Friday, March 10, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around the Auto Blog Block for Friday, March 10, 2006

Looks like this weekend is going to be the first good riding days of 2006, so I will be exercising my Suzuki Bandit 600S tomorrow. Perfect way to wrap up a great week, so let's get this drive around the Auto Blog Block show on the road, shall we?

Mercedes Benz is selling its all-new S-Class, but Carpundit ain't buyin' it! Go here to find out why.

Over at Science and Politics, Bora Sivkovic has an interesting concept for rel0cating air bags in the event of a crash. (Welcome to Carnival of Cars, Bora!)

Josh Cohen has been doing some serious thinking on speed limits over at Multiple Mentality (Welcome to Carnival of Cars, Josh!).

Contrary to lots of reporting, there is no settlement yet between General Motors, the UAW and Delphi, according to TheCarConnection. So forget for now all that talk about sweeping reorganizations, new approaches to business, etc. etc.

Think GM and Ford are the only big, once-dominant manufacturers battling a seemingly losing cause now against vastly more agile overseas rivals? Joe Sherlock at The View Through the Windshield has more on a model little story with very big implications.

Speaking of big, once-dominant manufacturers, Thomas Bernard says the way towards salvation for Detroit can be found by looking to Milwaukee and Harley Davidson. Do that and you see the ticket: "Building big dumb American cars offers US automobile manufacturers a huge economic advantage." Get all of Bernard's reasoning here at The Truth About Cars.

Looking for a brand-by-brand take from non-car folks in Southern California? If so, then Joel at The Car Blog has just the ticket for you. You will want to make a scheduling note that it's a multi-part feature.

The Auto Prophet has found one swinging bus driver in this video from a Russian tunnel! Where do these people get their driving licenses?

TAP gets a two-fer this week: Check out his masterful deconstruction of Consumer Reports, the hybrid craze and the numerical foundations of the environmental movement. Some excellent investment advice there, too.

Think you've been hearing spots on XM radio of late? Straightline says if you haven't, you soon will be.

Not sure what to think of this from Serious Wheels.

Then there Driving Sports, which promises to provide hot video of "extreme driving in all its tire-shredding, clutch-grinding glory ..." on your iTunes, according to Qt Auto News.

How many cute Asian models does it take to introduce the new Honda Civic over in Paul Tan's neck of the woods? Don't know if Paul has the answer to that query but it sure looks like he got the answers to other question you could ever have on the topic, plus a bunch of great photos.

My Honest Mechanic says an Altima's Check Engine light coming back on two weeks after being "fixed" by the dealer may indicate a new problem. Or an old problem. Either way, take it back.

Yourapeeins don't care for pick'emup trucks, right? So why is the new Ford Ranger you can see at My Ford Dreams being introduced over there instead of right here?

Head-to-Head Comparison ads are good, no? Takes guts or something else for a carmaker to do such ads, right? Welllllllll .... Motor Alley's David Wassman is puzzled by Chevy's latest effort in this vein, which points us to an comparison test that includes the Cobalt.

And since we're on the topic of auto advertising, Left Lane News thinks you should take a look at a piece in Automotive News about the most effective tag lines. You know, "see the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet." Oooops, guess I just revealed my (advanced) age. But the AN piece is about mindshare, right?

Why spring the full nine yards for a Z4M when the Z4 2.5 Sport is just about as quick but costs a good bit less? That's the question being posed by's Dave Leggett after spending a day in South Carolina at the Bimmer plant.

Jalopnik has visual proof of why I should have been born extremely rich and extraordinarily talented behind the wheel. Oh, to be able to slip behind the wheel of a Ferrari F430 GT. My knees get all weak just looking at the photos.

Oh man, now that Grant man is ranting about too many choices. What an odd slant for Grant's Auto Rants.

Should Rick Wagoner and the rest of the senior GM executive managers be sent to the Pokey? Jim Dollinger at General Watch thinks so, thanks to the prospect of new $2,000 rebates on Trail Blazers and other GM products.

Audi's TT Microsite is up, says Gear6. I rather like the looks of the new coupe, don't you?

Now this is what I call real supercharging! FosFor Wheels has a quick look at a 1,350 horsepower boost for your Volkswagen New Beetle.

At Fastlane Blog, Lutz is back to your ideas for saving GM. Really, I think he actually does read this stuff.

Having Eddie Irvine back in F1, even if only as a team owner, will certainly spice up the paddock. Fast Machines' George Katinger wonders if maybe Eddie isn't getting a head start on the happy doings connected with March 17.

Carscoop gets truck scoops, too. Go here for the Mazda BT-50 debut. Yes, a one-ton pickup from Mazda.

Cars! Cars! Cars! is picking on one of my fellow Okies who until recently was occupied during the day by installing liftgates on Chevy trucks at the GM plant in Okie City. Actually, C!C!C! isn't picking on my buddy, just has a better idea for what he could be doing during the day instead of sittin' on his posterior end drawing a Job Bank check.

Audi is planning a maxi war on Mini, with the next generation A2 being the weapon of choice, according to Autoblog. This could get right interesting!

Lots of Audi stuff this week. Auto Spectator has the release and photos of the new A6 Allroad.

The Supremes are getting it from The Auto Muse, thanks to an Amicus brief filed in the Avery case. And why do they call them "briefs" they frequently run to 25, 30 or more pages? Anyway, congrats to E L Eversman.

And finally, what kind of schedule would you put together if you had the power once Champ Car and the IRL are married? AutoExtremist's Road Kill column has answers. It's a dream schedule because it includes Barber Motorsports Park and the Glen. I raced at the Glen. I know the Glen. Oh Lord, please let it be!

And that's all, folks. Have a great week.

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