Exhaust Notes

Decision Guide

Today is world car-free day.

By Joshua Condon Sep 22, 2010 10:58AM
Today, like every Sept. 22, is World Car-Free Day, a global initiative that asks people to stay out of their cars for the day. Surely it's a nice, earth-friendly way to take some emissions pressure off of Mother Earth, if only for 24 hours, right? No! It's far more nefarious than that! According to World Carfree Network, it's a protest day meant to "remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society." And there's more:
"But we do not want just one day of celebration and then a return to 'normal' life. When people get out of their cars, they should stay out of their cars. It is up to us, it is up to our cities and our governments to help create permanent change to benefit pedestrians, cyclists and other people who do not drive cars."
"Let World Carfree Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like and sound like without cars … 365 days a year."

By Diana T. Kurylko, Automotive News

By AutoWeek Sep 22, 2010 9:44AM

The redesigned Cayenne went on sale this year. A hybrid comes in 2011. (Photo courtesy of Porsche.)

Now that it's owned by Volkswagen, Porsche reportedly is planning two small vehicles that the German sports car maker's previous management had nixed.

Porsche is expected to increase the size of its Boxster roadster, leaving room at the bottom of the range for a smaller midengine car engineered jointly with Volkswagen. A small SUV also is likely to be added.

Plug-in hybrid versions of the Panamera four-door sedan and Cayenne SUV also are part of a plan to increase Porsche's worldwide sales to 150,000 vehicles in the new few years.


Build great cars; stop obsessing over sales.

By Lawrence Ulrich Sep 22, 2010 7:15AM

The Volkswagen CC sedan. (Photo courtesy of Volkswagen.)C’mon, Volkswagen, drop the charade. You're never going to sell 800,000 cars in America, not by 2018, probably not when our cars drive themselves, "Minority Report"-style. That’s especially true if your plans call for more warmed-over Chrysler minivans, Accord-sized family sedans and Jettas designed to compete with econoboxes from Detroit and Japan.


Volkswagen sold fewer than 220,000 cars here last year. It’s been left in the dust by Hyundai, which sold 435,000 and isn't looking back. And there’s a reason that goes beyond Hyundai’s ability to undercut Volkswagen’s prices: Hyundai understands what Americans want from a Hyundai. And Volkswagen, after all these decades, still doesn’t get what Americans want from a Volkswagen.


Motor Trend puts the 911 Turbo against the ZR1 in a quarter-mile race with suprising results.

By Joshua Condon Sep 21, 2010 2:29PM
On paper, a quarter-mile race between the 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo and the 2011 Corvette ZR1 seems like a foregone conclusion in favor of the American muscle; after all, while the all-wheel-drive Porsche is widely accepted to be superior in the turns, the ZR1 is lighter (at 3,329 pounds versus the Porsche's 3,500 pounds) and boasts superior horsepower and torque numbers (638 horses for the ZR1 versus 500 for the Porsche, with 604 lb-ft of torque against the German's 480 lb-ft) -- meaning it should take the cake in Motor Trend's straight-line drag race.

Not so: The Porsche bests the 'Vette by about three car lengths. The Porsche's traction makes all the difference in the shorter race. Check out the video after the jump. 

By Diana T. Kurylko, Automotive News

By AutoWeek Sep 21, 2010 12:46PM

The $1.5 million 16C Galibier is made of carbon fiber and aluminum. (Photo courtesy of Bugatti.)

Bugatti, Volkswagen Group's exotic sports-car brand, is ending production of its Veyron and will replace it with the tamer but more luxurious Galibier.

16C Galibier: The four-seat sedan is expected to go on sale in 2013 for about $1.5 million. Only 300 will be produced.

The Galibier, which is made of carbon fiber and aluminum, will use the Veyron's 8.0-liter W16 engine but will employ superchargers rather than turbochargers--producing 800 hp.


Scott Speed in Red Bull's idea of a Chicago taxi

By Joshua Condon Sep 21, 2010 11:46AM
Red Bull race car. Downtown Chicago. Scott Speed will be your livery driver.

In other words: NASCAR taxi. Enjoy.


By Diana T. Kurylko, Automotive News

By AutoWeek Sep 21, 2010 9:39AM

The A7, which is slightly shorter and narrower than the A8, has all-wheel drive and will be available with a V6 or V8. (Photo courtesy of Audi.)

Audi is planning to jump into several new segments.

Next year it will add the coupe-styled A7 sedan to compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Porsche Panamera sedans. The all-new Q3 small crossover goes into production next year in Europe but won't get to the United States until 2013.

Audi is also considering a small electric car based on the next-generation A2.


Why Ford should have given the Ranger another shot.

By James Tate Sep 21, 2010 7:07AM

2010 Ford RangerIt’s curtains for the Ford Ranger. Ford has announced that production of the truck will end sometime next year and that the United States won’t see a replacement. Instead, buyers will be herded toward the F-150, with its new, lower price, its range of fuel-efficient engines and its smart 6-speed automatic transmission.


The reasoning is pretty simple. The new global Ranger is too close in size to the F-150 to be an effective replacement for the small truck that buyers love here in the U.S. Throw in the fact that the small-truck segment has been shrinking significantly over the past few years and you have a recipe for one dead Ranger.

Or at least you do from the corporate point of view. For people who buy and love their compact trucks, there’s no replacement for a small, utilitarian vehicle -- and the void in the Ford lineup left by the Ranger can’t be filled by the likes of the F-150 or the work-oriented Transit Connect. Our guess is that the buyers who have been snapping up new Ranger models will take their business elsewhere rather than pony up the extra cash for a brand-new full-size pickup.



  • Cliff Atiyeh

    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

    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

    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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