Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

AutoblogGreen for 09.21.07

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AutoblogGreen visited a plug-in hybrid event in Washington, D.C. this week, and we shot some video (1, 2, 3). NPR talked to Miles Rubin about his electric cars. And we’ve got more biodiesel, hybrid and EV news. But perhaps you’re most interested in Jessica Alba.

 

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Autoblog’s got commenter profiles and avatars!

We’re continually trying to improve the reader experience on Autoblog, and today we’ve taken another step forward with the addition of commenter profiles and avatars for the vocal ones among us.

To access your profile, simply click on your name that appears at the top of any comment you’ve ever left on Autoblog. You’ll be taken to your profile page on Blogsmith, which is the publishing platform we use, where you can log in with your password. Your password is the same one you use to leave a comment. If you don’t know what your password is, leave a comment on this post under the “New User” column using your name and email address. A confirmation email for your comment will be sent to you, at the bottom of which will be your randomly generated password.

Once logged into your profile, you can now change your password, a much requested feature for heavy commenters, as well as upload a new avatar image.

This new system has been in effect on Joystiq, the resident video game blog in our Weblogs, Inc. Network, for some time now, and as you can see here, Joystiq readers have had a lot of fun messing with their default Mario avatars. We built our default avatar from a pic taken by Dan Roth for his In the Autoblog Garage review of the 2007 Infiniti G35. Where will you get your avatar? Try foraging for one in our galleries (yes, we’re working on a better way to organize those, too). They’re best at 64×64 pixels.

Let us know what you think of our new toys in the comments.

 

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VIDEO: Clever Audi commercial gets a dig in

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Watching this commercial from Audi, we at first thought the automaker was giving props to its German, Italian and Swedish rivals. Then we got it.

Thanks for the tip, Jacob!

 

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Chrysler’s Jim Press speaks, we listen

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It’s still weird to think of Jim Press being at Chrysler LLC instead of Toyota North America. The man had been a staple at Toyota for the past 37 years or so, and we got used to seeing his face next to their logo. But now he’s at Chrysler as the automaker’s new co-Vice Chairman and President along with Tom LaSorda. We’ve all been wondering why he made the switch from the Japanese juggernaut to the smallest of the Big Three, and he answers us in this interview with Paul W. Smith on Detroit radio station 760 WJR-AM. Not surprisingly, he says the challenge at Chrysler was his motivation for leaving Toyota, which makes sense because this automaker has nowhere to go but up. Perhaps the triumvirate of Bob Nardelli, Tom LaSorda and Jim Press can make that happen. No doubt Jim Press will be rewarded handsomely for his contribution, though.

Click the Read link to hear the interview or download it.

[Source: WJRpodcasts.com]

 

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2010 BMW X3 is the same but different

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The arrival of the X6 is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to BMW’s impending onslaught of CUVs. We mustn’t forget one of the CUVs that started it all for the Munich-based automaker – the smallish X3. Though just refreshed, the current X3 is awkward looking, something BMW hopes to fix when the 2010 X3 arrives in late 2009. Shown here in resplendent rendered speculation (click the Read link to see the full version), the next X3 will adopt a front end inspired by the BMW CS Concept that debuted at last year’s Shanghai Motor Show. It would appear the concept’s flaired nostrels have made their way to the X3’s nose, while those split air intakes on the lower bumper are shared with the new X6 and will also likely become a future design cue for BMW activity vehicles. Of course, all new BMWs are getting the ubiquitous but excellent twin-turbo 3.0L inline six-cylinder engine that produces 300 horsepower, and we expect the X3 will be no different. That’s a good thing, as Dan Roth discovered the current 260 HP 3.0L six in the current X3 gets winded pulling around the vehicle’s 4,100+ lb. curb weight.

[Source: egmcartech]

 

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Rust stickers thwart stupid thieves from stealing your car

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There’s nothing more eye-catching to a thief than a new car or bike. Your brand new pride and joy is just asking to be stolen, especially if you leave it parked on the street. That’s why designer Dominic Wilcox made stickers to fool stupid thieves into thinking your wheels aren’t worth stealing.

Despite the fact they look quite convincing in the photos. Wilcox doesn’t offer any guarantees his stickers will actually work. He does say, however, that he placed them on his bike and it hasn’t been stolen yet. What more evidence do you need?

Part of the appeal of owning a new car is showing it off, which you clearly can’t do with these stickers applied. However, if that means you get to keep the aforementioned item from being stolen while parked in unseemly parts of town, it’s all good.

[Source: Dominic Wilcox via MoCo Loco]

 

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Rendered Speculation: Cadillac BLS Convertible

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It’s been widely reported that execs at GM, including Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, are keen to expand Cadillac’s lineup with several new exciting models. Gone are the days of the emphasis on luxo barges, replaced instead with a focus on smaller and more dynamic cars like the new CTS and, to a lesser extent, the Europe-only BLS. Most are predicting Cadillac will eventually launch new coupe and convertible versions of the CTS, but what if there was a new cabrio version of the entry-level BLS?

This new rendering gives us a pretty good idea of what that car would look like, and, to be honest, it doesn’t look all that bad. Cadillac is said to be developing a new RWD small sedan to replace the BLS, and, if a coupe and convertible version were offered, we’re sure it would have some success in the U.S.

[Source: CWW Car Design]

 

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Rockford, Illinois decrees: Don’t pump up the volume

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It’s hard out there for a pimped out ride. As of this month, Rockford, Illinois will start seizing vehicles that play music too loudly. The kicker is that your car can be seized if someone merely accuses you of playing loud music, because “hearsay evidence shall be admissible.”

The ordinance is worded in a way that actually disallows many OEM stereos: “>”No person shall operate… any device used to… reproduce any recorded sound if the device is located… in any motor vehicle on the public way and the sound can be heard from 75 feet or more from the device.” And you don’t have to be playing music at the time — someone could have heard you blasting tunes on your way down the street and reported it to the police. By the time the police show up your stereo’s been silent for hours. But if the police determine there’s probable cause that it was you, your car goes away.

The fine is $150 to $750, plus $75 for towing and $20 per day for storage. If the officer has to wait more than an hour for the tow truck, it’s another $60 per hour for his or her time. And if you want to fight it, the city keeps your car while you go through the appeals process, charging you for storage fees, of course. Silent running might be the phrase to keep in mind while rolling through Rockford.

Thanks for the tip, F451!

[Source: The Newspaper]

 

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Autoblog Podcast #77

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We’re back with Autoblog Podcast #77, and it’s a Frankfurt-recap extravaganza. We discuss our favorite picks, as well as touching on some of the numerous highlights from the monster-sized show. We got a glimpse of the Jaguar XF in person, and it’s better in person, but can it save Jaguar? BMW unveiled the X6, it’s own AMC Spirit ripoff, not to be left behind by the Audi Cross Coupe Quattro from Shanghai. We continue on about exotic sheetmetal from Brabus, Schnitzer, Bentley, and Aston Martin, to name a few. On the more mundane tip, the Mazda 6 rocked, the Aveo was ugly, the Journey landed on its face, and could we please, please knock it off with the front quarter panel vents? After Alex’s speed-round wrapup, we discuss a solitary piece of non-Frankfurt news, the Jeep J8. Yes, it’s awesome, no, you can’t buy one. Damn, that’s stupid, Chrysler. Onward!

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VIDEO: See and hear the 650 HP Corvette ZR1 in action

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We’ve seen static spy shots of the upcoming Corvette ZR1 supercar before, but this is the first video we’ve seen of the car in action. While most of the video shows the 650 HP Corvette puttering along, we do get to hear the supercharged 6.2L LS9 V8 while cruising. The rumble emanating from the tail pipe is deep with lots of bass, so we can’t to see and hear one blast off to 60 MPH in 3.4 seconds. Near the end of the video we do get one clip of the ZR1 accelerating onto a highway, which is the closest we get to a full on aural assault from the engine. Only a couple of months remain until we expect the production car to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January, at which time we’ll learn exactly how much of the ZR1’s body will be made of carbon fiber and whether reports of a plexiglass window in the hood are true.

Check out the video after the jump.

[Source: Fast Lane Daily]

Continue reading VIDEO: See and hear the 650 HP Corvette ZR1 in action

 

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