July 2014

All-new Mercedes C-Class to start at $38,400

(July 31, 2014) MONTVALE, N.J. — Mercedes-Benz has announced pricing on two of its most eagerly awaited models — the all-new 2015 C-Class sedan and entry-level GLA SUV. The C-Class will start at a $38,400 for the four-cylinder C300, and $48,590 for the C400 4MATIC sedan.

The all-new GLA starts at $31,300 for the two-wheel drive GLA250 and $48,300 for the 355-horsepower all-wheel drive GLA45 AMG. The C-Class will launch later this month followed by the GLA in September.

GM, U.S. Army, Raytheon partner to train soldiers returning to civilian life

(July 31, 2014) WASHINGTON, D.C. — General Motors, the U.S. Army, and Raytheon Company have announced they are teaming up to provide eligible transitioning Army soldiers with skills to become service technicians at GM dealerships after they return to civilian life.

The Shifting Gears Automotive Technician Training Program, a multi-year partnership between the two companies and the Army, will begin in August at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

Jaguar Land Rover buys huge UK car collection

(July 31, 2014) Dentist James Hull made headlines in the United Kingdom earlier this year when he put up for sale his 543-car collection as a whole with an asking price of around $170 million. Jaguar Land Rover announced earlier this week that it will buy what is considered the world’s largest collection of British cars for its heritage operations.

Nissan reports 37 percent increase in quarterly net income

(July 31, 2014) Nissan said net income rose 37 percent to 112.1 billion yen ($1.1 billion) in the April-June quarter as deliveries rose in the United States and China, its two biggest markets. Operating profit in the quarter rose 13 percent to 122.6 billion yen. Sales rose 10 percent to 2.47 trillion yen.

Wireless charging coming to ATS, other Cadillac vehicles this fall

(July 31, 2014) DETROIT — Reducing clutter and adding function, Cadillac will add wireless charging of smartphones in the 2015 model ATS sport sedan and coupe launching this fall. Compatible with Powermat and other in-phone wireless charging technologies, the feature eliminates the need for cords on board.

The tale of the printer and the two-seat 'Shorty' Ford Mustang

(July 30, 2014) Back in the early 1960s, as Ford Motor Company product planners, designers and engineers were brainstorming ideas for a compact sporty car, there were numerous proposals for two-seaters. Most of those concepts never got any further than sketches, but at least one running prototype of a two-seat Mustang was built and survives today thanks to the devotion of Bill Snyder of Hudson, Ohio.

Honda joins group to help create open grid integration for plug-ins

(July 30, 2014) TORRANCE, Calif. — Honda has joined a group of eight major automakers and 15 utilities organized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to demonstrate a standards-based, open grid integration platform for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The open platform will simplify and streamline V2G communications, enabling PEVs to provide grid services and increasing the overall value proposition of plug-in vehicles.

550-horsepower Range Rover Sport SVR takes on Nurburgring

(July 30, 2014) MAHWAH, N.J. —The Range Rover Sport SVR has lapped the famous Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring in Germany in 8 minutes 14 seconds. The lap time was set by a Land Rover test driver in a standard production version of a Range Rover Sport SVR.

Fiat debuts Fiat 500L-Vans design concept

(July 30, 2014) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Fiat debuted a Fiat 500L-Vans design concept vehicle at the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Calif., this week. Details from Vans original hi-top shoe are echoed throughout the vehicle, including vintage palm-patterned canvas, Vans logo stickers on the instrument panel and Vans Waffle Sole on the pedals and in storage bins.

On the exterior, the roof displays the iconic Vans Checkerboard pattern, while the step pad, cladding and grille texture are accented with the Waffle Sole design.

2015 Porsche Cayenne to include plug-in hybrid model

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(July 30, 2014) Despite protests from purists when it was introduced, the Cayenne SUV has proven to be the most popular Porsche. The first generation (2002-2010) sold 276,000 units, while the second generation (2010-today) has eclipsed that mark in less time with 303,000 sold. It has bee
n the cash cow for Porsche and a dependable source of revenue, thus helping make it one of the most profitable car companies in the world.