The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry
It looks like all is harmonious in the Volkswagen family. Last month, reports indicated that Audi and Bentley are sharing a V8 powertrain that will appear in the Continental GT and future Audi models. New reports indicate that VW's newest member, Porsche, is also planning on sharing a little know-how and hardware with its British cousin. The two companies are likely to share platforms and strategy.
Posted In: Car News, Reports, Exotics
Tags: Bentley, Porsche, business, VW, Volkswagen,
First of all, let me point out that Top Gear UK was around for 20 years before it was morphed into the program we all know and love today. Jeremy Clarkson has been cracking-wise about cars for a long time; he has a deep, thundering voice, and is very good at belching out sound bite-sized quips while maintaining control of whatever car he may be piloting at the time. Rutledge Wood has been a NASCAR circus clown for the last six years, Adam Ferrara is a stand-up comedian, and Tanner Foust is a race-driver turned SPEEDtv Host-Monkey, and as such has layer upon layer of hokey, Canadian-style television training to shed before he is anything other than wooden in front of a camera. Lower your expectations a might bit, and Top Gear USA can be seen for what it is: a start.
James May and Richard Hammond were both polished writers and public personalities before they began hosting Top Gear. Top Gear UK's producers have a larger budget, more experience and the joys of a British tv schedule working for them—no commercial interruptions equals a 58-minute "hour" instead of a 43-minute "hour". Top Gear USA is haphazard at best, and that isn't the fault of the hosts, producers or the History Channel. Trying to follow in the footsteps of the single greatest television show of all time isn't something one just does . . . it will take many seasons for TGUSA to shine as brightly as TGUK, if it even can. The first episode was not a home run folks, not even close . . . but the second episode displayed significant improvement. Still not "good", but better with the potential to become great.
Tags: Top Gear, topgear, Top Gear America, topgearamerica, Tanner Foust, tannerfoust, Adam Ferrara, adamferrara, Rutledge Wood, rutledgewood, The Stig, thestig, Stig, Jeremy Clarkson, jeremyclarkson, Richard Hammond, richardhammond, James May, jamesmay
Ford utilized an F-150 EcoBoost race truck with the equivalent of 10 years of rugged use to complete a grueling Baja 1000 race in a little over 38 hours; traveling a whopping 1061 miles!
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine used to power the race truck performed spectacularly in the harsh terrain and extreme temperature swings of the Baja California Penninsula in Mexico. The truck endured accelerations at full throttle, and stiff decelerations across the mountains at temperatures that ranged between freezing and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Posted In: Car News, Racing, Videos
Tags: The Baja 1000 Race, Baja Penninsula, Ford EcoBoost Engine, Ford's Cleveland Engine Plant, Ford F 150, NASCAR Track, Eric Kuehn
Ford Motor Company plans to bestow a new name on the 2012 Ford Mustang V6 Performance Package. By inviting Facebook fans to submit ideas for the best name for the package, Ford hopes to appeal to Mustang fans and sports car enthusiasts alike. The contest will run through mid-December, with the winner walking away with a two-year lease on a new 2012 Ford Mustang V6 equipped with the same performance package that the contest winner actually helped to name!
The Performance Package combines lightweight 305-horsepower all-aluminum V6, a 3:31 performance rear axle, and Mustang GT-based suspension and braking components, with 19-inch wheels and Pirelli performance tires that provide superb grip and an aggressive appearance.
Posted In: Car News, Reports
Tags: Ford Motor Company, Ford Mustang, Facebook, Mustang GT, Brian McClary, Mustang V6 Performance Package, GT Based Suspension, Pirelli Performance Tires
Toyota Motor Co., USA, Inc. announced its new brand campaign, “Ideas for Good,” a unique initiative centered on what the company has been doing for many years—designing new automotive technology with the goal to benefit society in the non-automotive realm. The campaign invites consumers to share their own ideas to improve quality of life beyond the automotive world.
The “Ideas for Good” initiative asks consumers to propose new possibilities for Toyota technologies, and share ideas on how to find new, non-automotive applications for five distinct Toyota technologies that will benefit society.
Posted In: Car News, Technology
Tags: Toyota Motor Corporation, Ideas For Good, Total Human Model for Safety, THUMS, Saatchi & Saatchi LA, Hybrid Synergy Drive, Solar Powered Ventilation System, Touch Tracer Display
Currently, Honda stands as the only one of Japan's Big 3 to not have a flagship sports car. Toyota has the limited, ultra-expensive Lexus LF-A. Nissan has the less exclusive but more affordable GT-R. And Honda doesn't have a car that comes close. Yet.
Less than a decade ago, Honda was the only one of those three to have anything in its line that could be referred to as a supercar. That car was the Acura NSX, a 3.2-liter V6-powered car with a distinctive and sporty look. That car faded in the middle of the decade and left Honda without much of a sports car presence. But that all could change. Rumors of an NSX successor are nothing new, but it had looked as though Honda had scrapped any plans for such a car, thanks to the economic meltdown of recent years. According to Motor Trend, the down economy may have set Honda back, but it didn't end the next NSX project. While it might not be the all-out supercar that the LF-A is, it's expected to be a high-performing hybrid.
Posted In: Car News, Reports, Exotics
Tags: Honda, NSX, supercar, Acura, sports cars, reports
Porsche is playing it coy with automotive fans. The company clearly knows just how much the world wants the 918 Spyder Hybrid—in fact, if it weren't for that heartfelt desire, it would have never given the concept a production go-ahead. So in what would otherwise be a rather mundane, snooze-able press release about a €150 million investment in its research and development center in Weissach (yeah, we wouldn't have been covering that on its own), the Porsche brass decided to slip in a little teaser of the 918. While it's just a picture of a designer working on a clay model, it's a little reminder that Porsche R&D= 918 Spyder Hybrid awesomeness. And that we have to cover. Hat tip, Porsche.
Posted In: Car News, Hybrid / Green, Reports, Exotics
Tags: Porsche, Spyder Hybrid, hybrids, supercar, green, teasers, photos
There are few if any high-end cars that haven't made their way through Jay Leno's Garage. Because when he's not making stupid one-liners about Bill Clinton, he's out driving some of the most exclusive cars on the planet. Case in point: the Jaguar C-X75. An incredible but fantastical concept, the C-X75 is based largely on future technology. Yet Jay Leno has already driven it.
Posted In: Concept Cars, Hybrid / Green, Videos, Exotics
Tags: concepts, supercars, hybrids, Jay Leno, Jay Leno Garage, Jaguar, C-X75
GM and Ford Motor Company are two automakers on track to build some of the top performing platforms in the world. Both automakers have designed global car platforms that will be the structural base for their top vehicles throughout 2015 model year, according to Daniel Chang, consultant from AT Kearney. The top platform in the world is currently Toyota’s Camry platform. None of Detroit’s Big Three automakers are on the list of the top 10 performing platforms in world-wide auto sales. But all that is about to change; in 2015 Ford’s Focus platform is projected to take 3rd place worldwide followed by GM’s Cruze platform which will be number 4.
Development of new platforms can cost automakers millions of dollars and several years to build. High sales of cars such as the Focus can generate the capital it will take for U.S. automakers to stay competitive in the world-wide market.
Posted In: Car News, Miscellaneous, Technology
Tags: GM, Ford Motor Company, Daniel Chang, AT Kearney, Detroit's Big Three Automakers, Ford Focus Platform, One Ford Plan, World Wide Automarket
Instead of always trying to be ahead of the world on information and breaking news, sometimes it's better to take a deep breath and look back on what has already come to pass. In this next edition of our Haunted Highways series (see Haunted Highways 3000GT VR4 for our last installment), we aim to do just that.
Some may argue that the Golden Age of automobiles was the mid to late 1960s; however, there is a compelling argument that can be made for the mid to late 1990s as either a second Golden Age or perhaps even a Renaissance. Although instead of huge displacement and grossly overrated horsepower numbers, these later cars used forced induction and new technology to compete on the highest level of production vehicles.
The second generation 300ZX was perhaps the epitome of automobile technology, having been the first car to have been designed by the CRAY supercomputer way back in 1989. The 300ZX debuted its new style to Americans in 1990 and continued to evolve for the next six years. The long hood and quick abrupt dropped-off rear end had a polarizing effect, but most seemed to love its new styling, especially magazine editors of the time. The new 300ZX won Motor Trend's 1990 Import Car of the Year, as well as Automobile's Design of the Year and made an appearance on both "Ten Best" lists from Car and Driver and Road & Track.
Tags: Lou Ruggieri, Haunted Highways, Nissan 300ZX, Turbo, 240ZX, 350Z, 370Z, Mitsubishi, 3000GT, VR4, Supra, Stealth, RX7, MR2, Corvette, 1990's, Turbo, Eclipse
At this year's L.A. Auto Show, new cars with exceptional fuel economy were hard to miss. Most major automakers are starting to focus on improving fuel economy due to the impending government guidelines mandating that cars have an average of 35.5 mpg by 2016. Not only are there many new fuel efficient hybrids and electric vehicles being launched, but also there is an abundance of new combustion engines that are seeing better gas mileage than ever before. In fact many new models for 2011 and 2012 will get 40 mpg or better.
Posted In: Car News, Auto Shows, Concept Cars, Reports
Tags: L.A. Auto Show, Government Fuel Economy Standards, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Chevrolet Volt, Green Car Of The Year, Hyundai Elantra, Buick eAssist, Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Ford Fiesta