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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Nov 15 2012, 9:31 AM

When it comes to the auto industry, oil isn’t the only thing imported from foreign countries and subject to supply issues and price spikes. The same is true of the rubber in your car’s tires, though a solution could lie in a simple, resilient weed that grows freely across the American southwest.

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 |  Mar 22 2012, 8:01 PM

It’s arguably the most famous collector car auction in the world, yet Barrett-Jackson‘s Westworld event, held each January in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale has never had a permanent venue.

That’s likely to change soon, as Scottsdale City Council has now approved plans for a $40 million facility, designed to house not only Barrett-Jackson’s own collector car spectacles but also equestrian events, namely the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and Arizona Sun Circuit Quarter Horse Show.

“For over a decade we have been talking with the City of Scottsdale about a permanent facility like this in order to make what has always been a desire for a long-term agreement with our hometown,” remarked Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson.  “Thanks to the leadership of this Mayor and Council it finally got done.”

The new facility will enable Barrett-Jackson to save money on temporary facility costs and to provide much better protection from mother nature, which has unleashed its wrath during auction seasons in the past. In addition, Craig Jackson also noted that new facility “will allow [them] to realize a long-time goal of building [their] new corporate headquarters and car museum on private land I own next to WestWorld.”

 |  Dec 19 2011, 5:00 PM

November 22, 1963 was a very dark day in America’s history. John F. Kennedy, who was America’s 35th President, was shot and killed while his convoy made way through the heart of Dallas, TX.

On this fateful day, the ambulance that took his body to Air Force One, is now being auctioned off at the 41st Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, in Scottsdale, AZ.

While the incident took place in 1963, the vehicle used was titled as a 1964 Cadillac Hearse. This hearse has the chassis number 64Z000050 and was built by the Miller-Meteor Company. The hearse, which was owned by the O’Neal Funeral Home, was called to the task to carry the President’s body.

This vehicle is given the lot number 1293, and it will get auctioned between Jan. 15 – 22 at West World of Scottsdale. Last year, a Pontiac ambulance which transported President Kennedy’s body from Air Force One to Bethesda Naval Hospital was sold at Barrett-Jackson for $120,000, despite many believing it to be a fake.

 |  Aug 17 2011, 8:45 PM

America’s five fastest roads have been ranked and surprisingly, the average driver’s need for speed has been dampened. American’s are traveling more slowly than they were a few years ago, likely due to rising gas prices and increased traffic enforcement.

The average speeder traveled 81 mph on America’s top ten fastest roads, which is down from 85 mph last year. The fastest road in the U.S is located on the northbound section of Arizona State Route 79, between Saguaro National Park and Phoenix. The top speed recorded on this section was 94 mph, and 5% of drivers use this road traveling an average of 88 mph, even though the speed limit is 75 mph.

With gas prices on the rise, people are driving more efficiently but the decline in average speed has also been linked to the struggling economy and high unemployment. High unemployment is keeping younger drivers off the road, and they generally engage in the riskiest behavior on roads.

The top five fastest roads include:

5. Arizona State Route 77
4. Eastbound MI-5 Michigan Highway
3. California State Route 73
2. Oklahoma State Highway 33
1. Northbound Arizona State Route 79

[Source: Yahoo]

 |  Jul 03 2011, 4:53 PM

If you want to break down in any state, turns out Arizona’s the worst—and Washington D.C. is the best to do so. Better keep pushing your beater to New Mexico.

In a survey that analyzed the cost of repairs for a “check engine” light, Arizona residents paid $421.49 in 2010, while Washington DC residents only shelled out $265.29, not including the pine air freshener. In fact, western states like New Mexico, Colorado, California, and Nevada all paid $406.81, $397.83, $394.49, and $393.96, respectively: the dry, arid heat and dust can take its toll on cars, coupled with the fact that they’re driven even further to get anywhere. Better keep pushing your car to Utah.

Click the jump to see where your state ranked.

[Source: Stockrants]

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 |  Oct 08 2009, 8:56 AM

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While news and photos of the Nissan Leaf have been around for several months now, the electric car will get its official debut at the Tokyo Auto Show on October 21st. Nissan describes its functional five-door, five-seater compact hatchback as having a “high-performance, zero-emission” powertrain.

Output from the lithium-ion battery packs is rated at 80kW/280Nm, (107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque), which should make this sub-compact a sporty little car.

Nissan says it will be able to drive 100 miles on a single charge. The batteries will be able to be charged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes with a special quick charger, or in roughly eight hours through a standard 200V outlet. Nissan says that through extensive research the 100 mile range will be suitable for 70 percent of car buyers.

The fully-electric Leaf, which is set to go on sale in the U.S. next year, will be priced from $25,000 to $33,000.  Initially, 5,000 vehicles will be available in five U.S. markets: the Phoenix-Tucson region of Arizona, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee. Fleet sales will also be offered in 2010, while full retails sales are planned for 2012.

Ahead of its official debut, Nissan also released a full gallery of new photos of the Leaf (including numerous interior shots), so be sure to check them out below.

GALLERY: Nissan Leaf

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 |  Aug 10 2009, 11:54 AM

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The fully-electric Nissan LEAF, which is set to go on sale in the U.S. next year, will be priced from $25,000 to $33,000. Word comes from Nissan North America product VP Larry Dominique.

“Competitive pricing is going to allow mass-market appeal, which is going to set Nissan apart,” said Dominique, commenting that the LEAF will be less expensive to own and operate than a gasoline car, even if gas cost just $1.10 a gallon.

Importantly, this price comes before any government tax incentives, which are certain to reduce the total cost by several thousand dollars.

Comparatively, the 2010 Toyota Prius starts at just $22,000.

The LEAF is powered by an electric motor and lithium-ion battery packs. Nissan says it will be able to drive 100 miles on a single charge. The batteries will be able to be charged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes with a special quick charger, or in roughly eight hours through a standard 200V outlet. Nissan says that through extensive research the 100 mile range will be suitable for 70 percent of car buyers.

Output from the lithium-ion battery packs is rated at 80kW/280Nm, (107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque), which should make this sub-compact a sporty little car.

Sales of the LEAF will begin next year with 5,000 vehicles available in five U.S. markets: the Phoenix-Tucson region of Arizona, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee. Fleet sales will also be offered in 2010, while full retails sales are planned for 2012.

[Source: Automotive News]

Report: Nissan Bringing LEAF EV to Five U.S. Markets First

Automaker reveals infrastructure plans for electric car recharging stations

 |  Aug 06 2009, 9:27 AM

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Before sales of Nissan’s new electric car go full-tilt in the U.S., the Japanese automaker will start with 5,000 units in five different markets. The targeted areas include the Phoenix-Tucson region of Arizona, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee.

Nissan’s product planning boss Mark Perry says that this is just the first step in a larger plan.“This is not a test to determine whether or not it’s going to work. This is the beginning of mass marketing,” he said.

Full retail sales are planned for 2012, but Perry says they will begin sooner if a market has the infrastructure ready to support the vehicles. Nissan also plans to offer the LEAF for fleet sales in 2010.

An infrastructure network of 12,500 recharging stations will be built throughout the five markets by Phoenix-based Electric Transportation Engineering Corp., which has received a $99.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. An additional $199.6 million necessary to built the infrastructure will come from the individual cities and states.

Owners of the first 5,000 cars will be able to purchase the at Nissan dealers but will have to sign on to allow Nissan to monitor the car’s performance over the first two years. Nissan says it wants to see how electric vehicle recharging habits play out in the real world. Owners will also be “chosen” by Nissan as the automaker wants to make sure the information it obtains is relevant. “We don’t want these first cars going to somebody who commutes 150 miles a day or who lives a great distance from a recharging station,” he said.

As for the price, Nissan hasn’t release specifics but did say that it would be comparable to a fully-loaded compact car.

[Source: Automotive News]