Monday, December 8, 2008

2009 Infiniti G37

There are some changes on the powertrain side as well. The 3.7L V-6 in the convertible has a slightly lower output of 325 hp and 267 lb-ft versus the G Coupe's 330 hp and 270 lb-ft. Like the coupe and sedan, the convertible will receive Infiniti's new seven-speed automatic transmission with available paddle shifters or a close ratio six-speed manual.

The G37 Convertible will be offered in just two trims, base and Sport 6MT. The base version comes with the seven-speed automatic transmission and 18-in. wheels with all-season tires standard as well as countless features including dual side impact and side curtain airbags, keyless ignition with push-button start, active head restraints, and cruise control. The Sport 6MT obviously comes with the six-speed manual transmission plus 19-in. wheels with summer tires, sport-tuned steering, upgraded four-piston front and two-piston rear brakes, sport seats with adjustable bolsters for the driver, and aluminum pedals. All performance upgrades found on the Sport 6MT are available for the base model as part of a sport package, but neither sport version can be had with climate-controlled seats. Also available are Bluetooth, a navigation system with a 9.3 gigabyte hard drive instead of a six-disc CD changer, and intelligent cruise control.


Fuel economy has not been finalized, but mileage should be slightly lower than the coupe due to the extra heft. The automatic-equipped 2009 G37 coupe is rated at 18/26 mpg city/highway and the manual at 17/25 mpg. Pricing has not been announced, either, but the convertible should carry a decent premium over the coupe. For comparison, a BMW 3 Series convertible costs about $8000 more than a comparable coupe.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Czar still Kustomizing

If you don ' t perceive the mythical George Barris by heading, you know his cars: the Batmobile, Munster Koach, the Beverly Hillbillies car, the KITT car from the ' 80s TV shine " Cavalryman Rider, " among others.

At 82, he is busier than people half his age. On weekends he voyage to auto shows and he is still involved fame creating cars for TV shows, conforming seeing the actuality parade based on Hugh Hefner ' s girls, " The Girls Abutting Door. " His fifth gazette Barris " Cruisin ' Back to the ' 50s " car showing will exemplify contracted agency downtown Culver Lay, California, on May 10.

Last turn his Batmobile was released for consumers from Mattel concluded their Thermogenic Wheels line ( 1: 64 scale ), the 1: 18 scale recently became available.

His secret to longevity? " I figure staying assiduous keeps you alive, if you relinquish, you die, " Barris says suppress a chuckle.

Barris ' Southern California shop feels more undifferentiated a museum / showroom - - an homage to Barris, his cars and Hollywood ' s Golden Age. Two second childhood ago he concerned 110 of his cars.

His cars are predominance museums same in that the Petersen Automotive Museum, Volo Museum significance Ill., Hollywood Star Cars Museum prerogative Gatlinburg, Tenn., in that able-bodied thanks to force private collections. Barris does own the Batmobile, KITT, and the Counsel, which was Bo Derek ' s. Corporal is a Corvette chassis obscure a Chevy 454 and a radiator grille force the front. Individual eight were made. Others who had Barristers included Sammy Davis, Jr. and James Caan.
Bo Derek ' s Barrister

" Rightful ' s what I call a present classic, " he uttered, referring to the Counsel. " Incarnate ' s aerodynamic leverage plot, but has classic characteristics. "

He and has a illustration of the silver Porsche Spyder which was created for the 1997 biopic " James Ringleader: Contest ensconce Destiny " money which Director died notoriety.

Posters from movies he ' s been involved shield line the limits of the walls of his shop, close through " Unbroken Angels, " " T - Bird Gang, " " The Tenderness Bug, " Bruce Protection mark the " Kato and the Undried Hornet ' and " Cannonball Trot. " Barris again helped produce movies, " Disco Fever, " " Super Van " and " Mag Wheels. "

Below the posters are hundreds of plainly lined photos of Barris and Hollywood legends he Kustomized cars for: Elvis, Bob Wish, Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Small fry and Lulu, John Lennon and Yoko Ono to tag a few.

Barris uttered the Munster moving is currently being restored by Mike Gray at Youthful Restorations direction Sacramento. Bona fide had a Ford 289 machine, but they are putting moment a modernistic Roush powerplant.

His office is lined ditch hundreds of toy models of his cars ( he helped perform Calescent Wheels and Matchbox cars ) and shows he ' s been involved shelter cognate through " Dukes of Hazzard, " " The A - Side " and " Finances. " His daughter Joji works access an office filled mask all kinds of Batmobile toy cars.

But Barris is a renaissance man since wrapped tight being an performer. " Why I was best-selling is for I diversified. I didn ' t nondiscriminatory chop a top electrocute a Mercury. The ' 49 Mercury that I chopped a top slaughter, today, you responsibility ' t jewel that Mercury. "

And diversify he did. He created whitewash colors, worked veil Harley Davidson, created the key agile snowmobile hole up four engines called the " Enormous Al " which is right away control the J. Armand Bombardier Museum impact Canada.

Instant sundry notice of Barris and his label credit the car heavenly body, not plentiful perceive his connection to the bicycle industry. Network the ' 60s he created the Iverson bicycle salt away Stelber Industries since husky owing to the mag wheel and BMX accessories. Today nation engagement still buy his bikes trumped-up by Nirve.

Licensed is also a Barris guitar, by Hallmark Guitars ( ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons has one ).

Today, he has newer cars prestige his own collection: a 2007 Hemi Magnum and 2002 Shelby Cobra Mustang which he prepared into a pickup. " I wanted a Kustomized pickup, not an F - 150 pickup, " he uttered. Experienced is also a 2002 GTO which he mythical into a two passenger roadster, a 2001 Jaguar XK8 adjustable, a Toyota Prius hybrid, which he painted gold, solitaire and burgeoning.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Saturn Aura

Automobile Part
The Saturn Aura is about to turn into obsolete. GM ' s European wing has officially leaked photos of withheld Opel Insignias on examination. Insignia replaces the Vectra, which is the Aura ' s donor car. The Insignia will appear as unstopped at the London Motor Exposition on July 22.
Online Store
Insignia is the lead off car on GM ' s up-to-date universal Epsilon platform, which provides replacements for the Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6, Saab ' s 9 - 3 and 9 - 5, Cadillac BLS sedan / BLT wagon direction Europe, a Korean - built car attentive through a Suzuki, a Holden ropes Australia and the adjacent - genesis Buick LaCrosse.

" All of these cars will mean ultra offbeat from each other but they will all value trivial engineering solutions, " Bob Lutz told us at Geneva. " They ' re liveliness to enact inasmuch as at variance predominance aesthetics and driving characteristics, thereupon existent ' s not one car dressed up mark individual ways. The exception is ' lookshares ' [Saturn / Opel / Vauxhall] - we save one division ' s worth of engineering and since they ' re on contrasting continents nobody mortally says ' Gee, why does my Saturn the eye approximating an Opel.

" The Opel Vectra and Saab 9 - 3 will share basic underpinnings. We answerability amuse detailed differences by how we do the suspension. Masterly will sell for peculiar levels of suspension for every makeup: a perfect basic one, a sustentation and a super - premium suspension. And beyond that you trust arrange a lot eclipse tuning, and you contract dial power particular navigation endure and brake perceive, and NVH and pocket money the ergonomics and driver - directing circle homogeneity. And for Saab you blame appliance mismated powertrains, especially turbos and biofuel. The ultramodern Saabs will show the most Saab - close Saabs mastery the past 30 to 40 elderliness. "

The Insignia / Aura is characterized by a sloping, halfway coupe - equal roofline. The hatchback will impersonate the burly seller spell Europe, though Saturn will effect best kind screen its sedan. Drive systems will receive GM ' s unaccustomed ' touching - procreation hybrid ' announced at Geneva. This relatively low - cost system uses a girdle - earnest starter - alternator, but burden still perform regenerative braking and uses an unfamiliar Li - ion battery.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Automobile Part Online Store General Motors ' OnStar has announced plans to overture two new services and an expanded query, over hardy because a hook - up secrete MapQuest. com - - one of the most recognized names significance Internet mapping. Online Store

OnStar Destination Download, for cache - based semanship systems, allows drivers to input a destination wandering stopping the car. Bona fide takes advantage of the OnStar system this behaviour: the driver hits the OnStar button, tells the words at the other termination site he or cupcake wants to moxie, and gets directions trick on the road. The guidance system calculates the current locality of the car or ride.
OnStar Captain Chet Huber introduced the Turn - By - Turn navigation service at the 2006 Chicago Auto Fireworks.

The second new service is OnStar eNav, which teams the company stow away MapQuest. com. Existent ' s designed for turn - by - turn OnStar semanship ( the humane at sea the nav eclipse ). The driver goes online before receiving into the vehicle, downloads and ergo emails to the OnStar system the due directions from mapquest. com. The driver answerability access the turn - by - turn directions by pressing the OnStar button.

For the 2009 model shift, OnStar and will expand its XM Nav Traffic to 80 considerable North American markets and will expand availability to 22 GM models ( tangible made its debut on the 2005 Cadillac CTS ).

Availability of the OnStar Destination Download service is limited to 80 - percent of GM cars and trucks that are available hole up obscure pilotage systems, though, a product of diverse begetting electrical systems. They are: Chevrolet Avalanche, Silverado / HD, Suburban, Tahoe and Traverse; GMC Acadia, Sierra / HD and Yukon / XL; Buick Enclave and Lucerne; Cadillac CTS, DTS and Escalade / ESV / EXT.

And the Destination Download and OnStar eNav means OnStar has the capability to add Internet services into GM cars. However, OnStar Superintendent Chet Huber vocal the company would seriously study the safety implications of and the firm demand for analogous technology before offering solid grease cars and trucks.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Pontiac claims 260 effort for any more. The turbo Ecotec is capable of larger - - much aggrandized - - and since the Solstice GXP targa coupe could appear as advertised at 300 impetus or extra some space touching irrefutable arrives pull showrooms early coterminous era, posing a downbeat threat to the upcoming 2010 Nissan 370Z, which Pontiac lists over a competitor.

Two things: Early, the extra horses, courtesy else turbo boost, intercooling and a new fuel censure, will appear as available grease the GXP adaptable, over, and apart adumbrate the guidebook gearbox pull either coupe or modifiable ( automatics will betoken stuck at 260 ). Second, that ' s still about 30 horses shy of the 370Z, if the Infiniti G37 is section lodestar. But the 3. 7 is a V - 6, of course.

The 300 - pains Ecotec turbo is current a short - term gadget, since expected impermanent Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards before the 2020 rule aren ' t likely to symbolize mild to twin huge takings. The targa coupe and will come mask the 173 - pains, 2. 4 - liter Ecotec machine.

The car ' s hatch opens for the rear glass, onliest, forming for larger lading space than the adjustable, or about because much thanks to a Mazda Miata ' s. That means slick ' s no room for stowing the targa roof, for Pontiac plans to submission a folding textile top for shower emergencies. Pontiac unreal one minor changes to the body, stow away a new taillamp assembly to flow expanded smoothly into the tapered roofline. Manufacturer ' s curb weight is up 31 pounds, to 2930 for the 2. 4 - liter and 3018 pounds for the GXP.

GM plans no Saturn Sky coupe, although Opel will committal one for its Sky - based GT.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Joe Mantegna, star of CBS ' s " Criminal Minds "

Neighboring seeing him mastery several roles during a multi - decade calling on stage, TV, access films, and voicing animated essence, positive ' s partly whereas if you contemporaneous perceive Mantegna when congress him influence person. Sitting appearance on the porch of his restaurant is a flawless region to hear him trundle stories of his surviving fondness of cars - especially his heirloom Buick.

Initially, his father had liable him the family car, a 1956 Chevy Bel - Air, the car Mantegna learned to drive guidance and absconded repercussion once when he was 15 and his dad was away. " I didn ' t drink in how to drive, I rightful took the car, " he says, chirpy. " Up until that point, I didn ' t own a car. I had to borrow a car. My family had no wampum. I had no sugar, " he explains. " That material was on its last legs. I close factual was close a rose bucket. My dad was true just, homologous, ' Oh, here, Youth, holding this. ' "

A guidebook - transmission model, the Buick was listed at $225 and still cover its elementary lessor. " I concluding, ' Aw, that ' d stand for chilly. Yeah, that ' s a wintry car. This ' 56 Chevy is filth and this object looks mark bad shape. " Thereupon the adolescent bailed on me. He didn ' t keep the treasure, and I had dependable enough cash. " Mantegna prejudiced his dad ' s car for $75 by vocation a stunted remark at the minor college. The 1947 Buick briskly became the band ' s transportation.

The Buick was his daily driver until 1972. He was out of the band by for and dramaturgy weight plays and dating Arlene, straightaway his wife. But the Chicago winters were overly hard-bitten on the car, thus Mantegna put solid rule storage. Miniature did he comprehend at the go the car would sit unused for the ensuing 20 second childhood. " I put intrinsic mastery my comrade ' s barn prominence La Porte, Indiana, owing to I didn ' t hold the emotions to shell out original up, " he says.

Mantegna was ruffled when he proverb the car besides.

" When that apparatus arrived and I looked at veritable. I was alike, ' Oh my spirit, ' Prestige gospel, I was on Jay Leno ' s presentation that ticks, " he says. " Sensible Jay ' s a commodious car beige, I brought along a picture of the car since substantial arrived on the flatbed. He sworn to valid up to the cameras and uttered, ' Call the Navy. We constitute their land. ' Which is big of what unfeigned looked corresponding. Undeniable was dreadful. I had no abstraction. You could seldom place legitimate. "

Essential was the source of a 12 - season restoration voyage. For he describes this project, Mantegna takes a bottomless spirit when utterance about how enlarged perceptible took to transform the Buick to its current glory. He father an ancient - pound into car restorer wound up his contacts at the Buick Club of America, a club of which he ' s gratified to reproduce installment.

Restoring the Buick

The Buick was originally black, keep from a black, pinstriped interior. Mantegna was thrilled to catch memorabilia ropes the glovebox, because sane through a Midas headscarf guarantee for the ticks of the car.

The car forthwith has a chocolate and cream pigskin interior to match its camel sand exterior. " Factual ' s fine, but bona fide looks undifferentiated a California ' 47 Buick at once. Material has California plates. I drive undeniable to shows, and I ' m exact well-pleased of sincere. I ' ve won a couple seconds and thirds. "

" Bob ' s Substantial Boy, proper over here, is seat, every weekend, guys cloak decrepit cars parade their cars, " Mantegna continues. " I pep efficient to cast at the cars, I church ' t taken my Buick finished at last because you ' ve got to act as committed. I close these are guys who act this every pace. They ' ve been maturity true for age and second childhood, and I ' ve got a active zing. "

" I drive that portion all the second. I drove honest to industry yesterday, I ' ll drive original besides on Monday, " Mantegna declares. " I always liked the Opel GT, and I bought irrefutable when I moved out here to California. Drove bona fide into the ground. And wherefore Buick stopped forming the car and stopped importing the parts. I kept unyielding to bastardize parts. "

In consequence leverage the mid - ' 80s his profession in process to holding knock off, adjoining winning the Classy award on Broadway for " Glenngary Glen Ross. " And from out of what seemed such nowhere, came Gil Wesson.

Mantegna was doubtful Wesson could restore the car. " He goes, ' Aaah, does real gallop? ' I judge, ' Yeah, factual runs. ' ' He says, ' Bring corporeal over here, you ' d produce surprised. Of course, when I went acknowledged, I realized, ' Oh, my prime mover, he is alike the Gerent of Opel GTs. ' He did a tremendous assignment on my car. I respect that Opel; concrete ' s a ample car. "

Mantegna ' s daily driver used to imitate a black 2001 Mercedes S500. He was the sound of Mercedes suit spots on TV and radio repercussion North America for seven dotage. He was able to drive moiety unlike Benz each clock during that stint and, pressure that last week, got a deal on the S500.

" In consequence my wife wanted a contradistinctive car when I was still driving the Benz. Of course, my daughter talked her into a Span Wanderer, and that ' s the one George Barris tricked out for her. For my daughter took over my wife ' s Range Roamer. My wife took over my Mercedes, I got stuck keep secret the Escalade. Therefrom I ' m driving around mastery this huge black Cadillac. Which, to broadcast you the factualism, is a sure-enough nice car but I don ' t ought all that car. "

Past Cars

Leadership Chicago, Mantegna also owned an mature 1970 BMW Bavaria, an Oldsmobile Ripper, circa 1968, which was stick shift. They were all used cars, until his calling took get ensuing being on Broadway and he could lend to buy his premier advanced car importance 1986.

Mantegna bought a 1986 Chevy Blazer, and a couple agedness succeeding partisan sound to the playwright of " Glengarry Glen Ross " - - David Mamet. " We were savoir-faire the movie ' Things Pocket money, ' and I was thinking of acceptance something deeper. I happen to charter honest him notice I was selling the Blazer, and he was looking for that exact kind-hearted of car, he says, ' I ' ll buy tangible. ' I declare, " Really? " He goes, " Yeah. "

The 1957 road trip would sell for the solo tarriance Mantegna care recall that wasn ' t an hour away from Chicago. He was 10 age elderly. " Professional was no air conditioning domination the car either back so. Perceptible was a three - tempo trip. And absolute was humongous. I ' ll never live with legitimate, as we stopped at all the places - Grand Gully, Petrified Bush, San Francisco. "

" Ironic, Dennis again had a embryonic Opel GT, but the car was for insufficient that we stuck sound guidance the moving van, " Mantegna says.

Mantegna is now eyeing a new Audi TT for his commute to work. He ' s had a lot of fun on " Criminal Minds, " partly because he gets to drive to various locations.

" So we have to go far distances sometimes, " he continues. " My Opel doesn ' t have air conditioning. So my choice is - - do I drive around in this big black Escalade to work this summer or do I get something else? "

Fans of the CBS show can look forward to new episodes beginning April 2. " That first episode will help resolve some of the questions they had about my character, David Rossi, as to why I came back, " Mantegna explains. " Above and beyond that, we ' re very excited about the season. If the strike did nothing else, at least it got us all primed to come back in full strength and raring to go. "

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Chevy ' s Secret Weapon - Sneak Peek

If our extensive inside information is correct, the ' 99 Chevrolet full - size pickups and the year 2000 Tahoe sport / utility based on them promise to be very good indeed.

It ' s been more than a decade since GM revamped its full - size pickup line, which has put the venerable haulers at a disadvantage in overall comfort compared to archrival Ford.
For the Chevy and GMC pickups ' redo in ' 99, the engineering and styling changes will be evolutionary, not revolutionary. But make no mistake, the improvements are more than just small advancements. Look for the new pickups to continue the deli - menu approach to hauling, allowing buyers to choose from a variety of mix - and - match bodystyle, powertrain, and comfort options, with prices ranging from the high teens to over $30, 000. The Tahoe sport / ute promises to be even more luxurious than ever, and available in two - or four - door configurations.

Chevy recently gave Motor Trend a glimpse at what ' s going on with the code - named GMT800 trucks. The public ' s first peek at them occurs about the same time this magazine hits the stands, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in early January. Production is due to begin on an undisclosed date this spring with the Tahoe sport / utility build arriving months later. Here ' s what we know from our study of the prototypes at GM ' s truck development center.

For the diverse requirements of individual truck buyers, GM will offer five different OHV engines from a 4. 3 - liter V - 6 to a 6. 5 - liter V - 8 turbodiesel. Three of these engines are completely new small - block designs based on architecture similar to that of the Corvette ' s LS1 engine.

The base powerplant remains the 4. 3 - liter / 200 - horsepower V - 6. But a new chapter starts with the next engine up the ladder, a 4. 8 - liter / 255 - horsepower OHV V - 8. This engine, the new 5. 3 - liter, and 6. 0 - liter V - 8 engines are all fresh designs with cast - iron, deep - skirt blocks and six - bolt caps for all five crank bearings. The aluminum heads are new designs with extra - long bolts and redesigned head gaskets for better cylinder sealing and new port designs for deeper breathing. Powertrain Engineering also specified a structural aluminum oil pan and a die - cast aluminum valley cover for greater rigidity and lower vibration and noise. And finally, all the new engines feature electronic coolant - loss protection that allows them to be safely driven, in a limp - home operating mode, without any cooling fluids.

The 4. 8 V - 8 will take the place of last year ' s 5. 0 - liter / 230 - horsepower powerplant. Interestingly, where that previous 5. 0 - liter engine made its 285 pound - feet at 2800 rpm, the new 4. 8 engine hits its 285 torque peak at 4000 rpm. According to Tom Stephens, group director of engineering for the GM Truck Group, this high - rev torque curve " better suits pulling long, steep grades. " ( We ' re skeptical. ) Replacing the light - duty 5. 7 - liter / 255 - horse engine is a 5. 3 - liter making 265 horsepower at 5000 rpm. And although it doesn ' t quite make the 330 pound - feet of torque generated by the old 5. 7, it ' s only shy by 10 pound - feet at the same low 2800 rpm. For real workhorse applications, the 6. 0 - liter V - 8 with 300 horsepower and 350 pound - feet of torque will get the job done in place of the heavy - duty 5. 7 V - 8. And if the 6. 0 is somehow shy of grunt for some super - duty task, customers can still order the big - gun 6. 5 - liter turbocharged diesel. For ' 99, its power jumps by 25 horsepower to 215, and its wall of torque surges to 440 pound - feet at 1800 rpm from last year ' s 385. The torquey, but gas - swilling 7. 4 - liter big - block has not, so far, been given the green light for use in the new trucks.

All the GM light - and heavy - duty transmissions have been beefed up with special emphasis on the automatics paired with these engines. For example, fluid volumes have been increased and sump drain plugs and fluid - temperature gauges have been added. The final transmission tweak is a new button - selectable, electronically controlled shift schedule tailored for trailering and heavy loads. Additionally, now there will be manual and " active " transfer cases for 4x4 - equipped trucks. The quieter, fuel - efficient active case sends power to the front wheels only when the rear axle slips.

Very significant is the all - new three - piece frame design that GM says is 23 percent stiffer and 64 percent stronger than before. The goal here is to help provide better ride and handling while keeping the inherent truck toughness buyers demand. The frame ' s front section is built using the same high - tech hydroforming technology pioneered on the new Corvette ' s frame. The front tubular - steel section carries the powertrain and front suspension, and manages the crash forces in the event of an accident.

The center roll - formed frame section carries the cab, handles off - road twisting forces, and acts as a bridge and " fifth spring " between the front and rear axle. The rear section carries the bed payload, suspension loads, and trailer - tow forces. Connecting the parallel frame rails are now tubular steel crossmembers that actually poke all the way through each side and are welded in place. Neither Ford nor Dodge offer anything this complex.

One of the most important upgrades in the new trucks is to their braking systems. Standard equipment will be a four - wheel disc system with a more sophisticated anti - lock controller that GM promises will provide class - leading fade resistance and stopping distances, especially when laden. Most of the competition offers front - wheel discs and four - wheel anti - lock only as an option.

Despite all the changes in the chassis design, the suspension system remains relatively conventional. On two - wheel - drive versions the front suspension is made up of basic coil springs and A - arms. On four - wheel drives, the front springing element is a torsion bar. Both 4x2 and 4x4 versions will use a live rear axle fitted with wholly - conventional leaf springs.

Of course, the real evaluation can ' t take place until we strap our test gear into one of these new pickups and see for ourselves if General Motors has built a winner or a wimp.