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Grand-Am Post-VIR Update

On: Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 3:31PM | By: John Welch


The Famous Tree at Turn Twelve test 2

The Grand American Road Racing Series started the season off with a tremendously entertaining Rolex 24 at Daytona. A brand new team, Action Express, won the race. Utilizing a passenger SUV-derived engine, and a cast-off Riley chassis from Brumos Porsche, Action Express fought off the might of the Chip Ganassi BMW Rileys all night and into the next morning. After twenty four trips around the dial, Action Express was on top of the podium, and a spectacular season was underway.

The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is the support/feeder series for Grand Am. Think of it as GP2 for American sports car racing. They raced in Daytona and at every Grand Am date since. The series is comprised of road-going GT machinery, divided into two classes, Gran Turismo (redundant anyone?) and Street Tuner. GT and ST from here on.

The last race weekend, at Virginia International Raceway (or VIR) featured heart stopping excitement around every corner. The Rolex Series is covered in this post, Continental Challenge in Part Two . . .

 


Toyota Recalls Sequoia SUVs To Address Stability Control

On: Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 2:21AM | By: Clay Ritchings


Toyota Recalls Sequoia SUVs To Address Stability Control  test 1-1

We all heard about Toyota's problem with unintended acceleration, right? Well, now there are problems with the 2003 Sequoia's lack of acceleration. The recall is triggered by complaints that the stability control activated at times it should not. In such cases, the vehicle's stability control system—which regulates the vehicle's brakes and engine to help control a lack of traction while cornering—can needlessly kick in at lower speeds, thus making the truck go slower than the driver wants. This sounds like a big safety issue to me; can you imagine trying to merge into heavy traffic, and you hit the gas, and you are going nowhere—fast? I can see the dump truck in my rearview mirror now…

Apparently this problem has been going on since the fall of 2003 and Toyota has been replacing the skid control units when customers complained. If you own a Sequoia, have no fear; starting in late May, Toyota will send letters to all affected Sequoia owners included in this recall. The automaker is also will reimburse customers who were charged for the fix when the work was done after their warranty ended.

Steve St. Angelo, Toyota's chief quality officer for North America, said, “Toyota is committed to investigating customer complaints more aggressively and to responding quickly to issues we identify in our vehicles. As a result, we are voluntarily launching this recall to ensure that as many 2003 Sequoias as possible are serviced to the full satisfaction of our customers.”

More details and answers to questions are available to customers at http://www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. You can read the press release after the jump.


The Fisker Karma Goes on Retail Tour

On: Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 5:10PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


The Fisker Karma Goes on Retail Tour  test 1-1

Fisker is an ambitious new automaker we have been hearing a lot about in car news today; he plans to launch the first luxury high-performance, electric plug-in hybrid, known as the “Karma”.

Henrik Fisker has a long track record of designing first class automobiles, including some of the most desirable cars ever made, such as the BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9 (both featured in James Bond movies), and more.


GM to invest $893 Million in Producing a More Fuel-Efficient V-8

On: Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 4:49PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


GM to invest $893 Million in Producing a More Fuel-Efficient V-8 test 1-1

The green movement is really taking off in the U.S. today. Every day we read about new and exciting concepts for more fuel-efficient technology in car news.

Most recently GM has announced plans to invest in as many as five different manufacturing plants in order to build more fuel-efficient aluminum block V-8 engines in future GM pickup trucks.

Many were wondering what would become of the heavy duty trucks, with maximum towing capacity, as the government steps up to regulate automakers to halt manufacturing the gas guzzlers in the future. Emissions standards have recently been set for automakers for the production of more fuel-efficient vehicles next year, and to continue to improve ratings up to 2016.


 

Ford Profits Soar In First Quarter

On: Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 11:38AM | By: John Welch


Ford Profits Soar In First Quarter test 1-1

There is a lot to be said for humility. Humility is classy, humility benefits relationships, business or otherwise. Humility can also be profitable. Ford turned down government loans because someone bearing the name Ford was able to swallow his ego, negotiate one bad-ass line of credit, and then step down from his post as acting CEO of the company. The results? In the First Quarter of 2010, Ford saw a 37 percent increase in domestic sales, netting a $2.1 billion dollar profit. Bill Clay Ford Jr., this Bud's for you!

Ford CFO Lewis Booth is quick to downplay the grandeur of Ford's new-found wealth. "We've got a lot of new product launches, so you'll see some launch expense and we do expect some headwinds from commodities prices," Booth explained to reporters. "It would be unwise to think of $2 billion as a running rate."

More details in the post . . .


Nissan Collects $650,865 In Three Days

On: Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 2:43PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Nissan Collects $650,865 In Three Days test 1-1

Any doubts regarding the popularity of the new Leaf were quelled after Nissan’s first all-electric vehicle collected some 6635 deposits totaling over $650,000 in just three days. The deposit will guarantee your place in line when the Leaf goes on sale, and will also allow you to track the progress of your Leaf.

OK, you put your $99 down and you are starting to feel all green inside; now what?
You wait until December and then you will be required to submit information to Nissan about your driving pattern to make sure you fit the car's limited range. There will also be a review of your home electrical system and local building code to make sure that the home charging system can be successfully installed.


The BMW 335i Voted Must-See

On: Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 8:21AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


2011 BMW 335i's Limited Edition test 2

The 2011 BMW 335i's Limited Edition was one of the cars selected for the “must-see” list of automobiles that debuted at the 2010 New York Auto Show that premiered recently. This sporty sedan features a single-turbo engine boosted to 320 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. Other than embellishing the car with the extra power, there is an optional 7-speed dual clutch transmission, which is a first for a BMW that is not an M model; the front and rear fascias of the 335i were revamped as well as the entire M-sport interior.


Top 10 Questions To Ask When Buying A Car From A Private Seller

On: Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 7:04PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Top 10 Questions To Ask When Buying A Car From A Private Seller test 1-1

Buying a privately owned used car? Do you know what questions you should ask before you buy? Buying a used car from a private seller can be an unnerving experience, but there’s a lot you can do to make sure you get a good deal. Here are 10 key questions to get you started on the right path. Some can be asked before seeing the car; others should be asked while you are looking at the car.


New Material May Replace The Lithium Ion Battery

On: Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


New Material May Replace The Lithium Ion Battery test 1-1

There was a new discovery recently made by researchers at the Imperial College of London that may change the future of the battery, including batteries used for electric cars. A patented mixture of carbon fiber and polymer was invented that can discharge and store electricity; what does that mean to the car industry?  It could enable the body of your automobile to run your engine!


Environmentalists Issue Warnings About Effects of the Combustion Engine

On: Sat, Apr 24, 2010 at 11:27AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Environmentalists Issue Warnings About Effects of the Combustion Engine test 1-1

Environmentalists have been pushing for some time for a shift to using alternative energy for automobiles in order to decrease emissions of toxic chemicals that are the end result of the process of burning fuel in combustion engines. Many people may not realize that for every gallon of fuel that is burned in an automobile, 14 pounds of carbon dioxide (C02) is emitted into the atmosphere. Over a distance of 12,000 miles (the distance an average American will drive in a year), a 25 mpg car will produce 3.4 tons of carbon dioxide, which is one of the biggest contributors to global warming.


The New Volt MPV5 Unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show

On: Fri, Apr 23, 2010 at 5:46PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


The New Volt MPV5 Unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show test 1-1

General Motors has unveiled a new and exciting concept car at the Beijing auto show this year that is a version of the Chevrolet Volt, the Volt MPV5, a five door front wheel drive crossover electric plug-in hybrid. The Volt MPV5 has a strong resemblance to the Volt in physical appearance and it has similar environmental concepts as the Chevrolet Cruze Eco, particularly in its aerodynamics.