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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

The New MAZDA5; Is It a Minvan, Crossover, or SUV?

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 11:22AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The New MAZDA5; Is It a Minvan, Crossover, or SUV? test 1-1

Although Mazda is calling the 2012 MAZDA5 a Crossover/SUV, many critics are calling it a minivan. Whatever you call the vehicle, it is equipped with all of the features of a minivan; features such as sliding doors for convenient loading of cargo and passengers, and the roominess of a third-row seat configuration, with three person bench seat. The 7-passenger vehicle will debut at this years’ Los Angeles Auto Show.

Audi Teases Next Generation A6, Production Begins This Year

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 10:55AM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Teases Next Generation A6, Production Begins This Year test 1-1

Audi doesn't have any news quite as exciting as BMW's confirmation of a Vision EfficientDynamics production model last week, but BMW's competitive countryman also released some new details about one of its production facilities. Along with the news of the models being built at Audi's plant in Neckarsulm, Germany, Audi showed a new teaser of the next-generation A6 sedan.

2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Will Debut at the L.A. Auto Show

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 10:34AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Will Debut at the L.A. Auto Show test 1-1

In order to satisfy the American consumer, Mitsubishi has redesigned the i-MiEV to incorporate a wider-body. Mitsubishi's electric vehicle has sold a few thousand units on the European market since it went on sale last month.  The wider version of the mini electric car is already being sold in Japan, but the refreshed version designed for the U.S. market will be longer in the front and rear.

Hot, Hot, Hot! Ferrari 458 On Fire Again

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 3:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

Hot, Hot, Hot! Ferrari 458 On Fire Again test 1-1

After a two and a half month hiatus and an investigation leading to recall, the worldwide Ferrari 458 fire-fest is back on. A 458 recently caught fire in Sao Paulo, Brazil, casting some question on the efficacy of Ferrari's 458 recall.

In early September, Ferrari concluded an investigation into a rash of 458 fires that had plagued the new model since shortly after it became available. At that time, there were four highly publicized 458 fires in just a few short months, each occurring in a different country. The fires had occurred in Switzerland, California, Paris and China. Maranello concluded that the fires were a result of the adhesive used on the rear wheel arches. At extreme speeds and temperatures, the adhesive would heat up, melt and potentially catch fire.


BMW Confirms Vision EfficientDynamics-Inspired Plug-In Sports Car

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 3:47PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW Confirms Vision EfficientDynamics-Inspired Plug-In Sports Car test 1-1

The Vision EfficientDynamics seen at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show is officially go. Well, kind of. BMW confirmed today that it will be producing a plug-in hybrid sports car, and while it will be based on that model, we're not expecting to see some of the most intriguing aspects of the concept, like the glass doors and blue, white and black motif.

Custom Mustang Designed For Charity

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 3:33PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Custom Mustang Designed For Charity test 1-1

Ford has played a big part in the EAA AirVenture for the past two years, offering a customized Mustang at auction to benefit the association's Young Eagles program. In past years the AV8R Mustang brought in half a million dollars, and the AV-X10 'Dearborn Doll' made $250,000 for charity. 

More recently the SEMA inspired Mustang will be offered at auction in January and proceeds will benefit two children’s charities that are supported by the SEMA Cares Foundation;  the Victory Junction Gang Camp, and Childhelp.  The Mustang will be auctioned off at the infamous Barrett Jackson sale in Arizona.

GM Goodwrench Getting The Long Kiss Goodnight

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 12:52PM | By: John Welch

GM Goodwrench Getting The Long Kiss Goodnight test 1-1

In another attempt to differentiate its brand images, GM will be axing the "GM Goodwrench Service Plus" branding it has used for its service arm since 1974. Originally introduced under the "Mr. Goodwrench" name, GM will split the former halo corporations' duties between its four brands, creating Chevrolet Certified Service, Cadillac Certified Service, Buick Certified Service, and GMC Certified Service in its place. Dale Earnhardt fans everywhere could be heard issuing a collective sigh of relief, as they can now rest assured that "Goodwrench" will never be resurrected on another, less worthy driver's stock car. The number "3" is a different story; Richard Childress have commissioned its use on more than one of his grandson's race cars.

Wait, what? I digress . . . “This is another part of the effort to clear out brand clutter,” a GM source said, though the brand will remain in Canada, where it still carries some sort of cachet. In the States, the brand will officially bite the dust February 1st, 2011. It seems that GM dealers have gone against the Mr. Goodwrench credo in recent years, failing to display signage touting "Service for all GM vehicles, at all GM dealerships, using nothing but GM certified replacement parts." The Goodwrench brand, obviously, has lost some of its sway.

Steve Hill, vice president and general manager, GM Customer Care and Aftersales, explains the new branding in a statement released this morning: “Certified Service supports GM's strategy to focus on the four brands—Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac—and is a natural extension of the customer's vehicle purchase experience at the dealership.”

The name change does little to affect the bad rap GM service has earned over the years, needless to say their crappy cars. Here's hoping the recent improvements in product design and execution trickles down to the proverbial service department. The full press release can be found inside this post . . .

Ford Stocks Are Up $16 per Share For First Time In 6 Years

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 10:53AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Stocks Are Up $16 per Share For First Time In 6 Years test 1-1

Ford Motor Co. announced that the company’s shares rose above $16 in the New York Stock Exchange trading for the first time in 6 years. It was a 2.2% rise to $16.21 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Ford’s stock has not been over $16 per share since June 23, 2004.

The company's rising stock price is a result of its strong October sales and positive investor reaction to the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program, which sent stocks broadly up at the end of the week.

More Or Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts?

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 10:27AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

More Or Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts? test 1-1

I'd like to gauge your reaction on something. I'm going to describe a mystery car to you and then you have to judge whether or not you would be interested in it. Ready? Okay here goes:


This is a luxury car with all the trimmings. First and foremost, let me say that it is no slouch, starting off with a healthy 4.6 liter V8 pumping out 375 horsepower on premium fuel, or run 368 horsepower on regular gas. It has a six-speed automatic transmission that shifts about as seamlessly as you could hope for, not that you'll spend much time listening to the engine as your firmly grip the leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel. Or while you're enveloped and massaged (yes, massaged) by supple heated (or cooled) leather seats, surrounded by walnut or birch trim and an Alcantara headliner.  


You may also not fully be aware that you are riding on an air suspension that sits on 19-inch wheels, and you certainly won't notice the nine airbags that surround you, or the adaptive cruise control, lane-departure system, or collision warning, that it is, of course, until you really need them. What you will notice, however, are the adaptive HID headlights, and the eight-inch navigation screen connected to an impressive 608-watt, 17-speaker stereo (replete with iPod hookup and XM Satellite radio), as well as the backup camera with parking sensors.  


All of those options come on both versions of this mystery car.   However there is an upper tier version of this luxo-cruiser called the "Ultimate" version, and as you can imagine, it is well ... Ultimately gratifying.  The Ultimate is more for the owner that wants to sit in the rear and be driven, rather than up front bothering with all of that pesky driving.  In back, you can sit in one of two seats that match the front's ability to heat, cool, and recline.  There is also a built in DVD player, refrigerator, as well as controls for temperature and sound system.  The passenger side back seat is the king's throne of the car.  If you are among the few to make enough money to be able to sit there, this car will make you feel like you are worth even more than you probably are.  The back right seat has an extendable leg rest (that can extend as far as your legs can with a switch that moves the front passenger seat forward to accommodate your stretching needs).  That same back seat also has a massage feature, just in case you need it.  You might be interested in the power trunklid or the forward-facing camera, but odds are your driver will enjoy those features more than you might, but sometimes giving back feels good too.

Lamborghini Bids The Murcielago Adieu

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:36PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lamborghini Bids The Murcielago Adieu test 1-1

The Lamborghini Murcielago has had a strong nine years at the top of the Lamborghini food chain, top of most car food chains to be truthful. The successor to the Countach and Diablo is treading on becoming the last-generation Lambo flagship with the launch of the Jota getting palpably close. Such an icon doesn't fade quietly into the night, though; it goes out with a celebration of its life. Last week, Lamborghini had just that celebration, holding an event to commemorate the Murcielago and bid it farewell.

Tesla To Take An Apple Approach To Selling Cars

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:32PM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla To Take An Apple Approach To Selling Cars test 1-1

Tesla has been shaking up the auto market ever since its founding. A small firm with big ambitions that has gone where the inflexible, big-name automakers can't quite effectively navigate, Tesla has made plenty of headlines for its all-out performance electric Roadster.

Tesla's innovation won't stop at the production lines, as recent news reports detail. The company plans to create a unique retail experience that breaks the mold of the traditional auto dealership. Instead, Tesla will channel  its electric roots and model its dealerships after the consumer electronics industry.