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Car News

News and highlights straight from the automobile manufacturers

Pictures have started to surface of the 2010 Porsche Panamera sedan and it definiitely shows its Porsche DNA. The standard Panamera S is fitted with 400hp 4.8-liter engine. For those who need MORE power, the Panamera Turbo will have a 500hp motor. Not bad for a grocery getter. Add the optional roof rack and you are ready to hit the road with the whole family. See more pictures on Autoblog.

Ford introduced the 2010 Fusion and its cousin the Mercury Milan this week at the LA Auto Show. The hybrid Fusion/Milan features the SmartGauge cluster with EcoGuide, which coaches the driver to drive more efficiently. The gauge cluster has a central analog gauge with displays on either side for lots of flashy graphs. All this and it gets 6 mpg better than the Camry Hybrid for $27K and change.

Automaker Mini, with help from BMW, have developed the Mini E. It is fitted with a 150-kilowatt electric motor that produces 204 horsepower, a high-performance lithium-ion battery pack (good for 150 miles on a full charge) and a single-stage helical gearbox that sends the power out to the front wheels. From a standing start, it will hit 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds; and reach a maximum speed of 95 mph.

Announced at the L.A. Auto show yesterday, the automaker has plans to release 500 electric vehicles for long term testing. If you live in the Los Angeles or New York City metro areas, you're in luck! Check here to find out more!

While Ford continues to plead for a government bailout, there is some nice news coming out of the company too. They have unveiled the 2010 Mustang. The car is mostly a cosmetic makeover, carrying over most of the mechanical bits from the previous generation, including the V6 and V8 engines. The exterior is refined and gives the car a nicer, sharper look (if I do say so myself). Click over to Autoblog for more pictures.

According to The New York Times, General Motors is putting the final touches on the next generation Presidential vehicle.

Would President Obama, Michelle, Sasha, Malia and their new puppy enjoy traveling in this car?  I’d like to propose they brand it “Obama” by turning it red, white and vibrant blue – carrying on with the theme and colors used during the campaign. They also need to add a roof rack for the girls’ gear and an entertainment system to keep the kids satiated during long road trips.  I also think that Obama would much prefer a fuel efficient vehicle, hopefully GM will consider using alternative energy to power this beast.

A Tesla Roadster, driven by Tesla's Director of Sales, was wrecked in a demonstration gone wrong. He took a turn at 100MPH on a wet road with low visibility and lost control. Remarkably, neither the driver nor the passenger (who was ejected from the car) were seriously injured. According to Wrecked Exotics, this is the 3rd accident involving the Tesla Roadster and none have resulted in serious injuries.

Thankfully Tesla has built passive and active safety systems into the Roadster's Li-ion battery to prevent thermal runaway (aka explosion), unlike Sony batteries.

Detroit auto giants General Motors and Ford each posted their October sales numbers today and they aren't pretty. According to MarketWatch, GM posted a 45% decline in October sales, blamed mostly by the credit crisis. "If you adjust for population growth, this is probably the worst industry sales month in the post-WWII era", says Mark LaNeva, head of GM sales and marketing.

Ford posted a 30% decline in their U.S. auto sales as well, but Ford looks to the launch of their new F-Series pickups to turn things around. Toyota and Honda posted less significant losses but still declined more than 20% each.

According to a recent Kelley Blue Book study, there’s a strong correlation between what you drive and who you’ll vote for on November 4th.

If you drive a GMC car, there’s a 61% chance you’ll be voting for McCain. On the other hand, if you drive a MINI, there’s a 70% chance you’re supporting Obama.  I wonder, do Democrats truly prefer “cute and petite” cars and Republicans favor “tough and brawny”?

There’s a lot of chatter going on about the new 2009 Smart Car models and pricing, which are now in production in Hambach, France.  While I see an increasing number of Smart Cars on the road, especially popular in a challenging parking city like San Francisco, I haven’t yet gone behind the wheel.  I have to say, the Smart Car is one cute little car!  And good news, the 2009 Smart Car will come out in two additional exterior colors – making for a total of 8 delicious hues to select from.  You can read more about the Smart Car on the official website at: http://www.smartusa.com/

So, with all the discussion about Smart Car prices, I decided to do some research for myself.  Well, first of all, there are two models, the base “Pure” and the fully loaded “Passion” (which also comes in a fancy cabriolet version).  The MSRP for the “Pure” starts at $11.9K and goes all the way up to $16.9K for the cabriolet version of the “Passion”.  Both cars have a 1.0L, 3 cylinder engine, side airbags, and the strangest thing of all, child seat anchors (child seats can only be used in a rear seat, which there is none on the Smart Car, right?)

There's been a lot of talk about what cars the presidential candidates drive over the past few months.  In fact, Newsweek recently featured an investigative article on this subject.  The results are entertaining.

Quantity.  First of all, Barack Obama owns just one car.  John McCain owns thirteen.  That's right - 13!