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Banana-Yellow Pagani Zonda RAK Built For German Dealership

On: Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 4:46PM | By: Chris Weiss

Banana-Yellow Pagani Zonda RAK Built For German Dealership test 1-1

The Pagani Zonda may be in the process of being replaced by a newer Pagani hypercar, but it's not moving out of the spotlight quietly. It seems that we've seen more flamboyantly painted Zondas in the past couple of months than ever before. Both the blue HH and the purple 750 were private commissions, and now we have yet another privately commissioned Zonda that's even louder than those two: the Zonda RAK.

Tesla Plans For Global Growth

On: Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Tesla Plans For Global Growth test 1-1

Elon Musk, CEO of electric sports car maker Tesla Motors Inc., said Friday that he expects Japan to become the company's largest market outside of the U.S. Musk also predicted that the niche luxury auto maker's U.S. customer base will expand steadily overseas, and the goal is that sales will be evenly split between the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

"We do believe Japan will be our No. 2 country in terms of sales, over time," Musk said, speaking at a joint press conference with the CEO of Toyota Motor Corp. "Japan is a key market for the kind of product we produce," he added. The first Asian Tesla showroom was opened in Tokyo as Musk announced plans to enter the European market with dealerships in Paris, London, and Monaco.

Nissan Recalls Over 600,000 Vehicles Because of Steering And Battery Issues

On: Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 11:17AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Nissan Recalls Over 600,000 Vehicles Because of Steering And Battery Issues test 1-1

Nissan Motor is recalling over 600,000 pickup trucks and cars globally because of concerns regarding steering shafts and battery terminals. Approximately 300,000 Frontier pickup trucks, 18,500 Sentras, and over 280,000 Xterra SUVs are included in the recall. Most of the vehicles (about 85%) are in the United States and are between 2001 to 2010 model years.

Brand New Mid-Engined Porsche To Debut In LA

On: Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 11:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

Brand New Mid-Engined Porsche To Debut In LA test 1-1

We know that there are a lot of world and North American debuts coming to the 2010 LA Auto Show this week—20 and 30, at last count. Porsche has a couple of the latter in its 911 GTS and 911 Speedster, which will be shown for the first time on American turf at the show. A Motor Trend report yesterday indicates that Porsche has another debut up its sleeve, and this one is a world-debuting first-timer. Porsche didn't go into details, but said the car is a mid-engined sports car. 


Despite the Fires, Ferrari 458 Is Auto Express 'Performance Car of the Year'

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 5:34PM | By: Chris Weiss

Despite the Fires, Ferrari 458 Is Auto Express 'Performance Car of the Year' test 1-1

I don't know about you, but I'd consider one of the cornerstones of a "performance car" to be its ability to not catch fire when simply driving down the road. And if that car was, say, a 570-hp V8-driven supercar, I'd guess that it probably shouldn't catch fire even if you drive fast in hot weather. So if I was going to be judging a competition to decide the "performance car of the year," I'd probably use the penchant for fiery, car-leveling infernos as a quick elimination tool to narrow the pool.

Apparently, the folks over at Auto Express view it a little differently. They looked right past the well-publicized fire issue that Ferrari itself copped to just two months ago, and named the 458 Italia its "Performance Car of the Year." I'd love to know what kind of high-grade green the folks in Maranello shipped over to the U.K. to help grease the wheels toward that conclusion.

GE and GM Team-Up: GE Going Electric

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 4:29PM | By: Chris Weiss

GE and GM Team-Up: GE Going Electric  test 1-1

If President Obama's plan to put a million electric and hybrids on the road by 2015 succeeds, at least 25,000 of those will belong to General Electric, as announced by the company this week. GE plans to add 25,000 plug-ins to its company-wide auto fleet by 2015 in what BusinessWeek calls the "biggest such order ever", beginning with 12,000 Chevy Volts. The cars will be used in part for GM's traveling salespersons.

No Surprises: Bugatti Veyron Is EPA's Worst Car

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 4:28PM | By: Chris Weiss

No Surprises: Bugatti Veyron Is EPA's Worst Car test 1-1

The Environmental Protection Agency has put together its lists of the most and least efficient cars of 2011, a list that has few, if any, surprises. While the top and bottom vehicles aren't that surprising,  there's been at least one shake-up in the numbers.

It should be no surprise that the 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is the least efficient car in America with an abysmal 8 mpg city and 15 mpg highway. That designation comes even though the Veyron actually added one mpg worth of efficiency on the highway for the 2011 model year. What's more surprising is that the 1,000-hp, 16-cylinder Veyron is a new list-topper. One might have thought it was there all along, but it actually took the retirement of the previous champion to put the Veyron into first. The Lamborghini Murcielago was previously at the bottom of the rung with its 8/13 mpg rating. Lamborghini may be out this year, but the 700-hp Jota promises to put it back on the map in the years to come.

MIT Research Reveals that New Technology Lowers Stress in Drivers

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 3:27PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

MIT Research Reveals that New Technology Lowers Stress in Drivers test 1-1

A new study conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s New England University Transportation Center (NEUTC) revealed that drivers experience less stress when using specific advanced auto technology, such as the self-park feature.

A specially equipped 2010 Lincoln MKS test vehicle was utilized to detect the level of physiological stress experienced by drivers in different scenarios.

Research data revealed that many drivers experience high stress when having to perform certain functions behind the wheel, such as parallel parking  Utilizing advanced technology, such as the self-park mechanism, reduced drivers’ heart rate significantly, by more than 12 beats per minute.

More Recall Woes For Old GM: Lucerne And DTS Recalled For Power Steering Leak

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 12:45PM | By: John Welch

More Recall Woes For Old GM: Lucerne And DTS Recalled For Power Steering Leak test 1-1

Schleping through the NHTSA website this morning reveals two undeniable truths: Certain 2010 and 2011 Buick Lucerne and Cadiallc DTS models are being recalled, and so are an alarming number of recreational vehicles. Though the AutoShopper dables in the RV world, it isn't so much our bag here at the blog. Still, I can't help but notice 13 RV-related recalls since November 1st! Everything from poorly installed "trim" to leaky, explosive propane tanks. Geez, RV Industry, its like this every month! Get your act together! There is also a recall on sun roves (it couldn't be 'roofs' could it?) that seems to be bad for the Webasto Product Corporation, In case anyone cares .. .

The Cadillac DTS and Buick Lucerne front drive chassis are similar in many respects. Mostly, they are big, and they are old. Even old cars can't escape the recall bug, however, especially when they are being built brand new as we speak. Certain V8-equipped Lucernes and DTS suffer from cable over-lap. Yes, I just made that up. The battery and/or alternator cable interferes with the power steering return line, deep within the affected car's bloated bowels. The cable could wear through the line, causing fluid leaks. Besides loss of power steering, which is not a good thing given the age and physical strength of the average Buick Lucerne driver; the fluid may also leak onto hot engine parts. This leads to all sorts of unfortunate fires and insurance claims. GM doesn't want that, they want to help. Beginning November 19th, any affected car can be dropped off at its dealership of origin to have the cables rerouted free of charge. You can call Cadillac at 1-866-982-2339, or Buick at 1-866-608-8080 to find the nearest qualified dealer. Full recall notice inside the post . . .

Chevy To Return To IndyCar In 2012?

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 10:45AM | By: John Welch

Chevy To Return To IndyCar In 2012? test 1-1

Honda has been the sole supplier of engines to the IRL and Izod IndyCar Series (same thing) since Chevrolet dropped out in 2005. The racing has been reliable, but boring. This morning it is expected that GM will return to open-wheel racing and field a new twin-turbo V6 for IndyCar teams in 2012. It is also expected that Roger Penske will be the first to use the Chevy power train, putting Chevrolet in a good position to win races quickly.

2012 will be the first IICS season run under a new rules package that does away with the current Dallara chassis; replacing it with a . . . Dallara chassis. The Series directors have taken an "open source" approach to the is new chassis however. The basic safety cell, or monocoupe, in each car will be identical, but the aero bits we can actually see are all fair game for designers. Dallara offers an low-cost entry kit; Group Lotus has already signed on to manufacturer a kit for the Dallara, and it is reasonable to think that Penske and Ganassi will both create their own kits. Engine size is limited to 2.4 liters, and can be a four- or six-cylinder design.

Watch the official announcement at 10 am EST at SPEEDtv.com. More from us after Chevrolet becomes the second Izod IndyCar Series engine supplier for 2012.

Lamborghini Building Smaller, Supercar-Styled SUV

On: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 5:22PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lamborghini Building Smaller, Supercar-Styled SUV test 1-1

Rumors of the development of a new LM002 have been heating up of late and Auto Express reports some new details today, based on conversations with "industry insiders." The original LM002 was phased out back in the early 1990s and the SUV market has undergone much change since then—from the explosion around the turn of the century to the more modest, fuel-obsessed state of the market today. Lamborghini's new SUV effort will reflect today's market, aiming to be a smaller crossover, rather than the big, brutish "Rambo Lambo" of the late 80s and 90s.