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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!


Rare Ferrari FXX Evoluzione Goes Up For Sale This Month

On: Sat, Jan 8, 2011 at 12:11AM | By: Chris Weiss


Rare Ferrari FXX Evoluzione Goes Up For Sale This Month test 1-1

It's been a good couple of weeks to be an ultra-wealthy rare Ferrari collector. Earlier this week, we reported that a one-of-a-kind Ferrari Enzo prototype is up for sale, and today word of another rare, Enzo-era Ferrari. The 2006 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione will be going up for auction on January 21. The car is part of the collection of the late Benny Caiola, an Italian immigrant turned real estate mogul. The collection, which will be auctioned off by Gooding & Company, includes 11 cars altogether.

Caiola's collection has been hailed as one of the largest and finest collection of Ferraris in the world. And no car is finer than the FXX Evoluzione. The car is a track-only limited-edition based on the Enzo, and features a 6.2-liter version of the Enzo's V12 engine that puts out 789 horses. After Caiola's FXX was retrofitted with the Evoluzione package, the car put out 860 horses. The auction house describes it as Ferrari's most advanced production car ever.


Updated: Ford Teases 2012 Focus Electric

On: Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 11:58PM | By: Chris Weiss


Updated: Ford Teases 2012 Focus Electric  test 1-1

2011 will undoubtedly turn out to be a year of green cars and concepts. And one of the first electric vehicles of the year will be Ford's first EV: the Focus Electric. Ford released a teaser picture of the Focus EV today, giving us a slight glimpse at the car, which it will debut this week.

Demonstrating the changing landscape of the automotive industry, Ford plans to introduce the Focus Electric, not at the Detroit Auto Show next week, but at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

As is usually the case, Ford's teaser picture doesn't show much, but it does show a charging port encircled by blue LED lights—should prove useful if you ever have to charge in complete darkness. Other than that, we see the requisite electric badging and a powder-blue exterior paint job.


Last Mercury Rolls Off The Line Without Fanfare

On: Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 11:46PM | By: Chris Weiss


Last Mercury Rolls Off The Line Without Fanfare test 1-1

Consider Mercury officially gone. The very last Mercury ever—a white 2011 Grand Marquis commissioned by a fleet customer—rolled off of the assembly plant in St. Thomas, Ontario  on the morning of January 4. The sad, lonely Mercury made its way out of the factory with little acknowledgement or fanfare.


 

Chevy and Nissan Release EV Sales Numbers

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 6:20PM | By: Chris Weiss


Chevy and Nissan Release EV Sales Numbers test 1-1

After more than a year of hype, the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf finally hit the market last month. And this week, the first-month sales numbers for the respective vehicles are out. As you'd probably expect, the numbers aren't exactly staggering, with less than a month on the market, but they do represent the first numbers for mass-produced EVs.


Hyundai Veloster Isn't Really a Coupe

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 2:32PM | By: Chris Weiss


Hyundai Veloster Isn't Really a Coupe  test 1-1

Hyundai released the first official teaser of its Veloster coupe--a picture that showed the Veloster head on--late last month. Yesterday, the company released its second teaser, which reveals an interesting bit of information: the Veloster is not actually a proper coupe as it has one extra door. Hyundai will fully reveal the CR-Z competitor at the North American International Auto Show next week.


Confirmed: Porsche to Unveil 918 Spyder Coupe at Detroit Auto Show

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 11:32AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Porsche 918 Spyder Coupe test 2

Porsche fans the world over are marking off their calendars in anticipation of the big unveiling at next week’s Detroit auto show. The Porsche devotees and other industry observers are gearing up for the roll out of the 918 Spyder. What’s the big deal? Number one; it’s Porsche, and It has been four years since the automaker has made an appearance in Detroit. In the minds of many car fanciers, that is way too long.


Bugatti To Cancel Veyron, Build New Sedan

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:59AM | By: Chris Weiss


Bugatti To Cancel Veyron, Build New Sedan test 1-1

Well, here's a mix of good and terrible news. It seems that Bugatti has made a pretty dramatic resolution for the new year, and we're not entirely loving it. The good news is that the marque will reportedly be working on a new sedan that's based on VW cousin, the Audi A8. After seeing the 16C Galibier last fall, we're eager to see a Bugatti sedan headed toward production. We were quite happy with that bit of rumoring. 

The bad news is that to make room for the new sedan, Bugatti plans to wind down production of its iconic Veyron, arguably the world's most excessive, outrageous supercar. Since the Veyron launch in 2000, the names "Bugatti" and "Veyron" have been near synonymous, but it looks like the brand may be content with letting the Veyron retire as a world-record holder. According to reports, Bugatti will look to wind the Veyron down by 2014.


Justin Bell Will Test Drive Next Generation Focus

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:44AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Justin Bell Will Test Drive Next Generation Focus test 1-1

Ford recently announced that the Madrid Focus Global Test Drive in February will be hosted by race car driver Justin Bell. Bell brings 20 years of road racing experience to the Global Test Drive program. Ford will later announce other celebrity guests for the event.

From 1992 through 1996 Bell and his father, racing veteran Derek Bell, participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bell was the FIA GT champion in the GT2 class in 1997, and was Trans AM rookie of the year in the 2001. He was FIA GT champion in the GT2 class in 1997, a class winner in the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans

Bell has also appeared on the Jay Leno Show since 2008 as a celebrity driving instructor demonstrating the Ford Focus Electric prototype.


Automakers' New Years Resolution is to Trim Some Weight

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:37AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Automakers' New Years Resolution is to Trim Some Weight test 1-1

A common thought among fearful flyers is always “how are the tons of steel I’m sitting going to get off the ground and fly?” Aerodynamics plays a big part in the theory of flight. It also has a role in auto manufacturing, particularly when it comes to improving fuel efficiency. The lighter the vehicle the better the miles per gallon. That concept works great for compact models, but what about big pickup trucks? They need that weight to add the muscle to their towing capacity. If not for new government regulations, truck makers might just leave well enough alone. Unfortunately for them (but fortunately for truck owners) the automakers need to redesign their lineup to comply with new fuel efficiency standards.


Hyundai Sonota Hybrid Travels 2,000 Miles Across U.S. on Two Tanks of Gas

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:07AM | By: Chris Weiss


Hyundai Sonota Hybrid Travels 2,000 Miles Across U.S. on Two Tanks of Gas test 1-1

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has some serious travel and green accomplishments under its belt. A cross-country drive by Hyundai just wrapped up, and the Sonata Hybrid made it across the southern U.S. on just two tanks of gas. If you plan to replicate the accomplishment in your own Sonata, you should note that Hyundai employed the help and expertise of hypermiler Wayne Gerdes, so your mileage will undoubtedly vary.