Ford preps for 10-speed production, Mazda builds the one millionth Miata and the 2017 Lexus IS gets a facelift in this week’s Auto News!
Ford 10-Speed Production
Ford is ramping up to build the new 10-speed transmission it developed jointly with General Motors.
The automaker will spend $1.4 billion to upgrade its Livonia Transmission Plant and hire more workers. Livonia, Michigan is where Ford currently builds the six-speed used in the Mustang, F-150, Transit and Expedition.
Production for the 10-speed begins in June.
Ford will introduce the new rear-wheel drive gear box first in the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor and other versions of the F-150 pickup.
The 2017 Camaro ZL1 will be the first GM vehicle to get it when it hits the road this fall. GM product chief Mark Reuss says the automaker the 10-speed will be used in 8 models by 2018. GM recently invested $343 million to retool its plant in Romulus, Michigan, where it will build the transmission.
Mazda’s One Millionth Miata
The one millionth Miata MX-5 rolled off the assembly line in Japan in April. Mazda built the one millionth sportster in what else, but Soul Red.
It’s a huge milestone for Mazda’s little car that could. The Miata’s been on the road now for 27 years. The first one came off the line in Hiroshima, Japan back in 1989.
The fourth-generation recently made its debut and our mouths dropped when we saw the stunning MX-5 RF targa top version revealed at this year’s New York Auto Show.
The Miata will have more competition in the very near future, however. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider debuts soon around the same $25,000 price point. The Fiat roadster offers slightly better horsepower, so it will be an interesting two-seater battle.
2017 Lexus IS Gets Facelift
The 2017 Lexus IS is heading to dealers this fall with a facelift and some new tech, but don’t look for any engine changes under the hood.
As far as looks go, it’s been updated with the same huge grill that’s already come into play on other models like the RC Coupe and upcoming LC 500 sports car. The redesigned grill folds back at a higher point, giving the car a sportier feel with a visually low center of gravity. It’s highlighted by new headlamps and large air intakes in the front bumper. Standard 10-spoke 17 inch wheels feature new designs and bright machine finishes.
The 2017 IS also comes with the brand’s latest safety system. It combines Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beam and Radar Cruise Control.
Photo Credit: Ford