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.
BMW gives its roadster the special-edition treatment.
In 1940, BMW entered five racers in the infamous Mille Miglia -- a 1,000-mile road rally through the Italian countryside that punished both drivers and their machines. The company managed to take a number of top honors that year, including overall victory and team victory. BMW walked away with first, third, fifth and sixth places in one of the manufacturer's greatest motorsports campaigns.
Clean diesel engines show a higher-than-expected adoption rate among consumers
For example, using the 12-month period from January 2009 to January 2010, we see that 8 percent of buyers chose the Toyota Camry Hybrid, which has been available since the 2007 model year. During the same 12-month period, the Audi Q7 TDI had adoption rate of 30 percent, which is even less than the 49 percent of VW Jetta customers who chose the clean-diesel TDI version.
That's good news for all of us who have been waiting for European manufacturers (and domestic ones) to wise up to the fact that there's a market for clean diesels in the States -- which means, of course, a larger selection of fuel-efficient and torque-heavy fun machines (we hope).
A breakdown of some adoption rates for diesel engines by model, via Autospies:
TomTom releases first of four 'Star Wars' voices for GPS directions.
Not literally, of course. Instead, that $12.95 will buy you the voice of Darth Vader on your TomTom GPS device, according to Consumer Reports. The legendary villain is the first "Star Wars" character -- of a planned four, including C-3PO (June), Yoda (July) and Han Solo (August) -- to get a spot on the company's roster of fictional characters giving you real-time driving directions. The service, available only on TomTom software version 5.0 or higher, also includes free "Star Wars" downloads with startup screens, icons and sound effects.
Check out a funny promotional commercial for the new service, after the jump.
By Greg Migliore
The BMW 5-series GT is already a striking ride, and now German tuners Hamann have worked their magic on the crossover with performance, aero and visual enhancements.
The 5-series GT is thoroughly modified by the speed shop. The exterior is marked by a host of custom parts, including side skirts, front and rear spoilers and four stainless-steel exhaust pipes that measure 90 millimeters in diameter.
The wheels immediately signal that this is not a conventional people hauler, with 22-inch designer alloys. The air suspension is lowered for a more sinister appearance.
Hyundai's new engine shows the company deals from strength.
If anyone could squeeze 200 horsepower and 35 mpg out of a big family sedan, you’d think it would be Honda or Toyota. Instead, it’s the new 2011 Hyundai Sonata -- armed with its new 2.4-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder engine -- that shoots holes in Honda, Toyota, Ford and everyone else, offering both the most horsepower and the best fuel economy of any 4-cylinder family sedan.
That one-two punch of power and economy shows why Hyundai's decision to not even offer a V6 in the Sonata was smart. Why bother with a fuel-sucking six when you can save so much money (hundreds at the pump and thousands off the sticker price) by downsizing to a 4-cylinder engine that doesn’t demand the old compromises in power or performance?
Throw in the Sonata’s undercutting price (just over 19 grand to start) and overachieving styling that highlights a slope-roofed elegance inspired by the Mercedes CLS and Volkswagen CC, and it’s clear that South Korea’s auto juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down.
Ford to double its number of flex-fuel vehicles.
Given all that, this is disappointing news.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Ford plans on keeping its promise from 2006 that it will double its amount of flex-fuel vehicles (numbering, at the time, 185,000) by this year.
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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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