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.
Long in the Tooth but Still a Bargain
Although Europe had been enjoying a new generation Focus since 2005, North America made due with the original model that made its debut on our shores in 2000. In 2008 an unofficial second generation Focus was introduced which wasn’t much more than a heavily updated edition of the original Focus.
2012 - 2014 Toyota Prius Used Car Review
The Prius V joined the expanding Prius lineup in 2011 as a 2012 model. For the North American market the “V” is basically a wagon version of the regular Prius. In other markets the Prius V is sold as a three-row multi-person vehicle, which means all versions worldwide include second row seating set on adjustable rails. This cargo flexibility combined with 50 percent more interior volume compared to the regular Prius gives the Prius V a sizable utility advantage.
Power for the Prius V comes from the same 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle four-engine gasoline engine paired to an electric motor as found in the regular Prius. Total system power is rated at 134 hp which is adequate for the 3,274 lbs. hybrid wagon. Since its introduction in 2011, not much has changed for the Prius V other than minor shuffling of the features available in each trim package.
Shop Used Car Classifieds: Used Toyota Prius V for Sale
Best Seller for a Reason
The 2007 model year saw the introduction of the sixth generation Toyota Camry. Styling was a departure from previous Camrys, but Toyota continued to sell this car in large numbers.
Taking your time and researching can reap big rewards when it comes to purchasing pre-owned vehicles.
To some, the very notion of purchasing a used car can send them running for the hills, but as with anything else, provided you do your homework, the vehicle you choose can save you thousands of dollars over that new one in the showroom, without proving to be a money pit.
The late 1980′s is often considered as the era that gave birth to the modern day supercar. Every exotic car manufacturer was gunning to produce the fastest production car in the world, and the 200-mph mark was the target to beat.
In this arena, the Japanese had no contenders and all the major players came from Europe. Porsche had the 959, Ferrari gave the world the incredible F40, and Lamborghini had just introduced the Diablo.
GALLERY: Callaway Corvette
Over the last two-decades, BMW has given us quite a few “Z” cars. There was the chic Z3 that James Bond helped unveil in the movie “Golden Eye,” followed by the sinfully pretty Z8 (also used in a Bond flick; The World Is Not Enough), which was penned by Henrik Fisker (yes, the same guy who went on to design some Aston Martin‘s and then started his own car company).
More recently, we have seen two-generations of the Z4 model, and while there was a Z9 concept car, when it eventually went into production, it became the 6-series.
In North America, very few know about the car that started the whole “Z”-line of cars at BMW. The very first model to wear this alphabet was appropriately called the Z1.
Like all the “Z” cars that went into production, the Z1 is a front-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-seater sports car. Unlike all other “Z” cars (or any other production car for that matter), the Z1 had doors that would drop down into the sills. Yes, getting in and out is a bit more challenging than usual due to the high sills, but it is worth it for the reaction it causes in public. Plus you can park in a tight spot and not worry about being able to swing open the door. The doors would move up and down via an electric motor, so no muscle power is needed.
Speaking of muscle, the Z1 was powered by the familiar 2.5-liter, straight-six cylinder engine, that can be found in other BMW models. This engine produces just 168-hp and 161 lb/ft of torque, which is not a lot for a car that weighs 3200-lbs. Power was fed to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox. According to BMW, this sleek roadster took 9.0-seconds to accelerate from 0-62 mph, and would top out at 137 mph. Not slow, but not nearly as fast as it looks.
During its two-year production run from March 1989 to June 1991, BMW made just 8000 examples of the Z1, well short of their target of producing 35,000 copies initially.
Nowadays, the Z1 is considered to be a rare, modern classic, and finding one for sale in North America (a market where it was never officially sold) is extremely difficult.
But we have found a clean example sitting in Calgary, AB., Canada. This black on grey and charcoal example has covered about 20,600-miles. The seller has not provided much else information, and has mentioned a wrong engine size in the ad. The asking price is CAN$29,999, which equals to $29,400 in our currency at today’s exchange rate.
So if you’ve always wanted a Z1, or just want a car with disappearing doors, you can check out the ad yourself in the source link below.
For all the talk of “tax cuts” in our national discourse, Americans have nothing on our friends in former Soviet bloc states. These photos from the Ukraine show a novel method of getting around the high tariffs placed on imported used vehicles in many parts of the world.
According to photos, vehicle importers in the Ukraine have taken to cutting vehicles in half and then re-welding them back together once the vehicle has cleared customs. Importers apparently save a substantial amount of money – import taxes on new vehicles can be roughly 43%, but if the vehicle is sawed in half, the pieces can be imported as “spare parts” and the amount paid in taxes is reduced dramatically.
Frankly, the prospect of driving a vehicle that was welded back together is downright frightening. Evidently, some people are willing to take that risk just to save a buck and look good in a BMW at the same time.
[Source: Today I Learned]
Back in the 1980s a new Italian supercar was born. It was called the Cizeta V16T, and it came on the scene with a gorgeous design and technical specs that would cause any car guys heart to beat a little faster.
It had a 6.0-liter, quad-cam, 64-valve, 16-cylinder motor which produced 540 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. That is not bad for 1988, especially when you compare it to other supercars of the day like the Ferrari F40, which produced 478-hp.
The Cizeta was ahead of the game, and its Marcello Gandini designed body was striking to look at also. However, some things didn’t go as planned. First, Gandini sold a similar design to Lamborghini, which became the Diablo, and then by the time the Cizeta was ready to go into production in 1991, the economy went bust, and that had a severe effect on sales. Most wealthy clients either simply walked away, or went and bought the Diablo, which looked very similar but was half the price of the Cizeta. Plus Lamborghini was a well-known name while Cizeta wasn’t.
Cizeta struggled but managed to make 11 coupes in the 1990s. In 2003, a convertible version called the TTJ Spyder was unveiled, which was a special order by a Japanese client. Only one such example exists and that very car is now listed for sale.
The dealer advertising this yellow on red example says the car only has delivery miles, but no price is given.
We contacted Cizeta’s president Claudio Zampolli, to find out more about this vehicle. He verified this was the only roadster ever made, and that he would love to get a hold of this example himself.
He also told us that Cizeta, the company, is still very much alive and that he will be announcing some news about the company in the near future. Being big-fans of this car, we can’t wait to hear what he is working on next.
Follow the link to see the posting for the Cizeta Spyder for sale.
[Link: F.A. Automobile]
During the most recent rankings of luxury vehicle pre-owned programs by IntelliChoice, Cadillac‘s was rated higher than those from Audi, BMW Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.
In order to stay ahead of the game, GM’s flagship division is re-launching it’s certified pre-owned program, tweaking it to include a more thorough, 172-point vehicle inspection system, a six-year 100,000 mile limited warranty, as well as courtesy transportation for warranty work and 24-hour roadside assistance.
In addition, Cadillac says, it’s adding more competitive pre-owned financing options; for the months of May and June this year it will cover the cost of monthly vehicle payments at rates as low as 1.9 percent for buyers who qualify.
Kurt McNeil, Vice President of Cadillac Sales and Service, said that, “in the luxury market, pre-owned automobiles are often an entry point for new customers to the brand. We want these customers to know that we stand behind the quality of our pre-owned Cadillacs.”
He also added that, “an expanded pool of pre-owned Cadillacs thoroughly inspected by trained professionals will raise the brand’s long-term reputation for quality.”
An old finance maxim states that “by the time you’ve read about it, it’s already too late”, but that hasn’t stopped used car dealers from eagerly snapping up any 4-cylinder or hybrid vehicle as gas prices continue to climb.
With one dealer calling the sudden trend a “panic”, values of previously undesirable cars like the Chevrolet HHR have shot up to $11,000 from the $8,000 or $8,500 they previously commanded.
In an interview with Automotive News, a NADA guides official stated that prices for these types of cars will probably rise between 3 and 4 percent above what the NADA guides state, while SUV and truck prices are set to fall. However, NADA is not set to alter their residual values, in part because they feel that any major spike in gas prices will last for three years, roughly the same term as most leases.
[Source: Automotive News]
Those of you buying or selling a used car now have another weapon at your disposal during your hunt for the perfect clunker. The EPA is offering window stickers for a all kinds of used cars that give estimates of a vehicle’s fuel economy, so buyers and sellers can advertise (or obfuscate) how much gasoline their car consumes.
The figures are based on revised EPA ratings, which came into effect in 2008. The window stickers also come with a QR code (that strange looking bit of black and white squares) so you can scan it with a smartphone and get details digitally. The new figures are supposed to accurately reflect a vehicle’s true fuel economy, and we experimented with a 1997 Mazda Miata, which was at one point rated at 18/25mpg for city and highway driving. The new figures show 20/26 mpg, a slight bump in both areas, but still relatively poor for such a small 4-cylinder vehicle. For comparison, a 2011 model gets 21/28 mpg on the highway. You can satiate your own curiosity here, and find out what kind of rating your own vehicle will get. Be sure to let us known in the comments.
Back in the summer of 2010, a Porsche 911 Turbo that was part of Porsche Canada’s press fleet was put through a garage door by the son of Canadian Auto Journalist Peter Cheney. The story generated all kinds of feedback, from those shrugging it off as “boys will be boys”, to righteous indignation bordering on “off with his head“.
After the dust settled, it emerged that the Porsche suffered only cosmetic damage, while Mr. Cheney’s garage met a crueler fate. The car has been fully repaired and is now being sold by a Porsche dealer 2 hours outside of Toronto, with a 2 year, 100,000 mile warranty as part of Porsche’s Certified Pre-Owned program. We must say, it cleans up well.
Porsche Canada PR head Laurance Yap confirmed that this is the same car stating that “After it was repaired, that car stayed on my fleet for several months and generated lots of great stories.” We bet. A Porsche 911 Turbo has that magical ability to make something like a trip to the dentist for anesthetic-free root canal surgery a fun time. At a hair under $150,000 CDN for a fully optioned car with about 13,000 miles on it, that’s a good deal for a car that cost $167,000 in 2010 sans options. Of course, Porsche’s recent price drops in Canada mean that a brand new Turbo costs $159,400 before add-ons. Whether you want a car with such an interesting provenance is up to you.