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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry




Porsche Cayenne Wins SUV of the Year

On: Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 10:05AM | By: Chris Weiss


Porsche Cayenne Wins SUV of the Year test 1-1

Well, this is just a slap in the face to anyone who prizes aesthetics in their vehicle—or has any taste whatsoever. Motor Trend announced today that it has chosen the ever-controversial-and-despised Cayenne as its 2011 Sport Utility of the Year. In a pool of 15 brand new SUVs, the Cayenne presented the best mix of engineering, safety, value, and design improvement.

Introduced just before the Geneva Motor Show, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne received some minor exterior revisions. The line also lost an average of 400 lbs. Porsche went with the same 300-hp 3.6-liter V6, 4.8-liter V8 and  500-hp twin-turbo 4.8-liter V8 engine options that the 2010 models used. The middle engine option equipped to the Cayenne S received a boost up to 400 horsepower.


Saab Introduces New 9-4X Crossover

On: Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 9:57AM | By: Chris Weiss


Saab Introduces New 9-4X Crossover  test 1-1

With Paris officially out of the way, automakers are turning their attention to the next big show: the LA Auto Show, which runs from November 19 through November 28 (press days November 17 and 18). Saab gave the world a sneak preview of the next car in its revamped line-up: a crossover called the 9-4X.

The 9-4X is built on the same platform as GM cars like the Cadillac SRX and Chevy Equinox (GM owned Saab until earlier this year). Saab has detailed two engine options that will be offered in the mid-size crossover: a direct-injected 265-hp 3.6-liter V6 and a 300-hp turbocharged 2.8-liter six-cylinder in the Aero trim. Both engine options come with six-speed automatic transmissions with paddle shifters and will power all four wheels through Saab's XWD all-wheel-drive system. According to NY Times Wheels blog, Saab will not offer a diesel engine option.

The car hits 62 mph in 8.4 seconds and gives drivers the option of powering all the way up to 143 mph.


Ford Focus Electric Will Offer Easy Ways To Charge Up

On: Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 9:57AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Ford Focus Electric Will Offer Easy Ways To Charge Up test 1-1

The new Ford Focus Electric vehicle (one of 5 new electric vehicles Ford plans to launch in the next 3 years) will be unveiled in late 2011 and Ford is already figuring out convenient ways for consumers to recharge their Fords. Designs range from the 240 volt conversion kit that will allow the Focus to be quickly charged from any residential electrical outlet, to Ford's innovative plan to easily charge the all-electric Focus in remote locations. Not only will consumers be able to recharge their electric Ford vehicles from a wall-mounted 240 volt charging station in their homes, a 120 volt “convenience cord” will enable them to charge up at standard plug-ins in remote locations as well.

Director of the Ford Electrification program Sherif Marakby stated: “Focus Electric owners can look forward to having a ‘refueling’ device they can call their own.” Marakby also stated: “Since Focus Electric owners are likely to handle one of the charge cords two or more times every day, we’re providing a distinctive and durable device for their plugging-in experience.”


Hurst Vehicles Invade The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 3:16PM | By: John Welch


Hurst Vehicles Invade The Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival test 1-1

There were many show stoppers featured during the 2010 Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival. One car owner wowed us with not one, but two Hurst customized vehicles. Phillip Anderson is the proud owner of a 2009 Hurst Challenger and a 1969 Hurst Oldsmobile 442. Not only does he own some sweet Hurst metal, Mr. Anderson is one of two Hurst "Ambassadors at Large" in the world.

Built in Irvine, California and starting life as a 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8, Mr. Phillips' Challenger is the only Hurst Challenger in Florida, and it is the 15th of a 15 unit run. Can anyone say "rare"?! The Oldsmobile is completely stock (for a Hurst Olds, anyway) and is so mint the stickers are still on the tires.

These cars are by no means "Trailer Queens"; they were driven to and from the show, and Mr. Phillips enjoys the Challenger every chance he gets. Who wouldn't? I'd live in that car. The Challenger was a Christmas gift from Phillip's wife, Ruthelise Anderson. Along with everyone responsible for building the car, Mrs. Anderson signed the inside face of the trunklid. Her quote? "To my Phillip . . . From Ruthelise with Love!" A 572 bhp Muscle Car for Christmas?! That's some kind of love! The choice of 500+ horse hoon-mobile exhibits excellent taste as well.

Enjoy this gallery from the Lake Mirror Classic and look for an indepth article about these two beasts, Mr. Anderson, and everything Hurst, on Monday.


 

Brammo Doubles The Range On Its All-Electric Enertia Bike

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 3:00PM | By: Chris Weiss


Brammo Doubles The Range On Its All-Electric Enertia Bike  test 1-1

Brammo is an Ashland, Oregon-based manufacturer that has been raising the bar for electric bikes. The company's Empulse electric bike, which was introduced this past summer, is capable of speeds up to 100 mph and a range of up to 100 miles. It looks like a respectably muscular motorcycle, too. Suddenly electric bikes are looking better than ever.

For those who don't need speeds of 100 mph and would rather save a little money, Brammo just introduced the Enertia Plus. An upgrade to its regular Enertia bike, the model doubles the electric range from 40 to 80 miles.


GM Workers Must Transfer or Lose Benefits

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:49PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


GM Workers Must Transfer or Lose Benefits   test 1-1

General Motors has announced that approximately 375 laid off workers must transfer to the Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio next month or they will lose all supplemental unemployment benefits. The recall of unemployed workers is part of the agreement the company made with the United Auto Workers that will pay union workers decreased wages in order to make building of small economy cars profitable in the United States.

The laid off workers had earned as much as $28 per hour before the Orion assembly plant in Detroit closed last year in November.

Orion will transfer workers to the Lordstown plant to build the Buick Verano compact vehicle, in addition to the Chevrolet Aveo. The plant is calling for 800 of the 1,175 workers who are laid off to return to work at full wages of $28 per hour, plus 400 entry-level workers who will do the same work for only $14 per hour. This information courtesy the United Auto Workers Local 5960.


Subaru Puts WRX Motor In The New Forester

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:43PM | By: Chris Weiss


Subaru Puts WRX Motor In The New Forester test 1-1

Subaru's turbocharged boxer four from the WRX is a modern day classic. Subaru has decided to combine the fun and power of that engine with practicality and utility in the form of a WRX-boxer-four-powered Forester. The company's Australian arm released a concept called the S-Edition for the Sydney-based Australian International Motor Show.

The new concept derives 260 horses and 256 lb-ft of torque from the WRX's turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer four. That's slightly down from the WRX's 265 output, but is nearly 40 hp over Subaru's current most powerful SUV: the Forester 2.5XT. That 250 lb-ft of torque is channeled to all four wheels via a five-speed paddle-shift transmission. Subaru hasn't commited to all the details on other performance modifications, but it has indicated the S-Edition gets sportier tuning in the all-wheel-drive and suspension departments. The all-wheel-drive will feature Variable Torque Distribution.


Update! Ford To Sell Mazda?

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:40PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


2012 Mazda BT-50 test 2

Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda Motor Corp. CEO announced that the Japanese automaker will not be partnering with any new automotive companies, in spite of recent news reports that Ford would be selling its remaining interest in Mazda. Though earlier reports suggested a new manufacturing partner, Mazda and Ford will remain attached at the hip for the foreseeable future.

"We have an agreement to continue our strategic partnership with Ford. Therefore, we are not thinking at all of forming an alliance with companies other than Ford," Yamanouchi told a news conference on Wednesday.

"In any case, under any circumstances we believe it is important to maintain the Mazda brand." The official statement from CEO Yamanouchi is that Mazda’s business partnership with Ford is intact in spite of the previous automotive news report posted on the Auto Shopper that stated Ford Motor Company would be selling its 11% stake in Mazda, (which has a value of over $500 million).


Porsche to Offer Hybrid Version of Every Model

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 11:59AM | By: Chris Weiss


Porsche to Offer Hybrid Version of Every Model test 1-1

It's not yet clear if we'll ever get a chance to see the baby Cayenne (hoping not), but if we do, we'll also be seeing a hybrid version sometime thereafter. Porsche is in the process of some priority shuffling now that new chief Matthias Mueller is holding the reigns, and one of its priorities is making its line a little greener with a full injection of hybrid powertrains.

Porsche development chief Wolfgang Dürheimer told Auto News: "In the future we will have hybrid drive in every model." The automaker will use hybrid powertrain options to help it cut the carbon footprint of its line. It also indicated that it's considering using direct-injected turbo four-cylinder engine options to assist in cutting emissions.


Poor Man's Bentley Gets Juiced: Dodge Adds Viper Engine To 300 C

On: Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 9:16AM | By: Chris Weiss


Poor Man's Bentley Gets Juiced: Dodge Adds Viper Engine To 300 C test 1-1

The boxy Chrysler 300 often draws comparison to a Bentley or Rolls. Kind of the 50-footer of the auto market, the 300 appears to some untrained eyes like a Bentley from distance, but as it draws closer, it's more than clear that it's not a $250,000 ultra-premium, but a Chrysler knock-off. And while Chrysler offers several attractive engine options for the 300, topping off at the 425-hp 6.1-liter SRT HEMI V8 used in the 300C SRT8, the 300 still falls short of 500 to 550 horses worth of Bentley V8 or W12 power. Of course, with a starting price of under $27,500, the 300 doesn't exactly need to compete with the Bentley on every level. Or any level.

But now it can. One enthusiast of yet-unknown origin recently took the Chrysler 300 to the next level by jamming the 600-hp 8.4-liter V10 engine from the Viper under the faux-Crewe hood. In addition to some deep-throated, all-American muscle grumble spewing from the exhaust, the upgraded 300 would certainly be capable of super-Bentley numbers.


Nissan Drops Details On Next-Generation Godzilla

On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 2:58PM | By: Chris Weiss


Nissan Drops Details On Next-Generation Godzilla test 1-1

Nissan will debut the next-generation GT-R sports coupe at the 2010 LA Auto Show. As it promised back in Paris, the company has released the juicy details of the next iteration of its top-end sports car.

Nissan showed a very superficial teaser of the 2012 GT-R at the Paris Motor Show, but didn't reveal any hard drivetrain or performance specs on the model; kind of disappointing since the exterior looks all but identical to the current GT-R. In fact, all that the Paris debut really showed was modestly revised front and rear bumpers and daylight running LEDs. The company put the real reveal off until this week. Now that the information is out, Godzilla is looking better than ever.