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Robotic Valet Parking On Its Way In Chicago

On: Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:01AM | By: Chris Weiss

Robotic Valet Parking On Its Way In Chicago  test 1-1

Robots parking cars? Even taking into consideration how much technology has advanced over the past couple decades, that still sounds like pure fantasy. It also sounds like pure awesome.

Unfortunately for sci-fi and futuristic cartoon fans, the Green Park Eco Garage in Chicago isn't nearly as cool as human-like robotic servants taking your keys and manually parking your car. Instead, the robotic part refers to an automated parking system that helps cram double the number of cars into a confined city space.

Brave New Year: Lincoln Gets Mercury's Ad Budget

On: Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 6:29PM | By: Chris Weiss

Brave New Year: Lincoln Gets Mercury's Ad Budget  test 1-1

We're sorry to tell you that 2011 is going to mean more men on your television screen. At least in terms of Ford advertising. With Mercury gone, Ford will work toward its goal of pushing its smaller lineup by transfering Mercury's ad budget over to Lincoln. And that means we're going to be seeing less of the sexy Jill Wagner, the old Mercury spokeswoman, and more of Mad Men's John Slattery.

One-Off Ferrari Enzo Prototype Now For Sale

On: Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 10:22AM | By: Chris Weiss

One-Off Ferrari Enzo Prototype Now For Sale test 1-1

Happy New Year, ultra-wealthy car collectors; there's an exciting new piece up for sale. Look quickly and you may think that you're staring at a Testarosa, but what you're actually looking at is an Enzo prototype from 2000. No, it doesn't have that distinctive beak that we've come to know and love from the Enzo, but it's got a pretty beautiful look all its own. And it's a one-of-a-kind prototype, making it a potential collection flagship.

New BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Spotted

On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 4:14PM | By: Chris Weiss

New BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Spotted  test 1-1

Is BMW going full-blown crazy and building the Vision EfficientDynamics with conceptual elements like the clear, teardrop doors present and intact? A new version of the VED spotted in the Middle East seems to suggest that it is. But since the car isn't due out until 2013, it's likely that this latest spied model is just a refined prototype, and that BMW still has some toning down to do before the final production version. Whatever the case, it's a nice, new look at the VED/i8/i100 that we're glad to have.


Happy New Year, London: Jaguar C-X75 Comes to Town

On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 2:10PM | By: Chris Weiss

Happy New Year, London: Jaguar C-X75 Comes to Town test 1-1

New York may have Times Square and the big ball, but London has something even more glamorous for New Year's: the Jaguar C-X75. One of the sexiest concept cars of the year, the Jaguar C-X75 spent the final days of 2010 in a London shop window. If you happen to be in the city, welcome in the new year by taking a trip to see one of the most advanced car concepts of 2010.

Chrysler Closes The Old Year with New Recalls

On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 11:22AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Dodge (sic) Ram test 2

It would appear to the outside observer that for every positive step Chrysler makes on the road to its recovery, there is another step backwards causing a bump in that road. Chrysler has made great strides on the comeback trail considering the company was on the brink of total financial ruin just a year ago. Of course, that doesn’t mean they are completely out of the woods yet. Before closing out the year and saying good-bye to 2010, Chrysler needed to issue a bunch of recalls on several models of the company's vehicles.

(CL)oser To Perfection

On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 11:16AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

(CL)oser To Perfection test 1-1

When the Mercedes CL-class first officially bowed back in 1998, it did so with a less than impressive splash into the market, and seemed to be an anomaly between Mercedes’ own S-class, E-Class, and even SL-Class models. It seemed to possess features of each of its brethren, yet nothing distinctive of its own. It seemed as if it could have been just one more luxury model for affluent buyers to try on in Mercedes showrooms, and to an extent … it was. Except that quite a few of those high-priced Allen Edmond-clad tire-kickers actually laid down the cash necessary to drive off in a new CL. Slowly but surely, the CL’s sales have quietly done very well for Mercedes, enough so to garner a second, third, and now most recently, fourth generation of the big coupe. 

Mercedes gets credit for being one of the first companies to develop a ‘corporate face’, that is, using a very similar set-up of headlights and grille to make sure that no matter what model you see in your rear view mirror, you can identify it immediately (Acura, Audi, and most recently BMW have adopted a similar motif). Since the overall face of Mercedes is changing, the CL is no exception starting with an updated grille, bumper, and headlights (a new bumper and tail lights complete the update out back). The hood is new and shows off its new larger grille.

Taking a page out of the Bimmer Book of Engines, Mercedes is switching from naturally aspirated, big displacement to more compact, forced induction motors exchanging the NA 5.5 liter V8 for a new direct-injection 4.6 liter twin-turbo V8 dropping 429 horsepower and a stump-pulling 516 lb-ft of torque. Make no mistake, direct-injection engines are the future of all gasoline engines. They produce better numbers with much better efficiency and the CL’s 4.6 liter V8 is no exception, making 47 more horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque more than its predecessor, all while reducing emissions by 23% and improving fuel economy by 10-15% over the previous CL550’s EPA estimated 15/22 mpg.  

Ford Recalls 20,000 Pickup Trucks and Crossovers

On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 10:59AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Recalls 20,000 Pickup Trucks  and Crossovers test 1-1

At any given time in our country it’s a safe bet that there is an auto recall occuring. Most of these recalls are of the preventive kind. A problem is detected early on and a quick fix is orchestrated before serious damage can occur. On some level this is reassuring when you consider that auto manufacturers are constantly testing the performance of their models no matter how old they might be.

The latest vehicle recall involves the Ford heavy duty pickup trucks. The issue in this recall is a potential electrical short that could ignite a fire. Certainly, not a situation any driver wants to contend with.

German Luxury Cars In High Demand...But Not In Germany

On: Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 10:55AM | By: Chris Weiss

German Luxury Cars In High Demand...But Not In Germany test 1-1

In the otherwise calm and bright time of year known both here and across the Atlantic as the Christmas season, German auto plants are pumping cars out faster than ever, thanks to an increased global demand for models from companies like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. Growing markets in countries like the U.S., China, and Brazil have the big, German luxury carmakers working overtime this holiday season.

Gas Prices To Hit $5, Dealers Looking To Dump SUVs

On: Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 3:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

Gas Prices To Hit $5, Dealers Looking To Dump SUVs test 1-1

We all know that SUVs are entirely impractical for much of the country. They're huge, inefficient, expensive to buy, more expensive to own, and not really that necessary for average driving. Yet people continue to buy them. According to Kelley Blue Book analyst Alec Gutierrez, SUV sales have dropped by only 1 percent since the spring of 2008—the last time that we experienced a major gas price hike.

One would think that with the high gas prices over the past few years, combined with a growing sense of collective, environmental responsibility, SUV sales would be tanking by the double digits by now. While that's not happening yet, new predictions that gas prices could soar as high as $5 per gallon within two years have consumers and dealers rethinking their SUV strategies.

Tesla Shares Fall After Trading Restriction Lifted

On: Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 11:53AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Tesla Shares Fall After Trading Restriction Lifted test 1-1

The electric car is trying desperately to make a comeback. In some small part, we can thank California-based Tesla Motors. They opened the first electric car manufacturing plant in California and have been rolling their “one at a time” hand-crafted electric roadster that boasts an impressive 0-60 mph in just 3.7. Who says electric cars can’t or don't have muscle?

The roadster has a shocking sticker price of $100,000. For many residents of 90210, it’s not that shocking and orders are backed up. Yet, all the positive reviews and company pride wasn’t enough to stop a tumble on recent release of held-back shares. The price took a 15% nose dive. Those in the know point to a six-month restriction, which prevented shareholders from dumping their stock on the market, as the reason for the slide. Once that restriction was lifted and the flood gates opened, the stock skidded. Once again, the laws of supply and demand were in full effect. Now folks are scratching their head, wondering if Tesla can actually compete with the big boys. It will all come down to the battery.