Archive for the 'Wheels' Category

Chevy Volt: Asheville will have to wait for it

While the big car news this week is the impending debut of the Chevrolet Volt on the nation’s roads, the electric car won’t be available in the Carolinas until 2011 at the earliest.

During Chevrolet’s rollout announcement this week, it suggested anyone could order the Volt and track it through the delivery process. However, a search for dealers selling Volt within 500 miles of Asheville zip codes at www.getmyvolt.com comes up with a big fat zero.

While you won’t be able to order a Volt locally for a while, on the upside, you may see a Volt-powered Cadillac in the next two years. Luxury green. Just wait for it, some more.

For now, you’ll have to go to one of the seven big rollout markets to get a new Volt. However, if you plan to go to California to buy one and drive it home, stay away from the HOV lanes.

In a regulatory mess, all-electric cars apparently can’t use the high-occupancy vehicle lanes on California freeways. The Volt runs at highway speeds on its battery.

a Chevrolet Volt that does less than 40 miles a day may never burn a drop of gas, for instance, but will still be banned from the HOV lanes.Whereas the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid that’s being flogged down the freeway at 85 mph will consistently burn gasoline at its highest rate, and yet it will be able to do so from the HOV lane.

via Chevy Volt: No $5K rebate, carpool-lane access for CA buyers | VentureBeat.

At a $41,000 price tag, that’s an expensive investment to stay stuck in traffic.

You can follow live updates by subscribing to the Volt Twitter feed.

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New Camaro smokes sports car competition in sales

Chevrolet is gleefully reporting that the 2010 Camaro was the No. 1-selling sports car in America for the year ending in May.

“When the new Camaro went on sale, it was predominantly bought by Chevrolet owners, or Camaro enthusiasts who already owned a previous-generation. Today, about half of 2010 Camaro buyers are new to Chevrolet, some trading in performance cars such as Mustang or Nissan Z to purchase their Camaro.”

via At One Year, Camaro Leads U.S. Sports Car Segment and Wins New Chevrolet Customers… — DETROIT, June 3 /PRNewswire/ —.

Camaro may be the hottest sports car in the country, but in Western North Carolina it lost out to Mustang, Jeep, Subaru and BMW in Iwanna.com searches during the same period — June 2009 through May 2010.

2010 Camaro

Asheville ranks 75th in most dangerous cities for drivers

The Asheville-Greenville area ranks worse than Los Angeles or Chicago on Insurance.com’s list of cities “most likely to boost your auto insurance premium.”

According to the study — based on insurance quote comparisons from the web site — Baltimore is the most dangerous place to drive, with 36.5% of drivers claiming a prior accident when searching for better auto insurance rates. The website tallies claims for everything from fender benders to vandalism and theft.

The safest city to set the car on cruise? Yuma, Ariz. at 17.2 percent. And bigger cities like Los Angeles (26.3 percent) and Chicago (26.1 percent) came in at No. 116 and 122 respectively.

via Insurance.com Lists Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities for Drivers

An insurance.com spokesman said area cities break down like this from the 167 in the survey:

No. 39, Wilmington, N.C. (29%)
No. 49, Charlotte, N.C. (28.4%)
No. 75, Asheville/Spartanburg/Anderson DMA, (27.3%)
No. 94, Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (26.5%)

To compile the study, Insurance.com looked at more than 500,000 comparison quotes across 167 designated market areas over the last six months. Cities with less than 500 quotes were discarded. The average number of quotes per city was more than 3,000.

Be like Danica and Mustang: Get into the race at Daytona

Daytona 500 Pace Car: The Mustang

Daytona 500 Pace Car: The Ford Mustang

Championship buzz continues this weekend as the Super Bowl of auto racing — the Daytona 500 — kicks off the NASCAR season.

This year, Iwanna.com is hosting a NASCAR fantasy league — giving racing fans and motorheads the chance to compete nationally for great prizes, or even among a small group of friends or co-workers. Even if you’re just a mere dabbler in NASCAR, the fantasy league can the racing season that much more interesting.

The Iwanna NASCAR Racing Challenge goes all season long — 37 weekends total. Registration is easy and the challenge is really simple: Pick the 10 drivers you think will finish 1st through 10th for each race, and your top 15 races count as your overall score. The top point total at the end of the season wins a $1500 Amazon gift card.

Don’t know who to pick from race to race? Jimmie Johnson? Juan Pablo Montoya? Tiger Woods? … yeah, one of those is a golfer. Good catch! But making picks in the Iwanna fantasy game is really easier than that. You get a list of qualified racers to pick from — and you can change your mind even up to the last minute. The league will even notify you if one of your picks drops out of the race, so you can update your list! Using a handicapping site like Nascapper.com can help refine your picks.

BTW, if you need it, you can learn how to talk smack with your friends here. And if you want to see racing crashes, check out this site.

If it’s celebrity news you crave, don’t forget to tune in to the Danica Patrick circus this weekend at Daytona when racing’s premier model and advertising spokesperson makes her NASCAR debut in Saturday’s Nationwide Series race.

Another celebrity-like tidbit at this year’s Daytona 500: For the first time in 40 years, Ford will set the pace at the Great American Race with its new Mustang GT (above).

Most searched items on Iwanna in 2009

A Yorkie Puppy

A Yorkie Puppy

More than 98,000 unique items were searched on Iwanna.com in 2009. Pets, cars and recreational equipment represented the most searched terms.

The single most searched term? Dogs. With puppies close by. The most sought breed in the Asheville area? Yorkie.

The most popular car model on Iwanna.com was Mustang, followed by Jeep and BMW.

And the hottest recreational items included kayaks, canoes and campers.

Here are the Top 10 most searched items on Western North Carolina’s most popular user-generated shopping network for 2009: dogs, pets, boats, puppies, guns, jobs, kayak, campers, mustang, cars.

How technology can stop high-speed chases

High-speed police pursuits often end in collisions, which sometimes  end tragically with the deaths or injuries of innocent victims. But GPS satellite and cellular technologies are now being combined to stop the bad guys in their fast tracks.

GM’s OnStar service was used most recently to stop a carjacker in California. On command, OnStar — based in Michigan — disabled the gas pedal of the stolen vehicle in California and enabled police to nab the suspect after the chase.

“Considering the violent crime that this suspect was wanted for, I was just amazed,” Visalia Police Chief Colleen Mestas said.
via Associated Press

New car options are featuring more and more sophisticated technology — including safety features such as GM’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service with OnStar. The services are able to link both the driver and the vehicle to receive remote help.

An LATimes technology blogger notes that it was dumb to steal the car equipped with the technology, but dumber to fall into a pool while running way from the police.

New Camaro is a big hit

GM says it can’t keep up with the demand for the new Camaro muscle car, which may be getting a bump from the new movie release  “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” in which it is featured.

There are no financial incentives set aside for the car, either, and it is reportedly selling above the $23,000 sticker price across the country. Dealers apparently can’t keep them in stock.

It’s worth noting that “Camaro” is one of the top searched terms on Iwanna.com.

“The moral of the story is: design still sells,” said Erich Merkle, an independent auto analyst. “The American automakers can make a comeback if they keep their eye on the ball and design vehicles people have to have.”

via GM Says Orders for Camaro Sports Cars Outrun Supply (Update1) – Bloomberg.com.


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