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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry




Volt and Leaf, Meet The Competition: 2012 Ford Focus Electric Debut

On: Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:12PM | By: Chris Weiss


Volt and Leaf, Meet The Competition: 2012 Ford Focus Electric Debut test 1-1

As promised, Ford introduced the Focus Electric at an event at the Consumer Electronics Show on Friday. Ford's first all-electric passenger car will be available later this year, and is the first of five electric vehicles that Ford plans to release by 2013. Little was known about the drivetrain of the Focus Electric ahead of time, so Ford's event was really the first look. The Focus Electric is driven by a 100 kW electric motor powered by 23 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The motor gives the car 123 hp, 181 lb-ft and 84 mph. Ford hasn't provided a final range estimate, but indications are that it will be around 100 miles.


Ferrari Doubles Sales In China

On: Tue, Jan 11, 2011 at 3:08PM | By: Chris Weiss


Ferrari Doubles Sales In China test 1-1

In announcing its sales numbers for 2010, Ferrari indicated that year-over-year sales doubled in China to nearly 300 models. Ferrari, which has sold cars in China for only six years, now considers the country one of its top 5 international markets (when Hong Kong and Taiwan sales are included). China's consumption of premium sports and luxury cars is a reminder of the growing economic position of the country .

Ferrari's numbers mimic numbers of other premium brands. Last month, the Detroit News reported that Germany luxury car sales in China were up by 40 percent in 2010. Increased global demand, of which China was the largest part, inspired German automakers like BMW and Mercedes to shorten holiday breaks and keep the assembly lines running. Audi led the way in China's luxury car explosion.


Ford Says Focus Electric Requires Half the Charging Time of Nissan Leaf

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 5:27PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Ford Electric powertrain test 2

Ford’s new 2012 Focus Electric will require only half the time to charge its all-electric power source than the Nissan Leaf electric sedan, while being able to travel the same distance as its Japanese rival. The Focus EV will require only 3 to 4 hours to fully charge its battery on a 240 volt home electric outlet charging station, according to director of Ford’s electrification division, Sherif Marakby. The charging station will reportedly cost between $500 to $700, less than Nissan Leaf’s upgraded electrical station. It takes 7 hours to charge the Nissan Leaf when plugging into a 220 or 240 volt charging station.


Porsche Wins Court Case to Dismiss Lawsuits

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 5:24PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Porsche Wins Court Case to Dismiss Lawsuits test 1-1

Somewhere, there are a bunch of lawyers who are already off to a good year. They were retained by Porsche Automobile Holding SE and just scored a major victory in court. As a result of their lawyerly arguments, Porsche dodged a $2 billion lawsuit. If that’s not a reason for an end of the year bonus, nothing is!

The issue before the U.S. District court involved a suit brought against Porsche from a bunch of shareholders who felt that the automaker wasn’t being honest with dealings about the upcoming Volkswagen AG acquisition. Specifically, hedge fund managers claimed Porsche was misleading short-sellers. Got that?


 

New Jersey Municipality Admits To Illegally Short Yellows

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 4:55PM | By: Clay Ritchings


New Jersey Municipality  Admits To Illegally Short Yellows test 1-1

Mike Koestler, the former mayor of Harrison Township, caught the same southern New Jersey municipality using illegally short yellow light times after receiving a ticket at the intersection of William Dalton Drive and Delsea Drive. Motorists were given just 3 seconds of yellow warning before the camera began snapping—as opposed to the 4 seconds mandated by state regulations.

The camera's private contractor, American Traffic Solutions, issued citations at the intersection's westbound approach, which had the shortened yellow, from March 26, 2010 until October 26, 2010 when the state corrected the signal timing. Harrison Township, the first southern New Jersey municipality to issue a red light camera ticket, admitted last week that it issued 12,000 tickets worth $1 million. The borough claimed that the yellow was never lengthened after the speed limit was increased from 25 MPH to 35 MPH in 1993.


Lotus Wants To Be The Porsche of the U.K.

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:38PM | By: Chris Weiss


Lotus Wants To Be The Porsche of the U.K.  test 1-1

Lotus CEO Dany Bahar may have history with Ferrari, but under his guidance, Lotus plans to move toward a Porsche model. No, that doesn't necessarily mean that Lotus will make a stable of cars that all have near-identical looks every single generation (though some of its Paris concepts looked eerily alike). It means that Lotus wants to offer a range of cars, rather than a small line focused only on the highest-performance sports cars, ala Ferrari or Lamborghini.


GM Sales Up 8% For December

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:38PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


GM Sales Up 8% For December test 1-1

General Motors has posted an 8% increase in sales for the month of December; the rising numbers account for the 4th consecutive month that the Detroit automaker has seen a rise in profits.

All four of GM’s U.S. brands saw sales increases for the last month of 2010, including Buick which produced a 40% increase, Cadillac posting a 13% hike in sales, and Chevrolet with a 35% increase.


Pagani C9 Official Name: Huayra?

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:36PM | By: Chris Weiss


Pagani C9 Official Name: Huayra? test 1-1

C9 is just so easy to say. Apparently too easy. For as long as we've known Pagani's prototype, it's been known that 'C9' may just be a prototype name and not the actual production car name. A recent report sheds some light on what the new Pagani may be called, and it's a lot harder to read/say than C9; it's the Huayra. Mysterious, but not the most intuitive word to speak or write—not in English, at least.


Toyota Being Sued By 7 Additional Insurance Companies

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:36PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Toyota Being Sued By 7 Additional Insurance Companies test 1-1

When any large company, such as Toyota, is sued it always makes the news headlines. If the lawsuit proceeds to trial and the company loses it's possible to tie up the awarding of any monetary settlement for years. However, if that same company decides to settle, many times it brings out the sharks who start swimming for their own piece of the potential prize. This appears to be what is happening to beleaguered Toyota as they attempt to close the books on the mounting lawsuits that have resulted from the recent acceleration recalls. Now 7 auto insurance companies are jumping on the lawsuit bandwagon with Allstate Insurance by going after Toyota with the full magnitude of their legal teams.


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

On: Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:35PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly) test 1-1

In recent years, the great pony car war of Mustang versus Camaro has been better than ever. The new Coyote 5.0 in the GT is a bona fide Camaro-killer, and the Corvette-based LS3 is a old school torque-monster ready for any challenge.  

 

But this battle hasn't always been so even. When GM started using its LT1 Corvette engine in its token pony car back in 1993, the Camaro went on a winning streak that lasted seven years straight. Every stock-versus-stock magazine test, and 99% of stoplight races ended in the Mustang staring at the tail lights of the Camaro. Even when the Mustang changed to the more powerful 260 horsepower version of its single overhead cam modular engine in 1999 for its GT, it was already behind the eight ball because GM had upped the muscle car ante a year earlier to its formidable LS1 V8 that laid down a minimum of 305 horsepower. Not to mention the Camaro had six forward gears compared to the Mustang's five, and had a 3.42 rear axle gear (for the manual transmissions), while the GT made due with its "performance" 3.27 gear. 0-60 times for the Mustang hovered around the mid-to-high five second range, and quarter mile times hung around the mid-to-high 13 second department, while the LS1 Camaro times (given equal drivers, of course) were typically several tenths quicker to 60, and on average, about half a second quicker through 1320 feet, which might as well be a lifetime to most racers. The Mustang simply could not keep pace, even with its vaunted SVT Mustang Cobra; its DOHC V8 put down 320 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, but just could not keep pace with the top dog Camaro SS and its more powerful powerplant. But just when all hope seemed lost, a blood-red ray of hope roared out from Ford's Dearborn assembly plant in the form of the almighty 2000 Mustang Cobra R.


Auto Industry is on the Upswing for 2011 Detroit Auto Show

On: Sat, Jan 8, 2011 at 1:25AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Auto Industry is on the Upswing for 2011 Detroit Auto Show test 1-1

How many tires can you fit into 750,000 square feet of convention center space? To get the answer to that riddle you’ll have to attend the upcoming North American International Auto Show set to open next week at the Cobo Convention Center in Detroit. Due to the increase in domestic auto sales, the rise in retail spending, and the improvement in unemployment numbers, automakers are more than excited about the prospect of the upcoming auto show.

The last two years weren’t especially good for the Detroit auto show. Because of the downturn in the economy, automakers were staying away in droves. But now they’re all back with a vengeance. Nineteen new sponsors will be joining last year’s 23 returning companies. Those are good numbers for a convention of this size. And every corner of the 750,000 square feet center is booked solid!