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Infiniti Design Chief Finds DNA as New Q60 Hits Havana’s Streets

Nissan's luxe brand brings first U.S.-spec car to Cuba since '59

by on Dec.07, 2016

Infiniti is making a splash with its new Q60. The brand's design chief, Alfonso Albaisa, took the car to Havana, Cuba: the first new U.S. car there in 58 years.

Cuba is known for many things, cigars, rum and really old American cars that the country’s people will not let die.

As relations between the U.S. and the island nation begin to normalize, some wondered how Cubans will take to new U.S. cars if and when they ever show up on the country’s shores.

Global Auto News!

Now we know: well. Nissan’s luxury unit, Infiniti, took the all-new Q60 to Havana: the first U.S.-spec car registered there in 58 years. It was part of a trip taken by Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s executive design director, to trace his roots back to his parents’ birthplace. Read the rest of this entry »

Disney to Debut Cars 3 Star in Detroit

Real-life Lightning McQueen set to roll out for NAIAS.

by on Dec.07, 2016

Disney and Pixar plan to provide a sneak peek at "Cars 3" at this year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The cars are normally the stars at the North American International Auto Show, but one car’s star may shine a little brighter at next month’s Detroit event.

Walt Disney’s Pixar animation studio plans to not only announce the third episode of its wildly popular “Cars” franchise, but also roll out a life-size version of the film’s four-wheel hero, Lightning McQueen.

Auto Show News!

“Having Pixar choose to join NAIAS and share an early sneak peek at their next film — from one of the most famous movie franchises in the studio’s storied history — is proof that Detroit is home to all facets of automotive, whether it’s fantasy or real-life,” said Detroit car dealer Sam Slaughter, who serves as the chairman of the 2017 NAIAS. Read the rest of this entry »

Dodge Adding All-Wheel-Drive Challenger GT

“Shifting the muscle-car paradigm.”

by on Dec.07, 2016

The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT will be the first Detroit muscle car to use all-wheel-drive.

If you’re a muscle car fan living in the Midwest or some other part of the Snowbelt, odds are you either put your steed up on blocks over the winter or spend much of your time driving worried about spinning out.

But Dodge is “shifting the muscle-car paradigm,” according to brand boss Tim Kuniskis. It’s about to launch the first Detroit model to offer all-wheel-drive, the new Dodge Challenger GT expected to plow into dealer showrooms before the end of the first quarter of 2017.

Gain Traction!

Set to become “the world’s first and only all-wheel-drive American muscle coupe,” the Challenger GT actually becomes the latest in a string of high-performance models intended to improve all-weather drivability by delivering torque to all four wheels.

Read the rest of this entry »

Audi Launches 1st U.S. Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Project

Las Vegas system will alert drivers when traffic signals are set to change.

by on Dec.07, 2016

Audi is partnering with Las Vegas to use V2I technology to help Audi drivers avoid traffic congestion.

Driving down the Las Vegas “Strip” can be a maddening affair, with long lines of cars and seemingly endless waits for traffic signals to turn green. But Audi wants to de-stress the situation, at least a little, by alerting drivers when those lights are about to change.

Sit behind the wheel of a 2017 Audi A4, Q7 or Allroad and you’ll notice an icon on the instrument panel shaped like a traffic light. Come up on a red light when driving through Las Vegas and a timer next to the icon will begin to count down. As if by magic, when the number reaches “0,” the light will go green.

Technology News!

That’s because Audi has tied into a new Vehicle-to-Infrastructure, or V2I, system designed to help motorists keep track of local road conditions, starting with traffic light information for Clark County, an 8,100 square-mile area that includes the City of Las Vegas. Similar V2I systems, as well as Vehicle-to-Vehicle, or V2V, technology, could soon become commonplace across the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

Trump Rethinking NAFTA Plans

President-elect adviser examining agreement to make it more U.S. friendly.

by on Dec.07, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump is rethinking his plans for terminating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Apparently ripping up NAFTA is not Job One for the incoming Trump administration after all.

The Hill, a newsletter and website that follows policy developments in Washington, reported this week that members of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team are telling corporate executives that the administration isn’t going to do anything that might prompt a trade war with Mexico or Canada, this country’s principal partners in the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Journal of Record!

Trump announced he will scuttle the Trans Pacific Partnership. But unlike TPP, which was never signed or approved, NAFTA has been in place for more than 20 years and has created a broad web of interests on both sides of the border. It is considered essential by automakers. Read the rest of this entry »

GM Expands Availability of Life-Saving Technology

Maker offering rear-seat warning technology in more vehicles.

by on Dec.06, 2016

General Motors is expanding the availability of its rear seat reminder technology in the hopes of saving more lives.

The number of infant and toddler deaths as a result of being left unattended in the back seat of a sweltering hot vehicles is on the rise. To help stem that tide, General Motors is expanding its new rear-seat reminder feature to 19 models during the next year.

GM introduced the feature on its 2017 GMC Acadia earlier this year. The news comes just one day after Justin Harris, a Georgia man, received life sentence with no chance of parole after being found responsible for the death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper, who he claims he forgot was in the back seat in June 2014.

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Harris left his son in the back of the car for seven hours while he was at work. More than 700 children have died from heatstroke since 1998 after being left in vehicles unattended for extended periods. Read the rest of this entry »

Toyota Dedicating New Resources to Electric Vehicles

Automaker bulking up teams to accelerate vehicle development.

by on Dec.06, 2016

Vehicles like the Prius are now at the heart of Toyota's green car strategy.

Ever more restrictive environmental rules in markets around the world has Toyota Motor Corp. sending reinforcements to its hybrid and electric vehicle teams, according to top company executives.

The automaker said Tuesday it plans to grow its gasoline-hybrid technology team during the next five years to accelerate development and introduction of new lower-emission engines.

We Keep You Plugged In!

The automaker is also trying to speed up the development of its longer-range battery-electric vehicles, which marks a change from its strategy of focusing on hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles to meet zero-emission guidelines in several countries. Read the rest of this entry »

New Trophy in Store for NACTOY Winners

Distinctive new award designed by retired GM styling chief Ed Welburn.

by on Dec.06, 2016

Ed Welburn displays the new trophy to be given to the 2017 North American Car and Truck of the Year winners.

New year, new category and new trophy.

It’s a big year for the North American Car and Truck of the Year. One of the most highly regarded among a slew of best-of awards handed out each year, NACTOY will not only be adding a third category for 2017 but giving winners an entirely new trophy.

Award News!

The statue, depicting an exotic concept vehicle is based on a design developed by recently retired General Motors Global Design Director Ed Welburn. It will be presented as part of the opening ceremonies at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 9, 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

GM Powering Texas Plant Using Wind Power

Company working toward 100 percent renewable energy goal.

by on Dec.06, 2016

GM signed a power purchase agreement with Renewable Energy Systems to source 50 megawatts of wind energy to power 16 sites with 100% renewable energy.

GM recently made what the company describes as its largest purchase of renewable energy to date by purchasing enough wind power to equal the electricity needs of 16 of its U.S. facilities, including the Arlington assembly and stamping, GM business offices in Fort Worth and Austin, Texas, and 13 parts warehouses east of the Mississippi River.

“GM’s commitment to renewable energy is helping transform the way electricity is produced, distributed and consumed around the world, and we’re doing it in a way that makes our company and communities stronger,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of Renewable Energy.

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“These renewable energy investments drive down greenhouse gas emissions, reduce our dependence on finite resources, and help keep our air and water clean.” Read the rest of this entry »

Honda Previews a World of “Cooperative Mobility”

Giving emotions to a box on wheels.

by on Dec.06, 2016

It may not be very exciting to look at, but the Honda NeuV concept can develop an emotional bond with its passengers.

Anyone who has struggled to merge lanes at a construction site might find the idea a little hard to swallow, but Honda is imagining what it calls a “cooperative mobility ecosystem” in which cars, if not necessarily their drivers, all work together to reduce highway congestion and improve vehicle safety.

The Japanese maker plans to present its vision – embodied in an “automated EV commuter vehicle” it’s calling NeuV – at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early next month. Traditionally dedicated to smartphones, TVs and other gadgets, CES has become an increasingly important place of automakers to show and tell about their latest high-tech concepts.

Product News!

In the case of Honda, it says its “The exhibit will include the NeuV, a concept automated EV commuter vehicle equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) called ‘emotion engine’ that creates new possibilities for human interaction and new value for customers.” Read the rest of this entry »