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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

Bon Voyage, Atlantis

On: Fri, May 14, 2010 at 4:17PM | By: John Welch

Bon Voyage, Atlantis test 1-1

Though not necessarily a car, the space shuttle Atlantis is still hella-rad. Atlantis is capable of speeds up to 2,500 mile per hour and turns faces inside-out at nearly 5-g on lift off. Top Fuel dragsters cower before the awesomeness that is Atlantis. Today, unfortunately, after 31 successful missions, Atlantis blasted the Kennedy Space Center tarmac for the last time. At 2:20 p.m EST the mighty Shuttle took off with no immediate issues and a 12-day space station assembly mission ahead of it. God speed, Atlantis, The AutoShopper wishes you and your crew—Navy Capt. Kenneth T. Ham, Navy Cmdr. Dominic A. Antonelli, Colonel (USAF, Ret.) Michael T. Good, Garret E. Reisman, Navy Capt. Stephen G. Bowen, and Piers J. Sellers, a British-born astronaut, a safe return to earth.

The World's Most Expensive Car: The Bugatti Veyron

On: Fri, May 14, 2010 at 2:49PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The World's Most Expensive Car: The Bugatti Veyron test 1-1

For those who have a passion for sports cars, the Bugatti Veyron is not only the fastest car on the road, it will also put most of us working class, living-paycheck-to-paycheck car enthusiasts into a state of remorse. It is also the world’s most expensive car with a price tag of two million dollars. So, what do you get in a car that costs more than any other sports car available?

The Biggiest Mini Yet: 2011 Countryman Crossover

On: Fri, May 14, 2010 at 1:02PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The Biggiest Mini Yet: 2011 Countryman Crossover test 1-1

The Mini Cooper Countryman Crossover is finally here! It seems like it has been forever since the four-door, all-wheel-drive, rugged-styled version based on the basic Mini Cooper theme was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show two years ago. Now that the concept car has evolved into a market-ready vehicle, having made its official debut at the Geneva auto show this year, it won’t be long before it is available in the United States.

Driving Gadgetry - Radar Detector With GPS?

On: Thu, May 13, 2010 at 4:57PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Radar & GPS Integration test 2

Radar detectors and GPS devices have been affixed to windshields for a long time now; each device can be a godsend in its own right—the GPS when you are hopelessly lost in a not so good neighborhood in a not so familiar city—the radar detector when your right foot has gained weight because you are late for a meeting or a show. I recently started shopping for a radar detector to help me stay within the speed limits, but it has been a really long time since I looked at what is available and I must say I was both pleasantly surprised and sticker shocked at what is out there.

A speeding ticket close call jolted my memory about seeing something in Wired regarding the Passport 9500ix—with the growing trend of revenue-hungry localities to implement red-light cameras and speed cameras, Escort has integrated its own proprietary DEFENDER® Database of red-light and speed cameras into its new GPS and radar-detector product.


The Return of the World Class Hispano-Suiza

On: Thu, May 13, 2010 at 4:37PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The Return of the World Class Hispano-Suiza  test 1-1

Throughout history, many countries have been known for designing at least one car is so impressive and exotic that it stands far above the rest. Rarely do they produce more than one of these legendary automobiles. Examples are the 12-cylinder Rolls-Royce Phantom III from Britain, the supercharged Mercedes-Benz SSKL from Germany, the huge Bugatti Royale from France, and for Spain, that car was the Hipano-Suiza, a pre-World War II  European luxury car that never made it through the Great Depression.

Auto Shopper - Storage Closet Time Machine

On: Thu, May 13, 2010 at 10:52AM | By: Clay Ritchings

Logitech Photoman our First Digital Camera test 2

It’s spring and, like most of us, I was doing a little cleaning around my office and decided to include a closet that was so accurately named “The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams”. The closet looks like something straight out of the TV show “Hoarders”. Boxes of parts from computers that can never be used again—old printers that we will never use—boxes of old cables that are so tangled that it would take hours to get one out. While digging I came across the first digital camera that we used here at Auto Shopper—The “Logitech Photoman”. The camera had its problems—like the exclusion of a removable storage disk. All the photos were stored in the camera’s internal memory, so if the battery died you lost all your photos. Even though this camera did not work for us, it was an important step in getting our feet wet in the digital darkroom age. Until that point we had to staff a full-blown darkroom to process the 250+ rolls of film generated by our sales staff every week. Thankfully we had a large processor that would do the grunt work of film developing—that was no picnic, but a vast improvement from when we used to process the film in the bathtub at someone’s home.

. . . Speaking of Hyundai, Who Wants A Korean Ram?

On: Thu, May 13, 2010 at 10:29AM | By: John Welch

. . . Speaking of Hyundai, Who Wants A Korean Ram? test 1-1

A few months back Nissan and Dodge held some meetings regarding the successor to the Nissan Titan pickup. Nissan didn't want to follow in Toyota's footsteps and waste precious capital creating and engineering a Titan replacement. Nissan wanted to outsource the job. Chrysler wanted to reduce the cost of building Ram trucks. It would have been great.

Conflicting reports suggest one or both parties wound up with cold feet; Fiat's purchase of Chrysler was probably the event that killed the Ram-derived Titan. Hyundai was paying attention the entire time. Hyundai continues to gain market share at an stratospheric rate and the high-profit full-size truck demographic is one segment they have yet to enter. Considering the difficulty Toyota and Nissan have had breaking the Big Three's death-grip on the truck market, it seems logical to try to partner with an established brand for its first foray into the cut-throat world of 'Murrikenized truckdom. This strategy worked great for Mazda, right?


UPDATE, 05/14/2010

Hyundai's Standard Warranty is Pretty Darn Good!

On: Wed, May 12, 2010 at 9:33AM | By: Michael Jon Lazar

Hyundai's Standard Warranty test 2

The warranty that is being offered by Hyundai is rather impressive to say the least. In fact, the car company offers not only of the best auto warranties in the US, but in the entire world too! The major South Korean car making conglomerate recently even announced on its website that they have even upped the warranty levels on their newer models in all other countries, and not just the US. This newly added level of protection that the car company is offering to consumers on the international levels speaks mountains of how they feel about the quality, reliability and durability of their engineering. This also translates into the fact that the company is not trying to ‘cheap out’ by making cars that cost less money but are surrounded by a myriad of technical issues.

Auto Worker Unions Part of the Big Three Falter?

On: Wed, May 12, 2010 at 9:31AM | By: Michael Jon Lazar

Were Auto Worker Unions Part of the Big Three Falter? test 2

Did somebody cry wolf for the Big Three automakers in the US? Because it seems like only yesterday that we were seeing company execs, wearing fancy, triple-stitched inseam suits with pinstripes and all, crying before the US Congress—which held an emergency meeting on their behalf. Irony prevailed for a moment too. That is because these bigwigs arrived in their private chartered jets—many of them couriered in on lavish jumbo jets that feature cocktail bars, entertainment centers, and private catering. And all just to humbly beg—and not on their knees—but while sipping off organic water as hordes of lawyers surrounded them, literally imploring Congress to do one thing: Give them money so they could survive.

Hyundai SUV's May Be Built At Kia's Georgia Plant

On: Tue, May 11, 2010 at 2:14PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Hyundai SUV's May Be Built At Kia's Georgia Plant test 1-1

In car news, it seems that Hyundai may be shifting production of the Santa Fe SUV from the site of current assembly in Montgomery Alabama to Hyundai’s sister company (just 80 miles across the state line), Kia’s new plant in Georgia.  Kia Motors, the South Korean automaker officially opened its United States plant in February of 2010 in West Point Georgia in the hopes of expanding its presence in the North American markets.

How to Avoid Purchasing a Vehicle with A Salvage Title

On: Tue, May 11, 2010 at 10:19AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Flood Cars— test 2

When Hurricane Katrina struck Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and Hurricane Rita hit Florida, Louisiana and Texas, it was one of the worst natural disasters in United States history. Literally thousands of vehicles were flooded. Not many people are aware of the fact that many of those cars that were severely damaged during  natural disasters (or major accidents) were then shipped to other parts of the country in the attempts to launder the titles and sell them to unsuspecting consumers.