Archive for January, 2010

Things Just Got Ugly For Toyota

In addition to recalling millions of vehicles for floor mat / gas pedal interference and sticky throttles, Toyota announced today that it has halted sales of 8 members of its lineup.  Dealerships have been ordered to stop selling the following models:

2009–2010 RAV4
2009–2010 Corolla
2009–2010 Matrix
2005–2010 Avalon
2007–2010 Camrys (certain variations)
2010 Highlander
2007–2010 Tundra
2008–2010 Sequoia

Toyota has not developed a final solution for the problems, and has decided not to sell recalled vehicles.  Additionally, Toyota will suspend production of additional vehicles with the same problem, until they reach a decision on how to solve this.  A total of 2.3 million Toyotas have been recalled for sticky accelerators, and another 3.8 million have been recalled for interference between the floor mat and gas pedal.  Car and Driver notes that about 1.7 million vehicles fall into both categories.

I’m not sure how this can be anything but devastating for Toyota.  Their image of quality and reliability is forever tainted.  The fact that they have stopped sales of 8 different vehicles is going to scare lots of people away for a long time.  General Motors is already trying to attract such people to the showrooms of their own dealerships.  It seems that many of the auto makers infamous for bad quality have made great improvements in the last decade or so, but this is a huge step backwards for Toyota.

[Car and Driver]
[Image: Toyota]


Gallery: 2011 Volkswagen Golf R

There are a few things that really make me wish I wasn’t 6’9″ tall.  Pants shopping, for one.  Beds, doorways, ignorant people, and… tiny little cars like the VW Golf R.  It packs some serious power for a little hatchback, AWD, and some great looks.

According to sources of autoblog, the Golf R will become available in the U.S. later this year.  Its 2.0-L, turbocharged engine cranks out a respectable 265 hp, propelling the little Golf to a top speed of 155 mph.  The manual gearbox will get you from 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, and the dual-clutch version will shave off another 0.2 seconds.  Not bad, considering the R tips the scales at about 3400 lbs.  Bi-xenon headlights and up to 19″ wheels complete a very attractive exterior look.  With a car like this on the market, Chevy’s Aveo RS better be pretty freakin’ sweet.  Just sayin…  See for yourself in the gallery below. (more…)

Spy Photo Gallery: Porsche 911

Autoblog’s photographers have spied a Porsche 911 test car with a few subtle styling updates.  Not much appears to be changing, aside from the mirrors and indicator lights, which will apparently use LEDs.  I was just discussing the beauty of the Porsche 911 with my friend earlier today.  In my opinion, they’re tough to beat in terms of looks.  He doesn’t completely agree, and that’s ok.  He won’t mind a little drool in my keyboard anyway.  Check out the gallery after the jump. (more…)

Saab Wars: Episode VI – The Sweeds Strike Back

As if you haven’t already heard enough about the GM – Saab negotiations, they’ve made the news again today.  GM and Spyker confirmed an agreement between the two on the sale of the Saab brand.  This deal will result in the creation of a new company – Saab Spyker Automobiles.  The two parties have combined their efforts to ensure a future for the Saab legacy, and it’s looking like that will happen.

Spyker, with the help of a European Bank, has managed to come up with the funds to convince GM that the brand should live on.  There are still plenty of details to be worked out, so stay tuned for more updates on Saab’s re-birth.  I’m looking forward to seeing the new 9-5 become a reality.

[General Motors]

[Image: Saab]

Saab 9-5 Spy Photos: Hope For Saab’s Future?

Saab is apparently still testing the upcoming 9-5.  The brand’s future is still (yes, still…) up in the air.  Is this a sign that GM is coming close to making a deal with Spyker?  The details are not yet known, but sources have said the two parties are approaching an agreement. (more…)

A Four-Lane NHRA Drag Race!

The National Hot Rod Association has announced the inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, to be held in March at the zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, NC.  Opened in 2008, this track is the only one of its kind.  An exhibition race was held back in 2008, but 4-lane racing has yet to be included in an actual championship event.

The exhibition race created so much positive feedback from fans, as well as drivers, that NHRA has agreed to introduce the 4-way drag race to a national event.  Running two races at a time will speed up qualifying and eliminations, and driver’s predict that it will increase the level of excitement for spectators.

So why not just race the whole bunch at once?  First one across the finish line is the champion.  Oh, right, that would be too short.  Alright, well how about making the track into a loop, so the race still goes for a while.  The first guy to finish 250 laps wins.  Nah, no one would want to sit around and wait for that to end…


Video: Honda HSV-010 GT Warmup Laps At Suzuka

Turn up your volume and enjoy.  Not much else to say about it…  Click past the jump for the sonic goodness and check out Jalopnik for more videos. (more…)