Friday, March 30, 2012

Mazda CX-5 Commercial Tips Hat to The Six Million Dollar Man

Those of us who are fans of all those great TV shows from the '70s will probably be smiling at the newest commercial released by Mazda for its All-New CX-5 crossover.   If you watched Lee Majors in the role of Steve Austin in TV's The Six Million Dollar Man you are very familiar with the show's now iconic opening. Here is the new Mazda CX-5 commercial called Better. Stronger. Smarter. :

And here is the intro for The Six Million Dollar Man:

Six Million Dollar Man - Intro (Opening Theme) by STARDUST72

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Flying Car To Make Its Auto Show Debut In New York

One of the more interesting entries in next week's New York Auto Show, will be a modern day "flying car"  built by Massachusetts based Tarrafugia, Inc.  The roadable aircraft, called the Transition, is moving closer to being a commercially available product - something Tarrafugia hopes to accomplish by the end of the year. Displaying at the auto show, Tarrafugia is reportedly looking to bring awareness of the Transition to a wider audience outside the aviation community and to attract potential customers and investors.

Click any image to enlarge
Even though the Transition has been dubbed a "flying car" it is actually an aircraft that can be driven legally and safely on the roadways.   So you won't necessarily take off and fly your way out of the frustration of a traffic jam, but it's more likely you will be able to fly home from your weekend destination or business trip and then drive from the landing strip to your home's driveway or garage.  The Transition lives up to it's name with the push of a couple of buttons from inside the cockpit that cause the wings to fold up in less than 30 seconds.

With four wheel independent suspension, a long wheel base and relatively low center of gravity the Transition is reported to have good stability and handling on the road. The Transition runs on unleaded gasoline - a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to aviation fuel.  The control panels are designed to be intuitive and easy to use with touch screen responsiveness and one single GPS system that combines both road maps and aviation charts.  Safety features include pilot and passenger airbags, crumple zones and a safety cage - a first for any aircraft.  Another safety advantage includes the ability during severe weather to find the closest airport with the GPS, land the aircraft and continue the journey on the ground. However, if things get really dire, it is also equipped with a parachute designed for carrying the weight of the entire vehicle.

The Transition is classified as a Light Sport Aircraft by the FAA and will require a Sport Pilot license to fly. The base price is anticipated to be around $279,000 with a $10,000 refundable deposit to reserve one.

(All The Images, Trademarks, Logo’s Shown on this Post are the property of their respective owners)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nissan Wants To Make Peyton Manning a Titan

Nissan Titan or Tennessee Titans...the truck's manufacturer, Nissan North America, is hoping NFL free agent Peyton Manning will take a shine to both. As Manning has been making the rounds visiting with potential teams to play for next year, Nissan has offered a 2012 Nissan Titan Pro-4X pickup truck to Manning regardless of which team he chooses.

With the Nashville based Tennessee Titans in the running as a landing spot for quarterback Peyton Manning, Nissan of North America, which has it's U.S. headquarters in Nashville, appears to be suiting up for the "home team" on behalf of its employees and football fans in the region. The Nissan Titan's V-8 engine is built in Tennessee and many of those fans have fond memories of the years that Manning played his college football at the University of Tennessee. After being released from the Indianapolis Colts, Manning is expected to make his decision on a team sometime next week.  Also reported to be on the short list are the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers.

As good a brand as the Nissan is, it's doubtful a $30,000 - $40,000 truck is going to weigh heavily in the decision, but hats off to the Nissan marketing department on this one.

Here is the open letter from Nissan:

Dear Peyton,

We hope it’s okay to be informal and call you Peyton. You’ve been like one of the family to sports fans, especially Tennesseans, since your record-setting college days at the University of Tennessee.

Like you, we at Nissan North America were not all born to Rocky Top. But it is now home to our corporate headquarters and three manufacturing facilities employing more than 6,000 Tennesseans.

At Nissan, we too have fans all over the U.S.A. and we appreciate them all. And like all of your fans, we’re awaiting your decision on where to play next season. While we are in no position to sign you to any particular NFL franchise, we at Nissan North America want to make you a Titan – a 2012 Nissan Titan – as a gesture of gratitude recognizing your great accomplishments and philanthropic contributions to our national community.

We extend this offer on behalf of a nation of football fans and Nissan fans, not necessarily to influence your decision. So next time you’re in Nashville, give us a call and we’ll bring the keys.

Nissan North America

UPDATE:  Word came shortly after this post went up that Peyton Manning has picked the Denver Broncos!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

2013 Nissan Altima Teaser Views

In the weeks leading up to the official reveal at the New York Auto Show, Nissan has released a series of teaser videos for the 2013 Nissan Altima.  It began with an overhead view and this description:

The new sleek exterior design of 2013 Nissan Altima has a low, wide stance and sculpted profile that makes for quite a dynamic appearance. 

Next came a video of the headlight and front grill.  And most recently a peek at the taillight.

UPDATE:  Nissan has released a teaser video of the side view of the 2013 Nissan Altima.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

2012 Honda Civic in Sales Event Commercials

Fast talking salesmen are usually not what you are looking for at a car dealership. But, a new series of videos from Honda shows it can actually be kind of fun....when they are simply keeping up with the customer.

Honda is having it's Really Big Sales Event, featuring IIHS top safety pick and best selling small car in American, the Honda Civic.

Honda's Satellite-Linked Navigation System is available in the Civic EX, EX-L, Natural Gas Hybrid and Si models.  Another favorite is this video called Spy Car.  "Artificial Intelligence? understands 600 voice commands."

You can see the rest of the videos in the series from Honda here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hyundai Gives Us a Peek at the 2013 Sante Fe

Hyundai plans to unveil it's redesigned 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe at the New York Auto Show in a few weeks and leading up to that event, Hyundai has released the very first official images of the much anticipated crossover's redesign.

These images give us a better look at the 5 seat crossover and appear to validate images leaked earlier this year on the web.  Picking up styling cues seen in most of the other models released by Hyundai in the last few years, something Hyundai calls the "Fluidic Sculpture" theme, this Sante Fe appears to be a two row CUV designed to compete with the likes of the Nissan Murano, Ford Edge, and Toyota Venza.

Watch for more details when the 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe is revealed at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, scheduled for April 6 - 15 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Do you remember the Monkeemobile?

News last week of the death of Davy Jones, lead singer for The Monkees, brought up some fond memories for fans of the 1960's pop band and TV show. Swept up in the nostalgia, a question about one of the most iconic cars in TV history started to emerge: Whatever happened to the Monkeemobile?

The Monkeemobile, was a highly modified version of a 1966 Pontiac GTO convertible. Marketing execs working with Pontiac at the time saw the show as a huge promotional opportunity and worked out a deal to provide the base model vehicles.

Two vehicles were created, one to be used on the TV set and the other, a "show car", to travel around to hot rod and car shows as publicity for the show.  The show car is the one that has received the most attention lately, including some controversy over who designed and built it, but that version of the Monkeemobile was sold at auction in 2008 to a private collector in Michigan for $360,000.

The video below shows The Monkees, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Englishman Davy Jones riding in the Monkeemobile.   RIP Davy Jones.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Provo's Neon Trees Appear in Buick Commercial

Neon Trees, the alt pop band from Provo, Utah, makes a cameo appearance in a just released Buick Verano commercial.  The commercial, which promotes the Pandora streaming music feature in the Verano, shows the band launching in to "Everybody Talks", the first single from the band's soon to be released second album Picture Show.

The commercial, shot in January in the Old Town section of Monrovia, California, humorously shows the band on their tour bus along with other buses filled with Pandora "selections".

Picture Show is scheduled to be released on April 17th. With a limited number of tickets available for two pre-release shows, a lucky few will get to see Neon Trees perform at the legendary Troubadour in Los Angeles and The Bowery Ballroom in New York.  Both shows apparently sold out within hours of tickets going on sale yesterday.

Pricing for GM's all new luxury compact Buick Verano starts at $23,470, for the base 2.4-liter model with 180 hp, a six-speed automatic transmission and 18-inch wheels. The Convenience Group adds features like a six-way power driver's seat, rear park assist and heated side mirrors.  The top of the line model comes with Leather Group trim, which includes heated seats, keyless entry and push-button start, plus a Bose audio system.

We can help you find SPECIAL internet pricing on the all new Buick Verano.

UPDATE:  Buick has released a video of Neon Trees performing the full version of "Everybody Talks" while filming the all new Buick Verano spot from their tour bus.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fisker Karma: A Surprise Gift for Justin Bieber

Lots of guys probably dream of getting a super hot looking sports car for their 18th birthday, but if your Justin Bieber those kind of dreams can come true. The pop idol was gifted with a new $100,000 Fisker Karma hybrid electric car recently on the Ellen show.  Bieber's manager Scott "Scooter" Braun presented the surprise present, a gift from Braun and Bieber's music biz mentor Usher, saying:

"You work really really hard. I always yell at you, 'Don't get anything flashy!' You know, we're not about that. Be humble, be humble. And I kind of broke my own rule. We wanted to make sure since you love cars, that when you're on the road you are always environmentally friendly. And we decided to get you a car that would make you stand out on the road. I think you know where I'm going, and you're kind of freaking out right now. So, Justin...a very hard to get car, that's a Fisker Karma."

Bieber joins a select group of environmentally friendly Karma owners, including Leonardo DiCaprio.  The positive publicity couldn't come at a better time for Fisker. The company has dealt with a stream of challenges recently including delayed production, recalls, and financial insecurity.

Chris Russell, General Manager with Fisker Salt Lake gave us an up close look at the Fisker Karma recently at the Utah International Auto Expo.  A super sexy ride.

Fisker Karma

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Consumer Reports: Top Picks for 2012

2012 Toyota Highlander
Consumer reports has named their top picks for 2012 and Toyota shows up in a whopping 5 out of the 10 picks. With the Hyundai Sonata taking the top spot for Affordable Family Sedan, Toyota sweeps the other best in class categories for family vehicles, favoring the Toyota Sienna, Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Toyota Highlander. Consumer Reports evaluates vehicles for their road test performance, as well as reliability and safety. Here is how the rest of the field filled out:

  • Affordable family sedan: Hyundai Sonata
  • Green car: Toyota Prius
  • Family hauler: Toyota Sienna
  • Family sedan: Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Family SUV: Toyota Highlander
  • Pickup truck: Chevrolet Avalanche
  • Small car: Subaru Impreza
  • Small SUV: Toyota RAV4
  • Sports sedan: Infiniti G
  • Sporty car: Ford Mustang

2012 Subaru Impreza
So who makes the best vehicles overall? Yet another list from Consumer Reports, which ranks automakers on road test scores from their complete lineup of vehicles, placed Subaru at the top of the list for automakers, followed by Mazda, Toyota, Honda and Ford. Mazda showed the most dramatic improvement on this list.