Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:58:00 EST
Imagine hitting the track in a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive sports coupe that's affordable and has pretty good parts availability. It might sound like a pipe dream, but it's actually quite possible, if you're willing to think a little outside the box. The Pontiac Fiero is out there just waiting for a little work to turn it into a competent racing machine.
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 12:45:00 EST
Think about it for a second. Of course, we would all like to be snaking through the curves in something exotic, but what happens when you crash or something breaks? The bills are going to mount up quickly. However, if you ball up a Fiero at the track, as long as you're not hurt, then it's not a huge tragedy.
That's basically the story of Steven Snyder in a new video from Drive starring Matt Farah. Snyder wanted to go to the track cheaply and ended up with an awesome little Fiero with a huge wing and a claimed 220 horsepower at the wheels thanks to a V6 from a Chevrolet Lumina. Check out the video to see how this pint-size Pontiac performs.
The latest video from The Aficionauto is the perfect palate cleanser for Knight Rider fans after finding out that Justin Bieber is the voice of KITT in an upcoming film. Host Christopher Rutkowski says that the Knight Industries Two Thousand is one of the most requested vehicles to appear on the series and for good reason - Michael Knight's Pontiac Trans-Am is among the most famous cars to ever appear on television.
Sun, 05 Oct 2014 14:00:00 EST
While the video isn't able to showcase one of the original KITTs from the series, it does get star David Hasselhoff to drive his personal replica and talk about the lasting legacy of the show. The highlight here might be seeing The Hoff back behind the wheel in the open desert basically recreating Knight Rider's opening sequence.
With all of its flashing lights and gizmos, you can probably make the argument that KITT is pretty cheesy, and the show itself was never exactly a pillar of high-quality drama on television. Despite that, the series still provides a ton of good-natured fun, and The Hoff's continued enthusiasm for it is pretty infectious. Check out The Aficionauto video to take another ride with Knight Rider.
Following a stop-delivery order for its new midsize trucks and a rash of recent recalls, General Motors is issuing three more campaigns covering 60,575 vehicles in North America with 57,182 of them in the US. As of October 1, the automaker has issued a total of 74 recalls (see the ridiculously long chart to the right) this year covering 26,495,070 units in the US.
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:45:00 EST
The largest campaign covers 46,873 examples in the US of the 2008-2009 Pontiac G8 and 2011-2013 Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle imported from Australia. It's possible for the driver's knee to hit the key and make it move from the "Run" to "ACC" position while driving. GM says its Holden division is developing a fixed-blade key that's supposed to fix the problem by only allowing it to rotate toward the "On" position. There has been one crash caused by this fault but no injuries or fatalities.
The second recall is for 10,005 units of the 2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V and 2006-2007 Cadillac STS-V because "the fuel pump module electrical terminal may overheat." This can cause a flange to melt and allow the pump to leak fuel. GM specifies that the remedy for the CTS-V is replacing the fuel module and fuel tank jumper harness, but it doesn't specify how the STS-V is being repaired.
Generation Gap is mining the Lingenfelter collection again this week to compare two very different interpretations of the Pontiac Firebird. An original 1968 example goes toe-to-toe with a 2010 Lingenfelter Trans Am to see whether the old man or the modern re-imagining takes the crown.
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 00:01:00 EST
Being from the Lingenfelter collection, both cars are absolutely immaculate. The '68 packs a Pontiac 350-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) V8 with a claimed 320 horsepower and some classic, muscular style with a hood-mounted tach. Plus, it's painted in an understated shade of green that you don't usually see.
In the other corner is Lingenfelter's pumped-up take on the classic shape based on the modern Camaro, and this is just one of six concept versions ever made. It wears an eye-catching, vintage-inspired livery of blue with a white stripe package. Under its shaker hood is a 455-cubic-inch (7.5-liter) V8 with a reported 655 hp and 610 pound-feet of torque.
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:00:00 EST
Oprah kicked off her 19th season in dramatic fashion by giving all 276 members of the studio audience a free car.
Molly Vielweber's Pontiac G6 appears unremarkable at first glance. It wears forest green paint, rolls on five-spoke aluminum wheels, and it has a sizeable scrape in the driver's side door, the scar of a decade's worth of hard use. You wouldn't notice it parked at a big box store or cruising on the highway. Pontiac made hundreds of thousands of G6s in the 2000s, and a lot are still on the road. It's unremarkable in every way except for the front license plate, which reads, "Oprah 6."
The Pontiac GTO was perhaps the most iconic muscle car of the '60s and early '70s. With its beefy V8 and color palette screaming for attention, it summarized in a single vehicle everything that made the era so appealing to many young people. Pontiac tried to collect just a few drops of that aura again in the 2000s with a revived GTO, but with decidedly mixed results. The performance was still there with its big V8, but the looks never quite lived up to the powertrain. Now, Generation Gap wants to know which of these Goats is the one to own.
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:02:00 EST
Things are skewed immediately because the 2006 GTO here is a real ringer. It comes from famous tuner Ken Lingenfelter's collection, and it's a one-off example partially fettled by GM Performance boasting a twin-turbocharged LS2 V8 with a claimed 750 horsepower and a wide-body kit. This Goat definitely isn't what you're going to find just browsing for one to buy in the newspaper. Still, dip the throttle just a little, and this GTO pulls like a freight train. It's enough to turn the two hosts into giggling schoolboys behind the wheel.
The '69 GTO Judge here is also out of Lingenfelter's collection, but this one is all stock with a 400-cubic-inch (6.6-liter) V8 and a Ram Air hood for a claimed 366 hp. It might not have the unbelievable power of the turbo '06, but it makes up for it with style to spare.
Every few a decades, the folks running General Motors lose their minds briefly try to market a car that public doesn't see coming and often aren't ready for. In the '60s there was the rear-engine, air-cooled Chevrolet Corvair, then the mid-engine Pontiac Fiero in the '80s and the completely bizarre Chevy SSR in the 2000s. What all of these had in common was that they bucked the trend for American models of their era, for better or worse. The latest episode of Generation Gap tasked the hosts with finding two cult classic vehicles to choose between; they came come up with two of these quirky products from The General.
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 15:30:00 EST
On the classic side, there's a 1967 Chevy Corvair Monza convertible. Being from later in the production run, it wears slightly more aerodynamic styling than the earlier, boxier examples. Hanging out back is an air-cooled, 2.7-liter flat-six pumping out a robust 95 horsepower. In the other corner is the somewhat more modern 1986 Pontiac Fiero SE with a mid-mounted, 2.5-liter "Iron Duke" four-cylinder, an engine nearly ubiquitous in GM cars of the '80s.
Judging by when they were new, the Corvair was far more successful than the Fiero with over 1.8 million sold. Of course, Ralph Nader's book Unsafe at Any Speed kind of poisoned the well, even if the poor safety reputation wasn't entirely deserved. The Fiero on the other hand only lasted for a few model years before shuffling off, but it eventually got its own performance boost with the V6 version and rather attractive GT models. Check them both out in the video and tell us in Comments which you want in your garage.
General Motors has another spate of recalls to announce. This time they cover 312,280 vehicles worldwide, including 269,041 of in the US, in a total of six campaigns. In 2014, the automaker has recalled 29,079,765 vehicles worldwide, with 25,754,356 of those in the US.
Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:30:00 EST
The largest among them covers 215,243 units of the Saturn Vue from 2002-2004 model years worldwide, 202,115 in the US. It's possible for the for the key to be removed even when the ignition isn't in the OFF position. The company knows of two crashes and one injury caused by this problem. Dealers are checking the parts and replacing the ignition cylinder and key set, if necessary.
Next is 72,826 models worldwide (48,059 vehicles in the US) of the 2013 Cadillac ATS four-door sedan, 2013 Buick Encore and 2013 Chevy Trax in Canada. It's possible that the for lap belt pretensioner to retract but not to lock, which could increase occupant movement during a crash. Both front, outboard lap belt pretensioners are being replaced, and a stop-sale is in effect on unsold models until the problem is repaired. There are no known crashes or injuries, though.
General Motors today announced a truly massive recall covering some 8.4 million vehicles in North America. Most significantly, 8.2 million examples of the affected vehicles are being called back due to "unintended ignition key rotation," though GM spokesperson Alan Adler tells Autoblog that this issue is not like the infamous Chevy Cobalt ignition switch fiasco.
Fri, 13 Jun 2014 15:44:00 EST
For the sake of perspective, translated to US population, this total recall figure would equal a car for each resident of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, the District of Columbia, Vermont and Wyoming. Combined. Here's how it all breaks down:
7,610,862 vehicles in North America being recalled for unintended ignition key rotation. 6,805,679 are in the United States.
The repairs needed for the faulty airbag inflators supplied by Takata continue to expand. Toyota initially announced a recall of 766,300 vehicles equipped with the bad part on June 11 as a followup to a campaign from 2013. Soon after, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary evaluation into five automakers who also used the component in their models. Now, NHTSA has released the official announcement of the latest Toyota recall listing 844,277 affected cars, including the newly added 2003-2004 Pontiac Vibe.
While NHTSA's document didn't include a model-by-model breakdown, General Motors spokesperson Alan Adler estimated to Autoblog that roughly 85,000 Vibes in the US would be covered under the latest recall. Like the rest of the affected models, the airbag inflator could rupture in a crash causing the bag not to work correctly, possibly spraying metal fragments at the occupant.
Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight told Autoblog that the reason for the disparity between the earlier press release and NHTSA document was that Toyota was continuing to comb through VINs to create a list of affected vehicles. The original number was an estimate of that process at the time. Scroll down to the recall report from NHTSA.