Mazda's affordable, amenity-packed commuter is Japan-only
But when you consider what the Carol represents -- a fuel-efficient, features-heavy (and, dare we say, cute) micro-mini commuter that goes extra easy on the wallet -- it's a shame the vehicle won't hit the roads here if for nothing else than to raise the subcompact bar.
BMW trots out its wares for 2010 and beyond.
Talk about kids in a candy store: From bright blue M3s and a "hot chocolate" MINI to a silvery Rolls-Royce Ghost, BMW rolled out a jelly-bean assortment of cars to satisfy media cravings at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Row upon row of showroom-buffed BMWs made it easy to remember the go-go days, when it seemed like even the pool boy could afford a Bimmer. But even as BMW keeps one eye open toward a modest sales comeback this year -- it's hoping to reel in a 10 percent gain in 2010 -- its executives still see troubling factors that suggest car sales aren’t about to race out of the woods.
Richard Brekus, BMW's general manager for sales, said that the depressed housing market continues to impede BMW and other luxury brands. Brekus noted that there’s a 23-month supply of homes with $1 million-plus price tags. And with 23 percent of homeowners underwater on their mortgages, owing more than the homes are worth, you can strike a lot of those people from any list of potential luxury-car shoppers.
But since automakers can’t just hang a “Gone Fishin'” sign on their design studios, factories and showrooms, brands like BMW must keep the new cars coming, jealously guard their market share and hope to lure as many flush buyers as possible.
By Greg Kable
The new rear-wheel-drive road rocket will debut publicly at the Moscow auto show in late August and will go on sale in the United States in October. Sticker price: $245,000.
The GT2 RS, to be built in a limited run of 500, is powered by the latest evolution of Zuffenhausen's 3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine, tuned to deliver a Le Mans-grade 620 hp. That's 90 hp more than the out-of-production 911 GT2 and 8 hp beyond the German carmaker's previously most powerful road car, the 5.7-liter, naturally aspirated V10-powered Carrera GT.
Insurance group petitions government for ABS on motorcycles
The tests were on the effect of anti-lock braking systems on motorcycles, and the results were dramatic: According to the institute, ABS can reduce fatal motorcycle accidents by up to 37 percent. A separate study by the Highway Loss Data Institute found similarly compelling numbers: 30 percent fewer injury claims, and 22 percent fewer damage claims.
Their appeal is equally noteworthy: a government mandate for ABS systems on all motorcycles.
By Izzi Bendall
Less green power for fewer greenbacks--that's a compromise some potential electric-car customers are willing to make, according to a recent survey.
Conducted by electric-vehicle maker Think, the survey found that half of respondents would accept a 70- to 80- mile range if the vehicle's cost was cut by $5,000. However, 55 percent of those who responded said they would be willing to pay an additional $5,000 for an EV with a 150- to 160-mile range.
But there are limits.
Cisco's dashboard of the future.
As reported by The New York Times "Wheels" blog, Cisco has created a prototype dashboard where the icons for applications -- such as your GPS navigation, fuel-use data and weather information -- can be manually manipulated just like on an iPad, by dragging and dropping, or made larger or smaller via pinching or expanding finger movements.
Want more info? Contact your local Porsche dealer.
Porsche is making it possible for owners of older cars to add some modern- or classic-looking equipment.
The classic look comes from the availability of 19-inch wheels styled to replicate the look of the Fuchs rims used on the 911 Sport Classic in 1966. The wheel's five spokes are painted black with a silver look to the outer rim and the Porsche logo in color on the wheel hub. The wheels, which include tires, are available for all-wheel-drive versions of the 911 Carrera, the Targa and the Turbo.
We found a piece of American automotive history, a 1948 Tucker sedan, in a not-so-unusual place.
Preston Tucker was a true American dreamer -- and he created one of the most memorable failures the automotive industry has ever seen: the radically unconventional 1948 Torpedo, later renamed the Tucker 48.
Only 51 Tuckers were made before the company folded on March 3, 1949, due to negative publicity initiated by the news media, a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and a heavily publicized stock-fraud trial. The whole sordid ordeal was immortalized on film by legendary director/producer Francis Ford Coppola, in 1988 (recent Oscar winner Jeff Bridges delivers a great performance as Tucker).
While established manufacturers were offering warmed-over prewar designs at the time, Tucker promised a car-starved nation aerodynamic efficiency, 100-mph cruising speed and safety features including a padded dash, “pop-out” windshield and disc brakes -- and he delivered them all. Not to mention a fully independent suspension with “Torsilastic” rubber and torsion bar springs, and a 5.5-liter rear-mounted aluminum helicopter engine converted from air- to water-cooling.
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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