In case you missed it, earlier this week we detailed how the Chevy Volt malfunctioned and nearly caused a high-speed collission while we were driving it. We've had plenty of readers writing in to ask for an update on the Chevy Volt fisaco that we've found ourselves embroiled in. We definitely planned on hitting you guys with an update on how Chevrolet and General Motors address the situation that we're facing once all was said and done, but since it's taking a bit longer than we'd hoped, and since there have been a couple of new developments, we figured we'd do an interim report.
Before we get into some of the good, we've gotta say right up front that dealing with Chevy/GM as a corporate entity has been frustrating. It seems that it's goal is to tell us that there is nothing they can do, with the hope that this will just go away, rather than doing whatever it can to ease the concerns of a customer who's done nothing but praise it's flagship product all the way up until it put us in harms way. More on that later.
Update 1: We're trying to deal with Chevy to get resolution that both us and the dealer believes to be the best option. GM would rather us forget about everything, it seems.
We've been keeping tabs on the Chevy Volt ever since the electric vehicle was unveiled in September 2008. We covered the 230 MPG announcement, and were on-hand for the introduction of the OnStar Mobile Integration announcement which showed how you would be able to send commands from your smartphone directly to your Volt (and other OnStar-equipped vehicles) remotely. While there were other pure EVs out there, the maximum range would leave some stranded without any other option but getting towed while the Volt had a gas tank that could run a generator to continue creating electric power even when the pure electric battery ran out. The Volt, in our minds, was the car of the near-future. Until EV range is bumped high enough to never cause charge anxiety, Chevy's flagship EV provided the best trade-off. So we leased one. That's where things started to go very wrong.
See that guy up there? His name is Noble, and the last time he filled up his gas tank was 4,000 miles ago. How can that be? He drives a Chevy Volt, which he calls "the best vehicle he's ever driven." A fully charged Volt can drive for about 35-40 miles before switching over to a gas-powered electric engine (similar to a hybrid vehicle.) So if you rarely (or never) run out of electric power, you'll never touch the gas in the tank. Check out the video below for more from Noble himself.
Read More | Chevrolet Voltage
If you're planning on picking up Cadillac's new flagship vehicle this summer, the XTS, and you're also considering picking up an iPad, you'll wanna wait on that tablet purchase. In an effort to help new XTS buyers get familiar with the new Cadillac CUE infotainment system, the company is going to be throwing in an iPad with the purchase of each XTS sedan. The tablet will come preloaded with interactive manuals and tutorials that show off and explain all the features that CUE has to offer.
Apps that will be preloaded include OnStar RemoteLink, MyCadillac, and a custom app that specifically teaches buyers about the new CUE infotainment system. Check out a preview of Cadillac CUE that we shot, below.
In the world of EVs, the quicker you can charge your vehicle when on the go, the better. That's one stark difference between the electric cars and their gas counterparts--while you're saving money from not having to visit the pump, you're certainly losing out on time. Well, that's about to change, as several EV manufacturers have agreed on a new 20-minute fast-charging standard that'll take you from empty to full within 20 minutes. It's called DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging System, and the folks over at Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, GM, Porsche, and Volkswagen has all agreed that this is the future.
Oh, and to be clear, this really is the future. As in, don't expect to see vehicles that support the stndard for another year or so. Heck, over in Europe, the ACEA isn't even guaranteeing that you'll see charging stations adopting the standard over there until 2017. Hopefully things pick up a little quicker than that here in the US.
The OnStar FMV (For My Vehicle) add-on has been fairly popular, and OnStar is looking to begin making the device more accessible to an even larger audience. From May 6 though June 16, OnStar FMV will be available for $99.99, with installation included, which is about $200 off the standard price of the device. Definitely a nice Mother's Day, Father's Day, or graduation gift, bringing OnStar features like automatic crash response, turn-by-turn navigation, and hands-free calling to non-GM vehicles.
Read More | OnStar
Volkswagen Auto Group has been seeing their sales numbers grow significantly over the past few years, but it's about to see that number multiply as soon as it finalizes the purchase of Italian superbike manufacturer, Ducati. In the meantime, how about pitting the two companies against each other? Some enterprising folks over in Germany took it upon themselves to make it happen. So what were their weapons of choice? From Volkswagen’s side they choose the Audi TT RS, which has quicker track times than the Audi R8 on most runs. From Ducati’s side they choose the 1199 Panigale. Check out the video above to see who wins!
For those that live in areas plagued by long winters, icy roads, and the ever-accumulating snow fall, you know how obnoxious driving can get. Chains are great, but putting them on is a hassle. There's also the option of studded tires, but as soon as you hit deep snow, well, you’re outta luck. So what other options are there? You could just wait out the snow, but that could take awhile. Or you could buy a pair of Track N Go treads.
The designers of the Track N Go system are AD Boivin. They’re better known for marketing power-sport products for snowmobiles and motocross bikes, and now they're bringing that expertise over to automobiles. Track N Go is basically a treadmill system for your 4x4 pickup truck. You simply drive onto them, lock them, and get on your merry way. To us it looks like it’s a universal application, as it’s used by a Ford and GMC in the video below.
Though we’re not sure when the Track N Go system will be available for purchase, it’s something worth watching for. Pricing is still up in the air as well.
Harry Metclafe over at Evo Diaries has convinced Pagani to let him test drive the Zonda 760 RS. Now if you’re not familiar with Pagani, we don’t blame you. This isn't your mainstream supercar. Once you see the Zonda 760 RS, you’ll think that a Ferrari looks like a tamed pony compared against it. If you’re wondering what the 760 stands for, it actualy tells you the horsepower that the engine is producing. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the price tag for the car might be, get ready to drop over a million for it. Check out the video below for a thorough walk around and drive of the Pagani 760 RS!
Read More | AutoBlog
Now if you think that high-end crime involving city ports, boats, crime circles, black markets, and Ferraris are things you only see on the big screen, think again.
The owner of a high-end rental car company based on Los Angeles noticed that his Ferrari 458 Italia was sitting still for a few days. Growing suspicious, we got the police involved and the last known location of the car, tracked via GPS.
The police finally caught up with the car in Hong Kong, and found that the Ferrari wasn’t alone in transit. A bunch of high priced vehicles were all heading over to the Asian black market where they can fetch a price twice the value of the car. This still comes out cheaper, since the buyer avoid taxes and fees. More details in the video above as CBS reports on the story.
Read More | AutoBlog
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