Monday, March 27, 2006

The Future of Hybrid Cars

Saab to Launch "Cleaner" Hybrid at Stockholm Motor
Line - Santa Monica,CA,USA

"... talking hybrids for some time, and now General Motors' Swedish subsidiary will give the world a glimpse of its hybrid system by showing a concept car at the ..."

Sports Car Than Run on Fuel Cell

Mazda delivers first street-legal hydrogen-powered RX-8s
Autoblog - Santa Monica,CA,USA

"... take part in the Japan Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Demonstration Project (JHFC), an evaluation designed to assess the viability of alternative-fuel technology out ..."

wow.. i wanna get my hands on the wheel and feel the rush..

Audi Cars are Breaking Records in Car Innovation

25 years of Audi Quattro
AME Info - United Arab Emirates

"... The latest additions to the legendary quattro four-wheel drive range are the Audi Shooting Brake concept car and the Q7, which was launched at the Dubai Motor ..."


Yeah this Audi shooting break concept sure is shooting for the future of Audi's latest auto fleet. A crossbreed of the hatchback and coupé characteristics, gives the adrinalin rush you are looking for while enjoying the luxury of an SUV spacious interior.

From the creator of Audi Quttro, come another breaking technology in automotive design , the Audi Q7. Audi is committed to pursue its excellence in the automotive industry with it latest line of product. Q7 is fresh from the assembly, an ambition that becomes a dream come true.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Auto Trends

by Ian Velvet

Fads come and go, sometimes on a whim, other times because of outside forces. Here at the halfway point of the new millennium's first decade, car culture has sure taken some interesting turns.

Those of you who innocently took a test drive of a plain-Jane Nissan Altima when it was new in 2002, floored it, and nearly sprained your necks upon discovery of 240 horsepower, may have suspected that the standards of speed had risen a tad since the 90s. Turns out that was only the beginning. Nowadays, the Volkswagen Passat raised that same family car bar to an excessive 280 horsepower. We have little $30,000 Mitsubishis that can leave Camaros for dead. The 500-horsepower Dodge Viper suddenly seems ordinary, and the once-acclaimed Acura NSX is a joke. Whether or not you're a speed freak, there are two trickle-down benefits: the minimum standard of horsepower has risen from 55 (Geo Metro) to 103, and very few Japanese import cars in any segment are truly underpowered anymore. Not a bad development.

Cars just won't stop growing. Every redesign has to be bigger than the last one; the new Toyota RAV4 is 14 inches longer than the last, and current Civics now dwarf Accords of years past. It's an inevitable force of marketing; no one wants to pay the same money for less car, right? Bigger also means heavier; our cars pack more pounds than ever.

And there's no rule that contradictory trends can't coexist. Apparently Americans expect their cars to compete with the speed of sound while also using less gas than their walking shoes. The Toyota Prius hybrid heads into its third year with unsatisfied demand, a long line, and a price premium. All this, despite an ample supply of the perfectly serviceable Corolla at the same dealers. No automaker wants to be caught with their pants down, and all are rushing to market with a hybrid, even if it means using systems developed by competitors (Nissan's Altima will use Toyota hardware).

We seem to want our import cars with more stuff and more personality. The 90s banality in our styling is gone, even on the most banal cars like the Accord and Camry. And notice how almost every car has power windows and locks standard, and how even the Kia Rio comes with six airbags and a powerful stereo. Is it any wonder that the average car now costs $28,000?

Speaking of "cars", we may be moving toward the day when that word will again apply as a general term. SUVs are suddenly for the foolish. They always have been, but now everyone seems to know it, too. Ford's Explorer and Expedition are going down the drain, and the Excursion has already expired. The bigger the SUV, the bigger the sales drop. Little cars are selling better than ever, even old-timers like the Sentra and Neon.

Lastly, we're going foreign, and fast. The Big Three's market share was 60% at the early part of this decade; that will stand at or below 50% by the end of it. This is hardly a new trend, but its recent acceleration is alarming. One thing for sure is that in terms of the players, the market has matured. Only two major automakers set up American bases in the 90s (Kia and Daewoo), and the 2000s have brought none.

Cars can't get bigger or faster forever, yet no one can stand still. Hybrids are hot, but the long-term experiences remain to be seen. What will become of all this automotive craziness? Check back in ten years.

About the Author
Ian Velvet publishes's Import Cars articles. His expertise in Import Tuning is evident is all his articles. Newly publishing Ezine's online to illustrate and educate consumers.

Monday, March 13, 2006

2008 Saturn VUE: Inspired by Opel

by Matthew C. Keegan

General Motors' Saturn division is hard at work on building a replacement for its small SUV, the Saturn VUE. Currently based strictly on U.S. technology, the 2008 VUE is expected to be heavily based on Opel technology: Opel is General Motors' principal European brand. This is good news for those who were concerned that GM would ditch the Saturn VUE. Instead, the SUV will get new life and additional support via its new relationship with Opel. While it is too early to know all the details about the upcoming Saturn VUE makeover, there are some things we do know about this revamped model.

Ever since Saturn released the first "S Series" models back in 1990, the company has struggled to maintain a unique identity. Neglected by parent GM, the upstart Saturn brand had to wait nearly a decade before additional vehicles were added to its line including the Saturn VUE SUV. Along with the "L Series" midsize cars, the three vehicle lines [ION having replace the S Series] fully comprised the Saturn line for several years. Unfortunately, none of the three models were stand out performers, so the brand suffered accordingly.

With the demise of Oldsmobile has come new life for Saturn. Now a fully integrated GM division, Saturn is getting additional vehicles to help beef up its line up. Drawing upon its highly regarded dealer network and high consumer satisfaction scores, Saturn is being quickly remade into a European style division. Saturn has Opel to thank for that.

Along with the coming Aura midsize sedan which is heavily based on an Opel design, the Saturn VUE will be based upon the Opel Antera GTC. An Antera concept has been making the rounds of auto shows across Europe and what we know about the Antera points to what we can expect to see with the VUE.

The Antera is slightly smaller in size than the current Saturn VUE; although the Antera reportedly will have only two doors, the Saturn VUE model will get four doors. Both vehicles are closer in size to the current Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V models, their chief competitors. This smaller size also permits Saturn to introduce a slightly larger 7 passenger SUV next year, the Outlook.

The 2008 Saturn VUE will feature both four and six cylinder gas powered engines. Expect both AWD and RWD to be offered. The Antera's front end will be redone to mesh with the current Saturn look. Beyond that, the VUE will likely incorporate current GM technology with upgraded safety and performance features included. A base price of around $20,000 for the FWD model is likely with fully loaded AWD versions retailing for as high as $30K.

The 2008 Saturn VUE will be built in Spring Hill, TN home of the original Saturn plant. Along with the Outlook, the Aura, the SKY roadster, the RELAY crossover, and the ION compact, new life is being breathed into Saturn thanks to Opel. This is good news for Saturn fans that have loyally supported the automaker since its inception more than 15 years ago.

About the Author
Copyright 2006 -- Matt Keegan writes extensively about automotive topics on his The Auto Writer blog. For the best Domestic Exhaust brands including premium Corsa Mufflers and Corsa Tuning, Matt urges you to shop online today for big savings.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mazda MX 6: Shining Amidst A New Trend

by Kimberly Meyer

Who does not know what a Mazda is? Mazda has certainly been one of the most popular and most recognized vehicle brands the world over. A person who has been living in a world where there are automobiles and vehicles and cars would certainly know what a Mazda is. This vehicle brand is probably very popular because of the type and kind of cars that they craft and produce. The vehicles are made of quality materials, are unique, and can really do perform well.

This vehicle company was founded in the year 1920. It was known then as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd. and it was led by Jujiro Matsuda. The company's first products were machine tools, however it later on shifted to producing automobiles. The very first vehicle that they produced was the Mazda Go and it was done in 1931. Uniquely, unlike any other vehicle, the Mazda Go actually held only three wheels. Even if the company has been producing vehicles since 1931, Mazda was only fully and officially recognized as an automobile maker in 1960. This time, the company had already been able to produce their very first car with four wheels. And they named it the Mazda R380 coupe.

One of the vehicles that run under the popular brand of the Mazda company is the Mazda MX 6 which was introduced in the early 1988. This vehicle holds performance, versatility and style amidst the trend in the automobile world where sports coupes were running low and the world is slowly becoming invaded by sport utility vehicles. But the Mazda MX 6 was a sports coupe and yet it continues to shine amidst the current trend that time.

The Mazda MX 6 made its way to public knowledge through the Auto Alliance which was actually a joint business enterprise of Mazda and Ford. The sports coupe, Mazda MX 6, held auto parts that were mostly the very same ones that the Ford Probe used. Because of this, the Mazda MX 6 and the Ford Probe were considered to be vehicle twins. Making this vehicle unique was that the designs were actually based on a concept car in the early 1980's. It held a GD platform. It was also made available in several trims which comprised of the LX, the DX, the LE, and the GT. The power of this vehicle comes from a 2.2 liter SOHC Mazda F2 engine which held four cylinders. This engine has the capacity to produce 110 horsepower. A turbocharged version of this very same engine could be found mounted on the Mazda MX 6 GT trim. The turbocharged version can produce some 145 units of horsepower.

Come the second generation of the Mazda MX 6. The new ones held engines that were capable of producing more power. And because of that, it also was very much capable of giving a more impressive performance. For this new batch, the engines that were offered included a 2.0 liter FS engine with four inline cylinders capable of making some 118 horsepower, and the 2.5 liter V6 engine that could produce some 164 to 170 units of horsepower.

Mazda Parts and Mazda Auto Parts has a long list of high quality Mazda MX6 parts, aftermarket parts, performance parts, replacement parts, and accessories that can be accessed through their easy to navigate website. Cool discounts and affordable prices await buyers.

About the Author
Kimberly Meyer is an expert when it comes to automotive issues. She is the manager of her own car parts manufacturing company. This 33 year-old maiden is also a talented writer.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca: Ugly or Not?
Okay, Subaru fans…listen up! Do you think that the all new B9 Tribeca is a beautiful vehicle or is it an ugly duckling? As for me, I have mixed feelings. This particular SUV certainly doesn’t look like any other Subaru, nor does it easily get confused with any other SUV on the market. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; let’s take a look at what sets the B9 Tribeca apart from the pack.

The first time I saw Subaru’s new entry up close I first thought it was Porsche’s Cayenne. No, the vehicles don’t look alike, but the B9 Tribeca evoked a similar response for me: like the Cayenne, it represents a major departure from all other models. For example, the B9 Tribeca offers the following:

5 or 7 passenger seating. This is the first Subaru built that will seat more than five adults.

Big prices: The B9’s base price starts at about $32K.

Side curtain airbags for front seating passengers and second seating passengers [except for the person stuck in the middle seat]

All wheel drive, but you knew that already.

A plush interior. Subaru says that leather trimmed upholstery is available as are heated seats, rear cabin air conditioning, and a sliding glass moon roof.

The B9 is built on a stretched Outback platform and at 66.4 inches it is the tallest vehicle made be Subaru. Oddly, it shares the same 3.0L V6 engine as the Outback, so one can only wonder how hard it will work with 7 passengers onboard navigating steep hills and rounding corners?

I searched far and wide for the reason behind the name B9 Tribeca and found nothing definitive. One auto critic contended that the B9 part of the name came from a previous concept car that was shown by Subaru at car shows, while two reports say that the Tribeca part of the name is from the area of New York City that is the TRIangle BEneath CAnal Street neighborhood of Manhattan. Other than the vehicle being built in Indiana, there isn’t any relevancy in the name. One may think that the B9 portion of the name will prove to be more of a nuisance to remember as consumers have a difficult enough time remembering some two syllable model names, let alone two words.

Personally, I think the idea of building a larger Subaru is wise, especially since Subaru owners previously had no where to go beyond the current crop of compact SUVS and cars in their line up. Beyond that I believe the controversial looks and small engine will disappoint buyers and it may take new sheet metal and a beefier engine to stimulate sales.

Copyright 2005 -- Matt Keegan is a contributing writer for Auto Parts Canada, a wholesaler of fine Subaru parts and Subaru accessories for your Subaru vehicle.

Article Source:
A Concept of the Future (And the Past)
Pininfarina, an Italian car company founded by Battista “Pinin” Farina in 1930, has long been a symbol of creative extremes in the automotive industry. In its early years Pininfarina operated on a small scale, producing a handful of prototypes and very limited runs of production cars. Soon the company began to incorporate aerodynamics into its designs and the Pininfarina name quickly became famous in the automotive industry.

The company continued to expand long after Battista’s death in 1966. Pininfarina partnered with manufacturers such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and more to create mass production cars as well as some of the most stunning concepts ever built.

To commemorate Pininfarina’s 75th anniversary, the company has partnered with Maserati and Motorola to create the Pininfarina Birdcage 75th Concept, a high-tech design with inspired styling and twelve cylinders. The name “Birdcage” is in reference to the Maserati racing legends of the past which feature some of the same tube construction styling that can be found in the concept.

The Birdcage 75th is based on the same carbon fiber chassis as the Maserati supercar, the MC12, and shares its 6.0 liter V-12 engine that puts out more than 700 hp. The mid-mounted engine is mated to the car’s rear drive wheels by a 6-speed sequential manual gearbox. With a weight of approximately 3300 pounds, the Birdcage 75th should have no problem getting up some serious speed.

On a recent trip to the 2005 SEMA convention in Las Vegas, I had an opportunity to inspect the new Pininfarina concept first hand. What makes most concept cars special is its styling, and the Birdcage 75th has plenty to look at. The basic shape of the car is based upon the most effective aerodynamic shapes in racing. The entire car has a tear drop shape to it and the roofline is low and unobtrusive. The exterior surfaces are low and uncluttered to give it a streamlined look. The upper half of the Pininfarina’s cabin is transparent, offering as clear a view of the road as possible.

Up front, the nose has the familiar Maserati styling as seen on current models such as the Quattroporte. The front grille feeds cool air to the engine and the brakes and is flanked by stylish LED headlights. The rear of the Birdcage 75th boasts thin rectangular LED taillights that fit nicely with the overall design. The entire package sits on top of 20” front wheels and 22” rear wheels styled in the tradition of the Maserati trident (the company’s logo).

There are no doors on the new Pininfarina. To access the interior the entire front section of the car opens. Inside, the interior has been seamlessly mated to the carbon fiber construction of the body. A heads-up display is mounted on a triangular tube structure that is reminiscent of the historic Birdcage Tipo 63. The Birdcage 75th has a host of new technological gizmos (as is to be expected with any concept) including infrared cameras that allow you to enhance vision at night, a central computer that performs many tasks, and more. But what I found most impressive is something a little more subtle. There are now side mirrors on the Birdcage 75th, instead cameras relay images to screens inside the car. The screens are placed at the very outer edges of the dashboard so it is almost as if you are looking at mirrors, like a traditional automobile. The lack of side mirrors also adds to the aerodynamics and styling of the Pininfarina.

The Birdcage 75th hosts a number of Motorola designed communication features based on Motorola’s iDEN cell phones. Some of the features are a bit over my head and are probably not likely to be used by many people aside from hardcore techno-buffs. But then again, this Pininfarina is a concept, and concept cars don’t have to make sense.

Overall the Pininfarina Birdcage 75th Concept is an impressive beast that succeeds in blending technology and good old fashion racing heritage together in a seamless and stylish way. If this is the future of the modern sports car, I like it. We can only hope that one day it will make it to the mass production line.

Zack Engel is the Lead Event Correspondent for The Driver's Seat, a bi-weekly e-zine produced by Nuts for Cars.

Nuts for Cars is a membership organization dedicated to enhancing the automotive hobby by providing information to members about various subjects. Nuts for Cars also hosts the world's largest online automotive event directory. Find a car event near you in seconds!

For more information visit or e-mail your questions to

Article Source:
Saab Cars: Born From Jets
by Matthew C. Keegan

The latest marketing campaign from Saab cars traces the automaker's origins back to the days to when the company was formed from a Swedish aircraft maker. One ad mentions that 16 aircraft engineers designed the first cars, which were based heavily on aerodynamic aircraft design. Apparently, the "born from jets" slogan is meant to convey to the public that the same quality that goes into building jets goes into building their cars. What isn't mentioned is that the company that built its first automobiles in 1949 is now part of General Motors, the largest automaker in the world. The Saab jet division is separate, still owned by the Swedes. Are the ads misleading? Perhaps, or maybe Saab is attempting to distance itself from General Motors and to stand on its own four wheels. Let's take a look at Saab then and at Saab now.

After observing several ads about Saab, I decided to conduct a little research into the company. What I learned is a fascinating account of how a small, Nordic nation turned out not just one, but two high quality car lines. The other company is, of course, Volvo. This is simply amazing in that even today the country numbers just over nine million citizens; truly Swedish engineering is as advanced as any country on the face of the earth.

Saab, itself, got started in 1937 just before the outbreak of the Second World War when reconnaissance aircraft were built for the Swedish Air Force. After the war, the aircraft maker kept pace with the emerging military jet industry and developed sophisticated aircraft including fighter jets which also became part of the NATO fleet. On the air carrier side of the house, high performing Saab regional jets found a market in the US and throughout the world.

In 1949, the first Saab 92 rolled off of the assembly line, beginning a lengthy history of producing high quality and uniquely engineered cars. Indeed, the original Saabs incorporated an aerodynamic design to lessen wind drag, resulting in higher fuel economy for drivers. This concept was then carried over to all subsequent Saab cars; to this day not too many vehicles on the road can match the 92's or modern day Saab cars' low coefficient of drag.

Beyond making economical cars, Saab - much like Volvo - began to produce cars that were truly safe and innovative. Technological advances brought about self repairing bumpers; side impact door beams; self cleaning headlamps; turbo charged engines; cabin air filters; and other design features that were later copied and picked up by auto manufacturers the world over.

With the growing and expanding global economy, Saab during the 1980s began to find itself hard pressed to keep up with the changing demands of a new world market In order to successfully compete long term, new models would have to be developed and new markets explored. Ultimately, the decision was made in 1990 to spin off the automobile unit from the parent company and into a separate entity that was quickly bought out by investors including General Motors who secured 50% of the business.

Today, Saab has expanded its line up to include its first ever SUV and all car models have received regular and well needed updates. Critics worry about GM's growing influence - indeed, the 9-7X SUV borrows heavily off of GM technology - and if the company can truly maintain some semblance of independence. Some fear that the division will go the way of Saturn and become fully incorporated into the GM fold, while others wonder if the division can provide enough of a distinction to strong European brands including Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes to attract new customers.

For what it is worth, Saab's born from jets heritage may be the strong reminder needed to keep the line distinct and viable. Let's hope that the motto is more than just a marketing ploy.

About the Author
Copyright 2005 -- Matt Keegan is a contributing writer for Auto Parts Canada, a wholesaler of fine Saab parts and Saab accessories for your Saab car or SUV.
2009 Buick Enclave: From Concept to Reality
by Matthew C. Keegan

General Motors has been taking a beating for over a year now due to sales dips, make/model image problems, and labor and legacy issues. Truly, if there was a better time to jumpstart the company, I don't know what it would be. Fortunately, someone in GM's walnut-trimmed boardroom is getting the message: build what we want and we will buy it. The Buick Enclave, a luxury SUV making the rounds of the U.S. auto shows, appears to be one such winner.

I realize that I am in the minority of car critics, but I think that Buick is on the right track. The Lucerne, a full sized car based on the Cadillac DTS, is a beauty and Buick's next newest model, the mid sized Lacrosse, is another attractive looking car. Still, Buick's remaining fleet has been scaled back with only two SUVs and one crossover vehicle, the Terraza, left. At times it isn't clear what plans GM has for its "near luxury" division, but if the Enclave is one example, then Buick has a promising future.

Without having pictures available to show you, it can be difficult to describe the Enclave. When I viewed pictures on various web sites, I couldn't help but think that the Enclave was similar to the Subaru B9 Tribeca. Before you get your knickers twisted in a wad, the Enclave is a swan in comparison to the ugly Subaru.

Sporting a front end akin to the Lucerne, the back end looks a lot like the Tribeca. Overall lines are somewhat car like but the Enclave certainly does sport an SUV look with calmer lines.

What we know about the Enclave at this point is fairly limited. The vehicle sits on a 119 inch wheelbase and is powered by a 3.6L V6. So, it appears that Buick will replace the smaller Rendezvous with the Enclave and keep the larger Rainier. Or, perhaps, the Rainier will be retired altogether. The Enclave has all the amenities a Buick owner is accustomed to including: leather appointments, power everything, OnStar, a variety of entertainment options, responsive handling, and a quiet cabin. Pictures reveal 21" tires with seven spoke wheels. Seating is for six, spread out over three rows. No couch seating either; individual bucket seats are planned for all six passengers.

There is no official word yet whether the Enclave will see the light of day at least in its present interpretation. Still, the vehicle is a fresh look for a refreshed division, something that Buick certainly needs in order to keep the momentum going.

About the Author
Copyright 2006 - For additional information regarding Matt Keegan, The Article Writer, please visit his blog for wit, quips, and freelance writing tips.
Chevy Camaro: Build It and We Will Buy It!
by Matthew C. Keegan

Attention, General Motors! The concept Camaro now making the rounds of U.S. auto shows is a real winner. Keep showing the car, but start making plans to get it! Make no changes to the concept; in other words: keep the boardroom geeks away from the project. Yes, GM is looking at bringing back a venerable nameplate - the Chevrolet Camaro. If all goes as planned, a 2009 model Camaro is a strong possibility. Read on for additional interesting tidbits.

Back in the late 1960s, General Motors responded - albeit a little late - to the wildly successful 1964 1/2 launch of the Ford Mustang. A whole new breed of cars were on the market - pony cars - thanks to the Mustang and GM's release of the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird. Indeed, Chrysler and American Motors jumped in too with the Dodge Charger, Plymouth Road Runner, and AMC Javelin competing successfully in a popular automobile segment.

Consumer tastes have changed over the years and the Camaro did not keep up them. Better put, it was GM who did not keep up with the Camaro and it, along with the Firebird, were retired after the 2002 model year. 35 years of Camaro/Firebird history came to a bitter end.

Fortunately for Camaro lovers, it may once again be the hated Mustang that rescues the Camaro. As in the 1960s, GM is witnessing Ford's big success with its retro looking Mustang and GM wants a piece of the action. Unlike GM, Ford never retired the Mustang name and, instead, gave it a complete makeover that has galvanized sales.

The Camaro making the rounds of the U.S. auto shows is a real beauty. Taking its styling cues from the '69 Camaro, the proposed '09 Camaro is expected to feature a 6.0L V8 engine paired with a 6 speed manual transmission. The wheels are 21" at the front and 22" at the back, but smaller wheels are likely to be the production standard. In addition, the Camaro's interior will hearken back to the original model's interior and include its famed twin instrument pod.

With a base V6 available, the standard Camaro may retail for just under $20,000, a highly competitive price for an awesome looking two door coupe. Now, if the powers that be within GM can be persuaded to build the car based on the concept, the Camaro will certainly give the Mustang a run for the money and keep the all new (retro) Dodge Challenger from swiping away Camaro loyalists.

Oh, to dream about big things...the Camaro is one car that enthusiasts want to go from concept to completion and soon! GM, are you hearing us?

About the Author
Copyright 2006 - For additional information regarding Matt Keegan, The Article Writer, please visit his blog for wit, quips, and freelance writing tips.
Saturn Aura: Concept Car No More
by: Terry Brown

This is a concept car from the Saturn Corporation. A mid-sized sedan, this is the future vehicle Saturn Aura. Starting this summer, the production of the Saturn Aura would commence. This sedan would then be built on a long wheelbase that shares the same chassis with other vehicles such as the Pontiac G6, the Chevrolet Malibu, the Saab 9-3, and the Opel Vectra. Designed through the collective efforts of Ryan Vaughan, Tim Kozub, and Ed Welburn, the Saturn Aura would be making its debut this summer for sure and would be the start of the Saturn line of vehicles' dramatic change in style and power.

This concept car from Saturn was introduced to the public this January. This vehicle has been specifically designed so as to replace the Saturn L-Series. The Saturn Aura uses the Epsilon platform, yet this platform is also used by other vehicles that are quite affiliated with General Motors, as listed above. With this long Epsilon wheelbase, the Saturn Aura would be sporting ample legroom for a sedan in the midsize division. This vehicle would also sport 19-inch chrome wheels, along with a new front end, and the very distinct grille that is found on each and every Saturn vehicle since the Saturn Aura is no exception. This vehicle also will hold and feature a four-paneled panoramic glass roof which is very much unlike the glass roof that comes with the Pontiac G6. As per the Saturn Aura's interior, Dave Rand, General Motor's executive director of interiors claims, "The interior of the Saturn Aura epitomizes GM's global design approach to brand revitalization. Seven GM Design studios from around the world used technology that allowed them to contribute to product designs that will make up Saturn's new portfolio. The result is seamless connectivity between the interior and exterior."

This mid-sized sedan is made to be top of the line and is expected to boast around 250 horsepower with the 3.6 liter DOHC V6 engine from General Motors. More likely, a five-speed automatic would also be used for this one. It will also feature a variety of standard features for safety that could include electronic stability control, side airbags and head curtain airbags. It has a European influence as per its exterior and a character that makes it fun to drive. Also, the exterior of the Saturn Aura is considered to be fluid, muscular, and very powerful. It holds bold projector beams with trapezoidal headlamps. These are flanked by a new rendition of the Saturn chrome bar. Its front end has a distinctive mesh grille and circular fog lamps. Helping in cooling the engine compartment are horizontal hood extractors also punctuate the concept's styling up front.

Jill Lajdziak, Saturn's general manager speaks about the Saturn Aura, "The Aura is a sneak peak at a new generation of emotionally compelling Saturn vehicles. It's the kind of vehicle that perfectly supports Saturn's firm commitment to provide great customer service combined with equally outstanding vehicles."

The Saturn Aura is fun to drive and is promised to provide an excellent performance that is the trademark of Saturn vehicles. Auto Parts Information holds a varied collection of Saturn Aura parts and Saturn parts at its user-friendly site.

About the Author
Terry Brown is a 32 year old from Houston Texas, and an enthusiast for anything auto-related. He currently writes auto-related articles for several publications.
Dodge Magnum RT 2006 Car Review

by: Andrew Kier

The new Magnum is a great looking car that will get your neighbors talking as you rumble around the block. The unique styling of the Magnum will also attract gawkers in the form of 18-22 year old guys pointing for their friends to "check that out". And a few people will approach you as you are filling up the gas tank to ask, "Does it really have a Hemi?", with only a vague notion that it somehow makes the car better.

The Magnum is offered with many different engine sizes (either a 6-cylinder or 8-cylinder) with your choice of horsepower output of 190, 250, 340 and 425. The price of the vehicle also corresponds with the engine size starting at $30,345 to the expensive STR-8 model for $37,320. A big part of the mystique around this car is the Hemi engine. The Hemi is short for hemispherical combustion chamber, which creates more efficient fuel burning and allows larger valves for better airflow. Basically, it produces more power than an engine with its displacement would normally produce. (There are also drawbacks to the Hemi, which is why it isn't the only engine that Chrysler produces).

The interior of the car looks much more expensive than you'd expect for the price of the Magnum. Since Mercedes bought Chrysler, the Dodge vehicles I've sampled have had a sharp improvement in interior quality. While on the road, the car is very solid and the seats are comfortable even on long highway runs.

As much as I like the looks, after driving it a while I really have to question the design concept that the Magnum offers. It is a station wagon built to transport a lot of people and a lot of stuff. But mating this with a powerful engine with the taught racing-like suspension is uncomfortable for both. It is like having a Corvette tow a small trailer, and you are in the trailer and the Corvette driver is 15 years-old, pushing the car to its limits. (Only an actual Corvette has a much more comfortable suspension than the Magnum). Even driving on smooth roads, the steering is very darty and difficult to control. And with a large car, all that weaving and road feedback is exaggerated for the passengers and everything you've stored in the back.

I like having a navigation system, but figuring out how to use it with the steering wheel controls made me frequently refer to the user's manual. In spite of the high horsepower and low-end torque I played with when starting from a full stop, the RT model I drove averaged 20 MPG on the higway.

What I presume to be the target market for this car, those 18-22 year-old guys that I mentioned, will probably love this car. And as much as I love driving sports cars, the darty steering and sharp suspension make it too uncomfortable without any spectacular payoff. The 0-60 sprint is fun for a little while, but I'd pass on buying a Magnum as a daily driving vehicle.

About the Author
Andrew Kier is a car fanatic that grew up near Motor City and has been writing for automotive magazines since 1992. He shares his two decades of car comparison experience with recent models. More of his articles are available at
Hybrid Sports Cars Coming Soon
by : Gregg Hall

When one thinks of hybrid automobiles, the image of subcompact economy cars--high on gas mileage and low on top-end performance--undoubtedly comes to mind. However, with gas prices consistently increasing over time, occasionally in sudden spikes, and environmental awareness growing in all quarters, there is a movement afoot to bring hybrid technology into the realm of high-performance sports cars.

Japanese automakers, in particular, seem to be expending a great deal of effort in fusing hybrid technology with sports car appearance and performance. The Subaru Scrambler, the Mazda Ibuki and Mitsubishi's hybrid in its Eclipse line are all progressing in development.
Most of the hybrid research and development currently focuses on adopting the most common hybrid production methods. Lithium batteries and electric motors join forces with top-notch engineering. Preliminary reports indicate that at least one 470 horsepower sports car is under design by a leading Japanese manufacturer.

In addition to hybrid sports car working from the same general principles of their better-known economy car brethren, hydrogen-burning sports cars are also under investigation. Many years ago, Mazda discovered their rotary engine performed exceptionally well while using lean-burning hydrogen as a fuel source. Since that time, Mazda has continued to tinker with this revolutionary methodology in hopes of eventually producing an environmentally friendly sports car that maintains high performance standards.

The most visible hybrid sports car, however, is the Toyota Priapus. A conventional gas/electric hybrid, the Priapus lists at over $70,000. It will be hard for owners of this hybrid sports car to recoup the additional cost in fuel savings, but the automobile is increasing in popularity. Experts predict the limited-production hybrid sports car will perform well in auctions, with car enthusiasts likely to be willing to spend into six figures to procure the low-to-the ground, futuristic Toyota offering--and with good reason. The Priapus boasts zero to sixty mile per hour acceleration in just under four seconds while maintaining an impressive 30 miles per gallon in terms of fuel efficiency.

The Japanese are not the only automakers to spend time and resources plumbing the realm of hybrid sports cars. Two former Jaguar designers are making headlines in England with the development of a V10 hybrid that has recently been awarded significant capital in the form of government grants to bring the concept car into the general marketplace.
With many nations' fuel efficiency standards demanding better fuel economy in the future, gas prices spiking again and again, and a general consensus developing that hybrid technology can reduce pollution and perhaps stem global warming trends, there is no doubt that hybrid automobile research and production will continue to accelerate.

Those who were worried the automotive icon that is the sports car would vanish somewhere along the way as the green movement gathered force can take heart in recent developments. All indicators point toward a greener, more fuel-efficient future featuring jaw-dropping high-performance cars sure to please even the most discriminating sports automotive enthusiasts. As long as there are cars, it seems there will be those who demand impressively speedy, sporty automobiles and manufacturers are not willing to let go of that purchasing base as they explore hybrid alternatives to traditional internal combustion autos.

About the Author
Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. Be sure to take car of your car's finish with the patented car care productsfrom
Waiting For the Mazda CX-7
by: Terry Brown

For the past months, Mazda, the automobile company, had been featuring the upcoming vehicle that would be joining the Mazda vehicle line up. This new vehicle has been named as the Mazda MX Crossport during its concept phase. Upon its introduction, it would then hold the name Mazda CX-7. This vehicle has already been receiving many praises for its Zoom-Zoom exterior styling as well as its driver oriented interior even if it is just in its concept stage.

Jim Sullivan, the president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), has stated, "Mazda President Hisakazu Imaki is committed to bringing new products to market and expanding our line of vehicles. The addition of the Mazda CX-7 is great news and a critical step forward for us in North America. To successfully grow our business, we have to be true to our core values and for any vehicle to wear the Winged-M logo on the grille, it must have the soul of a sports car. I am convinced this vehicle will deliver."

This vehicle is built in Hiroshima, Japan and it will be sold first in the United States and in the rest of North America. The Mazda CX 7 is actually mounted on a new platform that is not used by any other vehicle yet. However, it uses the front suspension of the Mazda MPV minivan as well as the rear suspension of the Mazda 5. As for the rest of its components, most, including the turbocharged engine, actually come from the Mazda Speed 6. There will be no options for transmission systems for only one will be made available and that will be the 6 Speed Sport automatic. The power of this vehicle comes from the 2.3 liter MZR engine. It can actually produce some 244 units of horsepower at 5,000 rpm and some 258 pound feet of torque at a very low 2,5000 rpm.

What are the features of this Mazda CX 7? The list includes a fully independent suspension, four wheel ventilated disc brakes with standard four-wheel anti lock braking system, the dynamic stability control, the traction control system, an active torque split all wheel drive, a computer controlled coupling and a front wheel drive.

Interested parties or Mazda aficionados could simply go and visit Auto Parts Information. This online store is one of the leading online suppliers and dealers of quality and durable Mazda parts, auto parts, and accessories at discount prices. It has a wide range of Mazda auto parts that includes fuel tanks, hubcaps, lights, mirrors, radiators, starters, corner lights, and clear corners among many others. There are also auto parts available for Mazda models like the 323, the 626, the Miata, the Millenia, the MPV, the RX7, the RX8, and the Tribute. All of these are available for customers and guest in great discounts and wholesale deals at Auto Parts Information.

About the Author
Terry Brown is a 32 year old from Houston Texas, and an enthusiast for anything auto-related. He currently writes auto-related articles for several publications.
2010 Dodge Challenger: Back to the Future!

by: Matthew C. Keegan

Blogs, car sites, and auto shows have been hyping up the concept Dodge Challenger to the point where you would think that the car is almost ready to roll off of a DCX assembly line. To say that the prototype is being well received is an understatement -- quite frankly if the Challenger was available for sale today the waiting list would be many months long. Such is the demand for a retro car that takes its styling cues right from the '71 Challenger.

As it currently stands, the car will be built as DaimlerChrysler has given its blessing to the new Challenger. Still, the Challenger is more than three years from being manufactured as it is likely to be released some time during 2009 as a 2010 model. Yes, the wait will be hard for many, but if the hype equals the performance, then the wait will certainly be worth your while.

Some people are against the whole retro car revolution. Citing that Detroit must reach back in time to make relevant cars is a testimony to the each automaker's woes. On the contrary, I believe the many revived models currently being planned or already on our streets is a clear testimony to Detroit finally listening to its customers: we want cars that are uniquely styled and we want them to perform exactly the way you will say they will perform. No fake hood scoops, no heralded model name slapped on a car that pales in comparison to the original. No, we don't want you to build the original model we want you to build the original model better. Take the styling cues and run with them and incorporate modern technology to improve upon the original design. That's all we ask.

So, just what can enthusiasts expect when they take delivery of their Challenger? Well, like I said the car is still in the planning stages, but what I have gleaned from various sites is the following information:

Modified Platform -- If you like the Mercedes based LX platform currently used to run the Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum, and Dodge Charger then the LY platform will suit you too. DCX is planning to modify the LX platform for its next generation of vehicles and the LY based Challenger will be one of many cars built upon it. Some have suggested that the LY will be the LX on steroids, whatever that means.

Did Someone Say Hemi? -- Every Mopar product of significance will have optional Hemi power and the Challenger is no exception. Expect a V6 to be standard with the optional Hemi V8 for performance versions of the car. Some have suggested that the 425 h.p. SRT 6.1L V8 will also be made available for the Challenger.

Ragtop Regalia -- Chrysler says that the Sebring will be its only convertible offering, but that leaves Dodge dealers without a soft top car to market [other than the Viper, of course] . Despite this bit of information, look for a Challenger convertible to show up one or two years after the car's debut. Heck, if DCX doesn't want to build one then aftermarket coach builders will do the job for them. You can bet that Dodge dealers will make these arrangements if DCX doesn't.
Yes, the Challenger won't be in new car showrooms any time soon. For those of us waiting with "baited breath" we'll have to console ourselves with the many blogs, sites, and car shows hyping the car. Other than that, just imagine your shiny new Challenger stopped at a traffic light with a Mustang on one side and a Camaro on the other side...

About the Author
Copyright 2006 - Matt Keegan is The Auto Writer covering topics such as new cars, the classic, car parts, accessories, auto trends, and much more. Matt invites you to visit the Speedy Performance Parts store for all the best parts and accessories for your hot wheels.
The 2009 Camaro Concept Car

by: David C. Atkin

Well with the showing that the 2009 camaro had, it's a good thing that GM is going to build the car, the camaro had had a long life with muscle car fans in this country, and it's poised to do it all over again, if GM can stay in business, they seem to be having a rough time along with all the other motor companies.
The cmamro came out in 1967, to do battle with the Ford mustang, and a battle it was, either car could win with the right person behind the wheel, the right pilot if you will, and then in 1968 Don Yenko, owner of Yenko Chevrolet, in Canonsburg, PA. This brilliant man would create a monster that would give the camaro name a reputation befitting a king.
The sYc or "Super Yenko Camaro" would propel Don Yenko to super star status in the muscle car world, the cars were very expensive, so in turn not a lot of them were ever produced, 1969 turned out to be the magic year for these cars, in 1969 of the Yenko camaro two even meaner camaros would spawn, 1 known as the COPO or "Central Office Production Order" 9560 and the 9561, the only difference between these two cars was the engine, the 9560 "AKA" ZL1 had an all aluminum 427 CID engine rated by the factory at 425 HP, this of course was a serious under rating, the car actually made about 600 HP.
The 9561 was a cast iron block, so you can imagine the difference in performance between the two cars, the power to weight difference was phenomenal, and only the most experienced drivers could even handle one of these monsters, and Chevrolet is poised to do it again with the 2009 camaro, it's not the exact same idea, but it is a great step toward Chevy getting their muscle car heritage back in order.
The 2009 Camaro runs a 400 HP LS2 6-Liter V8 engine, and sporting the power train from a Corvette, this car will be awesome, also sporting 22" rear wheels and 21" front wheels in it's unrevised form, but the spokesman from Chevrolet says that when the car is released it will have 21" rear wheels and 20" front wheels, of course the difference won't be noticeable to your eye, but it will save some cash for Chevrolet.
This car is a tribute to Chevrolet's ingenuity and creativity, the one thing that will help to keep them alive in this economy that seems to be horrible for the automotive industry, if anybody can do it Chevrolet can.

About the Author
I've been in the automotive business for about 20 or 25 years now, and worked in all facets of the automotive industry, from mechanical repair to restoration and parts, for American and import cars.
GM and Toyota battle for #1-Here's a look at what each has planned

by: Peter Johnson

2007 Toyota Camry Whenever Toyota replaces the Camry it's big news. The Camry is the best selling family sedan in North America. The 2007 Camry is going to set a new benchmark for performance, refinement, and efficiency within its class. To be introduced later this year, the 2007 Camry will be available with a hybrid power plant producing over 190hp. A 3.5L V6 producing 268hp will also be available. Toyota will be offering a 6-speed automatic transmission on V6 models that is lighter and cheaper to produce than the 5-speed auto it is replacing. Now that's progress. Pricing for the 2007 Camry will not rise compared to the 2006 model despite more standard features. Toyota has made a strong effort at making the 2007 Camry fun to drive. With increased torsional rigidity, the Camry moves with confidence through twisty back roads. The interior is first rate and no longer looks as dull as the previous generation. This is a car to watch as it shows Toyota has not forgotten about passenger cars.

2007 Toyota TundraToyota is serious about building trucks. So serious in fact that the Tundra will be built in a new plant in the heart of truck country, San Antonio, Texas. The 2007 Tundra is going after the heart of the pick-up truck market and taking on the best from Ford, GMC, and Dodge. The Tundra will come standard with a 4.0L V6 and will have two V8 engines available, a 4.7L and 5.7L. Equipped with the 5.7L V8, the Tundra will be capable of towing 10,000 pounds. Although Toyota realizes truck buyers are a very loyal bunch, they still plan to produce 200,000 Tundra trucks in the first full year of production. This is up from 120,000 they are producing of the current model. Toyota sees some growth opportunities in the truck market and that may be a difficult pill for the competition to swallow.

2007 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC SierraLike Toyota, Chevrolet (along with GMC) is preparing to introduce a revised line of pick-up trucks. Based on what is known as the GMT900 platform, GM is hoping that the 2007 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra can maintain its position as a leader in this class. The Silverado and Sierra twins will offer fuel saving features such as DOD (Displacement On Demand) and a 6-speed automatic transmission. GM was hoping to introduce an independent rear suspension on the 2007 models but they decided not to proceed with it due to budget cuts and a shortened development time. The 2007 Silverado and Sierra will be critical to GM's turn around plan over the next few years.

2006 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC YukonThe only 2006 on the list, the Tahoe and Yukon are vital to GM's turn around effort. Introduced in January, these vehicles show how serious GM is about building thoughtfully designed vehicles that offer increased fuel economy and refinement. The 2006 Tahoe and Yukon are thoroughly updated with enhanced interiors made with upgraded materials. The Tahoe and Yukon offer increased fuel economy due to a variety of enhancements including an available 6-speed automatic transmission and a more aerodynamic profile. GM is hoping the vehicles will sell due to how good they are rather than incentives. So far the Tahoe and Yukon have been a big success as GM is having a difficult time keeping up with demand.

2007 Saturn AURAAs GM launches a full assault on the full size SUV and truck markets, they haven't forgotten about the family sedan segment. GM is placing a bigger focus on its passenger cars as gas prices continue to rise and people question whether they need a SUV or pick-up. The 2007 AURA is based on the Epsilon platform shared with the Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6. This is a very important product for Saturn, as it will showcase a new design theme for the brand. Replacing the L-series, the AURA will offer the same power trains as the Malibu and G6. Edgier styling and a more upscale image should help Saturn bring more people into their dealerships. Why is this vehicle important, you ask? Because it will test how serious GM is at taking on Toyota, Honda, Nissan and others for a bigger slice of the family sedan pie.

About the Author
Peter Johnson is the chief writer for For more automotive articles of interest click here.
Jaguar XK 150: Roadster Extreme

by: Michelle Crimson

Jaguar is known for its vehicles that have been crafted with graceful style coupled with a superb and excellent performance. One of the vehicles that run under this brand is the Jaguar XK 150. And this vehicle is a roadster and also has been made with several versions like the fixed coupe and the drophead coupe. The roadster version, however, appeared ten months after the introduction of the other two. As per the Jaguar XK 150 roadster, it was essentially designed so as to be the right kind of vehicle that would tackle and spin through the hot and sunny months. This new vehicle holds proper wind up door windows as well as door handles. It also has an improved hood design. Some people say that the Jaguar XK 150 is much more civilized and more appealing than the earlier roadster vehicles from Jaguar like the Jaguar XK 120 and the Jaguar XK 140.

Equally impressive and highly durable Jaguar auto body parts, performance parts, replacement parts, discount parts, and accessories are available at Jaguar Parts and Jaguar Auto Parts' online store. When you need parts like accessories, mechanical engine parts, exhaust system parts, and fuel injection parts to name a few, first class quality products like these are available at Jaguar Parts and Jaguar Auto Parts. Each of these will put you on top of the race due to its strict quality control measures. The number one provider of the best Jaguar parts online also offers Jaguar XK 150 parts and other Jaguar parts in great discount prices.
This vehicle actually replaced the Jaguar XK 140. And it has existed from 1957 up until 1961. The Jaguar XK 150 sports a different look. It is shorter and could only take in into its cabin a maximum of two people. Despite that, the Jaguar XK 150 holds a longer bonnet and a revised front scuttle panel. This kind of change has given the Jaguar XK 150 a more rakish and sleeker kind of look. It is even more modern compared to the other two previously mentioned Jaguar roadsters.

The differences between the other roadsters and the Jaguar XK 150 is that the latter uses a one piece windscreen. The wing line also did not dropped that much over the doors. The bonnet was widened and opened down to the wings. The bulkhead was moved to make it around four inches longer. A wide range of color choices were made available for this vehicle and the list includes Red, Pearl Grey, White, Indigo Blue, Claret, Cotswold Blue, Black, Mist Grey, Sherwood Green, Carmen Red, British racing Green, Cornish Grey and Imperial Maroon.

Just like the Jaguar XK 140, the Jaguar XK 150 also held a 3.4 liter DOHC Jaguar straight 6 engine. It could actually produce some 180 bhp at 5750 rpm. Although, through the years that it was manufactured, this roadster had several other engines equipped in it so as to produce more power and be able to produce a much more superb performance.

About the Author
Michelle Crimson holds a degree in business administration. She is currently working as an editor in New Orleans, Louisiana. This 32 year old mother of two is also a car racing fanatic.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Nissan Buzz: Future Cars
by: Matthew C. Keegan

Nissan Motors continues to make important strides in becoming one of the highest quality automakers on the scene in North America today. Long living in the shadow of Japanese stalwarts Honda and Toyota, Nissan is fighting back with a series of new or updated models to cut into the Honda-Toyota dominance. Can they succeed? You be the judge as we take a look at four coming attractions soon to make their appearance at a Nissan dealer near you!

Nissan Versa – Toyota’s Scion division has been a hit with the youth, while Nissan has been scrambling to provide models that can capture the interest of new drivers while being at the same time affordable. Scheduled for release by Summer 2006, the Versa will come with a 1.8L inline four cylinder engine and be available as either a five door hatchback or a four door sedan. The car will be manufactured in Mexico with a starting price in the neighborhood of 12 thousand dollars expected.

Nissan Cube – Still in the “maybe it will be imported” stage, the new Cube is Nissan’s response to the Scion xB and the Honda Element. Seating five to seven adults, the Cube is exactly that: a box on wheels. Published reports suggest that the Cube will be released to the North American market by 2008.

Nissan Sentra – A new Sentra is expected to bow during the second half of 2006 as a 2007 model. Significant styling changes and an up market push are planned by Nissan to help the car compete more effectively with the VW Golf and Mazda 3.

Nissan Altima – The big change coming for the Altima is the introduction of a hybrid engine. Scheduled to hit Nissan showrooms by Fall 2006, this new Altima model will actually borrow Toyota technology to create Nissan’s first hybrid. The engine and the battery will be all Nissan, however; Nissan apparently needs an assist from its Japanese rival to enter the growing hybrid segment.

Beyond 2008 consumers can expect to see an updated Quest van makes its appearance with subtle changes on the remaining vehicles in Nissan’s line up. Additional models are in the concept stage; expect some to be shown at upcoming auto shows.

Although it is too early to confirm each of the four featured models, Nissan’s thrust in the coming years is to increase its share of the Generation “Y” market. Should the Cube and Versa make their appearance as hoped for, Nissan is likely to score some points with young drivers in two areas: style and price. Look out Honda and look out Toyota!
About The Author
Matt Keegan is an auto enthusiast and contributing writer for , a wholesaler of premium auto parts including discount Nissan parts and accessories [] for your Maxima, Pathfinder, Sentra, or other fine Nissan vehicle