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And Car Reviews

Low Cost Infiniti G25 Slides In Beneath G37

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 5:12PM | By: John Welch

Infinit G25 Sedan test 2

This is one product unveiling that could be a great success, or a monumental failure. Infiniti plans to sell the G25 in the United States, beginning in September. The G25 will become the base model for the G-Series, expanding the newly redesigned G lineup. Stickering for $31,825, the G25 represents a $2,300 dollar saving versus the G37.

Is that money enough to overcome the 110 bhp defecit? The G37 generates 328 ponies, while the new 2.5 liter V6 (built on the same VQ architecture as the 3.7 liter engine) can muster only 218. It is likely that the G25 will get better mileage than the G37, but it lacks options such as the Sport suspension upgrades and a Navigation system. You can't order them, don't even think about it.

All Wheel Drive is another option suffering strange circumstances. Though it is available, AWD comes only with the Journey option package, a geroup of conviences that includes rearview monitor, automatic temperature control, automatic headlights, heated front seats, and heated outside mirrors. Infinit's rear view camera and interface is one of the best on the market.

Is this car going to be worth it the loss in power? There is a school of thought that says older drivers might shy away from a car possesing 328 horsepower, that it might be dangerous or difficult to control. Large Nissan V6s are infamous for sucking down gasoline like Liza Manelli sucks down martinis. Though no fuel usage statistics have been released, it is conceivable that the G25 could achieve 30 mpg, a huge selling point during our country's current Eco-Buzz.

We will reserve judgement until the G25, on sale in September, is seen on our roads . . .

Mustang Boss Makes a Comeback

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 4:30PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Mustang Boss Makes a Comeback test 1-1

The charismatic Ford Mustang has taken on many forms in the past, but there is one model that has remained mostly elusive, with a few “track-only” specials, sold in very limited quantities. That model is the Boss Mustang.  

The new Boss muscle car was modeled after the late 1960s and early 70s famous Bosses that were well known for great looks and high performance. But according to Automotive News: “Ford is quick to point out the new Boss 302 is more than a trip down memory lane.”   

The new Boss was unveiled at Laguna Seca this week.  According to Ford Motor Co, the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 is the “quickest, best-handling straight-production Mustang ever offered by Ford.”

As far as the exterior is concerned, the designers attempted to keep the new Boss in line with the appearance of the 1969 model. The grille is unique to the 2012 Boss, and the front splitter resembles the 302E racer. Aerodynamic changes include a deeper front air dam and a rear spoiler. A black or white roof panel complements the exterior appearance, and the body of the new Boss comes in the nostalgic racing car colors of bright blue, yellow, orange, red, and white.

Chrysler and GM Offer Settlements to Terminated Dealerships

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 4:07PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Chrysler and GM Offer Settlements to Terminated Dealerships test 1-1

Chrysler Corporation has settled with the terminated dealerships after arbitration cases were resolved.  The company was said to have cut expenses by offering less than $100,000 to the dealerships that had filed claims in an attempt to stay opened after Chrysler attempted to force close thousands of dealerships across the country.

Chrysler spokesman, Michael Palese, in an attempt to set the record straight emailed a statement to the press reporting that average settlements were actually around $500,000.  According to Automotive News.com, in the email Palese cited; “people with direct knowledge of the terms.”  Palese reiterated that Chrysler settled 151 out of 418 arbitration cases that had been filed by dealerships that were closed as a direct result of the company’s bankruptcy last year.  Palese stated that many of the settlements involved cash payments.

“It makes good business sense anytime we can settle a case for an amount significantly below the cost of litigation,” he said in his email. “This enables Chrysler to focus more resources into what’s truly important -- developing outstanding products.”


Porsche Production 918 Spyder Hybrid To Get Even More Power

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 12:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche Production 918 Spyder Hybrid To Get Even More Power test 1-1

After much buzz and speculation, Porsche announced two weeks ago that it will produce the 918 Spyder Hybrid. In the hybrid's first appearance since becoming an official Porsche model, Porsche has given a glimpse of what to expect from the production model and it may include a larger engine, stronger body and more technology. The new information comes from a private event that Porsche held at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, California.


Inifiniti Launches High Performance Division

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 10:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

Inifiniti Launches High Performance Division  test 1-1

With eyes on the likes of Mercedes AMG, BMW M and Audi quattro GmbH, Infiniti is launching its own performance line. Possible good news: it appears that the company has spent so much time in designing high-end performance cars, there wasn't any left to come up with a name; the performance division will bear the rather unimaginative, no-frills moniker of "Infiniti Performance Line."

The line was unveiled at the Concours d'Elegance event going on now in Pebble Beach, and the first car out of the newly debuted division is the IPL G Coupe. The suped-up version of the G37 coupe gets modifications under the hood, in the cabin and around the exterior.

The coupe's 3.7-liter V6 enjoys a leap to 348 hp (from 330 hp) thanks to a little recalibrating. The max output now comes at 7,400 RPM rather than 7,000. Accompanying performance upgrades include increased rear and front spring rates, modified steering, 4-wheel sport brakes and viscous limited-slip differential. Those modifications are aimed at increasing handling and providing a smoother, surer ride. In back, modifications to the exhaust sytem cut pressure while delivering a more robust, performance-oriented grumble.

Ford Improves Fuel Efficiency in the 2011 F-150

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 8:55AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Improves Fuel Efficiency in the 2011 F-150  test 1-1

In recent automotive news, Ford Motor Co. has made a commitment to improve the fuel economy by as much as 20% in the 2011 F-150 truck, which will be available in all four new engines in the line-up. With government mandates putting pressure on automakers to improve fuel economy in cars and trucks, Ford has already started to put its plan in motion.

One dilemma that Ford is facing is how to upgrade the F-Series trucks in order to have enough power so that the V-6 models can replace the old gas hog V-8 engines. At the same time, providing 20% better fuel economy.

But Ford is up to the challenge, offering what Ford is calling “the most extensive powertrain overhaul in the truck’s history.”  The line-up for the 2011 Ford F-150 features four new truck engines: a 3.7-liter V6, 5.0-liter, and 6.2-liter V8s, and a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter. Headlining the engine lineup is a new twin-turbo EcoBoost engine with Ti-VCT that has been specifically tuned, calibrated, and tested for durability and reliability.

Michigan Approves Electric Vehicle Charging Rates

On: Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 4:48PM | By: Chris Weiss

Michigan Approves Electric Vehicle Charging Rates  test 1-1

With cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf hitting the U.S. market in just a few months, many potential buyers are probably wondering exactly how much charging a vehicle will cost (save) them. Sure, with today's AAA Fuel Gauge Report indicating a $2.95 average, you know that plug-ins are bound to save a couple of dollars each year, but it's difficult to estimate a reliable figure.

Well, an official figure has come out of the land of the U.S. auto capital, and it should help to give consumers an idea of just how much they'll be spending on electricity versus gasoline. This week, the Michigan Public Service Commission approved an EV home charging rate system designed by power company Detroit Edison Company.

Ed Whitacre Out After GM Posts Best Quarter Since 2004

On: Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 3:48PM | By: John Welch

Ed Whitacre Jr. test 2

GM has a lot of things to be happy about lately, but are those 'things' real or imagined? GM posted a net profit of $1.3 billion dollars this morning, a far cry from the $12.9 billion net loss during the second quarter last year. Rumor has it that these numbers are inflated by fleet sales. Only time will tell; as it is, this is nothing but good news.

Another bombshell dropped today, in the form of Ed "Tex" Whitacre hanging up his ten-gallon Alan Mullay hat and stepping down as chairman of General Motors. He will be replaced by Daniel Akerson, GM board member since July 2009, after a long career in telecommunications. Akerson is 61 years of age, and there is no reason to believe that he will not be able to successfully man GM's helm when the company's IPO goes public this fall.

Full press release and hard numbers inside the post . . .

GM Exec: No Mid-Engine Corvette, But Maybe a Hybrid

On: Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 10:38AM | By: Chris Weiss

GM Exec: No Mid-Engine Corvette, But Maybe a Hybrid  test 1-1

Rumors of the next-generation Corvette incorporating a mid-mounted engine have been running rampant for several years. This week, however, they've been put officially to rest. GM 's Karl-Friedrich Stracke, VP of global vehicle engineering, said that there will be no mid-engine Corvette, indicating that we can expect the next-generation Corvette to feature the same front-engine configuration that it's always sported. However, Stracke did leave the door open for a Corvette with hybrid powertrain.

According to Autoweek, Stracke, in response to the rumors, said: “I don't know who made this public. I think it is wrong.”

While that short quote is open to interpretation, a follow-up from GM spokesman Dan Flores was a little more definitive: “The rumors and speculation about the Corvette are just that. There is no mid-engine in the plans."

U.S. Study Finds Drivers' Errors Caused Accidents in Toyotas Blamed for Unintended Acceleration

On: Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 10:37AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

U.S. Study Finds Drivers' Errors Caused Accidents in Toyotas Blamed for Unintended Acceleration  test 1-1

The latest automotive news in Toyota unintended acceleration court cases indicates that  the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports there has not been any evidence of an electronic cause for the accidents allegedly resulting from sticky gas pedals in Toyota vehicles. After studying data recorders, federal regulators indicated that in as many as 35 out of 58 crashes being blamed on unintended acceleration, the brakes were not even applied by motorists.

The recorders, also known as “black boxes,” were reviewed by the NHTSA, but no evidence of electronic-linked causes of the accidents were found, just as Toyota Corp. had reported. Early findings support Toyota's claim that technicians were unable to find any electronic problems related to the sticky gas pedal cases, and that motorists had confused the accelerator for the brake in many instances.

Goldilocks and the 3 ... Series

On: Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 9:13AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Goldilocks and the 3 ... Series test 1-1

If Goldilocks had been less of a foodie with a talent for breaking and entering, and more of a auto enthusiast, the age-old story would have been far more relatable for some of us. If she had come upon a three-car garage of the upper middle class bears, she may just have found the hottest models of BMW’s 2011 3-Series lineup. First she may have broken into the M3, with its 414 horsepower 8300 rpm redline V8, track tuned suspension, 12.4 second quarter mile time, and 60 grand price tag, and found that the super 3-Series to be just a little too hot.  

After scraping off the broken glass from her hands and clothes, she might then break into a 2011 335i with its brand new single turbo N55 inline six that carries over the same 300 horsepower from the previous model. She would find its mid-high 13 second quarter mile tie and handling to be better than average, but nothing to brag about. She would look over its slightly updated, but still reserved exterior style, and then look around to see all of the other 335is that look a lot like this one and decide that the 335i is just a little too cold.

Then after Goldilocks disarms the security system on both of those cars, she comes across the very new looking car in the middle. It’s not an M3, and it’s not a 335i, it’s the new 2011 335is. The new 335is is the car that BMW is bringing to the market to sit right in the middle of its performance 335 line. The 335is retains the direct injection N54 inline six from the 2007-2010 335i models, but gets a power tweak to 320 horsepower at 5900rpm. A feature that is sure to impress is a very literal turbo boost, called an overboost according to BMW, which occurs at low rpm while the engine is under load. This bumps up power to a total of 14.5 psi, which is a bump of 2.9 psi from the twin scroll motor for a maximum of seven seconds.  In real performance numbers, this translates to a 38 lb-ft increase over stock for a small block V8 level 370 lb-ft at 1500rpm.