Study: Updated J.D. Power APEAL study shines on VW Group, Chevy

Filed under: Car Buying, Chevrolet, Porsche, Volkswagen

2013 Volkswagen full line parked in field

J.D. Power has just revealed the results of its 2013 APEAL Study, which looks at which brands have the most appealing cars based on sales figures, dealer inventory, brand loyalty, transaction and trade-in prices. The study was revamped for 2013, and places a larger focus on the new tech and infotainment options available to customers. All told, study participants gauged their vehicles on 77 different attributes, delivering a score out of a 1,000 points.

The Volkswagen Group had the greatest success of any corporation, topping the APEAL rankings with the Audi Allroad, Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayenne, VW GTI and Passat. Chevrolet had the highest number of awards for a single brand, though, with the Avalanche, Sonic and Volt all taking home a prize.

The best brand overall was Porsche, which scored 884 out of a possible 1,000 points. The top Japanese brand was Lexus with a score of 847, while the top American brand was Cadillac, at 841. The best mainstream brand was Ram, which received a very respectable 817. The industry average for this year’s study was 795, with 16 brands, all of which were mainstream, falling below the average.

There were a few surprises for the individual model awards, as well. The Buick Encore took the sub-compact CUV class, while the Ford Mustang was the winner of the mid-size sporty car segment. The Lincoln MKZ beat out the BMW 3 Series, Cadillac ATS, and a spate of others to capture the compact premium car segment. Finally, the redesigned Land Rover Range Rover was the first vehicle outside of the large premium car segment to net the highest overall score. For more details, scroll down to read the official press release.

Continue reading Updated J.D. Power APEAL study shines on VW Group, Chevy

Updated J.D. Power APEAL study shines on VW Group, Chevy originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Watchdog group blasts report that exonerates Toyota

Filed under: Government/Legal, Toyota

unhappy Toyota windshield sticker

Remember the reports released by NASA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which concluded that Toyota’s electronic systems were not to blame for cases of unintended acceleration? Watchdog group Safety Research & Strategies has a 51-page bone to pick with those papers.

According to The Safety Record, the advocacy group’s publication, Safety Research & Strategies took a deep dive into unintended acceleration research reports. The group also obtained previously unreleased portions of the report, and the results seem to contradict the very defense that Toyota is using in its UA-related lawsuits.

The unreleased documents show that NASA was able to find electronics failures, which could cause unintended acceleration. Per The Safety Record, these research efforts were heavily influenced by Toyota and limited in scope. In fact, more of the research has yet to be revealed.

These are bold claims by Safety Research & Strategies, and you can read its findings by heading to SR&S website. This new report could spell serious trouble for the automaker, if the allegations are found to be accurate.

Watchdog group blasts report that exonerates Toyota originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 May 2011 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: BMW Group design boss von Hooydonk talks 328 Hommage

Filed under: Concept Cars, Classics, Convertible, Performance, Europe, Videos, BMW, Misc. Auto Shows, Luxury

BMW 328 Hommage Concept

BMW 328 Hommage concept with Adrian von Hooydonk – Click above to watch the video after the break

While at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este (yeah, we’re roughing it here) we grabbed BMW Group chief of design Adrian von Hooydonk for an interview about his team’s latest two-person open-top concept car, the 328 Hommage.

The 328 Hommage marks 75 years since the launch of the gorgeous 1930s icon, the 328, and carries on the tradition of that car in its lightness. While the 328 six-cylinder was underpowered on paper in its day, it kicked butt on the race circuit due to its very light weight and superior dynamics.

The 328 Hommage frankly looks more like an homage to the 1950s sex-tastic 507, but at least the concept gets the open sides, leather straps, and wingnut wheels fairly correct. And we like that the tall kidneys on the grille make a modern return.

Von Hooydonk admits that the 328 Hommage isn’t proportionally much like the 328 of old, but, he says, “Any sports car today needs to be wider and lower anyway.” We, however, harken back to the 2006 Mille Miglia coupe concept, which simply blew one and all away. That car also went directly from its public unveiling into the BMW museum in Munich, never to be seriously driven.

Click through to the jump to continue reading and to watch the video.

Continue reading BMW Group design boss von Hooydonk talks 328 Hommage

BMW Group design boss von Hooydonk talks 328 Hommage originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 May 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Supplier group says Saab owes millions

Filed under: Saab, Earnings/Financials, Spyker

Saaab show stand

The negative news for Saab continues to spill out, and the latest bit of gossip continues to paint a dark picture for the Swedish automaker. Reuters reports that parts suppliers are looking to collect on “tens of millions of crowns” in unpaid invoices (10M crowns is around $1.58M U.S. dollars).

Work stoppages and missed sales targets have folks speculating that things aren’t going as planned for the Spyker-owned company. Now, this news of Saab being unable to pay those supplying parts only adds fuel to the fire and suggests that production at its Trollhättan plant may not resume soon. For its part, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that production probably won’t resume until next week – if Saab can come to terms with its suppliers.

The total amount of money that Saab owes has not been verified, but it’s apparently enough that suppliers are no longer willing to continue to provide parts until the financial issue has been cleared up. The issue could simply be that a few key suppliers are wary of Saab’s slow sales and are increasingly unwilling to extend the automaker credit, or it could be that Saab has fallen well behind on its obligations – or it might be a combination of the two.

Saab had previously repeatedly stated that its business plan is fully financed through 2012. Top tip, Louis!

[Sources: Reuters, The Wall Street Journal – sub. req. | Image: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty]

Report: Supplier group says Saab owes millions originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 14:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason headlining classic car investment group?

Filed under: Classics, Earnings/Financials, Celebrities

Nick Mason drives the 1937 Auto Union Type D at Goodwood

Nick Mason drives the 1937 Auto Union Type D at Goodwood

Classic rock fans recognize Nick Mason as the drummer from Pink Floyd, but classic car enthusiasts know him just as well for his automobile collection and regular column in Octane magazine. Now the musician/car nut is headlining a different kind of group: an investment fund.

Based on the growth in value of some of the top collector cars the past few years, IGA Automobile is putting together a portfolio of historically significant and highly collectible cars for its investors. The new investment fund targets raising $150 million in capital and turning it around over the course of seven years to earn its investors a 15% profit. To get there, IGA is looking at buying cars like Ferrari 250 GTO, Aston Martin DB4 Zagato, Ford GT40, McLaren F1, Shelby Daytona Coupe and Porsche 917 and selling them at a profit.

The fund has solid basis for its financial projections: record prices have been fetched in the past few years by such exemplary automobiles as a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa ($12 million), a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder ($11 million) and a 1936 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic (~$35 million). Overall, Hagerty’s “Cars That Matter” index rates prices for collectible postwar automobiles as having gone up 67% from 2006 to the end of last year, compared to the S&P 500 Index, which dropped 5.9% over the same time period.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Mark Thompson/Getty]

Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason headlining classic car investment group? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 30 Jan 2011 13:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: When Group B monsters roamed the earth

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Audi, Porsche, Ferrari, Renault, Peugeot, Lancia

Group B monsters in action – Click above to watch video after the jump

Though it only existed for four short years, Group B racing has continued to captivate fans of all ages. From 1982 through 1986, motorsports enthusiasts around the world gathered en masse to watch Lancia, Audi, Renault and Peugeot battle for supremacy. Ferrari and Porsche even got in on the action with the legendary 288 GTO and 959, respectively. The cars were lightweight, powerful and sounded like they built in Hell by the Devil himself. In other words, the cars were a sight to behold and a treat to the ears. They were also incredibly dangerous.

Large groups of people stood on the edge of the road as the beasts rumbled by at triple-digit speeds. Accidents happened and there were a number of fatal incidents for both drivers and viewers alike. In 1986, the FIA banned Group B cars, but the legendary vehicles are still held in high regard. If you need a refresher, roar past the jump to watch the Group B monsters in action.

Once you’ve watched the clip, sound off in the comments and let us know what you think would be the most terrifying vehicle to try and pilot. Group B cars are near the top of the list but we’re sure you can think of some others… Top Fuel Dragsters, board-track racers, land-speed record streamliners…

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: When Group B monsters roamed the earth

Video: When Group B monsters roamed the earth originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Jan 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: “Hardcore hip-hop” group halts major Cali freeway for impromptu concert

Filed under: Videos, Celebrities, Humor

Imperial Stars

The members of Imperial Stars – Click above to watch video after the jump

There are plenty of ways to make a name for yourself in the music world. You could have Kanye West steal the spotlight from you during an awards ceremony, start a blood feud with another group of artist or, if you’re really desperate, stop traffic on a major interstate and force unsuspecting commuters to listen to your questionable lyrics. That’s exactly what the Westminister, California-based group Imperial Stars went for yesterday. The trio of self-described “hardcore hip hop” artists parked a box truck across three lanes of traffic on I-101, jumped on top of the vehicle and began rocking out.

The driver of the truck allegedly left the scene in another vehicle with the keys, forcing responding police officers to call a tow truck to remove the impromptu stage. According to The Orange County Register, police began getting calls about the road hazard at 10:20 and traffic quickly backed up to I-401. The three members of Imperial Stars were charged with unlawful assembly.

Before the stunt, the band released a YouTube video for its song “Traffic Jam 101.” Judging from that performance, we’re hoping the responding officers to Tuesday’s stunt were awarded hazard pay. Hit the jump to see footage from the freeway and one incredibly bad music video.

[Source: Orange County Register]

Continue reading Video: “Hardcore hip-hop” group halts major Cali freeway for impromptu concert

Video: “Hardcore hip-hop” group halts major Cali freeway for impromptu concert originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Oct 2010 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SR Auto Group shows off Audi S5 Typhön

Filed under: Aftermarket, Coupe, Performance, Audi, Canada, Luxury

SR Auto Group Audi S5 Typhön

SR Auto Group Audi S5 Typhön – Click above for high-res image gallery

Canada’s SR Autos’ formula appears to be as follows: Drape cars in light-swallowing shades of black, add some performance to the package and then hang a military-operation codename on it.

This is the Audi S5 Typhön, a former beauty queen turned Black Ops mission leader. Underneath the Leios matte black wrap are a tuned ECM; Milltek downpipe and sport exhaust; Reiger carbon fiber aero mods front and back; H&R coilover suspension and ADV 5.1 wheels in 20 inches of complementary matte ebony. If Bruce Wayne ever decides to go with something a little more subtle, this’d fit the bill. Have a look at the high-res gallery of photos below.

Gallery: SR Autos Audi S5 Typhon

[Source: SR Auto Group]

SR Auto Group shows off Audi S5 Typhön originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 11 Sep 2010 12:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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