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And Car Reviews

Too Much Advertising?

On: Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 5:21PM | By: Karen Cook

Too Much Advertising? test 1-1

Remember when it was all the rage to have an app on your phone that would tell you which stores were having sales as you walked through the mall? Some even gave digital coupons that were good for only a very limited time. This is old news on hand-held devices, but BMW is trying out the concept in its vehicles, obviously on a much larger scale.

Used Car Highlight: Toyota Echo

On: Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 10:44AM | By: Nick Bakewell

 Toyota Echo test 2

Remember a while ago when I made a point of how lovely it is to own something basic and underpowered? A few months have passed, and having recently received a few solicitations for advice from prospective used-car buyers, I felt like sharing a car that’s recently come up on my radar. As a disclaimer: when I say basic, I mean it; we’re talking four-wheels-and-an-engine.

Carbon Fiber Vs Steel

On: Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 3:45PM | By: Karen Cook

Carbon Fiber Vs Steel test 1-1

The Detroit Auto Show held earlier this month abounded with cars sporting the latest in technological applications. A popular trend among manufacturers appears to be carbon fiber used in the body of their vehicles. Previously this sort of thing would be reserved for race cars or high-end luxury cars due to the expense of producing and using the material. What we commonly call “carbon fiber” is actually carbon fiber reinforced polymer. It attracts manufacturers because it is five times stronger than steel and weighs two-thirds less. This means that, if a typical automobile is made of carbon fiber instead of steel, the mass weight will drop by 60% and use 30% less gas—and lower emissions from 10% to 20%.

Another drawback of carbon fiber was the time it takes to mold during production, about five minutes to mold a frame. A few years ago a Japanese company discovered that if a special thermoplastic resin was mixed with the carbon fiber the time could be reduced to less than 60 seconds. This could be part of the reason for the sudden use in newer cars.

Itty Bitty Cars Can Have Huge Safety Issues

On: Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 10:40AM | By: Karen Cook

Itty Bitty Cars Can Have Huge Safety Issues test 1-1

Tiny cars are great on gas consumption, perfect for crowded cities, and the light weight is necessary for electric power. One place they fall short, so to speak, is in safety ratings, specifically in crash tests. This year saw a 70% drop in the makes and models chosen as top safety picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).


Top Five Detroit Auto Show Production Cars

On: Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 5:21PM | By: Elizabeth Puckett

2015 Corvette Stingray Z06 test 2

The North American International Auto Show is the stage used by automakers to reveal their new & upcoming models and redesigns—but they don’t bring every vehicle in their lineup out to play, only the important ones make to the Motor City event. Some of the most important models are debuted during this week of auto madness, and the 2014 show didn’t disappoint! Not every car makes it to an assembly line afterwards either—not every car is even meant to. Take the FT-1 by Toyota, for example; while many people think it’s the next Supra, the concept in its current form isn’t intended for production and consumer purchase. Here are the coolest cars that you'll actually have a chance to own one day.

Ron Dennis Returns as CEO of McLaren F1

On: Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 5:19PM | By: Nick Bakewell

Ron Dennis Returns as CEO of McLaren F1 test 1-1

For those of us who are fans of the McLaren Formula 1 team, this past season was an exercise in what marketing types would call “managing expectations.”  2013 was McLaren’s first season without a win since 2006 and the first in almost 30 years without a podium. For a team whose motto is “Win at everything we do,” that’s a tough row to hoe. Reasons and explanations (though never excuses) abound but, the fact of the matter is that, McLaren as it stood simply wasn’t good enough. Despite having initial input on the 2013 car (the MP4-28), chief designer Paddy Lowe was poached by Mercedes  early in the season, and the already fundamentally-flawed car clearly suffered from a lack of consistent, effective development as a result.

Ford's On a Recall Roll

On: Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 5:00PM | By: Karen Cook

Ford's On a Recall Roll test 1-1

Ford seems to have run into a manufacturing problem recently which affects several makes and model years. Here’s the rundown for those affected.

BMW Gets Greener

On: Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 4:46PM | By: Karen Cook

BMW Gets Greener test 1-1

There is a wide range of options for car manufacturers to make their vehicles greener. Most of the research is obviously geared toward electric power instead of gasoline, but there are less obvious changes that can be made to a car’s interior which is also beneficial to the planet. BMW leads the way toward a greener future.

The King is Dead. Long Live the King!

On: Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 8:47AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

The King is Dead.  Long Live the King! test 1-1

The M3 is dead. Well, sort of. The two-door M3 is dead, but the four-door M3 lives on. So if you want the ultimate M3, you now can only get it in sedan form, but in essence the two-door M3 lives on as the M4. Confused yet? Essentially, 4 is the new 3. For 2015 BMW wanted to differentiate between its midsize two-door cars and its midsize four door versions. The 3-Series is now four-door only, while the newly designated 4-Series can be had only with a pair of doors. 

Tesla's On Fire Again

On: Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 2:39PM | By: Karen Cook

Tesla's On Fire Again test 1-1

Tesla’s on fire again! And not in the positive way. Poor Tesla. Almost on the heels of Model S engine fires and then a fire at a factory, Tesla is now recalling 29,222 vehicle chargers for the 2013 Model S because they may overheat and catch fire.

Auto Companies Welcome Google Glass Into Cars

On: Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 11:50AM | By: Chris Weiss

Auto Companies Welcome Google Glass Into Cars test 1-1

Last week, all eyes were on the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. One of the biggest themes at this year's show was wearable technology—computing-power gadgets that you can wear on your wrist, over your eyes, and on your body. While automakers did not figure out a way to make cars wearable, they still got in on the craze. Several auto companies made announcements about integration with wearable gadgets. It's news that's both intriguing and terrifying.