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The Best Used Cars Make The Best New Cars

On: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 3:09PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


The Best Used Cars Make The Best New Cars test 1-1

So your tired old clunker has finally clunked for the last time. But it did manage to keep going long enough to miss cashing in on Obama’s offer, and now you think you’re stuck. Or perhaps you actually are stuck on the side of the road, in which case may I suggest calling for some immediate assistance and then getting back to AutoShopper.com?

There is good news and bad news about your current predicament. The bad news is that we can’t help you fix your car at this very moment. But, the good news is that you might be passing one of those silly new car buyers in the very near future. Even more good news is that you might just be driving something with a lot more cachet, class, and horsepower. 


American Mini, Not Muscle

On: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 2:19PM | By: Benjamin Roussey


American Mini, Not Muscle  test 1-1

The New York International Auto Show seemed to be less of an auto show than it was an extravaganza for environmentally friendly automobiles. To be more accurate, it seemed to be a display for mini-mobiles. The self-propelled cars in the Flintstone’s cartoon had more power than some of these cars. This timing could not have come at a worse time for these auto companies. This winter tossed a monkey wrench into the spokes of the Al Gore global warming crusade and an increasing number of people are questioning the global warming rational.


Creed, Phil Collins, And How Listening To Them May Cause You To Wreck Your Car

On: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 10:25AM | By: Nick Truden


Creed, Phil Collins, And How Listening To Them May Cause You To Wreck Your Car test 1-1

Greetings, fellow drivers. First off, my apologies for not being around as often as I should be on this blog. Various circumstances have prevented me from being a regular contributor. But fear not, I will be making myself known more often than before to give you a dose of the entertainment side of driving. I’m talking about that one medium of art that ties us all together regardless of religion, race, or creed. I’m talking about music. Everyone loves listening to music while driving. It passes the time in those long hauls between point A and point B. It also serves as a catalyst for varying types of behavior while driving. I’m talking about this guy…


Why it Pays to Extend the Life of your Car

On: Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 5:52PM | By: Benjamin Roussey


Why it Pays to Extend the Life of your Car test 1-1

One of the reasons many Americans are having financial difficulty is because they spend more money than they make, which seems to be a current American practice. One way to save money is to extend the life of your car. A noble goal is to drive your vehicle until it reaches the 250,000 mile plateau. You may think this is impossible, but since cars today are built after rigorous testing, it is quite plausible.


 

Batteries Not Included. . . But Should They?

On: Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 12:57PM | By: Clay Ritchings


Batteries Not Included. . . But Should They? test 1-1

Plug-in hybrid, all-electric or fuel cell? Companies are hedging their bets on what will emerge as the next generation engine technology of choice; now it seems another alternative approach could well be set to enter the mix. Electric hybrids have a tremendous amount of momentum right now; but what if a technology didn’t rely on expensive, heavy, bulky battery technologies that aren’t really ready for prime time, but instead used a time-tested energy storage method? What is this new wonderful technology? It’s Hydraulics! Hydraulic hybrid vehicles aren’t exactly news to everyone. Operators of truck fleets have recently taken an interest and have been evaluating hydraulic hybrids. Hydraulic power trains would add only about 10 percent to the vehicle cost, but if you take a look at parallel hybrids, like the Prius, you would add hundreds of pounds and thousands of dollars to the vehicle.


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

On: Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 12:49PM | By: John Welch


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly test 1-1

Carlos Ghosn and Deiter Zetsche hopped into bed this week, and this unholy Franco-Hun alliance is already producing some interesting love children. Mercedes four cylinder in an Infiniti? Wouldn't that be a little, I don't know, difficult for Benz dealers to swallow?

GM is repaying tax-payer loans five years early, sure, but does that mean that they are on the road to profitability? Short answer, NO. Long answer, Double NO! The General has shed $4.3 billion dollars since bankruptcy, $1.9 billion in the last three months of 2009. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it's still a pin-hole. Profit in 2010? We shall see . . .

Audi has dominated sports car racing for the better part of a decade. With countless R8s and R10s, the storied marque has taken every major trophy more then once, from Le Mans to Laguna Seca. Their red and silver rocket-sleds have yet to win any beauty contests, however. With its racing introduction this weekend in the south of France, at the Paul Ricard Circuit 8 Hour, Audi continues a proud tradition of function over slightly hideous form. You be the judge, inside the post . . .


Those Who Cast Stones

On: Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 8:48AM | By: Benjamin Roussey


Those Who Cast Stones test 1-1

Sixteen million dollars may not be that much, but with an industry that barely escapes with razor thin a margin, that’s a hefty speeding ticket. Toyota Motor Company is the company in question and they were clobbered with a record-breaking penalty.


Toyota, which was once sparkling clean, has been inundated with bad press. They are facing mounting private lawsuits and, if they pay this $16.4 million penalty levied against them from the Transportation Department, it could be a tacit admission of guilt. With that said, the public knows that many lawyers are greedy and are known for ambulance chasing. Is that the case here? There have been some individuals who have made complaints against Toyota but it has been proven they fabricated the story, made fallacious accusations, and has blatantly lied. For instance, your car is not going to stop quickly enough, in most cases, if you never attempted to press on the brake


Chevy Volt Begins Production, New Hybrids From Hyundai And Nissan

On: Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 3:55PM | By: John Welch


Chevy Volt Begins Production, New Hybrids From Hyundai And Nissan test 1-1


The first Chevy Volts hummed off the assembly line in Hamtramck on Tuesday, making good on a fuel-efficiency promise first made at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. The General was going to give Americans a car that achieved triple-digit efficiency, 700 miles on one tank. It was ungainly, some might say ugly, (though I found the odd Volvo-esque cutline running between the fenders to be pleasing), but its value went way beyond its poorly-styled exterior. The Volt drank gasoline, but was not propelled by it. The Volt needed to be charged at home, but would not slow to a stop if the charge ran out. EEeeeeenteresting.

There is more good news for the Volt, besides the near-miracle that it is even going to see the light of day: GM's silent partner, good 'ole Uncle-conflictofinterest-Sam, called 'dibs' on the first hundred Volts a week ago. On March 31st, President Obama released a plan for off-shore drilling (Finally!! Refineries, anyone? Wanna get to work on those now, please??!). Obama also set a goal of one million plug-in hybrids, like the Volt or the upcoming Cadillac XTS by 2015. Then, in a move that wasn't difficult to predict, the administration upped its order of Volts from 100 to 2,500 and then to 5,000. Too bad these cars will be destroyed in the first few months- being relegated to company/rental car status and all, operated by US government employees no less.

I can almost visualize the carnage now- a Democratic Senator's aide drills a Republican staffer as he crosses the street. The combination of a silent, government-owned eco-car and a buffoon using a Bluetooth while jay-walking turns out to be deadly. Political and social backlash ensues; the Democratic Senator begins receiving death threats at 3 am; the Republican Senator has to pour himself a stiff drink and find a new boyfriend. And the Volt is run through the muck by any self-righteous goof with a camera in front of him. Both parties.

"We need these cars to have warning sirens and spray water fifteen feet in front of them so that the blind and jerks with headphones won't be ground to hamburger meat beneath the wheels of this rolling abomination!!"

"Who gave a Democrat under the age of forty-two a Gee-Deee drivers license??! This is what happens when you let people abort babies!"

"The RNC placed that young man in the way of our staffer's Volt on purpose, attempting to sabotage a "green" vehicle's reputation! That's what they do, those Nazis!"

"Where am I? How did . . . is this Washington D.C. . . . ? Oh Gawd, this is the Hall of Representatives??! Uhg, I'll give you a sound-bite, just let me go clean all this cocaine and hooker-blood offuh my new loafers!"

Ahem, more news about the Volt, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, and the Nissan Leaf, inside yon post . . .


First Glance 2010 New York Auto Show Parked For Two Weeks At The Javits Center.

On: Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 10:47AM | By: Clay Ritchings


First Glance 2010 New York Auto Show Parked For Two Weeks At The Javits Center.  test 1-1

Car lovers may be seeing green at this year’s show but it wouldn’t be complete without the sexy, fast cars attendees have come to love. The crazy-hot 2011 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 race car . . . Spyker, Viper, Lotus, Lamborghini, and the 202-mph Bentley Supersports pale yellow convertible. Along the larger SUV lines, Infiniti has introduced the all-new QX56, the company's flagship sport utility vehicle, which was completely redesigned. Volkswagen unveiled the 2011 Touareg and the 2011 Porsche Cayenne also gets new styling and a new hybrid drivetrain that can cruise on electric power alone at speeds up to 97 mph.


Web Review: New F1 Teams

On: Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 12:13PM | By: John Welch


Web Review: New F1 Teams test 1-1

Is this post just a big excuse to mention that the US government might be bailing out USF1 to the tune of $100 million dollars? Yes, it mostly is. Our Great Red White and Blue hype has failed us, fellow 'Murrikens, but have faith, our Government may swoop in and save the day . . . oh, wait, yesterday was April 1st, wasn't it? Uhm, so this must be complete BS (an interesting jibe at American politics however), which describes the whole USF1-mess pretty accurately.

There are a few other new teams in Formula One this season, actual, functioning teams, with cars and drivers and everything! Virgin Racing, Lotus F1, and Hispania Racing Team have made it to both rounds of the 2010 F1 Championship. They have had a tenuous introduction to F1, these new teams, as evidenced by how many of them have actually finished a race -- Lotus has seen one car finish twice, and HRT's Karun Chandock was able to take the checkers last weekend in Melbourne. Virgin, arguably the prettiest of the new cars, has yet to finish a Grand Prix. A side-note, Prodrive (famous for campaigning Subaru's now defunct WRC team, as well as DB9.Rs and 550 GTs for Aston-Martin and Ferrari) has thrown its hat in the ring for 2011. Supposedly they had a car prepared for 2010, so their addition next season should be a successful one, assuming it even happens.

Within this post we review the new teams and their websites, if they have a website. Intrigue to follow . . .


Chrysler To Roll Out New Grand Cherokee In July

On: Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 9:58AM | By: John Welch


Chrysler To Roll Out New Grand Cherokee In July test 1-1


The Italians are not blind to the situation they have bought into at Chrysler. Things, in their romantic eye, at least, are starting to improve. To quote Sergio Marchionne, "I feel a lot more comfortable today than I did 12 months ago -- by far."

Arguably the most successful, and well received late model Chrysler vehicle, the Jeep Grand Cherokee will lead the march toward profitability for Chrysler (good thing I typed that last bit of hog-wash -- I could never say the words "Profitable Chrysler" with a straight face . . .). The new Grand Cherokee will go into production in May, and will land in showrooms towards the beginning of July.

How does this SUV stack up against the competition? If that were still a relevant question, I would answer it. SUVs are dead, folks, you can no longer enhance your manhood with tall tires and too much lane-choking width. Chicks don't dig it as much as they used to. Sorry.

Since the Grand Cherokee occupies a weird niche of its own, let's just explore its merits solely as a viable product, one that may or may not help Chrysler succeed long enough to re-badge Lancias and then fail all over again . ..