Episode 676 – BMW 6 Series Coupe, New Iveco Daily, 2012 Range Rover Evoque

July 1st, 2011 at 11:49am

Runtime 8:23

BMW just introduced the new 6 Series Coupe which is slightly larger and offers three engine choices. Fiat’s commercial vehicle brand, Iveco, revealed an updated version of the Daily which goes on sale in September. Land Rover released some important figures on the new 2012 Range Rover Evoque which gets impressive fuel economy thanks to lightweight construction and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s Autoline about why hybrids represent a very small slice of the total automotive market.


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This is Autoline Daily for July 1, 2011. Here’s what’s going on in the global automotive industry today.

American Axle, the last major automotive supplier with its headquarters in the city of Detroit, announced it is closing its manufacturing facilities in the city. It was unable to persuade its UAW employees to accept labor cost concessions. They had been making $45 an hour in total compensation. American Axle wanted to lower that to $30, matching the rate that it pays to workers in another plant in Michigan. The Detroit News reports that as recently as 2008 American Axle had eight facilities at its manufacturing complex, employing over 2000 people. But a protracted strike crippled those operations. Now there are only about 300 people working there. I understand why nobody wants to cut their income, but I don’t understand why they’re willing to let a plant close down and lose all those jobs for future generations.

Consumers Union came out in favor of fuel economy standards of 62 miles per gallon in the United States. Consumers Union publishes Consumer Reports, the influential magazine that rates cars and other consumer products. It says manufacturers have the technology to achieve this. Here’s my Autoline Insight. Currently, the only vehicles that can meet that standard are the Volt and the Leaf. But the proposed standard would require the entire fleet of vehicles to average 62 miles per gallon and do that in a decade and a half. In automotive terms that’s less than two full design cycles away. That’s next to impossible and will only be solved at extremely high cost, meaning car prices are going skyrocket. And that’s going to put a lot of jobs at risk. Consumer Reports says it did a national survey where people say they are willing to pay higher prices for cars to get better fuel economy. But I say, look at what people do, not what they say. If they were willing to pay more for fuel economy sales of hybrids should be screaming ahead. Instead, hybrids still comprise only 2.5 percent of car sales.

BMW just introduced the new 6 Series Coupe which is slightly longer and wider to give rear passengers more room. It’s offered with a V-8 gasoline engine, an inline-six gasoline engine and a six-cylinder inline diesel. Each is turbocharged and comes with a eight-speed automatic transmission. It has a newly developed suspension, it’s the only car in its class to offer electric power steering and the first in its segment to offer adaptive LED headlights for low and high beams. And of course, it has all the latest electronic infotainment and safety features.

Fiat’s commercial vehicle brand, Iveco, just introduced an updated version of its Sprinter-esque van, the Daily. It’s offered with a 3.0-liter diesel with twin turbochargers and a 2.3-liter gasoline engine with Fiat’s Multijet fuel-injection system. Standard safety equipment includes electronic stability control, traction control, hydraulic brake assist, and trailer-sway mitigation. The Iveco Daily is sold in every part of the world and the new version goes on sale in September.

TOYOTA PLANS CAMRY AD BLITZ (subscription required)
Toyota is planning a massive media campaign this fall when it rolls out the next-generation Camry. According to The Wall Street Journal, the push will include 40 new commercials! Look for these spots to drop sometime in October. With this ad-blitz the company is trying to portray itself as a “smart, safe and worry-free” choice for consumers. The new Camry is part of a product offensive that should include 20 new or redesigned vehicles that are due to come out over the next two years.

The chaps at Land Rover just released some important figures on the new 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Starting price for a five-door model is approximately 27,500 pounds sterling. That’s roughly $45,000 for you Yanks out there. A coupé version can be had for a thousand U.S. dollars more. These sums INCLUDE destination and handling charges. Beyond pricing, Land Rover have also shared this compact SUV’s estimated fuel consumption scores. Out and about it should deliver around 19 miles per American gallon in city driving. That’s roughly 12.4 L/100 km for our metric audience. On the carriageway that figure jumps to 28 miles per rebel gallon, or 8.4 L’s per 100 clicks. A combination of FAIRLY lightweight construction and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine contribute to these impressive figures. Look for the Range Rover Evoque at North American dealerships this fall. Jolly good!

It’s TGIF and you know what that means: another hilarious episode of RoundAbout! Tonight you’ll meet a real-life “Mater” from the movie, “Cars,” learn what head of state nearly mowed down a crowd of would-be voters, and see the most influential Lamborghini that never existed. Catch RoundAbout LIVE tonight at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time at you know where: AutolineDetroit.TV.

As I mentioned earlier, hybrids represent a very small slice of the total automotive market, and coming up after the break we’ll have some experts weigh in on why that’s the case.

I’ve got three analysts joining me for this week’s Autoline. In the following clip, Jessica Caldwell from Edmunds.com, Jeff Schuster from J.D. Power and Associates, and Michael Robinet from IHS Automotive, weigh in on what’s going on in the hybrid segment of the market.

You can watch that entire episode right now on our website AutolineDertroit.tv, or check your public television stations to see if Autoline is carried in your market.

And this coming Tuesday, you can catch a LIVE episode of Open Line. Michelle Naranjo and Chelsea Sexton will be focusing on the world of racing. And, as always, they’ll open the lines up to you for a great discussion on all the hottest topics in the auto industry. That’s 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time next Tuesday.

And a programming note here. Autoline Daily will be closed down all next week for our summer holiday. We’ll be back on July 11th. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you then.

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

156 Comments to “Episode 676 – BMW 6 Series Coupe, New Iveco Daily, 2012 Range Rover Evoque”

  1. dcars Says:

    Hi John,
    I enjoyed the fantasy draft yesterday, but now I’m wondering if you’ll do a fantasy draft for cars? It would be interesting to see what cars you guys think will sell the best for the coming year.
    I must admit I forgot all about Range Rover.
    One note on AAM I talked to a union guy about excepting lower pay and he said that the union guys feel that they(management) will move anyways so they’ll take the higher pay till it runs dry and then look for work.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There is one hybrid car that is selling well, which is Prius. To me, this is no surprise. Prius is a moderately priced car that gets truly exceptional gas mileage while transporting five people, or two people and quite a bit of stuff in its hatchback body. The hybrid power train gives it the great city mpg, and the low drag body gives it the great highway mileage.

    Most of the other hybrids are too compromised to have much appeal. Some get significantly city mileage, but only slighly better mighway mileage than standard version. Then, there are cars like the BMW 7 series hybrid John drove a few days ago that got mediocre mpg, and had funny power train vibrations. Who is going to pay over $100K for that?

  3. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just so happens today I’m driving behind an Escalade hybrid and my first thought was: “Why?”

  4. HtG Says:

    I was going to try to say something very special about hybrids, but this video just kilz it.


  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well folks we keep witnessing the continuing erosion and destruction of our ex-great manufacturing empire that helped take this country to the top, greed , greed and more greed will be our undoing, the founding leaders of communism predicted this will happen.

  6. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Hope Autoline (the whole gang) has a wonderful vacation time-off; we’ll/I’ll miss you, but relax and enjoy your mini-sabbatical.

  7. Tom Dick Says:

    Always enjoy your shows!
    But, why no link to YouTube on many Fridays?
    It’s the only way I can view on my Apple devices.

  8. Alex C. Says:

    Five of the top 10 cars with most American Made Content are Japanese! American unions have destroyed USA manufacturing…now many vehicles assembled in Mexico to escape UNIONS. Most Japanese vehicles made in USA are in right to work states…no union..and NOT in Mexico. THese are good American jobs. Detroit 3 were locked into bad union contracts – uncompetitive so they had to escape to Mexico. We need UNION members to fight their own leadership and end the bad contracts so it would allow us to bring ALL those Mexico plants back into the USA and in right to work states. But that will never happen because UNIONS are about me..me..me. And OEM’s are simply trying to be competitive. END RESULT: lose -lose.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re. #3
    In the case of the Escalade/Tahoe/Yukon hybrid, it could make a certain group of people. IF you have a reason to drive a vehicle like that, and IF most of your driving is city, the hybrid gets 33% better mileage, 20, vs 15 for the standard version in the EPA city rating. The hybrid gets 36% better (19 vs 14) in CR’s overall rating. Still, most of these things I see are running around empty most of the time, so would seem to make little sense, hybrid or otherwise, for the people who buy them.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    typo above in #8. Should say:
    “In the case of the Escalade/Tahoe/Yukon hybrid, it could make sense for a certain group of people.”

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In may case, the reason for buying a Prius involves more than just the hybrid drive train. The car has a wonderfully useful hatchback body, and that body has a shape that gives it the lowest drag coefficient of any car around.

    If I’d had the option of a Prius body with a conventional drive train for $3-4K less, and if the non-hybrid still got ~50 mpg highway, which is likely, and got ~30 in city driving, I might well have bought such a car. The new Focus hatch is an appealing car, but to match the car I describe, it would have to, well, look a lot like a Prius, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. Still, for an extra 10mpg on the interstate, I’ll take that “look” any day.

  12. M Campbell Says:

    Only CR could leap to the conclusion they’ve reached.

    From their own article: “62 percent of survey respondents said when they buy their next car, they expect to choose a model with better gas mileage than their current car. 58 percent said they were willing to pay extra money for a more fuel-efficient vehicle. ”

    Barely more than half of car buyers will pay extra for better MPG and CR reasons that justifies a 62mpg CAFE?

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What they even mean by the 62 mpg CAFE seems to be a matter of dispute for auto bloggers. Some seem to think plug-in hybrids get credit for infinite mpg for part of the driving, and pure EV’s get credit for infinite mpg for all of their driving. We can be sure of one thing. If the 62 mpg standard is a fleet average, it’s not going to happen. Even a Prius doesn’t do that well, nor does a Golf TDI, and those are the two most efficient real cars in the US market. Maybe the 62 number is a “trial balloon” to get people talking. In any case, if the fleet mpg increases a lot over the next 15 years, a lot of the improvement will come from weight reduction, and generally smaller vehicles. Hybrid tech certainly improves mpg, as does the use of auto transmissions without torque converters. Then there are diesels, which we don’t hear much about.

    As far as Consumer Reports, they can be a good source of information, like a second set of fuel economy results to compare with EPA numbers. As far as opinion, like saying 62 mpg CAFE is workable, I don’t give them much credibility.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    Respondents to CR may SAY one thing and do something else with their wallets, I’ve seen lately established tire stores around here with big signs and banners announcing used tires, where they used to send them in for recycling, now they’re finding their way back to cash-strapped drivers. KIt, as a Prius owner, do you think the new V and the upcoming C will sell well? I think the C will do as well if not better than the standard model.

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    If Toyota cannot overtake Hyundai’s Sonata with the upcoming Camry, then I feel Toyota has lost it’s mojo, just like Honda has

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I expect the Prius V and C to sell pretty well. The V is a gas hog compared the the regular Prius, but does very well compared to almost everything else, and some people need the extra room.

    I agree that the C should do well. It should match or beat the mpg of my car, cost less, be a little quicker, and have enough room for many people.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If a lot of automotive “journalists” immediately start saying the new Camry is not as good as the old one, that’s not good for Toyota. I doubt that will be the case, but the new one needs to be noticably better, like with the new H/K cars.

  18. John Says:

    John McElroy,

    Thaddeus McCotter who you have had on Autoline many times is running for president.


    He talks straight.

    “Speaking Democrat: A Primer by Rep. McCotter”


  19. John Says:

    John McElroy,

    Thaddeus McCotter who you have had on Autoline many times is running for president.


    He talks straight.

    “Speaking Democrat: A Primer by Rep. McCotter”


  20. XA351GT Says:

    Alex C. @ #7 , Dude I feel your pain ,but they are never coming back from Mexico. No matter what the union does they can’t compete with labor that is that low. They make less than our minimum wage. There is absolutely zero incentive for the Big 3 to return. They (union) shot themselves in the foot being unrealistically greedy and they are not alone. The Corp.s are just as greedy, everyone wants their piece and no one is willing to share. So the end result is jobs are lost and if they are replaced it will be jobs at less than a living wage. Thank the NAFTA agreement as it was the beginning of the end of American production jobs.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    I am reading that the 7th gen Camry is coming this fall, my only question is: 7th Gen? as far as I know there have only been 3 ALL NEW models from the ground up since its inception in 1983, I don’t consider new body panels make a new generation, in my book it has to be brand new from scratch, starting from a blank sheet of paper, Am I going bonkers or what? (1983-1991) (1992-2001 or 02) (2003 to present)

  22. XA351GT Says:

    Pedro, does it really matter whether it’s 3rd Gen or 7th gen ? Camry will always mean reliable ,but boring as hell .You might as well be driving a Fridgidaire.

  23. john787 Says:

    I have to laugh when someone quotes Consumer Reports. When it comes to vehicles, CR is the most bias magazine out there. I agree with John McElroy that they should look at the people actions instead of what they say.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Consumer Reports is a very good “second source” of fuel economy data to compare with EPA numbers. They seem to do a good job of controlling their tests, and their numbers make sense. CR’s “city” numbers are very low, because the test has a lot of stops, and is from a cold start.

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    Living in a tropical climate, boring, reliable appliances like, fridges, a/c units, cars become kind of important, you don’t want them to break down during near 100 degrees and humid temperatures.

  26. Jon M Says:

    John, you are spot on with your insight on the Consumer Union’s survey. Did pre-bankruptcy GM not teach anyone anything? You build what people are willing to buy instead of building something and trying to convince people its what they want. Surveys are forecasts that are crap shoots at best. Any savvy company knows you watch the market not some tarot card style Q & A.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    I think CR is gone bonkers, where do they get this idea that OEM’s have the ability to comply with a 62 AVERAGE fuel economy, at any cost. It is ludicrous.

  28. XA351GT Says:

    Yeah you can bet that everyone who said they want 62.5 MPG is rushing out to trade in their Escalade on a Leaf.Exactly as John said judge actions not words.

  29. XA351GT Says:

    Pedro ,your absolutley correct no one wants something that breaks down. My big complaint has always been why does reliable have to be boring? You can make a nice looking vehicle that is reliable . They need to pick up their styling.

  30. HtG Says:

    Here’s an opinion piece on the price of oil from the Washington Post.


  31. cwolf Says:

    @28,HtG: So I guess we have little choice, but to follow the piper! And those who question whether or not 40mpg has become a standard should now become more demanding than speculative. To obtain these numbers,drivers will have to expect more small cars for the future. ICE’s improvements and more diesel offerings will be,in a way,the larger car/SUV enthusiasts salvation.

  32. XA351GT Says:

    HtG , great article . Pretty much confirmed what I’ve thought for years. Thanks for sharing that.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Congtats to BMW on selling the new 6 series with the diesel. I hope it sells well. Now, how about a manual transmission?

  34. HtG Says:


    It could be possible to achieve great improvements in average fuel economy, if we look a bit into Lutz’ book. Lutz described the range of the Volt as 40miles per charge, but only because the battery’s reliability demanded that only half the energy capacity be used to push the car. That’s right, Volt can actually go 80 miles on a charge! So if the tech can be improved than maybe the car will go further without using gas. This means that the rated mileage of Volt can also be a larger factor in the govt rating for GM. But what about costs? Again, Lutz wrote that the leasing price of Volt was held down since GM argued to itself that the resale value of a Volt would be very high due to the low numbers of them which will become available in two years time. So maybe if gas prices are high enough to sustain demand for Volt, then a virtuous circle will make Volts an affordable lease.

    If Volt like cars get better mileage and are affordable because of high residual values, then maybe we’re getting closer to 56.2(or whatever).

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I suspect GM, and others are doing a lot of experimenting and research to find the charge algorithm that will maximize the life expectancy of Lithium ion batteries. Also, I suspect the batteries themselves will improve, in time, to where there will be less need to use only half of the battery capacity, as with the Volt.

    Regarding batteries, I think it is telling that Toyota still uses nickel metal hydride batteries in the Prius where the low power density is not much of a factor given the small size, ~1.5 kwh of the Prius battery. I suspect they think the old technology is a better bet, given their aim for a 10 year battery life. NiMH batteries are probably still a little cheaper than lithium ion, not by a huge amount. A rough calculation shows that you could build a Prius-size lithium battery for about $2000 from batteries sold by hobby battery marketers.

    NiMH batteries would not have the energy density needed for a pure electric car, or one like a Volt which is going after longer electric-only range.

  36. cwolf Says:

    I recieved Mazda info introducing their small SUV the”Minigua.” What caught my attention was that a diesel will be offered!; eventually it will be added to the Mazda 6 line-up. I can’t dig up much information on their diesels or know if they will have a urea canister or not. EV and battery technology are moving slower than molasses,so I think Mazda may see sales gains over the next few years and give VW some competition.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How about a diesel in the Mazda 5? That would be cool.

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    hey what’s taking so long for today’s Autoline? did John and staff celebrate the 4th too much?

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oops! just read they’re gone all week, well TTAC here I come!

  40. tj Martin Says:

    62 mpg

    Well if you hadn’t noticed Obama has put in his Xmas list to Santa Claus for a 56.2 average mpg amongst US Auto Manufactures .

    In light of that I think I’ll enter my list to Santa as well ;

    For Xmas 2011 I want ;

    1) A mysterious benefactor to drop $5 million into my bank account

    2) For the Villa in Italy which though rightfully mine , my Great Aunt foolishly lost , to be returned to me so the wife and I can become gentlemen farmers ( has 100 acres of olive trees) in Italy ( pedro and HtG would be welcome )
    ) creating Artisan Olive Oil and good music .

    3) For Enzo Ferrari to be resurrected , or at least a well loved used 456 in a town with a local Ferrari mechanic ( so I don’t have to deal with the Factory bleepholes ) so’s Ferrari ownership could be enjoyable once again

    4) For GENUINE Alfa Romeos to be built : rather than the FIAT/ Chrysler/Maserati base mulattos currently in the pipeline so’s to buy the wife a tidy little Alfa Spider ( we’ll keep the GLK as the daily driver and work vehicle )

    So there it is Obama . you get yours : I get mine ! Deal ? though truth be known I’ve got a lot better chance at my Santa’s list coming true than you yours ! ( hint hint )

  41. HtG Says:


    1) Done!

    2) I too, have a beef. Rotten Commmies.

    3) BMW 507 http://www.unixnerd.demon.co.uk/history.html#507

    4) If not for my father’s 72 Alfa Spider, I wouldn’t have a Miata.

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ll take you up on that TJ, I always wanted to smash grapes with my feet, so I could make some Cuban-Italian vino. Mamma mia, dolce vita indeed!

  43. tj Martin Says:

    # 39 & 40

    Ok its settled . Obama gets what he wants . I get what I want . HtG lives in the guest villa with his 507 ( sorry you’ll have to acquire that on your own ) and pedro and his family gets the other guest villa and can be have 50 acres to do the vino thing .

    @ HtG -#39 BWTM . Jeeze another connection ( your #2 ) My other side of the family . Booted at the end of a gun barrel in 1919 by guess who . Lost everything . House , Business , Money , the works . Oh yes I hates them commies as well !

    The Great Aunt was a little foolish and perhaps addled a bit , so I can excuse her somewhat . The commies ? Just plain bleepholes ! Like a family of apolitical artists would have caused them a moment of grief !

  44. tj Martin Says:

    NiMH batteries

    One major problem everyone is overlooking in spite of the fact that every manufacture using them is having the very same problem .

    That morphing into an instant BBQ ( catching fire ) thing that even the PC and Smart Phone manufactures are dealing with . Multiplied Time Ten in a car because of the extremes in temperature and excessive vibrations encountered by the automobile in normal us .

    Funny that all the so called Engineers and Geniuses at every one of the major and minor E/V and Hybrid manufactures ( with the exception of Toyota ) have completely failed to address this ….. ahem …… little conundrum .

    They could at least offer designer Fire Extinguishers in car matching colors as an option : along with fire retardant Active Casual and Dress wear : footwear included .

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    With all these automotive “experts” joining the Volt car of the year frenzy, what will they say when this scenario of malfunctions and fires start showing up in their precious car in the future.

  46. tj Martin Says:

    Natural Gas

    Want a pollution solution, that won’t add to the problem thru mining , processing etc. ?

    Want a product that has unlimited supply and in fact capturing and using it would aid the atmosphere ?


    Every Beef Diary and Pig Farm have unlimited supplies in their Muck Ponds . Every Sewage Treatment Plant puts out tons of the stuff daily . Every sewer line in each and every town and city tossed out gallons of the stuff .

    Its estimated that the methane produced by a single medium size farm would power every aspect of the farm ( as well as the farmers house , cars etc ) along with at least ten residences , their cars , and the methane capture/processing unit ! So its self sustaining once started up

    Capturing and processing it is a simple albeit at this point not very well developed task

    So why is no one rushing to market with this technology ?

    Think about it . Its simple . Once installed there’s no profit in it for the Energy companies .

    Now thats Natural Gas CNG John !

  47. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro # 43

    Both the Leaf and the VOLT already have . The press for the most part suppressing this fact .

  48. cwolf Says:

    tj,I’m crushed! I helped motivate you into purchasing your new baby only Not to be invited along with the other guys….Gee Thanks. And I bet pedro and HtG don’t have Italian wives, like I do. It’s OK,pal. I’ll just honk as I cruse by in my 69 MGC.

    By the way: I parked next to a white GLK and noticed both mirrors were folded in to avoid contact with cars on either side. They looked remote! Are they? Talk about over the top! Spoiled brat!

  49. cwolf Says:

    Funny you mensioned the use of methane. While in college, I had an upolstery biz which included farm equipt. One pig farmer captured the gas to heat the pig barn and run a generator. Surely this guy was ahead of his time. And,believe it or not,You had to wear shoe covers,paper cover-alls and wash before entering the barn where the young were weened. Unfortunately, the heaters smelled like hot pig farts!

  50. HtG Says:

    Did you miss this interview with Nico Rosberg, tj? What’s this man driving, then?


    Hope this doesn’t make things worse between you and cwolf. Dear, oh dear.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj says in #42

    “NiMH batteries

    That morphing into an instant BBQ ( catching fire ) thing that even the PC and Smart Phone manufactures are dealing with”

    That’s lithium ion batteries you are thinking of that catch fire, not NiMH. I’m surprised there aren’t more phone/laptop battery fires than there are, given the many millions of devices out there using the batteries.

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just read that Honda is missing out on a huge demand in northern California for their CNG Civic.

    It turns that the car pool lane priviledges for drivers of Prii and Civic hybrids expire soon. Single-occupant CNG cars will be legal in the CP lanes, but Honda won’t have any of the 2012 CNG Civics available for sale to the public any time soon.

  53. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart

    You seem to just be in a mood to start a conflict with me of late for some unknown reason .

    Ahem ……. Missed out on the Leaf , Tesla , VOLT , THINK etc etc etc battery fires of the last few weeks ? And what batteries do they use my friend ( look it up )

    Sorry mate , but both NiMH and Li batteries are prone to the same fate . ” Come On baby Light my Fire ” being the soundtrack for ownership .

  54. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    Mea Culpa ! Of course you’re welcome ( Didn’t know you were of a mind to leave . Been watching Obama’s recent moves as well as the lame ducks the Republicans are putting forward as well I presume ) Believe it or not there is a Groundskeepers cottage on the property as well as the two guest villas and is quite nice as well .

    As to the Methane issue , I have….. urrr …….. an ………. ahem…..associate that has a totally self sustaining Farm in New England powered by Methane and narry a stench to be found . Funny he thought he’d need both Methane and Wind Power so built both and is now selling 100% of the electricity from the wind generators back to the power company .

  55. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    So Nico’s got a bit of the old mans wild streak in him does he ? An AMG G Class .

    Sorry young Roseberg couldn’t get a discount from M-B . Guess we’d better not tell him about the $5K off I got , not being an F1 driver and all :o )

    In all honesty , had I found a used G Class AMG ( and I was seriously looking back before the GLK came home ) i might of popped for one myself .

    There’s something truly sick ( and wonderful ) about a Military Class SUV with pure unadulterated AMG power and handling under the hood .

    Drive one sometime . Just for the kicks of it all .

    But honestly I’ll stick with the GLK . Just right for mr and mrs Tj .

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:


    I’m not wanting to start a conflict with you, but lithium batteries are much more fire-prone than NiMH. I’ve never known, or even heard of anyone having a fire resulting from NiMH (or nicad) batteries used for powering model airplanes, but I personally know someone who had a serious house fire from lithium batteries, and I’ve read well documented reports of other serious fires. NiMH and nicads “vent” if you overheat them, either by overcharging them or shorting, etc., but they just release nasty, corrosive stuff. They don’t “vent with flame” like lithium batteries.

  57. tj Martin Says:


    Oh for the love of Pete ( who ever Pete is )

    Seen the recent issue of C&D ?

    Now , not only is Marchionne and his minions lying thru their teeth about the “new” Mid Engined Alfa ( claiming they developed it when in fact its a rebodied rebadged KTM X-Bow ) but now the idiot is re-badging the 2012 Viper as well !!!

    And according to the review , what does said AlfaViper drive like ? Well ………. a Viper .

    Pardon me Marchionne but when a Euro ( or an American ) wants a Chrysler or a Viper , he/she wants it to say Chrysler /Viper on the hood . Not Alfa Romeo .

    Hmmn . So in 2012 you can buy a Viper …. or pay more and buy the AlfaViper ….. or pay a heck of a lot more and buy the M-B AMG SLS ( that Nico can’t get a discount on ) All Vipers under the shell . Buy the Viper .

    @ cwolf & HtG ; Almost forgot . Speaking of being a ” spoiled brat ( sometimes I am by the way ) You’ll never guess what the Dealer let me take out for a spin while waiting for an accessory to be mounted on the GLK . Go ahead . Guess .

    SAAB Story ;

    Now the Trolls at Trollheim are announcing 2013 new models when they haven’t even got the 2011′s ( as well as their financing ) sorted .

    And on the subject of new model SAAB’s anyone want to place a bet that the 9-1 will be in fact a rebodied rebadged MINI ?

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Any road car, even the fastest exotics, would be underwhelming compared to an F1 car, so maybe it’s nor surprising that Nico would drive his truck, even though he could afford anything he might want.

  59. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit gerhart

    So lets leave it at I’ve been hearing some stuff you haven’t run across lately and drop this whole silly argy bargy .

    I’m kind of missing the comradery we had when we both owned MINI’s ( which I still love and recommend , just the ole back doesn’t now days )

    FYI And this is straight from the MINI USA Service rep . The MINI S’s reliability problems are in fact directly attributed to the Turbo , including broken turbo seals , head gaskets etc .

    I won’t pass judgement to avoid any future conflict as to whether this indites Turbo’s in general or MINI’s Turbo applications in particular .

    I’m just saying ………

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The SAAB 9-1 will be a retro car, inspired by the SAAB 92, if it ever makes it to production.

    I’d be very surprised if it was a rebadged MINI. I can’t imagine that BMW would want to get involved in this never-ending SAAB story.

    As far as the car, that wouldn’t be a bad thing if it was MINI-based. A BMW MINI that looked like a SAAB 92 would be cool.

  61. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tj I’ll take a crack at the guess either a Smart EV or an MB G class AMG or an S v12 AMG or a Gullwing

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Check out: http://tlb.org/nimhboom.html

    This is what happens when NiMH batteries are “overcharged to desruction.” Note that, unlike lithium batteries, they did not burst into flame when things went badly wrong when charging.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I wonder if the more expensive, rebodied Vipers will be as good as a regular Viper. I’ll be surprised if they are. In the case of the re-bodied, re-engined, more expensive Corvette called XLR, the cheaper, Chevy version was a much better car, at least in performance.

  64. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit gerhart

    SAAB 9-1 ; Take my word for it . its already set in stone . Assuming SAAB survives it’ll be a rebodied MINI . The Countryman no doubt as SAAB already has WRC plans for the 9-1 . This ( the SAAB story ) just gets too painful to even think about sometimes .

    Also , NiMH when subjected to the rigors of an automobile ( especially the heat/cold extremes ) like to go poof ( go up in flames ) as well . As shown recently with several of the E/V’s on the road .

    The SLS/Viper though more luxurious and plush I can’t honestly say is any ” better ” than the Viper its based on . Especially that long hood , thinking ” I could of had a V10 ”
    The AlfaViper according to the reviews drives like ….. a Viper !

    Big surprise . Just like the Lancia Bodied Chrysler 300C drives like …… a Chrysler 300C . Marchionne and his minions can’t even be bothered to modify the driving dynamics of their rebodied badge engineered Chrysler Alfa/Lancia mutants from Hades .

    @Pedro – Nope ! ( a hint can be found above )

  65. cwolf Says:

    OK tj: my guess is a cls or maybe an M type. Lets make it a diesel, to boot.

  66. cwolf Says:

    Hey someones has to have some automotive news,since jm isn’t around. Didn’t SAAB get some cash from their gov’t for about 40 mil.?

    Not being a Hyundai fan,I felt rather uplifted when I blew the doors off a new sonata with my milan today on the pike. For me,little things can be most pleasurable.

  67. pedro fernandez Says:

    Cwolf does you Milan have a V6? or the 4?

  68. pedro fernandez Says:

    The other day I got beat by a Smart car. Has anyone taken over Dr Kevorkian’s practice?

  69. cwolf Says:

    pedro,I have a 4 and both of us were a bit over 72 mph at that moment. He should have had me,but I turned my air off and maybe he did’nt.SOB would’nt get out of the fast lane,yet did’nt want anyone to pass. This time he was wrong.

  70. cwolf Says:

    pedro, you were’nt trying to be a bit sarcastic with me were you, my amigo?

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj, if you really think there is any comparison in the “fire characteristics” of NiMH and lithium batteries, I give up on that one. Just research it yourself. That’s all I’m going to say.

    If the 9-1 is to be based on the Countryman, I hope they use a bigger engine. That is too much car for the 1.6.

    If the AlfaViper drives like a Viper, that should be OK for the people who buy it, as long as they know what they are getting, a really fast car that is really “rough around the edges”. As far as the Lancia 300, it depends on the price. If it costs as much as an E-class, you’d really have to want something different to buy one in Europe. If it is 40% less expensive, it kind of fits into the market like the 300 does here, as a big rear-drive car at a bargain price compared to others available.

  72. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf – nope – the SLS !

    News ; Wish I was able to go to this ;


    More News – Yes SAAB is supposed to get an injection of Kronor but as of yet with all the controversy surrounding the Chinese investors …. well none has shown up as of yet .

    As of now SAAB is in deep financial crisis , while dreaming of new models , WRC aspirations , expansion etc.

    Painful to witness at the very least .

    @ pedro – That Smart wasn’t one of the Hayabusa powered ones , or a Barabus tuned monster was it ? ( yes both are real and both are available in the US as well as both being a bit insane on a good day )

  73. tj Martin Says:


    You may be right as the Leaf etc are still using Li .

    So WTH is using NiMH ?

    SAAB 9-1 ; Nope , the 1.6 turbo . Remember those WRC aspirations poor little SAAB is dreaming about .SAAB and BMW sealed the deal right after ( urp ) Spyker signed on the dotted line .

    FYI ; the MINI Cooper SD heading our way will have the same BMW 2 liter turbo diesel as the EU/UK version . Question is once MINI has the Countryman full homologated for the WRC , will they then put the Gas 2 liter BMW Turbo as well as the BMW 2 liter diesel in it as well ? That’ll make it a much better car .

  74. cwolf Says:

    tj, the SLS is some loaner! In Toledo they have’nt had one in a coons age,as far as I know. How cool was it to drive? Any chicks wink at the ol’man or was the Mrs. along?

    Just took a quick glance at that Asian car mag,”Consumer Reports.” They gave Chrys a pretty good slap in the kisser!

  75. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    They let me take it out for a quick spin ( 20 minutes or so ) no Mrs TJ but no winking 20 somethings either as far as I could tell ( i was a bit busy driving it )

    Like I said above , its more sophisticated and comfortable than the Viper platform its based on . But is it better ? Depends I guess on your priorities .

    If its a cross country High Performance GT you’re after then i guess that’d be a yes . But if its a raw/ brute/ grab it by the neck before it grabs you by yours experience you’re wanting then its a definite no .

    And in all honesty that great big empty space vacated by the V10 and barely filled with the M-B V8 does leave me a bit wanting . Especially when looking over that extended V10 capable hood .

    For the money , if i was of a mind to spend that much , I’d buy the Viper for fun , The GLK for a daily driver and with the left over change buy the Mrs a nice SLK to boot . As well as a few nice trips etc etc etc

  76. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf I thought you might have the V6, then it would not be fair against the 4 Cyl Sonata,anyways, which of the 2 is heavier? The Smart was run-of-mill. I guess an engine with over 320k miles might have lost a bit of compression, just saying. maybe the Smart driver had it floored, I refuse to floor my Vibrola for fear that the aforementioned engine might go kaputz.

  77. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey I just answered my own question the Milan is heavier by about 200 lbs. perhaps you use that vortex gadget that’s supposed to give you more power.

  78. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    re: # 75

    Or maybe its just more proof that the Hyundai is a pretentious POS and the Ford is a better product . Gee there’d be a surprise ! Not !

    FYI you’d need to do something a whole lot more strenuous than flooring the Vibrola to instigate any damage . As long as there’s clean oil in it , and fluid in the radiator , you’ve got a lot of trouble free miles ahead of you mi amigo .

  79. John Says:

    @ Kit #50

    Speculators are looking for $100 to $150 Oil Later this year. We need a substitute ASAP .

    Insight: Goodbye gasoline? GM gives natural gas cars a boost

    By Edward McAllister

    NEW YORK | Fri Jul 1, 2011 12:45pm EDT

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – “American automobiles have a limited diet, but gasoline’s monopoly at the pump may be ending. The giant of U.S. automakers is turning to something cheaper and cleaner: natural gas. ”


  80. John Says:

    Re: $150 Oil

    Are We Ready For Another $150 Oil Price Shock?

    “By Manikandan Raman | July 6, 2011 8:58 AM EDT

    A recent Barron’s article predicted that oil prices could top $150 next year and if this becomes true, it could wreak havoc in the global economy with a devastating impact.

    The prediction cannot be ruled out given the government’s inability to stop speculation and the spread of turmoil in the Middle East, coupled with concerns over potential supply disruptions and a weakening US dollar due to burgeoning budget deficit. ”

    “”We expect crude oil prices to remain inflated because of concerns about potential supply disruptions as a result of the political turmoil in the Middle East, a sinking US dollar on a growing budget deficit, and excessive financial speculation,” Oppenheimer analyst Fadel Gheit wrote in a note to clients.”


  81. cwolf Says:

    Just to share:
    My 2010 Milan just turned 100k and she still fills all of my requirement;very quiet interior,comfortable and pretty good mpg’s. I only get 29.8 mpg on winter gas and frown every season. But of more interest, I have yet to measure a mileage loss by driving fast! 70 or 82, the mileage is the same and I only loose 1.2 mpg when the air is on and sometimes half that. I change oil every month,but if I let it go beyond 8k,I loose .8 mpg. Find this rather odd, since it is all highway and semi-synthetic. Mobile 1 oil really performs for me. Unfortunately I don’t often find the time to change my oil, like I used to,and the $22 oil chg. at the dealer can’t be topped….plus a free wash! Cool info—huh?
    tj, I deliberately avoided saying what you did about hyundai in your #76 post because I did’bt want to hurt pedro’s feelings. Sorry pedro….but I can’t let tj beat me to the punch next time! LOL

  82. John Says:

    Now if we can get more CNG stations.

    From GM:

    “It isn’t just a van. It’s your business.”


    “GM is a leader in Compressed Natural Gas vehicles, with over 16,000 produced. For 2011, GM presents the new 2011 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) option for fleet and commercial van customers. The option is immediately available for ordering on Express/Savana 2500 and 3500 Cargo Vans.”


  83. cwolf Says:

    Dear john: And the investor programs I stay in touch with would say you are NUTS! Maybe $120/brl. in 2013/14 if china f’s up their economy. You have more natural gas than the cars will have 10 years from now. Stop regurgitating everything you hear until your info sources are more well-rounded

  84. cwolf Says:

    Dear john #77/78: And the investor programs I stay in touch with would say you are NUTS! Maybe $120/brl. in 2013/14 if china f’s up their economy. You have more natural gas than the cars will have 10 years from now. Stop regurgitating everything you hear until your info sources are more well-rounded

  85. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj re. #71
    Most current hybrids, like Prius, Civic, Fusion et. al. use NiMH. Leaf, Volt, and any other pure electrics or Volt-like hybrids likely to come along will have lithium batteries which have much higher power density. The hybrids will eventually be going to lithium, which should soon be cheaper than NiMH per kwh, if they aren’t already.

  86. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Might that have been at very low speed that the smart beat you? The smart has a very short first gear, while your old Corolla with its 3- or 4-speed autobox would have a tallish first gear.

  87. HtG Says:

    tj, SLS? You lie!

  88. HtG Says:

    but how’s the steering and brake feel?

  89. John Says:

    @ cwolf #81,82

    This makes sense. Add Mideast problems and it could happen. The U.S. Consumer may die before $150 or soon after providing lower demand and killing the U.S. Economy in the process, But, the point of the first $150 article (#78) was the lower demand effect om price was being overpowered by excess oil speculation .

    Wallace’s World July 06, 2011, 10:10 AM EDT

    “Has the U.S. Turned Against Consumers?
    The Federal Reserve, the government, and Wall Street are all bleeding the consumer—and nothing is being done to stop it, writes Ed Wallace ”

    ” “It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. They can invent reasons why oil prices go to $130 or $150, but history shows that these people are capable of moving markets. It is not Exxon (XOM) or BP (BP) or Shell (RDS.A) that moves the oil markets. It is the financial players. It is the Goldman Sachs (GS), the Morgan Stanley (MS), or the other guys. It is a shame on the government that allows them to get away with that.” —Oppenheimer oil analyst Fadel Gheit, Bloomberg TV, May 25, 2011 ”


    Out of respect for John McElroy and Autoline, I try not to react to arrogant attacks on my opinion. Unless you own Autolinedetroit.tv I suggest you keep your abuse(puke) to yourself.

    Before Oil prices destroy the U.S. Economy we need a alternative that will run in existing ICE engines. The Natural Gas Reserves are here.

    Bi-Fuel gasoline/CNG is the way to go.

  90. HtG Says:


    Today, I was in PA getting some prophylaxis performed on the Miata(cover your ears right now Smokey Boy). But I spoke to someone working in the fracking business. I asked if they were going to give us all that gas from the Marcellus, to which he responded in a hushed, slow tone, “quietly.”

    People out there are getting a few K per acre in rent, plus a royalty on the production. This is going to happen, folks.

  91. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @cwolf #79,
    Are you saying the dealer does oil changes with Mobil One for 22 bucks? What a deal!!

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It sounds like there are advantages to buying premium brands like M/B when it comes to loaner cars. I had no luck in getting a Viper as a loaner when I had a liftgate latch recall done on my Dodge Caravan years ago.

  93. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG #85

    Well if I’m lying I guess I can’t tell you now can I ?

    Thpppppppppt ! :o )

    Also you’d better hope this whole CNG Fracturing thing is whim and not reality . Cause if its for real you’re going to see more environmental damage in a single year than Coal & Oil can cause in Five .

    That’s a guarantee you can take to the bank my friend .


    @ Kit

    The SLS . It wasn’t a loaner . It was a favor . Lets call it a return of favors .

    But as far as there being advantages to leasing a Premium Brand , at least with M-B there is ( Audi treated me like garbage in spite of having leased an S4 Avant from day one till I returned the car )

    Lets see . Dealer bought , delivered and installed my license plates . Free ! Showed up at my door when I had an operational question . Free ! Gave me a huge discount on the couple of accessories I wanted . Free ! Invited me to drive the SLS unasked ( though my dealer knew i’d asked about it ) The two new car services I got all included Wash Wax and clean Interior . Free !

    All this for remember this is only a $40K ( purchase price ) car !


    @ ALL

    FYI ; Any of you guys interested in the wisdom from the money guys ( our CPA FA and Banker ) as to when Leasing does work out in your favor ? ( believe me its rare , but we were the perfect candidates )

  94. tj Martin Says:

    ( CNG ) John

    Out of respect for AutoLine Detroit , as well as all of us participating on the site , how’s about sticking to the subject at hand ( Automobiles if you hadn’t noticed ) and leaving your Politics and CNG Propaganda ( which is all it is that you’re posting.CNG Propaganda , Lies and Hyperbole ) on Political and Energy Sources websites .

    Sorry , but its bit obvious you have a personal interest in the CNG Industry as well as an internal need to express your Excessive Neo Con , Tea Party , Right Wing Politics .

    Which in light of the above , hardly leaves you any room to be taking the ” Higher Ground ” here or anywhere else .

    FYI ; Just in case you take me for some Hard Left Liberal , my internal Theme Song for the current state of US politics is the line from ” Stuck in the Middle With You ” ( though not you in particular )

    ” Fools to the Left of Me …. Jokers to the Right …. “

  95. HtG Says:

    spill the beans Musiker. How’s the steering and brake feel. Practice any trailing throttle oversteer?

    CNG, I just report, you decide.

    Seriously though, these frackers role incognito. Neither the trucks nor offices give away what business they’re in. I also heard that in cases where people’s water goes bad, there is some remediation equipment put in.

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The (maybe) latest Saab story from AW: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110707/CARNEWS/110709932?utm_source=DailyDrive20110707&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_term=article6more&utm_content=20110707-Saab_plans_to_restart_production_on_Aug._9&utm_campaign=awdailydrive

  97. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG


    Not till an apology is delivered :o (

    FYI have you been reading the NYTimes articles about the consequences of Fracture Mining etc ?As well as those of CNG in general ! Grim to say the least . No wonder they’re doing so incognito .

  98. tj Martin Says:

    @ Kit Gerhart

    # 94 Read this and the NYTimes article on the same .

    We can only hope this time they’re not jumping the gun again , notification wise to stave off the creditors/investors/workers etc.

    There’s been so many False reports from Trollheim lately its becoming nigh on impossible ( even for SAABsUnited.com ) to discern fact from fiction .

    My attitude is , SAAB !

    Either fix it


    Let it die , rather than killing it while pretending to fix it .

  99. HtG Says:

    @95 have I been reading the NYTimes? Who deserves an apology now?

  100. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Silly HtG ! I wasn’t asking whether or not you READ the NYTimes , but rather had you read the specific articles in question .

    Balls in your court mien freund :(

  101. HtG Says:

    A rich description of the brakes on the SLS would go a long way to jogging my memory, maestro.

  102. cwolf Says:

    Sorry Kit for misleading you. If I want to use Mobile 1 I have to change it myself. The dealer uses motorcraft semi-syn. My only reason for using the full synthetic is because I can go a bit further between changes. Between work and the drive to/from, my time for all of the other important things becomes most valuable. What I have learned over the years of driving great distances is to change the oil AND filter at the proper time. And… as long as one is religeous in this task,regular oil will perform as well as the others.

  103. HtG Says:

    You win tj. I read the big article on fracking several weeks ago in the NYT. I’ve read many other pieces on the same subject. I wouldn’t trust drillers at all.(I used to work in exploration, and let me tell you, there’s a lot of stuff down there that ain’t. Did anyone read the Businessweek article just now on how Transocean is not admitting any responsibility for the BP spill?)With the rich inducements people in PA are going to get for allowing rigs on their property, it’s hard to imagine that gas isn’t going to be extracted. And there will be an environmental cost, like ever.

  104. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s hard to see how Saab has any chance at all, long term, unless they grow volume immensely, move upmarket a lot, or have a benefactor willing to go broke for the joy of saving the brand.

    The bottom line is this: Historically, excluding the blatent rebadge jobs like SaaBlazer and Saabaru, total Saab volume for their multiple models has been less than half the capacity of one modern assembly plant. How can you possibly make a go of it at that volume, even though the cars are overpriced for what they are, which is mainstream, front drivers with a quirk or two thrown in so you will know they are Saabs.

    The GM-era Saabs were not terrible cars, but they cost too much. Before buying my Malibu Maxx, I checked out a 9-3 5-door built on the same platform. The Saab has a nicer interior, but that was about it, unless you really wanted a turbo four instead of an antique pushrod V-6. The trouble is, the Saab cost almost $10K more than my loaded Malibu LTZ which was a very nicely equipped car.

  105. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re #101,
    Yeh, the people will use the money from their land to retire on a Caribbean island, while the land where they grew up is trashed. How sad.

  106. John Says:


    You have a vivid imagination.

    CNG burns in cars. We gave a lot of it.

    High Oil prices Destroy the U.S. Economy every time.

    My interest is a good economy. Period.

    There are people who are using regulations to bypass Congress for their leftist agenda.
    (CAFE, CAA, Co2 etc.)

    CNG and the economy affect the Auto Industry.

    The ability to move around in vehicles affect the economy.

    High oil prices affect consumer spending which affects the the Auto Industry.

    I have no investments in the natural gas industry.

    CNG in vehicles will happen and the sooner the better. The more CNG the more downward pressure on oil. China is now in the shale fracking game too.

    It it clear that you did not read the articles I linked.

    The speculators drive up oil prices, that is why we need an alternative fuel for transportation.

    Yes, transportation costs and the economy are related.

    It is clear that you don’t like CNG. But, I don’t attack you for it .

    When Oil spikes again and the U.S. Economy goes into a full double dip what is your fastest solution?

  107. John Says:

    Typo Error:

    CNG burns in cars. We gave a lot of it.

    Should read:

    CNG burns in cars. We have a lot of it.

  108. John Says:

    Carmakers turn to natural gas engines
    5:30 AM Wednesday Jul 6, 2011

    “As natural gas emerges as a feasible near-term alternative to pricey petrol, carmakers such as General Motors and Chrysler are gearing up to invest in companies that make engines and parts for vehicles that run on the fuel.”


    “feasible near-term alternative to pricey petrol”

    Like I said.

  109. pedro fernandez Says:

    Got an early morning laugh at a NY times piece how to handle a check engine light, fix that, replace this, replace that. WOW in my case it’d be cheaper if they wrote “Replace car”.

  110. HtG Says:

    He speaks! Lutz, that is.


  111. Michael Says:

    Today is July 8, 2011 why am I looking at a July 1, 2011 repeat video???????????? It says episode 676 but it is a repeat…!!!!

  112. HtG Says:

    hope this helps, Michael


  113. pedro fernandez Says:

    They’re on vacation, man, even car guys have to take vacations from cars. Even Playboy photographers have to take vacation once in a while too!

  114. pedro fernandez Says:

    Lutz understands what the hell has been going on with this country, too bad the politicians from both parties don’t seem to want to address this issue. The foreign makers move to right to work states and Ford, Fiat and GM move out of here completely, mind boggling stupidity!!

  115. tj Martin Says:

    @ (CNG ) John

    I’m afraid the only one with a ” Vivid ” imagination here ( either that or a complete ignorance of the facts ) is yourself .

    1) Fracturing can / has and will again destroy water tables , underground support structures ( holding what ever is above it ) water supplies etc etc etc

    2) We’ve Got a lot ? Really . Ever taken a minute to think about where we’ll get enough to heat homes , create electricity AND power automobiles . Best check your facts mate , because statistics say we DO NOT have enough to cover all three needs and the first two are the original priority

    3) Even assuming we do have enough supplies available , have you considered for a minute what an increased demand on CNG supplies will do to Heating a Electricity ( supplied by CNG powered plants ) will do ? Skyrocket beyond the means of the average middle class American and Crushing the lower and poverty classes , forcing them to do without Heat and Electricity .

    Problem here is ( CNG ) John , you’ve bought Hook Line & Sinker into another of the corporate worlds Technological Bluffs , not considering for a minute what the consequences might be .

    See my next post about Technological Bluffs and what they mean to you and me

  116. tj Martin Says:

    The Only Green Solution
    ( or why the technological bluffs of the 21st century are just that … bluffs )

    Time to get down and dirty gentlemen . Because no matter what anyone in the Industry tells you there IS only one Green Solution for the future of the world as we know it .

    We CANNOT have our Cake and Eat it Too . We cannot have large Green homes . We cannot drive as much as we do , with any available technology and not do excessive damage to the environment ( both in mining , use building of, and disposal )

    We CANNOT continue to go down the path of constant excess

    Because as far as technology is concerned , there is an Axiom that no one ( Medicine Automotive Home Building etc ) has ever been able to get around ; nor will they ever be able to do so .

    That axiom is ;

    For each and every ” solution ” presented by any given man made technology there is the consequence of at LEAST two new problems

    eg; Fix one problem and promptly cause two more . Want a real quick and easy example ? Take ANY Prescription Drug advertised on TV and count the number of side effects ( realizing they don’t tell you the whole story ) vs Benefits .

    So ….. the ONLY Green Solution is LESS ! Of everything . Smaller homes . Lighter smaller cars as well as driving a heck of a lot less . Less electronic junk running in your homes ( believe me the kiddies will do just fine without Cable Internet Play Stations etc etc . My generation certainly did )

    So Sorry my friends . Its that simple . Give up a little now , not buying into the constant barrages of Technological Bluffs being sold to you for the sole purpose of PROFIT and Profit only ( do you really think the Corporate World gives a Rats Behind about your well being )

    Or stand to lose everything later .

    Ugly and difficult I’ll agree . But the simple fact is technology cannot create a New Eden , make your life happy and perfect or create the Perfect World .

    Sermon is over .

    I’ll say no more

  117. GPL Says:


    [standing applause] Preach it, brother!

  118. John Says:


    you better tell GM.

    I just can’t wait to see your reaction when these CNG refueling stations start going up.

    “Clean Energy Opens World’s Largest CNG Fueling Station in Lima, Peru to Serve Thousands of Natural Gas Vehicles Daily”

    “Seal Beach, Calif. (April 21, 2008) — Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE) today opened the world’s largest compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in Lima, Peru. ”


  119. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    SLS . Apology accepted

    Sooo . Have you ever driven any M-B’s of the last five years ?

    Driving any of the standard models ( including the GLK ) you come to realize there is this real contradiction going on .

    On one hand you feel ( and are ) in complete control ; knowing every nuance of the road and your surroundings while somehow being isolated enough to not have those disturb or interfere with your isolation , conversations etc. Its very counterintuitive but very real and drama free .

    So …… if a standard M-B is at volume 5

    Any of the AMG models turns that up to 7 ( with added acceleration , more performance oriented brakes and tranny )

    The SLS takes the above and turns it up to 10 .Still Drama free !

    Yes all the magazines claim the transmission shifts too slow , the brakes are too soft or bleah bleah bleah . Truth is they’re comparing the SLS to what in my opinion is the Over Dramatic ( yet hardly any more performance ) 458 , Audi R8 etc .

    So the brakes ? Well they’re not 911 crisp or 458 WTH just happened , but considering the weight and performance they are the Goldilocks of performance car brakes . Just right . They do the job needed to an extreme capability : but ……. again Drama Free !

    Conclusion ; Its a GT , not a Track Day wanna be .

    Fact is the only recent M-B I’ve driven that has an excess of Drama is any of the AMG Black Series . Which …. with the Black Series IS the whole point .

    That help ?

  120. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ve become a big fan of Top Gear and I am in envy of all the small hatchbacks available in Europe while we must do with mini or the upcoming Fiat 500. None of the Asians seem to have the European hatch quite copied correctly, they’re all too bland in styling and handling, even the Renault tested in last night’s show seemed impressive indeed.

  121. tj Martin Says:

    @ ( CNG ) John

    Oh I’m sure the greed mongers in charge will try and make this happen ( CNG ) Of that I’ll have no doubt as they crawl up their own deluded tail ends in order to bleed your back pocket dry .

    Question is mate … what’s going to be your reaction when all the consequences of pursuing this CNG Nirvana suddenly come crashing down on all our heads creating in fact a CNG Dante’s Inferno ?

    You prepared to watch your neighbor do without heat in the depths of winter because CNG costs have gone so high ?

    You prepared to lose your drinking water because a Fracture Mining operation just contaminated your areas entire supply ?

    You prepared for a giant sink hole , caused by Fracturing to swallow a good portion of your neighborhood ?

    I hope so . Hope the Execs at GM are as well . Cause it’ll happen .. that’s a guarantee .

    What am I talking about ? The GM execs along with the entire CNG industry will be laughing all the way to the bank .

  122. HtG Says:

    tj, all day tomorrow, HtG, lime rock, ALMS.

  123. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    Mi Amigo . Be Ye Not Jealous .

    I can promise you 85% of those Hatchbacks , if you drove one first hand , you wouldn’t let H/S drive never mind yourself .

    Oh there’s a few gems among them . Well except the reliability of them kind of sucks ( most of them )

    I’ll tell you my little secrete about the friend i helped out . He’s a FIAT USA rep and i did some promotional work to help him out ( You owe me Marchionne !!! ) On top of the cash I got a 500 for 5 days as well .

    My opinion , especially after having owned a MINI for three years ?

    Just from the looks alone its junk . The quality of the interior is worse than a lot of the H/K junk out there . Driving it was to say the least disappointing . The Fiesta we all love to mock is a good 40% better car all the way around .

    Sheesh the things we do to help a friend in need ! :(

    Nope pedro Be Ye Not Jealous . Most of the Euro MiniMe’s are dreck !

    They got more but they aint got better .

  124. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    All day tomorrow


    I’ll be literally , at 8150 feet , looking down on the World till the end of July . Wanna guess where I’m going ?

    That and watching what is turning out to be the best Tour de France in over a decade .

    Cheers ! :)

  125. HtG Says:

    CO, Aspen

    So it’s a good tour? Couldn’t you argue the spectator that knocked down the peloton on the first day distorted the event?

  126. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well, I wasn’t really talking about the 500, Fiat continues to be crappy, but there are others, just would love the light weight and precise handling missing in so many small cars here.

  127. HtG Says:

    check this Amory Lovins out while you’re there with the other very very worthies.


  128. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @pedro re.#118,
    A couple years ago I rented one of those Euro hatchbacks, a Citroen C4, and it was great. It had a 1.6 liter diesel, probably from the “Prince” engine family the MINI uses. The C4 had adequate power, in the low rpm, torqey manner of diesels, and it got great fuel economy.

    The car’s displays were a little quirky; it’s a Citroen, after all, but everything was easy to use. I guess French cars don’t have a good reputation for reliability, but my rental was flawless over the two weeks I had it. The closest we can buy to that Citroen is a Golf TDI, but the Golf is a somewhat larger, and more expensive car in Euro markets.

  129. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit thanks for the info, I still miss the driving dynamics of my old VW Kharman Ghia, it was quite fun to drive.

  130. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Not Aspen you big silly ! I wouldn’t be caught dead there these days what with all the snobs , toffs and Middle East despots living there these days .

    As to the Tour . Hey ( bleep ) happens ! This one’s a classic in the making . May even rival the LeMond Fignon battle for best ever if things keep up like this !

    Best of all … with all the doo doo Armstrong is in , there’s been nary a mention of his name in the TV or press coverage . Makes me a happy gent ( Armstrong is another reason I won’t step foot in Aspen these days . Should I run into the snipe I’d be too tempted to lay a good bop on the beak upon him and he’s not worth Jail time . Though the previous Sheriff would of given me a medal for doing so :o )

    See y’all in the Funny pages ( OK in August )

  131. HtG Says:

    auf wieder something, tj

  132. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    # 129

    Did you mean ” Our Feet are the Same ” ?

  133. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re. #126,
    I should have mentioned that my C4 rental had a 5-speed manual. I suspect cars like this with small diesels would be compromised a lot with an automatic, at least in cars that are still using torque converter automatics.

  134. tj Martin Says:


    One last little thought before I take off to the high country for a bit of respite .

    CNG . Reminding anyone of the whole Oil Shale debacle of the 70′s & 80′s ?

    Nahhh ! That could never happen again !

    Could it ? :(

    We ( human beings ) just never learn , no matter how many times we go down the same path . Kind of amazing we’re even still around when you think about it . Hmmn

    Adios , Our Feet are the Same , Ciao etc etc

    PS; pedro ; Keep working on that boat trip in case Obama doesn’t get his Xmas wish list ( which means I won’t get mine … snif )

    ” Fools to the Left of Me … Jokers to the Right … Here I am .. Stuck in the Middle with You ”

    Though honestly the speech from MacBeth by the Weird Sisters fits even better ;

    ” Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble …. What’s Fair is Foul … What’s Foul is Fair ”

    Think on that one , especially the last half for a moment .

  135. John Says:

    More good news!

    “US report details vast shale wealth”

    “The mainland US holds enough oil trapped in shale rock reserves to meet its import needs for seven years, according to a new government report that puts a figure on the fastest-growing source of new crude.

    News wires 08 July 2011 22:30 GMT

    About 24 billion barrels of “technically recoverable” oil is trapped in the Lower 48 states, it said, more than half of that in a California basin that has thus far been less successful than booming frontiers in North Dakota and Texas.

    The report, the first ever commissioned by the US Energy Department to quantify the amount of oil in shale structures, offers staggering figures: considered nearly impossible to tap until a few years ago, shale oil may now account for over 20% of the onshore oil resources in the contiguous United States. ”


  136. John Says:

    White House advisor Ron Bloom, then “car czar”
    answers some questions.

    “Congressman Connie Mack (R-FL) questions Special Assistant to the President Ron Bloom ”


  137. John Says:

    Re: 114.

    That looks like “command and control” forced “lower standard of living” to me.

    The “elites” like Al Gore want all the excess lifestyle while slamming the door of opportunity closed on anyone else trying to aspire to achieve “The American Dream” .

    Ron Bloom likes “command and control” too.

    “Obama’s Manufacturing Czar Agrees With Mao too and He thinks The Free Market is Nonsense ”


  138. pedro fernandez Says:

    Back in the day, small, 4 cyl cars simply had to have a manual, an automatic was simply a bad idea, it would zap too much power from small, underpowered engines. The advent of more hp from smaller displacement kind of made that rule disappear more and more, I recall my own VW was grossly underpowered by today’s standards, but I never ever fell the car lacking in power with its manual tranny.

  139. cwolf Says:

    John: Appearantly you were unable to understand the request for you to keep your Right Wing beliefs to yourself and to,instead,keep on point of automotive news.
    The use of CNG does have automotive applications,yet contrary to views,you have failed to give heedance to the many examples provided you towards the pitfalls of the “fracking” extraction process. In all the pro-right wing politics you spew,I think it odd that you haven’t heard reports that the CNG sponsors may have under-evaluated fracking costs to mis-lead politicians into providing greater funding. Never the less, consider this; When an industrial accident occurs,name me one,JUST ONE, instance when things were made as good or better than before the mishap? The answere is easy: It has NEVER happened!
    Furthermore, making judgement on the Ron Bloom thing solely based upon a few short and selected sound bits is absolutely foolish,idiotic and dangerous. And you fill the bill quite well! Please leave your politics within you or in the trash.

  140. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC reports that full size trucks,specially the GM and foreign, are sitting in dealer’s lots taking up a lot of space, also buyers who are looking for mid-size trucks have to look to the foreign brands since both Ford and GM midsize trucks are not very desirable. I think these two miscalculated the need for smaller, more fuel efficient trucks and have simply abandoned the market, if they are to start now, it would take 4 yrs and who know where the market is going to be then

  141. cwolf Says:

    Pedro, I have made the same observations. I have seen a lot of new ford rangers and not much inventory on dealer lots remains because of ford’s exit from the small truck market. I know of 3 guys at work with new rangers who are happy with the truck and mpg’s. I once owed a ranger and loved it for over 250k miles trouble free! I think the small suv rage captured a lot of the market. Since the only growth nearby is south of the boarder,i.e.-brazil,the small trucks they are accustom to may return to the U.S. once we get out of our funk. A small diesel would be a swell offering if they return!

  142. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well it’s obvious these domestic automakers don’t listen to the public, otherwise they would have had a smallish, diesel power truck available NOW. I do see a lot of these Ford Transit Connect commercial vehicles on the road even though their quality and longevity are a question mark, I am sure a diesel, mid-size pick up would do well indeed, but perhaps the domestics are afraid these would further erode the full size market and they have a lot invested in it.

  143. cwolf Says:

    I think those devoted to large trucks and SUV’s will remain faithful reguardless of economic issues or by smaller offerings. They simply need them for one reason or another and anything smaller is’nt enough. If quality,mpg’s,style and performance continue to improve there is probablly room enough for both.

  144. John Says:

    Ron Bloom, Obama’s Manufacturing Czar made many “command and control” statements over time.

    His comments reflect his beliefs.

    He said it over and over. I was comparing it to the solutions in #114. He was the car czar, right?

    The U.S. needs reasonable energy prices to have a economic recovery.

    The left green movement does not want ANY energy in the U.S. except “pie in the sky” green jobs.

    Look at Spain for an example of where a green future goes.

    I think the left greens really want to starve the U.S. Energy Economy to death while they spew the opposite.

    GM developing CNG engines with Westport is News.

    CNG is in the news and provides a alternative to foreign oil.

    “Spain’s experience with the ‘green’ economy: Save the planet, lose some jobs”

    “— no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources — on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada’s report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies — wind-industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. ”


  145. John Says:

    Spain Tries To Forget Economic Blues With Booze-Soaked Party

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/pictures-spain-tries-to-forget-economic-blues-with-booze-soaked-party-2011-7#ixzz1Rdmov26s

  146. John Says:

    Spain: Madrid ‘Euro-pact’ protesters take to streets

    “Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Madrid and other Spanish cities in a mass march against austerity measures, social spending cuts and unemployment. ”


  147. pedro fernandez Says:

    More bad news for domestics, survey among young car buyers, not one single American maker or model is listed as a car they would buy for themselves. Also quality survey has the Cruze, Fiesta and newly redesigned Jetta at the bottom of the list, the media will have you believe that the domestic’s quality has skyrocketed, Bullcrap!! I am not making this up folks. I read this online yesterday.

  148. pedro fernandez Says:

    From the Motorweek is full of it dept: in the latest show, the news reader says “EV’s are making their mark in the US” funny, I have yet to see one single EV on the road yet, I guess So Fla is not considered part of the US!

  149. John Says:

    Walter de’Silva, Head of Group Design, Volkswagen, has timeless design integrity.

    Walter does design right.

    Thank You John McElroy, for one of the best Autoline Detroit shows ever.

  150. Kit Gerhart Says:

    @pedro #146,
    I see a few EV’s, 15mph scooters, on the beach frontage street in Cocoa Beach. I haven’t seen any Leaves, though.

  151. HtG Says:

    2 Volts, 1 eMini, 1 Think 10 years ago, and 1 hydrogen powered Chevy SUV, 1 Tesla on the streets.

  152. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh yeah! Key Biscayne is full of electric golf carts that locals use to get around the village, some of them have 3 rows of seats with a tarp for a roof, rain gear optional.I don’t even think the Chevy dealer near me has any Volts. GM messed up once more, a lot of pep talk about the car, winning a bunch of awards and almost none available for those who may be encouraged by all the publicity to actually go out and get one.

  153. pedro fernandez Says:

    re #150 just checked out Autotrader.com and there are only a couple of Volts within 300 miles from me, asking price $59,000!!!!What a freaking joke GM is.All this car of the year crap and you can’t even buy one without getting the shaft. $60k or an electrified Cruze.

  154. John Says:

    It looks like the term “hybrid” is being used to describe CNG/Gasoline Bi-Fuel technology in the latest Reuters GM – Westport NEWS article.

    “General Motors Deal Hints at a Future for Natural-Gas Powered Cars”

    Thu Jul 7, 2011 1:11am EDT

    “Hybrid engines can be made to run on gasoline or natural gas. And vehicles could be outfitted with two fuel tanks – a smaller one for compressed natural gas (CNG) and a larger one for gasoline.

    The cheaper CNG, would be topped off at home with special filling equipment attached to a homeowners natural gas line. Natural gas would then be used for daily commuting.

    The larger, gasoline tank would be used for longer trips, and would be filled at existing gas stations along the way.

    The concept is similar to home charging for GM’s Chevy Volt, which has an electric drive and batteries, but also uses as small gasoline engine for extending the vehicle’s range. ”


  155. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re #152,
    I’d call that dual fuel, not hybrid, but it should make sense for people who have easy access to gas in their garage for hooking up a fueling station.

  156. Jeepimator Says:

    Saw the report on CAFE standards from Consumer reports. They are just another supposedly unbaiased nonprofit company motivated only by their political agenda. I started subscribing to CR in my thenties and now in my 60′s, I stopped taking CR about 10 years ago when I realized all of their reportins suffer from personal bias. They never review brands they don’t like and are heavily biased against anything made in the US.