December 2015

The 'world's largest' collector-car auction set for January

(December 8, 2015) In just 30 days of accepting consignments, the Mecum Kissimmee 2016 roster already boasts 1,500 classic and collector vehicles consigned for the auction’s return this Jan. 15-24. The annual auction in Kissimmee, Fla., has been recognized as the largest collector car and Road Art auction in the world for multiple years running and is well on its way to owning that title again.

Mazda MX-5 wins 'Car of the Year' in Japan

(December 7, 2015) TOKYO — In a close battle, Mazda’s MX-5 held onto its narrow lead to beat the fast-finishing Honda S660 mini-sports car to win the Car of the Year Japan award.

At an award ceremony held at the Tokyo International Exchange Center in Tokyo Bay, the MX-5 sports car tallied 442 votes, beating out the Honda S660 mini-coupe by 41 votes when the last of the 60 juror’s votes were read out. The BMW 2-Series, which finished in third place, totaled 177 votes to pick up the Import Car of the Year award.

Hyundai introduces IONIQ — First car with three electrified powertrains

(December 7, 2015) — Hyundai has announced the name of its advanced, alternative-fuel compact vehicle due for launch in 2016: the Hyundai IONIQ. The car will be available with electric, plug-in gasoline/electric hybrid, or gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain — the first car from any manufacturer to offer customers these three powertrain options in a single body type.

FCA launches largest private fleet of natural gas trucks in Michigan

(December 7, 2015) DETROIT —Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced that it has invested $40 million in FCA Transport, the FCA US-owned truck fleet, to convert its 179 Detroit-based parts-haulers to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) rather than traditional diesel. The move gives FCA the largest private fleet of CNG-powered heavy-duty vehicles in the state of Michigan.

Ford releases new software for 5-million SYNC-equipped vehicles

(December 7, 2015) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford has released a new software update for more than 5 million SYNC-equipped vehicles dating back to the 2011 model year, adding more convenience for Apple iPhone users with Siri Eyes-Free capability.

“SYNC, Ford’s entertainment and communications system, was designed to be flexible and updatable, just like other mobile technologies, so our customers are able to get the most out of their smartphones while behind the wheel,” said Sherif Marakby, director, Ford Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering.

Aspen's off season — 2016 Kia Optima, a sheriff's deputy and craft beer

By Russ Heaps
Clanging Bell

(December 7, 2015) I'm not the kind of guy that digs in his heels when a carmaker attempts to book him tickets on an airline on which he has no clout, but if I can finagle a way to fly my-airline-of-choice Delta, I am not beyond doing it. Truth be told: I'm not high enough in the media pecking order to demand much of anything. I'm the Oliver Twist of motoring journalists, holding out my pathetic little bowl and uttering “Please, sir, I want some more.”

Porsche to invest 700 million euros in electric car project

(December 5, 2015) STUTTGART — The first 100 percent electrically powered Porsche is on its way. The supervisory board of Porsche AG on Friday gave the green light for the Mission E project. In the words of Dr. Oliver Blume, chairman of the Executive Board, Porsche is thus "beginning a new chapter in the history of the sports car." The vehicle is due to be launched at the end of the decade.

Ford introduces licensed line of trailers, toy haulers and campers

(December 4, 2015) LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Ford Truck customers looking to explore America’s open roads, national parks and attractions can now take the comforts of home with them with an all-new lineup of Ford licensed and approved toy haulers, travel trailers and slide-in campers.

“Exploring America is in our customers’ DNA and recreational vehicles are part of Ford’s history, so these new camping options are great for our adventurous customers,” said Mark Bentley, Ford Licensing manager.

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell sets land speed record for a fuel cell SUV

(December 4, 2015) SOGGY DRY LAKE, Calif. — Hyundai’s Tucson Fuel Cell set the land speed record for a production hydrogen-powered SUV at the Soggy Dry Lake Bed of the California desert, with a top speed of 94.6 mph. The Tucson Fuel Cell is the first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle, with nearly 100 of these zero-emissions SUVs roaming the streets and highways of Southern California, the first of which was delivered to its owner in June 2014.

McLaren introduces the $431,000 675LT Spider

(December 4, 2015) McLaren Automotive has revealed the latest chapter in the history of the iconic "Longtail" name with confirmation of the 675LT Spider. Strictly limited to only 500 examples worldwide, it is only the second model to wear the LT badge. This latest model comes less than a year since the first model in nearly 20 years resurrected the name, and is in response to significant customer demand.