October 2009 Archives

Mitsubishi has released a single sketch of its upcoming compact crossover that will draw styling cues from the 2007 Concept-cX show car.

The new compact crossover, which will be smaller than the current Outlander will be released first in Japan in February 2010. It's expected to be offered in the US later in 2010.

For those of us that have been complaining that Honda didn't choose to offer the Euro Accord wagon in the US instead of the 2010 Accord Crosstour, you can stop your whining. Acura has confirmed that the Euro Honda Accord wagon will be offered in the US in 2011 as the Acura TSX sport wagon.

Acura didn't release any other info about the new sport wagon and it's not known what will be changed from the Euro version, hopefully not much. It is slated to arrive in the fall of 2010.

Ford Names Geely as its "Preferred Bidder" for Volvo


Ford has announced that it is in negotiations with China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. to sell Volvo. If the deal does go though, Ford has no plans on retaining any ownership of Volvo.

Lewis Booth, Ford Motor Company executive vice president and chief financial officer stated "Ford believes Geely has the potential to be a responsible future owner of Volvo and to take the business forward while preserving its core values and the independence of the Swedish brand. But there is much work that needs to be completed in the more substantive discussions that are agreed to take place. We have no specific timeline to conclude the discussions."

Stephen Odell, Volvo CEO also stated that "Volvo's management team welcomes today's announcement as a positive step forward. At Volvo, we are continuing to keep our attention firmly fixed on engineering and building great Volvo cars, to reduce our cost base and to return the business to sustainable profitability at the earliest possible opportunity."

Fiat to Kill Most of Chrysler's Current Models


Chrysler is expected to unveil its 5-year plan next week on November 4th, but the Wall Street Journal has revealed many of the details we can expect to hear next week.

The plan is calling for the end of many of the Chrysler models that are currently in US showrooms. Many of the models will be replaced by vehicles from Fiat and Alfa Romeo.

Expect more details next week, but for now here's a list of what models we can expect to see either die or survive...

As we sit here and wait patiently for Subaru to unveil its version of the rear-wheel-drive coupe, that is a result of the collaboration with Toyota, more speculation continues to surface about what we might see. Toyota already unveiled a concept version of its coupe codenamed FT-86, the Subaru version has been codenamed 086A and will supposedly bigger and badder than its twin.

Well the latest reports are claiming that Subaru's coupe will be all-wheel-drive instead of the rear-wheel-drive setup of the Toyota version. The base engine will be a turbocharged 2.0L with 250 horsepower and the STI version will put out 308 horsepower. The Subaru coupe is also going to be bigger than its Toyota twin. Lastly more power, all-wheel-drive and bigger exterior dimensions also means that the Subaru version will be priced higher than the Toyota.

Chrysler is still planning on introducing a hybrid-powered Dodge Ram in 2010, but a diesel-powered model is up in the air. Chrysler announced last year that both models would be introduced in 2010, but those plans may have changed.

Scott Kunselman, Chrysler senior vice president of engineering confirmed that the hybrid is still on, but wouldn't comment on the future of the diesel. Only saying that he doesn't think there is enough of a market among recreational buyers for the diesel. We can expect more details when Chrysler will outline its five-year business and product plan on November 4th.

The hybrid powertrain for the Ram is the result of a partnership between General Motors Co., BMW AG and Daimler AG.

Although Honda now has the Insight and Civic hybrids and the upcoming CR-Z, Honda is missing a larger hybrid to compete with the Fusion and Camry hybrids. Honda did have an Accord hybrid with the last generation, but the fact that it was mated to a six-cylinder, many of us didn't notice it. Well it looks like Honda is finally working on a new hybrid system that will be offered in Honda's larger models like the Accord.

According to the Automotive News, Honda is working on a new hybrid system for its larger vehicles that will be different than the current system offered in the Civic and Insight. The new system will use two electric motors compared to the single electric motor that Honda is currently using.

"That is one major initiative we are working on," COO of automobile operations at Honda Tsuneo Tanai, told Automotive News. "The motor will have higher output. There will be dual motors, with a larger battery that enables the car to be driven in all-electric mode."

Tanai did not reveal when we can expect to see the new system and which vehicles it will be offered in. According to Japan's Nikkei business daily Honda is planning a hybrid minivan in 2011.

The Honda Civic has consistently remained near the top of the sales charts for years, but according to the latest reports, product chief Tsuneo Tanai has told engineers to go back to the drawing board for the next Civic. When gas prices spiked and the economy took a nose dive, the Civic was in high demand. It even managed to become the best selling vehicle in the US in May 2008. But Tanai is obviously not satisfied with the current state of the Civic and has ordered that the new Civic needs to be smaller, cheaper, lighter and more fuel efficient.

The change for the Civic was reportedly ordered last year, so it is not certain what this will mean for the next Civic which was expected to be unveiled at the end of 2010 as a 2011 model. Hopefully there won't be much of a delay since the Civic is going to have to go head to head with the next Focus and Chevy Cruze.

BMW is Not Planning a High-Performance 5-Series GT M


BMW recently released M versions of its X5 and X6 SUVs, but according to the latest reports BMW is not planning an M version of the 5-Series GT.

A source told AutoCar that the most powerful 5-Series GT will be the twin-turbo V8 550i.

BMW is also not planning an M version of the new Z4.

Toyota May Revive the Celica Name for its Upcoming RWD Coupe


Toyota recently unveiled a concept version of its new rear-wheel-drive coupe in Tokyo. The production version that is the result of a collaboration between Toyota and Subaru is expected to go on sale some time in 2012. Toyota hasn't announced what the official name will be for the coupe, but according to Autocar, the coupe could be named the Celica.

The concept is currently badged FT-86, but the latest rumors are suggesting that Toyota is currently evaluating the Celica name since it has a long history.

2010 Subaru Outback Wins Motor Trend's SUV of the Year Award


Motor Trend has announced the recipient of this year's 2010 Sport Utility of the Year Award and for the second year in a row it goes to a Subaru. The 2010 Subaru Outback has been named the SUV of the Year.

MOTOR TREND editor-in-chief, Angus MacKenzie, said, "The 2010 Subaru Outback offers a unique combination of comfort, efficiency, versatility and value. It boasts car-like refinement, drivability and gas mileage on the road, yet is as capable in the rough stuff as all but the most off-road focused sport utilities. Thoughtfully engineered, cleverly detailed and competitively priced, the Subaru Outback is a terrific all-rounder with broad appeal."

The Outback beat out the Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Toyota 4Runner and others to take this year's award. Last year the Subaru Forester took home the award.

Regal Name Returns for Next Buick Mid-Size Sedan


GM is hard at work on fixing Buick's portfolio. It was just announced that the Regal name is going to return on Buick's next mid-size sport sedan. The announcement was made at the Buick GMC dealer business meeting.

"The transformation of Buick began with our luxury crossover, the Buick Enclave and continued this year with the launch of the 2010 LaCrosse premium sedan," said Susan Docherty, Buick GMC General Manager. "We're thrilled to announce that the Regal will be the next member of the Buick family."

The Regal name hasn't been used on a Buick model in six years, but it continues to be one of the top nameplates that consumers remember.

GM did not release any details on when it will return.

Motor Trend 2010 SUV of the Year Contenders Announced


Motor Trend has announced the list of SUV contenders for its "SUV of the Year" award.

Of course this award is great to whomever wins, due to all of the bragging rights that come along with it. It's usually heavily used in every ad campaign. Last year the Subaru Forester took home the award.

Which SUV do you think should win this year's award?

Another Sketch of Subaru's 086A (FT-86) STI Coupe


Subaru has given the details of what we can expect to see in Tokyo next month, but unfortunately we will not see a concept version of its version of the FT-86 coupe that it is working on with Toyota. For now we have to make due with the numerous sketches and spy photos.

More details continue to surface about Subaru's version (086A) and now we have more details of what might be in store for the STI version. According Japanese publication Holiday Auto, the regular Subaru 086A will be very close to Toyota's version, although it will have subtle styling tweaks, but will be powered by the same 2.0L flat-four boxer engine. The STI version gets more exciting by using the 2.5L flat-four with between 240-250 horsepower. The STI version would also get more styling tweaks to make room for a wider track and wheels. The addition of STi only aero parts lke a unique front bumper and rear spoiler are also expected.

2010 Ford Mustang NASCAR Nationwide Car Unveiled


In July Ford announced that the Mustang would compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series beginning in July 2010. Today we have our first glimpse of the Mustang that will race in the series, which is a collaboration with Roush Fenway Racing and Con-way Freight.

21 year old Colin Braun will drive the No. 16 Con-way Freight Mustang.

"I'm so happy that Con-way Freight decided to move up with me to the Nationwide Series for 2010," Braun said. "They have been a great sponsor for the past two years in the truck series so it means a lot to me that they will continue to support me in the future. I'm also looking forward to driving a Mustang next year. I've always thought they are such incredible cars, but have never owned one. Maybe when I win my first race the guys at Ford will want to give me one of my own."

Ford Recalls 4.5 Million Vehicles Due to a Faulty Switch


Ford is expanding its largest recall ever over a faulty switch that has lead to at least 550 vehicle fires and many complaints.

The recall concerns cruise-control deactivation switches, made by Texas Instruments that were installed in 16 million Fords over a decade before Ford stopped using them in 2002. This new announcement of an additional 4.5 million vehicles being recalled brings the total to more than 14 million vehicles in eight separate recalls over a 10-year period. Part of the recall includes nearly 1.1 million 1995-2003 Ford Windstar vans.

"Ford is making a safety-related defect determination for the Windstar vehicles," James Vondale, director of Ford's automotive safety office, said in the letter. "We have not made a safety-related defect determination for the other vehicles included in this recall, but are including them to avoid any future concerns related to a potential fire risk resulting from the Texas Instruments (switch) either from the agency or from our customers."

The switch that is being recalled deactivates the cruise control once the driver presses down on the brake pedal.

2010 MItsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Touring Starts at $40,990


Mitsubishi has released the pricing for its top Lancer Evolution model, the Lancer Evolution MR Touring. The MR Touring model starts at $40,990 and easily moves the car into the price range of many luxury models.

The MR Touring comes standard with the all the good stuff as the MR model, which includes the 291-hp turbocharged four-cylinder, six-speed dual clutch transmission, S-AWC all-wheel-drive system, Brembo brakes and 18-inch BBS wheels. What the Touring adds is a standard glass sunroof, a subtle lip spoiler and leather heated Recaro seats.

If those features aren't enough Mitsubishi has a list of extra's that can be added to the car and if you go crazy enough and select all of them you're looking at a price tag of $52,728. Wow!

Subaru SVX to Return based on Hybrid Tourer Concept


Who remembers the Subaru SVX from the 90's? The SVX was produced from 1991 to 1997 and was Subaru's first attempt at making GT Coupe. Although the SVX failed to meet expectations, Subaru is reportedly working on a successor.

According to the latest reports, Subaru is working on a new coupe that will be based on the same platform as the Hybrid Tourer Concept that is going to be unveiled next week in Tokyo. The car would be powered by a turbocharged 2.5L boxer engine, although a hybrid powerplant is also a possibility. The SVX successor would target high-end performance models.

The SVX is in addition to the FT-86 coupe that Subaru is working on with Toyota.

The current VW Beetle was all the rage when it debuted in 1998. VW also managed to sell 83,434 New Beetles in 1999, but since then sales have continued to decline to only 26,477 units last year. Over 10 years since it was released, the Beetle now barely registers on the radar and has been overshadowed by other retro vehicles like the Mini. Well VW is finally working on a successor that will arrive in 2012 and according to Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, the next model will have better packaging and a larger back seat.

According to Jacoby the major complaint about the Beetle, besides its age is that it has a cramped back seat. The new Beetle will indeed have a bigger back seat, but Jacoby was quick to state that that doesn't necessarily mean that it will be bigger.

Jacoby also stated that he sees the next Beetle as more of a halo car for the brand.

Spy Shots: Volvo Tests the 2011 S60 in Copenhagen


Volvo has released a few official photos of a 2011 S60 prototype being tested with Volvo's new Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection system in the streets of Copenhagen.

The new technology has been tested for the past ten years and will make it's first appearance on the new S60.

"Our aim is that this new technology should help the driver avoid collisions with pedestrians at speeds below 25 km/h. If the car is travelling faster, the aim is to reduce the impact speed as much as possible. In most cases, we can reduce the collision force by about 75 percent. Considering the large number of pedestrian fatalities that occur, if we manage to lower the fatality risk by 20 percent this new function will make a big difference. In specific situations the fatality reduction can be up to 85 percent," says Thomas Broberg.

Subaru Releases More Photos of its Hybrid Tourer Concept


Subaru has released more photos of the Hybrid Tourer Concept that is set to debut in Tokyo.

The gullwing Hybrid Tourer Concept is a four-passenger concept that is Subaru's first attempt at a hybrid vehicle. The concept is powered by two electric motors that get their juice from a lithium-ion battery pack and a 2.0L boxer engine with direct-injection.

More Photos of Toyota's FT-86 Concept...Check out the Details


Here are some more photos of Toyota's FT-86 Concept, thanks to ft86club that is set to debut in Tokyo.

Chevy to Account for 70 Percent of GM's Sales


Now that Saturn, Pontiac, Saab and HUMMER are no longer under the GM umbrella, GM's remaining plans have to pick up those lost sales. Chevy in particular is being given the task of recovering GM's lost market share.

Vice president of Chevrolet, Brent Dewar, wants Chevy to represent 70 percent of GM's North American sales. "As Pontiac goes away, Saturn goes away," Dewar said, "Chevrolet has to step up. The 70 percent target is the right kind of number we need to work on."

So far Chevy has been responsible for more than 60 percent of GM's sales in 2009, which is up from 54 percent in 2002. GM plans to boost Chevy sales with new models like the Cruze and Volt.

Breaking News: GM Officially Sells HUMMER to Tengzhong


General Motors has officially reached an agreement with Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., to sell HUMMER, with Tengzhong acquiring 80 percent of brand. The remaining 20 percent has been acquired by Suolang Duoji, a private entrepreneur.

"HUMMER is a strong global niche brand and this agreement signifies another important milestone in writing the next chapter for both GM and HUMMER," said Fritz Henderson, GM President and CEO. "For HUMMER, the combination of its knowledgeable leadership team, vehicle design expertise and the capital financing of Tengzhong portend a successful future."

Under the agreement, GM is going to continue to build the HUMMER H2 and H3 models for Tengzhong until June 2011. There is an optional one year extension that would extend the contract to June 2012. Recent reports have claimed that the sale of HUMMER will bring in $150 million to GM.

Porsche is Reportedly Working on a Panamera Convertible


Sources recently told the Automotive News that Porsche is contemplating a convertible (cabrio) version of its new four-door Panamera. If Porsche decides to green light the Cabrio version of the Panamera it will be a two-door with a soft top. There are also rumors circulating that a GT Coupe is also being considered.

Porsche hasn't confirmed that the existence of a Panamera Cabrio or GT Coupe, but Porsche R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer has implied that more variants of the Panamera could be on the way.

Before either the Cabrio or GT Coupe make it to market expect V6 and hybrid powered versions of the Panamera. A diesel powered model is supposedly also in the works.

New Sketches of Subaru's Version of the FT-86 Unveiled


Toyota unveiled a concept version of its upcoming rear-wheel-drive sports coupe, the FT-86 concept a few days ago. The coupe is the result of a collaboration between Toyota and Subaru, so we've all been waiting to see what the Subaru version is going to look like.

Autocar has posted a few sketches of what Subaru's version of the coupe may look like. Although the final design is far from finalized. There are supposedly a few hurdles within Subaru that need to be addressed first. Such as the fact that Subaru has built its brand upon the existence of all-wheel-drive in all of its vehicles. Subaru has never built a small rear-wheel-drive coupe. Subaru may rework the car to feature all-wheel-drive, but it may add weight. Subaru is also having issues sharing its technology with Toyota.

Subaru is supplying the 2.0L boxer engine and the basic platform for both cars. Also both cars are set to be produced at Subaru's facility in Japan.

Toyota is set to unveil it's version of the coupe, but it's not known when Subaru will.

VW Officials Confirm 2010 Golf GTI-R for the US


During an event in Wolfsburg yesterday, VW officials confirmed that the recently unveiled Golf R will indeed be sold in the US as the GTI-R. The GTI-R will replace the R32.

When the GTI-R reaches the US it will be powered by a 265-hp 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to either a manual transmission or Volkswagen's DSG. VW's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system will send the power to all four wheels. When equipped with the DSG the GTI-R reaches 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds and the top speed is limited to 155 mph.

Expect the GTI-R to hit US dealerships sometime next year.

In addition to the unveiling of the Leaf EV at the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan is also going to show off another electric vehicle, the Land Glider Concept. Nissan boasts that its extremely narrow dimensions will help it maneuver through traffic in urban areas and make it easier to park.

The Land Glider concept holds two passengers in a cockpit that looks like it came directly out of a video game. What is interesting is that the concept has the ability to lean like a motorcycle through turns.

Check out the pics and video after the jump.

2010 Green Car of the Year Finalists Announced


Green Car Journal has announced the five finalists for its Green Car of the Year award.

And the finalists are:

-Audi A3 TDI
-Honda Insight
-Mercury Milan Hybrid
-Toyota Prius
-Volkswagen Golf TDI

The winner of the 2010 Green Car of the Year award will be announced at the 2009 LA Auto Show on December 3.

Which car do you think should win?

Honda CR-Z Will Only be Offered as a Hybrid


If you were hoping that Honda was eventually going to release a non-hybrid version of its upcoming CR-Z hybrid, it looks like your hopes are lost. Although a CR-Z with the 2.0L from the Civic Si would have been awesome, according to a source it's not going to happen.

"This will definitely only be a hybrid," a source said. "The whole direction of Honda is hybrids and this car is designed all around a hybrid powertrain. The car isn't boring; it is responsive and fun."

Although the CR-Z has been dubbed the spiritual successor to the much-loved CR-X from the 80's, it's not going to be offered with a high revving conventional engine.

Infiniti Confirms M35 Hybrid for 2012 Model Year


Infiniti virtually unveiled the 2011 Infiniti M at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August and today the automaker revealed plans for the introduction of the 2012 M35 Hybrid and its JDM equivalent the Nissan Fuga.

Infiniti's first hybrid, the M35 hybrid will not rely on Toyota's technology like the Nissan Altima hybrid, but rather a new internally developed hybrid system. The M35 hybrid will be Infiniti's cleanest and most fuel efficient model. It will primarily be powered by a 3.5L V6 that sends the power to the rear wheels. Infiniti claims that the hybrid components will only add to the driving experience and not take away from it, like most other hybrids. The electric motor is powered by a laminated lithium-ion battery that holds twice the power of nickel-metal hydride batteries and cools twice as fast because it's lamination.

The Infiniti M is expected to go on sale early next year as a 2011 model, with the hybrid following a year later as a 2012 model.

DeLorean to Ressurrect the Pontiac Solstice?


There are some strange rumors brewing between DeLorean Motor Company and Pontiac. You will recall that DeLorean was responsible for the production of the "Back to the Future" car in the 80's. Well since then the company has basically been just servicing the old DMC's. Now there are rumors that DeLorean may be considering buying the recently killed Pontiac Solstice platform and the Wilmington Assembly Plant that produced it from GM.

Apparenly DeLorean's founder had a long history with Pontiac, so it's current management is speculating if their founder would have tried to save it.

"JZD always said that the best memories of his automotive career were at Pontiac, and that connection between JZD and Pontiac is probably one of the better known associations among car enthusiasts," said James Espey, Vice President of the DeLorean Motor Company.

Currently the company has a Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe in its possession for evaluation. DeLorean has also released the drawings you see here.

BMW to Release "0 Series" Based on MINI Platform


BMW has said in the past that the automaker has no plans to ever offer a front-wheel-drive, but it looks like that will soon change. It's being reported that BMW is currently working on a new line dubbed the 0 Series that will share its platform with the next generation MINI.

If the rumors are true, the 0 Series will hit showrooms by 2013 in three-door, five-door, and roadster versions.

VW "NMS" to Replace Passat and Phaeton Returns to the US

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Volkswagen of America president Stefan Jacoby recently confirmed that the upcoming sedan codenamed "NMS" will replace the Passat in the US. The new sedan is to be built at Volkswagen's new facility in Tennessee.

Jacoby admitted that the current Passat is too small for American car buyers. The new sedan will be introduced in about two years and arrive as a 2012 or 2013 model.

In addition to the news about the Passat, Jacoby also stated that pulling the Phaeton from the US market after the 2006 model year was a mistake. "You need to be patient to enter a new segment." The new Phaeton is expected to arrive by the end of next year in Europe. Jacoby did not state when it will be sold in the US again.

Study: Small Car Buyers are Having Buyers Remorse


Last year when gas prices topped $4.50 a gallon in many parts of the country, car buyers ditched their large SUVs and trucks for smaller cars like the Honda Fit, but now many of those buyers are beginning to regret their purchase.

Gas prices are not quite as high as they were last year, which is part of the explanation for why truck sales have rebounded from last year. Car buyers have all but forgotten how painful it was to see near $5 prices and have moved back into larger vehicles. According to the latest figures subcompact car sales are off 15 percent year to date and compact cars are off 28.5 percent. Popular small cars like the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit sales are down 41 percent and 8.2 percent respectively.

It get's worse for the small car market, according to a new study by AutoPacific, small car buyers are not happy with their small cars.

Just in time for your the start of your holiday shopping Jaguar is releasing a limited edition XJL Supercharged that will be featured in this year's Neiman Marcus catalog. Only 50 of the limited edition 2010 Jaguar XJL sedans will be sold.

The 2010 Jaguar XJL Supercharged Neiman Marcus Edition starts with the extended wheelbase XJL equipped with the 470-hp 5.0L V8 and adds exclusive Celestial Black paint and 20-inch wheels. Inside there is a special nameplate that marks the car as one of the special 50 produced.

If you can wait a little longer, the XJ will be on sale in early 2010.

US-Spec 2011 Ford Fiesta to Debut at LA Auto Show


This December we will finally get our first look at the US-spec Ford Fiesta that has been on sale in Europe since last year. We've seen the Fiesta all over the internet, print, television, etc., but those Fiesta's were never US-spec. The Fiesta destined for the US will have a slightly different look thanks to our different crash standards.

The Fiesta is the number two best-selling car in Europe, with almost 340,000 units sold since it was launched last autumn.

The official unveiling of the Fiesta in December marks the culmination of the first phase of the Fiesta Movement, which has led to more than 50,000 hand-raisers for the Fiesta, 97 percent of whom currently do not drive a Ford.

"This is the perfect time to show the North American Fiesta," said Sam De La Garza, Ford Fiesta marketing manager. "The Fiesta Movement will have wrapped up, and after hearing so much about this car leading up to the reveal, everyone will finally get to see what we are so excited about."

The 2011 Fiesta is set to arrive in showrooms by next summer.

Porsche Exec States Creating a Budget Porsche is Top Priority


Wolfgang Duerheimer, head of development at Porsche recently told Germany's Automobilwoche that creating a model that is significantly cheaper than the current Boxster is top priority for the automaker. What does this mean? It looks like Porsche is going to get a version of the Volkswagen Bluesport concept.

Volkswagen unveiled the Bluesport Concept earlier this year. The two-seater mid-engine roadster is powered by a 2.0L diesel. If a Porsche version is for sure in the works, expect it to share most of its mechanicals with the VW version.

Honda Releases Interior Photos of the 2010 Accord Crosstour


Honda has released interior photos of the controversial 2010 Accord Crosstour.

Honda describes the interior of the Accord Crosstour as "versatile" with its one touch lever, which is used to fold the rear seats from the cargo area and under floor hidden storage area. The dashboard is pretty much right out of the sedan version.

Does the interior help you like this car any better than before?

In addition to the release of more photos, Honda has confirmed that the Accord Crosstour will come standard with a 3.5L V6 with 4-wheel-drive being optional. Honda has yet to release the final specs, but the vehicle will be on sale in November.

We've been hearing for a while that Toyota and Subaru have been working on a new rear-wheel-drive coupe together. Well here is our first look at the concept that is going to be unveiled this month in Tokyo.

The concept is inspired by the Corolla-based AE86 sports coupe of the 1980's and was designed in France. It is powered by a 2.0L boxer engine from Subaru that sends the power to the rear wheels.

The production version is expected to be unveiled sometime next year with sales starting at the end of 2011. The expected starting price is around $20,000.

Saturn Will Officially be Done in Four Months


Last week an unexpected announcement from GM and Penske that the pending deal was off, led to the unfortunate death of the Saturn brand. Shortly after the official announcement that GM would be killing Saturn, all production ended.

According to Mark LaNeve, GM's vice president of U.S. sales, GM has about 12,000 Saturns currently in its inventory.

"We sold about 3,000 Saturns last month, so that's about a four-month supply if you maintain that selling pace," LaNeve said. "I don't think [the canceled sale of the brand] will affect our total 2010 production rate at all."

Honda's CEO Says "Hyundai is Awesome"

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Honda's CEO Takanobu Ito recently stated that he sees Hyundai as a major threat to the Japanese automakers.

"Hyundai is awesome," said Takanobu. "They are undoubtedly a threat because their products are cheap, and the quality is improving."

Hyundai's sales have been improving, while many of its other competitors have seen its sales decline in the last year. Obviously new products like the Genesis are changing the perception of the brand and it's no longer seen as the throw away car brand of the 80's.

The rumor that Chrysler was going to create a standalone Dodge Ram brand has been confirmed. Chrysler has announced new CEO appointments for both the Dodge Ram and Dodge car brands.

"The brand-focused strategy has been refined further with the unbundling of the Dodge Brand which now consists of the Dodge RAM Brand and the Dodge Car Brand organizations. This reorganization will allow us to protect and develop the unique nature of the product offerings within the Dodge Brand," Mr. Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Group LLC said.

Fred Diaz Jr. has been appointed President and CEO, Dodge Ram brand, while Ralph Gilles has been appointed President and CEO, Dodge Car Brand.

2011 Chevy Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle Hits the Streets


GM has announced the 2011 Chevy Caprice Patrol Vehicle for North America. The Chevy Caprice Patrol Vehicle is based on the Zeta-platform that is the basis for the Chevy Caprice in the Middle East. Sorry to disappoint you if you were hoping that it's a version of the Holden Commodore, a.k.a. Pontiac G8.

Initially it will be powered by an E85-compatible 6.0-liter V8 that puts out 355 horsepower and 385 lb-ft. of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic. GM claims the cop car reaches 0-60 mph in less than six seconds. GM is also going to offer a V6 version in 2012.

Sorry you can't buy one...

Audi e-Tron Electric Car Gets the Green Light


Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen has confirmed that an electric vehicle based on the e-Tron concept that debuted in Frankfurt will be on the market in two to three years.

"I expect we will see running examples in the next 24 months," he says.

The e-Tron concept is powered by four individual electric motors, one on each axle. Audi says that the concept is capable of traveling 154 miles thanks to its lithium-ion battery. The e-Tron concept features styling that is similar to the R8, but is shorter with different front and rear fascias.

VIDEO: Honda Has Sure Come a Long Way Since 1972


Kinda hilarious. It's a little hard to tell what she is saying throughout the whole commercial.

The general manager for Buick GMC, Susan Docherty recently did a web chat on the GM FastLane blog where she stated that the new GMC Terrain is not going to be offered with a diesel engine or a Denali version.

Docherty also stated that GM has no plans to produce a Buick version of the Chevy Equinox/ GMC Terrain. GM originally planned to produce a Buick version, but pulled the plug in late August due to negative feedback. Docherty called out the early success of the Terrain by announcing that there has been limited availability, which should improve in October.

Bugatti unveiled the 16C Galibier Concept in Frankfurt last month and reportedly it has been given the green light for production according to Auto Express.

The four-door concept features a 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine borrowed from the Veyron, which will be detuned to 800 horsepower and mated to a conventional eight speed transmission. It's estimated that the Galibier would reach a top speed of 220 mph.

If these reports are true expect to see the Galibier's release in 2013 with a price tag of £900,000 price tag, which is about $1.4 million.

Nissan Unveils Sketches of its Future Global Compact Car


Nissan has released two sketches of its new Global Compact Car. The new car will be launched in Thailand next March and eventually will be sold in 150 countries. This will replace the current Micra in Europe

Nissan hasn't announced if the car will make it to the US where it would slot in below the Versa in Nissan's lineup. Although from these sketches it's much better looking than the Versa.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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