2011 Dodge Durango

lead1 2011 dodge durango first drive 450x298 2011 Dodge Durango

Geologically speaking, dinosaurs ruled the earth for a brief period. In automotive terms, the same holds true for the traditional sport utility vehicle. But while dinosaurs will never return, SUVs are attempting a comeback.

Autoblog readers all know the history of the American SUV; it started with the Suburban in 1936 whenChevrolet dropped a station wagon body over a truck chassis. Natural selection favored utilitarian characteristics, so the Suburban grew. Other forces were active in the land of Jeep. Their Wagoneer (1963) survived for decades thanks to genes that combined plushness with off-road capabilities. Another variation on the SUV was the unibody Jeep Cherokee XJ (1984), a new phylum that somehow mutated from body-on-frame parents.

Environmental influencers such as cheap gas and low lease rates caused an SUV Cambrian Explosion throughout the 1980s and 90s. Spontaneous parallel genesis occurred at other manufacturers yielding dozens of Darwinian finch-like variations. Then disaster struck. The entire range of SUVs nearly went extinct with the meteopreric impact of 2008′s financial collapse and a spike in fuel prices. Does the 2011 Dodge Durango resent the rear-wheel drive SUV’s last gasp or its reemergence?

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - November 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm

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Aston Martin Rapide Luxe raises the stakes

web630 astonmartinrapideluxe 3 450x291 Aston Martin Rapide Luxe raises the stakes

If you’re in the market for a luxurious four-door, you’d be hard pressed to do better than the Aston Martin Rapide. But now the British automaker has announced an even more exclusive package called the Rapide Luxe.

Over and above all the bells and whistles that come standard on the Rapide, the Luxe trim gets you a selection of exclusive color options (including Quantum Silver and Concours Blue), a custom-fitted leather luggage set matched to the hides of the car’s interior, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, plus glass switchgear and keyfob. Just when you thought the existing Rapide was as good as it gets…

Follow the link for a closer look and check out the images in the gallery below for more details.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - at 9:06 pm

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Baby boomers about to flood roads with older drivers

elderly driver 450x297 Baby boomers about to flood roads with older drivers

Next year, the very first Baby Boomers will be 65 years old. By 2025, nearly one in five drivers will be 65 or older. Looking even further ahead, the number of licensed drivers over age 65 is set to double in 2030, to 57 million. The National Transportation Safety Board believes that the government needs to prepare for this and work towards reducing death and injury rates for elderly drivers.

We’ve already seen a substantial drop in elderly driver deaths, however. The number of drivers aged 70 or older involved in fatal accidents has declined by 20 percent over the last decade. Buried in that nice-sounding statistic is a more serious one, though: a driver over 70 is three times as likely to sustain a fatal injury compared to someone 35 to 54 years old.

Studies show that the average male drives six years longer than he should and the average female continues driving for another 10 years after she should turn in her keys. State governments are allowed to decide on their own restrictions pertaining to elderly drivers, and many provisions are making it onto upcoming ballots. They include requiring vision tests, shortening renewal periods and banning renewal by mail.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - at 8:55 pm

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2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet revealed on Facebook

muranocrosscab630 450x292 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet revealed on Facebook

Yep, it’s real. Nissan has just unveiled the 2011 Murano CrossCabriolet on its Facebook page. Incredibly, it’s not nearly as much of a horror show as we’d feared. The transition to two-door form isn’t so bad at all, and we’re pleased to see that there’s no Volkswagen Golf Cabrio-style basket handle. Still… weird. But hey, props to Nissan for having the guts to do some different things lately. First the Juke, now this.

In the photo caption, Nissan says the droptop Murano “delivers the open-air exhilaration of a convertible while
extending the versatility of the Murano in exciting new ways.” Okay. Apparently, there’s room for golf bags with the top up or down, too. This’ll be interesting to see in greater detail, which we’ll be doing this week in person at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Stay tuned…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - at 8:54 pm

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BMW Individual teams up with Steinway for 7 Series Composition

stress ball money DS04AP3 450x278 BMW Individual teams up with Steinway for 7 Series Composition

Some may deride it as dressed-up plastic – and in some cases it is exactly that – but piano black lacquer trim is now regularly seen in luxury automobile interiors. BMW’s custom-appointment division, however, has taken things a step further.

Teaming up with Steinway & Sons, BMW Individual presents the 7 Series Composition. The unique trim level can be ordered in either an ebony or ivory finish with a special three-layer clearcoat. A gold pinstripe and special 20-inch wheels further distinguish the exterior, while the passenger compartment is decked out in merino leather (black or white to contrast, not match, the exterior), lambswool carpets, Alcantara headliner, special embroidery, and, of course, piano black trim.

Though the images in the gallery below show a hybrid model, BMW Individual will similarly equip any car in the 7 Series range for the big concerto. Details in the press release after the jump.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - at 8:38 pm

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