrous AWD capability the XC70 definitely blends the storage and aerodynamic practicalities of a wagon with the obstacle-defiant features of an off-roader. Additionally, even though many car enthusiasts expressed concern over Volvo’s future because of Geely’s takeover, the company has received a number of significant awards in 2011, notably for Best Value from Vincentric and Fourth in Reliability from Consumer Reports. Putting enthusiast concerns aside, the XC70 is a car with loads of handy features and ruggedly handsome aesthetics, a vehicle most people would be proud to own or discuss over a glass of grog at the local ice tavern.


Scorched Earth: Lamborghini Aventador Races Across Desert

On: Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 3:33PM | By: Chris Weiss


Lamborghini Aventador Races Across Desert test 2

We've seen the Ferrari FF concept work its way through just about every obstacle that solid ground can possibly create. But our visual experience with the Lamborghini Aventador has been limited to a rather slow, dull drive across the streets of Berlin.

Up until this week. Lamborghini's newest masterpiece was filmed in California for an upcoming ad campaign, and some of the footage has hit the Web.


Production Of Japanese-Built Hybrids and Electrics Resumes

On: Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 2:24PM | By: Chris Weiss


Japanese-Built Hybrids and Electrics test 2

Hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles built in Japan have been among the vehicles most affected by the earthquake and tsunami events of earlier this month. Built in Japan and exported to markets like the United States, these models suffered from production stoppages. As a result, prices on these vehicles have started to rise, as supplies at dealerships decrease.

But production is slowly getting ramped back up. Nissan and Toyota have restarted production on models like the Leaf and Prius.


GM Restarts Production In Louisiana And Buffalo

On: Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 1:09PM | By: Chris Weiss


GM Restarts Production in Louisiana and Buffalo test 2

Though the problems in Japan stemming from the earthquake, tsunami, and damaged nuclear reactor events of earlier this month are expected to affect the Japanese and global auto industries for months to come, at least one automaker here in the U.S. is back up and running after a shortage on parts shut some of its operations down last week. GM announced on Monday that it was restarting production at its Shreveport, Louisiana plant, as well as bringing the Tonowanda plant in Buffalo back up to full-scale production.


Six Appeal; The New BMW 6 Series

On: Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 11:02AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


BMW 6-series test 2

Last time around, famous, or perhaps infamous, designer Chris Bangle penned a 6-series; the car became a hit… For a while. But that eye-catching yet controversial patchwork has not stood the test of time, and has become extremely dated and, to some, even unappealing. But new chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk has taken the essence of what originally made the 6-series appealing and sanitized the scary out of it. 

The new Six has kept the long hood/short deck profile that helps any sporty car look sportier, and actually made it slightly more dramatic. The 6-series was never posing as a Miata, and the newest generation keeps that theme by measuring in at 54 inches high, 75 inches wide, and 193 inches long, with more than a few inches of that length coming from the extended nose of the new car. The wheelbase has been extended three inches to 112 for improved interior room and handling capabilities.