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Auto News 05/2011

Green Cars: Report on hybrid and other alternative fuel cars
In terms of green car technology, North America is just catching up to the rest of the world. As green technology costs come in line with the value to the consumer, we'll probably see more eco-friendly cars hit the street. Whether it's gasoline-electric hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells, electric, new-generation diesel or the next big thing, AutoWeek cover it on these pages.

India's Apr Car Sales Kick Off On Solid Note
The Indian automobile industry kicked off to a quick start in fiscal 2012, with Tata Motors and Maruti posting higher growth in sales in April this year over its corresponding month last year. Hyundai reported a marginal increase in sales.

BMW delays U.S. debut of the X1 until end of 2012:
BMW will not offer its compact X1 crossover in the United States until the end of 2012 because of strong demand for the redesigned version of the larger X3.

2011 Saab 9-4X, an AW Flash Drive Car Review:
What is it?

Automobile Sales in U.S. May Have Topped 13 Million Annual Pace in April
U.S. auto sales may have exceeded a 13 million annual pace for the third straight month, accelerating from a year earlier, as consumer confidence rose before vehicles produced prior to Japan’s earthquake began to run out.

Public service announcement: Cars and shaving don't mix:
Consider this a cautionary tale: Take care of your personal grooming before you get behind the wheel.

Saab says it will restart production after securing short-term loan:
Saab aims to restart production within a week after its owner,

Mini Connected hooks up your iPhone:
Show of hands: How many of you Mini Cooper drivers also own an iPhone?

AUTOWEEK TV: We catch a glimpse of the 2013 Ford Fusion:
Also in this episode: BMW delays the X1's arrival in the United States until late 2012, rally driver Matthew Marker dies in a crash in Washington and Porsche rolls out a diesel-powered Panamera. And happy birthday to Kyle Busch.

Hitting the g spot in Lamborghini's latest:
At first I thought maybe it was just jet lag, or travel lag, related to doing a superquick three-day trip from Detroit to Rome and back to drive the

Four-wheel, two-wheel BMWs battle it out in 'The Chase':
A just-released Internet video pits two Akrapovic-tuned BMWs against one another to see which is faster--the two-door BMW M3 coupe or the BMW 1000 RR motorcycle.

10 worst car names--plus six more:
In the car name game, there are winners and there are losers. Our friends at Hagerty Insurance recently posted their vote for the 10 worst car names. We took it upon ourselves to critique that list and add six of our own contenders.

Honda delays redesigned CR-V, warns dealers of more model shortages:
Honda Motor Co. on Monday warned dealers of more vehicle shortages and said it would delay the fall launch of its redesigned CR-V crossover.

NHTSA probes shattering liftgate glass on Ford SUVs:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating about 200,000 copies of the 2010 and 2011 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs for liftgate glass that reportedly shatters.

GM stokes El Camino gossip . . . again:
Let the rumors of a new U.S.-market El Camino begin to swirl once again.

Spyker signs deal with China's Hawtai Motor to raise funds for Saab:
Saab owner Spyker Cars on Tuesday said it has signed an agreement with China's Hawtai Motor Group to form joint ventures for manufacturing, technology and distribution.

2011 Porsche Boxster Spyder, an AW Drivers Log Car Review:
EXECUTIVE EDITOR--AUTOWEEK.COM BOB GRITZINGER: I read all the poetic writings of my fellow editors last fall, both of whom painted a glorious picture of running top down along the California coast in this superbly appointed Boxster.

Pioneer AppRadio system draws on Apple operating-system interface:
The touch screen, that increasingly ubiquitous piece of technology.

Scientists work on in-road charging for EVs:
Electric vehicles may work for the everyday commuter looking to cut fuel costs, but what about those EV owners looking for a road trip? How do you travel cross-country when you're tethered to your charging station?

AUTOWEEK TV: Test-driving the Mazda CX-7:
Also in today's show: Saab gets help, sales figures are on the way, and NHTSA investigates the Ford Escape.

Classified catch: 1976 Eldorado plus bonus 1976 Thunderbird:
Sometimes an item crosses our desks reminding us just how good we have it in the automotive world today. Despite $4.

Designers dress up Mini Cooper:
Canadian design duo DSquared2 has released initial sketches of the Mini Cooper Countryman they've outfitted for this year's Life Ball, which is May 21 in Vienna, Austria.

Nissan sales rise, Infiniti drops in April:
Sales of Nissan brand cars rose in April, but the Infiniti luxury division posted a decline for the month.

Jaguar brand up 39 percent for April, Land Rover up 8 percent:
Jaguar's U.S. sales rose 39 percent in April and Land Rover's sales rose 8 percent, compared with the same month a year ago.

Crossovers fuel April sales at BMW, Mini:
Sales of crossovers fueled BMW and Mini in April, with Mini posting its best U.S. sales month ever.

BMW M5 comes alive with all-wheel drive:
The 2012 BMW M5 will come with a handful of firsts for the sedan.

New designs, small cars fuel April sales:
Redesigned vehicles, especially small cars, helped drive sales gains for the auto industry in April, as consumers shifted gears in the face of rising gasoline prices.

Back in the Day: when Rolls met Royce
May 4, 1904. Charles Rolls is introduced to Henry Royce at the Midland Hotel in Manchester, England, a meeting that spawned perhaps the most prestigious brand in the automobile industry.

2011 Mazda CX-7 Grand Touring, an AW Drivers Log Car Review:
NEWS EDITOR GREG MIGLIORE: The CX-7 is one of the more handsome midsize crossovers on the market to my eye. The sheetmetal hangs smartly, and the fender flares, curves and piercing headlights create a dashing image for a kiddie hauler.

Bonneville Salt Flats star in new film:
Racing fans owe a debt of gratitude to the late Ab Jenkins.

Novitec Alfa Romeo 8C Spider adds boost for a sensuous 600 hp :
Novitec has laid hands on the near-perfect

GM spending $131 million to upgrade Corvette plant:
General Motors is spending $131 million on its Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant to prepare it to build the next-generation Corvette.

Auto tax reform on hold
The hotly debated restructuring of automobile taxes remains undecided after strong opposition from the Energy Ministry since the reforms do not cover vehicles running on alternative fuels.

SIAM reclassifies segments for reporting sales data
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has come up with a revised format in accordance with which sales data of automobile manufacturers will be reported from this month.

Ridemakerz and Toys and#8220;Rand#8221; Us let you customize the Cars 2 gang:
Starting May 15, lovers of Disney Pixarand#8217;s Cars and

AUTOWEEK TV: Rupert Murdoch eyes Formula One:
Also in today's show: Nissan wins the taxi-cab wars, sales numbers are in, and a test-drive of our long-term Ram.

Winners and Losers: Porsche sales pop in April:
Porsche sales spiked 82 percent in April and are up 46 percent for the year, parking the luxury automaker among the top five winners so far for 2011.

McLaren shows off its MP4-12C GT3 racer:
McLaren GT, comprised of a partnership between the British company and CRS Racing, has unveiled its new GT3 race car based on the forthcoming MP4-12C sports car.

Classified Catch: 1979 Dodge frog dystopia shag carpet molester van:
From the bowels of the earth--California via Texas, in this case--comes one of the most wonderfully appalling automotive creations we've seen in quite some time. Feast your eyes on the Van.

Dodge Charger Super Bee is back for 2011:
The Dodge Charger Super Bee is poised to make a tire-smoking comeback in 2011.

State Farm releases Driver Feedback app for iPhone:
Accelerometers aren't just for the autocross geeks who want to see whether they threw more than 1.0 lateral g's on their last apex. These gadgets have made their way to the

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG convertible previewed:
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was instantly captivating for its looks and soaring gullwing doors. Now comes the roadster variant, which

State Automobile Mutual Elects New Board Member
COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESSWIRE)-- Marsha P. Ryan has been elected to the board of directors of State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company. Ryan most recently served as the chief executive officer and administrator ...

Camaro sales ahead of Mustang for 2011, so far:
In the sales race between pony cars, the Chevrolet Camaro is beginning to leave the

Kia styling chief Schreyer is fluent in Koreapean:
The way Peter Schreyer sees it, there is one key difference between European and Korean automakers: Europeans design from the heart, Koreans from the head.

GM profits surge to $3.2 billion in first quarter:
General Motors on Thursday posted net income of $3.2 billion for the first quarter, its fifth straight quarterly profit since emerging from bankruptcy.

2011 Acura RL with Advance Package, an AW Drivers Log:
EXECUTIVE EDITOR--AUTOWEEK.COM BOB GRITZINGER: It seems as if Acura has almost disappeared from the radar, but it remains one of my favorite premium brands for its mix of luxury, refinement and Honda-engineered sporty driving character.

Video: Possible new Pantera spotted in Italy:
A YouTube video shows what appears to be the newest evolution of the hallowed De Tomaso Pantera.

Carroll Shelby, Felt Bicycles collaborate on beach cruiser:
Felt Bicycles, a maker of competition bikes, and our favorite Mustang tuner, Carroll Shelby, have collaborated on a custom cruiser bike that pays homage to the classic Shelby GT350.

NASCAR team owner Hendrick becomes engine builder for a day:
NASCAR championship-winning team owner Rick Hendrick got to do something on Thursday that many of us would love to do--build the engine for his Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Edition.

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