The iconic hybrid from Toyota turns is officially a decade old this year.
When Toyota came to the hybrid game, the only other production vehicle on the market that could boast an electric motor was the quirky and functionally limited Honda Insight. The Prius offered drivers the chance to see otherwise unheard-of fuel economy numbers while lugging two or three friends around at the same time. It was a recipe that would prove all but irresistible as Americans watched fuel prices skyrocket.
By Dale Jewett
Dodge confirmed on Monday that its SUV will continue to be called the Durango, stamping out Internet rumors that would wear a Magnum nameplate. And it put out a few teaser shots to whet your appetite before the launch this fall.
The 2011 Durango shares its platform with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. The key difference is that the Durango will offer a third row of seats, while the Jeep sticks to cargo area in back.
Classic bikes at the Concours
By Jake Lingeman
Honda's updated 2011 Accord sedan and coupe will hit dealerships in mid-August. The Accord gets a refresh inside and out, a new leather-equipped Special Edition model and a handful of other interior upgrades.
Fuel-economy improvements--a result of improved aerodynamics, less engine friction and new gear ratios--mean 34 mpg on the highway for the four-cylinder and 30 mpg for the V6. The V6 also gets variable cylinder management that deactivates up to half of the cylinders for efficient cruising.
The sedan gets a redesigned grille, front bumper, rear deck lid and a new wheel design. The coupe gets a new grille and new brake lights.
For power, Honda will stick with the same 2.4-liter I4 making 190 hp and 177 lb-ft for the EX and LX models, and a 3.5-liter V6 making 271 hp for the EX V6 and EX-L.
Profits and products offer glimmers of hope for GM.
No one likes the sound of "Government Motors." Not General Motors executives; not the Bush and Obama administrations, which bailed out Detroit; not the taxpayers who found themselves holding 61 percent of America’s largest automaker.
Now, with GM reporting its most profitable quarter in six years and heading toward an initial public stock offering, the government will begin sloughing off that investment and recouping a chunk of the $50 billion borrowed by GM -- and, eventually, restore the General to its private-company status, along with (hopefully) the consumer good will that the bailout and years of short-sighted management cost GM.
Edward Whitacre, the former AT&T chief handpicked by the Obama administration to lead GM, will step down at year end. He’ll be replaced by Daniel Akerson, another former telecommunications executive who’s currently head of the powerful Carlyle Group’s global buyout division. This makes Akerson the fourth GM CEO in the past 18 months.
More shots from the green on Pebble Beach
The 60th annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is in full swing.
But enough of my temperature woes: The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is under way. I've been out here since about 8:00 a.m. (last year I was out for Dawn Patrol at 5:00 a.m., and in a way I regret not coming back this year) so I have a bunch of cool pictures. I'll be posting some throughout the day as time permits. Enjoy. (Scroll over the images to read what each car is.)
Classic brand celebrates its 75th anniversary.
Jag had good reason to celebrate the past, as this year marks the 75th anniversary of the Jaguar name. Of the 16 XKSS models -- arguably the most beautiful and iconic Jag ever made -- the British company, now owned by India's Tata motors, managed to bring 12 of them to the party. At the kickoff, corresponding to a "Gentlemen, start your engines!" announcement, each owner started up his car and saluted the attendees with some throaty exhaust notes.
More pictures after the jump.
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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