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Nov 252010
 

Day 2 at the LA Auto Show gave us a chance to spend more time at the LA Convention Center, take more photos and delve further into automotive offerings for 2011.

BUICK PULLS OFF THE COVERS ON THE NEW REGAL

Normally, we’re not big fans of sheet metal from Detroit but this Buick made us do a double take. We’re waiting for our chance behind the wheel to decide whether the double take was based on just a mirage or some real substance.

FLAT IS IN AT MERCEDES

Yes, it’s the Mercedes AMG CLS 63 hyper sedan that you see before you. But that’s not what we’re showcasing. Look a little closer. Notice the flat paint? No, it’s not a custom job. Rather, it’s a factory option available to you. Frankly, it was novel when car customizers first started giving cars the flat treatment but it’s rather played out at this point.

CADILLAC UNVEILS FUNKY LITTLE CONCEPT FOR THE “URBAN” SET

The Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept (ULC for short) is a small city car designed for urban dwellers that just can’t do without some bling to complement their brownstone in upper east side Manhattan. Powered by a teeny, weeny 1.0L turbocharged 3-cylinder engine, the ULC supposedly generates 56mpg in the city and 65mpg on the highway with a cadre of technology including start-stop and brake energy recovery system (a la Formula 1 KERS?). Call us skeptics but we can’t see this car seeing the light of day unless Cadillac’s intention is to meet the even more stringent average fleet fuel efficiency mandate set by the EPA. There are already city car-type variants out there (the Smart, for one) and wonder if we really need a microcar studded with so much unnecessary bling. Keep it simple, stupid. That’s what we say.

DROP TOP CHEVY CAMARO

Open top version of the Chevy Camaro. Nothing else to say about it, really.

FORD FINALLY BRINGS THE FOCUS ST STATESIDE

We’ve always been big fans of “hot hatches,” but the announced arrival of the Focus ST didn’t quite have the effect Ford may have intended. With us, at least. This car has been in existence in Europe since 2009 (the turbocharged 5-cylinder variant killed off due to Europe V emissions regulations). Yet again, American consumers are left getting a car far later after introduced to the rest of the world. I personally find the front end boring, looking quite a bit like a fish; resembles nothing like the aggressive snub nosed design on the original European Focus ST.

GMC’S FORAY INTO THE SUBCOMPACT SEGMENT

When you think of GMC, what comes to mind? Fun cars? Probably not. Utilitarian trucks, SUVs and vans? Absolutely. Perhaps the make is looking to change all that with the introduction of the GMC Granite concept. The front end is large and aggressive, keeping in line with the GMC lineage, but the rest of the vehicle is sleek. The rear end looks particularly similar to the current gen VW GTI. Not sure if this little compact will ever see production, but if it does, it will be the first to shake things up in the segment since the original Scion xB.

JAGUAR’S STUNNER

Wow. That’s about most appropriate word we can use to describe the stunning “green” C-X75 concept. With lines not see since the XJ220 hyper car from the Thatcher era, the concept will hopefully bring new excitement over the old English marquee. But what you find under the sheet metal is completely new school. Each wheel is driven by its own electric motor, with a range of 68 miles from a 6-hour charge at home. Once that juice runs out, however, its lithium ion batteries are recharged by micro gas turbines, extending the “theoretical” range to 560 miles.

Did we mention its claimed top speed of 205mph?

KIA EMERGES FROM HYUNDAI’S SHADOWS

New sheet metal, dimensions, interior and more add up to quite the competition for offerings from sister brand Hyundai. Call it a one-two combo, but Honda, Toyota and Nissan have much to fear from Kia (and Hyundai).

LEXUS’ SPORTY HYBRID HATCH

Funny enough, when we spoke with our friends at Lexus PR, they too agreed that the car looks quite a bit like the Mazda3 / Mazdaspeed3. Mind you, that’s not a bad thing, sharing similar lines as one of our favorites in the segment. No MSRP on this 5-door hatch but we’re hoping to get more info and perhaps our dirty mittens behind the wheel in the near future.

MAZDA’S GORGEOUS CONCEPT

The Shinari concept vehicle in Mazda’s booth was epic. No, it was spectacular. It’s kind of what I envisioned the Aston Martin Rapide would look like, expect this design came from a place a little closer to the shinkansen rather than the tres grande vitesse. No matter. There were more curves and organic forms on this concept than ALL cars on the show floor combined. Perhaps it’s a good indication of things to come from Mazda, as rumors are aplenty about the return of the turbo rotary.

Well, that’s it for us from the second and final press day of the 2010 LA Auto Show. This year’s show was particularly notable as we saw more alternative fuel vehicles than ever before (ed – our take on that coming soon) but came away happy to see that the manufacturers aren’t forgetting about style, sizzle and performance in their offerings.

Until next year!

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Jun 192010
 

Daniel Lewis

From Youtube – Hyundai released a new commercial in South Africa for their new Tucson. What makes this commercial awesome is that they make a spoof of Top Gear, called Top Deer. Obviously this commercial wouldnt be as appealing in the US, but for everywhere else, it works! Good job Hyundai!

From FunnyorDie – Last week, we mentioned MINI’s challenge to Porsche. After Porsche refused, MINI still decides to have fun with it, a la Rocky IV.

While Porsche thinks (or doesnt think) about that video, Hyundai has decided to come in from nowhere and challenge MINI! Kudos for Hyundai on doing this…this should become VERY interesting!






From Engadget – Oh no, Hello Kitty SYNTHETIC motor oil?!?! It sells in Japan for $33. What’s next, Barbie Blinker fluid?

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Jun 122010
 

Daniel Lewis

From Facebook – MINI had publically challenged Porsche to a race (MINI Cooper S vs. Porsche 911 Carrera S) at Road Atlanta on June 21st. MINI has also given Porsche home court advantage because the race track is right down the road from Porsche’s corporate headquarters. MINI even put out a full page ad in the New York Times to make it official. This is going to be awesome!

*UPDATE*: Porsche’s rebuttle:

“Dear Jim,

Imagine our surprise to discover our former employee, now the head of Mini, has challenged us to a head-to-head race. As you surely know, Porsche has a long history of racing success, with more than 28,000 wins over the last 60 years. In our early days, we pitted ourselves against the giants, so we’ve been in your shoes.

But as you also know, Porsche doesn’t race for fame, stunts or publicity. We race to challenge ourselves; we race to push sports car technology; we race to translate every win on the track to our cars on the road. If you
need a reminder of our intent, please take a look at this short video:

While your challenge seems like a fun and lighthearted campaign, we’ll stick to racing the way we have over the decades. We welcome you at Sebring, Le Mans, Daytona or any other sanctioned race where there is more at stake than T-shirts and valet parking spaces. We also invite you to any of the thousands of tracks around the world where Porsche owners compete each weekend.

Good luck with your race at Road Atlanta on June 21; we hope you enjoy the day.

Sincerely,

Detlev Von Platen
President and CEO, Porsche Cars North America

Wow, GREAT response, but I still want the race. :(

From GM – OnStar and Google have joined forces to make car navigation simpler. By the end of this month, OnStar users will be able to send directions, that they look up on Google maps, directly to their car. I have to admit, that is pretty sweet! Hopefully this is just a small step for things to follow in the near future.


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Jun 052010
 

Daniel Lewis


From KnoxNews – What’s the fine for parking in a handicap spot in Tennessee when you are not allowed to? How about being ran over! Devon Beal Kiss, 24, ran over Thomas Esposito after Esposito told Kiss, “None of your frickin’ business!”, when asked, “Why are you parking in a handicap spot?” Tennessee should give Esposito a handcap parking pass now.


From Publico.es – A picture that any Ferrari fan should save. Is there really anything else to say other than “wipe that drool off of your face!” (click picture for full size)


From Ford – Another one bites the dust. Ford has officially dropped Mercury. Who is Mercury you ask? Well, remember the Mercury Cougar? Yea, that’s probably the only Mercury you’d recognize. I am suprised that Mercury was dropped after Pontiac. There are alot more memorable Pontiacs than Mercurys.


Another great Kia commercial. Enjoy!

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Feb 232010
 

Daniel Lewis

From YouTube – Danica Patrick was involved in a crash on her NASCAR debut. Luckily, this isnt the last we will see of her. She still has two more NASCAR races where she is planned to race. If Danica doesn’t win at all in NASCAR, will she be compared to Anna Kournikova again?

From TheHollywoodReporter – The History Channel has an interest in Top Gear in the US. Can you believe it has been almost two years since NBC chose not to pursue with Top Gear US? Although no hosts have been confirmed yet, I wonder what the History Channel plans to do with the show that it may live up to the UK’s version. Good Luck!

From NY Times – The US Formula One team is currently going through many problems, as expected from any new Formula One team. They dont have a race car that can be crash tested, and the money is running out. There are many rumors going around the world about the US Formula One team, like that the founder of YouTube is no longer supporting the team financially, or that USF1 may join up with Campos Meta1. I anxiously await for there to be an official announcement from the USF1 team, that the 2010 season is a go. Will you be rooting for the US in 2010?

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Feb 082010
 

Daniel Lewis


From Variety- From the people who brought you The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift, and Fast and Furious comes Fast Five! Seriously? Fast, Five? Who comes up with these movie titles? Is that the best that they could come up with? Looking back at their box office revenues, The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift did the worst. Maybe they are afraid that having a long title will make less people want to see the movie.


From Toyota- Toyota has finally released information on the fix for the recalled Toyotas with the accelerator pedal issue. While Toyota now tries to reassure everyone that their cars are not deadly weapons, you can now purchase a piece of history by ordering some “TiRD” merchandise from DonkeyStop.


From LA Times- The residents of Brentwood are very upset with Holger Schubert. Holger Schubert has created a 10-foot bridge that goes from his living-room to Tigertail Road, so that he can park his Ferrari 512 BBi Boxer in his living room. The problem, his construction project created safety hazards to the neighborhoods in that city. Apparently, there is only one car enthusiast in the city of Brentwood, CA.

From YouTube- Audi shows us how we can make sure that the Green Police doesn’t take you or your loved ones off to jail.

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Jan 112010
 

Daniel Lewis


From BBC – Robert Kubica signs with Renault to race in Formula One Racing for 2010. Kubica originally raced for BMW Sauber since 2006, and has had only one victory (2008 Canadian Grand Prix). It will be interesting to see how well Kubica will race next year against top competitors Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonzo, and Michael Shumacher.


From Cobra.com – Cobra just announced the launch of their new full color touch screen radar detector. The touch screen provides a graphic interface that makes it easier to set up the radar detector. Does touch screen really make radar detetors that easy to set up? Most radar detectors that I’ve seen only have one button. The touch screen radar detector is Cobra’s first radar detector that costs under $200.


From OCRegister.com – On January 15th and 16th, Orange County Race-Craft, a high perofmrance driving school, will allow supercar owners to learn how to learn the capabilities and limitations of their vehicles. This event came about after the many supercar accidents that have been occuring in Orange County over the past year. Owners can sign up at ocracecraft.com.

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