July 2016

Buick Encore fuels growth of industry’s hottest segment

(July 21, 2016) DETROIT — Small SUVs represent one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. U.S. sales of small SUVs have tripled since 2011, according to Polk registration data. Buick Encore sales have accelerated this growth by nearly 30 percent since 2013, despite entries in the segment having more than doubled since the Encore hit showrooms in 2013.

Autonomous driving's future? — BMW i Vision Future Interaction honored

(July 21, 2016) BERLIN, Germany — The unique-looking door-less BMW i Vision Future Interaction has been presented with the inaugural special prize for connectivity at the Auto Test Sieger 2016 awards ceremony. The concept car had previously used the CES 2016 in Las Vegas to demonstrate how the user interface of the future might look in an autonomous car — helped by technology including high-resolution displays. All functions can be controlled using touch-sensitive surfaces and gestures.

Ford, Jose Cuervo team up to make car parts from agave

(July 20, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Company is teaming up with Jose Cuervo to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproduct to develop more sustainable bioplastics to employ in Ford vehicles. Ford and Jose Cuervo are testing the bioplastic for use in vehicle interior and exterior components such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins.

Ford sales in Europe up 7.5% in first half of 2016

(July 20, 2016) COLOGNE, Germany — Ford posted its best first half for total vehicle sales and passenger car sales since 2010 and best commercial vehicle sales since 1993 in its 20 traditional European markets. Ford total vehicle sales in the Euro 20 rose 7.5 percent to 718,700 vehicles in the first half, which equalled a market share of 7.9 percent.

Kia expands offer of free Apple CarPlay And Android Auto software updates

(July 20, 2016) IRVINE, Calif. — Taking the UVO platform to yet another level of enhancement, Kia Motors America (KMA) has announced that free Apple CarPlay and Android Auto software updates will be available for eligible vehicles when equipped with a compatible navigation system or UVO35. 

The ultimate compromise: 2016 BMW 650i

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(July 20, 2016) The BMW 650i went back at the end of a week in my care, and left a number of conflicting feelings. A beautiful design (much better looking than its droopy eyed immediate predecessor), the big coupe exudes status and power, luxury and wealth, and reinforces these impressions with an anal-retentive attention to detail that is uniquely German.

Remains of a Barracuda

Plymouth jumped on the compact-sized sporty car craze in 1964 with the Barracuda, which was produced through the 1974 model year. This 1966 first-generation Barracuda has suffered considerable abuse as it rests in a North Carolina lot of used-up cars.  The Barracuda actually pre-dates the Mustang by two weeks. Three engines were offered in the first three years — a 2.8-liter inline 6, a 3.7-liter inline 6 and a 4.5 liter V-8. (Photo by Ralph Gable)

New Ford F-Series Super Duty raises towing, hauling, torque to next level

(July 19, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford is taking heavy-duty trucks to the next level with the all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty — empowering customers with the most towing and hauling capability and the most horsepower and torque of any heavy-duty pickup truck.

Super Duty’s enhanced capability starts with high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy and high-strength steel that help reduce weight by up to 350 pounds. Ford reinvested that weight savings in more robust components everywhere it counts to give customers more towing and hauling capability than ever before.

Harley-Davidson revving up for 76th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

(July 19, 2016) MILWAUKEE — With a rockin' beat and a rolling rumble Harley-Davidson is set to take over the 76th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. As the official motorcycle of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Harley-Davidson plans to pack more unbridled fun and pure riding experience than ever into this week-long celebration of freedom and the open road. Harley-Davidson will roll into the historic South Dakota Black Hills region with activities planned from Aug. 6-13.

BMW Motorrad partners with Rever to build community of motorcyclists

(July 18, 2016) Planning the most beautiful routes, riding them with like-minded motorcyclists, sharing experiences during the day and talking gasoline at night. With this in mind, BMW Motorrad has entered into a strategic partnership with the technology start-up Rever in order to build up a global community of motorcyclists.

Since launching in 2015, Rever users have tracked millions of miles on motorcycle rides in 119 countries around the world.