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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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