No pricing and few details, but a picture is worth a thousand words.
No pricing or fuel-economy numbers are available yet, but here's what we do know about the large SUV: Both rear-wheel and 4-wheel drive will be available, and electronic stability control will be standard, as will a full range of airbags. Buyers will have two engine choices: a 3.6-liter V6, which in the Grand Cherokee gets 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway, and a 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which in the Grand Cherokee gets 14/20.
By Roger Hart
If you think that every little nut, bolt, switch, gear or widget in your new car wasn't scrutinized by a team of highly educated, overworked car geeks (read: engineers), think again.
A couple of recent conversations with automotive engineers confirmed that virtually nothing that goes into a car today is taken for granted.
During the recent Pebble Beach weekend, I had the pleasure of spending time with an engineer for Jaguar, and the subject turned to materials used for various switches in the cabin. He said Jag chose not to use a particular finish that a competitor was using because it failed Jag's durability tests. Those tests included, among other things, subjecting the switch repeatedly to perspiration, gasoline and sunscreen, among other stuff. Seems the finish on the switch in question didn't hold up when repeatedly exposed to those substances, as it could be during the life of the car.
You wouldn't want to drop $80,000 on a new XJ and, after a trip to the beach and a stop for fuel that resulted in a spill on your hands, have the markings on the AC controls disappearing. No, that would not be good.
Engineers have to constantly look at performance of the parts versus cost, as well. Not always an easy balance.
The man behind the mask: Ben Collins.
The BBC, which produces "Top Gear," had threatened to sue the then-anonymous driver over a planned tell-all book that would reveal who played the character. The BBC said the driver was under contract to keep his or her identity secret.
Ferrari is recalling 1,248 copies of the 458 Italia to replace an adhesive prone to catching fire.
The adhesive is used in the wheel-arch assemblies. If it overheats, it can ignite.
Ferrari says it has received five reports of 458s catching fire; some of those burning cars have become Internet stars.
The Italian automaker began looking into the situation in August after five 458s caught fire in California, Paris, Switzerland, China and one other unnamed location.
Mazda, others aim to beat fuel-economy standards without hybrid vehicles.
Consumers have come to think that anything with a hybrid badge is bound to be cleaner and more efficient than its nonelectrified counterpart, even though that’s not always the case. Mazda is one manufacturer that has struck off in a different direction. The company has just announced that its new generation of Sky engines will increase the company’s average fuel economy by a staggering 30 percent -- all without the added weight, cost or complexity of a hybrid battery and electric motor.
New clip shows the potential.
From the visual cues (three cars barreling down a heat-hazed track and blowing by a stationary camera) to the tongue-in-cheek lead-in (a matador squaring off with a Lamborghini, whose mascot is the bull) to the general concept (pitting three Lambos against one another in a rubber-burning match), the clip is everything we want to see from a TV show bearing the "Top Gear" logo on this side of the pond.
Except for the hosts' banter. Sorry, boys, but your dry British wit still needs some work.
You say your Pontiac Solstice isn't electric? It can be.
Conversion companies like Amp Electric, profiled today in The New York Times "Wheels" blog, will take certain existing vehicles and customize them to electric power. Amp, for example, converted a 2010 Chevy Equinox LX to batteries, gutting the gasoline drivetrain and adding a 37-kilowatt-hour air-cooled lithium-ion-phosphate battery pack imported from China and two rear-mounted Remy electric motors -- the same used by General Motors for its dual-mode hybrids -- to put out 214 horsepower. The results? The company claims a top speed of about 90 mph, a zero-to-60 mph time of less than eight seconds.
By Diana T. Kurylko, Automotive News
India's Tata Motors, which bought Jaguar from Ford Motor Co. two years ago, recently approved a product plan that gives Jaguar three new models: a small sports car, an entry-level sedan and a station wagon.
They will be the first new vehicles to be fully developed under Tata, but they are all several years away.
For now, Jaguar is pushing its recently redesigned XJ. Jaguar executives think it could boost the brand's global sales by as much as a half this year to 75,000 cars.
To improve its quality image in the United States, Jaguar is offering 5-year/50,000-mile scheduled free maintenance on its 2011 models.
Here is a rundown of Jaguar's product plans for 2010-13:
Explore New Cars
More on MSN Autos
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
About Exhaust Notes
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.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at firstname.lastname@example.org.