30th June 2009

Pics aplenty: Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder

Filed under: Convertibles, Supercars, Lamborghini

Pics aplenty: Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder

by Drew Phillips on Jun 29th 2009 at 7:58PM


Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder – Click above for a high-res image gallery

We love us some supercar photos, and Lamborghini just made our day by releasing a plethora of new images of the Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder. Introduced late last year at the L.A. Auto Show, the new Gallardo drop-top received a host of upgrades compared to its predecessor, including a new folding top, LED taillights, and, of course, the new 552 horsepower 5.2-liter V10 also found in its coupe sibling. Check out the gallery below for all-new high-res images.

[Source: WebRidesTV.com]

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30th June 2009

Ferdinand Piech and the New Porsche 914

So Porsche says it can’t make a business case for small cars. The new millennium 914 is off, Porsche AG board member Klaus Berning told Automotive News. Coincidentally, this news comes after Volkswagen AG had offered to help Porsche out of its $13 billion in debt in exchange for 49 percent of the company. VW gave Porsche to Monday to decide on the offer. Scion and Chairman Wolfgang Porsche told his cousin, VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech what to do with the offer.

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30th June 2009

General Motors quits NUMMI plant; Toyota studies options

GM will give up its stake in a 25-year joint venture with Toyota, raising doubts about the future of the shared New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. assembly plant in Fremont, Calif.

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30th June 2009

Franchitti takes pole, Briscoe second

Former IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti will start Saturday night’s Bombardier Learjet 550. Franchitti finished with the top lap speed of 214.513 mph in tonight’s qualifier.

 Ryan Briscoe finished second at 214.413. Defending race champion Scott Dixon will start third (214.296).

– Tracey Myers

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29th June 2009

Car Reviews: 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

Lori Hindman
Kids: 2 Ages: 5 & 7
Escape: Reading

Meet Lori

Luxury SUV Fails to Impress This Mama

2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid 4WD

model as tested $74,185

Test Drove 4/13/09 – 4/20/09
reviewed by Lori Hindman

I see a lot of Cadillac Escalades on the road where I live in Los Angeles. I don’t know if it’s Tony Soprano or what, but these big ol’ things are popular around here. When I got a chance to drive the 2009 Escalade Hybrid I was pretty excited to see what all the, er, excitement was about, and now I’m just confused. Are people really that influenced by trends and good looks? Because as far as I can tell that’s just about all the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid has to offer.

The Escalade Hybrid is cumbersome, plasticky and overpriced, and it gets truly awful gas mileage. While it’s rated by the EPA to get 20/21 mpg city/highway, in my hilly area this monster could barely crack 13 mpg, even with my attempts to keep the needle in the “green” area. So, don’t let the ginormous hybrid decals fool you; this behemoth is no planet-saver. I really can’t see what makes the Escalade Hybrid so popular.

I have to admit that the Escalade Hybrid drives nicely, for an SUV. The V-8 is coupled with a Two-Mode hybrid system that assists the engine during acceleration. The ride is smooth over rough roads and minor bumps, but turning requires caution because of its squishy ride.

I had no trouble remembering that I was driving a massive truck; from the giant steering wheel to the giant side mirrors, everything about the Escalade Hybrid is huge. Except interior space. Oddly, for such a large vehicle, the interior felt cramped. This SUV feels wider than it is long, with a third row that is fit only for children, and virtually no cargo space when the third row is in place.

I got lots of looks and comments during my week in the Escalade Hybrid, and I spent a lot of time shaking my head and trying to see the appeal. There is a bunch of technology in the Escalade, but none of it seems to integrate well. It’s like Caddy just tossed in a long list of options without thinking how they would be used. There are two different buttons to open and close the sunroof. There is a great remote-start function, but the Escalade Hybrid still uses an old-school key. Even though you can start the car from your living room via the key fob, you still need to insert a key and turn it to drive off in the Escalade Hybrid. You get OnStar with Turn-by-Turn Navigation in the Escalade Hybrid, but there’s also a DVD-based navigation system. Cadillac was clearly swinging for the fences with this Escalade, but, wow, did they miss with me. This is one trend I’m happy to avoid.

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29th June 2009

Ford Builds CARS

Ford is jumping on the recently signed Car Allowance Rebate System (a.k.a. Cash for Clunkers) to lure customers into the showroom. Ford’s home page includes a highlighted link to the “Recycle Your Ride” program. A prospective Ford buyer can enter details about their current vehicle into a drop-down menu system and quickly see if it qualifies for scrapage. They can also discover which Ford models earn the $4500 or $3500 federal voucher against the crusher candidate. So far the Dodge, Chevrolet, Honda and Nissan websites have nothing. Toyota and Volkswagen both offer primitive informational pages, but nothing to match the sophistication of Ford’s effort. You would think the government-owned auto companies would be all over the government-run incentive program. But no. And get this: KBB’s man tells The New York Times that the consumers might be better off without the vouchers . . .

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