Exhaust Notes

Decision Guide

By Diana T. Kurylko, Automotive News

By AutoWeek Sep 1, 2010 7:08AM

Volvo's only scheduled unveiling in the States in the next few years is the S60 sedan, which goes on sale in September. (Photo from Volvo.)

Ford Motor Co.'s sale of Volvo to Geely in August leaves doubt about the Swedish company's product plans.

For example, all of Volvo's current range except the 9-year-old XC90 crossover makes use of Ford vehicles and components. The XC90 is based on Volvo's P2 platform and was developed before Ford ownership.

But small cars--the S40, V50, S70 and C30--use the C1 platform, engineered by Ford, Mazda and Volvo. The S60/XC60, XC70 and S80 use Ford's EUCD large-car platform. Volvo's 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine was developed with Land Rover when both were owned by Ford.

The only new vehicle Volvo is scheduled to unveil in the next few years in the United States is the S60 sedan, which goes on sale in September. Doug Speck, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, expects annual sales of 15,000 to 25,000. Last year Volvo sold 5,895 S60s, down from 8,966 in 2008.

Speck said the S60 has "trendsetting" design and "the best interior package we have ever had in a sedan, with better height and legroom."

Here is a rundown of Volvo's plans.


An updated version of the automaker family tree

By Joshua Condon Aug 31, 2010 2:48PM
Keeping track of the auto industry can be confusing -- so let Jalopnik do it for you!

After the jump, check out the site's updated -- and very detailed -- automaker family tree. Or, for a extra-large version, click on the image in its original post

By David Barkholz, Automotive News

By AutoWeek Aug 31, 2010 1:31PM

The Chevrolet Cruze goes on sale in the United States in late September. (Photo courtesy of Chevrolet.)Chevrolet is asking its 3,000 dealers to prepare for the late September launch of the Chevrolet Cruze compact by purchasing competitors' vehicles for test-drive comparisons.

Chevrolet is encouraging dealers to have a Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic on site so prospective 2011 Cruze buyers can immediately measure the car against its segment competitors, said Margaret Brooks, Chevrolet small-car marketing director.


Industry association opposes letter-grade labels.

By Joshua Condon Aug 31, 2010 12:45PM
Hey, remember those new fuel-efficiency stickers proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration yesterday? Well, the National Automobile Dealer Association remembers them, and it does not like them -- at least the ones featuring the letter grade.

According to Automotive News, NADA spokesman Bailey Wood is quoted as saying the letter-grade labels will "confuse the buying public, make vehicle purchasing decisions more difficult or treat automakers or fuel types unfairly."

Under the proposed labeling system only zero-emissions vehicles would receive a grade of A+, though even the worst vehicle in terms of fuel economy would be spared a failing grade as the range bottoms out with a D.

There's also the idea that the letter grades will lead to, er, hurt feelings. From the source article: "Dave McCurdy, CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents Toyota, GM, Ford and eight other manufacturers, said Monday the rating system 'falls short because it is imbued with schoolyard memories of passing and failing.'" 

By Dan Prescott

By AutoWeek Aug 31, 2010 10:32AM


Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s high-speed lifestyle of flying through the desert, leaving a rooster tail of dust, is taking a turn down a calmer, gentler road.

Stewart, 64, is ready to slow things down and create more time for himself and his family. “I’m not retiring,” he insists, “just changing directions.”

Last weekend he sold his off-road racing truck business and everything that goes along with it. He had more than 35 years of one-of-a-kind racing artifacts, memorabilia and assorted off-road racing equipment--enough stuff to fill a leased warehouse in El Cajon, Calif. Eschewing sentimentality for practicality, he sold it all in an auction.

One of the biggest names in off-road racing, Stewart achieved a remarkable 82 wins behind the wheel of race buggies, Mickey Thompson stadium trucks and Baja trucks. His trophies include three Baja 1000 wins and a record 17 Baja 500 wins. Off-road video games bear his name, and longtime sponsor Toyota even produced a limited number of Ivan Stewart “Ironman”-edition trucks.


Mercedes puts a modern spin on the classic Gullwing with its all-new 2011 SLS AMG -- and we got to drive it.

By Chuck Tannert Aug 31, 2010 8:38AM

2011 SLS AMG on streets of Manhattan (Chuck Tannert)“Icon” is one of the most egregiously overused words in the English language -- especially by overzealous media types like me, trying to turn mundane stories into front-page headlines by lionizing someone or something that doesn’t deserve it. Not everyone and everything can be an icon, or “iconic,” otherwise the meaning of the label gets diluted, and that's a crime against those people or creations deserving of it.


More SLS AMG Pictures


The original Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, for instance, is one such creation worthy of being called an icon. And I'm confident my assertion that the all-new 2011 SLS AMG, the Gullwing's spiritual successor, is set to follow in the 300SL's footsteps is no simple hyperbole.


Courts find that police can track your vehicle without oversight.

By James Tate Aug 31, 2010 7:30AM
The Fourth Amendment to the constitution is an important one. After suffering at the hands of a corrupt British government, our forefathers made it clear that they needed to protect citizens from overbearing law enforcement -- that includes fending off unreasonable search and seizure. Unfortunately, with the advancement of various technologies, the definitions of those two acts have become increasingly murky. Last week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that law enforcement officers do not violate the Fourth Amendment if they use a GPS device to track your whereabouts. Even worse, those officers can come onto your property to install the tracker. 

New fuel-efficiency grading stickers planned for 2012.

By Joshua Condon Aug 30, 2010 3:22PM
One of the proposed fuel-efficiency labels developed by the EPA and NHTSA. (Image from New York Times Wheels blog.)Fuel efficiency is more of a hot topic during the hot months, when gasoline tends to be more expensive, which makes it fitting that the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today released images of two new versions of window stickers for vehicles starting with the 2012 model year.

The proposed stickers are mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and require the EPA and NHTSA to give ratings to vehicles based on fuel economy and the emission of greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants. One of the proposed stickers (below) would give each car a letter grade, report-card-style, based on fuel efficiency -- an idea quickly denounced by automakers. The range would run from A+, for zero-emission vehicles only, down to a D, meaning even the worst offenders would be spared a "failing" grade. 


  • 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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