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  • Acura TSX Receives Numerous Updates and All-New Sport Wagon Model for 2011

31st December 2010

Acura TSX Receives Numerous Updates and All-New Sport Wagon Model for 2011

Despite the TSX being a top choice in its class, Acura has not rested on its laurels, as a host of major updates have been made for 2011. Topping the list, the TSX receives a freshened exterior look along with a wide array of new features and technology- with particular attention being paid to further improving quality and cabin quietness. In addition, significant improvements have been made to both the 2.4L I-4 and 3.5L V-6 engines that yield improved fuel efficiency and longer engine life.

While the TSX sedan receives significant updates for 2011, the big news is an all-new TSX variant- the TSX Sport Wagon. With crisp styling and added utility, the TSX Sport Wagon is a smart alternative for those considering a compact SUV. Besides offering better fuel economy, the TSX Sport Wagon provides comparable cargo area to many compact SUVs. Plus, the TSX Sport Wagon offers a multi-configurable rear cargo area (with numerous hidden storage areas), a low lift-over height allowing for easy loading and unloading, and an available power actuated tailgate.

“The all-new TSX Sport Wagon is a smart alternative for those needing added utility,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. “With the Sport Wagon, the customer simultaneously enjoys the benefits of sports-sedan performance along with SUV-like cargo capacity.”

Acura’s philosophy of smart luxury is well evidenced by the combination of great looks, a luxury interior available with a wide variety of technology features, and excellent safety- all for an exceptional level of value. Thanks to this great mix of attributes, the TSX has the largest percentage of buyers under 30 among all luxury sedans and has remained the volume leader within its segment according to Global Insight.

On the outside, all TSX models receive a new front fascia, revised chin spoiler, new fog light garnish assembly and an updated grille. The updated front end teams with new underbody panels to improve aerodynamics. At the rear, revised taillights and a rear license plate garnish add more visual appeal for the TSX.

With the new Sport Wagon model, sport-sedan styling and added utility are combined- a perfect mix for those who lead an active lifestyle. For such customers, the TSX Sport Wagon reflects their passion for performance and athleticism while also supporting their active social lifestyle with roomy, comfortable seating for five.

Incorporating a unique high-rigidity rear body structure with a special hoop-style cross section, the TSX Sport Wagon simultaneously provides excellent body strength.

The standard 17-inch 5-spoke aluminum wheels for the 2.4L 4-cylinder models (sedan and Sport Wagon) now incorporate a machined lip on the face of the spokes. Split 5-spoke 18-inch aluminum wheels remain standard on the TSX sedan with 3.5L V-6 engine.

Inside, all 2011 TSX models receive a host of visual upgrades in the form of revised styling for the center console, darker trim pieces, brightly finished door handles, an updated parking brake handle and new garnishes for the steering wheel. In addition, contrasting-color stitching is new for the leather seats, door armrests and center console. Rear seat occupants will enjoy added comfort thanks to the addition of heating/cooling vents mounted at the rear of the center console, and the TSX’s center console cargo compartment is now climate controlled.

The all-new TSX Sport Wagon features an even greater level of utility over the TSX sedan. Besides offering a generous 60.5 cu-ft of rear cargo area (with rear seats folded down), the wagon’s rear opening height of approximately 28-inches allows for the stowage of bulky items such as large boxes, furniture, bicycles, four full-size golf bags and even surfboards.

In addition, the Sport wagon features four hidden compartments for out-of-sight storage. A 2.4 cu-ft storage area is cleverly located beneath a lift-up hatch within the load floor. Smaller items can be placed in a 0.2 cu-ft storage area (hidden by a removable panel) located in the side panel on the driver side, or in one of two 13-inch long storage areas near the main in-floor storage area. With a low lift-over height of about 24-inches, loading heavy items is simplified. For increased security, standard is a retractable cover that prevents rear cargo items from being seen should a passer-by look into the rear windows.

Even with the second row seat in use, there is generous cargo space available in the Sport Wagon. The rear seats have a 60/40 fold-down design, so one section can be lowered to generate more cargo room while the other section can remain in the up position to accommodate a rear seat passenger. Or, both seats can be folded down to attain the maximum cargo area replete with a load-flat floor that is nearly 70-inches long. As expected, the Sport Wagon incorporates a variety of tie-down hooks for keeping cargo items secure.

The TSX Sport Wagon’s 60.5 cu-ft (rear seats folded down) of rear cargo area is more than most other wagon in the category- including the BMW 3 Series (54.7 cu-ft) and the Audi A4 (56.5 cu-ft). The TSX Sport Wagon also rivals (or beats) the cargo capacity of some compact SUVs. Thus, the Sport Wagon is a smart alternative for those who are considering the purchase of a compact SUV- but who value the better fuel economy and the performance of a sports sedan.

Acura is known for its outstanding array of user relevant technology, and the 2011 TSX further expands on this concept. New for 2011, the TSX with available Technology Package now includes an LED backlit full VGA navigation screen (that generates 400-percent higher resolution than before), improved navigation system functions (faster performance, improved search ability and expanded map coverage), Song By Voice™ (SBV) user interface, a 60-gigabyte hard disk drive (HDD), and the ability to download 15-gigabytes of personal music to the TSX’s HDD. With the ability to store more than 3,500 songs*, there is no longer a need to carry around bulky CDs.

Acura has always put much emphasis on building an interior that is exceptionally quiet, and for 2011 the TSX has even greater cabin serenity thanks to items such as a new acoustic glass front windshield, even thicker side glass, increased use of sound-deadening insulation, improved floor mats and new underfloor covers.

The 2011 TSX remains fun to drive thanks to two powerful engine choices; a spirited 2.4L inline four cylinder engine and a torquey 3.5L V-6. For 2011, both engines receive numerous improvements to reduce internal operating friction which help improve fuel economy and increase engine life. As a result, the friction reduction measures are a significant element to improve fuel economy as evidenced by improvements in the EPA city, highway and combined fuel economy for both the 2.4L I-4 and the 3.5L V-6 engines.

2011 TSX estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy ratings**
TSX Model Engine/Trans EPA rating Improvement (versus 2010 model)
Sedan 2.4L I-4 (5AT) 22/31/26 mpg +1 city, +1 highway, +1 combined
Sedan 2.4L I-4 (6MT) 21/29/24 mpg +1 city, +1 highway, +1 combined
Sport Wagon 2.4L I-4 (5AT) 22/30/25 mpg New model
Sedan 3.5L V-6 (5AT) 19/28/23 mpg +1 city, +1 highway, +2 combined

New automatic transmission programming helps maximize the engine output by allowing for Shift Hold Control during cornering along with “smart shift” functionality that allows for semi-manual operation when in Drive- not just when in Sport Mode. In addition, the Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission now features a fluid warmer that helps improve shift quality, transmission durability and engine fuel economy for TSX owners who live in colder climates.

On sale at Acura dealerships on November 23, the 2011 TSX sedan with 2.4L I-4 engine has an MSRP of $29,610 for both manual and automatic transmission models. Equipped with the available Technology package, the MSRP is $32,710. The TSX sedan with 3.5L V-6 engine has an MSRP of $35,150, or $38,250 when equipped with the Technology Package.

The 2011 TSX Sport Wagon goes on sale December 21 with a base price of $30,960. When equipped with the available Technology Package, the TSX Sport Wagon will have an MSRP of $34,610.

Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 270 dealers within the United States. The 2011 Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbocharged RDX luxury crossover SUV, the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the ZDX four-door sports coupe.

Along with every new Acura, the 2011 TSX is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and a 6-year/70,000 miles powertrain limited warranty. Additional benefits of ownership include Acura Total Luxury Care® (TLC®), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.

For more information about Acura vehicles, please visit www.acura.com. For additional media information, please go to www.acuranews.com.

*Approximate capacity based on an average size of 4.0 MB per song at a 128kbps bitrate

**Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

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31st December 2010

Recall Alert: 2011 Dodge Ram 1500

Chrysler Group is recalling more than 56,000 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks over an issue with the rear axle bearing.

On some models built between September 2009 and December 2010, not enough lubricant was placed in the rear axle bearing. As a result, the bearing could seize, increasing the risk of an accident.

The bearing failure typically occurred within the first 500 miles, preceded by a groan or grinding noise, according to some reports.

Chrysler will notify affected owners in February. Dealerships will add 20 ounces of fluid to the rear axle bearing.

For more info, owners can contact Chrysler at 800-853-1403 or NHTSA’s hot line at 888-327-4236.

2011|Dodge|Ram 1500

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31st December 2010

Former Car Czar Pays $10 Million, Does Not Go To Jail

Former Obama administration “car czar” and leader of the Presidential Task Force on Autos,  Steven Rattner, wrote a $10 million check yesterday to NYS Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and Cuomo dropped his charges. Rattner will remain a free man. The only thing he’s not allowed is to appear before any state-pension funds for the next five years. Cuomo can close out his desk and go on to become New York’s governor.

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31st December 2010

Porsche 998 911

The 911 is the most successful model in Porsche’s history. It started its long history back in 1963 and since then Porsche has offered five distinct generations: 911 classic, 964 Series, 993 Series, 996 Series, and 997 Series. Moreover, the sixth one is already under intense testings and will make its official debut in 2011 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

It may be a little unorthodox for Porsche to be bringing out a new generation 911 despite the fact they just revealed a facelift version, but the requests keep changing and Porsche must answer the call of duty. Their latest target is improving both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

The sixth generation 911, or the 998, will be a completely new vehicle, even though everyone will recognize it as a 911 model. There will be a new exterior and interior, although under the hood Porsche will still keep its usual flat-six engine, but combined with more modern technologies.

Shortly after the launch of the 998 911, Porsche will also be releasing the Turbo, GT2, and GT3 in 2012.

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31st December 2010

Video: How not to tow your modified Subaru

Video: How not to tow your modified Subaru

by Jeff Glucker (RSS feed) on Dec 30th 2010 at 7:58PM

A lesson in how NOT to tow – Click above to watch video after the jump

Sometimes you have to tow a car. It’s generally not a big deal and most of us have been a tower or towee at some point. One rule of thumb when manning the car being towed – leave the keys in the ignition so you don’t lock the steering wheel. If you fail to heed these words, as do the chaps you’ll see after the break, you might ended up causing some serious damage to your modified Subaru non-operational vehicle

The two gents riding in the Subaru seen in this video were very lucky they only managed to hurt the car. This adventure in towing could have gone way worse… click past the jump and watch the clip to see what we mean, but be warned there is some NSFW language involved.

[Source: YouTube]

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30th December 2010

The Hunchback of Nordschleife, Deutschland

Few cars receive focused animosity like the Porsche Panamera. From the grave “It’s not a Porsche,” to the grade school, “It’s really ugly,” insults come from all angles, aimed squarely at its hunchback. You won’t find me among the critics, because to define this car by its styling is to mock Apollo 11 for having food that isn’t particularly good.

I recently spent a week in a V-6 Panamera, facing both clear skies and a deluge that smothered Los Angeles. The verdict? It is a truly wonderful car, offering unparalleled functionality and breadth.

It offers speed, accelerating briskly from stoplight (should space travel be a requirement, the twin-turbo V-8 will fare better). Handling is doubly impressive: Our tester generated a 0.99 g average around the skidpad. Its best, 25.0-sec Figure Eight lap time slots between the last M3 Competition package and C63 AMG we tested. Yet, lap times don’t explain the thrill of driving. Through light, sensitive steering, a telepathic twin-clutch gearbox, and an eager chassis, the Panamera evokes joy and a sense of responsiveness that may fall short of Boxster levels, but you get the sense that the same engineer signed off on both.

Then, when the doupour strikes, the Panamera becomes a proper luxury sedan, an indefatigable cruiser with no shortage of comfort and infotainment trimmings. Rain-fearing traffic may slow down, but the Porsche effortlessly negotiates bends, potholes, and the ever-present hydroplaning ne’er-do-well. And it will do so carrying four passengers and their cargo in comfort. Or Fido — those rear seats fold flat. Check out your window if you ever fly into Frankfurt International and you’ll see a fleet of black Panameras pulling Benz S-Class duties, ferrying dignitaries from plane to plane in the snow.

I tried my hand at chauffeuring as well, for a few well-to-do relatives who are not car enthusiasts — at least, not in the frenetically opinionated way you’ll no doubt see in the comments section below. Over dinner, they discussed art, namely, the importance of the third dimension that Alexander Calder brought to abstractionism — the very same Calder that BMW commissioned to create its first Art Car, a 3.0 CSL. The topic then turned to the Panamera and — shock — they admired its “interesting” shape. My art-savvy relatives, who don’t live and die by the Free People’s State of Württemberg, like the way the Panamera looks.

Cast against an Aston Martin Rapide at a fashion show, the Panamera would bomb. But so would a Leatherman; you don’t wield a fashion accessory. And yet this experience with my relatives leads me to believe that, by itself, the Panamera will only find criticism from cynics and so-called enthusiasts who carry some imaginary vested interest in the brand. Automotive hipsters, let’s say.

Lest we forget, Porsche’s history revolves around this established hive mind hating whatever new vehicle it makes: Cayenne, Cayman, Boxster, and, yes, even the first 911. Yet after time these machines forge respect as their potency is realized. Most recently, the Cayman took Best Driver’s Car in 2009; the Cayenne wears the 2011 Sport/Utility of the Year crown.

If the worst thing the Panamera does is offend your fragile aesthetic sensibilities, then it’s off to an amazing start. We will one day realize this and look at it with fondness.  Porsche’s hunchback will garner the respect and admiration it so rightfully deserves. Notre-Dame’s got his — if not the girl.

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