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Auto Industry News
And Car Reviews

Camaros Koni GS Debut Less Than Stellar

On: Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 1:50PM | By: John Welch

Camaros Koni GS Debut Less Than Stellar test 1-1

The Chevrolet Camaro has been a hit, as much as any new car from an American manufacturer could hope for. The Camaro enjoys a long waiting list, has out sold the Mustang for four months running, and is generally regarded as the best use of GM's Zeta platform to date. Naturally, it's time to take the Camaro racing . . .


The Wraps Are Off The Toyota / Subaru Sports Car

On: Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 11:11AM | By: John Welch

The Wraps Are Off The Toyota / Subaru Sports Car test 1-1

What is this grainy image we are looking at? That, my friends, is a flat-four lurking beneath the hood of. . .a Toyota? MMmmm, and that Boxer engine is attatched to . . . a chassis that is 'rear-drive only'?! What is going on? Could this get any more weird? Oh yes, it sure can. One word . 'Zippers'.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

On: Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 2:26PM | By: John Welch

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

Drayson Racing to campaign the 2010 ALMS calendar, LMP Challenge car a "Real Race car!", video of the epic Patron Highcroft ARX-02a rebuild, another F1 team signs up with Cosworth.

Penske/Saturn deal ends in terminal prognosis for Saturn; are the Hummer, Opel and Saab deals next?

9ff creates another wonderful Porsche-based road car, then decorates it with what is possibly the worst paint scheme ever devised. Hide your children, shield your eyes!

Just for kicks, let's start off with some videos documenting Patron Highcroft's resurrection of their destroyed Acura ARX-02a, a story we covered last week . . .



The crash itself . . .




Duncan Dayton explaining the task at hand . . .




 . . . and time lapse footage of the actual rebuild. Incredible.

Rolling Office: Smarmy Executives Nonchalant Regarding Irresponsible Driving

On: Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 4:00PM | By: John Welch

Rolling Office: Smarmy Executives Nonchalant Regarding Irresponsible Driving test 1-1

Listen, I appreciate how strapped every one of us is for time. We are busy, and we have to drive everywhere, constantly. Germans visit our country and demand to know where the village is. "There is no village; we do everything in our cars, work, eat, sleep, . ." It's a wonder Europe has a better selection of interesting automobiles than we do. Ahh, but that is a different gripe all together.

Today's gripe involves the laissez-faire attitude some members of our driving community take towards working while driving. Take Sean Ryan, an analyst for a market research firm, IDC. Regarding cheking his email while behind the wheel, Mr. Ryan says, "I might as well get a quick e-mail taken care of, or at least, delete spam.”

“When I get to the office, I’ve saved 15 to 20 minutes of work."


Hottest New Cars Coming to Tampa!

On: Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 1:46PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Hottest New Cars Coming to Tampa! test 1-1

Don’t miss the latest automobiles and vehicle trends at the 2010-Model Tampa Bay International Auto Show where the newest cars, crossovers, sport-utility vehicles, trucks, hybrids, and more roll into the Tampa Convention Center. Check out the specialty displays and see the newest technology and automotive trends. The Tampa Bay International Auto Show cruises into Tampa Convention Center October 23-25.

Is It The End Of The Road For Saturn?

On: Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 6:43PM | By: Drew Christy

GM shuts down Saturn test 2

Penske Automotive Group announced on Wednesday that it has cancelled plans to acquire General Motors' Saturn unit. As a result, GM said it will “wind down” the brand and dealer network.

According to a press report released by Penske (available after the jump), the deal's demise was caused by difficulty in securing a supply of product beyond the end of 2010. As part of the deal, GM would have continued supplying Penske with the Outlook, Aura, and Vue models until the end of next year.

Since Penske is an auto distributor and not a manufacturer, a new supplier agreement needed to be secured. The company had negotiated the terms and conditions of an agreement with an unnamed *cough* Renault-Samsung Motors *cough* manufacturer; however, that agreement was rejected by that manufacturer's board of directors.

"Without that agreement, the company has determined that the risks and uncertainties related to the availability of future products prohibit the company from moving forward with this transaction," the company said in a statement.

As a result of Penske’s decision, GM announced that it would wind down Saturn and close all roughly 350 dealerships. Penske's deal with GM, which was expected to be completed in October, would have saved more than 13,000 jobs at Saturn's dealerships. After Saturn dealerships close, Saturn owners will be able to get service from other GM dealers.

"Today's disappointing news comes at a time when we'd hoped for a successful launch of the Saturn brand into a new chapter," said GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson. "We will be working closely with our dealers to ensure Saturn customers are cared for as we transition them to other GM dealers in the months ahead."

For those sending emails… The guy in the photo is Jim Smith from the “Saturn Total Confidence” commercials.

A Reminder Of Ford's Innovative SmartGauge™

On: Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 1:35PM | By: Nick Truden

A Reminder Of Ford's Innovative SmartGauge™ test 1-1

There are plenty of perks to owning a hybrid. The main one being the added fuel economy, but how does the owners keep track of how 'green' they're are driving? Ford has the answer to that with their 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrid models with something they have dubbed SmartGauge™ with EcoGuide.

Fernando Alonso Displaces Raikkonen At Ferrari

On: Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 12:18PM | By: John Welch

Fernando Alonso Displaces Raikkonen At Ferrari test 1-1

We knew this was coming. 'We' being myself and the other five F1-dorks currently living in the United States of America. Fernando Alonso, undisputed king of the F1 V10 era (he captured the 2005 and 2006 championships, piloting what are widely considered the baddest of all F1 Formulas — the high downforce, 1000bhp V10-powered cars of 2000 to 2007), has found himself at the center of the Ferrari rumor mill for the better part of four years. Finally, the storied Italian team has signed Alonso to a 3-year deal, replacing Kimi Raikkonen for the 2010 season.

Toyota Issues its largest recall ever in the U.S. over floor mats, 3.8M vehicles affected.

On: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:37PM | By: Drew Christy

Toyota Issues its largest recall ever in the U.S. over floor mats, 3.8M vehicles affected. test 1-1

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a safety alert to the owners of particular Toyota and Lexus models from 2004-2010. This recall affects 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the United States. The alert reports of accelerator pedal clearance issues which provide the potential for an accelerator pedal to get stuck in the full open position. A stuck accelerator may result in very high vehicle speeds and a crash, which could cause serious injury or death.

The following models are affected:

  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2004-2009 Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2007-2010 ES 350
  • 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350

Toyota has announced that it will soon launch a safety recall to address the problem with the vehicles listed above. The NHTSA is asking owners of specific Toyota and Lexus models to take out any removable driver’s floormat immediately and NOT replace it with any other floormat until Toyota develops a solution (see photo above?).

Owners with questions or concerns, are asked to please contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center (1-800-331-4331) or Lexus Customer Assistance Center (1-800-255-3987), or consult the information posted at http://www.toyota.com and http://www.lexus.com.

We have posted the press releases from both the NHTSA and Toyota after the jump. Toyota's press release includes instructions on what to do if your gas pedal gets stuck due to floormat interference.

Lake Mirror Classic October 16-18, 2009 Downtown Lakeland, Florida

On: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 12:48PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Lake Mirror Classic October 16-18, 2009 Downtown Lakeland, Florida test 1-1

The 2009 Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival will be held in downtown Lakeland, Florida, the weekend of October 16-18. This year the show will feature European cars with art deco styling from the 1930s and 40s.

This is one of the most scenic and popular classic car events in the southeastern United States. This show will feature hundreds of classic and collectible vehicles including Street Rods & Custom cars, classic wooden boats, antique motorcycles, outdoor concert, great food and beverages.

The annual event is expected to attract over 500 show vehicles and 30,000 spectators.  The event is FREE to the public.

Click here for event map

Muscle On The Cheap

On: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 9:33AM | By: Clay Ritchings

Muscle On The Cheap test 1-1

Not since 1974 have the three American pony cars shared the road together. Go to your closet and dust off your jeans jacket, because these re-tooled classics – The Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang are three modern classics that will go fast, look good, and can be parked in your barn for around $20,000.