ACB: 2014 BMW M3 Exhaust Note

Bimmerpost.com has released a video of a camouflaged 2014 BMW M3 driving around. The most peculiar part is that it sounds like there is a V6, not an inline 6, under the hood. Normally, this would be blasphemy, and large mobs would form, pitchforks in hand. But after the introduction of turbos, M SUVs, and general weight gain, can anyone really be surprised that “M” may abandon its remaining calling card?

Source: Bimmerpost

Sliver of Hope

Car enthusiasts worldwide have mourned Lotus’ decision to end production of simple, lightweight sportscars. However, a savior has arrived. Caterham, now owned by Lotus, has announced the creation of an engineering department that is focused on making all new, affordable sportscars.

Right now, Carterham produces the 7. The 7 is often held up as the purest driving machine and was the first car Lotus ever built. Caterham bought the rights of the 7 and have been making kits ever since. Everything has gone full circle now since Lotus has bought Caterham. With Lotus stiopping to make pure driver’s cars in pursuit for profit, it is great to see Caterham stepping up to fill the void. Sportscars for the masses are not dead, yet/

Source: Autoblog

2011 Ford Taurus SHO Car Review

Tom Orlando recently reviewed the 2011 Ford Taurus SHO for Bullz-Eye.com. Find out what he had to say about the ride!

The Taurus SHO is back in a rebirth that brings serious power back to Ford’s flagship sedan. The 2011 Ford Taurus SHO AWD has an unassuming exterior but delivers impressive horsepower under the hood.

Exterior
According to Ford, “A key element of the authentic SHO formula is the subtlety of its unique exterior design cues. Features include sporty premium painted wheels wrapped in standard low-profile 19-inch Goodyear Eagle or optional 20-inch Michelin high-performance tires, a deck lid-mounted spoiler and twin chrome exhaust tips. The car also features a uniquely finished interpretation of the Ford signature three-bar grille with SHO-specific parking lamp bezels”. Our test model also boasted HID projector headlamps, supplemental park lamps with security approach lamps, securicode keyless entry and dual exhaust with chrome tips. Several folks that checked out the sterling gray metallic test car were surprised to learn it was a Taurus. Many were also impressed with the sporty look of the SHO even though it doesn’t stand out from the base Taurus or the Taurus Limited.

Interior
The interior of the 2011 Taurus SHO AWD has the size of a full size sedan with the accents of a sports car. Our model included charcoal black leather seating, 10-way power driver and passenger seats with lumbar and driver memory, Sony premium 12-speaker sound system, Sirius satellite system, SYNC voice activated system, dual electronic temperature control, tilt and telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, ambient lighting, aluminum interior accents, aluminum gas and brake pedals, heated and cooled front seats, power moonroof, heated rear seats, rear window power sunshade and voice-activated navigation system. The leather trimmed seats with Miko suede inserts are made with recycled post-consumer yarns from plastic soft drink bottles and are comfortable and luxurious. When you add excellent trunk space to the feature list, the 2011 Taurus SHO AWD leaves little to be desired.

Check out the full review.

There I Fixed It: VW Beetle’s Gender Problem

Think tanks are a wonderful thing. Where else can you publish pages of biased research, get paid tons of money for it, and then have no accountability if your results are used? Car enthusiasts need their own think tank. Dashboard News is filling this void with lukewarm, soft facts with our new feature: “There I Fixed It.” In this column, we make somewhat logical solutions to an automaker’s problems. No rants about manual, diesel hatchbacks for under $25k here, our rants have data and evidence, sort of. So read on, and make sure to put your own thoughts on the subject, or new problems, in the comments below.

The first automaker to need our help is VW. On a quest to become the world’s largest automaker, VW has both decreased prices and content on some cars (Jetta), and has strengthened their niche offerings (New New Beetle) to attract more sales. However, they want the New Beetle to be bought by both girls and boys this time, instead of mostly girls like last time. AP details some of the efforts VW made to make the Beetle “manly”, such as boost gauges, bolder lines, and a stereo from Fender. But here’s the problem, the Beetle will never be manly.

Read the rest of this entry »

New VW Phaeton for 2015

If you don’t remember the VW Phaeton, then you are lucky. For those that do, they will remember it as was one of the most boneheaded product decisions known to man. The Phaeton was a joint product between VW and Bentley. Bentley’s version was the wildly successful Continental GT (as seen in any rap video that involves champagne and girls dancing). The Phaeton did not fare so well. Reason being, it offered the cost and complexity of a Bentley, with the image of a VW. So, the nearly 100k car sat on dealersihp lots until it left the U.S. market in 2006. However, it has survived overseas and is set for a return.

Car magazine reports that we almost saw a new Phaeton during the Frankfurt Auto Show a couple weeks ago. However, VW is full steam ahead on creating a brand new Phaeton for 2015. They don’t seem to know why though:

Even after the third facelift, the Phaeton can still only field one truly strong point, and that is the beautifully finished cabin which matches any Bentley even though the layout is about as contemporary as a Biedermeier sideboard, and the electronics tend to lag at least one generation behind the leaders.

It is an open secret that the next Phaeton will be styled from the inside out, matching a top-notch but less olde worlde interior to a much more timely exterior. How do we define timely? This is a question VW will have to answer in the course of next year. Before the summer break, three options were being discussed: another three-box notchback, a rather stylish five-door hatchback, and an elegant and luxurious Super-Variant.

Sounds like they are headed for the same mistake as last time; they should call it the Titanic II instead.

Source: Car Magazine

Alfa Romeo Delay Angers Current Fiat Dealers

The recent announcement that Alfa Romeo has delayed its U.S. relaunch one year, to 2013, should not come as a surprise to those following the brand. This is the same brand that for 10 years has teased, taunted, and promised to make a return back to our shores, but has never delivered. However, to Fiat dealers that bought in to the brand only to buy Alfa Romeo dealerships, this recent announcement has them not only surprised, but also incensed.

Dealers are shocked because Alfa’s return was more certain than ever this time around. The reason is twofold. One, Alfa needed the volume that the American market offers to reach their sales targets. Second, Chrysler corp. was going to share platforms with Alfa so it would be easier to get their cars federalized. This outlook was so promising that Fiat was able to sell a franchise of dealers on the basis that they would be first in line to be able to purchase Alfa Romeo dealerships when the time arose in 2012. But what the dealers did not think of, is what car guys already know; like their cars, Alfa Romeo promises a beautiful, enriching experience that often blows up in a cloud of smoke at a moments notice.

This wait may not seem so bad to the common observer, but they may not understand how the car business works. Every car does not deliver the same amount of profit. You see, the Fiat 500, although a good product, it is not a very profitable one. Dealers bit the bullet for standalone Fiat dealers mainly because they were expecting the first seat at the table when it came to dolling out cash cow Alfa Romeo dealers. Now, due to Alfa Romeo’s delay, dealers are stuck selling low profit 500s for the next few years. If you put off a big breakfast because you were going to a Las Vegas casino buffet for lunch, but lunch never came, you wouldn’t only be starving, you’d be incredibly irate.

Still, Alfa Romeo will make it to our shores. Realistically, it is the only way that the brand can survive. However, how profitable they will be for dealers, how good their products are, and just when they are exactly coming has yet to be seen. For Fiat dealers needing that extra revenue, this wait might just be the kiss of death. For Fiat, it continues a long tradition of mismanaging what should be a blockbuster brand.

Source: Automotive News

Nissan Launches “My Versa Road Trip” Social Media Campaign

Nissan is excited to announce the launch of the “My Versa Road Trip” social media campaign for the all-new 2012 Versa Sedan! MyVersaRoadTrip.com, a Facebook Connect enabled website, is a destination where users can create their own trips by selecting routes, choosing their soundtrack and inviting Facebook friends to come along.

Entrants can submit their trip, telling Nissan why their online journey should be made into a real one and share it with their social networks. Six winners will be selected this Fall to embark on their proposed road trip, AND win an all-new 2012 Versa Sedan! Entry period for “My Versa Road Trip” runs through October 19, 2011.

Nissan is also partnering with comedian Adam Carolla, to promote the vehicle and road trip campaign with a light-hearted, humorous approach. Adam will be featured in a series of videos showing why he decides to change his name to ‘Adam Versa’, his own road trip around his hometown of North Hollywood and a “Hypothetical Road Trip Game” with Larry Miller.

The Versa Sedan, on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide, offers the most legroom, headroom, trunk room and technology per dollar than any other car in America, making it a facilitator of great experiences!

Nissan GT Academy Reality Show Premiere [video]

Check out the trailer for the Nissan GT Academy Reality Show, which premiered Tuesday night on SPEED TV!

Here’s more information about the show:

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Buick Gets Back to Racing

When you think of Sunday drives and Buick, you may think about elderly folks cruising around at 10mph under the speed limit, but you would be wrong. In fact, Buick recently took part in Silver State Classic Challenge at Nevada with its new Regal GS. The Silver State Classic is a race along a 90 mile of Nevada highway. The winner is determined by who can compete the 90 mile course fastest, while retaining the average speed set by each individual class.

Competing in the 120mph class, Buick finished their run in 45 minutes, a fantastic time for their class. The effort was good enough for a first place finish in a 37 member strong class. All of this was done in a showroom stock Buick Regal GS. Buick has a strong history of racing; hopefully events like this are foreshadowing their return to racing.

Source: Insideline

ACB: Quarter Mile in Under 4 Seconds

Everyone knows that NHRA funny cars are fast. So fast, in fact, that a driver pulls the same amount of G’s as an astronaut blasting into space. In other words, a funny car launches with the same force as something that punches itself out of Earth’s gravitational pull. However, even with all that power, funny cars have been unable to run the quarter mile in less than 4 seconds; until now that is.

Last weekend at zMax Dragway in North Carolina, Matt Hagan did a quarter mile pass in 3.995 seconds at a speed of 316 mph. He did this by taking advantage of both the cool, dense air during race day and the newly paved track surface. If you live your life a quarter mile at a time, don’t expect to live long enough to take more than a single breath.

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