2011 Nissan Leaf gearing up for launch

The beat of the electric car goes on with the 2011 Nissan Leaf gearing up for launch. According to CEO Carlos Ghosn 2010 production is already sold out! With a suggested cost of $25,000 after U.S. federal and state incentives for clean car purchases the Nissan Leaf finds itself in the sweet spot of many U.S. and overseas car buyers.

From the Detroit News:

Nissan Motor Co. has collected nearly 20,000 pre-orders for an all-electric Leaf car that it plans to start selling in the United States and Japan in December.

“The production for 2010 is already sold out,” said Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan and its French partner and shareholder Renault SA.

Nissan has gathered 13,000 pre-orders from prospective American buyers who paid a $100 refundable deposit, and 6,000 pre-orders in Japan, Ghosn said. The automaker will start taking firm orders in August.

Read the full article here.

Win a brand new 2011 Scion tC

Are you a fan of the hip Scion tC? Well get ready and get moving so you can enter a contest that can net you a brand new 2011 Scion tC! That’s right just Unlock the tC Road Trip, an eight week, interactive and real-world competition that allows players a chance to win the all-new 2011 Scion tC.

The game begins on June 1 at www.UnlockthetC.com with daily instant prizes leading to the real-world event where four finalists will be flown to Los Angeles and compete against one another for the chance to win a tC. Pre-register here.

Watch the game trailer on Facebook here.

Here you’ll get plenty of chances to show off your skills in simulated driving from New York to Miami, with a final destination in Los Angeles. Have fun and good luck!

To read the entire posting for the contest, click here!

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Ten Cool Cars Under 18K

Looking for a deal on a new car but you don’t want to spend too much cashola? Our friends at CnnMoney.com have put together a list of the 10 coolest cars that sell for under 18k. From the new Fiesta to the Fit they will all probably give you the value you crave but I would have to say that the Mazda3 is one of the best looking of the bunch. If you want Funky and Cool go for the Nissan Cube!

Ford is making a big splash in the sub-compact car market with the new Ford Fiesta. Early reviews put this one at the top of its class.

Kelley Blue Book, the automotive Web site that picked this list of the best cars you can buy for less than $18,000, calls it “better looking, nicer inside, and even more fun” than the Honda Fit, a car that’s long been one of KBB’s favorites.

Check out the full article here.

Sneak peak at 2011 Mercedes Benz CLS

Some hot photos of the upcoming 2011 Mercedes Benz CLS for your viewing pleasure. Some readers may feel there is too much style to this car but I say this is right on the mark. The current model is almost smooth to the point that it was boring in a sense. With the new edgy styling with more aggressive headlights and more curves around the belt line we feel Mercedes some very intelligent moves with the 2011 CLS.

From InsideLine.com:

Due out late this year as a 2011 model, this heavily styled, newly edgy Mercedes-Benz CLS-class will replace the current coupe/sedan that’s so smooth it looks as if it was extruded out of something.

Follow the jump for more photos and information.

In the ebb and flow of car design, everything goes simple and smooth then all at once it goes all edgy and complicated. We are currently witnessing from Mercedes a move to edgy complication.

Read the full article here.

Chrysler gears up for 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee with second shift added to an existing plant

Chrysler is gearing up for the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee by hiring 1100 new employees at the Jefferson North Plant in Detroit, Michigan. This is a really big deal for Chrysler and bringing in new hires will make this vehicle launch even more complicated as these are not experienced auto workers so Chrysler better be focusing on Quality like a laser beam.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne today said the company would hire 1,100 workers for a second shift at Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit over the summer.

The factory builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Marchionne’s remarks were made at a celebration to launch production of the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee — Chrysler’s first all-new vehicle since it emerged from bankruptcy nearly a year ago.

Marchionne said “nearly all” the new jobs for the second shift, which will start July 19, will be new hires and not existing UAW workers on layoff.

Read the full article here.

GM focusing on efficiency

Gas mileage is all the rage now, even in your favorite pick up trucks. Very good to see and we welcome the focus on efficiency! GM is testing new grilles on the big boy trucks and according to the design engineer the new grille works like a flap, with movable louvers, integrated with the grille assembly. Hey, they actually don’t look bad either.

From AutoGuide.com:

With fuel economy still one of the primary buzz words in the auto industry these days, manufacturers are looking to do what they can to boost the mileage of their vehicles. When it comes to light trucks, any savings in gas mileage helps, especially in view of impending CAFE regulations. One method General Motors is seriously looking at, concerns louvered radiator grilles.

Read the full article here.

Alfa Romeo Spider Design Study

Is the Alfa Romeo Spider part of the Fiat/Chrysler North American product offensive from Sergio Marchionne? Time will tell but as you can see here Alfa keeps tinkering with an already beautiful car and hopefully it will see this side of the Atlantic.

From Motorcrave.com:

I’m not sure that we’re quite ready for a new Alfa Romeo design study, after being bombarded with Alfa concepts like the Pininfarina 2uettottanta just months ago at the Geneva Motor Show. But the next generation of brilliant automotive designers must learn, so Alfa teamed up with a trio of designers from the Politecnico di Milano University to create this Spider design study. The designers are Alberto Gaiani, Massimo Paparella and Michela Zedda.

Read the full article here.

Could new Range Rover be the most luxurious SUV ever?

Once the Range Rover Design Q of England was finished with this already luxurious vehicle, it left with a drink chiller, cigar humidor, mini-spa center, elevated roof and a step through door. This Range Rover takes the good life to a whole new level.

From AutoGuide.com:

The whole term of VIP has really progressed over the last few decades. When it comes to automotive, there’s an entire VIP trend that outfits cars with a low-to-the-ground ride height and wildly aggressive wheels that poke beyond the fenders. This style, extremely popular in Japan, normally sees outfitted black vehicles with dark tint and even embroidered shades to conceal what’s inside.

But hey, if you’re out in the Middle East, VIP isn’t low to the ground or with privacy. VIP in the Middle East is taking a Range Rover and giving it wings, without the Red Bull. Design Q, a firm based in England, has done quite possibly the most outlandish luxury embellishment to a vehicle to date.

Read the full article here.

Fiesta time for Ford

It’s Fiesta time for Ford and they hope it turns into a real “Fiesta” of sales and profits for the company. The roll out is now officially underway and if this small car sells anything like it has around the world Ford will have one big party on it’s hands. This is a very tough segment with established and new entries to compete with (Chevy Cruze) but Ford might have a chance to break back into the hearts of small car buyers this time around.

So far everything I’ve read checks out with the Fiesta and the only drawback might be the price point here. Will Ford hold the line on pricing or put money in the glove box to move the metal? Either way this is a great car and should add to market share gains for The Blue Oval!

From Detroit News.com:

Dearborn –Ford Motor Co.’s conventional media blitz for its new Ford Fiesta subcompact will begin today, with the first spot due to air tonight during “American Idol.”

But the company’s advertising campaign has been in full swing for a year online and already has paid big dividends. Ford marketing executives say 60 percent of the car-buying public already knows about the new Ford.

“It’s more than five times more efficient than anything we’ve done before,” said Matt Vandyke, director of U.S. marketing communications for the Dearborn automaker. “It’s something you’ll see us doing with other vehicles going forward.”

Read the full article here.

SC90 concept shows Volvo has come a long way

Looks like the light bulb turned on for somebody at Volvo because this SC90 concept is hot! Volvo has come a long way but their cars are still pretty boring. Volvo should fast track this beauty and get it in showrooms ASAP.

From Motorcrave.com:

As a whole, Volvo vehicles have come a long way from their ultra-boxy, stackable roots. Do a quick comparison of Volvo’s current line vs. its line from 25 years ago, and you’ll see just how much style Volvo has injected.

Read the full article here.

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