Episode 1101 – Fiat to Sell Alfa? Volvo’s MethaneDiesel Concept, 2014 Camaro Z/28

March 28th, 2013 at 11:52am

Runtime: 7:17

Rumors out of Italy say that Audi is in talks to take over Alfa-Romeo. Volvo introduces a concept called MethaneDiesel that’s equipped with a diesel engine that can run on LNG. Chevy pulls the wraps off the redesigned 2014 Camaro, which will once again have a Z/28 option. All that and more, plus a slew of unveils from the New York Auto Show.

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily, this is actually the end of the work week for us, since tomorrow is Good Friday. But we still have a lot of news to report.

Rumors out of Italy say that Audi is in talks to take over Alfa-Romeo. Ward’s Auto World reports that Audi would reportedly buy Alfa and Fiat’s Pomigliano plant in Italy. Ward’s says that Fiat is also looking to sell Magneti Marelli, it’s electronics supplier division. Even though Sergio Marchionne has consistently denied he would sell Alfa, and especially not to the VW Group, Fiat desperately needs cash to buy the rest of Chrysler, to feed its own product development pipeline, and to help offset the collapse of the European car market.

The bad news keeps piling up for Fisker. Just a couple of weeks ago Henrik Fisker quit the company. Last week Chinese investors interested in acquiring or investing in it backed out of the negotiations, and now Reuters reports Fisker just put its U.S. workers on furlough this week. The company is trying to save money while it looks for an investor.

On Monday we told you how commercial trucks fleets are getting real interested in natural gas. Now Volvo Trucks and Shell just announced they are partnering up to promote the use of liquefied natural gas. They will first focus on select markets in Central Europe and the United States. Volvo just introduced a concept called the MethaneDiesel that’s equipped with a diesel engine that can run on LNG. Volvo says it has a range of 1,000 kilometers or about 620 miles.

Ford has come up with a clever way to deal with criticisms that its hybrid and EcoBoost cars don’t deliver competitive real-world fuel economy. It’s opening its connectivity technology to outside app developers. Called the Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge it invites developers to come up with apps that allow drivers to tap into their car’s computers to mine it for fuel economy data. Ford owners to then share their real-world fuel economy data, saying the EPA label is not as meaningful. And if Ford chooses an app it will give $50,000 to the developer.

Coming up next, we have a slew of new car introductions from the New York auto show.

We have a bunch of new cars to show you that were unveiled at the New York show yesterday and earlier today.

Here it is. The 2014 Camaro Z/28. This model gets a full aerodynamic package, a 7.0L V8 that puts out 500 horsepower and is only available with a manual transmission. Air conditioning is an option, because this is really a track car, which should be music to any gearheads ears.

The Nissan Pathfinder gets an optional hybrid powertrain. It features a supercharged 2.5L gasoline engine mated to a 15kW electric motor that together put out 250 horsepower. It will deliver a combined 26 mpg and have a 526 mile driving range. The hybrid option will be $3,000.

Speaking of powertrains, BMW gave us a look at the all-new 3-cylinder engine that will be going in its i8 plug-in hybrid. It’s a turbocharged 1.5L that puts out 177 horsepower and 199 lb.-ft. of torque. BMW says that the 3-cylinder is about 5-15% more efficient than its GDI 4-cylinder. The i8 makes its debut sometime in 2014.

The Mercedes B-Class electric has a range of 115 miles or about 200 kilometers. It has an electronically limited speed of 100 mph and takes about 2 hours of charge time for 60 miles of driving. To save space, the battery is fitted underneath the floor of the vehicle. It goes on sale in the U.S. early next year. Mercedes did not mention anything about Tesla, but presumably that’s where the electric technology came from.

When the Jeep Grand Cherokee got a face lift, you knew it was only a matter of time before we’d see a refresh of the Dodge Durango. That’s because both vehicles share the same platform and product cycle and are built in the same plant. So sure enough Dodge chose the New York show to show what the new look is all about.

The best-selling vehicle in the Kia lineup is the Optima, and now features new front and rear facias and more premium amenities and convenience options. It will be built at Kia’s West Point, GA facility and will go on sale in the third quarter of this year.

The Kia Soul has been a smash hit for Kia, thanks to those hip-hop hamsters, its jaunty styling and its boom-box dashboard design. But even hipster’s have to freshen their persona every now and then and the Soul is no exception, except that, unless you see the old one parked next to the new one, it will be hard for a lot of people to notice there’s a new version available.

New York isn’t the only city with an auto show going on. Kia just unveiled a small four-door concept at the Seoul Motor Show. Called the CUB, It’s powered by a 1.6L turbocharged gasoline engine with direct injection and a six-speed manual. It seats up to four people and features suicide doors. Kia says, at the moment, it does not have plans to produce the CUB.

Before we go be sure to tune in to Autoline After Hours tonight when our guest will be the chief engineer on the Impala. Anyway that wraps up this weeks reports. Thanks for watching, we’ll be back here on Monday.

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128 Comments to “Episode 1101 – Fiat to Sell Alfa? Volvo’s MethaneDiesel Concept, 2014 Camaro Z/28”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    From yesterday’s show, the government needs to start an investigation into what is causing all these vehicle fires that seem to affecting so many different models and makes,is it inadequate wiring, engines running too hot, too much electronics? perhaps the mush-heralded electrification of the automobile is not such a good idea.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Sweet Z(28). I like it anyway; brings me back to the late ’60′s when the factory would put out a limited edition ‘hot-rod’ that was track-ready (but street legal).

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe several manufacturers are using the same fuel filters, or power steering hoses that blow out.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In the ’60′s, you could even get those “straight line racers” without power steering. A friend had a ’69 Charger R/T with a 440 engine, 4-speed manual, and no power steering. It wasn’t much fun to parallel park.

  5. C-Tech Says:

    Based on the description of the fire, I suspect the Ram fire was a fuel line not fully connected and it finally blew off at the engine. Probably a one-off occurance since this was not a prototype or first production. Car fires have been happening for years so this is not something new to manufacturers. Camera phones and instant news reports are new.

    The new Z/28 looks like an interesting package if you want (and can afford) a new toy in the garage.

    Does anyone know who produces that engine for the Volvo LNG truck?

    This app thing with Ford could backfire. It could confirm what CR and other reports say about their Ecoboost and hybrids.

  6. Bradley Says:

    No word on price, but the NY International Auto Show revealed 28/34 mpg for the hybrid Subaru XV.

    That is a small increase over the non-hybrid 25/33 mpg. If it doesn’t add much to the price, I would say this is a smart move.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t know what VW would want with Alfa, but I guess it would give them an excuse to make some more flashy looking Golf near-clones.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like Volvo produces the engines:


    Volvo Trucks is not connected with the Geely Car Company, and now includes Mack, and White, if they still use the White name.

  9. HtG Says:

    Ford app

    It’s great that Farley is working with the EPA on this mileage issue. In the article I read, Farley said that mileage is a top thing on consumers’ minds. Someone needs to make an app that gives drivers with cell phones an incentive to let their car download mileage and conditions to the smartphone, and then e-zaporate the info to the cloud. The incentive can be some silliness like fantasy football points, happy meal credits for the kids, or a menu of silly, like maybe free gas credits with Citgo. I’d like to see a comples barcode added to the Munroney so buyers could point their phone at the image and get all mileage data right at the point of purchase, too.


  10. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I use my ‘instantaneous mpg’ function of the screen between the speedo and tach.It works like a vacuum gauge from the old days.Don’t need no steekin apps fer that….just eyes ;}>

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That BMW triple is big, for a 3 cylinder car engine, but if they can make it smooth, it makes sense. I won’t be surprised if it ends up in the next generation MINI.

  12. HtG Says:

    Farley made the point that some cars like hybrids are especially sensitive to conditions like high altitude. If I were making a list of cars, a owner created real world driving index would not only be better info than the govt numbers, but would give me more confidence compared to what the other carcos were quoting.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If only people would use existing sites where people can report their mileage, owner data would be great. The EPA site has a provision to report your mileage, and a grand total of two people have reported mileage for MINI’s like mine. If there were two thousand, or even two hundred people reporting for each car model, that would be great data. True Delta also has an mpg reporting function.

    With any of these, you need a lot of data for it to be meaningful, to average out the different types of driving, average out the people who lie in each direction, etc. For now, CR seems to be the best source of mpg data for comparing cars. They, at least, test all the cars the same way, and their numbers seem to better indicate real mpg, especially of diesels, hybrids, and small turbos, than the EPA numbers.

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I went to the jeep website to ‘build your own’ 2014 GC diesel.As I suspected,to get the diesel option you have to buy bull$hit pkg’s that end up over 6k.talk about greed.I now wonder if they will do the same thing to the ram 1500.If they do,the take rate won’t be near anything like it could,and would be if they just let us have the diesel option in what trim level we want.Well,if they don’t do that,some other oem will.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like the Subaru hybrid falls in the same “what’s the point” category as GM’s e-assist, unless it is a very cheap option.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The last Jeep diesel, the Liberty a few years back had mandatory 4WD and automatic transmission. If they’d sold it as an RWD manual, it might have interested me, at the time.

  17. W L Simpson Says:

    Self driving cars will rocket to the top of the sales charts as soon as apps distracted driver deaths reach a tipping point.

  18. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I had the 06 Liberty Limited CRD.I wouldn’t buy one if it didn’t have 4wd ;}>

  19. C-Tech Says:

    @ #16 The last time Jeep offered a Diesel in the Liberty or Grand, they sold ALL of them with little if any advertising.

  20. ColoradoKid Says:

    Greetings from 8000 ft !(couldn’t resist )

    why does Audi want Alfa Romeo you ask ?

    Simple . Winterkorn’s stated objective of total world domination …… That’s why

    hmnnn ….. That’s twice now in the news this week for Marchionne

    ( jeeze this posting on an iPhone thing is a pain )

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe you should get an HTC Android phone. Posting is easier than with an iPhone.

  22. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ C-Tech: And they couldn’t keep up with the amount of orders either.They sold more then twice what they figured,and I think that was in the first year.Of course the economy was better then too,and the liberty was a lot cheaper model then the GC.It really looks like macaroni is very greedy.

  23. HtG Says:

    21 :) :)

  24. ColoradoKid Says:

    21 – yeah right … and pigs fly south for the winter ;-)

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, really. I’m serious. I have the phone, (EVO 4G LTE, the one sold by Sprint), and a gen 5 iPod Touch. The phone is easier to type on. Also, it’s great how the browser on the phone word wraps, so I can easily read web sites such as Autoline without my reading glasses, and without dragging lines back and forth after zooming in. You should check it out. Verizon and ATT have versions of it too, but I’m not sure what they call them.

    Of course, it’s much easier yet to type using a computer, Mac or Windows, than with any phone.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14, 22,
    Not only do you have to get the “Limited” trim level to get the diesel in the GC, but the diesel itself is a very expensive option, $4500 over the 3.6 gas. Paying for itself in fuel savings will not be part of the equation with the diesel. Someone would just have to really want it, for other reasons.

  27. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Do I want a diesel? Yes.Do I want another jeep product? Hell no.Will I pay stupid money for a diesel? Nope….don’t want one or need one that bad.Do the PU truck oem’s need to sell diesels? Maybe not right now,but they soon will to bring up fleet averages etc.Do I care? No,not anymore.A small block V8 gasser will pull what I need to pull,and everybody has em so I ain’t in any hurry.

  28. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: Make that a 7.5k option on the GC limited.When you click on the diesel option you have to get the ‘luxury pkg’ with it,bringing the diesel option to $7500.00.Way to go jeep,lmfao.

  29. HtG Says:

    Think nice thoughts about how you’d be subsidizing all those high mileage cars Chrysler has to move. Sweet, eh?

  30. GaryPaul Says:

    great to see the Z28 back. Seems like the best model that will ever come from the 2010-2015 model year Camaro, as the ZL1 is just too overkill and costly. And the Z28 has terrific standard features like NO AIR CONDITIONING! Great! A serious performance car! I recall ordering my 1990 Mustang 5.0 V8 and a/c was standard so I dug deeper and sure enough they would let you delete it –but without giving you any credit! So I was apparently the only guy who ordered a Mustang that year without a/c. I’ve been hoping some performance car variant like the Boss Mustang or this Z28 would let us get it without this power robbing accessory that helps fill up the already crowded engine bay. Good job Chevrolet. Now lets hope they don’t cover over the engine so we can actually lift the hood and see it (and hear it) instead of a sea of plastic! I also often thought about the ridiculous 19 speaker stereos that came in so many performance cars and could be reduced by giving me 2 good speakers in each door. It looks like Chevy beat me and just has one! Hey these guys are serious!
    It looks like they took 100 pounds away from the standard Camaro SS–partly with reduction of some sound deadening in the trunk area–hmmm–that low restriction exhaust is really going to sing–both inside and out–great! And moving toward smaller wheels (only 19″–my so tiny–ha!) is a step in the right direction. It’s about time we moved more toward a man’s car again with a big fat normally aspirated V8. it’s terrific. Let’s hope the valve concerns they had with the LS7 are fully fixed–I think they have been…

    i did not hear if they placed the battery in the trunk as is often done to add weight to the rear but it may be because of packaging concerns or the pendulous nature of adding it back there which may harm handling–but it would clean up the engine bay further as well and perhaps add a little traction although those monster tires probably have that covered. Heck–if they get any wider it will be like the Flintstones with one giant “tire” spanning the whole rear of the car!

    Now maybe Ford’s new 2015 Mustang or variants coming in 2016-17 year updates can do similar and introduce a new Boss model like this Z28 but with direct injection, 200-300 lbs lighter (thus at least 360 lbs lighter than this Z28) and a honking 460 hp. Or perhaps a similar performance upgrade but with a higher ground clearance, even smaller (ridiculously tiny 18′–ha) wheels, nice fat tires but with less aspect ratios of 30 going back to a lazy 50 series (like 295/50–but still wide) and call it the Bullitt –a more laid back performance model. We’ll see.

    Interesting about the Z28 article needling the Boss Mustang a number times such as about some Boss models (Laguna Seca) not having back seats. Chevy did a good job it seems. Will be terrific to see the reviews and lets hope that Chevy does NOT restrict the build number– to make it “collectable”–.

  31. G.A.Branigan Says:

    That would be true if I was brand loyal to chrysler.But…..I ain’t brand loyal to any oem so I think I will with hold my meager subsidies.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That’s nice that you can get the Z28 without A/C. Now, if only we could get cars without power windows. Unfortunately, I suppose it is cheaper to put power windows in all of them, if only 5 per cent of buyers would want crank windows.

  33. HtG Says:

    30 My Miata had its battery mounted in the right side of the trunk, close to the wheel well. The spare was in that corner too, pushed up against the gas tank compartment. This balanced out the driver’s weight to some degree. Those guys were serious as well.

    32 I deliberately ordered wind up windows in my Civic. In a coupe, it’s never been an inconvenience, except when I want to call for pizza and yell at kids at the same time. ;)

  34. ColoradoKid Says:

    25 iPod touch and the iPhone …. two very different animals .. never shall the ‘ Darkside ‘ enter my abode/pocket/shoulder bag

  35. CDNeh Says:

    In some cars the manual crank windows are heavier than the power regulators. Wish for lighter glass!

  36. GaryPaul Says:

    It’s the confort features that both reduce power (parasitic a/c belt) add heat (a/c), fill up the engine bay (making it uglier and adding weight over the front end (hurting handling & rear traction and keeping the vehicle from the 50/50 ratio of weight distribution)) –and costing you $ that really can go! I must be the only man who can happily live without leather upholstery either as the cost saved with a good grippy cloth material can be used to upgrade other performance features–and by the way–that doesn’t mean an ugly seat! people were thrilled with 1985 Mustang GT seats with the red piping (even though the quality was not up to snuff–they unraveled a bit through the years). They looked goo and (for the times) held you in place well.

    As far as the back seat goes–I only once had anyone in the back of each of my muscle cars so they are not too important for me. nevertheless its interesting what chevy did substituting lighter materials in the seat and eliminating the pass through.

    I still think I could place the batt. in the trunk on the Z28.

    The power windows are nice especially if you live without a/c in the summer (here up north in Detroit) and only add a few lbs.

    I look forward to hearing this thing start up and rumble down the road a bit–wow –a big block engine in size but packaged in a small block. Nothing like the spine-tingling sound of an unencumbered V8.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Not really, at least in the case of iPhone 5 and iPod touch 5. I’ve played with both, and they work the same, except the obvious difference of the iPod not phoning and texting. The browsers and the aps work exactly the same.

    Of course, there are things I like about Apple. That’s why I have the iPod, and why I have a Mac.

  38. ColoradoKid Says:

    The best option out there for alternative fuels ;


    Lets face it . We’ve got more of ‘ It ‘ than we know what to do with ( especially in DC ) …. right now ‘ Its ‘ just creating a mess and stinking up the place … and … there’s a never ending supply of ‘ It’ for as long as carbon based creatures roam the earth , politicians continue to exist and marketing/ advertising remains a fixture in our society

    ‘ It ‘ ….. the real alternative in fuels


  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    If the vegans and environmentalists have their way, even cows will go away as well, no meat, no dairy and stop the air pollution put out by these happy-go-lucky gaseous creature, while the slanted eyes commies on the other side of the planet, pollute at will.

  40. Brett Says:

    There is a bluetooth dongle that will plug into the OBDII port under the dash. It can then be used to interface with a smartphone.

    Seems like a good data-collection option.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If they could collect all the fart gas, there would be even more “natural gas” to use. That might be hard to do, though.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38, If cows went away, there wouldn’t be leather for car companies to charge extra for over cloth which is, in most ways, better.

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    But Vegans don’t buy leather either, right?

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah, don’t get the leather thing for car seats, they crack, too hot in summer, too cold in winter, Gimme cloth any day or in the case of my peeps, gaudy velour with the little aromatic tree dangling from the rear view mirror.

  45. ColoradoKid Says:

    ahhhhhh … but lets not forget we’re carbon based excrement creating little beasts ourselves with rivers of the stuff flowing beneath our homes , towns and cities ;-)

    and errr … pedro … no they do not …

    but hey …stand up and fight …… buy the t-shirt

    PETA ( people eating tasty animals :o )

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    So vegans must buy shoes with non-breathing, man-made materials, not for me, thanks just the same.

  47. cwolf Says:

    I wouldn’t doubt there will come a time when some genious will try to make livestock haulers utilize all that smelly gas to fuel the semi via a direct hose from each hinder into the tank! You’ll easily be able to pick out one of these drivers at the rest stop; They’re the ones donning a gas mask. I’d hate to be the hose installer!

  48. cwolf Says:

    #46 cont:

    …and if ya ever see a gas masked driver at a rest-stop walking a little bow-legged….., he’s the hose installer that had a bull wink at him when the hose was being inserted!!

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    So does this mean that in the future, cars will be rated by their cow power and pound feet of farts instead of horse power and lb ft of torque?

  50. HtG Says:

    EPA proposes reduced sulfur content in gasoline. Not to change today’s subject.


  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    #49 will this make gas even more expensive, mi amigo Herman?

  52. HtG Says:

    works for me :)

    Wapo says between 1-7 cents/gallon

  53. ColoradoKid Says:

    51 – Ahem ! ( sloppy weather outside .. got the Wifi going )

    That’d be 17 cents .. not 1-7 … minimum !

  54. ColoradoKid Says:


    cwolf … an ‘ off the grid ‘ ( slightly off the wall as well ) former dairy farmer neighbor back in VT’s already got all his trucks n tractors running off the stuff …. and in fact it decreases the overall smell in the neighborhood ( by quite a bit ) and nada from the exhaust ….. Now the Bull issue …. that can be a completely different story indeed should one not watch ones back ;-)

  55. HtG Says:

    the Wapo article has the administration predicting about a cent, while the industry says 9. This standard would bring the US down to European levels.

    Getting enough 02 up there, Kid? Coffee works if you’ve used up the ‘supply’ if’n you catch my ‘snowdrift.’

  56. HtG Says:


    No it’s not what you’re thinking. Renesas announces an eight core processor for automotive uses. The chip will use the latest tech from the mobile industry, with cores from ARM and Imagination(a leader in graphics). Octocore chips are not even in phones or tablets yet, but this offering shows how cars are getting ever more wired up.

    Danger, John, press release


  57. ColoradoKid Says:

    HtG – NPR CNBC etc etc etc all say 17 cents minimum … so what does Wapo know from dollars n’ cents ?

    FYI .. ‘ blizzards ‘ were a thing of the very distant past ( wink wink ) coffee’ll ( caffeine ) will make the altitude even worse fer you flat lander types …. and 02 bars are for weenies !


  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    CK how is Hanz handling the lower O2 conditions over there?

  59. HtG Says:

    Franz, please, Pedro. There’s a difference

  60. cwolf Says:

    Another fuel tank question; What for Easter dinner? We’re going to the inlaws and have ham and peroggies and such. Guss it’s restaurant food for the Kidd. Pedro, do Cubans have any special holiday favs?

  61. ColoradoKid Says:

    JEEP Cherokee

    Is it is … or is it aint ( an Alfa Romeo in drag )

    The ( cough ) designer says it isn’t … whereas every EU/UK pundit has asserted that it is … especially seeing as how the preview drawings of the original Alfa match perfectly to the JEEP Cherokee with the JEEP only having a new snout and a minor detail or two different

    Best JEEP/Marchionne joke of the week ?

    The ( pardon me while I fall over laughing ) supposed ‘ Trail Rated ‘ version of the Cherokee …. remembering that the thing is just a Suzuki SX4 in JEEP drag

    Would you take that thing off road ? Heck I’d be reluctant to take it on a groomed dirt road

  62. ColoradoKid Says:

    57 – Computer compensates for the altitude …. so FRANZ does just fine … thank you very much !!! Fact is I don’t even notice !

    59 – Dinner mit freunds …. very Austrian … no clue whats on the menu …. but gotta tell ya …. the other half of me ( pure unadulterated Pole ) sure is jealous ’bout them peroggies and got my mouth a watering …. guess I know what I’m cooking at home next week now … don’t we ;-)

    So errr … no news today ?

  63. HtG Says:

    61 Just Bernie stirring his pot of gold a bit. Says Vettel was right to ignore team orders.


    My view is now that Vettel had decided before the race not to obey team orders. He knew the strategy before the start; no way he had a mid race brain fart.(see I can make jokes too). Vettel is saying that he’s bigger than the team, and that prancing around at 8/10ths is rubbish. He won’t play along.

  64. ColoradoKid Says:

    62 – IMHO Vettel is the new ‘ Schumi ‘ ( being so above the law/contracts etc ) with this whole Soap Opera schtick .. being a manufactured and ‘ scripted ‘ Reality TV controversy in a pathetic attempt on Uncle Bernie’s part to garner more press for F1 ….. seeing as how the TV viewing numbers are still waning

  65. HtG Says:

    This just in…GM’s improved resale values improve leasing competitiveness. See how accountants are also true believers?


    Mark Reuss interview embedded

  66. HtG Says:

    63 It’s about increasing viewership in growing Asia. A narrative like Vet v Web can be a reality show season for normal F1 naifs. I must say, I’m enjoying it.

  67. pedro fernandez Says:

    Cwolf, I think it’s pork, but since I have lived here most of my life, I prefer Gringo-style honey baked ham (homemade) and the fixings that go with it. CK the reason I asked is that these 2 guys review cars in Colo and they always blame the altitude for the slower 0 – 60 times of the cars they test, I was thus wondering if you had felt any sluggishness or lack of power.

  68. HtG Says:

    And Finally tonight,…industry baddie Joan Claybrook is not so sanguine about efforts by Audi et al to change a 1968 rule that headlights must have two settings, low and high. Audi has new, automatically adjusting headlamps that react to many driving conditions. Claybrook says there needs to be evidence of safety improvements for the feds to move.


  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    I just saw a FAW Chinese minivan thingy that kind of reminded of the old Japanese mini vans. very small and looked old style, even though I am sure it is new, what is this crap, are we getting invaded already by illegal foreign vehicles? 2 weeks ago I saw a Mexican Chebie and now this Chinese death trap, when the guy made a quick right turn, it looked like it was gonna tip over. LOL

  70. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – Which two guys ? I’m curious .

    Seriously though if the cars ECU is up to date and reasonably sophisticated ( able to detect altitude changes ) a .2 – .5 increase in 0-60 should be the worse you’ll see .

    Strange thing is my mpg has increased since we’ve moved back … by about 1.5 mpg . That ones got me stymied


    HtG- I’m kind of getting tired of the whole ‘ Soap Opera thing myself and can’t wait to get back to the racing …. btw despite the Vettel comment … I’s still a fan . I’m just hoping like Hamilton he doesn’t let his ego/arrogance get in the way of his driving at some point

    Kubica .. you heard ? he’s full time ERC rally now . Seriously he’s got a little too much Toivonen/ Rodriguez in him and I worry about his future


    cwolf – You got me thinking about the Easter menu at my Polish Gram’s house when I was a kid . This is what I remember ;

    Hard boiled eggs pickled in beet juice
    Red beets & Cabbage
    Kielbasa & Ham w/horseradish and beet sauce

    .. and last but not least …. Babka bread … mmmmmmm

  71. pedro fernandez Says:

    CK it’s romanmicagearguy on youtube, he and some other fellow review lots of vehicles from i mile up and they always get crummy 0 to 60 numbers, they blame the air but I think it’s the fact that they both are in the vehicle when they run the tests, so perhaps that in itself is a disadvantage.

  72. pedro fernandez Says:

    For Good Friday, my devout catholic wife used to insist on not eating meat, so instead I used to have to take her for LOBSTER! LOBSTER??? the last time I checked, lobster is a MEAT, it is a DEAD ANIMAL, so where is the sacrifice? No more lobster, no more meat so now we go to MIckey D’s. after all. how much meat can there be in those cheap-ass burgers anyway?

  73. cwolf Says:

    My wife(Italian,Chec),too,is devout and has followed all the rules since Cath. grade school. Thus, I have been a good boy during the Lenten season from day one. For fri. lunches I have been eating lots and lots of lentils prepared differ ways. I had to change to shrimp rolls,sushies and such because…… well, let’s just say one of those hoses I spoke of earlier could have been a money maker for me!
    Lobster ain’t meat,..it’s from the sea! Don’t be a cheap-skate with your Honey. Kids and ol’folk can eat meat during lent. I tried to include myself into this catagory because I qualify for my own AARP card, but my better half still says NO ! Geesh!! Still a good try.

  74. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf, lobster ain’t meat? what is it then, a vegetable? does this mean that vegans can eat lobster? I don’t think so, amigo! if it comes from an animal, it’s meat! just verrrrry expensive meat.

  75. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – When I get down off the mountain I’ll check into those two guys . Personally I’ve never seen or heard of either of them and I’m pretty well connected to the CO car community so I’m wondering if their lousy 0-60 times are due to them both being a couple of serious nimrods when it comes to launching a car . And for the love of Pete … the idiots are doing their 0-60 tests on a public road ( somewhere in the Foothills ) when Bandimere is right up the road ? Not to mention between the two of them I’ll bet they’re pushing a good 550 – 600 lbs minimum .

    My best guess is you’d do best not taking anything Zippy and Fritz say about any car at face value

    Ahhh the internet . Where any idiot with a camera and the willingness to make a fool of him/herself can be a Legend in their own Minds … for at least 15 minutes … or so

  76. cwolf Says:

    pero, it is a sea food and one can have sea food. The church doesn’t say you have to be a vegan. Hell… the church nor anyone knew the word vegan away back then. Don’t tell me you don’t have a slew of Friday fish frys at the churches in your area? Up here it’s perch or walleye. You may see sole in your neck of the woods, but don’t eat it! Sole’s are often leather right?.. and that would be meat!

  77. ColoradoKid Says:

    73 – Sheesh Pedro .. its been a good 30 years since I was a practicing good little ( Roman & Byzantine ) Catholic and even I remember that ‘ Meat ‘ in the Catholic Churches definition does not include Sea Food ..e.g. Fish and Shell Fish …

  78. ColoradoKid Says:


    ” You may see sole in your neck of the woods, but don’t eat it! Sole’s are often leather right?.. and that would be meat! ”


  79. ColoradoKid Says:

    ‘ Popemobile ‘ Question of the Weekend

    So … since there’s obviously a few present and former Catholics participating here …. in light of the new Pope being much more ‘ down to earth ‘ and modest than his predecessors and he already expressing his displeasure with the current ‘ Popemobile ‘ of the last few decades ( converted and armored Mercedes G-Wagon ) any clues what the new ‘ Popemobile ‘ might be ?

    I know he’s been seen of late in a VW Phaeton … but he’ll still need something for parades / events and the like .

    I’m curious what he’ll do . Any thoughts ?

  80. ColoradoKid Says:

    cwolf – I think I heard Sole was exempted because Sole is considered Soul food and food for the Soul must be good … even for Fridays and Lent …. isn’t it ?

  81. cwolf Says:

    CK- I love your sense of wit. But,”maybe” is your answer…why? Soul food is good for the soul,yet these foods MUST be accompanied with greens,which have what in it…..pork fat! And my friends say ya gotta have one wif da utta or it aint worth hav’in.

    The pope could follow the trend of the Queen of England by using a carriage. Some adjustment may be needed when abroad….like pulling with a team of “Mustangs”, … the Sheby, just in case…….

  82. cwolf Says:

    Sorry….the Mustang Shelby.

  83. pedro fernandez Says:

    You guys miss the whole point of not eating meat on Good Fri it’s supposed to be a sacrifice, due to the fact that in ancient times, meat was much more expensive, fish was not, so in humility, you choose to eat the cheaper fish, but in modern times it’s the opposite, fish as gotten more expensive as well as shellfish/.

  84. cwolf Says:

    Well if it makes you feel any better….eat the fish that wash ashore! Just funn’in ya, pedro.

  85. cwolf Says:

    From my understanding the type of sacrifice you mension is not just about eating a poor mans food. It’s about sacrificing oneself to share the pain Jesus experienced. Abstaining from certain food and pleasures is said to imitate Jesus’s 40 day fast. But in church school I was taught the concept of lent was to wean ourselves from sin and selfishness as a preparation for the celebration of death/resurection. So if you choose to adopt practices beyond what the chuech requires just prepares you all the more. +++10X for you ,pal!

  86. cwolf Says:

    Since we are off car subjects, KC, do have any line of wisdom as to housing prices, say over the next 10 years? As you may recall, we are trying to move back home.

  87. Kit Gerhart Says:

    57, 61
    You would lose about 15-20% of power at 5000 feet, compared to sea level with an unboosted engine because of the thinner air. With a turbo, or supercharged engine, you would lose less, or none depending on whether the engine will maintain full boost when breathing thinner air.

    All modern cars will run proper fuel/air mixture at high altitude.

  88. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, fuel injection has helped a lot, I remember driving a V8 Pontiac engine to the Blue Ridge Skyway and it felt like a wimpy 4 cyl over there, while the locals with their properly tuned and prepped old beaters were zooming along like nothing.

  89. HtG Says:

    Here’s a weekend doc on Japanese car restoration culture. Sorry, if you’ve already seen it. 45min


  90. HtG Says:

    I get all these suggestions from YouTube, as I have some subscriptions under my account. Plus, their algos notice what I watch and make suggestions based on that. It does a good job of spying on me.

  91. HtG Says:


    Maryland raises gas tax


  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Before closed-loop mixture control, which started in the late 70′s, when at high altitude, the engine would run too rich, in addition to having less air to breath. Fuel injection, and even the carburetors with closed loop mixture control help a lot, but there still “less air in the air” at high elevation, so you lose power.

  93. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I am surprised….no,I’m shocked that I seem to be the only geezer here that remembers the good old ‘denver heads’ hot rodding thing.Even back to the flathead days,the heads for high altitude use,such as in denver,were decked x amount to compensate for the thin air,and drop in compression ratio.Use them in lower altitudes and some high test and it was an instant HP thing.

  94. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and you’d use leaner jets when actually running at high altitude.

  95. ColoradoKid Says:

    cwolf – 85 – Best advice i can give is the one we’re following ( when back AH sometime I’ll pop in some links )

    When it comes to real estate right now … if you don’t NEED to do anything ( buy or sell ) Don’t !!!! FYI we’re still in rental mode .. which in fact for a family of three or less you come out ahead financially


    Kit – That 15-20% thing with the more sophisticated ECU’s like the Germans have is a thing of the past … becoming more like 5-10% … so those dolts Pedro told me about losing a full second on a 3 Series are just that ….dolts ( not to mention they’re on public roads with a ‘false flat ‘ and between them weigh a good 600 lbs or more )

    You perhaps got any reason/explanation though why my mpg got better when we moved back here ??? Seriously ….. it makes zero sense to me .


    G.A. ( 92 ) Believe me …. you’re not alone ;-)

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK, if the air is 15-20% less dense, as it is at 5000 feet vs sea level, you will lose with an un-boosted engine. The ECM will lean the injection to run a proper mixture, but only forced induction can maintain power in thinner air.

  97. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You might yet better mileage because, with the thinner air, you’d have less drag. I’d think the diffetence would be way to small to measure.

  98. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sorry about the typos in 96.

    Anyway, I found several sources saying that the power loss you have with naturally aspirated engines is about 3%/1000 feet of elevation above sea level. With turbocharged and supercharged engines, the drop will be less, but there is no general way to calculate it, because force inducted engines vary in their ability to maintain full boost at higher elevations. That 3% is for engines with modern fuel systems that will run the proper fuel/air mixture at high elevations. The power loss would be greater for older, carbureted engines that go rich as the air thins.

  99. cwolf Says:

    After dusting off a couple engr. books, I may be heading in the right direction to explain CK’s bewilderment. I sense the fuel mixture may be just a tad rich at sea level. At higher elevations the ignition becomes more complete and efficient.
    Although the gas tank is pressurized to some extent,elevation hd. press lessens as elevations increase. Potential energy (density x gravity x height) similarly follows. I can only guess the answer to the delema lies in the area of the fuel pump as the fuel is delivered towards the engine. Once the fuel is in the line,I believe the physics involved follows the Bernoulli equation for fluids and will be less affected by height. The high pressure mist of the injectors must help to some degree burn the fuel more thoughly. Is there any logic in this thought?

  100. cwolf Says:

    98 cont.
    The reason I mensioned head pressure in the gas tank is because it would decrease with height,just as a planes cabin pressure would have to be adjusted as elevations vary. This may decrease the fuel pump vol. enough to impact the Kidds mpg’s.

  101. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Another variable at elevation is octane requirement; typically regular (at sea level) has an octane rating of 87, at high altitude, say Denver at 5000 ft., will have an octane (for regular) at 85. This just an observation, I don’t know all the intricacies of some of the other variants.

  102. G.A.Branigan Says:

    As far as altitude vs forced induction,certain aircraft (ice’s)can be of course turbocharged.But that can be what’s called ‘turbo-normalized,which means it can maintain a sea level pressure up to X altitude.Then you can get them so they can produce positive boost well beyond sea level pressure etc up too x altitudes as well.

  103. pedro fernandez Says:

    I was thinking of entering my Vibrolla in a regional Lemons race, if we have one, as a farewell to it before it finally gives up and then. it’d be too late, any ideas on that?

  104. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I have another thought as to why a car might get better mpg in the thin air of higher elevations. The throttle would be open farther to produce a given amount of power, so there would be less pumping loss in the engine. That, along with the lower aero drag in thin air should increase mpg. The air being 15% less dense at 5000 feet would reduce peak power by 15%, but it should also reduce aero drag by 15%.

  105. Kit Gerhart Says:

    With many turbocharged aircraft, one has to be careful not to “firewall” the throttle at low altitude, or on takeoff, lest you run too much boost for the engine’s health.

  106. Philip Says:

    RE: 2014 Kia Soul

    I sure hope that’s a pre-production model and not whats going on sale. The back window styling is a mess, and the whole thing looks more cartoonish.

    BTW, what’s the deal with all the oversized sunroofs the days? I will always prefer a sunroof that opens into a headliner. Cleaner looks, and less wind buffeting / noise. The units that go up on top of the roof are just trouble.

  107. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: Most,if not all turbo systems for aircraft still have a waste gate involved.Also,I never seen anyone just firewall a throttle on any aircraft unless already airborne,and then they are still limited,or regulated to x amount of boost.

  108. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The only piston engine airplanes I’ve flown in the “cockpit” of, are small, non-turbos. I took four lessons in a Piper Tomahawk. In the Tomahawk, and other small non-turbos, you use full throttle at takeoff, and to climb out.

    The guy I took my lessons from had flown a Twin Beech, with turbo, or supercharged engines, and said he had to manually adjust the throttles at takeoff, using the manifold pressure gauge. As I remember, he said there were no waste gates or other “protection” from over-boosting at low altitude; that was the pilot’s job.

    I’m sure all of today’s turbocharged airplanes have more automatic control of boost than a now 60-70 year old Twin Beech.

  109. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Let me try to clarify here:firewalling a throttle means to open it up all at once.Big difference in running the throttle to wide open gradually like what is done in small ac.My experience is with na ac engines,and jet turbines,which btw are set to ‘wide open’ in a steady gradual pace.Non waste gated ac turbo systems have been around since before WWII.However,those systems usually have more manual controls at the pilots disposal vs modern systems.That would include supercharging systems too as many WWII ac were turbo supercharged,and some even had water injection to be used in ‘war’ emergency.

  110. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I guess I don’t know all the terminology. To me, “firewalling” the throttle just meant moving it to full, whether doing it over a half a second, or maybe three seconds, as I did when taking my flying lessons. Anyway, thanks for the clarification.

    As my friend described flying the pre-WW II Beech, yeah, there was a lot of manual stuff to deal with. I think it had constant speed props, but mixture control, cowl flaps, fuel valves, and some other stuff with the engines was completely manual. The throttles had to be set by looking at manifold pressure gauges, and head temp gauges had to be monitored and used to set the mixture. I’m sure he mentioned other stuff that I’ve forgotten.

  111. cwolf Says:

    I stopped at two Ford lots today and could not find one hybred;One dealer was in Toledo! Are they selling SO well they can’t keep them on the lots or are there that many too few made available? Detroit has an ample number, making me think hybreds are regional.

  112. HtG Says:

    Formula 1, back again!

    There is some justice in the world again, as Vettel has been demoted to Toro Rosso for the next race in China, it has been announced. While RedBull had previously said that any discipline of the 3 times world champion would be handled behind closed doors, YallaF1 is reporting this story exclusively, today.


    Yeah, how’d you like that Bernie? old fool

  113. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I didn’t expect that, but I think it’s great. It looks like Seb has learned some limits of what he can get by with.

    Also, it will be quite interesting to see how Vettel and Ricciardo perform when they trade cars.

  114. C-Tech Says:

    Good morning everyone, hope all went well over the weekend regardless of your faith. I pose a what would you do question today since is so much debate over electric cars. Did an inspection this weekend for a guy buying a used Honda Civic, 2008 sedan. The seller was a late fifty-early sixty fellow who was retired, but still active and drove about 30-60 miles a day to school (teaching, consulting, and picking up the late-life kid he and his wife have in school). He had a 2010 Prius and recently leased a Nissan Leaf for $200/mo., 3-years, as a second car. So far, he and his wife love the Leaf (this is Central Fl. so no dealing with a frozen battery) and it only has to travel 20-40 miles a day, well within its range. Would you give up a Honda Civic at 32 mpg and paid for, to get the Leaf?

  115. C-Tech Says:

    Correction: He HAS a 2010 Prius he is keeping and leased a Leaf at $200/mo. for 3yrs.

  116. ColoradoKid Says:

    Actually HtG and YallaF1 have it wrong …… Seb in fact is being relegated to Red Bull’s Bumper Car series for the next six races with Danica Patrick taking over for Seb till his ‘ sentence ‘ comes to an end . Word from on high being …. ” If we can’t have the best or the the most attractive in the seat .. the most active self promoter will have to do ;-)

  117. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – er; LeMons

    Well mu amigo …. you could do that with the Vibrolla …. but another option would be to donate it to one of the better ( and legitimate ) ‘ Car ‘ charities … where they either fix the car up and give it to some one in legitimate need … or part it out to fix/repair other donated cars .

    You get a ‘ BlueBook ‘ value tax deduction as well as the pleasure of helping others . Corollas and Civics are in high demand btw

    We did that with the wife’s old 92 Corolla and have never regretted it

  118. ColoradoKid Says:

    C-tech – no way on gods little green earth would I give up much of anything for the LEAF ….. and err…. its not just cold that kills the batteries in the LEAF …. but heat ( over 85f ) as well .

    Have that person read up on all the lawsuits in AZ and S.CA against Nissan for the LEAF’s batteries crapping out in the heat .

  119. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That sounds like a very good application for an electric car, a second car that has enough range for a day’s driving, charging it at home. Environmentally, it would be better than a lot of places, because a fairly low percentage of Florida’s power is from coal.

    It would be cheaper to have kept the Civic, if nothing broke, but I suspect they just “wanted” the Leaf.

  120. HtG Says:

    C-Tech, if he’s only leasing the Leaf, then his risk is low. It will be an experience. But a Civic isn’t going to be hard to sell, so maybe he tests the market by putting an add up on CL or Ebay. If someone wants it and has cash, then your client can stop caring for three cars.

  121. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From C-tech’s post, it sounded like the Civic has been sold. Yep, leasing is the way to go with the Leaf, limiting any risk to inconvenience.

    As far as battery problems in AZ, it doesn’t get nearly as hot in FL.

  122. ColoradoKid Says:

    The only ‘ good ‘ application for an EV is in fact …..on the Golf Course and the occasional amusement park …

    And why would anyone in their right mind saddle themselves with an ugly duckling pile of dreck … that in fact does not live up to any of Nissans claims or work as advertised ?

    ….. and again ….. anything 85f or over has and will garner problems with Li’s and it sure as _____ does get at least that hot or worse in FL.

    Finally …. leafing it on the dealers lot is the only way to go when it comes to the LEAF or any other EV for that matter . Unless of course you’re just so totally enamored with your Golf Cart ya jes gotta has one for the road ;-)

  123. pedro fernandez Says:

    Under certain circumstances, the Leaf is ideal for commuting and for weekend errands as long as you keep within the range, the idea of not having to pour your hard earned dollars into them gas pumps is indeed very appealing, good luck with your purchase (lease).

  124. cwolf Says:

    CK, I sat beside the first EV motorcycle I’ve seen a couple weeks ago at a stop light. To me, it looked like the guy was headed to work. Wierd that it accelerated so quik, yet emitted no noise. I wonder how the battery will hold up if the bike sits on a hot parking lot all day?

  125. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Leaf has very high owner satisfaction. Most owners/leasers are satisfied with the cars, even in AZ. If you only need to go 40 miles/day, it doesn’t really matter if the range is 80 miles rather than 100, does it?

    Yes, it gets over 85F in Florida, but that is a lot different from Phoenix, which has highs of over 100 about a third of the year, and not-infrequent temps of over 110. The RECORD high temp for Orlando, FL, is 101, and normal summer highs are in the low-mid 90′s. That’s a lot different from 100-110 in regard to the affect on cars and batteries.

  126. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ve been to Az during the summer and I’ve lived in Fl for 20 yrs, never experienced the heat level as much as I did those few day in Az. it made me long for the Fla heat after a couple of days there.

  127. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Remember, it is April 1st; check all facts twice (today, or maybe thrice).

  128. Brett Says:

    I’d take either the Leaf or the iMev in a heartbeat. I drive 6.5 miles each way for my commute. Perfect city cars, even in the Daytona Beach area.

    I’d give up my beater 1990 Eclipse, too. :) I wouldn’t give up the Outlander for one, though. That’s my distance and hauling car.