Auto Industry Site Lists ‘Top-10 American Cars’

Auto Industry Site Lists ‘Top-10 American Cars’

By Jonathan Welsh

Cadillac’s CTS sport sedan tops the Total Car Score list.

In part to mark the coming July 4th holiday, automotive research and information site Total Car Score ranked its top-10 American cars. The lineup of winners represents a wide range of vehicles from luxury sedans and SUVs to crossovers and large wagons. All vehicles are from the 2012 model year.

The  site said its “total car score” is a number rating meant to represent an “overall industry assessment from major automotive authorities” that includes reviewers and other experts. Total Car Score said the list also reflects renewed strength of domestic car makers.

“The Detroit Big 3 have quickly rebounded to produce some of the highest rated cars on the market, and America clearly hasn’t lost its grip on the large SUV or high-performance sedan segments. All three manufacturers made the Top 10 list with at least one ‘tuner’ version of their mainstream sedans, confirming Detroit muscle is alive and well,” said Karl Brauer, editor in chief and CEO of Total Car Score.

Here are the winners and their ratings:

1. Cadillac CTS: 86.49
2. Buick LaCrosse: 85.01
3. Chevrolet Traverse: 84.87
4. Ford Flex: 84.44
5. GMC Acadia: 84.18
6. Cadillac CTS-V: 83.65
7. Chrysler 300: 83.29
8. Ford Taurus SHO: 83.22
9. Cadillac SRX: 83.01
10. Chrysler 300 SRT-8: 82.59

More information about the Top-10 list is available at

Mazda Builds Last Rotary Engine

Mazda Builds Last Rotary Engine
Final RX-8 model rolls off the assembly line in Japan; innovative engine could have a future with hydrogen power.
Viknesh Vijayenthiran
The special-edition Mazda RX-8 Spirit R is the final version of the rotary-powered sports coupe. (Photo: Mazda)

The last rotary-powered car from Mazda rolled off its production line in Japan on Friday, a Mazda RX-8 Spirit R sold only in the Japanese domestic market.

With no successor confirmed, we may never see a rotary engine in a production car ever again, though those at Mazda don’t want to see it that way.

Part of the reason for its demise is its terrible fuel economy, which is around 40 percent worse than a conventional internal-combustion engine with comparable performance.

The rotary engine is compact and powerful, but not very fuel efficient. (Photo: Mazda)

The rotary engine, first launched in the 1967 Mazda Cosmo, did have its pluses. From the tidy 1.3-liter unit found in the RX8 came 232 horsepower, which peaked at a lofty 8,500 rpm with the six-speed manual. And for all the revs, it was still smoother than many piston engines with twice the displacement at half the rpm.

Mazda engineers are toiling away with solutions to make the rotary engine greener, but so far have had little luck. One strategy is the application of SKYACTIV technology, either with direct injection, supercharging or some other conventional fuel-saving technology.

Another, more radical strategy is the use of the rotary strictly as a range-extender for a battery-powered electric car. According to Bloomberg, Mazda is currently testing a rotary burning hydrogen fuel to charge a lithium-ion battery that then drives an electric motor.

Mazda wasn’t the first to proceed down the rotary range-extender development path. Audi first showed the rotary-packing A1 e-tron concept at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. That allegedly led to talks between Audi and Mazda,
and rumors that Mazda was developing a special-purpose rotary engine for the Audi A1 e-tron. It’s likely that such an engine could also be used to future Mazda range-extended electric cars.

The Audi connection would bring the rotary full circle. The unique engine design was pioneered by German engineer Felix Wankel shortly after World War II, who at the time was working for Audi NSU Auto Union AG and later licensed the technology to Mazda.

This story originally appeared at Motor Authority.


People to live on Mars FOREVER?!?!?!

Reality Show on Mars Could Fund Manned Colony by 2023

by Mike Wall, Senior Writer

Date: 26 June 2012





Hubble photo of Mars
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope snapped this shot of Mars on Aug. 26, 2003, when the Red Planet was 34.7 million miles from Earth. The picture was taken just 11 hours before Mars made its closest approach to us in 60,000 years.


A Dutch company aims to land humans on Mars by 2023 as the first step toward establishing a permanent colony on the Red Planet.

The project, called Mars One, plans to drop four astronauts on Mars in April 2023. New members of the nascent colony will arive every two years after that, and none of the Red Planet pioneers will ever return to Earth.

To pay for all of this, Mars One says it will stage a media spectacle the likes of which the world has never seen — a sort of interplanetary reality show a la “Big Brother.”


“This project seems to be the only way to fulfill humanity’s dream to explore outer space,” theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Gerard ‘t Hooft, an ambassador for Mars One, said in an introductory video posted on the company’s website. “It is going to be an exciting experiment. Let’s get started.”



The plan

Mars One hopes to launch a communications satellite and a supply mission to Mars in 2016, then send a large rover to the Red Planet in 2018, according to the video.

This rover will scout out suitable sites for the new Mars colony. The company will then launch settlement components — such as habitat units, life-support equipment and another rover — in 2020. The two rovers will prepare the settlement for the arrival of the first humans in 2023.

Mars One officials say they’ve talked to a variety of private spaceflight companies around the world and have secured at least one potential supplier for each colony component.

They plan to launch many components on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, for example, which is expected to be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle when it starts flying. The Falcon Heavy is still in development, and SpaceX officials have said the rocket’s first test flight could come as early as next year.





A media spectacle

Mars One estimates that it will cost about $6 billion to put the first four astronauts on Mars. While this may seem like a daunting sum for a non-governmental entity, the company is confident it can raise the needed funds by selling corporate sponsorships.

“We will finance this mission by creating the biggest media event ever around it,” Mars One co-founder Bas Landorp said in the video. “Everybody in the world can see everything that will happen in the preparations and on Mars.”

If all goes according to Mars One’s plans, companies looking to advertise will pay big bucks for that exposure.


“This is going to be a media spectacle; ‘Big Brother’ will pale in comparison,” ‘t Hooft said. “The whole world will be watching and experience this journey.”

Mars One will begin selecting its first group of astronauts in 2013, according to its website. Though the company just made its plans public in the last few weeks, it’s been developing them in secret since January 2011, officials said.


Mars One isn’t the only organization with its eyes on putting boots on Mars. President Barack Obama directed NASA to work on getting astronauts to the vicinity of the Red Planet by the mid-2030s, and SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has said his company hopes to fly people to Mars within the next 10 or 20 years.


If video wont play…click link below!!!

Astronomers Discover Galaxy They Thought Couldn’t Exist

Astronomers Discover Galaxy They Thought Couldn’t Exist

Astronomers have spotted one of the rarest and most extreme galaxy clusters in the universe and, behind it, an object that shouldn’t exist.

Galaxy clusters are collections of galaxies that orbit one another and are the most massive objects in the universe. The newly discovered cluster, first detected by the Hubble space telescope, is over 500 trillion times the mass of the sun. It is located approximately 10 billion light-years away. Because looking out into the distant cosmos means also looking back in time, the cluster formed during an era when the universe was a quarter its present age.

The cluster, named IDCS J1426.5+3508, is extreme because during this period in cosmic history, massive collections of galaxies were just beginning to form. Only one other cluster of comparable size has been seen at this distance and it is a lightweight compared to IDCS J1426.5+3508.

Adding to the object’s strangeness, a mysterious arc of blue light was seen just behind the galaxy cluster. Astronomers think this indicates another massive star-forming galaxy located even further away at an even earlier epoch.

Light from this more distant — and yet unnamed – galaxy has been highly distorted by an effect known as gravitational lensing. The gargantuan mass of the galaxy cluster bends and twists light coming from the distant galaxy, creating the strange blue arc.

The farther galaxy is estimated to be 10 to 13 billion light-years away and have a mass approximately 70 trillion times the sun.

The astronomers who spotted the blue arc calculated that the odds of finding such a massive galaxy so distant in the universe are practically nil: “For the observed magnitudes we expect to find no arcs over the entire sky as bright,” the team writes in one of three papers outlining their findings, published online in The Astrophysical Journal June 26.

Understanding how these objects came to be could help astronomers determine the history of galactic evolution throughout the history of the universe. The team hopes that the eROSITA mission – an x-ray telescope scheduled to launch next year and study galaxy clusters and dark matter – will provide more information on this bizarre finding.

Car getting pooped on? Get a Green one!!!

Car getting pooped on? Get a Green one!!!

Weird but true…

If you drive a red car, try parking it indoors — or trade it in for a green one.
A survey by a British auto retailer found red cars attract more bird poop than cars of any other color.
After red, the birds’ favorite “outhouses” were, in order, blue, black, white, gray and, in last place, green.

Here’s one couple who’ll stick close together at their prom.
Brooke Wallace of Solomon, Kan., spent more than 200 hours fashioning her Western-style prom dress from duct tape.
For her date, Mark Aylward, she used the tape to make a lariat, a bolo tie and a gun and holster.
It wasn’t just for laughs.
They can each win $5,000, plus another $5,000 for their school, in a contest sponsored by a company that makes the tape.
The bad news is the only post office in Sugar Hill, NH, is now open for just a half-hour a day, from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., because of government cutbacks.

The good news is the lines still probably won’t be too long.
Only 563 people live in the hamlet in the northern part of the state.
A Canadian cook has cracked a Guinness World Record by cracking 3,031 eggs in one hour, using only one hand.
Corey Peras, who regularly cooks breakfast at a grill in Barrhaven, Ontario, said his boss had watched a celebrity chef set the old record of 2,086.
“He came into work and he said, ‘You’re way faster than that,’ ” the new record holder recalled.
Drop those books and come out with your hands up!
A high school in southern England called police to eject a star student who is so “obsessed’’ with studying he refused to leave the library.
Braniac Jamie Gagliardi complained, “I have been punished for wanting to do well.”

Read more:

Detroit Public Library Opens Documents Of Auto Industry’s War Production to Researchers

Detroit Public Library Opens Documents Of Auto Industry’s War Production to Researchers


Published: Monday, Jun. 25, 2012 – 8:45 am
DETROIT, June 25, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — A massive document collection recording the American automobile industry’s role in World War II is now open to historians and researchers, the Detroit Public Library has announced.

Files of the Automotive Council for War Production chronicle the industry’s rapid wartime conversion that made Detroit famous as “the Arsenal of Democracy,” said Mark Bowden, the library’s curator of special collections.

Housed in the library’s National Automotive History Collection (NAHC), the manuscript collection covers the council’s activity from 1942 to 1946. It filled 77 boxes and included nearly 4,000 photographs when it was donated to the NAHC by the Automobile Manufacturers Association in the 1950s. It is now processed and available to researchers at the NAHC in the library’s Skillman Branch in downtown Detroit.

The wartime collection includes papers, records, documents and invoices of the council, which was led by Lieutenant General William Knudsen.  An expert on mass production, Knudsen was the president of General Motors when President Roosevelt asked him to take the job.  Some 654 manufacturing companies joined the council and produced nearly $29 billion worth of vehicles, tanks, engines, and other war products for the allied military forces.
The NAHC is regarded as the nation’s premier public automotive archive.  Established in 1953, it contains over 600,000 processed documents and photographs relating to automobile history, design, marketing, engineering and the automobile’s impact on society.  It is a treasure trove for historians, journalists, car collectors and restorers, and simply anyone interested in cars.     
The NAHC is open to the public at 121 Gratiot in downtown Detroit.