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New Ford System Could Spell End to Speeding Tickets

System reads signs, automatically adjusts vehicle speed.

by on Mar.27, 2015

Ford's new system could become a basic part of tomorrow's autonomous vehicles.

“But officer…” If you’ve ever tried to explain your way out of a speeding ticket, claiming you didn’t know how fast you were going, or what the local limit was, you might want to check out the new Intelligent Speed Limiter that Ford is launching this year.

A number of vehicles now display the local speed limit on their navigation screens, some using cameras to ensure that the limit hasn’t changed since the navi database was created. The system being introduced in the next-generation Ford S-Max people-mover goes the next step, and actually controls the speed of the vehicle itself.

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“Drivers are not always conscious of speeding and sometimes only becoming aware they were going too fast when they receive a fine in the mail or are pulled over by law enforcement,” notes Stefan Kappes, active safety supervisor, Ford of Europe. “Intelligent Speed Limiter can remove one of the stresses of driving, helping ensure customers remain within the legal speed limit.” (more…)

GM CEO Mary Barra Named One of World’s 10 Most Influential Leaders

One of three women named by Fortune, Barra lags behind Taylor Swift.

by on Mar.27, 2015

GM CEO Barra, pictured here on the cover of Time which last year chose her as one of its top 100 leaders.

Barely 15 months in as the first woman to head a major automaker, General Motors CEO Mary Barra has been named one of the 10 most influential leaders in the world by Fortune magazine.

In the ninth position, Barra is the only auto exec in the top tier, and ranks well ahead of Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, who was 23rd on Fortune’s list of 50 top global leaders. But Barra was just one of three women in the top 10 and actually was listed behind singer Taylor Swift, in Fortune’s sixth spot.

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“Immersed in GM’s ignition-switch megacrisis almost since day one as CEO, Barra has deftly juggled the demands of investors, regulators, customers, plaintiffs, and employees on one of the business world’s most visible stages,” explained Fortune.

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Kia Gives Full Look at New Optima Sedan Ahead of NY Debut

Sedan continues to put maker at the forefront.

by on Mar.26, 2015

Kia stopped teasing us and decided to show off the 2016 Optima coming to the New York Auto Show.

After a slow tease that might have made a stripper proud, Kia is finally going the full Monty, releasing a picture of the new Optima SX a week ahead of its New York International Auto Show debut.

The outgoing Optima was a breakthrough car for Kia, transforming it from a stodgy, value-focused brand to one pushing the boundaries of design. Preliminary renderings released by Kia earlier this month suggested that the 2016 Optima would maintain its edginess. With its distinctive new grille – that appears to be the case.

Your Source for Auto Show News!

“Instantly recognizable yet thoroughly fresh, Kia will introduce the all-new 2016 Optima at the upcoming New York Auto Show on April 1st at 1:20 p.m.,” the Korean carmaker said in a statement. “Available with multiple engine choices, the all-new Optima features a more spacious interior, class-up premium features and a number of technologies not previously offered on Kia’s best-selling midsize sedan.” (more…)

Toyota Reveals “Architecture” for Global Expansion

Maker plans to build stronger, safer, more efficient vehicles.

by on Mar.26, 2015

Toyota EVP Mitsuhisa Kato outlined the automaker's New Global Architecture to build better vehicles.

After briefly putting growth on hold, Toyota Motor Co. has unveiled the “architecture” of its global growth strategy, a plan that relies on new products, new technologies, and improved quality and reliability.

The strategy, dubbed Toyota New Global Architecture, or TNGA, the announcement marks the end of the “intentional pause” Toyota President Akio Toyoda had ordered as the maker took stock following a series of quality and safety problems several years ago.

The Leader in Global Automotive News!

The goal is to allow Toyota to grow in a “sustainable way,” said Executive Vice President Mitsuhisa Kato during a presentation at the maker’s headquarters in Toyota City, 200 miles southwest of Tokyo. That and other challenges are “making our effort to come out with ever better cars increasingly difficult.” (more…)

Toyota Confirms Plans for New Hybrid Version of RAV4

New version may opt for through-the-road AWD system.

by on Mar.26, 2015

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid comes to market at a time when demand for gas-electric models has shrunk.

Toyota will roll out the latest in a growing family of hybrid vehicles during the New York International Auto Show next week.

The 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid won’t adopt the radically distinctive styling of the popular Prius model, with more subtle markings – such as the “Hybrid” badge on the tailgate shown here. The automaker is saving details for the hybrid ute’s launch in the Big Apple next week, but speculation centers around the likelihood it will use a three-motor driveline similar to that in the new Lexus NX crossover.

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The April 2 introduction might not be seen as the best timing for a new hybrid. With a few rare exceptions, the market for hybrids has taken a sharp tumble over the last year – even the Prius losing momentum in 2014 – as a result of lower gas prices. (more…)

First Look: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE

New name, new look, new features – and new plug-in hybrid -- for midsize SUV.

by on Mar.26, 2015

A new name marks the launch of a new version of the midsize Mercedes SUV now called the GLE.

The name is new, as is the styling, and there’s even a new plug-in hybrid. But if you pick up something familiar in the form of the new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE you’re not just having a sense of déjà vu.

The GLE is the new name for the old Mercedes ML. Well, not that old.  An all-new version of the popular midsize sport-utility vehicle will make its debut at the New York International Auto Show next week – but the German maker decided to lift the covers a little bit ahead of schedule.

Auto Show News!

“Often copied, rarely equaled – the M-Class established the segment of premium SUVs in 1997 and since then has been one of the most successful models in the world,” boasts Ola Källenius, the Daimler AG board member overseeing Mercedes-Benz cars.

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Drone Delivery? Car Shoppers Look to the Future

Survey finds most buyers won’t want to share cars.

by on Mar.25, 2015

New car buyers are looking for more flexibility in the buying process.

Why bother to drive to the showroom when you can have your next car delivered by drone. At least, that’s what some shoppers had in mind when asked how they’d like to buy a car in the future.

The survey found that a sizable number of shoppers would prefer never to have to step foot in a showroom. But it also suggests that Americans still would prefer to own vehicles rather than sharing them as a way to hold down costs.

Automotive Insight!

“The automotive industry continues to evolve before our eyes, especially when it comes to the types of cars manufacturers are producing,” said Scot Hall, executive vice president of Swapalease.com, which commissioned the survey of 2,500 drivers and shoppers. But the industry also needs to rethink the way it sells and finances vehicles, Hall added. (more…)

McLaren Set to Launch Sports Series with NY Debut of 570S

New sports car expected to target Porsche 911 Turbo.

by on Mar.25, 2015

The 570S Coupe will anchor the "base" of McLaren's new three-tier model strategy.

Wondering what an “entry-level” car from McLaren might look like? Well, you’ll have to settle for this teaser image until next week, when the British maker pulls the wraps completely off of the new 570S Coupe at the annual New York International Auto Show.

The much-watched debut will mark the completion of McLaren’s three-tier supercar strategy, with the Sports Series at the base, the Ultimate Series at the peak, and the Super Series in-between.

Your Source for Auto Show News!

McLaren is being tight with details, hoping to build interest in its April Fool’s Day debut, but it does reveal that the name of the 570S is shorthand for the fact that it will make 570PS, the German power measurement that translates into 562 horsepower. (more…)

Redesigned Chevy Malibu Will Add 45 MPG Hybrid

“Building on the Volt,” says chief engineer.

by on Mar.25, 2015

Cutaway shows the Malibu Hybrid's layout.

When Chevrolet launches a completely redesigned version of its midsize Malibu later this year, it will add a new hybrid option expected to be one of the segment’s most fuel-efficient models.

Initial estimates suggest the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid will come in at “better than” 45 miles per gallon, which would put it ahead of hybrid versions of the midsize Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry models, and within shot of the segment-leading Honda Accord Hybrid, which is rated at 47 mpg.

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“We’re bringing a hybrid to the midsize segment to compete,” Jesse Ortega, the chief engineer on the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu project, said during a background briefing, adding his belief that Chevy is “very well-armed” to take on key domestic and import competitors.

(more…)

The 10 Most Annoying Car Features

Touchscreens top the list.

by on Mar.25, 2015

Lincoln has been hammered in recent studies because of problems with its touchscreens.

Love that new car? Plenty of storage space, good performance, great mileage? You’re still likely to find something about it that will make you grind your teeth, perhaps the lack of useful cupholders, a glovebox that invariably bangs your knees or a touchscreen audio system that makes it a chore to simply change radio stations.

A poorly designed interior is one of the things most likely to send you running when you go looking for a new car, truck or crossover. But other things, like car alarms that randomly go off in the middle of the night, can add to your frustration.

Your Reliable Source!

The editors at online shopping service Cars.com have set out their own list of the 10 most annoying car features. We’ll add a few of our own and invite readers to weigh in with their own.

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