May 2007 Archives

BMW has unveiled a new M Sport package for the X5. The package includes sport upgrades to the interior and exterior of the SAV.

Forbes has gathered what they believe to be the safest new cars on the market. They searched through Consumer Reports, Department of Transportation, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) to compile the list of the top 20 safest cars of 2007.

Ford Denies any Plans to Sell Volvo...

Yesterday rumors surfaced that Ford was thinking about selling Volvo and that BMW was interested. Apparently the rumors are false according to a Ford spokesperson.

Crossovers are Helping Ford's Sales


Ford and US automakers as a whole have been hit pretty hard this year due to declining SUV sales. Rising gas prices have forced consumers to move away from large gas-guzzling SUVs into smaller more fuel-efficient models. Well Ford's emphasis on its crossover lineup is finally reaping its rewards.

According to Japan's newspaper, Nikkan Kogyo Toyota is delaying the use of lithium-ion batteries in the next generation Prius because of safety concerns.

It seems like everyday an automaker announces plans for a new crossover vehicle. Well now we can add Chevrolet to the list. Due to slipping Trailblazer sales, Chevy is hard at work on a crossover replacement for its aging SUV. The new vehicle, will be built on the same platform as the new Saturn Outlook (shown above), GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave crossovers.

According to the Goteborgs Posten, a Swedish newspaper, Ford is thinking about selling Volvo. Ford who has been in financial distress the past few years lost $327 million from their luxury nameplates, which includes Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln and Volvo (Ford does not disclose the revenue totals for each of its luxury brands).

bmw_f3_side.jpg BMW has finally confirmed the production of the crossover BMW F3. Crossovers are quickly becoming one of the hottest segments in the US and Europe. BMW is planning on building the small people mover on the upcoming X3 platform that will be here in 2009.

More Problems for the New Toyota Tundra


The new Toyota Tundra has had quite a few dings against it lately. First the truck failed to grab 5 stars in safety tests (two times), Toyota started to offer rebates on some of the configurations, and now there are camshaft quality issues.

There has been a lot of buzz lately about the future of Honda's luxury/ performance brand, Acura. Their current lineup is somewhat bland and uninspiring. The TSX and TL were great when they were first released in 2003 and 2004, but now they lag behind the competition. The RL had issues from the beginning, mainly due to a lack of a V8 engine. That leaves the new MDX and RDX, which are new and are doing well, although the styling of the RDX has been some what controversial.

Should Nissan Make an Altima Convertible?


According to Autoweek, Nissan is thinking about making a convertible version of its new Altima Coupe that was just released. Nissan wants to expand the Altima line and a convertible seems like the next logical step.

This fall BMW is going to launch many changes to the current MINI lineup that will result in increased fuel-efficiency across all models. The changes will result in increased engine performance and fuel efficiency all without the use of hybrid technology or alternative fuels.

Wanna Win a New 2007 Dodge Nitro?


Autoblog has launched a redesigned site and to celebrate it they teamed up with Dodge to give away a new 2007 Dodge Nitro R/T to one lucky reader.

According to a new report by Ricardo and UBS, diesel powered cars will outsell hybrids by 2012. Right now diesel cars barely register on the radar in the US, but in the next few years many automakers will offer diesel versions of their popular vehicles.

The first spy photos of the upcoming 2008 Toyota Sequoia have surfaced. As you can tell the new SUV will adopt many styling cues from the new Tundra.

Porsche is working on a new small SUV that will be based on the upcoming Audi Q5 SUV. The new SUV is reportedly going to be named the Porsche Roxster and will slot below the Porsche Cayenne SUV.

According to the Nikkei, Nissan is going to launch three subcompact cars in the US. The cars are expected to be here by the end of next year. The new cars will allow Nissan to compete with Toyota's Scion.

Fifth Gear Takes the VW GTI Sideways! It's So Awesome!


Fifth Gear has done another awesome video and this time it is on the VW GTI.

Spy photos of the upcoming 2009 Mercedes-Benz GLK SUV have been captured. The new SUV is based on the C-Class and will compete against the BMW X3 and Land Rover LR2 SUVs.

Should the US Adopt Gas Taxes as High as Europe?


Everyday there are news stories about record gas prices in the U.S. Consumers are constantly complaining and overall consumer spending has been hurt by the high gas prices. Analysts and politicians continue to debate on possible solutions to the problem. Lately it seems that arguments for extra taxes are consistently on the table. Now comes an argument that the US should raise gas taxes to the same as Europeans, which would possibly help American consumers.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced plans to have all taxis in NYC powered by hybrid powertrains. There are currently 13,000 taxis running up and down the streets of NYC. The first step is to increase the current 400 hybrid taxis to 1,000 by October 2008. In addition by October 2008 all taxis in NYC must get 25mpg and by 2009 they must get 30mpg.

Kia has announced that they are going to use "XR" to badge their upcoming performance models. Kia unveiled the Cee'd XR in South Korea last week. The five-door hatchback had larger wheels and various body refinements. Kia is still working on possible turbocharged engines for the Euro market and a supercharged engine for the U.S. market.

Would a Small Mercedes-Benz Sell Well in the US?


Due to record gas prices and a rising demand for fuel-efficient vehicles in the US, Mercedes-Benz is considering the idea of importing its next generation of the B-Class to the US. They are also working on a new "baby" SUV that is smaller than the current M-Class.

2010 Acura NSX Caught Testing in Germany?


Spy photographers spotted an interesting Honda S2000 in a workshop next to the Nurburgring. They managed to catch a few shots of the car, although it has remained in the workshop all day. What is interesting about the S2000 is that it has been heavily modified with riveted panels to add length and width to the car.

The hood line has been beefed up and the passenger compartment is also bigger. This test mule is very close to the new 2009/2010 NSX and Honda could be using this heavily modified S2000 to test the upcoming powertrain and platform for the next NSX. Notice the four tailpipes in back, the huge B Pillar and the heavy-duty double wishbone suspension.

Ford has released the pricing of the new 2008 Ford Taurus X crossover. The Taurus X that replaces the Freestyle in Ford's lineup will start at $27,365. The new car is basically the old Freestyle with a new name, more powerful 3.5L V6, and revised front and rear styling. has posted new spy photos of the upcoming 2009 Dodge Ram. These pictures show a new front end that is been welded to the current truck. The new styling of the Ram pickup is going to move away from its "big rig" looks so that it is more aerodynamic, thereby improving fuel economy.

Apparently Bob Lutz (Vice Chairman of GM) admires what Porsche has done with their lineup. They have managed to make the jump from sports cars to SUVs and now they have the upcoming 2009 Porsche Panamera sedan. Lutz has spoken candidly about the fact that Chevy could do something similar with the Corvette (Which means he isn't opposed to it).

For years everyone has suggested that Ford kill of its Mercury division. The division simply sells rebadged versions of Ford products, that don't usually have higher levels of performance or luxury. The brand has been seen as a waste of valuable resources and a severe drain on the parent company. Lately Mercury has had somewhat of a revitalization.

It has been reported several times that the new BMW 335i actually produces more power than is stated on paper. BMW states that the 335i coupe and sedan have 300 horsepower at the flywheel, although according to several dyno tests the car actually puts out between 275-300 horsepower at the wheels. Using simple math it is estimated that the actual horsepower at the flywheel is 350-375 horsepower. Those are exciting numbers!

Spy photos of the upcoming Alfa Romeo C8 have surfaced. These pics were taking while the car was testing on the Nurburgring in Germany. The C8 has had many changes from the original concept car such as new air intakes, softer edges, and wider A-pillars.

2008 Lexus IS-F Interior Pics...White Leather?


Some more pics of the interior of the upcoming 2008 Lexus IS-F have surfaced courtesy of Club Lexus &

Did Daimler Really Screw Chrysler?


According to an article by BusinessWeek, ex-Chrysler chief Lee Iacocca stated that, "Daimler screwed Chrysler royally" in the nine years that it owned Chrysler. According to Iacocca the recent sale of Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management was out of desperation.

Last month I reported that the Canadian goverment had inacted new legislation that gave buyers of fuel-efficient vehicles a $1,000 rebate. If the vehicle falls below the fuel-economy threshold of 6.5 liters per 100 kilometers, the car is eligible for the rebate. Well that basically meant that the Honda Fit did not qualify because it only acheives 6.6L, but the Toyota Yaris does qualify. That did not sit well with Honda.

Temple of VTEC has posted more photos of the upcoming 2008 Honda Accord Sedan in black. Last week the first photos of the car, in silver were exposed.

Chrysler has approved the large luxury Imperial sedan for production. The official announcement will be on June 11th. Chrysler will invest $700 million for the new sedan, which will be built at the Brampton, Ontario plant. This announcement follows the sale of the Chrysler Group that took place earlier this week. Chrysler has had a rough year due to lower sales and recalls, is this sedan what the company needs right now?

Following yesterday's release of the Audi TT Clubsport Concept, VW has revealed the uber fast Golf GTI W12 650 Concept. The ultimate GTI has a top speed of 201 mph (325 km/h) and a 0-62 mph time of 3.7 seconds.

According to TundraHeadquarters Toyota is going to release a hybrid version of the Tundra in 2009 as a 2010 model. The truck will feature the 4.7L V8 and a hybrid system that combined will put out 400 horsepower, gobs of torque and manage to achieve 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

Did Toyota Miss the Mark With the New 2008 Scion xB?


According to a review by The Truth About Cars the new Scion xB pales in comparison to the first generation. The writer feels that Toyota adopted many of the same methods that brought GM down. "It bristles with classic GM-think: dumb it down, fatten it up and cheapen it out."

Yesterday was a historic day for General Motors, their Chevy Sequel was the first fuel-cell vehicle to travel 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen. The 300 mile trip traveled in and out of cities in New York. The drive began at GM’s Fuel Cell Activity Center in Honeoye Falls and ended in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Larry Burns, GM Vice President of research and development and strategic planning announced that GM will likely have a fuel-cell vehicle in showrooms by 2012.

Pontiac Looks to Hip Hop to Sell its Vehicles


It seems as if General Motors is continuing their "alternative" marketing approach that they started with the upcoming "Transformers" movie, which features GM vehicles. The latest effort is in the upcoming music video for rapper 50 Cent.

According to an Automotive News story, Cadilac is going drop either the STS or DTS from their lineup. Cadillac's future lineup will include three sedans, one larger than the current CTS and one smaller than it. According to Trey Clarke, President of GM North America, that means that either the STS or DTS will be dropped.

Today Audi revealed the Audi TT Clubsport Quattro Concept, which is a modified TT. It is obvious that the car is inspired by the Porsche 356 Speedster, with its low windscreen and missing roof.

2009 Toyota Blade Spy Photos?...Mazda 3 Competitor?


Today as I was driving through the over crowded streets of LA and I came across a small caravan of three Toyota vehicles. The first vehicle was a camouflaged Scion xD and the third car was the Lexus ES350. The car in the middle is what caught my attention. I assume that the car was the upcoming replacement for the Toyota Matrix, which is rumored to be named the Toyota Blade when it is released next spring.

What is the World's Fastest Coupe?


BRABUS claims that their modified Mercedes-Benz CL600 (BRABUS SV12 Biturbo) is the world's most powerful and fastest coupe.

According to company insiders BMW will build the next generation X3 at the Spartanburg, South Carolina plant in the US. The new X3 will be built alongside the upcoming BMW X6 and the current X5 and Z4.

Porsche Will Release Their First Hybrids in 2009


Porsche has announced that they are going to release their first hybrids in 2009. The Cayenne and the upcoming Panamera will both be offered with a hybrid powertrain.

Should the Government Bail Out the U.S. Automakers?


According to California Attorney General Jerry Brown, the federal government may need to bail out U.S. automakers in order to keep them in business. The bail out could amount to several billion dollars.

According to a report by the Automotive News, GM is going to try to convince buyers that its new 2008 Chevrolet Malibu is better than the Toyota Camry by having the Camry in their showrooms.

DaimlerChrysler is No More!


For months there have been rumors and internal statements about the possible sale of Chrysler, which would result in the end of the current relationship with Daimler-Benz. The partnership that was announced in 1998 has now come to an end. Cerberus Capital Management has won the bid to take over the Chrysler group for $7.45 billion.

Last week Honda announced that they are going to start production of the Honda FCX fuel-cell vehicle in 2008. The automaker also announced that they are going to release a mass-market hybrid that will be cheaper than the current Civic Hybrid.

The Ford Explorer has been the best selling SUV for years. In 2000 Ford sold 445,157 Explorers. Although recently sales of the current generation have continued to drop significantly with each new year, mainly due to high fuel prices. At the same time sales of more fuel-efficient crossovers have continued to rise. In the first 4 months of this year Honda sold 64,951 of the all-new Honda CR-V vs. the 47,553 Explorers that Ford sold. For the first time ever the Honda CR-V is now the best selling SUV in the U.S.

Which New Vehicles Have the Best Technology?


PC Magazine has listed what they feel are the vehicles with the best technology. For the second year the BMW X5 was listed as their top vehicle and took home the magazine's "Digital Drive Car of the Year" award. The X5 was picked because of its adaptive drive, spilt-screen navigation, real-time traffic reports and front and rear sonar.

Hyundai has plans to become one of the top 5 automakers by the end of the decade. The automaker is planning on releasing a whole new line of V8 rear wheel drive vehicles and a new budget minded vehicle for emerging markets.

The new 2008 Ford Focus has been spotted and as you can tell from the pics, it doesn't look much better than the current version. Ford unveiled the new 2008 Focus sedan and coupe at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. It is nice that they finally decided to freshen their aging U.S. Focus, but why won't Ford bring over the Focus that is sold in Europe?

2009 Audi A4 Spy Photos...Audi Takes Aim at the 3-Series


The 2009 Audi A4 is still more than a year away, but spy photographers have caught their first images of the new 3-Series fighter. Audi is determined to be one of the top, if not the top luxury automakers. The new 2009 A4 is crucial to Audi's success.

Toyota is currently the leader in hybrid sales and they intend to stay that way. Last year the automaker sold 313,000 hybrids and this year they are expected to sell 430,000. Increased pressure from competitors and new diesel technology is forcing the automaker to find ways to cut costs. Toyota hopes to make as much money on hybrids as they do from conventional cars by the end of the decade.

Brenda Priddy and Co. have finally caught a thinly disguised 2008 Honda Accord Sedan during testing. Thanks to Autoblog and Temple of VTEC we now can see what the much anticipated car will look like. The new Accord looks very close to the coupe that was also caught testing a few weeks ago. The car pictured here is most likely a 4-cylinder version of the new car.

Honda has announced that it will put its new fuel-cell vehicle into production next year. The automaker is also working on another hybrid vehicle that will be cheaper and smaller than the current Civic Hybrid.

The 2008 Saab 9-3 SportCombi Pics Have Been Released


GM has released the first official photos of the new 2008 Saab 9-3 SportCombi (the wagon version of the 9-3). In addition to the new sheetmetal, the 9-3 line will get a new 255hp in the Aero version, new sound system, leather and new Xenon cornering headlights.

New images of the upcoming Nissan GT-R have surfaced in an unknown Japanese magazine. The images shown here do look like they may have been photoshopped, since the car in these pics differs somewhat from the test models that have been caught testing in Germany. There are extra vents around the rear wheels and the spoiler is a bit larger as well.

Spy Photographers have caught what appears to be Hyundai's new 2009 RWD Coupe in South Korea. It has been reported that the automaker plans on releasing numerous vehicles that will be built on the BH platform. That includes the new Genesis sedan, this coupe and a possible truck.

According to Automobile, the Toyota FT-HS is going to be released in 2009. The hybrid sports car has been given the green light.

According to the USA Today, built in navigation systems increase the depreciation of cars and trucks. These new findings are forcing automakers to rethink the $2,000 in dash systems that they currently offer.

Toyota recently unveiled the Hybrid X Concept at the Geneva Auto Show. The familiar shape of the concept car lead many people to believe that it was a preview of the next generation Prius. According to Automobile Magazine and Toyota insiders Toyota is going to offer three versions of the next generation Prius.

In the past month GM has announced that their sales were down due to the slowing housing market and increasing gas prices. The automaker also stated that the sales of their new full-size pickups are not doing as well as they had hoped. Now comes word that the automaker is offering incentives to move the large trucks, since sales dropped 7% last month.

Fifth Gear has posted a review of the all-new 2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

According to VW insiders the company is hard at work on a rear-engine, water-cooled small car. The car supposedly mimics the layout and purpose of the original Beetle.

Should GM Discontinue Their Mid-Size SUVs?


According to The Car Connection, GM is rethinking the future of their mid-size SUVs. The site has received insider reports that it is very possible that the automaker may decide to discontinue future development on their GMT-360 SUVs such as the Chevrolet Trailblazer.

Spy photos of the upcoming Opel Vectra have surfaced. Most people know that the Opel Vectra is essentially the same thing as the Saturn Aura that we have here in the U.S. This is likely to continue with the next generation Vectra, which is due for 2010.

Another Look at the Upcoming 2008 Pontiac G8 in Red


Kicking Tires has posted some cell phone shots of the upcoming 2008 Pontiac G8. The car was unveiled earlier this year at the Chicago Auto Show.

The Chevy Volt Hybrid Could Take on the Prius in 2010


Since the concept version of the Chevrolet Volt was unveiled earlier this year, GM has been working hard on the production model. The project which is going to cost the automaker at least $500 million is as top of a priority as the new 2008 Chevy Malibu.

Audi is going to unveil a Cabrio version of its popular A3. The automaker wants to steal market share from MINI and the upcoming BMW 1-series.

In order to spark interest in the slow selling SLR McLaren, Mercedes-Benz has announced that they are going to offer a roadster version of the SLR McLaren supercar. The car is powered by supercharged 5.5L 615 horsepower AMG V8. The roadster can achieve a top speed of 207 miles per hour and 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds.

What are the Most Wanted Cars in the U.S. for 2007?

| 41 Comments has posted a list of the most wanted cars in 2007 based on reader feedback. Out of the 32 categories you may be surprised which automaker took home the most awards....

According to the Detroit Free Press, a proposal has been created to give automakers until 2020 to raise the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. By 2020 automakers in the U.S. would be required to raise the average fuel economy of their cars and trucks to 35 mpg.

There have been numerous postings lately of spy photos of the upcoming 2008 Saab 9-3. This latest photo shows the front end of the sedan with very little (if any) camouflage.

How Many Airbags Do We Actually Need to Be Safe?


Airbags have been in our cars for two decades. Recently automakers are trying to put as many airbags as they can into their new vehicles. But is it merely for added safety or another marketing tactic? Airbags are popping up in every area of the car from the side air bags to knee airbags. Are automakers going a little overboard or are the new airbags a welcome addition?

Transmission maker ZF has announced plans to produce an 8-speed automatic transmission that will likely be used in future Ford, BMW and VW vehicles. The transmission called the "8HP" will be used in the new 2009 BMW 7-Series that will debut in late 2008.

Just in case you thought the Jeep Compass couldn't get an uglier, Chrysler has just announced a Rallye package for the wannabe SUV.

The Car Connection has posted several images of the new 2009 Ford F-150 during testing outside of Detroit. Spy photographers managed to capture photos of the different configurations of the popular truck.

Last week it was reported that the executive vice-president of Volkswagen of America, Adrian Hallmark, did not want the upcoming VW Scirocco to come to the U.S. He fears that it would cannibalize sales of the popular GTI.

Recently I had the chance to drive the 2007 Nissan Altima S for the day. When given the choice at the rental car counter between a Ford Taurus, Chevy Impala, Pontiac Grand Prix or a brand new 2007 Nissan Altima, I immediately jumped at the chance to drive Nissan's popular mid-size sedan. With the ever-increasing gas prices, more economical sedans are becoming increasingly popular. The version I was given was a 2007 Altima S, which is the base 4-cylinder.

Audi has unveiled their new Audi A4 1.9 TDI e. The car features a 115 horsepower engine and is capable of using only 5.3L of diesel fuel per 100km, which translates to 44mpg, when the car is equipped with the six-speed manual.

Although Bob Lutz, Vice-Chaiman of GM, recently reported that GM RWD vehicles were being put on hold, it looks as though the Corvette SS managed to slip through. The Car Connection has posted spy photos of the new 2009 Corvette SS "Blue Devil". This uber Corvette will go against the Porsche Carerra GT and Ferrari.

Spy photographers have caught a Lamborghini Murcielago with carbon fiber body panels and a super large wing on the back, during testing. The supercar has been rumored to be a Superleggera version of the Murcielago.

Auto Sales Dip Due to a Slowing Economy

April's auto sales numbers have just been posted and almost every major automaker had a sales decrease last month. Even the Asian automakers that have been making headlines for their sales gains, took a hit.

Automakers have just released their April 2007 U.S. sales figures. Here is the list of the top 10 best selling vehicles last month (in order by number of sales). The bottom of the list may surprise you.

According to recent reports by Edmunds and the Detroit News, the new Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks are not selling as well as the automaker projected. The automaker was hoping that the all-new trucks would speed their recovery, but that may not be the case.

The 2009 Nissan Maxima Will Return to its Roots


The current Nissan Maxima has been overshadowed by the smaller Altima. According to some Nissan insiders the current Maxima has lost its way. Years ago it was seen as the sporty alternative to the Camry and Accord sedans. It was also even referred to as a Four-Door-Sports-Car (4DSC).

Chrysler Wants to Give You the Ultimate Baby Gift

| 1 Comment

In order to spark interest in its rather lackluster new Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler is going to sponsor a giveaway sweepstakes this month. The campaign's inspiration is the one-in-a-hundred date and in order to win you have to be expecting your own bundle of joy on 05/06/07.

2008 MINI Convertible Unveiled?


Braman MINI Palm Beach placed this photo of the yet to be released new MINI convertible on their website in the "New Car Specials" section. What is interesting is the fact that MINI has yet to release info and specs on the upcoming convertible. The current MINI convertible is still based on the last generation MINI and not the all-new 2007 version that was released two months ago.

Honda's Jazz/ Fit has been a great success for the company. The car known as the Fit in the U.S. had been on the market in the rest of the world before it made it here in spring 2006. Currently the car is one of the fastest selling cars in the Honda lineup and is hampered by the fact that Honda can not build enough of them. How often do you see a Fit at a Honda dealership?

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