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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.  

Asbestos Claims May Result in Billions to Be Paid From GM Bankruptcy Estate

On: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 5:33PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Asbestos Claims May Result in Billions to Be Paid From GM Bankruptcy Estate test 1-1

Asbestos claims may possibly be in the billions for creditors of the GM bankruptcy estate, according to the Bloomberg News. United States Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber granted permission to unsecured creditors to seek information from third parties regarding the asbestos claims so that an estimate of cost could be calculated.

Chrysler Invites Dealers to Apply for Fiat Franchises

On: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 5:30PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Chrysler Invites Dealers to Apply for Fiat Franchises test 1-1

Chrysler Group has extended an invitation to 600 dealers to travel to Detroit on August 30th in order to learn more about the Fiat brand and to decide if they want to sell Fiats.  This will be the first time Fiat has sold an automobile in the U.S. since 1983.

Auto Dealer Files Suit Against Chrysler Regarding Reinstatement Letter

On: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 4:58PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Auto Dealer Files Suit Against Chrysler Regarding Reinstatement Letter test 1-1

A New Jersey Chrysler dealer has become one of three total dealers in the U.S. to file a lawsuit against Chrysler Group after winning a recent arbitration case, but objecting to the company’s reinstatement terms. According to Automotive News, the dealership, Causeway Jeep in Manahawkin N.J., requested that the Chrysler Group be court ordered to ”issue a letter of intent that would restore the dealership to its position before the franchise was terminated during the company's bankruptcy.”


Honda Recalls Nearly 400,000 U.S. Vehicles For Ignition Issue

On: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 4:40PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda Recalls Nearly 400,000 U.S. Vehicles For Ignition Issue test 1-1

In a recall notice posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website yesterday, Honda announced that it will be recalling 384,220 vehicles in the United States due to possible ignition interlock failure. What could be termed "unintended rolling," can result if the interlock system fails. The new recall brings the total number of Honda vehicles recalled for similar issues since 2003 up to 1.4 million. The latest recall relates to different specific parts of the ignition than past recalls, however.

Lexus Gives LFA Lease Scheme the Ax, Customers Can Now Buy the Supercar Outright

On: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 3:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lexus Gives LFA Lease Scheme the Ax, Customers Can Now Buy the Supercar Outright test 1-1

Lexus had previously made a small stir when it announced that U.S. customers would only be able to lease the $375,000 LFA. The idea was to offer the car through a mandatory, two-year lease to prevent us profit-minded Americans from buying and flipping the car, negatively impacting the "ownership experience." Today, the company announced that it is reversing this policy and offering the LFA for regular sale. However, owners wishing to sell the car within the first two years must get the go-ahead from the dealership they bought it from.

Subaru's Version of the FT-86 Gets Some Details

On: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 3:06PM | By: Chris Weiss

Subaru's Version of the FT-86 Gets Some Details  test 1-1

Toyota and Subaru have long been working jointly on the FT-86 sports coupe. While Toyota showed its cards nearly a year ago, Subaru has remained mum about its own version of the coupe. This week, Autocar revealed some details on the Subaru-spec FT-86 that indicate (not surprisingly) that it will be a more powerful version. Subaru's version, which doesn't yet have a model name, will also get more aggressive styling.

Tacoma Production Produces Jobs In Texas

On: Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 10:10AM | By: John Welch

2011 Toyota Tacoma test 2

The Toyota Tacoma has typically sold well in the US, even when domestic competitors have seen their small truck sales slump, like Stacks after his Tommy DeVito lead sandwich. Causing us to like the reliable Tacoma that much more, Toyota has hired 1,000 workers at the TMMTX (Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas) facility in San Antonio, Texas.

Hit hard by the effects of slow sales, TMMTX didn't panic and start printing pink slips by the hundreds. Instead of lay-offs, this facility retained its workforce and focused on improving processes and 'team member skills'. The official plant opening was attended by Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Toyota Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Atsushi Niimi. The Toyota-supplied press release inside the post . . .

Lamborghini Considering First-Ever Sedan

On: Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 9:25AM | By: Chris Weiss

Lamborghini Considering First-Ever Sedan test 1-1

Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann recently gave credence to a possible Lamborghini sedan in an interview with Bloomberg. Winkelmann's statement lends some credibility to the idea that Lamborghini might build a production four-door based on the Estoque concept of the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The sedan would compete with other high-end performance four-doors like the Aston Martin Rapide, Maserati Quattroporte, and Volkswagen AG stablemate Porsche Panamera.

Winkelmann pointed to the possibility of a four-door concisely in an interview at Lamborghini's headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy, stating: “A third model would fit Lamborghini very well. A four-door car would be a very feasible approach.”

According to Bloomberg's report, Lamborghini has not yet made a final decision on the four-door and it will need to make sense in terms of boosting sagging sales.

Obama Says U.S. Will Continue to Support Automotive Jobs

On: Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 9:19AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Obama Says U.S. Will Continue to Support  Automotive Jobs test 1-1

President Barack Obama, after visiting with the Big Three Detroit automakers, told workers at a Chicago-based Ford Motor Co. plant that they are a crucial part of today’s economy. “I refuse to walk away from this industry and American jobs,” Obama said after touring a factory where Ford, the only Big 3 U.S. automaker that didn’t take bailout money, will begin assembling the new 2011 Explorer later this year. “I have put my money on the American worker. I have put my money on the American worker.”

As many people know, last year’s bailout money that GM and Chrysler Group received helped the automakers to avoid eliminating literally hundreds of thousands of jobs, which according to Barack Obama would have resulted in “severe consequences for the U.S. economy.” Obama announced that Ford Motor Co. would qualify for a $250 million guarantee loan from the Export-Import Bank to finance the shipment of over 200,000 U.S.-made Ford vehicles including, of course, the new redesigned Ford Explorer to Canada and Mexico.

Grand Thrown Down At Watkins Glen, Ganassi Takes Number Seven!

On: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 4:47PM | By: John Welch

Grand Thrown Down At Watkins Glen, Ganassi Takes Number Seven! test 1-1

The race was going quickly . . . very quickly. By the middle of the first hour it appeared that the Crown Royal 200 at the Glen was going to go the distance caution free, something that has never happened at Watkins Glen. With no yellow flags to slow and bunch the field, the race leaders were running a blistering pace. The No. 01 Ganassi BMW averaged a startling 120.679 mph on its way to the 7th victory of the season for Ganassi.

Tying the Rolex Series record for wins in one season is a big deal (especially considering there are two races left, with no signs of weakness from the Ganassi bunch), but the margin was paper thin. Scott Pruett brought the attractive (for a DP) BMW/Riley across the line 2.722 seconds ahead of the Wayne Taylor Dallara driven by Max ('The Ax') Angelelli. These two cars rubbed fenders all day, but, as usual, Scott Pruett came out on top.