Automotive News Saw one of these on the street . .

Aston-Martin DB9. . and all I can tell you, boys and girls, is that it's a beaut. The interior looks like something done by the Italians. The headlights are sexy beyond belief. The wheels and tires are super sharp, especially the view of the disc brakes. This is one sharp car!

Automotive News Capone painter to the stars

My daughter and I went out yesterday and to visit the new and as yet undisclosed location of Capone’s Kustoms. Capone is Denver’s own custom painter to the stars he has painted the cars of NBA stars Kenyon Martin and Chris Anderson, NFL great Tyrell Davis and is being backed by Denver Nugget Carmelo Anthony. I know there are others of note that he’s told me about but the names escape me.
The new shop may remain at an undisclosed location. He was working in a very small shop in Aurora and guys and media people hanging around was getting to be a real problem. The new shop is a big improvement it will be interesting to see what this talented young guy does now. He is the most talented painter I know.
Next time I go out I’m bringing my camera.

Automotive News Thiking of a new car? Thinking small?

The Obvio is on the way. Brazil's import will be for sale in the United States next year.
This a three passenger car has an integrated rollcage disk brakes and will of course will have to comply to Federal safety standards. With a 1.6 liter 4 valve fuel injected engine that produces 115 horsepower.
It has an on board imobile carputer that if I'm reading their web site correctly has gps capabliities is your mobile phone plays cds and dvds and if your one of the first 1,000 buyers you get an I-Pod player and Boblbee backpack.
The external panels are "ABS/PMMA a special high-tech twin-sheet vacuum thermoformed multilayer plastic".
And the price: about $14,000.

Automotive News Evercoat urethane repair

The Fiberglass Evercoat factory rep stooped in yesterday and showed us thier new products. Their new MAXIM™ Medium Urethane Adhesive and the MAXIM™ Fast Urethane Adhesive caught my eye. These are urethane repair material that first comes in a standard caulking tube so you can use a regular chalking gun second it works on all the plastic we are likely to run across doing auto repair. No more deciding if it's flexible or rigid no trying to decide if it is PUR, RIM, TPE, TPUR, PC, TPO, PP, or R-RIM.
Now the next big thing you can use this stuff to rebuild tabs on bumpers and do the repairs. That is going to keep many more bumpers out of the landfill.

Automotive News Spray Can base coat

We saw a Dupont dealer bulletin today introducing their new aerosol spray cans. Seems like a good idea. We've been doing it for a number of years and it's worked out well for our customers. Dupont doesn't mention anything about including base coat fix in the paint. You know making it real base coat nor do they make a recommendation about which clear to apply over the base.
Congratulations over at Sherwin Williams for the guy that landed the account for the spray cans this is going be big for you.

Automotive News What will the paint companies do?

With the recent run up in the price of gasoline some may have noticed that the price of all the allied chemicals have gone up also.
Petroleum experts warn that the maximum amount of available petroleum is approaching (estimates range from with in years to with in decades.) We have heard a lot about the need to move to a hydrogen economy but have the paint companies given any thought or more importantly invested in what they will do when there isn't enough petroleum to go around. It's really hard to imagine what a world would be like when the pharmaceutical companies are competing with the plastic companies over increasingly scarce and expensive recourses were will paint rank on the bidding list?

Sneak Peek: Toyota NS4 Concept

This teaser image shows the front of the new Toyota NS4 concept which the Japanese manufacturer will unveil at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

Toyota has not revealed any information about the NS4 concept, apart from describing it as an 'advanced plug-in hybrid concept'. The NS4 will follow three alternatively fuelled concepts that were revealed by Toyota at the Tokyo motor show late last month.

The NS4 is likely to be the latest vehicle to used the Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system Toyota shares with sister marque Lexus. HSD technology is forming the backbone of the two companies' future strategy. Together Toyota and Lexus will launch or update 25 models in its range across the next two years.

The Toyota NS4 will be revealed at Detroit on January 10, along with the North American debut of the Toyota Prius C hybrid supermini.

The Prius C made its official public debut at the Tokyo show and will be the smallest car in Toyota’s newly expanded range of Prius-badged cars.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sneak Peek Up Date: 2013 Buick Encore

The latest trend in new-car debuts is to mete out teaser photos via social media websites, and the 2013 Buick Encore is no exception. The company’s Facebook page has just revealed one quarter of an image of the new Encore; subsequent portions of the image will be revealed each week leading up to the crossover’s debut in Detroit on January 10.

The first teaser photo of the 2013 Encore showed us a close-up view of the crossover’s grille and headlight, while the new Facebook picture reveals the Buick’s hood and windshield. From what we’ve seen, the baby Buick crossover will wear smooth and elegant lines, along with subtle hood vents, and chrome roof rails. So far, it looks like a scaled-down version of the Enclave.

The company has promised that its newest vehicle will feature “contemporary Buick styling, signature QuietTuning technology, and segment-leading content and space.” The Encore will be a smaller crossover, designed to slot below the Enclave — both in size and in price.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2011 - 2012 Chevrolet Captiva

GM is recalling a number of Chevy Captivas due to issues with the power steering pump and fluid.

The Problem: The engine will operate at excessive speeds when the transmission is set to manual mode and first gear. Continued driving in this situation will increase steering pump speed. The heat from the pump will transfer to the fluid, which could reach the reservoir’s melting point and cause a leak. A fire could result if the leaking fluid ignites.

The Fix: Dealers will install an improved power steering fluid cooler free of charge. The part is expected to arrive in dealers by March 2012. Contact Chevy at 1-800-630-2438 with any questions.

Number of Affected Vehicles: A total of 3,150 model year 2011 to 2012 Chevy Captiva crossovers.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2010 - 2011 Cadillac SRX

General Motors responded to a letter from a customer who experienced “unintended vehicle motion” after shifting his Cadillac SRX from “park to “drive” and back. GM investigated the claim and has now issued a recall on model year 2010 to 2011 Cadillac SRX crossovers built at the company’s Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico. The recall affects vehicles in China and the United States.

The Problem: Affected vehicles have a transmission cable that is not properly aligned in the engine compartment. The cable will not shift gears properly causing unintended vehicle motions.

The Fix: GM is recalling and inspected affected vehicles in China and the United States. Customers should call GM customer service for questions or concerns.

Number of Affected Vehicles: GM is recalling 9,862 Cadillac SRX crossovers in China and 8,789 vehicles in the United States. The recall affects model year 2010 to 2011 vehicles.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Lexus LF-LC

Though it wasn’t meant to be revealed until the 2012 Detroit auto show in January, photos of the Lexus LF-LC concept have leaked online, and in response, Lexus has released the first official photo of its new sports coupe concept, pictured above. The photos reveal that Lexus’ new show car is a 2+2 wearing sharp lines and aggressive air intakes. As with the LF-Gh concept, the first two letters stand for Lexus Future.

According to Autocar, the LF-LC may be headed for production in the near future. The publication suggests a production LF-LC would be built on a shortened version of the next Lexus LS chassis, and will have a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Autocar reports the name LC600h is likely, as is a 2015 on-sale date.

The new car is supposed to show the next evolution of Lexus’ design language, and many of the cues on this show car have appeared in prior Lexus production and concept vehicles. The mesh spindle-shaped front grille resembles that of the Lexus GS, for instance, while the swept-back headlights and stubby trunk recall the LFA supercar. Other design elements include a panoramic glass roof and deep air intakes ahead of the front wheels.

The Lexus concept had originally been previewed by two small teaser images, and was slated to appear publicly in Detroit next month. The company promised the designed hinted “at the new contemporary, upscale and uniquely Lexus design direction.” It was styled by Toyota’s Calty design studio in California.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Audi A1 Quattro

Audi has launched a new volley in the realm of small, performance-oriented hatchbacks with the A1 Quattro. The new car is a go-fast variant that will be limited to just 333 examples, and will pack a 256-hp wallop.

Regular readers will note that the A1 Quattro looks remarkably similar to a car we spied on the Nürburgring two months ago; whereas we expected the moniker RS1, Audi has instead simply appended “Quattro” to the small car’s name.

The key ingredient in the new car is Audi’s 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged inline-four engine, producing a solid 256 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Its output is transferred exclusively to quattro all-wheel-drive by way of a six-speed manual transmission. Audi says the A1 Quattro hits 62 mph in 5.7 seconds and can reach 152 mph.

Visual upgrades come in the form of a big rear wing, tinted rear windows and taillights, dual 3.9-inch exhaust tips, and subtle red accents in the headlights. The A1 wears unique turbine-style white wheels measuring 18 inches in diameter and eight inches wide. An aluminum shift knob, stainless-steel pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a racy red-faced tachometer accent the car’s interior.

To match the power upgrades, Audi gifted the Quattro with larger, vented brake discs gripped by black-painted calipers; firmer suspension tuning; a more direct steering ratio; and a revised stability-control system that can be fully disabled for track use.

The A1 Quattro goes on sale in the second half of 2012, and just 333 lucky customers will have a chance to buy one. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced and, sadly, the car will not make an appearance on American soil.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Automotive News How much higher will paint prices go?

Mark Johnson of the Automotive Body Repair News interviewed officials of Dupont,BASF and Sherwin Williams and indicated that the price of paint could rise 25 percent. Now this is no surprise what also is no surprise is that the one insurance company that responded felt that was not their problem. Where does that leave the folks that fix wrecked cars well squeezed in the middle of coarse.

Barrett Jackson to auction JFK Hearse

I'm sure everyone remembers the Barrett Jackson Scottsdale auction  from January 2011 when a 1963 Pontiac Bonneville naval ambulance was sold. A rare vehicle sure, but it was claimed to have been the very ambulance that carried President John F. Kennedy from Andrews Air Force Base to the White House hours after his assassination in Dallas, Tx. Mystery surrounded the car and the lead up time prior to the sale. Was it really the car? Some say yes, lots of facts pointed to no. No one really knew for sure. Either way, the car sold for over $100,000 though no where near what the seller was thinking he'd get.

That brings us to the 1964 Cadillac hearse pictured here. This hearse has a solid, verifiable, and most of all documented history that it was in fact the very hearse to carry President Kennedy from Parkland Hospital in Dallas to the airport to be transported back to Washington D.C.

However, this time around O'neal Funeral Home documented the cars history. The 1964 Miller Meteor bodies Cadillac shows less than 50,000 original miles and is in fantastic condition and shows only 3 owners from new. The hearse has been for sale for a while, going through several auctions being offered for as high as $900,000 in 2007 with no sale. So it should be interesting to see what the car will fetch when it rolls across the block that is the Barrett Jackson circus in a few weeks. I'm sure the car will get coverage on Speed, so make sure you watch January 15th-22nd, 2012. We'll keep you updated.

Source: Hemmings Motor News. Picture: Barrett Jackson.

Automotive News They Say It s Com in Here . .

Alfa-Romeo Brera

Alfa-Romeo: Always With Passion

Breaking Saab news: No more warranty coverage.

Breaking news from Saab. Saab North America will no longer be honoring warranties on Saab vehicles sold in the U.S. Additionally, all new Saabs sold will be sold "as-is" with no warranty coverage what so ever. 

Effective Dec. 19, "warranty coverage is suspended indefinitely for all new Saab vehicles sold. During this period, the warranty booklet must be removed from the owner information packet," Saab Cars North America said in a statement provided to Automotive News.

"For any vehicle sold or leased during this period, the customer should be affirmatively advised that the vehicle does not carry any warranty coverage and is sold 'as is.' "
Saab Cars North America also said it has suspended the processing and payment of all claims, including but not limited to:

• New-car warranties
• Powertrain warranties
• Emission warranties
• Parts warranty
• Safety belts, airbags
• Towing
• Recalls and campaigns
• Certified pre-owned coverage
• Goodwill
• No charge maintenance
Until February of 2010, General Motors handled all warranty claims for Saab, but that had since stopped when Swedish Automobile AB purchased the automaker.
What does this mean for potential sales of new Saabs over the next few weeks/months? Well there probably won't be many. Currenty, Saab says they have 2,400 new Saabs available for purchase nationwide. And with sticker prices well over the $30,000 mark, I don't think too many potential buyers want to shell out that kind of cash on a new car that won't have warranty coverage.  So will dealers be offering huge blowouts on cars in inventory? I can see that on the horizon. But I wouldn't hold my breath on any of these new cars being collectible for the time being. We will keep everyone updated on any further drama on the Saabs of our Lives.

Source: Automotive News.

Hot News: Saab to Go Bankrupt

The saga has been running for two years but Saab’s fate looks as if it has finally been sealed, with news that the Swedish manufacturer has filed for bankruptcy.

In a very public struggle to stay afloat, Saab was almost sold off to Pang Da and Youngman – both Chinese manufacturers – but the deal was called off by Saab’s former owners, General Motors, who didn’t want its technology falling into Chinese hands.

The troubles began when General Motors sold a struggling Saab to Spyker in January 2010, and there was never a successful model to kick-start sales in the competitive segment Saab is a part of.

An official statement read: “The Board of Saab Automobile subsequently decided that the company without further funding will be insolvent and that filing bankruptcy is in the best interests of its creditors. It is expected that the Court will approve of the filing and appoint receivers for Saab Automobile very shortly.” For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: Mercedes to Show off E-Class Hybrid at Detroit Show 2012

Mercedes is set to join the ranks of manufacturers selling hybrid-powered executive cars with this diesel-electric Mercedes E-class.

The E300 BlueTec, due on sale next September in both saloon and estate bodystyles, is engineered around the most powerful version of Mercedes’ 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine.

The E300, and its petrol twin, the US-only E400, will be revealed at the Detroit show next month.

The headline CO2 figure of 109g/km will make the E300 BlueTec popular with company car users. It undercuts BMW’s petrol-powered Active5 Hybrid by a significant 40g/km.

The 201bhp/369lb ft diesel engine is mated to a 27bhp/184lb ft brushless electric motor sited within the gearbox housing. A 0.8kWh lithium ion battery is said to provide an all-electric range of less than a mile at speeds below 35mph. Together, they are claimed to provide the E300 with a 0-62mph time of 7.5sec and a top speed of 150mph.

With a host of fuel saving measures, including stop-start, brake energy recuperation, a sailing mode and low rolling resistance tyres, it is claimed to return a combined 67.3mpg — an improvement of 9.6mpg on the existing E250 CDI saloon.

The US-only E400 Hybrid uses a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine mated to the same electric motor used in the E300. This delivers 32.4mpg on the US fuel cycle, which is regarded as beingtougher than the European cycle.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2012 Donkervoort D8 GTO

Donkervoort has revealed the latest addition to its track-focused range, the Donkervoort D8 GTO. The open-topped Donkervoort D8 GTO features the same 2.5-litre, five-cylinder engine as used in the Audi TT RS, with power increased to 395bhp and maximum torque of 331lb ft delivered at 1600rpm.

The D8 GTO weighs about 700kg and has a 0-60mph time of around three seconds and a top speed of 158mph.

It follows on from the Donkervoort D8 RS and GT, with a design reminiscent of the Lotus 7, and a steel tubular chassis joined to carbon composite body panels. The D8 GTO has also been extended by 35cm, and widened by 15cm in order to fit the longitudinally mounted engine.

Despite similarities however, the GTO will share just five per cent of the parts with the RS and about 30 per cent with the GT, and company founder Joop Donkervoort describes the car as ‘the first in a new generation’ of models.

The first 25 GTOs will be fitted with a special lightweight engine that utilises items such a new intake manifold to save an extra 30kg. This variant of the D8 GTO is fitted with a race module switch, which increases power to 400bhp when it is deployed.

Donkervoort has used aviation-inspired design features such as a one-piece door with integrated hinges that weighs just 980g, and lightweight locking devices for the aluminium bonnet.

The undercarriage of the car has been revised, the front axle has been equipped with a totally new anti-roll bar and the rear axle construction - to give the GTO extra stability - has a completely new design.

Half of the first batch of 25 D8 GTOs have been sold already and will be delivered next summer. A run of ‘standard’ versions will follow in 2013. The car is expected to be priced between £84,000 and £126,000.

Thanks to: Autocar

Sneak Peek: Ford Concept

We’ve seen early prototypes and heard rumours of a Ford Fiesta-based SUV but now we’ve got our first look at how the new model is shaping up thanks to this teaser shot.

The picture reveals a model thought to be called the EcoSport Concept that will be unveiled at the New Delhi Auto Show in January. Its world debut in India is no surprise as Ford is planning on making it only the second of its models available there.

As part of the ‘One Ford’ strategy, which sees almost identical cars sold the world over – much like the most recent Focus – the EcoSport will be the same in India as it is when it reaches Europe in late 2012. Expect to see a higher level of standard specification for European models though.

Judging by this teaser, much of the styling is inspired by the Vertrek concept seen at January’s Detroit expo. It gets the same multi-layered headlights, sculpted bonnet and lowered roofline.

There will also be a wide range of petrol and diesel engines. The petrol line-up will include two versions of the firm’s efficient EcoBoost turbo engines: a new three-cylinder 90bhp 1.0-litre unit, and the powerful 1.6-litre from the bigger Focus. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: Nissan Pathfinder Concept

It’s not news that Nissan will be showing off a concept version of its all-new 2013 Pathfinder in a few weeks at the Detroit auto show, but the company has now revealed a teaser of the new SUV.

Not too much can be seen in Nissan’s shadowy image, but the Pathfinder will definitely be eschewing its squared-off look for a more curvaceous form. The photo shows a strong character line running the length of the car from the center of the hood to the taillights, with a dip just above the door handles. Large, five-spoke wheels and roof rails may lend the Pathfinder to a sportier look.

What we know is that the new Pathfinder will shed its truck-based roots and become a crossover, similar to what the Ford Explorer did last year. It’s most likely that the new Pathfinder will share its platform and mechanicals with the recently unveiled Infiniti JX35. That car rides on a stretched version of the front- and all-wheel drive platform that underpins the Murano crossover, but provides room for a third row of seats. We wouldn’t be surprised if this also helps Nissan differentiate the Pathfinder from the Murano within its own lineup.

The Pathfinder will also probably share the 3.5-liter V-6 engine with the JX, which is rated for 265 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque in that car. Expect to also see the same CVT transmission, standard front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive as an option.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Recall Up Date: 2010 - 2011 Nissan Sentra

Nissan is recalling model year 2010 and 2011 Sentras due to the installation of an incorrect engine bolt. The bolt could cause a series of issues leading to an engine stall.

The Problem: During manufacturing, a terminal stud bolt could have received zinc coating that was thicker than the proper specification. The coating could cause a voltage drop. The engine may have a hard time starting or it could stall when the vehicle is in motion, causing an accident. Additionally, the voltage drop could damage the engine control module (ECM).

The Fix: Nissan will start the recall on or before January 23, 2012. Dealers will replace the positive battery terminal and cover. Call 1-800-647-7261 to reach Nissan with any questions.

Number of Vehicles Affected: Sentras with the MR20 engine manufactured from May 11 to May 22, 2010 and from July 8 to October 25, 2010; a total of 33,803 vehicles.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Who want's to play Steve McQueen?

Also part of this past weekend's Icons of Hollywood auction was the original "Michael Delaney" hero fire suit worn by Steve McQueen in his iconic 1971 film Le Mans. Estimated to sell for $200,000 to $300,000. Bidding went crazy, with a final bid of $800,000, plus a $184,000 buyer premium for a total of $984,000. This may very well be the single most valuable piece of Steve McQueen movie history that isn't a car. And certainly the record for a piece of motorsport memorabilia.  The story goes that the suit was donated The Observer, a British news paper to be given away in a Le Mans contest and was won by a 12 year old boy by the name of Timothy Davies. He sold the suit a number of years later, and probably for a sum no where near this figure.

In August the 1970 Porsche 911S owned and driven by Steve McQueen in the opening sequence of Le Mans set a record sale at $1.375 million dollars.

Source & Photos: Profiles in History.

Genuine Back to the Future DeLorean breaks the bank!

About a month ago Profiles In History, auctioneers of anything and everything celebrity announced that they would be auctioning the one and only screen used DeLorean from the Back to the Future trilogy that is in private hands to highest bidder at their December Icons of Hollywood auction. The DeLorean being offered was used for the final film, and was used extensively when Marty McFly traveled back to 1885. In order for the DeLorean to drive over the rough desert terrain, the running gear was removed and replaced with a custom frame and Volkswagen running gear. As strict warning was given that the electrical system was hacked up because of this, making the car unfit for street use. But in reality, you could make everything function properly. But enough about that. What did it sell for? Pre auction estimates had the DeLorean set between $400,000 and $600,000 dollars.

With an opening bid of $400,000. By the time the hammer fell, the final bid was a mere $440,000. There was a also a $101,200 buyer premium, making the total $541,200 for a one of a kind piece of Hollywood history. And you're certainly going to be the only one on the block with one. If the new owner is out there in cyberspace, PLEASE get in contact with us. We would love to interview you and find out what your plans are.

$500,000 a little too rich? For $30,000 you could have bought Doc's model train and time machine used to show how Doc and Marty would return to 1985. Or how about Doc's wind up Cadillac used to demonstrate how Marty would harness the lightning to travel from 1955 to 1985? That one could have been yours for $18,000. This was just part of the huge collection of props and memorabilia from the film series. And part of the proceeds from the auction of the DeLorean and other film memorabilia and props will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research.

Source & Photos: Profiles in History.

Automotive News So Ugly I Might Just Get One . .

BMW Z3 Coupe

The Complete Book of BMW: Every Model Since 1950

Saab files for bankruptcy protection. What's next?

The soap opera that has become Swedish automaker Saab, continues to unravel. The automaker is expected in bankruptcy court today in Sweden where it will find if they are shielded from creditors while a buyer for the company is found.

General Motors, former owner of Saab until their own bankruptcy let them shed the automaker, has been blocking the potential sale of Saab to a Chinese automaker. GM's basis is because they do not want the sharing of GMs platform technology with another competitor that could potentially undercut them in the Chinese market that GM has seen huge success with. And unfortunately, Saab depends on GM's help in that are in order to be able to build cars or at least until Saab has the funds to develop their own technology again. And that really isn't going to happen any time soon.

All the while dealers in the US and around the world have been patiently awaiting cars to be able to sell to customers, and with each passing day, its looking less and less likely they'll see them. So is this the swansong for Saab? Unfortunately it looks like it may very well be. I have always been a fan of the brand and would hate to see them go away, but I think the time has come to envision a world without new Saabs.

Hot Rod of the day: 1940 Ford style

Few cars are as iconic as the 1939/40 Ford. It's a car that symbolizes the Moonshiner. Which in fact the '40 featured below served as in a prior life.

Automotive News The Colors We Buy Now

Worldwide new car sales
34% silver
14.4% white
12.7 blue
11% black
Red, green, beige and other shades with less than 10 %. But new colors are on the way.
More on that tommorow.

Automotive News The Worst Cars of all Time

I like lists. I came upon Dan Lienert article on the Forbes web site a list of the all time worst cars. Some of the cars on the list would be on anybodies list the Yugo is there and the Fiat Strada. Also the Ford Pinto, The Chevy Vega and the AMC Gremlin. There's also the 1983-1989 Ford Bronco II this is the one that defined "prone to rollover"and the 1979-1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 remember that one General Motors tried to convert standard gasoline to diesel. Probably the worst car of all time was the 1957-1962 Sachsenring Trabant P50 this little gem was made in East Germany and I am told everyone of them smoked coming right out of the factory. The thing is for every bad car, and I can think of a couple that are not on the list, there is an internet tribute page or a car club that honors or collects them. To view the whole list go to the Forbes The Worst Cars Of All Time and place your vote 

New Car: 2012 Proton Exora Bold Premium & Prime

The refreshed Proton Exora has been the most talked about car of late, with spyshots, unmasked units being transported and leaked brochures all out in the open. With this as background, Proton has finally released official details of the facelifted MPV, confirming much of the details we already know.

The long-awaited Campro Charge Fuel Efficiency (CFE) engine powers the Exora Bold Premium and the range-topping Exora Prime. This CFE engine puts out 138 hp at 5,000 rpm and 205 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm from 1.6 litres. Paired to a CVT gearbox, top speed is 185 km/h and 0-100 km/h is done in 13.3 seconds. Claimed fuel consumption is 7.8 litres per 100 km.

As our eagle-eyed Anthony spotted, the CFE isn’t just a Campro with a turbo bolted on. The stroke of the engine has been shortened from 88 mm to 86 mm, resulting in a smaller displacement of 1,561 cc vs the Campro CPS’ 1,597 cc.

“Boosted with the more efficient 1.6L engine, customers will experience powerful performance which is comparable to a 2.0L engine, with much lower fuel consumption. The additional power kicks in to provide more pulling power when accelerating or overtaking. In short, it’s what you can aptly describe as a ‘pay-as-you-go’ engine, which gives you more ‘vroom’ for every litre of petrol used,” says Proton Group MD Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin.

Besides the two CFE+CVT variants, the Exora is also being offered in Bold Executive trim (1.6L Campro CPS with manual or torque converter auto) and non-Bold Standard trim, which is only available as a manual.

Spec-wise, the Bold Premium CVT gets leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering, front fog lamps, rear spoiler, electric foldable wing mirrors, cruise control and reverse camera with rear view mirror LCD. The latter is similar to the system seen in the Kia Forte 6-Speed.

Thanks to: Paultan

First Sketch: Hyundai i-Oniq Concept

Hyundai's ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language takes a step forward at March’s Geneva Motor Show with the unveiling of the i-oniq concept car.

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President of Hyundai Europe, told Auto Express: “It’s a maturing of fluidic sculpture, making it a bit more adult.”

Although the i-oniq itself won’t make production, Rushforth hinted that it may offer clues to the shape of the next generation of Hyundai’s upmarket Genesis coupé, currently sold in the US and mainland Europe.

However, Rushforth said that Genesis would not be expanded in Europe. Next year sees the arrival of Hyundai’s i40 saloon, a new i30 in five-door, estate and, possibly, three-door form, a revised i20 and a new Santa Fe. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Spied: 2013 Chevrolet Impala

The current generation Chevrolet Impala has been living in the past for years now – it is still available with a front bench seat, after all. For the 2013 model year, GM wants the Impala to take a step back from the geriatric (and fleet) crowds, and once again become the styling icon it once was in its heyday. If these first-ever spy shots of the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Impala are any indication, Chevy is well on its way to returning that swagger to the Impala line.

Ask any 15-year old and they’ll tell you the key to swagger is a cool (hot?) outward appearance with a bit of attitude, which is something this camouflaged 2013 Impala looks to have. Losing both the meekness and the blandness of the previous Impala, the new Impala seems to pick up some styling cues from the hot-selling Camaro like a nose that tapers to a slight point, and a similar-looking grille. The 2013 Impala also looks like it grows a bit larger, while dropping down closer to the ground, giving it a low-slung stance. Out back the Impala seems to share some cues like its stylized exhaust tips with its platform mate, the Buick LaCrosse.

What good is looking good on the outside if you can’t back it up on the inside? From the looks of it, Chevrolet is seriously stepping up its game when it comes to the 2013 Impala’s interior. The spy shots show an interior that looks like it was actually designed. The 2013 Impala’s interior will lose the dark, hard plastics and get upscale bits like a stitched dashboard, aluminum trim, a new steering wheel, and a large centrally located nav screen. The 2013 Impala also looks to be getting a redesigned instrument panel with a large multifunction screen flanked by two crisp-looking gauges.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Unofficial Picture: 2013 Kia Forte

Sketches that have leaked online purport to provide an early look at the 2013 Kia Forte. According to Kia World, the sketches show a redesign for the Forte sedan that will be officially revealed sometime in 2012.

The leaked photo reveals a Forte sedan that is much more rounded and modern than the current model. In the profile sketch, the Kia appears to have a sloping roofline similar to the Hyundai Elantra, and is vaguely reminiscent of the Kia Ray concept from 2010. The front grille, headlights, and taillights are all in tune with the latest Kia designs, like those seen on the Optima sedan.

The current Forte sedan was launched in 2009; the car also is available as a two-door coupe and four-door hatchback. Regardless of body style, power comes either from a 156-hp 2.0-liter inline-four, or a 173-hp 2.4-liter inline-four engine.

The Kia Forte is currently built on the same platform that underpinned the prior-generation (through model-year 2010) Hyundai Elantra, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Forte once again adopted the Elantra’s underpinnings. If so, it could mean a bump in the Forte’s fuel economy ratings. The new Elantra uses a 148-hp, 1.8-liter inline-four engine that returns 29/40 mpg (city/highway) whether mated to a manual or automatic transmission.

We reached out to Kia to see whether a 2013 Forte is indeed on the way, but did not receive a response before deadline. If a Forte makeover is nigh, we imagine it will debut at a major auto show some time in the next six months.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Hot News: Honda to Produce EV-STER Concept?

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito told German auto magazine Auto Motor und Sport that the funky Honda EV-STER concept we showed you last month during the Tokyo Motor Show will go into production. The EC-STER was conceived as a modern-day Honda Beat and comes close to the size of that Japanese market Kei-car.

The concept comes in less than two inches wider than the Beat and the JDM Kei-car standard. The concept is powered by a 58kW (78 horsepower) lithium-ion motor and is said to hit 60km/h (just over 37 mph) in 5.0 seconds. Power is sent to the rear wheels. Honda says the electric-powered EV-STER would have a range of 100 miles and top speed of 100 mph.

But don’t fret if these numbers don’t impress. The Honda EV-STER is package-protected for a gasoline engine – behind the seats, making it a mid-engine, rear-drive replacement for the gone but not forgotten Honda S2000. Still no word on size or power level of the hypothetical internal combustion engine, but it would likely create more power and produce better times than the electric motor.

One show car feature that would not likely make production is the twin-lever steering. A conventional steering wheel would probably get the nod for the production car. No details whether either model will come stateside. We are crossing our fingers for the gas-powered version with at least 200 horsepower – maybe from the rumored 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: 2012 BMW X6M Diesel

Could BMW be prepping a diesel-powered variant of the X6 M? All signs are pointing to yes, and the automaker releasing the second teaser video for a new M-tuned X6 model.

Earlier this month, BMW released a minute-long video showing an X6 driving along serpentine roads and tracks with its front and rear fascias, mirrors, exhausts, and badge blurred out. Most notable was the fact that the badge was long – possibly denoting the rumored tri-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder diesel powerplant slated for M models.

There are reportedly plans for the Munich-based automaker to make a diesel-powered performance variant of the 5 Series that could end up wearing the M550dX badge, so it wouldn’t be a far stretch for the same powerplant to make its way into the X6. The proposed oil-burner could potentially offer 318 hp and a massive 516 lb-ft of torque. While it would be less than the 555 hp and 500 lb-ft currently offered in the X6 M, a diesel would yield much better fuel economy and a longer cruising range.

The second video, titled “Step 2,” includes sound bites from BMW M head of global sales and marketing Brian Watts and M director of sales Thomas Schemera declaring that the new X6 variant “looks like a sports machine, sounds like a sports machine” and “turns any road into a racetrack.” Most importantly, Watts says that it is “deserves the M badge.”

We also get a quick tease of the X6’s exhaust note. It sounds deep and throaty, and we can definitely hear some form of forced induction. Check out the video below to hear for yourself and let us know what you think may be under the hood of this revised X6.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Automotive News The Colors of the Future

Dee-Ann Durbin of the Associated Press reported in the San Diago Union Tribune on future color trends.
"Blue will get more popular in the next four years as more dramatic shades are introduced, such as watery blue-greens and smoky lilacs. Yellows and oranges will get richer and warmer. Reds will glow in deep shades of cranberry and wine, and dark brown will make a comeback."
This year PPG is showing 130 new colors for the auto makers to consider

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Automotive News Nissan paint that doesnt scratch

There is a story on the site that announced a new non scratch paint form Nissan.

"The Japanese automaker said the paint contains a newly developed resin that can stop scratches from marking the car's outer layer."
Now I can almost imagine a resin that would do that but there is always a trade off as Dom Palon keeps reminding me. What would a resin like this trade away, color life, fade resistance, how well would it stand up to chemicals. There is also one other little thing about the story they show a scratched hood when you photoshop a photo you can usually tell what the original photo was in this case it was a Chrysler Town and Country. We'll wait and see.

Sneak Peek: 2013 Buick Encore

Buick has announced that a new five-passenger crossover called the Encore will join its 2013 lineup and released a teaser photograph of the sub-Enclave-sized SUV. Judging from the headlight seen here, the Encore will be somewhat less exciting than the Envision concept from this year’s Shanghai auto show. While we speculated that a production version of the Envision might utilize the Cadillac SRX’s architecture, rumor has it that the Encore will ride on a smaller, front-drive platform shared with the surprisingly good Chevrolet Sonic. We’ll likely have to wait until the Encore debuts at the 2012 Detroit auto show in January.
Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2013 Mercedes SL550

Sport leicht, or sport and lightweight. Despite the two-plus-ton heft of Mercedes’ big boulevardier, that’s what SL has supposedly stood for ever since the car debuted in the ’50s. Now in its sixth generation, the SL promises to be more car than ever: more powerful, more efficient, and more light.

Adding power was the easy part. The SL550, which will be the first of the updated SLs to go on sale, will be powered by Mercedes’ new 4.7-liter twin-turbo V-8. The direct-injected engine makes the same numbers here as it does in the CL550: 429 hp at 5250 rpm, 516 lb-ft at 1800. Those figures represent increases of 47 hp and 125 lb-ft compared to the outgoing SL550’s 5.5-liter V-8. The engine is backed by a seven-speed automatic transmission and now gets standard stop/start functionality. Mercedes predicts a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.5 seconds, 0.8 better than its claim for the last SL550, although runs that begin with the engine off will take a few extra tenths. Since the company’s estimates are generally conservative—we hit 60 in 4.8 seconds with a 2011 SL550—figure on something closer to four seconds flat. And then realize that’s as quick as the outgoing SL63.

Some of this newfound quickness will be thanks in no small part to a reduction in weight. The 2013 SL550 uses the company’s first all-aluminum body in a series-production model, which is claimed to make it 275 pounds lighter than the car it replaces. If you’re having trouble imagining the weight difference, Dr. Thomas Rudlaff, who was responsible for the aluminum shell, puts it into perspective: “The effect is as if a large passenger has stepped out of the car.” (Keep the fat American jokes to yourself.) We should mention that some high-strength steel tubing is used to reinforce the A-pillars, lest they accordion in a crash. The suspension also uses lightweight pieces, and Active Body Control, M-B’s adaptive suspension, continues to be an option. The SL will switch to electric power steering, which should improve efficiency while hopefully retaining some semblance of feedback.

All of this weight loss is despite a dimensional gain. The 2013 car is 1.4 inches longer, 2.2 inches wider, and rides on a 1-inch-longer wheelbase. Front and rear track also are increased. Mercedes says this all helps create a larger cabin. We had no complaints about the interior room before.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Automotive News Digital Clothing for Your Car

Gizmag reports that an Autralian promotional company named Decently Exposed, has developed a product named Auto Skins. It is a digital skin for your car. The skin costs between $US1500 to $US3000 depending on the size of the car.
They have been used not only for artistic impression but also for advertising. McDonalds, Coca Cola, Nokia and AustraliaÂ’s largest fleet, that of AustraliaÂ’s telco giant Telstra.
The AutoSkin has the double advantage of forming a protective coating which can be stripped off to reveal the original, as-new unblemished paint the car came with.

New Car: 2013 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

Volvo has released full details of its V60 plug-in hybrid, which is set to cost £42,000 (including the Government grant) when it goes on sale in November next year.

The world’s first plug-in diesel hybrid will be able to cover 32 miles in pure electric mode. Despite a combined power output of 212bhp from the 2.4-litre five-cylinder engine and 69bhp electric motor, it will emit a miniscule 49g/km of CO2.

Only 1,000 cars will be built next year, and Volvo plans to bring around 100 of those to the UK. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

Sneak Peek: Honda Accord Coupe Concept

With the mid-size sedan segment hotter than ever, it’s long past time for the Honda Accord to be freshened up. Very well: Honda has announced it will preview the future of the Accord with a 2013 Honda Accord Coupe Concept at next month’s Detroit auto show.

As for what we know for sure about the concept, we know that it’ll have two doors… and that’s about it. Honda has been predictably tight-lipped so far about the new concept.

What we can predict, however, is that the Coupe Concept is the first in a line of Honda Accord concepts we’ll see in the future, culminating with a new Accord production model. It’s about time: the current generation of Accord has been sold since 2008. That might not seem like a lot of time, but the past few years have seen some stiff competition.

The Accord must compete against the usual suspects in the form of the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion, but also fend off fights by the Hyundai Sonata/Kia Optima. It must also deal with the emerging Volkswagen Passat, the new Chevrolet Malibu, and the dark horse of the mid-size sales market, the Chrysler 200/Dodge Avenger. Keep in mind the Accord came in fifth place among these competitors last month, and all but the Altima have been recently updated or will be soon.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: Lexus Concept

Lexus has released this single image of a new concept car which will make its world debut at the Detroit Motor Show early next year.

It has been designed by Calty, Lexus' design studio in Newport Beach, California, and is thought to hint at how an all-new luxury sports car could look.

Officially described as "showcasing a new design direction for Lexus" the concept car is very sporty, evolving the look of the latest GS. The headlights feature a trio of circular LEDs, while the wide bumper incorporates a cooling duct for the brakes.

You can also make out the sharp lines of the bonnet which flow down to meet with a prominent grille. Look closely at the tyre and you'll see the concept wears dramatic 21-inch wheels too.

We'll learn more about the new car in the coming weeks ahead of its motor show debut.For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

Hot News: New Toyota Supra Will be a Hybrid?

According to our man in Japan Peter Lyon, Toyota R&D is working on a Supra successor that is being tested with a 3.5-liter V-6 hybrid system generating over 400 hp. Rumored to be wearing a design close to the FT-HS concept’s body (pictured below) revealed at the 2007 Detroit show, the rear-drive coupe is expected to target the Nissan GT-R in terms of performance and price.

But our insider tells us that Toyota bean counters “are not too pushing to get this car out quickly,” and are waiting to see how the GT86 goes. If it gets the go-ahead, we won’t see it until 2015.

In contrast, Toyota engineers ARE putting more effort into readying a test mule of the MR-S based 4WD GRMN coupe boasting the same Lexus GS sourced 3.5-liter hybrid system. If this project gets the green light, we can expect to see it in showrooms by late 2014.

However, there seems to be one issue for Toyota product planners. They are in the final developmental stages of a Lexus IS coupe that will be powered by the same powertrain, a fact that creates a differentiation problem for Toyota.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Unofficial Picture: 2013 Mercedes SL

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL looks like it’s ready for its primetime debut; photos of a promotional brochure for the new SL hardtop convertible have leaked to the Web, and it looks as though the new SL-Class is ready to be parked in a nice driveway near you.

The shots were picked up by, who reportedly pulled them from a German car forum. While Mercedes-Benz is predictably tight-lipped about if the shots are real or not, we don’t hear anyone crying about them being a Photoshop job.

Visually, the first thing one will notice off the bat is that it looks…quite like an SL. The new car preserves much of the old car’s visual DNA, including the protruding grille and long, lightly creased rear deck, as well as the long retractable hardtop, but also sprinkles in a bit of the CLS four-door coupe in the long taillamps and the SLS AMG in the front vents.

Underneath, it’s also business as usual, as the SL will use a full line of Mercedes’ most popular engines. The Europe-only SL350 will likely continue to use Benz’s 3.5-liter V-6, while the SL500 will utilize the company’s new 435-hp, 4.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. AMG options will likely include a SL63 variant — which should pack a 565-hp, twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 — and a SL65, which will likely use a 630-hp, twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12. also reports that the new car will be about 309 lbs lighter than the car it replaces. That’s no doubt thanks to the fact that this SL will be an aluminum-intensive vehicle. By weight, the new SL is about 89 percent aluminum.

Expect to see the SL debut in all its glory early next year.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8

Old luxury brands tend to evolve at a snail’s pace, maybe because their (often old) buyers aren’t the most accepting of change. Nevertheless, survival of any carmaker depends on its appeal to varying generations, ultimately making change inevitable. Bentley took a gigantic step off the beaten path when it introduced its 12-cylinder “starter” Bentley, the Continental GT, in 2003. The swoopy coupe, which later spawned the GTC convertible and Flying Spur sedan, was hugely successful and is currently in its second generation (although it’s hard to tell by looking at it). Now, with world economies even closer to the brink of turmoil, Bentley is taking the next step in its evolution and introducing the entry-entry-level Bentley, the 2013 Continental GT and GTC V-8 models.

We reported a year ago during our first sampling of the second-generation 2012 Conti GT that a V-8–powered model with a lower price was in the works. While Bentley has yet to share what exactly that price will be (we figure on at least $10K less than the W-12 GT’s $195,495 base), the company has released most other details prior to the V-8’s debut at the 2012 Detroit auto show. Displacing 4.0 liters, the direct-injection, twin-turbo V-8 is a version of the mills found in Audi’s upcoming S6, S7, and S8. Here, the engine is tuned to produce 500 hp at 6000 rpm and 487 lb-ft of torque from 1700 to 5000 rpm. It will send power through an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. The power numbers aren’t all that far from the 567 hp and 516 lb-ft produced by the twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 currently in the Continental, and neither is Bentley’s prediction of a sub-five-second sprint to 60 mph and a top speed over 180 mph. Credit what we figure will be a slightly lower curb weight, which also will help improve fuel economy, but perhaps not as much as the new cylinder-deactivation system that transitions from eight- to four-cylinder mode under light loads.

A few subtle cues distinguish the V-8 car. In front, the most notable change is a mesh grille now rendered in black rather than chrome, plus a slightly revised lower fascia in which the three air inlets are now more evenly sized. In the rear, the chrome exhaust finishers resemble a figure eight and are connected by a black finishing panel. All of the Bentley “B” logos on the car front and back are surrounded by red paint rather than the traditional black.

A full list of options and standard equipment has yet to cross our desk, but we don’t expect a whole lot less on offer than what can be had in the existing Conti. We do know it’ll have an Eliade cloth headliner and a new Fiddleback Eucalyptus wood veneer, along with the option of two-tone leather seats. Twenty-inch wheels will be standard, with 21s an option.

With the V-8 Bentleys being so close in output to their 12-cylinder siblings, it’s entirely possible that the “lesser” (and lighter) model could become the sportier or even preferred one. We know it sounds pretty good and look forward to some time behind the wheel.
Thanks to: Car and Driver

Automotive News Ford's big truck will run on 3 fuels

Gizmag reports on a the Ford Super Chief a concept veicle based on a Ford F-250. It is a bold design that has a V-10 engine that will run on gasoline, ethonal or hydrogen.I will make a big splase at the Detriot ato show that opens to the public next week.

Automotive News Sherwin-Williams announces new stabilizer

Sherwin-Williams announced a new RHF series of integrated Basecoat Stabilizer for the Ultra 7000 basecoat system.
I love the Ultra 7000 system it is very user friendly has great color matches and the standard stabilizer has no reactive reducer so the paint I mix up today I can use a week form now or a month from now. For "“better bite"” on urethane bumpers or increased chip resistance I have recommended that my customers put a capful of hardener in their base.
Digging into MSDS I see that the RHF integrated stabilizer has two diisocyanates that are going to give great bite. The trade off is you lose the indefinite pot life (it goes down to 8 hours). But they still recommend using a little hardener to improve chip resistance.
There are two little things I am wondering about in the product data sheets; they say the recoat time is 7 days. Yikes can that be right I always figured is 4 hours was a long time.
And the other thing is when doing multiple colors "“light colors dry faster than darker colors", really?

Recall Up Date: 2010 - 2011 Ford Fusion & Mercury Milan

Ford is recalling a number of Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan equipped with 17-inch steel wheels. Earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the vehicles following reports of defective wheels.

The Problem: Affected cars and wheels are subject to wheel stud fractures that may cause wheel vibrations. Additionally, the wheels may separate and cause the vehicle to crash.

The Fix: Ford has scheduled to start the recall on January 24, 2012. Dealers will inspect the wheel and rear brake disc and will replace all lug nuts. Customers can call Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332.

Number of Vehicles Affected: 128,616 vehicles with 17-inch steel wheels produced from April 1, 2009 to April 30, 2009 and from December 1, 2009 to November 13, 2010.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2013 BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

It probably happens all the time. A BMW shopper stands frozen with indecision in the middle of a showroom. To his left sits the 5-series sedan. On his right, the 6-series coupe. The two share a platform and several powertrains, the 6 having more attractive sheetmetal, and the 5er being the practical choice. If only there were a product that took the average of these two, a sort of 5.5-series. Enter the 6-series Gran Coupe.

Previewed first by the Concept CS and more recently by the Concept Gran Coupe, this addition to the 6-series lineup swells a market sliver first split off by Mercedes’ CLS-class. Where the Gran Coupe differs from the CLS and the newcomer Audi A7 is in the rear seat: BMW calls its offering a 4+1, as the back row includes a third seat. It’s actually more of an armrest with a seatbelt; the center floor console continues all the way up to the bottom cushion’s edge. That ought to set the BMW apart in a now-crowded segment of stylish sedans. (It will certainly set middle passengers' legs apart, but we digress.)

The Gran Coupe rides on the 5-series’ 116.9-inch wheelbase (4.5 longer than the two-door 6’s), but is about four inches longer than a 5 sedan or 6 coupe and shares its width with its 6-series counterparts. It is nearly identical to the two-doors from the A-pillar forward, and its interior mimics those of the coupe and convertible, albeit with the different seating arrangement and more rear legroom. Per the usual style-over-practicality trade-off, expect less headroom back there than in the more traditional four-door 5-series.
Thanks to: Car and Driver

Automotive News Prevost a Better Coupler

I spent a little time the other day with Brad Wolford he’s the Regional Sales Manager for the Prevost Corporation. Prevost is a based in France with worldwide distribution. The North American headquarters are in South Carolina. They make really superior products for fluid delivery.
It’s their hose connectors that impress me. These people have taken one of the small but vitally important pieces of the auto body repair reworked it taken it to a new level. Their Prevo.S line of couplers are safer, stronger, more reliable, and compatible with all the standard couplers. I especially like the swivel option I tried out. Next time your fighting with the couplers your using and wondering when someone will make something better give these a try. My Daddy told me one time "It only cost ten percent more to go first class". Some times it makes all the difference.
I’m going to try out their air filtration and control unit next; I’ll let you know.

Automotive News Detroit Car Show

I’ve been looking at all the reports to come out of the North American Auto Show. The Detroit Auto Show is the biggest and most prestigious of the car shows at least on this continent and the manufactures, form all over the world, show their latest and greatest. The Mazda Kabura was probably the most exciting design. There were sub compacts from the Asian automakers including the Chinese Geely. I love the idea of the Nissan Urge. This is the car that Nissan is aiming at the Gen Yers. They have partnered with Microsoft. You drive around town and when you park you can fold down the Xbox 360 screen and play your road race game using the cars steering wheel brakes and gas pedal.
All the car companies were showing off their new technologies the new Toyota Camry will offer a hybrid. And the European carmakers are pushing their new cleaner diesel cars.
Ford has the new Super Chief that I wrote about earlier and the Reflex concept car. Ford seems desperate to show they will do something. While the cars they will be selling will be more of the same.
The bigger problem, it seems to me is General Motors. Even though their stock seemed to recover a little last week and their sales in China are good many analysts see serious and persistent problems at GM. In Detroit GM unveiled the new 400hp V8 Camero.
This is hardly innovative thinking and from what I’ve heard it was designed and built in Australia. If they decide to build it where will it be built in the Cadillac plant in Lansing they sure can’t build it in Flint.
Until American carmakers take up the challenge and start giving us smaller, safer, more fuel-efficient and more reliable cars. Things are not going to get better for them. Trouble for GM means trouble for the Midwest and for America.
Lets not forget that when GM made a deal the UAW to lower the total employment from around 600,000 to the current 150,000 or so and become more efficent the people that were let go were to keep thier health insurance and retirement bennifits. The idea was that GM would sell more cars because the cars would be better cars. It seems they just don't listen to what people want.

Automotive News Tiips

Dura-Block the hand sand block caught on very quickly when it came out about 2 years ago.
It's no wonder they are affordable and if you have spent any time hand sanding you have thought there ought to be something like this. Dura-Block is made from EVA Rubber. The Ruey Lung Rubber Co tells us that: EVA Rubber is durable plastic foam material made of EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) resin.

There is actually no rubber in the EVA foam material. The word rubber was misused for the similarity of some characteristics of EVA foam and rubber foam materials.

The foam is fairly rigid (the technical spec is 20 PCF). It does have some give to it and will conform to say the curve of a roof. The blocks take stickit long board paper.
There are three new sizes 10 7/8" teardrop shape and two new long blocks.One of the blocks is 24 inches and the other is 30 inches. Tne best web link I could find is Trade Associates Inc. If any one has a better web site please let me know.

New Car: 2013 Luxgen 5

Taiwanese car manufacturer Luxgen says its first premium saloon, the Luxgen5, will be angled towards European buyers. The Luxgen5, which will be unveiled in April 2012, will be come with the choice of two turbocharged engines.

An all-new 2.0-litre unit will produce 170bhp and 188lb ft when coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission manufactured by the Japanese company AISIN. The car will cover 0-62mph in 8.48sec and has a top speed of 130mph. The second engine offering is a 1.8-litre that comes with a five-speed automatic gearbox and produces 150bhp and 170lb ft.

Luxgen worked with smartphone manufacturer HTC to develop the driver aids and multimedia systems on the Luxgen5. The car can be linked to smartphones using the Android operating system. The Think+ multimedia interface allows full mobile phone functionality to be controlled directly through a 9in smart touch screen on the central console.

The Luxgen5 also gets head-up display, lane departure warning system, blind-spot assist, satnav and Bluetooth connectivity.

Designed with global sales in mind, the Luxgen5’s chassis has had input from US engineering company, Altair. Athough Luxgen hasn’t confirmed whether the car will definitely go on sale to Britain, the fact that the car has undergone testing on a mixture of European and UK roads, including suspension configuration sessions at MIRA, suggests it is designed with this purpose in mind.

The Luxgen5 will make its public debut at the Taipei auto show next April.

Thanks to: Autocar

Hot News: VW Plans to Release Range Rover Evoque Rival

Volkswagen is preparing to launch a Range Rover Evoque rival within the next three years, with the style-led SUV’s looks shown by the Cross Coupé concept unveiled at the Tokyo show. The compact SUV concept, which sits on the same platform as the next Audi A3 and VW Golf, was described by VW R&D boss Ulrich Hackenberg as “testing reaction” to the car.

“We think the SUV segment will grow, and the number of SUV variants will grow,” he said. “Customers are showing that they like SUVs with a sporty, muscular image, and especially because of the high seating position.” However, he conceded the car’s radical interior was less likely to make production than the exterior styling.

Hackenberg added the Cross Coupé would spawn several variants if it made production, including a more sporty three-door version. He also said the concept’s hybrid four-wheel drive system could make production in the longer term.

The system has an electric motor on each axle, giving the car four-wheel drive capability and a 24-mile electric range. Linked to a 1.4-litre petrol engine and seven-speed DSG gearbox, it is said to return a combined average of 104mpg with CO2 emissions of 65g/km.

Design boss Klaus Bischoff also confirmed that the Cross Coupé’s styling previewed VW’s future SUVs. In particular, the front-end treatment is expected to influence the new Tiguan. That range is also likely to include a new seven-seat SUV targeted at the US market. “The US needs such a car, as parents don’t always want to drive MPVs around when they need to transport their children,” said Hackenberg.

Thanks to: Autocar

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