techshake

Ford Reveals New Taurus-Based Police Interceptor
Mar12

Ford Reveals New Taurus-Based Police Interceptor

By Chris Haak

With Crown Victoria production ending in late 2011, Ford had to find a worthy replacement for its time-tested Crown Vic-based Police Interceptor. The current Crown Victoria-based Police Interceptor holds the lion’s share of the police vehicle market (which can be as many as 65,000 vehicles annually in “normal” economic times), and the competitive offerings from GM (the front wheel drive Impala) and Dodge (the rear wheel drive Charger) have not gained much traction in the marketplace.

GM has responded to the Impala’s lack of police market success with its upcoming rear wheel drive Chevrolet Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV), a car that should completely dominate the Crown Vic-based Police Interceptor in terms of performance and driving dynamics. And now it’s Ford’s turn to counterattack.

Read More
Saab Lowers 9-3 Pricing, Starts Shipping New Cars to Dealers
Mar11

Saab Lowers 9-3 Pricing, Starts Shipping New Cars to Dealers

By Brendan Moore

After a six-month interruption in deliveries due to the fact that the parent company’s survival was decidedly tenuous, Saab Cars North America has shipped new product to their 218 dealers in the United States.

Saab dealers in the US should start receiving new 2010 9-3 models sometime this month. And in a bid to jump-start sales, Saab’s new owner, Spyker, has lowered prices.

How much? Quite a bit – anywhere from a 4% to 12% reduction in base price, depending on the model.

As an example, the 2010 9-3 base model has an MSRP of $29,725 USD, compared to the 2009 9-3 base model, which had an MSRP of $31,135.

The 2010 9-3 Convertible has an MSRP of $40,815, compared to the 2009 9-3 Convertible, which had an MSRP of $42,905.

Read More
2010 Infiniti FX50 AWD Review
Mar10

2010 Infiniti FX50 AWD Review

By Chris Haak

I just finished a week driving an Infiniti FX50, and I just can’t get myself to fall in love with this odd duck. During my week with the car, I added about 400 miles to its odometer, and was able to sample it in snow, on dry pavement and wet, on the highway and in the city, and with the family and without them. What I found was an interesting looking crossover that’s very quick and powerful, but one that seems to have little more utility than a conventional sedan. In other words, it’s a vehicle with the economy of an SUV, the performance of a sports car, and the interior of a large luxury car. Tell me again who thought this would be a good idea.

The FX50 is a statement vehicle. Its design is not burdened by practicality concerns (though, admittedly, a five-door hatchback shape is more practical than, say, a two-seat sport coupe), with a long hood, low roofline, and complex organic curves that each manages to cut a little bit more into the FX’s usable interior space. Were the FX to wear more conventionally-sized wheels – say 18s or 19s – instead of the giant 21s on my sport package-equipped test vehicle, it just wouldn’t look as sporty, or as menacing.

Read More
Mitsubishi Agrees to Make 100,000 Electric Vehicles for Peugeot
Mar09

Mitsubishi Agrees to Make 100,000 Electric Vehicles for Peugeot

Extra production should bring down Mitsubishi’s costs per EV

By Brendan Moore

03.09.2010

Mitsubishi Motors has agreed to produce 100,000 vehicles for PSA/Peugeot-Citroen starting in October of this year, with the vehicles scheduled to be offered for sale before the end of the year.

Mitsubishi will manufacture the cars at its plant in Mizushima, Okayama Prefecture, Japan. The PSA-branded vehicles will be based on Mitsubishi’s four-seat i-MiEV, which, after a long lead-up, finally goes on sale for the masses next month in Japan. The i-MiEV is scheduled to be offered in Europe by year’s end and in the United States in the second quarter of 2011.

The cars manufactured for PSA will get different body styling, interiors, and will have handling and suspension characteristics. The vehicle will be sold under the iOn brand by Peugeot and under C-Zero by Citroen. PSA plans to sell 25,000 EVs a year, with half of the total going to each of it’s two brands.

Read More
2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4×2 Review
Mar09

2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4×2 Review

By Roger Boylan

03.09.2010

The 2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5 is a very pleasant vehicle, comfortable and capacious. It rides smoothly and quietly, brakes well, and has oodles of storage space. Its fuel economy is reasonable (I averaged 19 mpg on regular), and so is its price, for what you get (across trim lines, from $29K to a tick under $40K). Most models are powered by a 4.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve V6, with 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque (at 4400 rpm). There’s a 4-cylinder engine available for the lesser 2WD trim levels, but surely it’s not to be taken seriously, except as a dealership decoy. With a mere 157 hp, it’s a bad joke. This truck weighs at least 4300 lbs. and needs a V6, if not a V8 (It used to be available with a V8, but no longer.) This V6 is a pleasant enough powerplant, once it wakes up. It can manage the 0-60 sprint in around 8 seconds, but seems to take longer. Sometimes when you need it to make hard decisions and get going it hesitates and stumbles, annoyingly, as if hunting in confusion for the right gear. Said gear can be hand-selected, because the 5-speed auto tranny comes with a sequential-shift option, if you want to play tough guy and pretend you’re driving a stick. (I seldom bother.)

Read More
Vehicle Import Program That Brought New European Luxury Cars to Cuba Is Stopped
Mar08

Vehicle Import Program That Brought New European Luxury Cars to Cuba Is Stopped

By Brendan Moore

A government-approved import program that allowed wealthy Cubans to bring in Mercedes-Benz and BMW cars into Cuba was abruptly ended by the Cuban government last week.

The program launched last April, with the stated aim of reducing pollution and fuel consumption by replacing some of the ancient Russian cars and even older American cars typically seen in the island nation. Any car manufactured before 1990 was eligible for replacement, with the old car sold to the government. The Cuban government controls the sale of all cars, as well as who can purchase a car. The only cars that can be bought and sold by citizens are the American cars still in Cuba that were imported and sold before the Communist takeover in 1959.

Read More
Peugeot Decides to Pass on Mitsubishi Investment
Mar05

Peugeot Decides to Pass on Mitsubishi Investment

By Brendan Moore

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, who had been considering taking a 30%-50% stake in Mitsubishi to the tune of as much as 300 billion yen ($3.4 billion USD) announced at the Geneva Auto Show a couple of days ago that they were going to take a pass on the investment.

The deal would have given the Japanese automaker a timely infusion of capital; Mitsubishi has been floundering in the market lately and could use the money. Peugeot could certainly have used the expansion into other geographic markets that a tie-up with Mitsubishi would have afforded. Peugeot, the second-largest European automaker behind VW, has seen the writing on the wall in terms of the stagnating European market, and needs to be able to sell its cars in more places.

Read More
GM Will Reinstate 661 Rejected Dealerships
Mar05

GM Will Reinstate 661 Rejected Dealerships

By Chris Haak

The saga of rejected dealerships – a fallout of the bankruptcies last year of both GM and Chrysler – took another dramatic turn in the past 24 hours. GM announced this afternoon that the company will immediately reinstate 661 of the 1,160 rejected dealerships that have applied for arbitration concerning the loss of their franchises. This means that more than half of the rejected dealers who applied for arbitration will be reinstated without question by GM. The remaining dealerships that have sought arbitration will continue to go through that process, or GM will attempt to settle with them outside of arbitration. Altogether, GM rejected 1,350 stores last year during its trip through bankruptcy.

GM held a dealer briefing at 2:00 p.m. today, and GM North America president Mark Reuss and head of marketing Susan Docherty held a press conference at 3:00 p.m. on the subject of “an update on the dealer arbitration process,” when the company announced the news.

Read More
booker.in.ua