Saturday, July 22, 2006

CARNIVAL OF CARS: A Drive Around The Auto Blog Block for Friday, July 21, 2006

Quick, who said this?

"I will go on record right now by saying that the resurrection of the MG brand by the Nanjing Automotive Group will be the new quintessential definition of notgonnahappen.com. And I'll throw a "not now" and a "not ever" in for good measure just to be clear."

Speaking as a native Okie, I can assure the Chinese that only two things really count in Oklahoma - beating OU if you are an OSU graduate and beating UT if you are an OU graduate. Not much room in there for MG. (There used to be a third - awl - but that's pretty much pumped out).

The Chinese might want to have a quiet conversation with GM about the reliability of promises by the Oklahoma legislature when the decision was made to build the Oklahoma City plant. The state has long voted GOP nationally but the Dems still pretty much run things at the state and local level.

Oh, right. It was, of course, Peter DeLorenzo, ranting about how the auto industry has just gone stark raving bonkers this past week. Go here at Auto Extremist.

And we have much more to talk about, so let's put this thang in gear and git'er goin'!

Erica thought she wanted a Prius. Then she encountered the Acura TSX. AskPatty has the rest of this story, which also has a moral.

And if you are in a situation like Erica was - i.e. getting a new vehicle - Chuck at Car Buying Tips says make the time to do it right. It will save money and mental energy. Chuck has other things to worry about, too, like how to explain the $3,000 price difference between the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia when they are sitting on the same dealer lot.

Brian at Racedriven.com headed north to Loudoun last Saturday and hoped to see a great modified race that evening. It was a great race till the very end when the yellow came out unexpectedly. Is it just my imagination or does this kind of thing seem to be happening more often in racing these days?

Speaking of Loudoun, over at 8racingfan.com blog at Fox Sports, folks wonder why they were directed to parking spaces by a raft of track workers before the race, but not one track worker was to be found directing traffic after the race.

It's time for a new car and TG Tran at 9Development is thinking Mazda Miata - ok, MX-5 - with a hard top. As for me, I wonder what the MX-6 would be like now if it had been kept in production and development.

Before making a final decision, Tran, you might want to check out The Garage Blog's review of a rather special RX-8, with lots of Mazdaspeed stuff. I didn't care for the RX-8's looks but when I drove the thing for a week, I rather liked the way it moves.

Is Forbes.com just beating up on the U.S. auto industry or do the editors there have a point about the worst products from Detroit? Autoblog would like to know. Go here.

Carpundit explains the catch behind one of Chrysler's latest marketing incentives. Dr. Z should be ashamed.

Cripes! Did you know you get worse mileage on ethanol than with gasoline? Cars! Cars! Cars! has the criping facts.

What do you say about a 640 horsepower Mini? Besides "how'd they do that?" Carscoop lays it out here. Here's a hint: It's got four motors. Bet you had no idea there was so much room in a Mini!

The District of Columbia and 13 states have variations on the tax-free weekend that politicians in those jurisdictions have used to make themselves look good with gullible tax-payers. Don't Mess With Taxes explains everything there is to know about these holidays. It's not immediately evident but there is a car connection in this story.

If you are going to be in Indy around Aug. 4., they have a fender-banger race there that weekend that might interest you. Fast Machines provides some interesting background on the Chevy Day at IMS in connection with the Brickyard 400.

There were 2,200 journalists from 37 nations covering LeMans this year. I'm not sure that qualifies the 24 Hour as THE big one of road racing - F1 probably gets the nod - but Ed Peper, Chevrolet's General Manager is justifiably proud of Corvette's fifth GT1 class win at LeMans. GM's Fastlane blog has Peper's view on the Detroit celebration of the win.

General Watch is not impressed with the combining of brands in single dealerships as is increasingly being done by GM and Chrysler. Here's why:

"You have a store that sells 1,000 Chryslers. Another sells 1,000 Dodges. A third sells 500 Jeeps. You put them together. What's the volume potential? Maybe 2,000 unit sales total. There is a limit to how many customers and vehicles one showroom can handle. Maybe this is the only way to save or promote these six lines at GM and Chrysler. But it seems like they are giving up on themselves. Every truly successful brand fights to get exclusive showrooms."

Responses?

Have you done your RIU yet? It stands for "Rev It Up!" and is Chevy's travelling road show pitting drivers of varying skill levels in an autocross-type competition. Yes, it's a little hokey but it's probably a lot of fun and GM's FYI Blog says somebody will win a Cobalt SS when all the brake dust has blown away.

It's blurry and grainy but Jalopnik has a spy shot of the 08 Ford Focus tooling around Dearborn. Looks like a Pixar cop car.

David Leggett says "electric and fun" sounds exactly right. Go here to Just-Auto.com to find out why.

It's a Tiguan. From VW. It's coming in 08. Left Lane News explains. Actually, I don't there is any way to explain giving a car a name that sounds like something you'd find under a rock in the desert.

Rick and Carlos aren't the only rumored new couple in the auto industry. Joe at MyFordDreams has some thoughts on Bill Jr. and Fill. You know, Fill-in-the-Blank.

The "Check Engine" light has been coming on for a month but your mechanic says it's nothing to worry about. My Honest Mechanic says maybe a new mechanic isn't all you need.

Hmmm. Paul Tan gives me reason to perhaps re-think my lack of enthusiasm for a car name that sounds like something you'd find under a rock in the desert.

Remember the Firestone-Explorer tire debacle? It's back as people who replaced their Firestones have problems and discover they forgot to also replace the spare. Straightline has more.

"Zero Shift" isn't an automatic tranny but it does eliminate a lot of tranny pieces. The Auto Prophet thinks it's cool.

Driving a truck or SUV is not a hopeless endeavour in an era of $3 per gallon gas. Joel at The Car Blog has nine suggestions for making the gallon go further.

Joanne at The Driving Woman says there are always recalls in force and it's always a good idea to check the listing to see if your vehicle is involved.

Mark Hasty separates the facts from the political obfuscation about E85 in an important post at The Truth About Cars. Farago's back, too.

Apparently it's true, Hyundai really does want to take Jaguar off Ford's hands. Makes sense, considering Dearborn hasn't been able to make any money on the marque in the 15 years since the purchase. Joe Sherlock sees a good deal for Hyundai at the right price. He also sees lots of important details in Jag's woes. Go here for The View Through the Windshield.

And that's the last word for this week.

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