2012 Chevrolet Sonic

Tuesday April 5th, 2011 at 10:44 AM
Posted by: Derek

2012 Chevrolet Sonic HatchbackChevrolet Creates Waves With The All-New 2012 Sonic

DETROIT – Chevrolet displayed the all-new 2012 Sonic at the North American International Auto Show. Its youthful, aggressive design is backed by turbocharged performance and agile ride and handling, combining to deliver an efficient, fun-to-drive small car.

The Sonic is offered in two body styles: a stylish four-door sedan and a sporty five-door. Each delivers class-leading rear-seat roominess and cargo space. A variety of connectivity features enhance the driving experience.

“The all-new Chevrolet Sonic blends the practicality of a small car with the passion for driving that Chevrolet vehicles like the Corvette are known for,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “Its combination of great design, fun driving experience and the latest connectivity features create a serious competitor with a fun spirit.”

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Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power Station Speakerless Car System

Friday January 21st, 2011 at 7:11 AM
Posted by: aquadog

Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power StationBongiovi Acoustics and Johnson Controls have teamed up to create the first 100% digital audio processing speakerless car system for Toyota cars, which is currently being shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Designed by music legend Tony Bongiovi, an audio engineer and record producer, the Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power Station (DPS) is the latest in software technology, that will reassemble audio in real time for an optimal listening experience.

Johnson Controls make all parts of the car vibrate, thus producing sound and acting as speakers. The Bongiovi DPS with the digital signal processing of each car’s unique acoustic environment and vibrations, provides a recording studio quality audio experience without the size and cost of other premium audio upgrades and extra hardware. For example, instead of having a subwoofer, the system uses the sheet metal beneath the seats, and having no speakers also provides more space and options on the doors.

The Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power Station will be available fall 2011 starting at $280 for most current Toyota models.

Experience DPS technology with a free plug-in optimized for iTunes and Mac users at www.dpsplugin.com. A Windows version will be available shortly.

Posted in Car Stereo and In-Car Electronics, Press and News, Toyota |Tags:, , , , , , , || 1 Comment »

Porsche, Buick, Modern Muscle Cars at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit

Wednesday January 19th, 2011 at 9:11 PM
Posted by: ponycargirl

©2011 Megan Green - Porsche 918 Spyder RSR at 2011 NAIASArticle and photos by Megan Green

Porsche 918 RSR
At a 6:30 a.m. press conference in snowy Detroit, the press gathered around in anticipation of the first reveal of the day. With smoky fanfare, Porsche rolled out their 918 RSR , a high-end hybrid sports car. The best of the 2010 Spyder concept and 911 GT3 R hybrid were combined to create the fluid yet powerful two-seat coupe powered by a V8 mid-engine. Two electric motors on the front axle contribute as well as store power while braking, utilizing its flywheel accumulator – taking the place of a second seat to the right of the driver. On the console, modern touch technology is eschewed in favor of rocker switches. Finishing aesthetic touches include brown leather bucket seats and steering wheel, wing doors, with the body painted a cool blue accented with bright orange racing stripes and brake calipers. It’s just a shame that the 918 RSR didn’t stick around for more admiration during the public show days.

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The Americans are coming! The Americans are coming! Chevy goes mini with "Spark"

Wednesday January 20th, 2010 at 1:11 PM
Posted by: asgruben

2010 Chevrolet Spark

By Adrienne Gruben

As I wrote in my Camaro Synergy Green Special Edition article, the Americans are trying to put their best feet forward at this year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Now, it’s no secret that saddled by the stigma from a rough decade or two, the American wow factor isn’t always as high as with Japanese or European product. And despite the fact that everybody borrows, no one will argue that some of the Americans have been snoozy on innovation, and even classics like Mustang and Corvette (a market that some foreign automakers have wanted to enter) are sometimes referred to as pieces of s*#t because of laziness about features as basic as cheap control panels. You’re going to want to add other negatives to the list, but you can’t – it’s my keyboard. Bottom line: American cars haven’t inspired foreign automakers to rip them off for decades.

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Domino's Pizza, Nissan, and Shrek: Camaro finally gets its props

Monday January 18th, 2010 at 3:11 PM
Posted by: asgruben

2010 Chevrolet Camaro Synergy Green Special EditionThe North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) had much to offer this year, but what I was most impressed with was how hard the American car underdogs are trying to win back individual drivers. Instead of choosing to remain in sad, little rental car fleets, they are going for “Most Improved Player,” while also staying true to the more positive parts of their images. I know, I know, some of you communists are thinking, “What positive parts?” but allow me to give props to one recent effort.

I need to get this out of the way: Camaro’s Synergy Green Special Edition is NOT green in the trendy sense; it’s not a an electric vehicle, or even a hybrid. It’s actually green. REALLY green. “Shrek” Green. So what’s up with the green, and why do I sort of love it? Camaro spoke to me personally about it–me, and 3000 other enthusiasts.

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Fisker Karma S – Is it a crime to produce a $90k eco-vehicle?

Monday January 11th, 2010 at 8:11 AM
Posted by: asgruben

Henrik FiskerBy Adrienne Gruben

The 2010 North American International Auto Show began in Detroit today, and the fanfare is high, but how journalists, consumers, and the market itself will receive the cars once they emerge from those huge cloth covers is still a big mystery, one that I bet automakers wish could be solved in 45 minutes, like on “CSI: Miami.” Instead, car makers have to wring their hands through a bunch of grouchy fiscal quarters. Since the NAIAS is already being covered like a Ferrari at a pig swap, I thought that looking at how one of last year’s offerings weathered its post-unveiling hoopla might make us better prognosticators on the subject, but to make it fun in these bleak times, I chose the designer that most said, “international intrigue,” that was most likely to end up in a high-speed chase, that most reminded me of “CSI: Miami.” I chose Henrik Fisker.

Former BMW designer and now CEO and lead designer of his own firm, Fisker Automotive, Henrik Fisker is  just the kind of character on which they would base a murder victim on “CSI: Miami.” In the plot, a greedy rival steals blueprints, and the fictional Fisker is found face-down in wet clay, smothered in a model based on his own imagination. The script writers would have found inspiration while procrastinating on websites for high-end cars and running across this quote from Fisker, “”I enjoy being hands-on. Designing, of course, but also working with the modeler, smelling the clay, getting clay under my fingernails.” After reading Fisker’s real-life quote aloud in the opening scene, Lt. Horatio Caine (David Caruso) might then say, “He smelled the clay alright.” Cue: “Won’t get fooled again.”

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Posted in Fisker, hybrid, Press and News |Tags:, , , , , || 2 Comments »

The BMW ActiveE – What Would The Jetsons Think?

Friday January 1st, 2010 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: asgruben

BMW ActiveE ConceptBy Adrienne Gruben

None of the BMW owners I know ever disappoint in their BMW driverish-ness. They want speed, luxury and prestige, but also to be relevant and hip, sometimes even edgy. When I was a teenager in the late 80′s, my best pal Ben, drove a 1973 BMW Bavaria, and he drove it like the ultimate driving machine it was. He’s now a proud, car-less New Yorker, but back then, how would he have felt about BMW’s recent announcement?

At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, BMW will introduce the Concept plug-in ActiveE. Based on the 1-Series Coupé, it will be introduced as a production model in Paris in September and then part of a limited private and fleet leasing program in 2011. The company seems willing to risk tarnishing its long-held image as the ultimate driving machine in order to accelerate into the next gen of energy efficient vehicles, but is it worth the risk?

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2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet Revealed Early

Saturday December 19th, 2009 at 8:1212 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Fans of drop-top driving may be excited to hear that the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet will hit the market in May of 2010. Pictures of the car made its way to the Internet and now details of the car have been released before the Detroit auto show.

The E-Class Cabriolet will have two engine options both mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. The base E350 will have a 3.5-liter, 268-hp six-cylinder. The beefier E550 will have a V8 5.5-liter 382-hp engine.

The car also has an amazing, best in class, coefficient of drag of 0.28. As a reminder, the higher this number is, the greater the drag force the engine must overcome to move the car at any speed. This combined with the 7-speed automatic should improve fuel efficiency. To put the coefficient of drag number into perspective, a Corvette has a 0.28.

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Honda Shows Off 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid

Monday January 19th, 2009 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: m35man

2010 Honda InsightHonda is once again placing its collective neck on the line and opening it up out on the hybrid highway with the 2010 Honda Insight, which they debuted at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) recently. When it hits dealerships next spring, we’ll see if they can reach their goal with the intended sale price of under $20,000. If they can do it at that price, I predict these babies will fly out of dealerships like locusts. They will have people re-thinking their decision to buy a Toyota Prius, for instance.

The 2010 5-door, 5- passenger Insight has broader outlines and is being touted as “the most affordable hybrid on the market”. Gas prices went down, but during the scare, people learned that it doesn’t hurt that bad to be a little greener. If Honda can tap into a greener public with less money to spend, they just might have hit the automotive Super Lotto with this one, but only time tell.

The main question is–will people step up the plate and buy these vehicles? Will they even be able to get credit? Do they still have jobs? I mean, who knows what the economy will be like next week, let alone in three months? But if people are looking to save some cash and are genuinely concerned about the environment, this could be a huge winner for Honda.

Honda has some other cool alternative fuel vehicles currently on the drawing board, including another sporty hybrid patterned on their 2007 CR-Z concept coupe; and a gas/electric version of its Fit subcompact.

Photo gallery and press release from Honda announcing the unveiling of the Insight hybrid are below the jump.

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Detroit is Under Attack!

Monday January 12th, 2009 at 1:11 PM
Posted by: m35man

Brilliance Auto at 2009 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)We’re at war in this country right now and I’m not referring to Iraq. I’m talking about China, Korea and Japan. It’s not a war with soldiers and weapons. It’s a battle using designers and engineers. These countries are trying to destroy Detroit by making better, less expensive and greener cars and right now, AND they’re winning!

The Big 3 have no one to blame but themselves. They’ve been selling inferior vehicles to the American people for too long now, and the results are going to be more evident than ever at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit (open to the public) January 17th through January 25th), Asian carmakers will be unveiling a plethora of new cars at the show while our guys sit sadly on the sidelines. Sure, we’ve got some new projects that will be presented on the tradeshow floor, but all in all, they’re not going to create the kind of buzz that our foreign competitor’s are generating.

This recession is a good thing, in many ways, because it will force us to build better cars in this country. The Big 3 probably never would have gotten where it needed to be on its own. Now they have no choice.

The main question everyone’s asking is this—can we get these new, innovative cars to market fast enough to offset what I’m calling, “The Siege on Detroit?”

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