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Chevy’s Volt a much needed jolt

A few months ago, people cried over the treatment of ‘Government Motors’ and its bailouts and eventual bankruptcy filing, while conspiracy theorists predicted the company would be a government entity within the private business sector.  While many of those claims are still on their way to being proven false, the idea that GM would grow stale or would fail even with government intervention seem to be way off the mark.  GM has needed a change in its public image, that much anyone can agree on.  In many ways, GM needed not years of gradual improvement, but something so significant and earth shattering that it broke the hanging cloud of doubt over General Motors and its smaller companies and would renew interest in the struggling automaker.

Trade in old clunkers, gas guzzlers for cheaper new car smell

Last month, Congress approved the “Car Allowance Rebate System,” also known as “CARS,” in an attempt to help push auto sales up, at the same time as rid the road of those old clunkers, gas guzzlers and otherwise inefficient vehicles. Taking advantage of this deal could mean $3,500 to $4,500 off the sticker price of a new — and overall better — car for you and your family.

Honda Fit vs. Toyota Prius

It seems like only yesterday when the “cool” car to drive was a BIG SUV. Well, those days are gone, and now everyone wants to conserve gas and save the planet. There’s no easier way to do this than by driving a cute little subcompact car, or a hybrid if you’re nasty.

I’ve been driving a 2008 Volkswagen Jetta and my lease is just about up. I decided to be proactive for once and start looking at some possible cars so I checked out the (seemingly) two most popular options: the Honda Fit and Toyota Prius.

They seemed pretty similar to me at first, but there are some distinct differences. I found my information on Edmunds, which is an incredible Web site that can answer any question that you have about any car.

This is what I’ve found:


Yesterday’s GM, tomorrow’s..?

This past year has been a rough year for many people.  Unemployment skyrocketed.  People were being foreclosed on left and right and evicted before you could even finish reading the notice.  Stocks tumbled, super corporations filed bankruptcy and went under.  But most of all, Motor City USA was pummeled by this recession, with it coming to a head with the demise of a company once deemed too large to fail, General Motors.

After bailouts and bankruptcy, the GM brand is one that has been badly damaged.  One won’t know the extent for perhaps several years, and the outcome of the chain of events put into place by their June 1 bankruptcy filing, but the Associated Press reported of a popular method of reinvention.

On top of company restructuring, many companies also opt for renaming their brand.


Zero to 60 in three seconds

In these rough economic times, people have reorganized their values. If you walk into a restaurant, you see fewer waiters and waitresses. The crowds in the malls have diminished and every few days you hear about a new bank going under, or another car manufacturer turning over control to the court in bankruptcy. Fewer people have made home improvement purchases, gone splurging for new wardrobes and have even had to downsize on housing.

Yet, with all that said, it’s nice to know that Europeans still tickle the American fancy, and they do it better than the Americans could ever.

A great modern philosopher turned lunatic once said, “I feel the need, the need for speed.” Speed is something Americans have loved since we climbed on a horse’s back and told it to run for the sunset. We’ve turned those horses into mechanical horsepower, shelled it in aluminum, carbon fiber and fiberglass. Then we advanced upon that and utilized aerodynamic science from aviation development and created the race car. NASCAR, Formula-1, Indycar and even the urban street racing culture are stem from this tree.

Speed once was the pride of American Muscle, and loud engines that went fast and got 36 feet to the gallon were our adrenaline fixation. The Japanese then created fuel injection, and made cars just as fast, and the Europeans had style; both leaving Ford, Dodge and GM in the dust.

But if there’s one thing America itself hasn’t lost, its our insatiable quest for the better, faster, and most expensive status symbol.

Welcome, the Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur Apollo.


U.K. faces speed limiting: Is U.S. next?

The U.K. could soon see thousands of its buses, taxis and other public vehicles installed with speed limiters.

I know you’re about to go back and check – if you already haven’t – to make absolutely sure you saw a “K” and not an “S” in the previously stated acronym. Either way, let me make it crystal clear that this is the United Kingdom, not the United States that the following article will be discussing in regard to the possibility of limiting the speed of all common motor vehicles.

Feel any better now? Well, maybe you shouldn’t.

The technology behind this is known as Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) and is being tested by Transport for London (the U.K.’s version of the U.S. Department of Transportation) in a trial starting this summer.