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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 12:23PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Acura NSX test 2

When it comes to exciting cars of yesteryear, few cars are as underappreciated as the legendary Acura NSX. Whether it was being mistaken for a Ferrari or taking knocks for not having enough power as other cars in its price class, the NSX does not get nearly the credit it deserved. But with a little more insight, we might just be able to get the NSX the credit it absolutely deserves.  

In the mid-1980s, after years of research, Honda decided to throw its hat into the performance car ring. Using the Ferrari 348 as a benchmark to beat, Honda set out on its journey and quickly decided that instead of trying to find a designer better than those talented Italians, they would just go out and pay the very best Italian on the market to create the shape of their halo car. And so, in 1984, Honda employed the services of none other than the legendary Pininfarina to pen a prototype deemed the HP-X or Honda Pininfarina Xperimental which evolved six years later onto show room floors as the NSX, or New Sportscar Xperimental. Honda took note of some exotic cars' penchant for breaking down and being temperamental when it came to driving their very wealthy owners around for any length of time or any lengthy distance. The goal of the NSX was to be every bit an exotic that its Italian competitors were, but to excel where they were weak, and at a price point much lower than even the cheapest prancing horse or raging bull. And from its first appearance in 1991 to its final bow in 2005, the NSX achieved all of its goals in spades.

Nissan To Accelerate Leaf Production, Fill Pre-Orders By Summer

On: Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 9:06AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan To Accelerate Leaf Production, Fill Pre-Orders By Summer test 1-1

It looks like Chevy won't be the only manufacturer upping its green vehicle production. Nissan representatives said this week that the company plans on increasing Leaf production at its Japanese plant to get pre-ordered deliveries out as quickly as possible. Nissan intends to get all pre-ordered Leafs delivered to all customers by September.

Ursa Minor's ECAMPER And The Disappearing Honda Element

On: Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 7:09PM | By: Chris Salamone

The ECAMPER Open test 2

For the last few years Ursa Minor Vehicles, a small company in Southern California, has built the ECAMPER. This niche after-market modification was designed to create a luxury camping environment, similar to the VW vans of yesterday. Unlike the old VWs, which required constant maintenance and MacGyver-like abilities to keep running, Ursa Minor banked on the reliability of Japanese engineering by using the Honda Element as a base vehicle. Yet, despite long term technical foresight, Honda quietly announced to discontinue the retro camping box in 2011.

Honda Doing Feasibility Study on NSX Successor

On: Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 5:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda Doing Feasibility Study on NSX Successor test 1-1

The Honda NSX successor rumor rollercoaster continues on at full speed. Last rumor had it that Honda was already working on an NSX successor with a full-hybrid powertrain. A new rumor out of Edmunds indicates that Honda isn't really that far along. The report says that Honda president Takanobu Ito said that Honda is currently doing a feasibility study on a "new sports car."

Ito nixed the idea that Honda was planning on building a street-legal version of its V8-powered HSV-10 GT race car, but said, "There is clearly a demand for that type of car that we must answer."


Infiniti Teases Mercedes-Powered Coupe Concept

On: Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 4:47PM | By: Chris Weiss

Infiniti Teases Mercedes-Powered Coupe Concept test 1-1

Infiniti has teased a new concept it will debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Though Infiniti has not supplied an official name for the car, indications are it may be called "Etheria," and will take some styling cues from the curvy Essence concept that Infiniti showed at the 2009 Geneva show.

2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1: Maniacal Muscle

On: Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 11:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 test 2

For Corvettes, there's the ZR1. And for Camaros, there's the ZL1. At least, there is now. Chevy introduced the 550-hp, performance-optimized Camaro at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show this week, calling it the "fastest, most technologically advanced Camaro ever." Needless to say, we're excited.

Ferrari Releases New Pictures of FF

On: Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 10:22AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari Releases New Pictures of FF test 1-1

Ferrari introduced the 612-replacing FF concept last month. At the time, it released a few rather boring, unflattering studio shots of the car: one head-on front-end shot, one head-on rear shot, and one directly from the side. They definitely weren't the most intriguing shots, especially not if you prefer to see cars getting down and dirty on the track or street.

Well, this week Ferrari took the opportunity to right that wrong. It released a series of action shots that highlight the FF's four-wheel-drive capabilities. A few are of a rough prototype version of the car and a few are of the polished, Ferrari-red model.

And the Best Auto Ad Of The Super Bowl Is...

On: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 3:57PM | By: Chris Weiss

And the Best Auto Ad Of The Super Bowl Is... test 1-1

Watching Super Bowl XLV, you probably noticed a few things. A: It was a pretty damn good game—something that you can't say about every Super Bowl. B: Commercials weren't really that great. Maybe it's just that they get so hyped (more hyped than the game itself in a lot of ways) that they have trouble living up to it, but I rarely found myself really impressed. C: Not only did it seem like there was a car ad or two every break, but car ads were some of the best ads of the night.

Chrysler's Big Finish

On: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 3:48PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Chrysler's Big Finish test 1-1

No company wants to be forced into bankruptcy. Too often a financial downturn can lead to the complete collapse of a business. Luckily, for many employees, their families, and the U.S. economy, that hasn’t been the case for Chrysler Corporation. The company's bankruptcy filing gave it some much needed breathing room to regroup and reenergize. Part of that “way forward” was a coordinated sales push dubbed the “Big Finish for 2010.” Now it appears that Big Finish was so successful that it didn’t actually finish last year, as sales figures from January are still showing signs of growth.

Lamborghini Releases Aventador Teaser Pic

On: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 2:37PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lamborghini Releases Aventador Teaser Pic test 1-1

In this day and age of obsessive paparazzi and real-time internet updates, it seems like carmakers are a step behind. First, we had to humor Pagani with its not-so-gripping teaser videos, while spy shots—including scanned magazine pages of the full Huayra—were hitting the Web, and now we have to do the same for the other big Geneva supercar debut: the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4. Lamborghini has released its own "spy" teaser photo that really doesn't show us any more than the dozens of other spy shots we've already seen.

Cayenne and Panamera Lead Porsche With 34 Percent Sales Increase

On: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 2:19PM | By: Chris Weiss

Cayenne and Panamera Lead Porsche With 34 Percent Sales Increase test 1-1

You can argue about the styling of the Porsche Cayenne and Panamera until you're blue in the face, but there's no arguing about their success. According to new numbers, Porsche enjoyed a 34 percent year-over-year sales increase in the month of January, thanks largely to its biggest vehicles.

Porsche was quick to talk up its achievement. Bernhard Maier, Porsche's board member for sales and marketing, said in a statement: "We are experiencing a welcome upward trend in the U.S. with the Porsche brand enjoying double-digit growth. This is particularly noticeable in the Cayenne and Panamera models."