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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
From Lexus – Lexus’ supercar, named LF-A, was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show this week. The Lexus LF-A is equipped with a 4.8-liter V10 putting out 560 hp and 354 torque. It can reach 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds, and top speed is just over 200 mph. There will only be 500 LF-As produced. Being priced at $375,000, I doubt they will have any more than 500 owners anyway. So now there’s a $100,000 Nissan, a $100,000 Chevy, and a $400,000 Lexus. Fast cars are getting ridiculously expensive, and remember when everyone was complaining about how much a Toyota Supra and Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 cost?
From YouTube – If I ever purchased a GM vehicle, OnStar would definitely be a feature I’d like to pay for. In this video, Hennessey’s Cadillac CTS-V hits so much g-force, that it triggers the OnStar system into thinking that there was an emergency in the vehicle. Isn’t technology great?
The F1 season comes to an end this weekend, as the drivers race in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit. Many drivers will need to prove why they should have a racing seat next year. I am expecting to watch a thrilling race, and to see amazing moves by Kobayashi during the race. You wont want to miss this race!
It’s that time of the year again when the automotive aftermarket convenes in Sin City to show off their wares for the new year. Although we’ve been hearing down the grapevine that exhibitor and attendee numbers will be down this year due to the state of the economy, we’re quite sure there will be plenty to see and explore in Las Vegas.
We at RevdCars will be headed out next week to take a look for ourselves and to bring you our take on this annual event. And to make things even more fun, Honda has provided us a Fit Sport with navigation to take on the trip. It’ll give us a great opportunity to review the car and save some money on gas at the same time!
So stay tuned to RevdCars.net for our on-the-spot coverage!
From the BBC – Renault received thier sentencing for being involved with fixing last year’s F1 race in Singapore. Thier sentence was a two year suspension, as well as Flavio Briatore, the now former team principal (boss), being banned for life from all FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) events. During an interview with Fernando Alonso (who finished 3rd at this past weekend’s race), Fernando announced that his victory was for Flavio Briatore. I wonder how many more times Briatore’s name will come up in the last three races of the season.
From TotalFilm.com – This week I found out that there will be an A-Team movie coming out one June 11th, 2010. I originally found out about this when I heard that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson removed himself from a contracted UFC fight because it conflicted with filming for the movie The A-Team. A-Team fans will be happy to know that the van will remain the same. Will this increase GM sales?
From Acura – Acura announces that they will now offer a six-speed manual transmission for the 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD (starts at $42,385). It seems to me that Acura has finally listened to some of the cries from its performance-minded owners. For the 2010 model year, Acura introduced a V6 version of the TSX, and now a manual transmission for their TL. Lets hope that Acura stays on this route.
It’s coming. What we can only surmise as Honda / Acura’s foray into an unestablished product category, the crossover sedan, is coming to Acura dealer showrooms this winter. If someone can identify a clear competitor to this new model, we’d love to hear from you because we’re scratching our heads trying to figure it out ourselves.
Regardless, the vehicle sounds pretty good on paper. We’ll be testing the new Acura TSX V6 in a short while so getting into the ZDX will be a good follow up. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the ZDX will offer a fun driving experience and value regardless of polarizing opinions on its looks.
Click on for all the technical details on this new Acura offering.