31st March 2011

Men Ignore GPS Directions More Often Than Women

Men are more likely to ignore GPS directions than women are, according to a recent survey. While only 63% of women disobey navigation-directed commands on a regular basis, 83% of men disregard them, according to Swinton, a British insurance company.

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31st March 2011

Texas Moves to Eliminate Nighttime Speed Limits, Raise Speeds

Texas is the last state in the nation that still imposes different speed limits on its highways depending on whether it is daytime or nighttime. Roads marked 70 MPH during the day can only be legally driven at 65 MPH when its dark. Big rig trucks must also obey specially lowered speed limits. The state House Transportation Committee yesterday filed a favorable report on legislation that would simplify the Lone Star State’s speed laws and boost the speed limit in most rural areas.

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31st March 2011

Chrysler 300S Concept

A while ago, Chrysler had announced that the “SRT8″ version of the new 300 model would be dropped and replaced by the “S” version. As a result, the company has revealed the 300S concept at the Spring Festival of LX in Irvine, California. This concept is a preview version of the production vehicle set to debut next year.

The S version will be distinguished by a new grille, bumpers, headlights, alloy wheels, and aerodynamic improvements. The interior will also get some distinguishing marks with some dedicated coatings. Rumors also suggest that the S version will get framework calibration.

Nothing has been said about the concept’s power just yet, but we surely expect it to be higher than the standard 300 model sporting a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 292 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque. Expect a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine with 363 HP for the production 300S.

The Chrysler 300S will also have an equivalent on the European market where the Chrysler 300 is sold as the Lancia Thema.

Check out the video of the reveal after the jump. Skip to the 2m, 10sec mark to get to the actual reveal of the car.

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31st March 2011

2012 Chevrolet Malibu teased ahead of Shanghai debut [w/video]

2012 Chevrolet Malibu teased ahead of Shanghai debut [w/video]



2012 Chevrolet Malibu teaser – Click above for high-res image

The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu will officially be revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show on April 19, and General Motors has released this official teaser shot of its new ‘Bu, showing off its new Camaro-inspired LED taillamps. GM will also be bringing the Malibu to the New York Auto Show, which officially starts on April 20, where we’ll get our first glimpse of the new Chevrolet family sedan in the flesh.

We’ve seen quite a few spy shots of the new Malibu, and we know that it will ride on GM’s smaller Epsilon II platform that currently underpins the Buick Regal. Still, GM tells us that the new Malibu will be wider than the model it replaces, and we can expect a more rakish exterior design. The Malibu will be sold in nearly 100 countries on six different continents, and thus, a global design that would appeal to all markets is necessary in order for it to be a success.

Expect the Malibu to only be available with four-cylinder engines, including GM’s naturally aspirated 2.4-liter Ecotec four and its turbocharged 2.0-liter powerplant. Rumor has it that a hybrid version is also in the works, as is an all-wheel-drive model.

You can watch the official Chevrolet Malibu reveal on the automaker’s Facebook page on Monday, April 18 at 8:30 PM EST – right when the sheets are pulled back in Shanghai. For the full details, hit the jump for GM’s official press release, as well as a short video detailing some of the Malibu’s overall design elements.

[Source: General Motors]

Show full PR text
ALL-NEW CHEVROLET MALIBU SET FOR GLOBAL PREMIERE

Chevrolet’s Next-Generation Malibu to be Sold in Nearly 100 Countries on Six Continents

DETROIT/SHANGHAI – The all-new Malibu will transcend time zones and embrace the diversity of cultures around the world when Chevrolet simultaneously unveils it live at the Shanghai Auto Show and on Chevrolet’s Facebook page.

Chevrolet provided a sneak peak glimpse today of its Malibu show car. Chevrolet will unveil the new Malibu live starting at 8:30 p.m. EDT on April 18 at http://www.facebook.com/chevrolet. The Web reveal will also be streamed live on iPad and iPhone mobile devices. Consumers are encouraged to post questions during the reveal on Twitter using #MalibuReveal or on Chevrolet’s Facebook page in the Malibu tab. Members of the Chevrolet team will be on hand to answer questions during a live moderated question and answer session following the web reveal.

The timing of the Web reveal coincides with the April 19 auto show debut of the new Malibu in Shanghai. The Malibu show car will also be shown at the New York International Auto Show, which is open to the public April 23 through May 1.

“This Malibu takes Chevrolet’s established and award-winning nameplate to new places and introduces it to new audiences around the world,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet. “Whether the Malibu is sold in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, or Australia, it has been engineered from the ground up to meet the needs of customers around the world.”

The Malibu will feature a global family of fuel-efficient and powerful four-cylinder engines, along with six-speed transmissions that also contribute to efficient performance. The Malibu was designed to stand out in all markets around the globe, while its European-inspired driving characteristics were engineered to challenge the best in its class. The new Malibu is Chevrolet’s first midsized car to be sold globally. It will be sold in nearly 100 countries on six continents and built in multiple locations, including China and two facilities in the United States.

“We look forward to offering the new Malibu to our customers across China,” said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group. “The Malibu fully embodies Chevrolet’s tradition of dynamic styling, superior handling and outstanding fuel efficiency. It will address growing domestic demand in the upper-medium segment, especially among younger car buyers.”

The Malibu was Chevrolet’s – and GM’s – best-selling car in the United States in 2010, with sales of nearly 200,000 vehicles. It is among Chevrolet’s most decorated vehicles in the United States, earning more than 40 industry awards since 2008. The Malibu was the only midsize car in the industry to win the Consumers Digest Automotive “Best Buy” award the last three years – 2011, 2010, 2009. The Malibu has also been named the “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety the last two years.

With the new Malibu, Chevrolet continues to position itself for worldwide growth. General Motors’ largest brand is in the midst of introducing a global family of fuel-efficient cars including the Cruze, Volt, Sonic/Aveo, Spark and Malibu. These new cars compete in the four largest vehicle segments in the world, which accounted for 54 percent of all non-luxury sales in 2010. The global segment that Malibu will compete in represented 9 percent – more than 5.7 million vehicles – of global sales in 2010.

Last year, Chevrolet sold 4.26 million vehicles globally, or an average of one vehicle every 7.4 seconds. Eight of the top 10–selling markets for Chevrolet in 2010 were emerging markets – Brazil, China, Uzbekistan, Mexico, Russia, India, Argentina and Colombia. Emerging Markets are expected to account for more than 50 percent of Chevrolet global sales by 2012.

More than 600,000 Malibu cars have been sold globally since 2008, when it was named the North American Car of the Year. The 2013 Malibu represents the eighth generation of the nameplate, which was introduced in 1964.

About Chevrolet

Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 140 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers “gas-friendly to gas-free” solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com


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31st March 2011

Why We Tested a Preproduction Ford Explorer

The internet has caught fire! In case you missed it, today’s basic gripe goes a little something like this. Us hacks at Motor Trend did a six-way SUV comparison test and put the brand spankin’ new Ford Explorer dead last. And – are you sitting down – we (gasp!) tested a… I can hardly type, my hands refuse to cease trembling… we tested a PREPRODUCTION VEHICLE!!! Please retroactively cancel my subscription for the last decade. Jerks. That’s fair, but here’s the thing. We didn’t know the Explorer was preproduction until after we handed it back to Ford in pieces.

A couple of points if I may. It’s not like we pulled a fast one on Ford. We ordered up a car for this comparison on December 20, 2010, seven weeks before before we took delivery of the vehicle on February 14, 2011. One would assume that’s more than enough time to get us a production vehicle. Why, the Dodge Durango launch was a few weeks after the Explorer’s, yet somehow Dodge managed to get us an actual production truck for our test.

Which brings up another point – how long has Ford been launching new cars? Put another way, how long have the new products Ford launches been instantly thrown into comparison tests against competitive products? Again, maybe you prefer our buff book competitors, but it’s not exactly like Motor Trend just crawled out from under a rock. Not only that, Ford knows full well what we do with not only their cars and trucks, but with all the cars, trucks, vans and SUVs that we test. We beat the snot out of them, for a week straight. Especially when we do comparison tests. Which is exactly what our road test editor told Ford we’d be doing with the Explorer almost two full months before they delivered it.

Back to the original point, when we took delivery of the Explorer, Ford never said one word about it being a preproduction vehicle. Now, on occasion a manufacturer does hand you over a preproduction product. When they do, two things tend to happen. The first is that they tell you about it. A phone call or an email materializes from a PR person explaining that the car is preproduction, it’s about 90% complete, don’t worry about part X, it’s being addressed, etc. We didn’t get that message until after Ford had the Explorer back in their possession. The other thing that happens with preproduction cars is that they get a warning tag on the passenger sun visor that states, “Preproduction Vehicle.” Not on the Explorer we tested.

I wrote the comparison and I’m the one making the excuses. I’m doing so because I feel a little hung out to dry. None of us here at Motor Trend had any notion that the Explorer was preproduction until after I’d turned in my story and the car was back in Ford’s hands. Once we were alerted to this, our entire editorial team went back and forth trying to figure out if we should even mention all the product defects we encountered. We felt we should, because not only were there so many of them, but because one in particular — MyFord Touch rebooting while the vehicle’s in motion — is affecting other Fords.

But let me be clear about one final point. A properly sorted production 2011 Ford Explorer still would have finished in last place. It’s simply not as good as the competition.

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30th March 2011

Obama unveils ‘green’ federal auto fleet, oil strategy

President Barack Obama announced today that the U.S. government will buy only advanced technology vehicles — such as hybrids and electric plug-ins — by 2015.

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