Episode 483 – Caprice Cop Car is Quick, Adesa & Barrett-Jackson Join Forces, STP For Sale

September 22nd, 2010 at 11:52am

Runtime 6:41

The Michigan State Police evaluate cop cars from the Detroit Three, and the Caprice is a winner. Adesa and Barrett-Jackson form an alliance. STP and Armor All get sold for big bucks to a private-equity firm. All that and more, plus John responds to your questions and comments in “You Said It!”

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This is Autoline Daily for September 22, 2010.  And now, the news.

STP, ARMOR ALL, ON THE BLOCK
Two very famous brands in the aftermarket are being sold. We first reported early in the year that Clorox, the company that owns STP and Armor All was putting them up for sale. The Wall Street Journal reports that Clorox has agreed to sell it auto-care brands to a private-equity firm. Avista Capital will pay $780 million to acquire those well-known brands.

GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE…
Adesa is the second-largest auction house in the United States for selling used cars to car dealers and wholesalers. Barrett-Jackson is the best-known auction house for selling classic cars. Now, Auto Remarketing reports that the two are joining forces. They’re forming an alliance to raise their profiles and cross-promote their products, including selling insurance. One area they’re pushing into: internet auctions, because that opens up their markets to an international audience.

ALPINE COULD COME BACK
Back in the 1950s a little French company called Alpine started building sports cars. In the 1960s it began an association with Renault, and by the 1970s it was cleaning-up on the race circuit, ultimately winning the Monte Carlo Rallye and the 24 hours of Le Mans. Alpine later built performance versions of Renaults, but now it may revive its sports-car heritage. Autocar says this affordable rear-drive sportscar could be on the road in three years. Other reports suggest it could be built off the Nissan 370Z platform. I know the name looks like it should be pronounced Al-pine, but the proper pronunciation is Al-peen.

CAPRICE IS QUICK COP CAR
The Michigan State Police evaluated cop cars from each of the Big-Three automakers. Ford’s veteran Crown Victoria Police Interceptor faced-off against the new Dodge Charger Pursuit model and the Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle. The final results of this test will be published later in the year, but Chevy is no-doubt happy to announce that the Caprice was the fastest car tested – both in zero to 60 and zero to 100 mile-per-hour acceleration. It also had the best braking. A few weeks ago we showed you Ford’s new police vehicles – one based on the Taurus and one on the 2011 Explorer. They were not officially tested here and it will be interesting to see how they perform compared to the offerings from Chevy and Dodge.

REUSING VOLT BATTERIES
In other GM news the company is trying to figure out what to do with used batteries from the Chevrolet Volt. It’s working with an organization called ABB which is world’s largest supplier of electrical-grid systems. The 16-kilowatt packs could be reused as energy-storage systems in wind and solar power-generation plants once their automotive lifespan is over. We’ll have to see if this can work, but it’s probably a LOOOONG way off since the Volt isn’t even for sale yet and GM is backing the battery packs with an eight-year/100,000 mile warranty.

TOWING WITH A BIKE
Here’s a totally crazy invention. According to Autoblog a Swedish company called “Coming Through” has developed a system that allows you to tow a car with a motorcycle. I’ll say it again . . . it lets you tow a CAR with a MOTORCYCLE – up to 5,500 pounds. Called the Retriever, it’s a special unit that attaches to the back of a Honda Goldwing 1800. I guess they should have called it the “Golden Retriever.” What? That’s funny!  This is ideal for quickly moving crashed or disabled vehicles off the road so they don’t block traffic. I’m sure towing a car with a motorcycle is doable, but stopping is another matter. The company claims the Retriever has a patented braking system so this shouldn’t be a problem. The only downside, top speed is just 20 miles an hour . . . that and if you lay the bike down you’re getting run-over by a car.

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!

And now it’s time for some of your feedback.

A bunch of you wrote in with your opinions about the new crossover from Nissan called the Juke. You did not like it.

Ralph Kercheval says, “THE JUKE? Should be the JOKE . . . for something that has the style of a cross-eyed TOAD.

Rob Grosse says, “I think the ‘J’ in Juke should be replaced with a ‘P’.”

And Mike G. says, “The Joke, I mean Juke, reminds me of the Pontiac Aztek. It is a little sleeker but a sleeker piece of crap is still a piece of crap. JMO of course.”

And finally, bg1379 saw our review of the Dodge Viper and asks, “Can someone explain this shifting thing he’s talking about? I’ve never heard of it.”

He’s referring to the Computer Assisted Gear Selector, known as CAGS. It’s a fuel economy trick that forces you to shift from first gear into fourth, rather than into second gear. You literally go from first to fourth. The EPA gives automakers a couple of counts on their fuel-economy label if they put this in their car. The Corvette has got it too, or at least it used to. The good news? If you just run the engine up to higher revs, like above 2500 rpm, the CAGS system is disabled, and you can shift like a normal sportscar driver.

Don’t forget to tune-in to Autoline After Hours tomorrow night when our guest will be Chris Preuss, the CEO of OnStar. It used to be the bleeding edge of in-car communication. Today, it seems to be lagging behind. What is Preuss going to do to get OnStar back on track? Tune in tomorrow night to find out. That’s Autoline After Hours tomorrow night starting live at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

And that’s today’s report on the top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog, WardsAuto.com and WWJ Newsradio 950

15 Comments to “Episode 483 – Caprice Cop Car is Quick, Adesa & Barrett-Jackson Join Forces, STP For Sale”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    GM has to be stupid NOT to market that Caprice as an upscale family sedan, the fact is that it beat the Charger police car with its mighty hemi. Can’t understand why they used the dinosaur CV instead of the new Taurus-based police unit to run a comparison: the CV is history, the Taurus is the future.

  2. GPL Says:

    The Taurus-based Police Interceptor was tested, but not “officially”, so the stats weren’t posted. The guys over at Jalopnik wrote them down though, and posted them on their site. It was fastest on the road course and best in braking.

    The CV was probably tested for comparison.

  3. GPL Says:

    I should add, the Ford PI was tested in FWD and AWD with base engine, AWD turbo, and Utility flavors. The AWD turbo was the one that put in the best lap times, naturally. It was also fastest from 0-40 and 0-50.

  4. len simpson Says:

    Cop cars don,t need to be quick, they need an ignition kill device.
    Hot pursuit is prized as a
    welcome relief to an otherwise dull & boring existence. Been there, done that.

  5. LEX Says:

    Has GM explored taking those used Volt batteries and placing them in Mass Transit Subway Cars for when there are power failures?
    These batteries would probably have enough juice to get the Subway to the next station under it’s own power, or maintenance lights and air conditioning while stuck in the subway tunnel until help arrives.

  6. JT Lambert Says:

    Put those FUTURE Volt batteries in commercial planes for BACK UP[sitting on the tarmac,[AC],power outage @32K alt.etc].If the LAW wants the ultimate cop car its the TAURUS SHO AWD,hands down.It would be 50K+ per unit.They could place a 4 inch pipe all around it for protection and still have POWER to BURN.

  7. Vic F Says:

    My 2000 Trans Am has a CAGS system in it. It is used to avoid the Gas Guzzler tax. Very easy to circumvent. A number of products out there that plug in and fool the computer.

  8. Dale Leonard,Lakewood Ohio Says:

    Hey John,The next time you tell a joke,wear a tie,grab yhe knot and start with “I get no respect”. Just kidding I did think it was great.

  9. Adam White Says:

    I liked the Golden Retreiver joke.
    Maybe my humor is similar. Like when I once told an automotive dealer parts counterman, who handed me some over-priced parts for a Jeep Cherokee, (packaged in a MOPAR box). I said to him: “These parts ain’t Jeep”.

  10. jesse Says:

    Gm should think about getting that slug “VOLT” out in the real world instead of worrying about it’s battery.I don’t think they’ll sell enough of them to have a battery issue anyway.Not at 41 grand.idiots.

  11. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I hate that stupid little light on the top of MI state police cars. I also hate the fact that they are allowed to pull over people in unmarked cars, like they are Russian Gypsies or something.

    I also hate the fact that they are allowed to hide.

    Michigan, please be a leader in a good way for a change by setting an example for other states, and allow 80 MPH and Drive Responsible Zones in ALL Rural Areas?

    Some Companies would invest in Michigan because their CEOs like to thunder down the Highway. Many more car enthusiasts (Inculding this one) would move to Michigan and invest and buy things too. Top Gear would shoot in Michigan on a US trio because of this, etc…

    This would be big news and attract lots of attention, and if it’s done right other states would do such a thing too. It could spread like wildfire.

    GET RID OF THE ANTIQUATED SPEED LIMITS IN AMERICA!!!

  12. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    If you cant handle it GET OFF THE ROAD AND TURN THAT LICENCE IN.

  13. C-tech Says:

    The chase performance in the new Caprice may be great, however from what I have heard in other states’s evaluation of the potential CVPI replacements is the drawback in the Caprice is the requirement for “premium fuel”. The Dodge has a proven multi-displacement system which get better milage and no requirement for premium fuel. With the squeeze on state budgets this is going to be hard sell to many departments unless GM can de-tune the big V-8.

  14. dcars Says:

    I agree Jesse how about GM get the Volt on the road. They have hyped this car for a long time. I know it takes a long time to develop a car that is this technologically advanced, but but now it just seems like it has gone on for to long.

  15. GPL Says:

    It takes 3-5 years to develop any car, much less one this complicated. Conceived in 2006 or 2007 and set to go into production later this year, the Volt is actually right at the middle of that range.

    What makes it seem like forever is that most new vehicles are kept covered until just before production, but GM at the time needed any good press they could get and took the covers off of the Volt from the start and made a lot of noise about it. Consequently, sitting through the development cycle seems that much more anticlimactic.