By Brad Constant
Among its aftermarket products, Audi will introduce its new iPod Satellite Adapter, which allows the vehicle's satellite radio to be displayed through an iPod. Audi will also release its iPhone Car Monitor app that allows Audi owners to monitor, track and analyze the performance of their vehicles. Custom illuminated floor mats and a wireless iPod and iPhone charger will also be part of Audi's stand at SEMA.
Nissan's CEO nails the number of EV sales that would result in a competitive price, even without government subsidies.
Finally, someone put a figure to the whole electric-vehicle thing.
Sadly, talk surrounding electric vehicles tends to be vague and full of qualifiers -- small surprise when you consider it's still an emerging technology with an as-yet undefined, unquantifiable customer base. So it's refreshing to see that Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has done some number-crunching in terms of cold, hard sales, rather than a vehicle's impact on, say, brand perception or technology leadership.
High-volume sales are the key to reducing cost for any product; EVs are no exception. Right now, the Nissan Leaf EV sells for $32,780 -- quite a high sticker, considering the Leaf is the size of the Versa subcompact, which starts at less than 10 grand and tops out at less than $17,000. But of course, research and development -- not to mention lithium-ion batteries -- are expensive, and manufacturers look to high initial prices for early adopters as well as to government subsidies -- in this case a federal payback of $7,500, which knocks the Leaf's price down to a more manageable $25,280 -- to move cars while staying profitable. By Ghosn's numbers, he could sell the full electric at the lower price figuring annual sales of -- wait for it -- 1 million Leafs.
By Dale Jewett
WITH VIDEO -- Underground Racing, the Charlotte, N.C., tuning shop that broke the 250-mph mark with a twin-turbo Lamborghini Gallardo in Texas last spring, saw that car crash on Oct. 23 after making another run at the Texas Mile high-speed challenge.
Video of the run, posted on YouTube, shows the orange Gallardo passing the 1-mile marker on the closed runway, deploying a parachute and veering to the right and off the runway. The car becomes airborne and flips twice before landing.
Internet reports say the driver survived with no major injuries, and that there was a strong crosswind at the time of the crash.
Smart gives the fortwo the Hello Kitty treatment -- REALLY?
New ad slogan is vague, confusing
According to the ad firm that came up with the tag, it's supposed to be a reference to Chevy's deep roots in American culture. OK, sure -- but if you need to explain it, it's not effective. The phrase is exceptionally bad, considering Chevy's rich history of iconic advertising.
By Automotive News
What's the latest trend for superexpensive cars? Making them look dull.
The matte paint once reserved for cars headed for crash testing is showing up on the highest of high-end models. The new Mercedes-Benz CLS sedan and Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale coupe can be ordered with matte finishes, and the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento supercar concept showed up with matte paint last month at the Paris auto show.
The reason crash-test cars get a matte finish is because there's no need to spend the extra money to add coats of glossy paint to something that's about to be driven into a wall. But that casual look is catching on.
The short-list for North American car and truck of the year.
On Dec. 16, the finalists for North American car and truck of the year -- three vehicles in each category -- will be announced, with the two winners named on Jan. 10 during the kick-off press conference for the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Before that, however, the list needs to be whittled down from the 28 vehicles that have made the short-list. Mark Phelan from the Detroit Free Press, one of the 50 jurors voting in the contest, has listed those worthy rides -- and pointed out the interesting fact that not one pickup truck is among the 28 contenders. Check out the full list after the jump.
By Brad Constant
The 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 marks the return of the 392-cubic-inch Hemi V8.
The 392-cubic-inch Hemi (5.4 liters), which has not been in a production car for 52 years, produces 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. That is up 45 hp and 50 lb-ft over the previous 6.1-liter Hemi V8 in the Challenger SRT8.
The new powertrain should propel the Challenger SRT8 down the quarter-mile in the high-12-second range, according to a Dodge spokesman.
Explore New Cars
More on MSN Autos
About Exhaust Notes
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at email@example.com.
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