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LIGHTS, CAMERAS, REVEALS: LA AUTO SHOW

20 Nov
Mazda CX-3

 

It’s that time of year! Automakers are revealing some of their most anticipated rides at the Los Angeles Auto Show that runs November 21-30, 2014.

While it’s one of the last auto shows of the year, behind Detroit, New York and Paris, it’s perfectly timed for debuts. Plus, there’s time to put one on your Christmas list!

At this year’s show, carmakers are battling for the spotlight with car, truck and flagship SUV introductions. Highlights so far include Mazda’s 2016 CX-3 entry level crossover, the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport, and Cadillac’s twin-turbocharged, 455 horsepower 201ATS-V.

Ford is also taking the wraps off its 2016 Explorer with a new 3.2 liter EcoBoost.Read more

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Automakers Pledge To Protect Driver Privacy

driver privacy

The two major U.S. auto trade associations told the Federal Trade Commission they will pledge to protect driver privacy amid a rise in vehicle technology and increasingly connected vehicles.

In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the trade group representing Detroit’s Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and others — and the Association of Global Automakers, representing Toyota, Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Co. and others — said they were backing a set of principles guaranteeing the privacy of drivers.

Automakers said in the 19-page submission that they are committing to protect driver location and driver behavior data.… Read more

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Ford’s Shiny New Shelby GT 350

ford shelby

Fifty years after the original made history, Ford has introduced an all-new Mustang Shelby GT350.

The super high performance pony car is the Blue Oval brand’s answer to the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Like its crosstown rival, it’s a street-legal road racer filled with racing technology.Tops on the list is a 5.2-liter V8 that features a flat-plane crank – an engine design rarely seen on the road in cars that aren’t made by Ferrari. It provides better engine breathing, improved responsiveness and potentially sky-high revs, but is difficult to engineer in terms of refinement compared to a conventional cross-plane crank design, so most companies don’t go to the trouble.… Read more

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GM CEO Skips Award Due To Protests

gm ceo

Following protests, General Motors CEO Mary Barra did not attend an awards ceremony last week where she was to receive an honor.

In a statement, GM said it was cancelling Barra’s appearance at the de Pizan honors to be held at the National Women’s History Museum, where she was to receive the Katherine Graham Living Legacy Award.

“The decision was made to ensure that attendees can focus on recognizing the achievements of American women — past and present,” GM said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, the museum in the nation’s capital said it was going forward with its decision to give the award to Barra despite protests by a group of people who say their relatives or friends were killed in GM cars.… Read more

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VW Golf Motor Trend Car Of The Year

2015-Volkswagen-Golf-GTI

Volkswagen’s new-generation Golf models are the Motor Trend Car of the Year winner, the automaker and the publication announced.

It’s another in an unusually strong award showing by the latest Golf models. They are VW’s best-sellers worldwide, but have been only mid-pack among VWs sold in the U.S.

The brand is hoping the new design, new drivetrain, and now the growing list of awards, will boost the Golf’s appeal and sales here.

The Motor Trend award is to the Golf ‘family’ of cars, which includes the GTI high-performance model on sale since spring, and the rest of the line that went on sale after that.… Read more

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Ford Sells 7 Millionth Explorer in America

Kevin's New Explorer Sport

The iconic SUV was first introduced in 1990, surpassing more than a million sales in the four years of the first generation. The second-generation edition, introduced for the 1995 model year, proved one of the most successful with approximately three million additional sales.

“Explorer changed the way the world thought about the family hauler – adventure became something you could put in your driveway,” said Ford Explorer marketing manager Craig Patterson. “Explorer helped the family vehicle become an emotional purchase rather than a necessity. It’s no surprise it’s been the best-selling sport utility vehicle for a quarter century.”

The company credits the Explorer with helping switch interest from minivans to SUVs, which served as the primary family-oriented models from Chrysler and GM in the late ’80s and into the ’90s.… Read more

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Jeep Declares War on the Rover

19 Nov
jeep logo

Jeep has confirmed it will expand its lineup with a range-topping three-row crossover in the near future.

The crossover will likely be called either Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer, nameplates used on a series of full-size Jeeps built from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. The off-roader’s exact dimensions are not known but Jeep has hinted that it will ride on a brand new platform that will also underpin new models built by Dodge, Chrysler and possibly even Fiat.

The Wagoneer will offer space for up to seven passengers in its biggest configuration. It will boast a well-appointed cockpit with a long list of high-tech features in order to fight head-to-head against similarly-positioned models from European automakers, notably the iconic Land Rover Range Rover.… Read more

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The Mercedes Name Game

CLS 63 AMG

Mercedes-Benz is changing the way it identifies its cars and light trucks as it prepares to launch 30 models, including 11 all-new vehicles, by 2020. In addition to new models, Mercedes said it also is introducing new body variants and drive systems.

“This results in an increasingly complex situation when it comes to naming the models,” the company said in a statement.

Mercedes joins Infiniti and Cadillac among luxury brands changing the way they name their vehicles.

Some dealers have said the proliferation of models has posed marketing challenges and caused confusion among consumers, especially when companies have adopted alphanumeric names.… Read more

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