Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
November 24, 2012
(Note: The weekend edition is back from its long vacation, mostly due to me being busy with other things. Sorry about that. Anyways, enjoy. -WM)
Everyday, I go through a number of stories that I will post on Cheers & Gears. However, a good number of stories that I have picked out don’t make it onto the page during the week and either get posted next week or never.
That’s where the the Cheers & Gears’ Weekend Edition comes in. Its where the stories that gotten forgotten about during the week get their due. In this third edition, we’ll be covering,
- Buick Considers A Big Change
- The Least Stolen Vehicle Is..
- Quick Hits
- and more..
Next: Buick's Possible Big Change
General Motors Considering To Overhaul Buick’s Badge
Buick has been undergoing many changes to try find its own identity and place in the General Motors family for the past few years, and there could be a big change coming.
General Motors’ North America President Mark Reuss told a group of journalists that the Buick tri-shield emblem could be getting a facelift in the very near future. Reuss didn't go into any specifics as to what changes or why the change is happening.
One of the possible reasons for the emblem change is to help shed Buick’s image of being the vehicle that your grandparents drove. The current tri-shield emblem has been in use for more than 50 years. Though in the 70’s, Buick incorporated a hawk into the emblem. The hawk would last around ten years before being phased out for the tri-shield. Each of the shields on the current emblem represents the LeSabre, Invicta, and Electra models. All of those models listed also have something in common; Buick doesn't build them anymore and that is another possible reason as to why GM is considering a move.
“There’s people who can look at the badge of a car and know exactly what they are and what time period they’re from,” said Jeremy Dimick, curator of collections at Sloan Longway’s Alfred P. Sloan Museum and Buick Gallery in Flint, Mich. “You look at the car and know it’s a Buick for sure. Any future logo you would think would retain components of that. The brand identity is so wrapped up in that.”
Another possible reason as to why GM is considering a change to Buick’s emblem deals with China. Last month, Buick sold 60,510 vehicles in China, up 7.7% from the same time last year. To put this into perspective, Buick sold 13,384 vehicles in the U.S., almost a quarter of vehicles sold in China. Buick also accounted for 24% of GM sales in China last month as well.
"I don't really know what benefit it will be unless they're thinking they will capture even more of the Chinese market by doing this," said Peter De Lorenzo, former auto industry marketing executive who now writes at Autoextremist.com.
Source: Detroit Free Press
Next: The Least Stolen Vehicle Is...
Don’t Want To Have Your Car Stolen? Buy and Own A Prius
Besides being the most popular hybrid, Toyota’s Prius is the least stolen vehicle in the U.S. according to a new report.
The report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau finds that one out of 606 2008-2010 Toyota Prius models have been stolen, compared to the average automotive theft rate of one out of 78 models.
The report cites one of the key reasons the Prius is the least stolen is due to the lack of shared parts with other Toyota models.
“It’s a one-model car; the parts on it won’t fit anything else but a Prius. If you use a Camry, for instance, the engine might fit in another car. On a Prius, the engine is so different because they’re hybrid,” said John Abounader, executive director of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators.
California was the leader with the most stolen Prius models, with 1,062 vehicles. Not surprisingly since the Prius is the best-selling vehicle in the state. Florida was second with 127 vehicles and New York took third with 111 vehicles.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s report also says that 96.7% of Prius models stolen are returned to owners.
Next: Audi Sportcars Rumors
Rumorpile: A Lightweight Audi TT and A Diesel Supercar
Autocar has two very juicy rumors dealing with Audi and sports cars.
Rumor #1 deals with Audi possibly working a lightweight version of the next-generation TT. Autocar has learned from Audi’s development boss, Wolfgang Durheimer the company is working on a TT with a target weight of 1,000 kg curb weight (about 2,200 lbs). Sources say the this TT will use a combination of steel, aluminium and carbonfiber to pull this off. Other changes to this TT include a roll cage and a five-cylinder engine.
“The TT is an icon car for Audi and has a very interesting future,” said Durheimer.
The management will decide if this model will be green-lit or not sometime next week.
Rumor #2 deals with return of a diesel supercar. At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Audi unveiled the R8 V12 TDI concept. Producing 493 HP and 738 lb-ft of torque, it was the wet dream many auto enthusiasts had wished for. Originally rumored to make production, the model was to be shelved for the R8 e-tron electric supercar.
Earlier this year, Audi put the R8 e-tron on hold to be reviewed by Durheimer to see if the project would go forward or not. Now, it appears Audi has pulled the diesel supercar off from the shelf.
Autocar reports that the diesel supercar could be named the R10, use a diesel V8 instead of the V12 due to weight, and a carbonfiber monocoque.
Next: Quick Hits and Random Links
Coming to an L.A. Auto Show, the Jaguar XFR-S. Jaguar says the XFR-S is the fastest and most powerful sedan the company has ever produced. The only other detail Jaguar has said is that 200 XFR-S will be coming to the states.
We’ll have more on the XFR-S next week during the L.A. Auto Show
- Jaguar USA
Last year at the L.A. Auto Show, Subaru showed off the BRZ STi concept which featured an aggressive body kit and a huge rear spoiler. Almost a year after the showing, Auto Express reports that Subaru will introduce a production model sometime next Spring in Japan. The U.S. and Europe will follow sometime there after.
The BRZ STi will come with an aggressive body kit and more power thanks to a tweaked intake and improved exhaust. No turbos or superchargers will be seen. We don’t know if there are any changes to suspension or steering, but we wouldn’t be surprised if there are.
The Bentley EXP 9 F concept SUV has a got a name. Automobile reports Bentley has given the new SUV the name of Falcon. Other than that, Automobile says the Bentley has been given the green light while other models like the Lamborghini Urus SUV is still on hold.
(Author’s note: Random links is something new I’m trying out in this edition. This is a collection of articles I come across during the week when looking for news that I thought I would share. Let me know what you think. -WM)
Motor Trend’s Editor-at-Large does a post mortem on the 2013 Car of the Year winner.
Jamie Kitman on Car Talk gives a debrief on Hurricane Sandy and some thoughts on what to do.
Staying on Sandy for a moment: Escaping the wrath of Sandy in a Kia Sorento
Car Magazine South Africa’s Editor wonders about the wagons
Should we focus less on top speed and more acceleration?
#Shameless Plug: A guest post I did talking about one of not talked about key roles that play into reviews.
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at email@example.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.