By Don Klein
Monticello Motor Club president Ari Straus and his PR guy, Roger Garbow, were brainstorming in early October and came up with what initially sounded like a crazy idea: Bring a bunch of supercars to the track for a day of drifting.
"Beer was involved," says Garbow, in an attempt to rationalize the insanity of the concept. The next day, the two decided it was still a crazy idea. "But in a good way," notes Straus, who is always looking for innovative opportunities to showcase the club's versatility. (Check out the club at www.monticellomotorclub.com on the Web).
As luck would have it, a local drift enthusiast club, D-UP!, had reserved a section of the track for a practice session just 10 days hence. So Straus swung into action and persuaded some of his tony members to bring their heavy metal to join the tire-shredding fun fest. Recruits included a Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 Black Series, a Ferrari Maranello 575, a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, a Ford GT and a brand new Porsche GT3 RS. The club's fleet of Cadillac CTS-V coupes was also pressed into action.
13 lucky models to be powered by the all-new V6 engine.
As Chrysler cleans up the mess left by bankruptcy, the clutter includes a range of obsolete engines, and cars whose performance has suffered as a result of them. Chrysler recently announced, though, that its new Pentastar V6 will be offered on 13 car and truck models. In other words, this single 3.6-liter engine will replace seven existing V6s, almost none of them any good.
Already up and running on the terrific 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, the new workhorse is the most advanced 6-cylinder engine ever from Chrysler in terms of power, weight and fuel efficiency. The compact, lightweight engine -- a remarkable 94 pounds lighter than the 3.7-liter engine it replaces in the Jeep -- runs on regular gasoline and can power front-, rear- or all-wheel-drive models.
From the basement to celebrating in the boardroom in 12 short years.
Sales are one thing, but what Kranz is really touting is the company's turnaround. In 1998, Hyundai sold a dismal 90,000 vehicles during the entire year. It was plagued by myriad quality issues and the dismal reputation that comes with them. It was seen as a second-, maybe third-class purveyor of cheap econoboxes. Twelve years later, it's seen as a leader in both quality and value -- and even is competitive in the luxury and near-luxury segments, with the well-received and critically popular Equus and Genesis models. Not to mention that production had to be ramped up to keep pace with demand for the design-forward Sonata sedan.
By Luca Ciferri, Automotive News
The Fiat-based sedan will broaden Dodge's offerings in the crucial compact segment. The Caliber compact hatchback is the smallest Dodge model available today. It will continue in its current form until mid-2012.
The new Dodge compact sedan will be built in the United States and debut at the end of 2011. There will also be a high-mileage version that will get 40 mpg, Marchionne said.
How do they get them up there?
So, yeah -- that's about all I've got for this post. Check out Brown's post for the rest of the pics, which are pretty self-explanatory in that they're all weird. Seriously, how do you get even get a subcompact so perfectly positioned on a guard rail like that? It's like some prank from a wacky '80s comedy.
By Neil Roland, Automotive News
About 8.4 million Ford vehicles that can possibly catch fire remain on the road because of lack of owner information even after the largest U.S. safety recall ever, regulators said Thursday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged owners of the 14 million vehicles recalled between 1999 and 2009 for leaky cruise-control switches to take their unrepaired vehicles in to dealers. The switches on those vehicles may leak into the antilock brake system, Ford has said.
“If not repaired, the vehicles can catch fire, even if they are turned off, parked and unattended,” NHTSA's statement said.
Shared supplier means some Honda models have brake fluid issues, too.
Advics Co., based in Japan, supplies certain parts to both manufacturers, and the overlap means that, as with the Toyota recall, drivers who replace factory-installed Honda Genuine brake fluid with another brand may cause a rubber seal in the master cylinder to dry out or curl, leading to a possible leak. The problem with the other brake fluids, according to both Honda and Toyota, is that they might not contain the correct polymers to keep the parts working properly.
By Greg Migliore
Dodge is updating its Journey crossover with an improved interior, a new engine and a fortified suspension.
The Journey gets a one-piece instrument panel with larger cluster of gauges. In the middle is a full-color vehicle information screen backlit in Dodge's red lights.
There's more storage space, new seats and new colors and trims. The ride is also enhanced with reengineered suspension geometry.
Let's not forget what really improves the drive--the engine.
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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
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