Posted on by Thomas Nelson 1

Usually when there is a transmission failure, it is something internal that, after many years of dutiful service, is expected to start breaking down. However, Nissan has announced that some of their best selling trucks and SUVs (2005-2010 Nissan Frontier , Xterra , and Pathfinders ) are experiencing radiator leaks that are finding their way into the components of their automatic transmissions. This leak is causing premature wearing of the automatic transmission that warrants replacement often at less than 100,000 miles. The New York Times reports that even after Nissan extended warranties on the effected models by 5 years/50,000 miles (for a total warranty coverage for 80K miles/8 years) owners still reported that "the radiator issues have affected the vehicles transmissions, causing premature failure...Lance Wiggins, Technical Director of the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association points out ’what’s happening is the radiator cooler tanks are rupturing, forcing coolant into the five-speed automatic through the transmission cooler lines." Motor Trend also points out that for many of the owners of these vehicles (particularly the older models) are beyond the extended warranty. If the transmission fails, they will have to put forth a substantial investment for a new one. Nissan says they "would cover transmissions damaged by coolant, as long as they met the extended warranty guidelines." No warranty, no fix.

Although Nissan says "only a small proportion of models are affected," we are perplexed by their actions. They seem to be doing enough to belay a lawsuit, yet don’t seem to be real concerned about maintaining a loyal customer base, which is a real pity because we love the ruggedness and the utility of the Nissan trucks and SUVs.

Source: NY Times
Posted on by Thomas Nelson 5
Lotus Elise S

My father had a habit of pointing out "it’s always the one ya least suspect." If you asked the public what they thought the Lotus Elise’s reliability was, the answer was a resounding "very good." However, now this Rembrandt of the racetrack has a small smudge and is now under investigation for a possible mechanical deficiency concerning the oil cooler.

The 2005-2006 Lotus Elise is at the center of this investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA). This problem centers on the right front oil cooler which can potentially come loose and spray inside the wheel well and the engine bay which can lead to a fire. This problem is described as" .. [Complaints centered on] an oil cooler line [that] had failed causing oil to spray within the engine compartment area, and/or near one of the wheel or brake assemblies." It is important to note that no one was hurt due to this malfunction although one person’s car did catch fire. That being said, the NHTSA has received 17 complaints and have calculated that around 4,400 Elises may be affected due to this malfunction.

An important distinction to note is that although this investigation is ongoing, a recall has not been issued for the Elise.

If you were considering a Lotus and now are suddenly running like Usain Bolt towards another sports car, think again because all of us here at TopSpeed would still love to have this pocket racer in our garage. Its combination of incredibly reliable Toyota innards and speed make the Lotus Elise a must have for any car enthusiast. Take this complaint for what it is; a small bump in the road for a great vehicle.

Source: NHTSA
Posted on by Matt McDonald 20

You may well have never heard of the Orca C113 Orca C113 , but this killer whale can sure make a splash on the racetrack. The supercar was designed and built by Rene Beck of the Orca Engineering company based out of Liechtenstein, Sweden. Many people have the dream of creating their own supercar, but few are ever able to take that dream and create something of it. This specific model of the Orca took nearly fifteen years from inception to production and was first introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2003.

As with many supercars, the overall idea is quite simple. Keep the weight down, use aerodynamic architecture, and have plenty of power under the hood. Through the hard work of Rene Beck and several other aftermarket tuning companies, the Orca came from concept car to production model in 2005. Its shape was reminiscent of other supercar greats from Lamborghini and of smaller firms like Mosler.

The use of a heavily modified Audi sourced V8 and the lightweight construction have made this car one of the fastest on the road. Albeit, the top speed has never been “officially” tested, the company claims that the car will top out around 224mph.

Hit the jump for more details on this Orca C113.

Posted on by Matt McDonald 0

The AMG side of Mercedes Benz began as something completely different than it has grown into today. Essentially two Daimler engineers were sitting at home late at night and tinkering with various Mercedes models to make them faster and more powerful. These grease monkeys were eventually recognized by Mercedes and began to collaborate for racing and eventually production models. The first of these was a C36 model that sold in Europe. It was a fantastic car that packed 276hp, but AMG did not find real traction in the United States market until the introduction of the E55.

For starters, theE-class was already a best-selling model for Mercedes and its combination of size, luxury, and price fell directly in the middle of the Mercedes demographic. When AMG began to tune this model, it was clear that a V8 would need to be used and the standard 5.0-liter from the E500 would be the starting point. After being completely bored out and reconfigured, the 5.4-liter legend was born.

As competition in the entry-level segment began to heat up during the 1990s, Mercedes and AMG saw the opportunity to up the ante in the C-Class and include the same 5.4-liter V8. It was not the first time a V8 would be used in a C-Class , but the new platform introduced in 2005 gave engineers and designers the opportunity to create a model that would rival the other German brands.

Hit the jump for more details on 2005 Mercedes C55 AMG.

Voted "Car of the year" by Motor Trend and North American Car of the Year (NACOY) at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Chrysler 300C marks the return of great American cars. With an intense competiton from other cars, the 300C was declared winner for unique combination of contemporary styling and powerful performance.

Posted on by Mike Husleag 31

The Acura NSX supercar exemplifies the precision crafted performance that lies at the heart of every Acura vehicle. Devel Devel oped out of years of racing experience, the NSX sets the benchmark for Acura technology, combining world-class performance and styling with exceptional drivability and refinement.

Posted on by Mike Husleag 0

The Los Angeles Convention Center set the stage for the season opener of the 2005 Hot Import Nights event series. With more than 7 years of experience HIN has set the standard for running a premier event featuring tuner cars, models, music, and the night club style atmosphere to create this ultimate experience.

Posted on by Mike Husleag 0
Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TMMNA) announced today that the company produced 1,558,828 vehicles and 1,295,227 engines at its North American manufacturing facilities in 2005. Both figures represent new record production levels for Toyota, which began North American production in 1985 and has been growing ever since. As part of Toyota’s localization efforts in North America, TMMNA made the following announcements in 2005: Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, (...)
Posted on by Romain Boudre 0

When you think cars and Germany, Frankfurt probably isn’t the city that comes to mind - Stuttgart for sure, Munich maybe, but not Frankfurt. It’s a city known more for stocks and bonds, not horsepower and torque. Yet every other year the arrival of the Frankfurt International Motor Show turns the city into the center of the German automotive universe. Actually, it becomes the center of the entire automotive universe as it’s the biggest event in Europe and the first major auto show of the year. Its timing in early September makes it the perfect venue for world debuts and this year doesn’t look to be any different.

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