This time, can Chevy scale the compact fortress?
Small cars have never been big players for Detroit, to put it mildly. But with more Americans downsizing into compact and even subcompact cars, it’s critical for General Motors and Chrysler (and, to a lesser extent, Ford) to change their small-car offerings from bottom feeders to market leaders.
For GM, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is the latest bid to erase bad memories of crapulent Cavaliers and mediocre Cobalts. At a dinner in New York with Jim Campbell, Chevy’s general manager, journalists pored over a spiffy pair of Cruzes parked outside. And at a standstill at least, the Cruze looks to have the right stuff to finally put Chevy in the game against the perennial small-car sales kings, the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
The 367 mph school bus
Obviously, the school bus was hardly a production vehicle, unless the world's most awesome school superintendent somewhere has been ordering fleets of buses powered by a General Electric J-79 jet engine with 42,000 horsepower.
Check it out after the jump.
Steering issue leads to recall.
Only about 585 Pilots from the 2010 model year have been targeted, though the issue is serious enough that Honda has issued a stop-sell order to keep other vehicles from leaving the lot before the issue is fixed.
By Lindsay Chappell, Automotive News
Saab dealers will receive the latest 9-3 in 2012, Spyker founder and Saab Automobile AB Chairman Victor Muller said Thursday at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.
The dealers, who have been starved for product as former owner General Motors attempted to sell or liquidate the brand, also will obtain a Cadillac-based 9-4X crossover when it goes into production in April 2011 in Mexico.
The Bio-Bug runs on waste -- human waste.
The project was envisioned by Wessex Water, a sewage treatment company in England, and the waste-powered Beetle was built by the Greenfuel Co., which converts gas-powered cars to run on liquified petroleum gas. The methane itself must also be treated through biogas upgrading, a process that separates carbon dioxide molecules. (GENeco, a company owned by Wessex Water, provided the necessary equipment for the process.)
By Mark Vaughn
Scion vice president Jack Hollis is a former Stanford and AAA baseball player who, but for an injury, coulda been a contender, coulda played in the show.
He's not one to boast--he didn't tell us of his baseball days, we got it from someone else. Nonetheless, you'd imagine the 6-foot-2-inch auto exec would have a pretty good self-image. But when trying to describe his conduct in meetings with executives in Japan, he knows exactly who he looks like.
"Who's that kid in Welcome Back Kotter," he asks. "The one who's always raising his hand and saying, 'Ooo, ooo, ooo!"
"Yeah, that's the one, I'm like Horshack raising my hand saying, 'Ooo! Ooo! Rear wheel-drive, rear wheel-drive!"
Upcoming Chevy Cruze won't get the SS badge.
Despite some comments in the past that Chevy would put more focus on the SS badge in a return to its performance roots, the Cruze will max out with an RS version -- not exactly the pavement-screamer that many Chevy fans have been waiting for.
British police bash in an old man's car.
As Jalopnik points out, the context of the video below is not perfectly clear. What is clear is two British police officers bashing the ever-living hell out of an old man's Range Rover -- an old man, it should be noted, who was pulled over for not wearing his seat belt, never exceeded the speed limit, and was under the impression that the lit-up squad cars were following him (after he had been previously stopped for said seat-belt infraction and left thinking everything was under control) because, as he had told officers earlier, he was in a rush to get home and take his heart medication. The officers in question, on the other hand, claim that 70-year-old Robert Whatley struck an officer during his prior stop -- something Whatley denies.
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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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