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56VW introduces radically different new consumer site, draws mixed reviews

The one thing that is certain in life is change, especially in the fast-moving world of the internet. So it's not usually news when an automaker redesigns its website. However, Volkswagen of America just launched a major revamp of its site to try and make it a less intimidating way to research about and buy its cars. It's simple and clean, but the new look is drawing the ire of some few visitors because its minimalist design makes some information hard to find.

34Price it up: Toyota unveils Prius C online configurator

Toyota has launched its online Prius C configurator that allows prospective buyers to check out color schemes and price out options for the compact hybrid version of the world's best-selling hybrid model.

4SAE launches new bookstore and e-Books for on-the-go engineers

The Society of Automotive Engineers has decided to apply the same forward thinking to its web site it has to its information. Borrowing ideas from the iTunes Store and Amazon, the SAE has revamped its bookstore for easier navigation and added an eBook store for engineers on the go.

40Toyota of Jamaica Camry looks suspiciously like Honda Accord

If you visit the Toyota Jamaica website and have a look at the box under Toyota cars, you'll see these models listed: Avensis, Camry, Corolla, Yaris. Look at the pictures next to the cars listed, and you'll see an Avensis, an Accord, a Corolla, and a Yaris. That's right -- there's a Honda Accord thumbnail pictured next to the link for the Toyota Camry. According to tipster Michael, it's been that way for more than a year. We can certainly understand the odd spelling error or even the wrong pictu

12New Aptera website dishes fresh pics, more info

Along with adding more staff, Aptera has been busying redesigning its website in preparation for what is sure to be a busy 2009. The makeover isn't quite finished but there's enough to give a more complete picture of the Aptera 2 series. Originally placed in the neighborhood of $27,000, the price is now stated to range from the mid-$20's to the mid-$40's depending on whether you choose a hybrid or electric (or gasoline?) and which options you want. Safety features such as dual airbags, side impa

24Unofficial Volt Wait List surpasses 30,000 hand raisers

Shortly after the Volt Concept was shown, a Volt adherent started a website called GM-Volt.com to show General Motors that it was on to something. After the Volt was approved for production, the site added a feature to allow people to "raise their hands" to show interest in the Volt, much like what was done for the smart fortwo before its arrival on our shores.

AddLondon Mayor to Porsche: butt out of England's elections, make cleaner cars

The war of words between the Mayor of London and Porsche is heating up. Thanks to Mayor Ken Livingstone (the guy in the black Prius), London's congestion charge will be increased, a move that sparked the threat of a lawsuit and even the creation of a website by automaker Porsche. At a news conference today, Mayor Ken Livingstone said "they [Porsche] should be redoubling efforts to produce less-polluting cars" and notes that Berliners would be annoyed "if a British company tried to intervene in a

16Honda hypes reliablity with Mile Makers

Participation in online communities has exploded into the mainstream. It is a hot trend that large corporations cannot ignore, especially due to the advertising potential contained therein. Rather than just forking over the funds to sponsor enthusiast sites, automakers are also creating communities of their own. Honda is one that hopes to ride the trend wave by offering a place for customers to brag about their Honda's reliability. On the Honda Mile Makers website, visitors can join in by upload

17Online voters name upcoming Alfa hatch "Furiosa"

Furiosa. That's what the new hatchback from Alfa Romeo will be called, by virtue of an international competition to choose the car's name.

6Close the sale online with AutoNation

Every automaker has its web presence set up where you can sort of shop for a car. It gets a little difficult when you actually go to get a price quote – you'll get directed to a selection of local dealers, some more willing to deal than others – it's enough to make you wish for a "Buy It Now" button. AutoNation's testing pretty much that very idea at an Atlanta location. The experience doesn't differ much from what's already available at automotive sales websites. You can browse inve

22Mazda begins selling cars right on website

Back in the Jacques Nasser days, Ford Motor Company decided to cut the dealer middleman and sell its own vehicles online. Considering that's Ford's dealer network was probably too big even when SUVs were selling like hotcakes, it's easy to understand why the Blue Oval's dealers would be angry. Almost a decade later, Ford's Mazda arm is getting more involved with the sales process, but instead of stealing bread from its dealer arm like Ford did, the Zoom Zoom folks are simply making the process e

23Scion's web persona gets a little deviant, and creepy

Scion's feeling that it's time for an advertising change, and they're taking the campaign dark. The Toyota offshoot, which is intended to attract young, hip, urbanites with an active lifestyle (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean), is attempting to harden the edge of its image.

24Lexus files lawsuit against p0rn site

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Lexus has filed a lawsuit against two metro Detroiters who have commandeered the brand's name for their pornographic website and the site's star, Lexus Cash (yes, that's her at right). Lexus is claiming the two, uh, entrepenuers, broke trademark laws by using its brand name in a less than savory manner, which could result in the dilution of its good name. While doing research for this (somebody had to), we came across another pornstar named Lexus Locklear

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