By Kevin Miller
Early in my career with Techshake, one of the first vehicles I reviewed was a 2008 Jaguar XJ Super V8. The then-flagship of the XJ line, that classically-styled, 400 HP supercharged luxury sedan was both the most expensive and the most powerful vehicle I had ever driven. Three years later, both the XJ and I have become much more worldly. I’ve expanded my horizons by having driven plenty of exotic, luxurious and powerful metal. Jaguar, for its part, launched an all-new XJ flagship which hit the US market for 2011, with a modern yet elegant style that is unlikely to be mistaken for anything else on the road.
By Carl Malek
In an announcement released yesterday, Chevrolet has revealed that the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will make its official world debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show this November.
Following in the footsteps of its coupe sibling, the new droptop will feature the familiar 6.2 liter LSA V8 which is good for 580 horsepower and 556 lb ft of torque. These numbers surpass both the Shelby GT-500 Convertible’s figures of 550 horsepower and 510 lb ft of torque respectively and those of many high priced sports-cars including the Aston Martin DB9 Volante, the Mercedes SLS AMG, and the Porsche 911 Turbo S.
By Charles Krome
Most gearheads know that Chrysler’s first go-round as a government-funded entity—for all the gnashing of teeth it caused—actually led to a number of very important product innovations that completely changed the course of the auto industry: The introduction of wide-scale platform sharing and the debut of the modern-day minivan. True, Chrysler wasn’t the very first to begin using the former or selling the latter, but it was the company that proved both could be successful in mass-market applications here in the U.S.
By Chris Haak
Chrysler Group had a busy offseason between the 2010 (which we’ll call the “treading water” year) and 2011 model years. Though the lineup is not yet fully updated, with a handful of dowdy, uncompetitive vehicles, the company spent a decent amount of its precious cash to improve the competitiveness of its lineup through an series of intense mid-cycle enhancements. Rather than the Honda-style taillamp redesign after year three, several key Chrysler vehicles received new engines, new interiors, and some new front and rear sheetmetal. The vehicle we’re talking about today, the company’s flagship luxury minivan, underwent suspension surgery as well. The result is a vehicle that retains the 2008-2010 Town & Country’s utility while improving refinement and perceived quality. It’s also quite spry for a minivan. (Yes, that’s kind of like saying a six footer is short – for a basketball player).
By Chris Haak
While Fiat’s 500 may be late to the party in some ways (it arrived in the US four full years after its overseas launch and it’s also coming in at what may be the tail end of a “retrofuturism” era), in some ways it’s also right on time. The car represents not only a beachhead for the Fiat brand’s return to the US, but also desperately-needed fresh product for Chrysler as the company awaits further reinforcements from its new owners across the pond in that boot-shaped country named Italy.
By Kevin Miller
The MINI franchise started with just one retro-styled small hatchback, and proved to be a success. But how to build on that success? MINI’s parents at BMW decided that the best way was to expand was by building bigger MINIs, first in the form of the extended-length Clubman, and now in the form of the Countryman crossover, which is MINI’s first four-door vehicle.
By James Wong
There seems to a slew of global onslaughts upon car ownership. Undeniably, we are faced almost universally with higher gasoline prices. But in some cities, gasoline is the least of a motorist’s problems: high crime rates and fraudulent claims have driven insurance premiums to unthinkable levels. In others, you are even charged for entering certain zones in town. We at Techshake thought it would be meaningful, tongue-in-cheek, to let our readers know just how draconian some cities can be towards car ownership. So here’s a peek into some of the nastiest places to own a car. The list isn’t exhaustive, of course.
By Carl Malek
Kia has announced the final pricing of its 2012 Kia Rio and Rio5 models. Pricing for Kia’s smallest offering will begin at a wallet-friendly $13,600 for a base Rio LX 5 door equipped with the manual transmission. Customers who want an automatic transmission can expect to pay a slightly higher starting price of $14,700. At these price points, the 2012 model actually manages to achieve a much lower starting price than the former model that it replaces.