The 2008 Saturn Vue, unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, brings significant upgrades to the exterior and interior of this small and affordable SUV. Exterior lines are considerably softened from the previous model's, and vents have been added to the front fenders--we assume to better cool the big 3.6-liter V-6 engine in the XR and Red Line versions. Any Vue with a V-6 also gets a new 6-speed automatic transmission. But Saturn doesn't end its technical upgrades there. The Vue will now have a navigation system as an option, and even the standard stereo plays MP3 … Read more
We were expecting to see a convertible version of the 2008 Chrysler Sebring here today at the LA Auto Show; what surprised us was the kind of drop-top that was unveiled. In additon to a soft-top convertible, Chrysler showed off the 2008 Sebring with a power-retractable hard top, following the recent trend among automakers to offer an alternative to tradional ragtops.
Like that of the Volvo C70 that we reviewed recently, the Sebring's roof folds away in an elaborate process of interleaving panels, with the whole process taking less than 30 seconds from start to finish. Chrysler claims that … Read more
Custom car company Italdesign - Giugiaro S.p.A. got ahold of a Ford Mustang and gave it a space-age look to complement the Mustang's already retro style. Italdesign worked with Ford Motor Company to develop the car and have it on display in the Ford booth at the Los Angeles Auto Show. OK, lambo doors aren't particularly space age--that's a common site on modded cars, and they don't add much to the Giugiaro Mustang. The cool part is the smoked-glass windshield, which rises up from the hood to bubble up over the roof and flow … Read more
No stranger to building small cars, Honda trotted out a new concept, dubbed REMIX, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This car is tiny--barely longer than it is wide--yet Honda says it's an exploration of a practical sports car. Large tires and performance brakes emphasize its sporty character, yet it maintains decent cargo space behind the two seats. The windshield consciously emulates that of a jet fighter, a further sporty design cue. Although the REMIX is only a concept, Honda says it's designed to be fitted with a 4-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Judging from the … Read more
Maserati put its MC12 supercar on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show, for no particular reason except it looks really, really good. Maserati only built 50 of the cars, which signaled Maserati's return to racing after more than 35 years. The MC12 won the 24 hours of Spa endurance race two years in a row, and serves as a road legal counterpart to Maserati's FIA GT Championship race cars. The MC12 is powered by a 6-liter V-12 that produces 630 horsepower. It goes from 0 to 62mph (0 to 100kph) in 3.8 seconds and has a … Read more
It's war out there on the open highway. And we're not talking about road rage, either. The true enemy's most feared weapon of choice (to some people, we hear) is the radar gun.
Highway patrol officers still get a good laugh at those puny radar detectors people pathetically tried to use in the '80s. But there's a new toy in town, and it's called the Inforad GPS V3. Available in Europe, as reported by Shiny Shiny, this gadget starts flashing and beeping like a banshee whenever your car approaches a speed camera.
There's just … Read more
Volkswagen made its impression on the first morning of the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show by unveiling the latest of its oddly named offerings: the Volkswagen Tiguan crossover SUV. The car is still in the concept stage (thus its exotic interior and color-coded tires in tangerine), but a production model is expected at the end of 2007.
The model on display in L.A. is powered by a "clean TDI" diesel engine, which makes use of BlueTec diesel-emission control technology. Originally introduced by Mercedes-Benz, BlueTec is now jointly promoted by Audi and Volkswagen as well, in an effort … Read more
Following the announcement this morning from GM chief Rick Wagoner that Saturn plans to bring to market a plug-in hybrid vehicle, the company continued its hybrid kick with the unveiling of the 2008 Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid here at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Aura Green Line Hybrid makes use of the same belt alternator system (BAS) technology that we recently saw in the Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid, and will deliver a 25 percent increase in fuel economy over the gasoline-only Aura, according to Saturn representatives.
Production of the Aura Green Line Hybrid is scheduled to … Read more
General Motors has begun development of the world's first plug-in hybrid production vehicle, which will be offered as a version of the 2008 Saturn Vue hybrid. The announcement was made at the kickoff of the 2007 Los Angeles Show this morning at the Los Angeles Convention Center by GM's CEO Rick Wagoner. The front-wheel-drive 2008 Saturn Vue hybrid will incorporate GM's two-mode hybrid system, which will make its first appearance in the Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid, due to come to market next year. Wagoner said that no definite timeline had been decided for the Vue hybrid plug-in, but … Read more
On our road trip to the Los Angeles Auto Show, we've passed Pismo Beach and are well on our way. At our rest stop, I looked at the back seat and noticed how much room our photographer, Corinne, has in the back of this Lexus LS 460 L. She wouldn't swap places with me, so I'll have to figure out what's the opposite of calling "shotgun."
I do have command of the entertainment in the front passenger seat and discovered some interesting things about the audio system. We noticed early on that the car … Read more