Chrysler CEO hints at big things to come.

Posted in auto industry, Chrysler, NAIAS by MrAngry | January 17th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

*Photo Credit:

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne was spilling the beans about everything that was going on at Chrysler at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. According to Automotive News, Marchionne spoke about a whole host of new developments designed to turn the ailing Chrysler brand around by producing automobiles that customers want because of their desirability, not because of their cost. The resurrection of a seven-passenger Jeep Grand Wagoneer is due out for 2013, as is a hybrid version of the redesigned Chrysler 300 and an all new Jeep based pickup truck. New transmissions providing enhanced fuel economy will also be offered. A nine-speed transmission will be utilized in new front-wheel drive vehicles, with an eight-speed unit finding its way into rear drive sedans such as the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. Both transmission are designed by ZF Friedrichshafen AG. There will also be a replacement for the Dodge Nitro/Jeep Liberty and the mid-sized Dodge Caliber. The long and short of it is that Sergio Marchionne has a mission to resurrect Chrysler back to its former status as a world leader in automotive production.

Source: AutomotiveNews

AutoWeek Picks The Best From The 2011 NAIAS

Posted in BMW, Chrysler, Ford, NAIAS, Porsche by Kurt Ernst | January 14th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Porsche's 918 RSR. Image: Porsche AG

I’ve been a subscriber to AutoWeek for a long long time; in fact, I subscribed back in the day when they were a weekly publication and actually had a staff of writers, not just interns and freelancers. As print mags go, they’re still among the better ones, but that may be damning by faint praise. I no longer take their reviews as gospel, but they’re generally accurate enough to be credible. Read More…

Audi Shows A6 Hybrid, We Ask Why

Posted in Audi, Car Buying, General, Hybrid, NAIAS by Kurt Ernst | January 12th, 2011 | 5 Responses |

Audi unveils the A6 Hybrid in Detroit. Image: Audi of America

I like Audi and I love the styling of the new A6, but I cannot imagine why they thought it was necessary to build a hybrid version of their midsize luxury sedan. Audi, if you recall, promised to bring a diesel variant of all their cars to this side of the pond in the coming years. Speaking for most enthusiasts (the type of buyers that Audi is likely to attract), I’d much rather have a clean, fuel efficient diesel than an expensive, heavy and needlessly complex hybrid. Read More…

Hyundai’s Curb Concept: The Crossover Of The Future?

Posted in Concept Cars, Featured, Hyundai, NAIAS by Kurt Ernst | January 12th, 2011 | 2 Responses |
Hyundai Curb Concept

Hyundai's Curb concept. Image: Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai doesn’t want you calling the Curb a crossover. It’s not a compact SUV, either, nor is it a multipurpose utility vehicle. Hyundai defines the Curb as a Compact UAV, or Urban Activity Vehicle; in other words, it’s meant to survive potholes and nightclub parking lots, not mud pits and Class III trails. It also isn’t aimed at the traditional SUV or crossover audience; instead, Hyundai has designed the Curb solely for Generation Y, a group generally more concerned with social interaction than with driving or car ownership. Read More…

Is Jeep bringing back a pickup truck?

Posted in Featured, Jeep, NAIAS by MrAngry | January 12th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

Jeep Gladiator Concept

In the past, Chrysler’s Jeep brand has been known to do some experimenting by integrating pickup trucks into their lineup. In 1962 they released a truck known as the Gladiator, which was basically a big Wagoneer sans the two rear doors and rear passenger compartment. Then in 1986 they took another stab with the Jeep Comanche. This was again, based on Jeep’s then XJ class Cherokee and was offered with either a six or seven foot bed. By far the most successful of the two offerings, the XJ went on to a six-year production run that eventually ended in 1992. Now it seems that Jeep is going to give it another shot, and that shot may look a lot like the Gladiator concept you see here.
Read More…

Jeep Grand Wagoneer to make a comeback!

Posted in Chrysler, Jeep, NAIAS, Newsworthy by MrAngry | January 11th, 2011 | 4 Responses |

1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Now here’s some great news for those of us who were kids in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer, an SUV icon, is apparently going to be resurrected by Chrysler in January of 2013 according to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. For those under 40, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was likely the first real SUV many of us had ever seen. Released back in the mid-1960’s, the Grand Wagoneer was the first American made truck that provided consumers with a combination of luxury, seating for five and true off-road capabilities. The nameplate has been lying dormant since the big Jeep when out of production in 1993, so to see it being revived is actually quite nostalgic. “>Automotive News is reporting that new the Grand Wagoneer will be built on the same platform as the new 7-passenger 2011 Dodge Durango. At the North American International Auto Show this week, CEO Marchionne stated, “It’s time we gave the market an upper-scale Grand Wagoneer,” – something that we here at Ridelust totally agree with.


Ford’s Vertrek Concept: Is This The Next Escape?

Posted in Concept Cars, Design, Ford, NAIAS by Kurt Ernst | January 11th, 2011 | 1 Response |

Ford's Vertrk concept; don't call it the new Escape yet. Image: Ford Motor Company

Now that Ford has completely re-designed the Explorer, it’s time for them to turn their attention to the compact SUV market. Rumors have been flying that the next Escape would be based on the EU’s Kuga; the two vehicles were remarkably similar in size and capability, so making the Kuga a global platform seemed to make good economic sense. This “good enough” thinking may have been how Ford operated in years past, but it’s not how Ford operates today. One of the more interesting concepts debuted at the NAIAS was Ford’s Vertrek concept, which may be used to replace both the aging Escape and the relatively new Kuga. Read More…

Mini Paceman Concept: Two-Door 4×4

Posted in Mini, NAIAS, Newsworthy by MrAngry | January 11th, 2011 | 1 Response |

2012 Mini Paceman Concept
*Photo Credit: MotorAuthority

As of late Mini has been charging hard with models like the new 2011 Countryman and Clubman. These vehicles have slowly been extending Mini’s market range and have opened them up to new consumers who may have otherwise bypassed the brand due to its small sized automobiles. Mini categorizes the Paceman as a “Sports Activity Coupe”, which basically means they cut two doors off the Countryman and renamed it. It’s good looking and sporty enough, and by building it Mini will have basically found away to inflate the original Mini Cooper into more of a grown-up / masculine package. To cope with the Paceman’s weight, Mini has decided to drop in the 211 hp / 192 lb-ft of torque turbocharged 4-cylinder mill out of their own JCW edition. In my opinion, this should be just enough engine to get its estimated 3,200 lb + weight up and moving.
Read More…

Hyundai Veloster Is A Rolling Contradiction Of Terms

Posted in Featured, Hyundai, NAIAS by Kurt Ernst | January 11th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Hyundai's 2012 Veloster. Image: Hyundai Motor America

Fuel efficient cars are boring, coupes have two doors and affordable cars don’t come with luxury features, or so the gospel of the automobile has been written for generations. Hyundai wants you to re-think all of that, since their soon-to-be-on-sale Veloster contradicts all of those edicts. It gets 40 MPG on the highway, but its curb weight of less than 2,600 pounds, dual clutch gearbox and 138 horsepower direct-injection engine assures you that it won’t be boring. It’s a coupe, but it actually has a third door on the passenger side for easier entry and exit from the back seat. It’s got a starting price of around $17,000, yet it comes with a seven inch touch-screen infotainment display, Pandora radio (linked to an owner’s smartphone), Blue Link and Bluetooth phone integration. A Dimension Premium Audio system is an available option, as is navigation and a rearview camera. That doesn’t sound like an economy car to me. Read More…

BMW 1 Series M Coupe starts at $47,010.

Posted in BMW, NAIAS, Newsworthy by MrAngry | January 10th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

BMW 1 Series M Coupe Exterior

For the last 6 months or so news, photo’s and specs on BMW’s new strudel-rocket, the 1 Series M Coupe, has been filtering down through the internet. Its 340 hp twin-turbo 6-cylinder and 6-speed manual transmission means that the car will be quick. It should also handle like a rock star due to all the tweaking from BMW’s M division. Now, after much speculation, we also have some pricing. BMW has formerly announced that pricing for the 1 Series M Coupe will start at $47,010. This puts it on par with sports cars like the Porsche Boxster and Audi’s TTS Coupe. Right now I think BMW enthusiasts everywhere are just waiting to see the reviews in the hopes that the little 1 Series M Coupe trumps the competition.

According to BMW, the 1 Series M Coupe is

“Essentially a BMW M3 chassis with Competition Package packed into a modified 1 Series body, the 1 Series M Coupe is one of the fastest, most remarkable M vehicles ever built. It features one of the most powerful inline-6 engines BMW has ever built, massive brakes, and a very wide footprint for maximum agility and stability in the spirit of the original BMW M3, which was a race-ready homologation special.”

Source: BMW