'Exhaust Notes' to follow a slightly different schedule for the next week.
It is, however, a working vacation, or rather a vacation during which I'll be working. There are plans for some Shanghai-specific content (more on that later), but for the most part the blog will go on, business as usual, with the caveat that content may be showing up at odd times thanks to the 12-hour time difference between Shanghai and the East Coast of the U.S.
The Zagato-built Volvo 3000 GTZ.
So, to throw some fuel on that fire, as it were, here's a picture of the 2-door Volvo 3000 GTZ from, I believe, 1970 or thereabouts. It was built by Zagato, the design firm responsible for countless Alfas, Maseratis, Astons and the like -- and it would seem they built the seemingly oxymoronic: a Volvo sports car. Jalopnik is certainly calling it such.
Consumer Reports looks at the next-generation, car-based Ford Explorer.
But, as we've reported in the past, Ford is forging ahead with a crossover Explorer that's based on the platform that serves both the Taurus and Flex. No low gear ratios, although by offering Land Rover's Terrain Response Management, the smaller, lower-riding CUV won't necessarily be left to exploring the mall parking lot or the back way to Whole Foods. Power, it seems, will be ample, with a standard multivalve V6 engine and, for some extra cash, a turbocharged 4-cylinder EcoBoost.
Chevy's Camaro sales claim doesn't hold water.
I nearly spit coffee all over my screen when I saw GM claiming a sales achievement for its new Camaro. In fact, the manufacturer claims that its pony car, the star of the “Transformers” films, has become the nation’s best-selling "sports car," chalking up 99,872 sales in its first full year of production.
Let’s see, how to put this nicely -- what a crock! The claim is marketing spin at its finest; disingenuous at best and misleading for sure.
Read my lips, GM: The Chevrolet Camaro is not, and has never been, a "sports car." We all know what a sports car is: Two seats (or a plus-two layout at most); rear-wheel drive; convertible optional; relatively compact and lightweight. A sports car is a Chevy Corvette. A Mazda Miata is also a sports car, as is a Porsche 911, an MG and a Nissan Z.
A new law in New Jersey requires drivers under 21 years old to put a red sticker in the upper left corner of the license plate
A New Jersey law--the first of its kind in the country--requiring drivers younger than 21 to put a small red decal on their license plates has both teens and adults upset, according to a story on the Wall Street Journal Web site.
When one mother took her 16-year-old to the Motor Vehicle Commission for a learner's permit, the clerk told her she needed to buy red decals for her daughter. "When hell freezes over, I'll buy those stickers," she told the Journal.
About 250,000 drivers are subject to the law, and the motor-vehicle department has sold 105,000 stickers. Teens caught without the decals face a $100 fine.
Effects of Toyota's safety scandals seen through actions of other manufacturers.
According to the article:
"Chrysler is recalling its vehicles after some drivers complained that when they released the gas pedal it did not return to the idle position. Four of the complaints said the drivers found parts from the pedal assembly loose on the driver's side floor."
By Rick Kranz, Automotive News
Saab Automobile AB is reinventing itself as an independent automaker.
Since its sale by General Motors Co. to Spyker Cars NV in February, Saab has been re-evaluating every aspect of its business. Big changes are under way or expected.
"We are now in charge of our own destiny, which means we can do anything we want," said Spyker CEO Victor Muller.
Saab is slashing manufacturing and engineering costs. It is looking for tie-ups with other European automakers to share engineering costs, with an announcement expected in the next two or three months. It also is shopping its engineering expertise to automakers worldwide.
Caliber, Compass recalled.
According to The New York Times "Wheels" blog:
"Chrysler said the problem involved 'pivot bushings in vehicles with oversize accelerator pedal bearing pockets.' The problem occurs if the bushing becomes dislodged."
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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.
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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