Friday, February 12, 2010

New Concept from Honda Odyssey

Honda hopes its fourth-generation Odyssey, previewed by this concept unveiled at the 2010 Chicago auto show, appeals to those buyers. Although it isn't a complete departure from the traditional minivan, the concept -- and the production vehicle, we're told -- will inject some additional style into the segment.

Styled completely by Honda's R&D Americas design center in California, the Odyssey concept bears some resemblance to its predecessor. Perhaps the most dramatic changes lie with the roofline (it's lower, and the A-pillars are moved forward for a steeper rake) and the side windows (designers say the "lightning bolt" character line will carry over into production models).

As this is merely a styling buck, we weren't able to see a fully developed interior. Sketches released by Honda suggest a two-tone cabin with some sporty touches, including a dashboard patterned after that on the Civic. We'd expect a fold-flat third-row seat to again be standard, and Honda says the second-row bench will now be able to accommodate three child safety seats.

Honda will continue to use V-6 power in the Odyssey -- exact specifics weren't released, but we were told the next van is expected to return 19/28 mpg (city/highway) -- an improvement over the 2010 model's 17/25 mpg EPA rating.

Like other recent Honda concepts (we're looking at you, CR-Z), this is essentially a concept in name only. Although we doubt the production Odyssey will sport LED headlamps or such slender door handles, the final vehicle should largely resemble what you see here. Look for the actual 2011 Odyssey to be unveiled this fall, likely at the 2010 Los Angeles auto show.
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Friday, February 5, 2010

2010 Ferrari Introduces ‘Approved’ Pre-owned Car

Ferrari has introduced programs aimed at helping its customers. Last July, Ferrari announced it would offer roadside assistance for every vehicle to ever roll out of the factory and yesterday the Italian sports car-maker introduced an approved pre-owned program to give its used car buyers peace of mind.

Although Ferrari owners likely take extremely good care of their cars, the Ferrari approved pre-owned program will give used Ferrari buyers an even greater sense of confidence in their new-to-them vehicle. To qualify for the program, the vehicle must pass a 190-point inspection at an official Ferrari dealer or approved service center. The inspection includes a service history check to make sure the car has had its annual inspection and has been properly maintained.

Once the car in question passes the inspection, it qualifies for a minimum 24-month warranty starting from the date of purchase, Ferrari’s “With You” roadside assistance for the duration of the warranty, and a subscription to Ferrari Magazine for the duration of the warranty. Ferrari’s approved pre-owned factory-backed warranties can be purchased for time periods ranging from two years all the way up to 10 years.

Even though Ferrari made its With You roadside assistance program available for every vehicle to ever leave the factory, including cars built in 1947, the approved pre-owned program is available only on select models. The cars must also be less than eight years old in order to qualify. Every V-8 engined Ferrari produced in the last eight years is eligible for the program and every V-12 engined Ferrari qualifies except for the Enzo.
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