December 2011

BMW designer Chris Chapman named chief designer at Hyundai

(December 22, 2011) COSTA MESA, Calif. — Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) has announced that Christopher Chapman has been named chief designer of the Hyundai Design Center in Irvine, Calif. Chapman will be responsible for new vehicle and concept design for Hyundai.

In 2002, Chapman was appointed Director of Automotive Design at BMW and has been responsible for guiding several advanced and production vehicles including the new X5, X3, Z4 and the first BMW 1-series E87. 

Inside a legendary drag racing team as seen by Dave Rockwell

A Book Review
By Al Vinikour

Every area of interest has its “must read” books and the popular sport of drag racing is no exception. When I was growing up in Indiana it was my luck to be in the right place at the right time. While drag racing always had a following, it eventually become a vehicular phenomenon and then a big business — one that even drew the attention and participation of the top floors of U.S. automakers.

Honda Crosstour to get 4-cylinder engine option

(December 22, 2011) TORRANCE, Calif. — Honda announced Wednesday that the slow-selling Accord Crosstour hatchback will get a four-cylinder engine option for the 2012 model year. The Crosstour, introduced in 2009 as a 2010 model, has been sold with only a V-6 engine.

Two new four-cylinder, two-wheel-drive Crosstour models are set to go on sale next month, broadening the vehicle's appeal through a lower price point and EPA-estimated fuel economy that increases 3 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.

Lexus takes design direction a step further with concept

(December 21, 2011) TORRANCE, Calif. — Taking the new Lexus design direction one step further, the LF-LC 2+2 sport coupe will be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show on Jan. 9.

“Crafted from a clean sheet of paper at the request of Lexus headquarters in Japan, the LF-LC blends both high technology and organic shapes to connect the driver to the machine,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager.

Attention collectors: Mercedes releases miniatures of M-Class, B-Class

(December 21, 2011) Following the market launch of their full-size counterparts, detailed miniatures of the new Mercedes M-Class and B-Class have become the latest additions to the Mercedes-Benz Collection.

The efficient off-roader and the compact sports tourer are available with immediate effect as high-grade miniatures in scale 1:87, 1:43 and 1:18.

Evoque loses an award — Subaru Forester wins top honors in UK magazine

(December 21, 2011) The Subaru Forester has been named "4x4 of the Year" by Britain’s best-selling off-roading magazine, 4x4.

The go-anywhere, family friendly Forester, which is now available with a choice of extensively revised gas and diesel Boxer engines in the UK, faced some stiff competition from the likes of a Range Rover Evoque, Porsche Cayenne and Skoda Yeti.

Ford makes 1967 Mustang convertible body available for restorers

(December 21, 2011) DEARBORN, Mich. — The latest addition to the growing stable of classic Mustang bodies — the 1967 convertible — just might be the ultimate stocking stuffer this Christmas for restorers of America’s favorite sports car.
The 1967 convertible body shell, the newest officially licensed Ford Restoration part, is now available to order starting at $15,995. It is the fourth reproduction classic Mustang body available to restorers, joining the ’65 convertible, the ’67 fastback and the ’69 fastback.

Toyota to debut Prius c subcompact in Detroit

(December 20, 2011) TORRANCE, Calif. — Toyota will debut the NS4, an advanced plug-in hybrid concept vehicle, at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 10.

The reveal will feature the world premiere of the concept vehicle as well as the North American debut of the Prius c hybrid.

Range Rover Evoque has 53 awards — and counting

(December 20, 2011) If the Range Rover Evoque captures North American Truck of the Year on Jan. 9 it will be just another in a string of more than 50 awards racked up by the stylish new sport utility this year.

The Evoque is one of three finalists for the North American title. Evoque awards now stand at 53 since its launch in September.

Nissan issues recall over battery problem

(December 20, 2011) Nissan is conducting a voluntary safety recall campaign on approximately 51,700 model year 2010-2011Sentra vehicles in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Guam and Saipan to replace the positive battery terminal.

It's also recalling some 2011 Juke small crossovers because a bracket could break and cause the engine to stall.