A1 not headed to America
When we reported that the Audi A1 would, in fact, become reality, it was still up in the air whether or not the compact luxury hatch would head stateside, but I figured "a sleek, gorgeous, luxury hatch with an Audi badge and starting at $22,000 in a U.S. market suddenly interested again in quality small cars is a no-brainer."
Well, apparently it is a brainer: The New York Times Wheels blog is reporting that the A1 will not be coming to the U.S. Audi says the demand would be "too weak."
What. The. Hell.
Could it be? Could Audi be totally missing the mark on this, or -- dare I say it? -- behind the times?
Chrysler's Gilles says Apple should inform the car maker's move forward
Gilles said that while Chrysler has a storied history of innovation -- the badge pretty much invented both the minivan and the modern SUV -- many of its recent offerings have been either "me too" vehicles, which look like everything else, or models that received a lot of design attention but became one-hit wonders due to lack of follow-through.
Now, designwise, Gilles is the man. He created the Chrysler 300, which, while it's starting to show its years, was a pretty badass, head-turning car when it debuted. The man knows of what he speaks. The one thing I will question, though, is the following quote from the Automotive News source article:
By Greg Kable
Volkswagen is banking on the fuel-saving properties of a new gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain and what it describes as a wholesale improvement in quality levels to bolster North American sales of its second-generation Touareg.
This new Touareg represents VW's first foray into the premium-hybrid-SUV market, which includes gasoline-electric entries from BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac, among others. Further competition will come from a similarly powered version of the new Porsche Cayenne, alongside which the new Touareg was developed.
Despite the late entry of its hybrid, VW says it is confident the heavily reworked SUV will emulate the sales success of its seven-year-old predecessor--which recently raked up half a million sales worldwide--and register gains in many markets where it is sold.
As an alternative to the gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain, the new Touareg will also be offered with the choice of three new or upgraded gasoline or diesel engines during the initial sales period, although not all are expected to find their way to North America.
Consumer Reports' suggestions to automakers on how to stop unintended acceleration
Consumer Reports has stepped up to list five steps that Toyota, or any automaker, can take to fix the problem -- and, no, "throw out your floor mats" isn't one of them. (Not coincidentally, the magazine also dropped the "recommended" label on the models affected by the unintended-acceleration recall.) Let's take a look.
1. "Engineer cars so a sustained braking force can stop a car in a reasonable distance even with the accelerator pedal fully depressed." Many cars can do this even with the throttle wide open, as CR points out, but of what use is that if it takes 800 feet to do so? Their suggestion: a smart throttle control that lets the brake override the accelerator when both are engaged (something Toyota has pledged to install in the future).
By Greg Kable
Porsche will bring its latest hybrid know-how to the racetrack in the form of the new 911 GT3 R Hybrid, revealed for the first time prior to a planned public premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.
Developed by a team of engineers at Porsche's Weissach R&D center, Porsche plans for the stripped-out race car to act as a rolling laboratory. The German carmaker wants to explore the potential of hybrid drivetrains in a racing environment before an expected announcement that it will return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a factory capacity, perhaps in 2012, with a race car boasting technology based on that used in the 911 GT3 R Hybrid.
Based on Porsche's recently revealed 911 GT3 RSR, the R Hybrid eschews conventional hybrid technology for an advanced new electro-mechanical flywheel system. Porsche sources said that the company is considering the system as a means of boosting the performance of its future race cars, and that the technology could end up on selected road cars, including a planned hybrid version of the 911. The new hybrid technology forms part of a broader program that goes under the name Porsche Intelligent Performance.
Ex-Toyota lawyer alleges electronics are at the bottom of unintended-acceleration issues.
Let's add another doubtful party into the mix: Dimitrios Biller, a former in-house lawyer from 2003 to 2007 who defended the company in rollover accident lawsuits, says that the electronic throttle control, not just jammed floor mats and stuck pedals, is the cause of the problem -- and that Toyota knew it all along.
That's our long-term Mazda MAZDASPEED 3 wearing a blanket of snow earlier this week
With the biggest storm of the winter having battered the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, most enthusiasts have packed away the Pilotis, garaged the GTO, and hung up the helmet.
But what most people don't realize is that winter brings almost as many opportunities for spirited driving as the warm months. With the right equipment (snow tires), and the right ride (anything all-wheel drive), a snowy dash can be just the thing to cure your winter blues.
Forget the 911 Turbo, the 'S' means there's a new king of the sports-car hill.
When it comes to sports cars, Porsche serves up the cream of the crop, and the 911 Turbo is one of the jewels in the Stuttgart crown. Or at least it was. The German manufacturer just unleashed the new 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S. It’s been five years since the company has stitched an S to the end of the 911 name, and for good reason. The standard Turbo model has evolved into an incredibly capable machine with 500 horsepower on tap and one of the finest dual-clutch gearboxes on the market. But, as we all know, good is never enough.
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Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
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Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5