Report: Toyota RAV4 EV lease gets cut in half to $299/month

Filed under: Car Buying, Crossover, Toyota, Electric

2013 Toyota RAV4 EV

If you’re in the market for a new electric vehicle, now is definitely the time to buy or lease. Following price drops on just about every other EV on the market, Toyota is looking to push a few more all-electric RAV4 crossovers out the door over the Labor Day weekend. The Detroit News is reporting that, through September 3, anyone looking to get into a RAV4 EV in Los Angeles or San Francisco, can get a deal: a $299 a month lease (no word on down payment, though) or zero-percent financing for 60 months for buyers.

The $49,800 RAV4 EV normally leases for twice as much – $599 a month – so this move could be an attempt to sell more of the 2,600 units Toyota has planned to produce. Or maybe, if you thought $599 was a fair price, you can now get two RAV4 Evs. Although temporary, the price drop comes at a time when many other EVs on the market have had their prices reduced, including the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Smart Fortwo ED and Honda Fit EV, not to mention already low prices for the Fiat 500e and Chevy Spark EV.

*Note: 2012 RAV4 EV pictured here

Toyota RAV4 EV lease gets cut in half to $299/month originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Read This: Ferrari vs. Ferrari: Cut convertibles unloved by collectors?

Filed under: Classics, Auctions, Ferrari

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4*S N.A.R.T. Spider by Scaglietti

The New York Times’ Wheels blog has a really interesting story on a pair of Ferraris that are set to be auctioned off in Monterey during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. While the two cars are similar on the surface, their differing histories and Ferrari’s attitude towards one of them has led to a sort of experimental auction process.

On the one hand, we have one of ten 1967 275 GTB/4 NART Spiders, in the classic Rosso Corsa and appearing at RM Auctions and seen above. On the other, we have a Fly Yellow version that started life as a 1965 275 GTB Coupe, and was converted into a NART Spider. Called a “cut” car, this particular replica is one of about 100 GTB Coupes that were converted into convertibles to satiate the climbing demand for ultra-rare Spiders.

This will mark one of the first times that an original NART Spider will go toe to toe with a replica of itself at auction, and will answer a number of questions about just how important provenance is in the collector car world. Head on over to The Times blog for the full story.

Ferrari vs. Ferrari: Cut convertibles unloved by collectors? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: UPS testing plastic trucks that cut weight by 1,000 pounds [w/video]

Filed under: Etc., Videos

plastic UPS truck

UPS tests composite delivery truck – Click above to watch the video after the jump

UPS is known for its amazing level of efficiency, and that reputation could soon extend to fuel savings thanks to a prototype dubbed CV-23. The delivery company has ordered five of these prototypes to be tested through the end of 2011, but this is no ordinary next-generation package hauler.

The CV-23 weighs about a thousand pounds less than the typical UPS truck, thanks to the fact that it is made with composite materials instead of metal. The lightweight materials could help UPS deliver up to 40 percent better fuel economy than the current UPS fleet truck. Those kinds of fuel economy gains can pay huge dividends in rural areas where trucks are required to drive large distances. And since the body panels are plastic, bumpers, panels and other parts can be replaced easily.

Hit the jump to watch video of the CV-23 as it is tested by UPS management. If the company is sufficiently impressed, the guys and gals in brown could order more trucks, potentially saving 84 million gallons of fuel per year. We’re guessing drivers will want to see some crash test data before seeing what brown plastic can do for them, but otherwise, this seems like a pretty good idea.

Continue reading UPS testing plastic trucks that cut weight by 1,000 pounds [w/video]

UPS testing plastic trucks that cut weight by 1,000 pounds [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 May 2011 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GM considering cut in full-size truck production

Filed under: Car Buying, Truck, Chevrolet, GM, GMC

2011 gmc sierra

2011 GMC Sierra – Click above for high-res image gallery

As the price of fuel rises, those shopping for automobiles began to take an even deeper look at their options before plunking down the greenbacks. It’s an economics carnival ride that never seems to stop running, and consumers can never stop riding. General Motors has been paying extra attention to the amount of trucks it’s selling, and it knows that a 111-day stockpile of full-size pickups is less than ideal.

One month is hardly a trend, however, and GM’s North American President Mark Reuss will be eyeballing the company’s pickup truck inventory as the weeks progress. Should the amount of trucks sitting on lot stay high, Reuss will have to scale back production of his full-size work horses.

As trucks sit and fuel prices rise, economy cars start to look more attractive to shoppers. GM saw a record number of Chevrolet Cruze sedans finding new homes in April. Even though its compacts are surging, trucks haven’t fallen completely flat. Year-to-date demand for pickups, despite falling last month, is still up compared to 2010.

GM considering cut in full-size truck production originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 May 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Extraction Zone app helps first responders safely cut through modern cars

Filed under: Safety, Technology

Extraction Zone

The more safety features and technology gets crammed into modern cars, the harder it gets for first responders to cut through them safely. Cutting someone out of a car is hard enough without having to worry about inadvertently triggering an airbag or hitting a power supply.

To solve that problem, the Extraction Zone mobile app includes maps of the vital systems of popular cars, like the Honda Civic Hybrid, to help EMTs and fire departments find a safe area to cut through. The app highlights structural supports, airbags, and power and propulsion systems to give rescuers an idea where to cut safely. There’s even a night mode to make the app more visible in low-light situations.

[Source: Bohemian Innovation]

Extraction Zone app helps first responders safely cut through modern cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 03 Apr 2011 18:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Mercedes-Benz Super Bowl ad director’s cut reveals C-Class Coupe, SLS AMG Roadster

Filed under: Etc., Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Mercedes-Benz Ad

Mercedes-Benz reveals new models in Super Bowl ad – click above to watch the video

Mercedes-Benz is throwing its hat into the Super Bowl advertising fray with a pretty new 60-second spot designed to celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary by heralding in a wave of five new models. The spot marks the very first time that the company has ever advertised during the NFL’s ultimate game. In the spot, Mercedes-Benz features four new vehicles, including a very quick peek at the upcoming C-Class Coupe and the SLS AMG Roadster.

The spot features many of the company’s past and current models escaping their owners in a bid to pay homage to the newborn Benz fleet. There are plenty of fantastic vintage Silver Arrows in the spot, along with a soundtrack by Janis Joplin and at least one celebrity cameo (we won’t spoil the surprise on that one). Hit the jump to check out the video for yourself.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz via Facebook]

Continue reading Video: Mercedes-Benz Super Bowl ad director’s cut reveals C-Class Coupe, SLS AMG Roadster

Video: Mercedes-Benz Super Bowl ad director’s cut reveals C-Class Coupe, SLS AMG Roadster originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Feb 2011 15:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Volvo to cut models, V50 first confirmed

Filed under: Wagon, Volvo

Volvo V50

Volvo wants to increase the number of units it sells each year in the U.S. So, it’s going to… um… cut the number of models it offers? It may seem a little bass-ackwards to those of us without a business degree, but that’s apparently the plan.

Says Doug Speck, head of Volvo’s operations in the U.S., “Five or six [models] is probably a good number… We have to focus on the key segments with significant volume potential.” At present, Volvo offers nine distinct nameplates, which means at least three have an appointment with a strange-looking man who wears a hooded black cape and carries a sickle.

According to Speck, the first model that will lose its lease on life is the V50 wagon. Others will follow, but not until Volvo’s dealer network is informed of their funeral proceedings. If we were betting men, we’d wager the C30, C70 and XC70 would be the first to get the axe, but we’ll know for sure soon enough.

The idea is to focus consumers’ limited attention spans and what little marketing budget the automaker has available on its core models: the S60 sedan along with the XC60 and XC90 crossovers. Volvo is counting on its revised strategy to post double-digit sales increases in 2011 after six straight years of declining figures.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req’d]

Report: Volvo to cut models, V50 first confirmed originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jan 2011 16:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Officially Official: 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe is ready to cut and thrust

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Coupe, Performance, BMW

2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe – Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW’s long, agonizing roll-out of information about the 2012 1 Series M Coupe has been a bit maddening. In addition to an early video reveal, we were invited to get some seat time in a prototype of the 1M, leaving us with just the final production-spec images and details in the world of the unknown. Well, wait no more – BMW has officially taken the wraps off of its hot new 1 Series, and while we’re still very eager to put this sporty coupe through its paces, we can’t help but wish for just a teensy bit more… oomph.

Let’s start with power. The 1 Series M Coupe uses BMW’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, and while early estimates had the car pumping out as much as 350 horsepower, the final numbers are: 335 hp and 332 pound-feet of torque – exactly what you get out of this engine in the current Z4 sDrive35is. The car’s ECU has an overboost function that provides an additional 37 lb-ft of twist at full tilt, and with your foot pressed hard into the right pedal, 0-60 will happen in just 4.7 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited at – you guessed it – 155 miles per hour.

2012 BMW 1 Series M CoupeThe only transmission available is a six-speed manual, though rumors have circulated about a possible twin-clutch DCT box making its way into the car down the road. Like all M cars, the 1M features an M Drive button on the steering wheel that improves throttle response. Additionally, the car is equipped with an M Dynamic Mode button that allows the electronic driving nannies to kick in slightly later than normal.

Compared to a 2011 135i coupe, the 1M is 0.2 inches longer, 2.1 inches wider and 0.5 inches taller. Both the front and rear tracks have been increased by 2.8 and 1.8 inches, respectively. Weighing in at 3,296 pounds, the 1 Series M Coupe is 77 pounds lighter than your off-the-shelf 135i. The 1M rides on standard M-specific 19-inch wheels wrapped in 245/35 rubber up front and beefy 265/35 out back. BMW hasn’t made great strides to rework the 1 Series’ interior for the M, but things like sport seats and a fat sport steering wheel are standard fare.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re drooling over the 1 Series M Coupe, but we can’t help but wish for a bit more power and perhaps a larger reduction in weight. After all, BMW is comparing this car to the E30 M3 coupe (see for yourself in our high-res image gallery), which is perhaps one of our all-time favorite Roundel sports cars. Still, BMW needs to position the 1 Series M Coupe in a way that it doesn’t step on the toes of it’s big brother, the M3, and we’re sure that this M Coupe treatment will provide more than enough moxie for us enthusiasts to get our kicks.

We’ll have plenty of live shots direct from the 1M’s Detroit Auto Show debut, but see the unwrapped beauty for yourself in our image gallery, below. BMW’s prolific press release is available after the jump, as well.

Gallery: 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

[Source: BMW]

Continue reading Officially Official: 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe is ready to cut and thrust

Officially Official: 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe is ready to cut and thrust originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 09 Dec 2010 19:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford still hoping to cut 10% of its dealer network

Filed under: Car Buying, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury

Ford may have come through the automotive implosion relatively unscathed, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t still trying to trim its costs. According to Automotive News, Ford wants to consolidate its dealer network by closing the doors on some 300 lots. The reason? While the automotive market is slowly improving, no one expects to see the kind of buying levels enjoyed before 2009 anytime soon. As a result, Ford wants to boost the profitability of its dealer network by reducing the number of outlets available to consumers.

While you’d expect dealers to be up in arms over such an announcement, Ford says that, by and large, its showrooms are behind the move. The company’s relationship with its dealer network recently hit an all-time high, putting Ford in a good position to push the consolidation effort.

The move to trim outlets is also bolstered by the fact that there are 261 Lincoln-Mercury dealerships out there, and with Mercury on its way to the back lot in the sky, those dealers will likely be exploring other options. And with Ford currently operates a total of 3,338 dealerships in the States, a sacrifice of 10% seems more than reasonable.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req. | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]

Report: Ford still hoping to cut 10% of its dealer network originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jeep XJ001 Prototype makes us want to grow a mustache, wear jean cut-offs

Filed under: Concept Cars, Jeep, Off-Road

1969 Jeep XJ001

1969 Jeep XJ001 Prototype – Click above for image gallery

We spend more than a few moments of our day on the “what ifs” of the automotive world. What if Jaguar decided to get back into the supercar game? What if Ford made a Bronco with Raptor underpinnings? What if Jeep finally decided to build another pickup? Even so, we’ve never wondered what a sports car built by the off-road kings at Jeep would look like. Fortunately, we don’t have to. In 1969, Jeep got it in its mind to build a vehicle with the road manners of your average car, the off-road prowess of its rugged CJ line and a meaty V8 up front.

The result was the XJ001 Prototype. With a unique fiberglass body and a windshield-frame that doubled as a roll-bar, the design wasn’t exactly the most attractive creation on four wheels. But the concept packed a 360 cubic-inch V8 behind its headlights and the beginnings of a Quadratrac all-wheel drive system down below, making it an unholy terror on or off road. The ridiculously optimistic nature of the beast has us entirely smitten, but unfortunately, the XJ001 is nowhere to be found today. The truck/car hybrid met its end during a shipping accident where it burnt to the ground.

Gallery: 1969 Jeep XJ001 Prototype

[Source: Off Road Action]

Jeep XJ001 Prototype makes us want to grow a mustache, wear jean cut-offs originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Sep 2010 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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