AutoGuide News Blog
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.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata turns 25 this year. So does the car Road Test Editor Mike Schlee calls his daily driver. A few years back he purchased a first year Miata. Far from leading a pampered life, it’s lived a hard 25 years and seen more miles than any sports car should. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Miata’s introduction, here is Mike’s story of how we came across his car and what it’s like after all these years.
My dad was coming over one warm spring Saturday morning to help with our latest home improvement project. Having arrived in town a bit early, he decided to indulge in one of his favorite pastimes, perusing yard sales.
Two Different takes on Youthful Cars.
Two little cars that stole the stage at the Tokyo Motor Show earlier this year have made their away across the Pacific to North America.
Every year we all get a little older and things get a little more expensive. This is true of food, fuel and especially vehicles. In keeping with this trend the entry level Toyota Avalon is inching up the price ladder.
A (Honda) Car Geek’s Dream Come True
Every once in a while this job affords us the opportunity to do something truly exceptional. Something that doesn’t just speak to the inner car geek nestled within our soul, but more like scream at it through a mega phone. Visiting the Honda America museum is one of those days.
Her Majesty's Pleasure
In the rarefied world of exotic automobiles there’s something for just about everyone, so long as their wallets are sufficiently engorged. For customers that wish to be smothered in comfort and morally objectionable amounts of luxury Rolls-Royce offers a host of suitable automobiles that will surely exceed their needs. If someone wishes to attract attention a brightly colored Lamborghini is hard to beat; they’re unsurpassed when it comes to ego-fluffing. And of course for eccentric drivers interested in something completely off the wall there’s the Koenigsegg CCX. Lady Gaga, your car is ready.
Boutique British brand Aston Martin falls somewhere between these extremes. Their products are opulent but sporty, outrageous looking yet tastefully designed, special without being completely obscure. They’re James Bond’s top pick and a fine choice for anyone lusting after something exceptional.
Aside from the laughable Toyota-based Cygnet city car the V8 Vantage Coupe is Aston Martin’s entry-level offering. With two seats, two doors and rear-wheel drive it has all the ingredients of a true performance machine. However, the S model is a step up from there, and the Roadster is yet another rung up the ladder. This dramatic drop-top is an extraordinary car and the subject of today’s AutoGuide Five-Point Inspection.
You Know You Want One
Your grip on the steering wheel tightens. Your eyes fixate on the yellow line. Your brain screams about the trees just beyond the shoulder. Wait for it… wait for it… ok, NOW! You pounce on the clutch as your right foot stabs the accelerator. A wrist-flick completes the downshift. Feather the brake, turn into the corner and scrub off some speed; the radius decreases slightly. You nail the apex, tires howling like a bloodhound on the trail. You roll back on the throttle for a speedy exit and dive into the next corner.
Top 10 Large Sedans With the Greatest Range
There’s something magical about going on a road trip. Whether it’s the allure of visiting a far-flung destination or just the call of the highway, piling into a car and eating up miles satiates mankind’s wanderlust.
Of course some vehicles are better for long-distance drives than others. A quiet interior, comfortable seats and smooth ride are prerequisites, but plentiful cup holders and storage spaces for snacks can’t hurt, either.
In a lot of ways large sedans were tailor-made for cross-country trips. They’re roomy, relatively efficient and don’t beat you up like a race-prepared Miata. Last week we examined 10 such cars, ranking them based on trunk space. This week we’re comparing those same four-doors but focusing on driving range.
We took each car’s EPA highway fuel-economy rating and multiplied it by the total gallons of fuel in their respective tanks to arrive at a maximum possible range. So, which of these full-figured cars is the ultimate bladder-buster? Click ahead to find out!
It may be a little early to be shopping for Christmas, but Desk Pets has released its CarBot which allows users to fully control the toy car with an Apple iOS device, or an Android-powered device.
With the advent of advanced in-car technology comes the downfalls of hackers looking to do malicious things. Some experts are already expressing concern that the use of advanced infotainment systems by automakers worldwide could leave new-generation vehicles open to hacking.
Recently a pair of scientists from the University of San Diego and the University of Washington were successful in hacking into a vehicle’s safety system through its infotainment setup, revealing a clear vulnerability with the technology. And even though infotainment such as the vehicle’s navigation and Bluetooth are built to be separate from a vehicle’s safety system, this doesn’t mean that they’re invulnerable to hacking.
The concerns aren’t that hackers can take full control of a vehicle, but could unlock or even start a car; but worse, brakes and throttles are now being controlled by computers so it could be possible that those systems can be compromised as well.
As we all know with all the rampant hacking that has been going on recently, building security into any new-generation technology is difficult. Hackers will always find a way; and unless vehicle manufacturers are willing to update their software and firmware on a regular basis, there’s a strong potential that coming up with a single standard for cyber security will not be easy.
Worst of all, NHTSA isn’t equipped to test today’s advanced vehicle electronic systems.
[Source: Detroit News]
Maybe you can’t choose between the 23 different Porsche 911 variants currently listed on the German automakers website. Maybe none of them suit you perfectly. Well there is some good news, add a twenty-fourth variant to that list. Brumos Porsche of Jacksonville, Florida, confirmed today that five rare, factory-built 911 Carrera GTS B59 Edition Coupes will be produced. It’s a tribute model to Hurley Haywood, who the Daytona 24 Hours four times in the 1970s and once again in 1991 while driving for Porsche. Since only five examples will be produced, costing a whopping $133,540 a pop, buying one will be tricky.
The five special edition 911′s will all be finished in Carrara White and feature a Black leather interior with Alacantara trim. The 408-hp Porsche looks the part and comes with several performance goodies including:
- Brumos Red/Blue stripe design for the front hood and rear deck
- Brumos Red/Blue stripe “PORSCHE” door decals
- Exterior mirrors in Black
- 19″ Sport Classic Wheel (Fuchs style)
- Interior limitation badges
- Door entry guards in Stainless Steel with “Hurley Haywood” engraved signature
- Deviating (dual stripe) stitching in Red/Blue on steering wheel and gear/brake lever
- Carrara White painted interior accents including Adaptive Sport Seat Backrests
GALLERY: 911 Carrera GTS B59 Edition
A statement released today by the White House seemed to take credit for the resurgence of the American auto industry, with President Obama’s bailout plan credited as the driving force behind it.
“When President Obama took office, the American automobile industry was on the brink of collapse,” said the National Economic Council, in a prepared statement. ”Two years later, the American auto industry is mounting a comeback.” The statement comes as the 2012 Presidential election looms closer, and the statement went on to claim that 400,000 jobs in 2008 were lost, and the number could have been closer to 1 million if no action was taken.
The report was released on the two year anniversary of General Motors’ bailout. The Big Three domestic automakers have all reported profits in the first quarter of 2011, but taxpayers are still expected to be on the hook for billions of dollars in losses. The United States treasury is expected to write down as much as 20 percent of the bailout as losses.
[Source: Automotive News]
Despite the stupid April Fool’s prank involving the BMW M3 Pickup, this announcement is not a joke. BMW is bringing a lightweight version of their M3 sedan to the M Festival, an event to be held at the Nurburgring 24 Hours race in late 2011.
Positioned as a stopgap between the standard M3 and the hardcore M3 GTS, the chassis, brakes and exhaust have all been upgraded, but power output should remain similar to the standard car. BMW hasn’t announced how much weight has been stripped out either, and we’re curious to see just how spartan the interior has gotten in the quest to add lightness.
The Fast and the Furious has attained cult status amongst car guys for its horrific dialogue, cheese-ball action scenes and technical inaccuracy. The subsequent follow-ups were never met with the same fanfare, but the fifth installment, titled Fast Five might be able to bring back some of the magic, with the return of Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto.
While the first trailer aired in December, 2010, this one features more action-packed hijinks, boiled-over testosterone and big explosions. Hit the jump to take a look.
Is America ready for another strange-sounding offshore nameplate? That answer seems irrelevant in light of Ssangyong’s new plans to introduce their vehicles in America by 2016, with a goal to be in the marketplace by 2013.
Ssangyong has a history of making fairly rugged SUVs that have been sold in global markets. While their previous generation of light trucks benefited from Mercedes-Benz’s engineering expertise, their most recent vehicles, including the Rodius minivan, were considered to be some of the ugliest cars of all time.
Parent company Mahindra hopes that Ssangyong can move 20,000 cars in the United States, but with Mahindra’s failed experiment at importing pickups into the United States still looming in the background, dealers who previously agreed to become Mahindra franchisees are on guard, with one telling Automotive News that he fears the Ssangyong plans may just be a trojan horse for the eventual importation of Mahindra trucks.
Anyone who was not comatose in 2009 remembers the Toyota unintended acceleration scandal, which saw millions of Toyota and Lexus products recalled due to what was eventually deemed to be a mismatch between floormats and the accelerator that could cause the pedal to stick.
Now, Toyota is recalling a further 2.17 million cars and trucks to remedy the issue – at least this time they’ve been vindicated by none other than NASA.
The recalled vehicles, along with the number of units, are listed after the jump, as is Toyota’s official release.
Back in October, we broke news of the WD-40 / SEMA Cares 2011 Ford Mustang GT that would be auctioned off with the proceeds going straight to charity. And now that the Mustang has been sold off at the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Show and Auction, with WD-40 and SEMA Cares proud to announce they have generated the largest donation to date to SEMA Cares.
The final number came in at $225,000 with the vehicle itself receiving an online bid of $100,000. Another $125,000 in donations came from those who simply wanted to support the effort.
“We are overwhelmed and completely surprised with the results of the WD-40/SEMA Cares Mustang that was auctioned at Barrett Jackson,” said Mike Spagnola, president of Street Scene Equipment and SEMA Board member. “I am eternally grateful to Barrett-Jackson for their help with the auction, as well as the management staff at WD-40.”
The 2011 Ford Mustang GT features a 5.0L V8 that put out close to 600-hp thanks to Paxton Superchargers. The donated funds will be distributed between Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp, both children’s charities.
Mere months after workers at Chrysler’s Jefferson North factory were caught drinking and smoking marijuana on their lunch breaks, three employees were arrested by law enforcement agencies after Chrysler tipped off police regarding workers who continued to abuse substances while on the job.
The workers were arrested on January 24th, but have yet to be formally charged, according to a spokesman for the Michigan State Police. Chrysler confirmed that they were co-operating with police on the matter. The company released a statement to the media, remarking “In this instance, Chrysler Group cooperated with the County of Macomb Enforcement Team in the arrest of suspected employees at Jefferson North who were allegedly in violation of state law.”
A local Fox affiliate caught workers on video engaging in similar behavior last fall. The Jefferson North plant builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, two vehicles that have won widespread acclaim from consumers and the media.
[Source: The Detroit News]
Ford‘s F-Series truck is America’s best selling vehicle for the 34th straight year, moving an astounding 528, 349 units, up nearly 28 percent from 2009. In second place was the Chevrolet Silverado, which moved a relatively paltry 370,135 trucks, but saw a 17 percent jump in sales.
The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord duked it out for the title of Best Selling Passenger Car, with the Camry edging out the Accord by 16,423 units. Toyota sold 327,804 Camrys in 2010, a 7.5 percent drop, while Accord sales were up 8.1 percent to 311,381 units.
Rounding out the top 10 were the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Honda CR-V and Dodge Ram. Also noteworthy is that Ford sold more total units in 2010 than previous leader Toyota.
[Source: Kicking Tires]