April 2015

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata fuel economy improves dramatically

(April 25, 2015) IRVINE, Calif. — Lighter, quicker and more nimble than its predecessor, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata demonstrates the power innovation can have when re-engineering a roadster from the ground up. In addition to all of the improvements built into the 2016 MX-5, its fuel economy can now be added to the list.

Abandoned car conversation

A 1955 Mercury sedan (left) and a 1951 Ford appear to be carrying on an abandoned car conversation in eastern North Carolina. Mercury shared much of its styling with the standard Lincoln in 1955. And for the first time, Ford featured an optional Ford-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission.
(Photo by Jim Meachen)

Ford celebrates 100,000 Police Interceptor vehicles built

(April 24, 2015) Employees at Troy Design and Manufacturing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, celebrated a major milestone – production of Police Interceptor No. 100,000 on Thursday. Since 2012, the 54,000-square-foot Troy upfit facility has been the single source for America’s best-selling line of law enforcement vehicles.

Troy Design and Manufacturing has the flexibility to produce between 600 and 1,200 vehicles per week depending on demand. It takes an estimated 5.5 hours for a vehicle to be completely upfitted with law enforcement equipment.

Chevrolet introduces 2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition

(April 24, 2015) BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Chevrolet today introduced the 2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition – a road-going, track-capable homage to the Corvette Racing C7.R racecars. It’s offered in Corvette Racing’s signature yellow livery – or black – with coordinated exterior and interior accents.

Only 500 examples of the C7.R Edition will be built and all will include the Z07 Performance Package with carbon ceramic brakes, as well as a specially serialized vehicle identification number. They go on sale later this year.

Ford sets world record for biggest Hot Wheels car track loop

(April 24, 2015) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford ran circles around the old Hot Wheels record loop as part of this year’s Take Your Child to Work Day. When the effort was complete, Ford had made a world record attempt with a Hot Wheels car track loop that exceeded 12 feet tall.

The world record attempt was the brainchild of Ford dynamometer technician Matt West, who had built increasingly large Hot Wheels loops with his six-year-old son Blade at their home in Monroe, Michigan. The attempt took place in the three-story atrium of the company’s Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn.

Subaru introduces 2016 WRX and WRX STI models with new technologies

(April 24, 2015) CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Subaru has announced the 2016 WRX and WRX STI models, featuring new available safety technology, including Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. In addition, new STARLINK touch screen infotainment systems offer a significantly enhanced user experience in all models. The 2016 models will arrive at Subaru dealerships this summer.

Subaru introduced the new-generation WRX and WRX STI for 2015 featuring a new wide-body sedan design with a significantly stiffer chassis resulting in an expanded performance envelope.

Fiat Chrysler issues two recalls covering about 46,000 vehicles

(April 24, 2015) Fiat Chrysler has announced two recalls, covering more than 46,000 vehicles for ignition switch and airbag issues. It is recalling 43,874 manual-transmission Jeep Liberty and Wrangler SUVs and Dodge Viper cars from the 2006 model year for possible ignition-switch problems and 2,408 Ram ProMaster City vans from the 2015 model year for airbag deployment issues.

Technical details revealed for next-generation Acura NSX

(April 24, 2015) DETROIT — In advance of the market launch of the highly anticipated next generation Acura NSX, the engineers leading the supercar's development shared new technical details and design strategies with the automotive engineering community at the SAE Detroit Section dinner, held in conjunction with the SAE 2015 World Congress and Exhibition.

Advanced tech tailors 2016 Camaro driving experience

(April 23, 2015) DETROIT — New technologies in the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro will enable drivers to tailor the car to the moment, whether it’s heading to work, touring the Pacific Coast Highway or lapping a road course.

“We wanted to build on the flexibility of the current Camaro ZL1, which is great for grand touring, commuting, the drag strip and track days,” said Aaron Link, Camaro lead development engineer. “The new Camaro will be even more adaptable, with up to eight vehicle attributes adjusted to fit a driver’s preference.”

2015 Lexus GS F Sport AWD: Processed sport sedan

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(April 23, 2015) It’s no secret to anyone who reads The Virtual Driver that I like the Lexus IS F Sport and, with reservations, the NX 200t F Sport. However, if you look back a little farther, you will see that this affection does not extend to the GS F Sport.