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Posts from May, 2009

Want to make your car sound turbocharged? Get the Turbo Whistler!

May 31

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Click above to watch the Turbo Whistler in action

Have you ever wanted your car to sound turbocharged without having any of the functional benefits? Yeah, neither have we, but apparently someone thought it was a good idea to make such a product. Knowing some of the things people put on their cars, we have no doubt it will find a few buyers too. Named the Turbo Whistler, this aluminum device clamps onto your tailpipe (no welding or drilling necessary!) and emits a sound similar (a term used very loosely in this case) to the whistle of a turbocharger under throttle. The company’s web site claims that it will trick all of your friends into thinking your vehicle is benefiting from forced induction. Our guess is that if they don’t know the difference, they will also believe you when you tell them your Honda Accord is also a “10-second car.” Watch the Turbo Whistler in action in the video after the jump.

[Source: TurboWhistler.net]

Continue reading Want to make your car sound turbocharged? Get the Turbo Whistler!

Want to make your car sound turbocharged? Get the Turbo Whistler! originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 May 2009 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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VIDEO: Kia Soul aces Euro NCAP crash tests

May 31

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Click above to watch the Kia Soul’s Euro NCAP crash tests

There is no rating yet for the Kia Soul in the U.S., but in Europe the car did the business: the Soul scored five stars on the NCAP frontal offset, side impact and pole crash tests, doing no worse than “marginal” in just two areas. In the frontal offset test the windshield doesn’t crack and there is only minor cosmetic damage aft of the front door’s front shut line. It’s a big result for a little car, and if it has the reliability to match it should do very, very well. Thanks for the tip, GenGT!

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading VIDEO: Kia Soul aces Euro NCAP crash tests

VIDEO: Kia Soul aces Euro NCAP crash tests originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 May 2009 17:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: 2010 Honda CR-V spotted?

May 31

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A forum user named “Puttz” at the Temple of VTEC took a picture of a manufacturer-plated CR-V in Dublin, Ohio near Honda’s Marysville plant. In addition to a set of wheels that Puttz said were reminiscent of those on an RDX sketch, the grille is bigger and wearing a lot more chrome work. On the left is the spy shot, on the right is the 2009 CR-V. As another forum user noted, the 2-piece center section is somewhat of a return to the previous generation CR-V.

Beyond that, the bumper gets reshaped with a different profile leading into the lower front fascia, and the fog light housings look to be more integrated. If this is the 2010 CR-V, it appears Honda is only making minor changes to its popular cute-ute. Hat tip to Edison

[Source: Temple of VTEC]

Spy Shots: 2010 Honda CR-V spotted? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 May 2009 15:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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REPORT: Two plants saved from closing under new GM/UAW agreement

May 31

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According to the Detroit Free Press, the 14 plants that General Motors is expected to announce for closure on Monday was going to be 16 plants until the UAW got its way on Capitol Hill. The union charged GM with closing factories, but instead of a commensurate reduction in production, GM was moving some of the manufacturing elsewhere, specifically China and Mexico.

GM said it will produce 1.83 million cars in the U.S. 2014 as opposed to 2 million today, and it would get one-third of its production that year from overseas. That one-third would notably be small cars, so much in play lately for every reason. The UAW suggested it would be amenable to “innovative labor agreement provisions” in order to make small car production work for GM domestically.

In that case it isn’t Mexico or China that will suffer, but Canada. Our northern neighbor is expected to lose 23% of its GM export production (has anyone told CAW head Ken Lewenza yet?) while Asian importation climbs 98%.

For now, an assembly plant and a stamping plant have been spared from the initial list of U.S. closures. Another four plants have been designated “stand-by locations” that will come on line in case of a steep rebound in auto sales.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

REPORT: Two plants saved from closing under new GM/UAW agreement originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 May 2009 14:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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VIDEO: Corvette Grand Sport launch control tested… in dealer lot

May 31

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Click above to watch the Corvette Grand Sport launch control

The Corvette Grand Sport features a launch control so simple your little sister could use it while she puts on her mascara at the light. It is also blisteringly effective and makes a whole lot of the right noises, as you can see in this video of a demo run in a dealership parking lot. How’s that for a test drive? Follow the jump to check it out. (Note: no warranties were voided in the making of this video.)

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading VIDEO: Corvette Grand Sport launch control tested… in dealer lot

VIDEO: Corvette Grand Sport launch control tested… in dealer lot originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 May 2009 12:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kerfuffle? What kerfuffle? All Formula 1 teams reportedly sign on for 2010

May 31

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At least for now, disaster seems to have been averted as all ten teams currently taking part in the 2009 Formula 1 championship have signed conditional agreements to take part in the series in 2010. These reportedly hinge on the Formula One Teams Association’s ability to reach a mutually-agreeable compromise to the contentious budget cap negotiations currently taking place between the FIA and the teams themselves.

At various points over the last few weeks, powerhouse teams such as Ferrari, Renault, Red Bull, Toyota and Toro Rosso had all threatened to withdraw from the 2010 F1 season due to the FIA’s insistence on a $60 million voluntary budget cap, which the competitors say would have resulted in a two-tiered rulebook. Prior to this announcement, Williams had been the only current F1 team to commit to racing next season.

In addition to the ten teams taking part in this year’s festivities, Campos Racing from Spain and USF1 from the United States have both signed on for 2010 with Prodrive/Aston Martin and Lola from Britain also waiting in the wings. Now, if we could just keep overly attractive girls from messing with the driver’s heads, we’d be all set. Thanks for the tip, Pat!

[Source: The Globe and Mail | Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images]

Kerfuffle? What kerfuffle? All Formula 1 teams reportedly sign on for 2010 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 May 2009 11:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Crazy Kiwis: Buy a new Mitsubishi Triton, get a free goat with purchase

May 31

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New Zealand Mitsubishi wants you to buy a Triton ute, and to lure you into doing it they’re using goats — because really, who can resist a goat? Said Mitsu’s New Zealand sales and marketing manager, Peter Wilkins, “three years of drought has severely depleted sheep and beef populations, so what better time to float the goat?”

But wait, there’s more! If you don’t end up taking the goat — said to go well with the Triton because goats are “hardy, versatile units which will integrate directly into existing farm operations” — a goat-free package is available. That will get you a 5-year extended warranty, five vehicle fitness inspections, five thousand km of road user charges paid, five years of roadside assistance, and $500 worth of Triton accessories.

New Zealand Mitsubishi, working hard to… get your goat. (Sorry, had to…)

[Source: Courier Mail]

Crazy Kiwis: Buy a new Mitsubishi Triton, get a free goat with purchase originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 May 2009 09:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW celebrates 75 years of building roadsters

May 31

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BMW Roadsters - Click above for a high-res image gallery

We generally think of BMW as the maker of some of the world’s best sports sedans, but its put out some impressive roadsters over the years. Seventy-five years to be exact. The Bavarian auto manufacturer has been producing two-door open-seaters for three quarters of a century now, starting with 315/1 Sports model that was unveiled at the 1934 Berlin Motor Show followed by the more powerful 319/1. Two legendary roadsters came next, starting with the 328 Roadster in 1936 that was bred on the Nurburgring, and the classically-styled 507 in the late 1950’s that inspired the next half century of BMW two-door ragtops.

It was nearly 30 years before BMW produced another roadster, and it came in the form of the Z1 that launched in 1988. The quirky roadster featured plastic body panels that bolted onto the steel monocoque body and doors that could retract into the side of the car. In 1995 BMW brought the roadster to the masses with the Z3, followed by the modern day Z4 that’s just begun its second generation. Then, of course, there is the elegant Z8. Perhaps our favorite of all BMW’s roadsters, it offered everything we would ever want from a sporty two-door convertible: a 400 horsepower V8, six-speed manual transmission, and a design that will never go out of style.

BMW has provided a wonderful gallery of photos highlighting each car, all available in high resolution. More details on each roadster can also be found in the press release after the jump.

Continue reading BMW celebrates 75 years of building roadsters

BMW celebrates 75 years of building roadsters originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 May 2009 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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PopSci grapples with age-old question of what is worse: driving drunk or stoned

May 31

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Impaired driving kills thousands of motorists each year, and ad campaigns and increased police enforcement have done little to stop it from happening. When we say “impaired driving,” most think about alcohol. But marijuana usage prior to getting behind the wheel can be just as dangerous.

Professors from Israel’s Ben Gurion University wanted to see which was worse; drink driving or stoned driving. The university chose 14 students to participate in the study, which consists of a realistic driving environment that includes a 1600degree screen and a gold Cadillac STS simulator. Not surprisingly, the school didn’t even need to advertise the study to get its test subjects. Apparently, some college-age students will readily participate in studies that involve alcohol or marijuana. Who knew?

The results of the study were less than surprising. The drivers that consumed vodka drinks drove faster while also being very cocky about their abilities. Pot smokers drove more slowly, but like the drunken drivers, they also swerved excessive and changed lanes a lot. The chronic crew also felt they were more aware of their impairment, which you may think is a good thing, but researchers say the detachment from reality is actually very dangerous.

So who wins the battle of drunken drivers verses stoned drivers? Well, nobody. They’re both dangerous, unless you’re in Israel behind the wheel of a gold Cadillac STS simulator.

[Source: PopSci]

PopSci grapples with age-old question of what is worse: driving drunk or stoned originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 May 2009 19:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Daily U-Turn: What you missed on 5.29.09

May 31

First Drive: 2010 Jaguar XFR, XKR and one great V8
Jaguar admits it’s been a rough decade for the brand, but 2009 is Jag’s coming out party and the festivities begin with the mind-blowing XFR, XKR and one of the most potent V8s on the market.
Spy Shots: Honda CrossTour caught in the Smokies
Honda’s new Accord-based CUV is caught testing in the mountains, but it’s controversial combination of traditional wagon styling and an X6-inspired roofline could leave some consumers cold.
Top Ten LeMons Contenders… in 2029
What vehicles are going to dominate the 24 Hours of LeMons 20 years from now? We gaze into our crystal ball to come up with the top ten LeMons contenders for the 2029 season.
Other news of import

Daily U-Turn: What you missed on 5.29.09 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 May 2009 19:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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