Friday, August 24, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 6:35 PM

The government, in an effort to popularize the use of hybrid vehicles, gave tax credits for consumers who buy hybrids.

Toyota is the leader in hybrid sales and tax credits for the Prius, the Camry Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, and the upscale Lexus RX400h are now diminishing. By the end of October, tax credits offered with these hybrids will be gone. This expiration of the tax credit may push consumers away from buying hybrid cars. This might be the case unless Congress steps in and extends the tax credits offered to hybrid car buyers. Tax credits for hybrids can range from as low as $250 to as high as $3,400. Unless Congress extends them, these hybrid credits will disappear after 2010. The credits expire after an automaker sells 60,000 vehicles; the credit will then be phased out over the next few months. Toyota's Prius reached 60,000 sold last summer, but if you buy before October 1, you still get a partial credit: $787.50.

Even with the Accord Hybrid discontinued, the tax credit will still diminish as the Civic Hybrid gains popularity. Mazda has the Tribute Hybrid and the hybrid vehicle recently qualified for tax credits.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 9:05 PM

Volvo announced that they will be calling the new unit as the Volvo C30 Efficiency - a variant of the automakers’ newest car model. This variant of the smallest Volvo car will have less greenhouse gas emissions and will have a better fuel economy.

According to the automaker, the C30 Efficiency will consume a gallon of fuel for every 62.8 miles covered. According to the automaker, these are aerodynamics, rolling resistance, gearing and engine efficiency.

The C30 Efficiency’s ride height is also lower compared to its siblings.

The Efficiency’s powerplant produces 104 bhp, 4 less than the conventional C30. According to experts, the C30 Efficiency may be the answer of the Swedish automaker to Volkswagen’s BlueMotion models.

2008 Volvo C30 Specs:

Base price - $23,000 (MT est)
Vehicle layout front - engine, FWD, 4-pass, 2-door hatchback
Engine - 2.5L/218 hp/236 lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 20-valve I-5
Transmission - 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Curb weight - 2900 lb (mfr est)
Wheelbase - 103.9 in
Length x width x height - 167.4.9 x 70.1 x 57.0 in
0-60 mph 6.2 - 6.6 sec (mfr est)
EPA city/hwy fuel econ - 22 / 30 mpg (MT est)

Which Volvo C30 is right for you? Whether you want the efficiency of diesel or petrol, you're bound to find the perfect engine for your lifestyle in our C30 range. Thanks to our cutting-edge engine technology you can enjoy rapid acceleration, high torque, excellent fuel economy, low emissions, a selection of transmissions and much more.

C30 1.6D (109 hp) and C30 2.0D (136 hp)
C30 D5 (180 hp)

C30 1.8 Flexifuel (125 hp)

C30 1.6 (100 hp), C30 1.8 (125 hp) and C30 2.0 (145 hp)
C30 2.4i (170 hp)
C30 T5 (230 hp)

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, posted by Auto Rider at 6:05 PM

Infiniti released the upgrades for the 2008 Infiniti M45. The new 2008 Infiniti M also includes an upgraded Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with touch-screen, 9.3GB Music Box hard drive for digital music storage and playback and available XM NavTraffic® (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately), as well as new white and violet instrument panel and interior lighting, standard XM® Satellite Radio (requires XM® subscription, sold separately) and a revised Stone colored interior.

“The Infiniti M is an expression of power, refinement, technology and design – all the things that make Infiniti owners’ hearts pound. The M captures the soul of the Infiniti brand, expressing it in invigorating, forward thinking ways.” said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager of Infiniti.

The vehicle will roll out in the market in four model trim levels: M35 (V6 rear-wheel drive), M35x AWD (V6 all-wheel drive), M45 (V8 rear-wheel drive) and M45x (V8 all-wheel drive).

2008 Infiniti M45 include:

* New M45x AWD model with intelligent ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive
* Production debut of Infiniti’s Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system
* Revised front and rear fascia, headlights, grille, rear decklid and taillight design, rear fender panels, new chrome accents
* New wheel designs
* Available Sport Package with unique styling, Rear Active Steer (RAS), 19-inch wheels and tires
* Increased differentiation between Sport Package and non-Sport Package vehicles with unique bumpers, side sills, headlight color and wheels
* Rain sensing wipers
* Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System with touch-screen, 9.3GB Music Box hard drive for digital music storage and playback and available XM NavTraffic® (requires active XM® subscription, sold separately)
* Revised interior and revised aluminum and wood trim
* Standard High Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon headlights with Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) (optionally available on M35 AWD)
* Standard climate-controlled seats
* New Stone interior color
* New white instrument panel lighting with violet accents and white and violet interior lighting
* Standard XM Satellite Radio (requires XM subscription, sold separately)
* Six new exterior colors
* Hands-free Phone System
* Infiniti Information Display with 7-inch LCD screen and easy-to-use controls
* Infiniti voice recognition system
* RearView Monitor

Optional packages include:
* Technology Package
* Advanced Technology Package
* Premium Package
* Wood Interior Trim (standard on RWD and AWD models, optional with Sport Package models), HID xenon headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting System (for M35x)
* Entertainment Package.

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Friday, August 17, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 9:49 PM

Japanese automaker Mazda recently announced that the new Mazda6 will be unveiled at the upcoming 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. The new Mazda6, according to the automaker, is based on the Ford Mondeo. The Mazda6 is the follow-up of the automaker to the new Mazda2. “Following the all-new Mazda2, the new Mazda6 is the second Mazda new generation product to evolve to the next stage, further deepening the emotional connection between man and machine,” according to the automaker.

Based on a modified CD3 platform – know as CD3-2 – the 2008 Mazda 6 will be sharing the platform with the new Ford Mondeo. The 2008 Mazda 6 will be powered by Ford’s new 250-horsepower 3.5-liter “Cyclone” engine. A hybrid model will eventually become available, using the same 2.5-liter hybrid engine as the American 2008 Ford Fusion. Production will take place in Flat Rock, Michigan (for North American models), as well as Japan.

The Dearborn automaker has shares in Mazda and the two automakers are sharing platforms to cut down cost in the manufacturing process.

Mazda will be discontinuing production of a wagon variant of the Mazda6.

Regardless of the wagon variant discontinuation, the automaker is expected to attract consumers with the new Mazda6. The Mazda2 was well received and has earned favorable reviews from auto journalists and it will not be surprising if the new Mazda6 receives the same accolade.

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, posted by Auto Rider at 6:24 PM

Toyota's nationwide tour with the theme "Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience" will be proceeding to the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo. on August 17-19, 2007.

According to Toyota, the Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience is "designed to provide attendees with the opportunity to experience Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system, which is found in the Prius, Camry hybrid and Highlander hybrid vehicles, for themselves."

The four interactive learning areas in the Mobile Hybrid Experience include:

- "Alternative Fuels: Fueling the Future"
- "Environment and Resources: Small Steps, Big Difference"
- The Prius Driving Experience
- The "Hybrid Technology: Not All Hybrids are Created Equal"

With "Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience", participants can:

- See how Toyota Hybrids generate electricity with regenerative braking.
- Find out how much carbon you emit with the Carbon Footprint Calculator.
- Learn about the future of energy in the Alternative Fuels exhibit.
- Try the Hybrid Savings Calculator and see how much money you'll save by driving a hybrid vehicle.
- Experience Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive technology for yourself in the Prius Driving
- Experience or demo drive one if the Toyota Hybrids n display (where available)

Aside from exhibits and educational activities part of the "Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience" is the planting of more than 50,000 trees in honor of those who join in conjunction with the National Arbor Day Foundation. These trees will at the same time offset the carbon footprint of the trucks transporting the tour around the country.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 6:12 PM

Nissan has recently announced the details and the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of the 2008 Nissan Sentra and Sentra SE-R compact sedan models.

Below are the complete manufacturer's suggested retail price list of 2008 Nissan Sentra:

2008 Nissan Sentra 2.0 with Xtronic CVT(TM) - $15,750
2008 Nissan Sentra 2.0 S with 6-speed MT- $15,980
2008 Nissan Sentra 2.0 S Xtronic CVT(TM) - $16,780
2008 Nissan Sentra 2.0 SL with Xtronic CVT(TM) - $18,680

All 2008 Nissan Sentra models are equipped with a 2.0-liter DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine pumping out 140. Meanwhile, the 2008 Nissan Sentra SE-R and Sentra SE-R Spec V models feature Nissan's sporty characteristics and powerful performance.

MSRP for the 2008 Nissan Sentra SE-R is at $19,680, while the 2008 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V will roll out in dealerships carrying a base price of $20,180.

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Friday, August 10, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 9:59 PM

Audi AG will be launching the cleanest diesel technology in the industry. The new TDI engines boast of ultra-low emission system that harmonizes superior pulling power and spontaneous performance of the current power units. As a result, unbeatably low emissions and superb fuel consumption figures are reached. The latest TDI engines sees Audi reaffirm its headship claim in the arena of ultra-sophisticated diesel technology. As for the automaker, the trendsetting TDI engine is a core element of its integrated technology strategy. “Audi is a trailblazer when it comes to diesel power. By equipping the R10 TDI sports prototype with this technology, we have just won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a diesel-powered car for the second time,” noted Michael Dick, a board member for technical development at Audi.

“The Audi R8 racing cars with TFSI petrol direct injection took victory on five occasions at Le Mans. We have been incorporating the key findings from the world of motorsport directly into series-production development,” he added. “By so doing, we are demonstrating how TDI and TFSI represent the ultimate in efficiency, driving pleasure and economy both on the road and on the racetrack.”

Currently, diesel fuel is the most commended in motoring because the fuel delivers better drive ability and mileage with less emission. It packs around 15 percent more energy per liter than petrol but it also comes at a cost of 15 percent more greenhouse emissions, reported Bangkok Post. However, with a 20 to 40 percent better mileage in a modern diesel engine offsetting the emission, you get less CO2 per distance traveled, the report continued.

Experts say diesel may find its niche in future WRC. According to them, the new generation Subaru Impreza with its first in-house diesel boxer unit may become one of the first contenders. In this weekend's WRC Rally Germany, four entries are diesel-powered BMW, Seat and Volkswagen. But before it reaches stardom in the auto industry, diesel has to overcome some hurdles.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 6:31 PM

Audi has finally unveiled the 2008 Audi A8 and revealed the new features, designs and trimmings of the new car in their official website.

According to the Kicking Tires, the German automaker gave the A8 major enhancements. A new enhanced steering is given to boost the driver’s performance building a sportier image to the new Audi A8. But that's not all. The new car also gets more power on suspension as well as enhancements in its sound-deadening features.

The A8 also uses a faster DVD-based system which covers far greater distances. Audi's also building in new safety features, with a side-assist system that will alert drivers when a vehicle is in the sedan's blind spots and a lane departure warning system that will keep an eye on lane markers and alert the driver with a vibration in the steering wheel should he or she begin to go astray.

More upgrades like a new engine, as well as a direct-injection six-cylinder which will also boost its mileage to a 0-62 mph in 8 seconds. The new engine is currently wearing the price tag of $68,900. With a cheaper value, we just hope that it would make a huge sale in the US. Most of the buyers of four-door cars in the car market are looking for V8 engine that gives fuel efficiency even if hybrid cars are hot this time.

Aside from that the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) reacts faster than even a racing driver could to bring hazardous situations under control. By monitoring wheel speeds, slip angles and the position of the steering wheel, ESP can apply brakes and reduce power to individual wheels until full traction and control is restored.

The new car will be sporting the V8 engine on a high performance W12 S8 models which will all be seen this coming 2008.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 9:56 PM

The reason is that the Malaysian government is looking to close a deal with Volkswagen AG that will see the German automaker purchasing majority of the shares in Malaysian automaker Proton.

Aside from Volkswagen, General Motors is also reportedly interested in the acquisition of the Malaysian automaker. Although the American automaker has expressed its interest in the Asian automaker, the Malaysian government is looking to sell their share to Volkswagen.

According to reports fro the Malaysian newspaper, the European automaker will have to shell out “a few hundred million ringgit” for 51 percent of the Malaysian automaker. This amount is only expected for the initial capital that Volkswagen will have to pour into Proton. With Volkswagen posting increased sales in Europe and the United States as well as their increasing presence in the growing Asian auto market would mean that the automaker has the financial stability to save Proton in the brink of bankruptcy.

The apparent preference of the Malaysian government to Volkswagen is given more credential as Malaysian the Edge newspaper reported that Volkswagen will be examining “certain assets” of Proton. Aside from having the backing of the Malaysian government in marketing Volkswagen vehicles in the country, it can also be expected that Volkswagen will widen their offering around the world by marketing Proton vehicles in the global auto market.

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Saturday, August 4, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 12:36 AM

Mazda, 33.4 percent owned by the Ford Motor Co., said that its quarterly increased by 11 percent on-year to 814.29 billion yen. The Hiroshima-based automaker predicts fiscal year sales to edge up two percent to 3.320 trillion yen. Demand was strong for the CX-7 sport utility vehicle, BT-50 truck and the Mazda3 compact in other global markets, according to Mazda. Adjusted to reflect one fewer selling day in 2007, sales increased 3.7 percent.

Mazda’s car sales fell 7.9 percent to 18,036 in July, compared with 19,585 cars sold in the year-ago period. The Mazda3’s sales rose by 27.2 percent to 11,567 vehicles sold during the month, compared with 9,096 vehicles in July 2006. The CX-7’s sales rose by 81.7 percent in July to 3,868 vehicles, up from 2,129 sold in July of the previous year.

Car sales rose 1.3 percent so far this year, and truck sales are up 22.6 percent in the same period.

"Inventory adjustment (in North America) is progressing and we will be able to complete the programme by the end of the first half," Mazda Chief Financial Officer David Friedman said in a press conference.

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Thursday, August 2, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 9:57 PM

McLaren has been accused by Ferrari of spying. The said dossier was turned over to Coughlan by former Ferrari senior engineer Nigel Stepney.

Ferrari’s team Principal Jean Todt was furious of the decision. The Italian team is appealing the verdict and is planning to file charges against McLaren, Coughlan, and Stepney.

McLaren’s team principal, Ron Dennis, recently answered back and criticized Ferrari. According to Dennis, Stepney acted as a whistleblower, telling McLaren’s Coughlan that the Ferrari cars fielded for the Australian Grand Prix uses questionable components. McLaren requested the FIA to clarify the use of the said components. Dennis said that: “As far as we are aware, Ferrari ran their cars with this illegal device at the Australian Grand Prix, which they won". Dennis also clarified that Coughlan took the dossier from Stepney not to use it for the McLaren team. McLaren currently leads both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship standings.

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, posted by Auto Rider at 9:20 PM

Like political football, auto insurance can remain in storage for the Oct. 10 Ontario provincial elections. "Ontario drivers have saved $4.5 billion since November 2003 from lower premiums as a direct result of changes to the (auto insurance) product," says Jane Voll, an economist with the Insurance Bureau of Canada. "The average premium per vehicle has dropped from $1,499 to $1,260 annually – a reduction of nearly 16 percent."

Statistics Canada and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario each take a diverse methodology to calculating the cost of insurance than the IBC. FSCO compares the average of rates and changes it approves. This is not identical to prices paid, because some insurers are raising rates while others are making slashes. That means a reduction of 0.13 percent for the entire industry. Since 2003, the rates are on average down 14.3 percent.

Insurance brokers are getting reports of rising insurance claims. Some are expecting rate increases.

George Cooke, the president of Dominion of Canada General Insurance Co., said that his company has no plans to raise its rates, but will review its stance once industry figures on claims in the first half come available in a few weeks.

Voll says that auto insurance prices could be held within the range of other consumer prices if the government reacts to early signs of cost inflation, and "follows the worldwide trend toward a more competitive rate approval regime."

The issue will not be hyped during the election. But people expect everything will be back to normal after that.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007, posted by Auto Rider at 10:09 PM

Japanese automaker Subaru recently honored seventeen of its dealerships in the United States for their 25 years of marketing Subaru vehicles in the country. The seventeen dealerships recognized at the event have been marketing Subaru vehicles for more than two decades. Reliability is also a trademark for Subaru.

Tim Colbeck, the vice president of sales for Subaru of America, congratulated the dealerships saying: “On behalf of Subaru of America, I'd like to congratulate our twenty-fifth anniversary dealers. We appreciate the commitment and investment that our dealers have made in the Subaru brand over the years, and we know that they will continue to lead the charge in enabling us to reach new levels of success.”

The Earthtimes reported that the seventeen Subaru dealerships celebrating their 25th anniversary are: Lamb Subaru, Prescott, Ariz.; Downtown Subaru, Oakland, Calif.; Schaller Subaru, Middletown, Conn.; Classic Subaru, Atlanta, Ga.; Subaru of Countryside, Countryside, Ill.; Tom Wood Subaru, Indianapolis, Ind.; Dwyer & Sons Subaru, Commerce Twp., Mich.; Clements Subaru, Rochester, Minn.; Jim Armstrong Subaru, Hickory, N.C.; Lynnes Subaru, Bloomfield, N.J.; Miller Subaru, Lumberton, N.J.; Stocker Subaru, State College, Penn.; LaRiche Subaru, Findlay, Ohio; Gentry Subaru, Ontario, Ore.; Hanson Subaru, Olympia, Wash.; Roy Robinson Subaru, Marysville, Wash.; and Dahl Subaru, La Crosse, Wis.

These seventeen dealerships along with other Subaru dealerships will soon be marketing the newest models of Subaru vehicles. Included in the lineup of the Japanese automaker for the 2008 model year is the refined Legacy. The Subaru Outback will also be hitting showrooms soon. The legendary Subaru Impreza and its WRX have also been upgraded for the new model year.

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, posted by Auto Rider at 12:23 AM

The Canadian auto industry is still booming in spite predictions that Canadian auto buyers will slow down this year. According to the Ontario paper, the productivity in the auto industry in Canada has increased more than in the United States. In 2005, Canada leads the United States by five percent. This increase is said to be 50 percent more than the increase in the overall economy of Canada.

The increase in productivity in the Canadian auto industry means that production of auto parts for Canadian. The increase in production also means that the increasing demand in the Canadian auto market will be met.

The value of the loony may be increasing but analysts fear that it will soon come to an end. But for now, Canadian auto buyers are still buying more vehicles. With a healthy economy, the number of people having successful careers will be able to afford to buy new cars.

The increased car buying in Canada is also the result of the discounts being offered by automakers to consumers in the country.

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