2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition

Posted: 10 Feb 2011 04:02 AM PST

Mazda has hit a 900,000 sales milestone with the MX-5 model and so to celebrate the company have released this special edition version for 2011 called Mazda MX-5 Miata.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition models will be available in Sparkling Black Mica or Dolphin Gray Mica finishes and comes with a set of 17-inch Bright Finish aluminum alloy wheels.

This special edition model also comes standard with the Suspension package, which is optional on the Touring and Grand Touring models. It offers Bilstein shocks, a limited slip differential (LSD) and a sport-tuned suspension. Power comes from a 2.0L 4-cylinder making 167-hp and 140 lb-ft of torque. Standard is the 6-speed manual transmission and optional is the 6-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

As for the interior it features exclusive touches including a gray door trim, heated leather seats with gray stitching, a black leather-wrapped parking brake and steering wheel with contrasting gray stitching, chrome treatments to the air vents and instrument cluster as well as aluminum pedals (on the 6-speed manual only).

Mazda cars are only planning on building 750 MX-5 Miatas Special Editions and prices start at $30,925 for the manual and $31,525 for the 6-speed Sport AT automatic.

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Nissan increasing production to meet LEAF orders

Posted: 10 Feb 2011 01:44 AM PST

Nissan told has announced that they will be increasing production on the LEAF model in order to get all pre-orders completed by the end of September. 

Nissan senior vice president for sales and marketing for North America had this to say:

“We’re going to make sure that customers get their cars well before the end of summer,”, “I’m confident during April, May you’re going to see a significant number of deliveries.” 

The announcement follows General Motors saying that they will be more than doubling production of the Chevrolet Volt and accelerating its rollout nationwide by the end of 2011.

GM plans to sell approximately 10,000 Volts in 2011, and up to 45,000 in 2012, while Carolin has indicated no specific target for the Leaf.

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2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 unveiled at Chicago

Posted: 10 Feb 2011 01:30 AM PST

The battle of the modern muscle cars continues with Chevrolet unveiling their answer to the Shelby GT500 at the Chicago auto show called the 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1.

The Camaro ZL1 is the highest performing Camaro ever built, and Chevrolet is claiming that it is also the most technically advanced muscle car ever developed. The ZL1 name was chosen to honor the limited production, aluminum block racing engine that was available for 1969 Camaros. Only 69 of these Camaros were ever built, but the cars achieved near mythical status.

The Chevy camaro ZL1 is powered by the same 6.2 liter supercharged V8 engine that sits in the Cadillac CTS-V. Chevrolet have tuned this motor down a little but it still kicks out a powerful 550 horsepower and 550 ft lb of torque.

Some of the new features on the ZL1 includes superb Magnetic Ride Control suspension, dual-mode exhaust and Brembo brakes (developed especially for the Camaro). The ZL1 also gets an entirely new electronic steering system, which should provide better feedback and control than hydraulic systems.

As you'd expect, virtually everything in the driveline and suspension has been beefed up to handle the additional power and capabilities of the car. The ZL1 gets a stronger driveshaft, a cast iron differential housing, stronger axles and a heavy duty limited slip differential. Stabilizer bars are increased in diameter, and the rear bar gets drop links repositioned to the outside of the control arms to further reduce body roll.

The car rides on a set of 20 inch forged aluminum wheels (lighter than those used on the Camaro SS) wrapped in Goodyear Eagle Supercar F2 tires developed specifically for the ZL1.

On the outside, the ZL1 is distinguished by a unique front fascia and aluminum hood with carbon fiber insert, featuring air extractors to control airflow over the car. The front fascia includes vertical fog lamps and air intakes for brake cooling, and well as a front splitter for improved aerodynamics. Out back, the rear gets a spoiler and a diffuser equipped rear fascia.

The interior of the ZL1s is kitted out with a black leatherand features heated front seats, suede microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos on the headrests. The inside also gets a unique look thanks to a revised steering wheel, unique instrument panel, ZL1 sill plates, alloy pedals, a heads-up display and "four pack" auxiliary gauges in the center console.

Chevrolet hasn't released any prices yet, but as its going to compete with the Shelby GT500 Mustang it will probably be in the same price range of around $50,000.

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2012 Dodge Charger SRT8

Posted: 10 Feb 2011 12:45 AM PST

Dodge has released images and info on the newly redesigned 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 which is debuting at the Chicago Auto Show.

The 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 comes powered with the same 6.4-liter HEMI that churns out 465 hp. The new HEMI, however, does incorporate Chrysler’s fuel saver technology and a new active valve exhaust system that helps deliver better fuel efficiency.

The transmission is also the same W5A580 five-speed automatic that’s we’ve seen since 2005, but new Charger does get standard paddle-shifters on the steering wheel.

To slow this muscle car down Chrysler has fitted Brembo brakes all-round and installed a Ready Alert Braking system that supposedly anticipates when the driver may initiate an emergency stop. When this happens the system automatically engages the electronic stability control pump to set the brake against the rotors in order to reduce braking time.

Other features include: Keyless Enter-N-Go, adaptive-cruise control with Forward Collision Warning and Blind-spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path Detection, Standard front-row reactive head restraints, standard full-length side-curtain air bags, driver's knee bag and standard front seat-mounted side-thorax air bags.

The new 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 is set to debut tomorrow at the Chicago Auto Show

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A Look at Possible Future Technology for our Cars: Video

Posted: 10 Feb 2011 12:18 AM PST

OnStar has partnered up with Verizon to develop future technologies that may become part of our motoring lives. They have released this short video to give us a look at things to come.

OnStar’s partnership with Verizon has allowed both leaders to continue to explore all potential applications that can be installed into a vehicle, utilizing 4G LTE technology on a faster broadband network.

Some of the possibilities include:

  • Receiving instant alters via smartphone about bumps/damages made to your vehicle
  • Connecting to top websites (Google, Twitter, Facebook Wikipedia) using hands-free voice activated commands
  • Activating home-based monitoring cameras and/or other functions (temperature control, lights, more)
  • Video conferencing from inside the car using Skype
  • Navigating through traffic utilizing voice commands and maps
  • One of the key features of this technology that I like is being able to view your car from a cell phone, how many times have you left your car feeling insecure about its safety? Well now with this tech resolves that problem, just flip out your phone and take a look.

Watch the video below to take a look at this developing technology.

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Ken Block’s new 2011 Fiesta wrc and 2011 event list

Posted: 09 Feb 2011 05:25 AM PST

The Monster World Rally Team and Ken Block have revealed the new 2011 Ford Fiesta WRC rally car which ken will be using to compete in this year’s events. They have also released a list of events in which Block will be participating in this year.

Ken Block has managed to gain a few new sponsors for 2011 which will be helping him achieve his goals for 2011, (one being a Gymkhana 4 video). These include: Mobil 1 Extended Performance, Traxxas and GoPro.

Block had this to say in a statement:

"2011 is going to be really big for me and the Monster World Rally Team," "We're doing more WRC races this year, kicking off the Gymkhana World Tour, racing in Summer X Games, filming Gymkhana 4, plus hitting up a lot of other rally-related events worldwide. We even have a few top-secret projects in the works. I'm a lucky bastard to be doing all this, it's going to be an amazing year!"

The Ken Block and Monster World Rally Team 2011 schedule:

  • WRC Rally Sweden: February 10-13
  • WRC Corona Rally Mexico:March 3-6
  • Goodwood Press Day: March 17
  • WRC Vodafone Rally de Portugal: March 24-27
  • WRC Rally Argentina: May 26-29
  • Weston Festival of Speed: June 3-5
  • Goodwood Festival of Speed: July 1-3
  • X Games 17: July 25-30
  • WRC ADAC Rally Deutschland: August 18-21
  • WRC Rally Australia: September 8-11
  • WRC Rallye de France: September 29-October 2
  • WRC RACC Rally de Espana: October 20-23
  • SEMA 2011: November 1-4
  • WRC Wales Rally GB: November 10-13
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    Dodge Challenger Green Envy edition

    Posted: 09 Feb 2011 04:46 AM PST

    muscle car

    One of the cars that was standing out at the 2011 Chicago auto show was the special edition Dodge Challenger Green Envy.

    Dodge come up with the Green Envy name for two reasons, the green part is obvious but the Envy part is because Dodge believe that Challengers are becoming the envy of the muscle car market.

    The Dodge Challenger SRT8 Green Envy features full-body black stripes, 20 inch rims, and SRT-branded seats in Dark Slate Nappa Leather. Price starts at $44,875 USD for which you get a 392-cubic inch HEMI engine developing 470 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque.

    muscle car

    The Dodge Challenger R/T Classic Green Envy also features ‘go faster’ stripes, five-spoke, cast-aluminum wheels and premium Dark Slate Nappa leather seats. For this version of the special edition muscle car you get a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine with a cold air intake good for 375 hp and it will set you back around $35,785 USD.

    The Dodge Challenger Green Envy will be available at Dodge dealers in late first quarter, 2011.

    For more information read the Dodge press release below.

    muscle car

    Dodge Press Release:

    2011 Dodge Challengers Are Becoming Even More the Envy of the Muscle Car MarketGreen with Envy Launches on Challenger R/T Classic and SRT8 392 Models

    The expanding muscle car market is going to be "Green With Envy" as the Dodge brand today announced a first-time, limited production run of the 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic and SRT8 392 models featuring Green With Envy exterior color.

    Both Dodge Challenger models are improved for 2011 and deliver more of what American muscle-car enthusiasts want — unmistakable design, powerful HEMI V-8 engines with new technologies and world-class handling and braking. Executed with quality and precision, the two new Challenger Green With Envy models provide an extra dose of exclusivity.
    "We're using Green With Envy on the new 2011 Dodge Challengers to pay tribute to some of the coolest paint colors from our past, including the "Sublime" and "Green Go" Dodge Challengers from the 1970's and more recently, the "Snakeskin Green" Vipers from 2008-2010," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, Dodge Brand and Senior Vice President , Product Design — Chrysler Group LLC. "Not only will this exclusive heritage color remain unique to the Dodge brand, it adds another fresh and exciting element to our modern American muscle coupe."

    Production of the 2011 Green With Envy Challenger models will start in February 2011 at the Brampton Assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Challenger SRT8 Green With Envy models
    are available for ordering now at Dodge dealerships, while orders for the Challenger R/T Classic models will begin in late first quarter, 2011.

    Upgraded for the performance enthusiast, the new 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic includes a new performance-tuned suspension with rail-like handling, more power from the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and more standard equipment.

    The limited edition Green With Envy model features two A-line body-side stripes – either in matte black (standard) or white (optional). New five-spoke, cast-aluminum wheels are styled in the spirit of nostalgic Halibrand or "Kidney Bean" style with a modern interpretation. On the interior, the premium Dark Slate Nappa leather seats and center console feature Green With Envy accent stitching.

    The legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine adds a new cold-air induction system for 375 track-tearing horsepower (with standard Tremec six-speed manual transmission) and 372 horsepower (with optional five-speed Auto Stick transmission). Fuel Saver technology on the automatic transmission seamlessly transitions to high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. This optimizes fuel economy when full V-8 power is not required, without sacrificing vehicle performance or capability.

    The EPA fuel economy, miles per gallon rating is 16/25 (city/hwy) for both the automatic transmission and manual transmission models.

    Other standard equipment on the new 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic package includes "Challenger" fender badges in classic script, classic "egg-crate grille" with heritage "R/T" badge, functional hood scoops, high-intensity discharge headlamps (HID), heated front seats and six Boston Acoustics premium speakers with 276-watt amplifier. The standard Super Track Pak Group adds a high-performance steering gear, high-performance brake linings, high-performance tuned monotube-shock absorbers, P245/45R20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Super Car three-season tires and three-mode ESC with "full off."

    The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic Green With Envy, is $ 35,785 (includes $825 destination).

    This new and exclusive Green With Envy paint scheme joins the return of the legendary 392-cubic inch HEMI powertrain under the hood in the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392.

    In addition to the unique exterior, dual, full-body black stripes and 20-inch, five-spoke SRT-exclusive wheels with polished face and satin black painted pockets are standard. The race-inspired interior of the Challenger SRT8 392 features standard SRT-branded seats in Dark Slate Nappa Leather with Green With Envy accent bands in front and rear.

    Pumping out 470 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, the newest HEMI engine in the SRT product lineup provides an additional 90 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,900 rpm compared with the previous 6.1-liter V-8 engine.

    The added torque allows for inspired standing starts and improved straight-line performance while new, performance-tuned motor mounts improve idle stability and ride control at any speed. An active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing provides maximum low-end torque while optimizing high-end power.

    New for 2011 is the Fuel Saver technology (four-cylinder mode) in automatic transmission equipped models, which allows the engine to operate economically on four cylinders or use all eight cylinders when needed.

    The 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 gets 14/22 (city/hwy) miles per gallon (mpg) with the automatic transmission model (a 15 percent increase on highway versus 2010 model) and 14/23 mpg with the manual-transmission (a 4 percent increase on highway versus 2010).

    The MSRP for the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 featuring Green With Envy is $44,875 (includes $825 destination).
    The 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is also now available in four additional exterior colors, including Billett Metallic Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Redline 3 Pearl Coat and Toxic Orange Pearl Coat.

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