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Dec 192009
 

Daniel Lewis

Ford SYNC

From Ford – As consumers demand more gadgets equipped as standard in their car, Ford has taken a step in an unexpected direction by partnering with Best Buy for technical support of their vehicles equipped with SYNC. I hesitate to say a step in the right direction, because this basically means that Best Buy’s Geek Squad will now support & troubleshoot the electronic gadgets in your future Ford vehicle. Now, I’m sure there are some pretty sharp Geek Squad technicians out there but I think you may have a better chance to win the lottery than to get one of them to service your vehicle.

The eGrandPrix
From EGrandPrix – Tree huggers rejoice! In June 2010, Paris will hold the worlds first all electric car and motorcycle races. Outrageous (in a good sense) mileage figures aside, what about the various chemicals and toxins put into the atmosphere when an electric vehicle hits the scrap heap? What about the fact that more toxicity is produced from “retiring” an electric vehicle than a gas-powered vehicle? All excitement aside, I think I’ll stick to Formula 1.

Aston Martin Cygnet
From Aston Martin – This week, Aston Martin released pictures of its latest vehicle, the Cygnet. Described as a “luxury commuter,” it looks like the illegitimate lovechild between an Aston and Toyota Yaris.  The price tag of this James-Bonded Toyota iQ will be around $32k. How many shaken martinis will James Bond need before getting in one of these?

Audi A8 with Google Earth
From Audi – It looks like Audi set the bar a little higher by incorporating Google Earth into the 2011 Audi A8. Aside from terrain-mapping, it also allows you to do an Internet search on the map via a UMTS modem for data transfers. Could this be the end for updating navigation DVDs for our cars? We will just have to wait and see.

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Dec 112009
 

Daniel Lewis

From BBC – The Silverstone Circuit has signed a 17-year deal (17 years??!! – Ed.) with Formula One to host the British Grand Prix. Silverstone was the host of the first Grand Prix championship in 1950, and since 1987, hosted every British Grand Prix in Formula One. Donington Park was supposed to be the new venue for the British Grand Prix this year beginning next year, but their finances fell through the floor.

Danica Patrick

From LA Times – OMG! Danica Patrick is in NASCAR. On Tuesday, Danica Patrick announced that she would drive in a “limited number” of races in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series. Danica’s IndyCar resume consists of 1 win, 3 poles, and 81 starts. Her first season was in 2005, and she finished 5th (best career finish) in 2009. Not bad for a 27 year old, but in my personal opinion, it’s better to be great at one thing, than so-so in many things.

VW vs Toyota

From Reuters – Volkswagen is buying a 20% stake in Suzuki for $2.5 billion. This is not too long after Volkswagen just bought a 49.9% stake in Porsche AG. After this transaction, VW will have stake in 11 different car brands. VW’s goal is to become the world’s number one automaker by 2018. Toyota, we await for your rebuttal.

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Dec 052009
 

audi_a3_tdi

Audi has been producing really great vehicles as of late and diesel is gaining more traction in the US market. Buyers are finally realizing that today’s diesel-powered cars are not like those of old. Gone are black plumes of soot coming out of diesel vehicles, now effectively eliminated by urea injection within the exhaust path. So what do you get when you combine the sport Audi A3 and a TDI diesel engine? The 2010 Green Car of the Year award, of course.

2010_green_car_of_the_year_award

Announced at the LA Auto Show, Green Car Journal / GreenCar.com presented the honors to Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen. With an EPA-estimated 42mpg highway fuel economy figure, this is proof yet again that a fun, enjoyable driving experience and fuel efficiency aren’t mutually exclusive.

Congratulations to Audi!

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Dec 032009
 

Daniel Lewis

2010 Suzuki Kizashi

From Suzuki.com – Are you a new car buyer looking for a sporty mid-sized sedan? Are the Acura TSX and Audi A4 on your list? If so, how about a free $100, or maybe a car that you overlooked? From now until January 31st, 2010, if you purchase a 2010 Acura TSX or Audi A4 within ten days of test driving the Suzuki Kizashi, and submit proper documentation within 30 days of purchase, Suzuki will give you $100. This is a great offer in my opinion, a total win-win situation. Have you taken the Kizashi Test-Drive Challenge? If so, we’d love to hear your experience!

We’re so confident you’ll love the Suzuki Kizashi, we’ll give you $100 if you test drive it and still buy an Acura TSX® or Audi A4®.

“The car ran to 60 MPH in 7.8 seconds, and the 1/4 mile in 16 seconds at 88 MPH. This puts it in the same league as the Acura TSX.”
— Road & Track

“Kizashi is easily the most athletic car in its class, and even a few rungs up … We tested the Kizashi against even some cars a few classes up like VW Passat, Acura TSX and Audi A4.”
— Left Lane News

Suzuki is confident that the Kizashi provides a compelling alternative to pricey premium sports sedans. So confident, in fact that we will pay $100 for any qualified buyer of a new 2010 Audi A4 2.0T or 2010 Acura TSX 2.4 if they first test-drive a Kizashi and still decide to purchase the more expensive premium branded sedan.

Through January 31, 2010, simply download the program form from below and take to any Suzuki Dealer and complete the Suzuki Kizashi test drive, purchase a 2010 Acura TSX or Audi A4 within ten days of test driving the Suzuki Kizashi, and submit copies of the proper documentation to the address found on the program form within 30 days of purchase.

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Nov 232009
 

Daniel Lewis

Mercedes F1

From Daimler – This week, Brawn GP was purchased by Mercedes-Benz, to compete in Formula One in 2010. The Principal for the team is still Ross Brawn. Brawn GP won the constructor’s title in Formula One in 2009. Will Mercedes-Benz be able to keep up with Ferrari in Formula One next season? I guess only time will tell. In other F1 news, Kimi Raikkonen “semi”-retires from F1 to race in WRC, and Jenson Button signed with McLaren. All of this F1 news show for a crazy and unpredictable 2010 season!

Toyota

From CNBC.com – After Toyota announced a major recall on the majority of thier late model passenger cars due to an issue with floor mats sliding around, and pressing the accelerator pedal down, they decided to put a “band-aid” over the wound, and use zip-ties to secure the floor mats to the floor of the car. Now there are reports that Toyota has decided on a permanent fix – make shorter gas pedals. Is this the best that Toyota can conjure up? Personally, I expected a better solution. Toyota, perhaps you should take this time to go back to the drawing board.

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Nov 152009
 

nissan_leaf_leadin

Touted as “the world’s first affordable, zero-emissions car,” the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle made its way Stateside with the kickoff of the Nissan Leaf Tour. This program will travel around the US, touting the advantages of the Yokohama, Japan- / Nashville, Tennessee-based car maker. We had a chance to check out the car up close and personal in a posh setting complete with an open bar and upscale setting in Santa Monica, CA.

nissan_leaf_01

Offering an effective range of 100 miles, the Leaf can be charged up to 80% of its full capacity in under 30 minutes with a quick charger (we have no idea what this charger looks like nor was it on display at the event). Charging at home through a 200V outlet (with which US homes aren’t equipped so a call to an electrician will be required) to full capacity will take approximately 8 hours.

nissan_leaf_04

Two immediate points come to mind. One, this vehicle certainly isn’t designed for rural areas where the distance between, say, home and work is longer than 100 miles. It’s definitely realistic for city dwellers who drive no more than 30 miles a day between home, work and play. Two, any vehicle that forces people to change their driving behavior, such as filling up with fuel at a gas station in 5 minutes, and adapting to an 8-hour charging cycle at home is going to be a tough task.

nissan_leaf_05

The longer term consideration is this – since only about 18% of electricity in the United States is generated through renewable resources, could this and other electrical vehicles truly be considered as “zero emissions”? The electricity has to come from somewhere and it’s not coming from wind, solar or hydroelectric sources for the most part. Sure, ongoing innovations and increases in renewable resources will surely help til the balance in nature’s favor but I believe “zero emissions” is a misnomer at best. At least for now.

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Nov 142009
 

Daniel Lewis

BMW M Tie

From BMW – BMW now offers a tie for its fanboys. Just in time for the holidays. Are BMW drivers turning into Ferrari drivers? Always sporting their car manufacturer’s logo on the clothes that they wear. I guess a lot of BMW salesmen would order this. (~$93 USD)

Adds a special note to any business meeting and to the entire M Collection: the BMW M Tie, finished to the highest standard and made of pure silk. With anthracite interior finish and woven coloured BMW M logo on the front and back. Material: 100% Italian silk

NY License Plate

From New York Times – New York has decided that to help them through these tough times, they will charge their drivers a mandatory $25 fee in order to replace their license plates for the new one pictured above. This fee will give the state $260 million dollars, as well as create over 100 jobs. By the way, those 100 jobs, they are for maximum security prison inmates. Good job, New York….yeah right.

From Las Vegas Sun – A strip club on wheels? Yep, Las Vegas has taken it to the next level with this Stripper-mobile! You don’t even have to tip! LOL

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