techshake

First Drive:  2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe
Nov10

First Drive: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

By Chris Haak

Let’s say you really like your job.  It pays well, the commute isn’t too long, you like the people you work with, the company is stable, you have a supportive boss, and you’re doing meaningful work.  If I told you that you could have the same job, but with 82 percent more pay, would you take it?  What if that 82 percent pay raise required another six years of education and some professional certification, and carried a higher tax bracket?  Would you still take that job – which would have all of the good stuff your current job has, but more money?

That’s basically what someone like me, the owner of a 2008 Cadillac CTS with the 3.6 liter direct-injection V6 encounters when pondering the CTS-V.  Instead of 82 percent more salary, the V dangles 82 percent more horsepower (556 instead of 304).  Instead of six more years of education and professional certification, it carries a $15,775 price premium over a “regular” CTS coupe, a $1,300 gas guzzler tax.  Completing the metaphor, the higher tax bracket would be the abysmal fuel economy of the CTS-V (12 city/18 highway rather than 18 city/27 highway in the 3.6 liter V6 car) which you’ll pay every time you hit the gas pump and fill its tank with premium unleaded  But boy, is that 82 percent more money – I mean, horsepower – ever something to behold.

Read More
The GM Bailout Revisited
Nov09

The GM Bailout Revisited

By Charles Krome

Let me deal with one thing before I even start: I was definitely in with the bailout crowd back during the depths of the global economic meltdown, and I remain a firm believer in government providing the occasional boost to U.S. industry. But that being said, I’m starting to get a bad feeling about how things are playing out at General Motors.

Consider: The General recently teased its third-quarter financial results—the final numbers will be released on Wednesday—and the early line is that the company expects to see a “net income attributable to common stockholders” of about $2 billion. That’s a swing of more than $3 billion as compared to GM’s results during the same time last year, although the automaker’s 2009 third-quarter numbers were more hazy and haphazard than usual, due to the whole “going through bankruptcy” business.

Read More
Review: 2010 Chrysler 300C SRT8
Nov09

Review: 2010 Chrysler 300C SRT8

By Kevin Miller

Although Chrysler calls this car the 300C, to me it brings to mind “B” words. Big. Brawny. Brash. Ballsy. Black. The car shouts its machismo, without even whispering “refinement”. The 300C SRT8 is unabashedly powerful and American, with the type of swagger and confidence the world associates with stereotypical American strongmen.

The SRT8 has been around for six years, and is in its final year of production; a refreshed version (spy shots of which are circulating on the Internet) is due for 2011, which is rumored to be more luxurious and feature much-improved interior. The new interior is desperately needs to be a credible contender above the entry-level class, and the new exterior will inject some freshness into the design which has been virtually unchanged since its 2005 model year introduction.

Read More
U.S. Top Gear Inside Look
Nov08

U.S. Top Gear Inside Look

By Matt Adair

The British Broadcasting Company’s “Top Gear” franchise is a global phenomenon, with an estimated 350 million viewers tuning in weekly across the globe. Here in the States, though, we’ve had to make do with YouTube downloads of the episodes if we didn’t get BBC America in our basic cable package, and even then the shows were delayed long after the original airing in Britain. This is about to change as the BBC and History Channel bring us their own, uniquely American version, set to debut on Nov. 21. The question on everybody’s mind is…will it be any good?

For those of you unfamiliar with Top Gear (though, that’s hard to imagine if you’re a true car geek), the format is relatively simple. Cars are reviewed, tested, compared, automotive news items are discussed and celebrities come by for interviews. But as with most things, the devil’s in the details. The cinematography is breathtaking and clever, the music is perfectly timed for drama and the three hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond have a chemistry and humor that’s hard to describe. Indeed, it’s so well put together that one need not even be a car enthusiast to enjoy the program; my mom watches it. Seriously.

Read More

GM Launches IPO

By Chris Haak

General Motors Company, a little over a year after exiting Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, launched its initial public offering yesterday.  It marks the first time that the public will be allowed to directly own shares in the reborn automaker since the middle of 2009 when it all came crashing down.

GM expects to sell 365 million shares of common stock, likely priced between $26 and $29 USD per share (the final price is to be set on November 17), during its IPO.  The offering would then yield between $9.5 billion USD and $10.6 billion USD.  The actual shares to be sold in the IPO belong to the U.S. Treasury, a union-run trust and Canadian federal and provincial governments.  Altogether, the 365 million shares represent about a quarter of GM’s total shares.

Read More

Techshake’s Recommended Winter Driving Accessories

By Chris Haak

Earlier this week, I was ed by an editor at Woman’s World magazine for input into a feature that they’re working on called “You Deserve the Best.”  She asked for my input on what the best car winterizing tools would be, and rather than making my readers wait until January 6 to see a portion of my opinion (and sparing our predominantly male readership from having to buy a magazine called Woman’s World at the grocery store checkout line, I thought I’d share the thoughts in advance.

I was asked about specific categories of winter driving accessories, and I probably have a different set of preferences than would a typical WW reader.  But since she asked, I’ll share.

Read More

October Sales Results Are 2010’s Best to Date

By Chris Haak

The auto industry’s gradual recovery from the doldrums of 2008 and 2009 – when sales volumes fell nearly 50 percent off of their peak levels – continued in October 2010.  Overall, industry sales were up 13 percent in October 2010 compared to October 2009.  For the first time in 2010, the month’s sales were above the 12 million unit annual selling rate (which accounts for seasonal fluctuations).

Among larger brands, another big winner for the month was Chrysler, which saw its sales jump 37 percent on the back of truck sales.  Specifically, the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Thanks to that single vehicle, Jeep’s sales more than doubled.  On top of that, the Ram pickup saw its sales increase by 41 percent compared to the year-earlier period.  Chrysler’s supposed “survival” sales volume is 95,000 units per month, but the company missed that bogey by about 5,000 units, with 90,137 in October.  Chrysler is also a bit short of this goal if you look at the average sales over the first ten months of the year; the 910,357 sales through October 31.  With a stream of new or improved products coming imminently, Chrysler should see things perk up for the rest of the year.

Read More
Hey, There’s a Cool Car:  Chrysler Crossfire Convertible
Nov03

Hey, There’s a Cool Car: Chrysler Crossfire Convertible

By Charles Krome

You know, I can’t believe this car is no more than five years old, and I don’t mean in terms of its design or specs or anything like that. It’s just that the much-heralded “Merger of Equals” between Chrysler and Daimler seems like it was eons ago. Of course, what we’ve got here is well-known as the perfect symbol of that ill-fated partnership, putting what was supposed to be a dramatically “American” skin on top of the impressive—albeit dated even at the time—mechanicals of the Mercedes-Benz SLK.

The Crossfire doesn’t have the best reputation today, but I think that again goes back to its origins. It certainly got some nice reviews back in the day in the buff books. For example, here are some comments on the car from Car and Driver’s first drive, as penned back in June 2004 by Barry Winfield: Style-wise, “Chrysler’s designers thought it crucial that the roadster look good with the top up or down. We think they achieved that goal, even retaining the coupe’s rear boattail design to great effect.”

Read More
steroid-pharm.com