2012 Chevy Volt Review

Tom Orlando of Bullz-Eye.com breaks down the 2012 Chevy Volt from inside and out.

Bullz-Eye had the opportunity to test the all-new, award-winning 2012 Chevrolet Volt and we were pumped about it! We spent a week behind the wheel of the 2012 Volt, which we feel is part of cutting edge technology that will possibly change the auto industry forever.

Exterior
If you want to blend in on the road, start looking elsewhere now, because the 2012 Chevrolet Volt is an eye catcher! The fact that the Volt name is all over the vehicle helps, but the styling and modern look of the car can make a statement for the driver before you even wave to the Volt’s admirers. Our test model had a sharp crystal red tint coat paint finish that was flawless (I looked for dirt and craters and found none), and combined with the 17-inch forged painted aluminum wheels, the Volt was looking good. Pretty much everything about the Volt is also directed towards efficiency and according to GM:

“Chevy designers constantly talk about form and function, but when it comes to Volt, Director of Design Bob Boniface will tell you that they didn’t compromise aesthetics to enable function. The result? A vehicle that looks sporty, quick, smooth and modern, yet achieves an extremely low coefficient of drag. Countless hours in the wind tunnel influenced the styling of many exterior components including mirrors, a closed grill, rocker panels and the rear spoiler. In fact, the vertical blades that go from the bottom of the spoiler to the bottom of the bumper were designed specifically to trick the air into separating from the bumper more quickly, giving Volt extraordinary aerodynamics.”

Also included on our test model were outside heated and power adjustable mirrors, daytime running lamps and a solar-absorbing windshield. When you take a look at the Volt, you clearly understand what GM envisioned, and to their credit, they delivered a very sharp 2012 Chevy Volt four-door hatchback for their customers.

Read the full review.

Breaking: Fiat 500 Abarth Spotted Before L.A. Auto Show Debut

The official debut of the U.S. Fiat 500 Abarth is Nov. 16 at the L.A. Auto Show, but it looks like we don’t have to wait that long to sneak a peak. Like finding your Christmas presents early, an intrepid Fiat fan has appeared to snag the first glimpse of the U.S. market 500 Abarth.

It appears that all the juicy exterior bits have made it over intact, but we will still have to wait until Nov. 16 for the power, the details, and the price. One can only hope they won’t put J.Lo. in the advertisements and embarrass what should be a fantastic little car.

Source: Fiat 500 USA

Delphi Selects TeleNav for Its Next Gen Navigation Systems

Turn-by-turn navigation for cars has been a boon for those among us who can barely find our way around the block, but as competition between in-dash units and smaller, portable units heat up, many automaker suppliers are revolutionizing their navigation offerings to keep a leg up on the competition, and help get consumers where they want to go, faster and easier. Delphi, for instance, has teamed up with TeleNav to provide navigation solutions that will work with cars’ newer infotainment systems.

The traditional problem with in-dash navigation systems is that they don’t age well. You buy a car and the navigation is perfect, but as time marches on, other systems get more features, better layouts, and, most importantly, more accurate route information. So by the time your car is five years old, the navigation system becomes a hinderance rather than a help. TeleNav looks to change that.

Telenav’ s new system will bring new features and usability to your car that will work seamlessly and easily. Some new features include:

Global Maps and Places: Search, localized maps, and POIs for more than 60 countries around the world.

Live Traffic: Save time with live traffic updates that automatically reroute you around traffic jams or road congestion.

Local Weather: Get real-time weather and forecasts for your current location

3D Landmarks: 3D buildings and historic landmarks make it easier to navigate

Voice Control: Stay safe and keep your hands on the wheel with voice-activated commands

Junction View: A navigation view that makes complex lane changes simple and easy

TeleNav and Delphi look to have these systems in OEM offerings by 2012. It won’t be too long then until the next generation of navigation technology.

Eye candy still helps sell cars

The auto industry is always evolving, but some things never change. A commitment to style and beauty has always been an important aspect of the business, and brands like Ferrari, BMW and Lamborghini are examples of brands that embrace this ethos.

With the beauty of cars often comes beautiful women as well. As you can see from the photo above from the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, many brands understand this connection very well. This photo has two models in the Lamborghini display. Now that Chrysler is owned by Fiat, you have this trend reappearing in the United States as well with all of their brands. Some brands are more conservative, but you wonder if they’re missing something.

The result is that the car business keeps the calendar printing business going, as calendars featuring stylish cars with attractive models never seem to go out of style. While much of the marketing and PR business has gone digital, beautifully printed brochures and calendars are still an important part of the equation. And for some, it’s a great business as these calendars never go out of style.

2013 Audi S4 and A4 Allroad Arrive Next June in U.S.

From InsideLine.com:

INGOLSTADT, Germany — The revised Audi S4 and new A4 Allroad Quattro will arrive in the U.S. next June, Audi of America confirmed to Inside Line, most likely as 2013 models.

The updated S4 sedan and wagon and A4 Allroad wagon were unveiled, along with the face-lifted A4 sedan and A4 Avant wagon, today in Germany.

In response to a query Wednesday from Inside Line, an Audi spokesperson said the A4 Allroad would be added to the U.S. lineup next June, joining the revised S4 and A4.

The German models get few visual changes — mostly modest revisions to bumpers, grilles and lamps — with some mild updates in trim and equipment inside the cabins. Exterior dimensions have barely changed. Audi says it is offering new wheels, new steering wheels, upgraded upholstery and a revised MMI nav system with four buttons instead of eight. Wheel sizes range from 16 to 19 inches. The newest piece of hardware is an electromechanical power steering unit.

In typical German fashion, the big news is under the hood, where Audi offers European A4 owners the choice of six TDI diesel and four FSI gasoline engines, all of them featuring supercharged direct injection with standard stop-start systems, and many with increased power and torque.

The most efficient power plant is the A4 2.0 TDI, which makes 136 horsepower and returns an average 56 mpg.

Read the full article.

Toyota FT86 Leaked

Normally, scans from an automaker’s internal parts catalog would not make headline news; unless they showed a hotly anticipated new car that is. Scans from Modellista, a Toyota parts magazine, seem to show the brand new Toyota FT-86. Like those of bigfoot, these grainy images show hope that the car is out there, and will not be bloated up and dumbed down for production. Toyota has not commented on the leak, but the production version of this car should be seen at the Tokyo International Auto Show next month.

Source: FT86club

Hertz First Car-rental Company to Deploy A Zero-emissions All-electric Bus

This is great news for the advancement of green vehicles. From Market Watch:

The Hertz Corporation, the world’s largest general use airport car rental brand, announces today the use of BYD’s eBUS-12 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the first such use to be conducted by a rental car company. Hertz is testing the all-electric on its main routes to gain data on this new platform.

“Hertz is aggressively moving forward with its Global EV program, introducing electric vehicles into its worldwide fleet and testing other electric vehicles as they become available,” says Mark P. Frissora, Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Hertz’s mission is to provide the most technologically advanced mobility solutions to our customers, including the buses we use as part of our everyday operations at airports. We continue Hertz’s track record of innovation by being first to deploy an all-electric shuttle bus in the US.”

The BYD pure electric eBUS-12 is able to run 155 miles on a single charge in urban conditions, more than enough for Hertz’s use at its airport locations, and its energy consumption is less than 100 kWh per 60 miles. The eBUS-12 is designed with the customer in mind, with a low floor and ample space to allow easy passenger loading and unloading and the bus has specially engineered sound insulation for a quieter cabin experience. The eBUS is being tested at Hertz’s Los Angeles Airport location, shuttling car rental customers between the terminals and Hertz’s rental facility. With a lower cost of ownership than a traditional gas powered bus, replacing just one traditional bus with the eBUS will reduce emissions by over 320 kg of CO2 (per 150 miles traveled) and save Hertz an average of $76* per day, per bus in fuel costs! (*32 gallons of diesel at $3.20/gal are replaced with $25.92 in electricity for $0.08/Kwh — the night time EV charge rates in LA).

Read the full article.

2012 Cadillac SRX Car Review

Tom Orlando of Bullz-Eye.com breaks down the 2012 Cadillac SRX from inside out. Find out what he had to say about the new Caddy below.

I was looking forward to testing the 2012 Cadillac SRX AWD Premium Collection model for many different reasons. One reason was that I have seen these Cadillac Luxury Crossovers on the road and I liked the styling but had never driven one before. Another reason is that I wondered whether this Cadillac handled as good as it looks, so my curiosity was peaking. After a week behind the wheel, I have some strong feelings about this offering from Cadillac and I suppose there are thousands out there who share my observations.

Exterior
The 2012 Cadillac SRX AWD Premium Collection has plenty of bling and sleek styling for a combination that flows well together. Some of the SRX’s exterior features include a multi-piece shield grille, Cadillac’s huge iconic vertical headlamps with light pipe technology, and available adaptive forward lighting technology that turns the lamps in the direction of the front wheels. The wide stance of the SRX with minimal overhangs coupled with the wheels pushed to the corners equates to a chiseled look similar to the exterior of the SRX crossover. Our black ice metallic test model boasted 20 inch premium bright aluminum painted wheels, which are standard on the Premium Collection SRXs. From just about every angle one can see that this is a Cadillac and a good looking Cadillac at that!

Read the full review.

1939 Lagonda V12 Le Mans Replica

Jay Leno visits with his old buddy Richard Morrison at Laguna Seca to take a look under the hood of his vintage racer, the 1939 Lagonda V12 Le Mans Replica. The two originals finished third and fourth at Le Mans, then bother were hit by B1 bombs, leaving only the chassis behind.

The Best Performance Accessories

Here are some tips for upgrading your sports car:

The Best Performance Accessories to Upgrade Your Sports Car

Driving a sports car goes beyond your average, run-of-the-mill experience behind the wheel. Once the engine turns over and you’re in full control, a finely tuned sports car not only looks hot while you’re in motion, but it moves the heart aflutter and really gets the adrenaline pumping. There are few things in this world that make you feel truly alive – driving a sports car is one of them. So, don’t shortchange your ride by sticking with simple stock values. Instead, upgrade its performance and looks with only the best accessories out there. Things like exhaust tips are just one way to boost power, while there are several other options available that also separate you from the rest of the pack on the road.

Simple Add-ons Make a Big Difference

Another way to unleash the full power potential of your ride’s motor is by installing a cold air intake. Finding the right one for your specific sports car is easy. Plus, it’s really a no-brainer – blasts of cold, fresh oxygen to your power plant results in more horsepower and torque. Add to that better gas mileage when you’re red-lining your beast on the highway or just out for a nice Sunday cruise, and you get a whole new way to glean more excitement from your drive.

Sure, your sports car features a nearly flawless interior, equipped with all kinds of esoteric lights and dials that enhance the total package of your ride. Go the extra mile and keep your cabin looking its cleanest with a fresh set of car floor mats. It’s not like you’re going to be hopping in and out of your sportster with muddy shoes or boots on, but floor mats go a long way to keeping your carpet floorboards always looking their best.

Red Line Your Overall Performance

When it comes to taking tight turn on the street or out at the track, your brake system is begging for a boost in performance. Aside from adding more bite to your stopping power, brake rotors also offer a custom look when they peek out from behind your rims. Drilled, slotted or a combination of both, with upgraded brake rotors even your brake pads are given a slight reprieve, lasting much longer than they normally would had you stuck with those stock rotors.

Tapping into your ride’s computer motherboard with performance chips benefits you in several ways. Though you’re sports car already outperforms most other vehicles on the road, it’s still hiding some secrets under the hood. With the right performance chip in place, you unleash power potential unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Get ready to rev up your engine and unleash more ponies and torque, while also getting the most out of a single tank of gas.

The best performance accessories are often just a click or two away. So, find yours now and revitalize your ride with these simple additions.

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