Warning: Declaration of Suffusion_MM_Walker::start_el(&$output, $item, $depth, $args) should be compatible with Walker_Nav_Menu::start_el(&$output, $item, $depth = 0, $args = Array, $id = 0) in /homepages/39/d299654978/htdocs/wp-content/themes/suffusion/library/suffusion-walkers.php on line 39
Apr 262009
 

 

Pontiac, the 83 year-old General Motors brand once dubbed as the “excitement division” of the Detroit OE manufacturer, will be eliminated Monday, April 27.

According to The Detroit News, the demise of the Pontiac brand is part of the government-supervised restructuring plan of the automotive industry. GM is also set to close additional production plants and cut jobs to further reduce its $28 billion in unsecured debt.

Sure, Pontiac may have been an “exciting” brand in the past with the venerable old school GTO introduced in the 60s. But there have been nothing exciting about the forgettable Aztek, the front wheel drive Grand Am (’85 and up), the crappy G5 (rebadged Chevy Colbat), and the G6, which is just an updated & rebadged Grand Am. What about the latest GTO / G8? Both are made by Holden, GM’s subsidiary in Australia, and Holden is no General Motors (in a good way). What about the Pontiac Solstice? You can buy the same car as a Saturn or Opel (Germany), all sharing the same underpinnings. Hell, the Solstice’s roots can be traced back to the Opel Speedster / Vauxhall VX220.  There’s nothing original about any of their cars.

Rather than being an exciting brand, Pontiac – much like GM’s other brands – have incited an endless chain of yawns. And having no small car strategy has for sure hurt this brand. Personally speaking, I have never considered a Pontiac vehicle when shopping for a new car. Needless to say, I won’t miss it one bit.

Apr 202009
 

Daniel Lewis

This past weekend, Michael Bay released a new teaser for Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. The movie is scheduled to be released on June 24th, 2009. I hope it is as good as the first Transformers movie, but history tells us that sequels usually fall short.

PS. Does Megan Fox’s club thumb lower her hotness ranking?

Megan's Thumb

Apr 172009
 

new_q7_front_quarter_shot

Photos courtesy of Audi of America, Inc.

With their tremendous level of success in ALMS and Le Mans racing, it was only time before Audi’s TDI diesel technology made its way down to the consumer. We’re a big fan of diesel – and curious as to why it hasn’t caught on in the States as it has in Europe – and excited to see it makes inroads in the US market. In line with this, Audi has introduced the brand new 2010 Audi Q7 TDI. Highlights include:

  • New front lighting design and LED daytime running lights – which has become a trademark of sorts for Audi

new_q7_led_taillights

  • New full LED rear lights (LED running lights, brake lights, and turn signals)

new_q7_interior_shot

  • New MMI navigation system – third generation MMI shows latest evolution of 3D navigation, joystick control for navigation map destination finding, updated graphical clarity, SIRIUS artist/title preview, SIRIUS traffic-based navigation, voice-based destination input control, and voice inputs such as “I’m hungry,” “I need money,” “I need gas” and “I need coffee” that will point to closest options within current vicinity
  • 25 mpg highway (!) and over 600 highway miles of range one tankful of diesel fue
  • Bin5 / ULEV (ultra low emissions vehicle) II 50-state status; Audi clean diesel is measured on the same emissions basis as gasoline-based engines, but with 30% better fuel efficiency
  • When comparing diesel fuel prices 1:1 to Audi-recommended Super unleaded gasoline, the price differential will pay for itself over a few years time, and even sooner if resale value, and the Alternative Motor Vehicle credit is taken into consideration
  • 5-star crash test ratings from NHTSA NCAP, “Top Safety Pick” from IIHS\
  • S line package option provides up to 21 inch wheels with 295/35 tires
  • Six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes provide ample stopping power

new_q7_tdi_engine

  • Turbocharger optimized for US market, with torque peak arriving sooner than current EU model.
  • 225 hp / 406 lb-ft
  • Variable turbine geometry generates 23.2 lbs of boost (1.6 BAR), with its vanes powered by an electric servo motor to improve propulsive power at low speeds – taken from Audi’s sister company Porsche?

Frankly, we can’t wait to get our hands on this new Q7. Audi plans to launch the vehicle in Fall 2009 as a 2010 model.

Sourcebox

Audi of America, Inc.
2200 Ferdinand Porsche Drive
Herndon, VA 20171
1-800-FOR-AUDI (367-2834)

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

Apr 162009
 
denso_ikh22_iridium_spark_plug

Denso Iridium Spark Plug After 15,000 Miles

With this feature, we launch a new category of editorial on RevdCars.com: “Cheap Thrills.” These aren’t the kind of thrills that will likely get you arrested and thrown in the slammer. Rather, these are small, affordable upgrades you can perform on your car to achieve better performance, realiability and / or driving experience.

Reportedly invented by Edmond Berger in 1839, spark plugs are the often-overlooked component of an engine. Most people don’t give a second thought to replacing them, relegating this rather simple maintenance item to their dealer or local mechanic during a “tune up” (newer vehicles really don’t need “tune ups” per se). But checking and replacing your vehicle’s spark plugs at regular intervals can pay dividends.

Our in-house Mitsubishi Evolution IX MR came equipped with NGK Iridium spark plugs from the factory. Compared to spark plugs with a conventional copper center electrode, iridium spark plugs – due to the high temperature nature of iridium – allow the use of a smaller center electrode, which will not melt or corrode away. When you combine this increased level of durability and the more efficient spark afforded by iridium, these spark plugs will provide more efficient combustion translating into performance and economy gains. Indeed, the advantages iridium spark plugs permit are ideal for high performance applications like the turbocharged 4G63 engine in the Evo IX.

At 15,000 miles on the odometer, the NGK’s were swapped for Denso Iridium spark plugs. Although the Mitsubishi service manual advises a longer change interval, we were pleased by the results. Immediately, idle smoothed out and engine response was improved. Now with 30,000 miles on the odometer, we checked out the Denso Iridium plugs previously installed. The plugs looked almost new, the center electrode showing no signs of any corrosion or melting. And idle and engine response is still excellent.

While we can certainly continue to use the plugs, we figured as long as they were out, we’d install a fresh set. Sure, iridium plugs do cost more than standard copper or platinum plugs, but the performance and efficiency advantages they offer more than justify the extra cost in our opinion. Even if your pocketbook does not permit spending upward of $25 per plug, regularly checking and replacing your vehicle’s spark plugs will enhance the vehicle ownership and driving experience.

Sourcebox

Denso Sales California, Inc.
3900 Via Oro Avenue
Long Beach CA 90815
(888) 96-DENSO

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

Apr 152009
 
brawn_diffuser

Brawn GP's Controversial Rear Diffuser

Finally, the FIA has put the final rubber stamp of approval on the disputed “illegal” diffusers in use by Formula 1 teams Brawn, Williams and Toyota. The FIA’s International Court of Appeal rejected claims made by Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Red Bull, stipulating that the diffusers being used by the aforementioned squads were in breach of the technical regulations for 2009. Furthermore, they backed the decisions of the FIA stewards at the recent races in Australia and Malaysia, where they deemed the diffusers in line with regulations as well.

It all boils down to Brawn, Williams and Toyota being smart and ahead of the curve, whereas the contesting teams were left holding the bag. Now, the “race” for the losers will boil down to retrofitting their existing chassis with look-alikes of these disputed diffusers. But considering how aerodynamics is such a black art, and with no testing allowed, how they will manage to make it work is a mystery. With this decision, it’s not a long shot for Brawn to potentially take the F1 Constructor’s title and perhaps Jenson Button taking the Driver’s title for 2009.

Here’s the statement from the FIA:

“The FIA International Court of Appeal has decided to deny the appeals submitted against decisions numbered 16 to 24 taken by the Panel of the Stewards on 26 March at the 2009 Grand Prix of Australia and counting towards the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Based on the arguments heard and evidence before it, the Court has concluded that the Stewards were correct to find that the cars in question comply with the applicable regulations.

Full reasons for this decision will be provided in due course.”

Now that this particular saga is over, LET’S GET BACK TO THE BUSINESS OF RACING!

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

Apr 152009
 

While we are evaluating the 2009 Nissan 370Z with Sport Package…

The 350Z was hugely popular with the aftermarket crowd and we foresee the same level of popularity and aftermarket support for the 370Z. It is a new platform so it will take a bit of time for manufacturers to develop parts for the car. We will update this list as often as necessary to provide you with as comprehensive a list as possible.

Some of the parts listed below have been introduced / launched in Japan, but not in the States. Please verify compatibility and availability with each brand’s respective distributor in the US.

**Brake pads listed below are designated for the optional sport brake package (4-piston front / 2-piston rear) ONLY**

Brake Pads (OE Replacement; F/R) – Street

Brake Pads (OE Replacement; F/R) – Street & Track

Brake Pads (OE Replacement; F/R) – Track

Brake Kits

Engine – Exhaust

Engine – Intake

Suspension / Chassis

Sourcebox

Endless / Zeal USA
18421 Gothard St. Suite #200.
Huntington Beach, CA. 92648
(714) 847-0694

HKS USA
13401 S. Main Street

Los Angeles, CA 90061
(310) 491-3300

Mackin Industries (Project µ)
9921 Jordan Circle
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
(562) 946-6820

Tein USA (Tein / Fujitsubo)
9798 Firestone Blvd.
Downey, CA 90241
(562) 861-9161

Add to: Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

Apr 122009
 

Daniel Lewis

Imagine this. A silver Scion xB blasting down a highway at over 100mph – we are pretending, afterall. It drives into the dirt, pulls off a figure eight, and then the driver steps out of the car and ghost rides the whip!

This has all the makings of a hip-hop inspired Scion xB commercial, right? WRONG!

This sequence of events is actually the details of what a crazy woman did while evading an arrest from the police in Lake Forest, CA!

And here is the Benny Hill version, for your viewing pleasure:

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl