There has been a lot of fanfare surrounding the GM/Chevrolet/Chevy Volt recently and I must say the press has mostly been pretty darn good. I’ve been sitting back trying to learn as much as possible about the Volt while keeping an open mind. Then the NY Times has an opinion piece that doesn’t read to well for the new GM product. Matter of fact the piece pretty much rips the new car for the lackluster styling compared to the 2007 concept we were shown and the heavy price tag of $41,000! Must say that many valid points were made here and one has to wonder how well (profit wise and branding) this car will turn out to be for the New GM? If the price scares away customers and the competition gets stronger (ie..,Nissan Leaf) the Volt could turn into a blown circuit for The General.
From the New York Times:
GENERAL MOTORS introduced America to the Chevrolet Volt at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show as a low-slung concept car that would someday be the future of motorized transportation. It would go 40 miles on battery power alone, promised G.M., after which it would create its own electricity with a gas engine. Three and a half years — and one government-assisted bankruptcy later — G.M. is bringing a Volt to market that makes good on those two promises. The problem is, well, everything else.
For starters, G.M.’s vision turned into a car that costs $41,000 before relevant tax breaks … but after billions of dollars of government loans and grants for the Volt’s development and production. And instead of the sleek coupe of 2007, it looks suspiciously similar to a Toyota Prius. It also requires premium gasoline, seats only four people (the battery runs down the center of the car, preventing a rear bench) and has less head and leg room than the $17,000 Chevrolet Cruze, which is more or less the non-electric version of the Volt.
Just when you thought a car couldn’t get any faster or sportier Porsche goes all out with the $650,000 Spyder supercar. It is being reported that Porsche’s Board has “approved production of the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car, a model that soars to 100 kilometers an hour in 3.2 seconds and may top the Carrera GT as the manufacturer’s costliest vehicle”. Translated to “this is one bad ass machine!!”
(Bloomberg) — Porsche AG’s supervisory board approved production of the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car, a model that soars to 100 kilometers an hour in 3.2 seconds and may top the Carrera GT as the manufacturer’s costliest vehicle.
Porsche plans to develop the vehicle at a research facility near Stuttgart, Germany, where the carmaker is based, the company said today. The car will be built at the main plant in Zuffenhausen.
The 918 Spyder, one of three hybrid models Porsche presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March, has attracted at least 2,000 non-binding submissions of interest, people familiar with the matter said. Porsche needs at least 1,000 sales pledges to sign off on building the car, development chief Wolfgang Duerheimer said in April.
Ford finally unveiled the 2011 Ford Explorer and this one could be a game changer “Again”! From the sleek and well placed all new interior to the ecoboost engine that could produce upwards of 25mpg highway this vehicle has appeal. The 2011 Explorer is such a departure from the current offering that it is the same in name only. Since it’s based off the same platform as the Taurus and Flex, similarities are easy to see.
The 2011 Explorer is a departure from the old days in so many ways including styling, a car based platform and a new 4 cylinder with ecoboost that we predict will win over more and more buyers as time as sales move forward.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Before Ford unveiled its 2011 Explorer, I doubted the new SUV would be anything special. After all, Ford has been tweaking the truck for 20 years, so what new things could be left to try?
Turns out this could be one of those rare redesigns that is more like a rebirth, mainly because of what Ford has done with the interior. The Explorer’s cabin, from the smooth feel of the door handles to the attractive colors and sharp graphics on its central display screen, shows attention to detail found in some luxury cars, but never in a Ford truck.
Ford Motor Co. earned $2.6 billion on higher car and truck sales in the second quarter, its biggest quarterly profit in 12 years, and repaid some of the debt that it took on to ride out the industry downturn.
“We’re ahead of where we thought we’d be after this excellent first half, and we expect even better results in 2011,” Ford President and Chief Executive Alan Mulally said.
“It appears to us we’re going to be able to improve the balance sheet and reduce the debt,” he told analysts and reporters Friday.
Back in the 90′s the Ford Explorer was king as it kept two auto plants cranking out the best selling SUV in North America. Those days are long gone and they really seem like so long ago. The new 2011 Explorer is making it’s premiere this Monday and so far Ford has only put out sneak peaks. We do know that fuel economy will increase by approx. 30% and that in itself will get Ford plenty of attention. We’ll write more once the cover has been lifted!
From the Detroit Free Press:
When Ford lifts the curtain on its 2011 Ford Explorer — in a multi-city reveal next Monday — it also will kick off an effort to convince would-be drivers that the all-new version of its well-known SUV is a gas guzzler no more.
The public got its first look at the polished, urban Explorer America concept at the 2008 Detroit auto show, but the new Explorer, which is to arrive in dealerships late this year, isn’t expected to look much like that concept. So far, Ford has released only teaser photos of the new Explorer that show small parts of the vehicle or its new car-based silhouette. The outgoing Explorer was built on a truck platform.
Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president of global marketing, said Tuesday that the company’s marketing team will be aggressive in convincing consumers that the new Explorer is fuel-efficient.
Whether you’re a fan of Retro styling on your cars or not you have to give props to some of these cool rides! Of course not all of them hit the mark but at least you can’t accuse of them being boring!
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, or so the saying goes. But some car designers with an appreciation for history want to repeat it. That’s the theory, anyway, behind retro style. A nod backwards in time, retro styling can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your view of the original influence and your opinion about whether the new vehicle does justice to the old one.
Currently, classic muscle cars of the late 1960s and ’70s are the focus of retro stylists. But there are plenty of other examples — some good, some that miss the mark. Here is a snapshot of the 10 most notable retro-style rides on the road today.
Columnist Will Harris got the opportunity to attend NASCAR’s Coke Zero 400 from Daytona a couple of weeks ago and had a blast. He shared his experiences with Bullz-Eye.com and here’s a taste:
As I have never, ever taken a trip for Bullz-Eye that hasn’t involved some sort of flight delay, it doesn’t really come as any surprise that the trip from Norfolk to Daytona finds me stuck in Charlotte for longer than I’m supposed to be. I didn’t even bother to try and find out what the problem was. I just shrugged, sat down and plugged in the laptop, and kept myself occupied until my flight finally did get around to taking off. I did have one brief panic attack when I called the hotel in Daytona to make sure that my delay wouldn’t complicate the rest of the day’s plans, only to learn that there was no reservation listed under my name, but it all worked out in the end. (Turns out everything was booked under the blanket name of “Dodge.”) Once I successfully manage to fly Charlotte to Daytona, I take a taxi to the hotel, check into my room, and gaze longingly at the beach outside my window, never realizing that the weekend will work out such that I will never get to take advantage of it. Still, it sure looked nice…
Test Drive Unlimited 2, the ultimate luxury racing experience, hits stores this fall and just kicked it into high gear with the newest car reveal.
Here’s the lowdown:
Platforms: Xbox 360®, PLAYSTATION®3, Windows® PC
Release Date: Sept 21, 2010
Developer: Eden Studios
ESRB Rating: RP (Teen Expected)
CAR REVEAL: ASTON MARTIN ONE-77
Scheduled for a limited run of just 77, Aston Martin’s One-77 exists at the intersection between a limited edition artwork and pure technological innovation. The 77 customers who will become owners are making a major commitment – their reward, a car that is the culmination of all the elements that define Aston Martin’s modern era; V12 power, lightweight construction, modern materials, craft skills, design excellence and, naturally, raw beauty.
• Front mid-mounted 7.3 liter, naturally aspirated V12
• Capable of more than 700 bhp
Max torque of over 553 lb/ft
Max speed of over 220 mph
• Rear mid-mounted, six-speed automated manual with asm/ssm electro-hydraulic control system
• Two-door, two-seat sports coupe
• Carbon fiber monocoque body structure
• Hand-crafted aluminum exterior body panels
• active aerodynamics with deployable rear spoiler
Suspension & Brakes
• Front and rear pushrod-actuated suspension
• Carbon ceramic braking system
• Dynamic stability control and traction control system
BFGoodrich Tires is taking a “drive on the wild side” by launching its Bolt On ad campaign.
The press release below offers for more information and be sure to check out this YouTube clip as well!
GREENVILLE, S.C. – July 14, 2010 – What does a pneumatic wrench, a window washer and a tree frog have in common? Launching today, BFGoodrich® Tires’ new national advertising campaign will answer that question. While the company hopes this campaign will have consumers “jumping” into stores to purchase a new set of tires, it is not the reason they are showcasing a tree frog. Instead, the company is focusing on the characteristics of the amphibian to illustrate the grip of new set of BFGoodrich tires. Other animal metaphors throughout the campaign will bring the company’s message home, enabling consumers to understand just how easy it is to bolt on grip, acceleration and toughness to their vehicles.
This national broadcast, print and online advertising campaign heralds a new approach for BFGoodrich Tires, providing consumers with a series of unconventional and obviously fictitious situations to help clearly visualize key tire benefits. The campaign illustrates that while consumers cannot literally bolt on a cheetah’s “legs” for acceleration or a tree frog’s “hands” for grip, they can achieve the grip, acceleration and toughness for their vehicles by simply bolting on a set of BFGoodrich tires.
Will Harris of Bullz-Eye.com got the chance to head to Daytona a couple of weeks ago for NASCAR’s Coke Zero 400. While he was there, he had the opportunity to check out Atomic Tom’s performance at a local Dodge dealership, as well as interview the band members.
Check out the interview:
Bullz-Eye: So, first, if you don’t mind, you could really save me a bit of time if you’d just go ahead and run through the complete history of the band… (Laughs)
Tobias Smith: Well, wait, who are you? (Laughs)
BE: Oh, I’m just this guy, you know?
TS: (Laughs) You’re a live blogger, is that right?
BE: Oh, God, no. I’m not that fast. (Laughs) I’m a writer and editor for a web magazine called Bullz-Eye.com.
TS: Where are you based?
BE: Norfolk, VA. Virginia Beach, that whole area.
Luke White: I’m from Virginia. A little north of you, though. Manassas.
Eric Espiritus: I’m from Fairfax, actually.
BE: Nice. Well, I was born at Norfolk General, and I never really left.
TS: Well, you’re here now! (Laughs) So what’s the site like? Do you talk a lot about music?
BE: It’s pop culture, across the board. It’s a guy’s site, really. It started mostly as an excuse to put up bikini girls and sports scores, but it’s evolved quite a bit. Don’t worry, though: there’s still a lot of bikini girls. No nudity, though.
TS: Well, that’s good, because we’re a family… (Hesitates) We’re not really a family band, are we? But we don’t have any swearing in our music, though.