FIAT INTRODUCES A 60 MPG 500

HOT WIRE—Most of us know Fiat as the Italian car company that saved Chrysler (Fiat now owns a 20 percent share of the American automaker). More than just a cash cow, however, Fiat makes the kind of vehicles that Chrysler was lacking in—i.e, the small, fuel-efficient variety. The most popular example of this being the Fiat 500 city car, which has enjoyed brisk sales in Europe. Now comes word that Fiat has designed a twin-cylinder 875 cc 84 horsepower gasoline engine called the TwinAir, which will soon appear in Europe in the 500.

THREE-POINTED WHITE DIAMOND

AUTO REVIEW—The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK300 is one of those cars that does it all. First off, it resembles the styling up front of the McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 race car. Secondly, it is a dual personality vehicle with a hardtop that folds into the rear in just 22 seconds, enabling you to pilot the car with the top up during inclement weather and put the top down when the weather is warm to enjoy the sun in your face and the wind in your hair. Thirdly, the unique interior is sporty, luxurious and designed for maximum safety. The SLK boasts a front design with a strong resemblance from the world of Formula 1 racing…

AMERICA’S BEST-SELLER GETS A MAKEOVER

LA CAR & NEWS WIRE REPORT – Ford Motor Company says it’s launching the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup of any manufacturer. The new 3.7-liter V6 engine in the 2011 F-150 is claimed to deliver best-in-class 23 mpg highway, pending EPA certification. Moreover, Ford says its new 5.0-liter V8 engine is projected to deliver best-in-class 21 mpg highway, pending EPA certification…

CALIFORNIA REAMING: MORE BAD NEWS FOR VOLT

BACK SEAT DRIVING – Another week, another batch of bad news for Volt: On top of the recent acknowledgement that the Volt isn’t really an electric car but is more of a hybrid – which we’ve been saying for a while – now it looks like the Volt won’t even qualify for the California carpool lanes. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) does not have an EV mode, so they only test cars when the engine is running. Due to that factor, the Volt is classified as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV), which is a notch under the Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Jetta TDI and even the Honda Accord Sedan I4.

PROUD HENRY KEEP ON ROLLIN’

BACK SEAT DRIVING – Ford Motor Company continues its triumphant run today with the announcement that it has achieved a profit for the sixth continuous quarter. In an amazing turn of events, Ford’s North American operations are now providing financial stability for the company’s struggling European operations when just a few years ago, it was Ford of Europe that was keeping the U.S. side of the business afloat. Ford’s profit success is all the more impressive given the state of the overall industry, which continues on its steady but very slow recovery.

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