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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.
 |  Feb 10 2011, 12:52 PM

One of the big advantages of an electric car is the lack of routine servicing they require. With only the battery and electric motor present, consumables like fluids, filters, belts and the like are obsolete.

Ford is making this a big selling point for their upcoming Focus Electric, as it released a list of 25 items that will never require replacement or repair for the first 150,000 miles. Of course, we normally shy away from blatantly running press releases, but the document gives a cool insight into one of the big differences between EVs and gasoline powered cars.

Of course, that’s assuming that the battery technology is all sorted, and it lasts through the 150,000 mile mark…

Hit the jump to take a look

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 |  Feb 10 2011, 12:11 PM

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show, is expected to have a base price of $47,000 when it launches in February, 2012. While it undercuts its chief rival, the Ford Shelby GT500 by about $2,495, a base Corvette, which has a 0-60 time of under 4 seconds, but only 430 horsepower, retails for $48,950. The Corvette also avoids the gas guzzler tax, which will likely plague the Camaro ZL1 and bring the effective price up to $48,500.

Of course, this begs the question as to why one would buy a ZL1. Obviously, the potential customer is heavily invested in the idea of a Camaro, and the Magnetic Ride Control and 550-horsepower supercharged V8 are a big draw. But with the Corvette being significantly lighter than the Camaro, and designed from the ground up as a sports car, the two are effectively within spitting distance of one another, and we can’t wait for the inevitable performance shootout.

[Source: Car and Driver]

 |  Feb 09 2011, 5:11 PM

It’s pretty hard to make the Dodge Challenger even more eye-catching, but a new color, dubbed “Green With Envy”, should help it attract the attention of bystanders and the ire of other motorists.

Available on the R/T Classic (white black or white stripes) or the SRT8 392 (black stripes only), the new getup is supposed to recall the glory days of Mopar muscle, when V8 bruisers were available in every hue of the Hi-Liter rainbow. For our money, it’s hard to beat the all-American white/blue stripes combo, but someone suffering from a bad mid-life crisis is bound to go for the green.

 |  Feb 09 2011, 4:21 PM

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Acura is cognizant of the fact that their current design language isn’t going over well with consumers, and is at least doing something about it. Truth be told, the Acura TL is a good car. Equipped with SH-AWD it’s even better, and with the 6-speed manual transmission, it’s fantastic. Unfortunately it looks like a child’s attempt at an oragami hippo, which has prevented a lot of people from giving it a fair shake.

For 2012, the Acura TL will get a new schnoz, and although the changes are sublte, they do help make the car’s awkward front end look a little less jarring to the naked eye. Look closely and you’ll see that the chrome trim around the front is smoother and smaller, while the overhangs have been reduced in size.

Other changes, announced at the new car’s unveiling at the Chicago Auto Show, include a much-needed 6-speed automatic, an available blind-spot warning system, ventilated seats that offer heating and cooling, and finally, an available 60 GB hard-drive based navigation system.

GALLERY: 2011 Acura TL

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 |  Feb 09 2011, 12:18 PM

The Dodge Journey R/T is the kind of vehicle we really can’t see a point for, but it’s here to stay and could end up in the hands of an eccentric few customers.

Under the hood is a 283 horsepower 3.6L Pentastar V6 with a 6-speed automatic transmission, that will at least give the R/T badging, aggressive wheels and new body kit something to stand behind. Dodge says the suspension geometry has been completely overhauled, and the steering system revised – changes that, if you ask us, should be carried over to the rest of the lineup. Chrysler’s ubiquitous UConnect system, featuring satellite radio, an integrated Garmin navigation system and Bluetooth integration is also standard.

The Journey R/T will set you back $28,995 for the front drive model, or $30,695 for the all-wheel-drive version, plus a $750 destination charge.

 |  Feb 08 2011, 2:05 PM

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While GM’s announcement of a new car based on the Camaro platform being shown at the Chicago Auto Show stole the spotlight in the automotive press, the Buick Regal eAssist represents a product far more relevant to the average consumer, even if it’s less glamorous.

With an eAssist hybrid system from the Buick Lacrosse, the Regal delivers excellent mileage for a mid-size sedan, returning 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. A 15 horsepower electric motor helps to assist during acceleration and also allows for regenerative braking, and a start/stop system.

On the aesthetic front, lightweight 17″ wheels, a 7-inch screen for keeping track of fuel economy and other data, as well as an eco model for the air conditioning all make an appearance only on the eAssist. While the Lacrosse eAssist will be positioned as an entry level trim within the range, the Regal variant will simply complement the other versions, including the Regal Turbo and Regal GS.

Gallery: Buick Regal eAssist

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 |  Feb 08 2011, 12:54 PM

To celebrate the 900,000th Mazda MX-5 sold (as well as the 20th anniversary of Mazda’s most famous product), the company is introducing a Special Edition model for the North American market, set to debut at the Chicago Auto Show on Wednesday.

Based on the Grand Touring trim level, chrome accents adorn the interior, as well as gray leather trim and aluminum pedals. Every special edition will have a retractable hardtop, with the choice of gray or black exterior paint. Prices start at $30,925 for the 6-speed manual and $31,525 for the automatic.