March 2016

GM acquiring Cruise Automation to push autonomous vehicle development

(March 14, 2016) SAN FRANCISCO – General Motors has announced it is acquiring Cruise Automation to add Cruise’s deep software talent and rapid development capability to further accelerate GM’s development of autonomous vehicle technology.

“Fully autonomous vehicles can bring our customers enormous benefits in terms of greater convenience, lower cost and improved safety for their daily mobility needs,” said GM President Dan Ammann.

Ford forms smart mobility subsidiary

(March 14, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford has announced the creation of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a new subsidiary formed to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services. Jim Hackett, former Steelcase vice chairman and CEO, is leaving his position on the Ford board of directors to serve as chairman of the new subsidiary.

BMW Group has best-ever February global sales

(March 14, 2016) MUNICH — In its centenary year, the BMW Group continues to grow its global sales. February saw a new record number of customer deliveries with a total of 163,965 BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles handed over to customers around the world, an increase of 7.9% on the same month last year. In the year-to-date, 316,846 units have been sold, an increase of 7.7% compared with the same period last year.

Ford Fusion autonomous research vehicle navigates in winter

(March 14, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Driving in snow can be a slippery challenge, with the potential for one blizzardy gust to white-out your field of view — a situation faced by the majority of people in the United States. So if self-driving cars are to become a reality — and they almost certainly will — they must be able to navigate snow-covered roads.

The first truly likable Toyota Prius

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(March 13, 2016) I have never been a fan of the Prius, or of the sanctimony of some who choose to drive this vehicle. Their, “I’m saving the planet, what are you doing?,” attitude is enough to make any rational human being never want to drive the Japanese eco-mobile for fear of being caught in the Smug Cloud. But my dislike extended beyond the image.

Elio Motors plans to sell 100 pre-production vehicles built in Louisiana

(March 12, 2016) PHOENIX — Elio Motors, the startup vehicle manufacturer planning to launch a three-wheeled car that will get up to 84 mpg with a targeted base price of $6,800, has announced it plans to sell 100 pre-production vehicles built at its Shreveport, La., production facility in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Restored Lamborghini Miura SV appearing at Amelia Island concours

(March 11, 2016) The original Lamborghini Miura SV shown at Geneva motor show in 1971 has been the subject of more than a year’s restoration by Lamborghini PoloStorico, and is presented as a finished project at the Amelia Island concours event this weekend.

Ford Police Interceptors offer protection against armor-piercing ammunition

(March 11, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford announced today it will offer ballistic panels on their Police Interceptor sedan and utility with protection from armor-piercing rifle ammunition.

“Ford is well-known in the police community for going further to enhance officer safety.  It’s what our product is all about, first and foremost,” said Raj Sarkar, general marketing manager, Ford North American Fleet, Lease and Remarketing operations.

First high-performance variant of the new E-Class is on the way

(March 11, 2016) Hot on the heels of the world premiere for the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class at the North American International Auto Show this January, the first high-performance variant of the new E-Class is already on the way from Mercedes-AMG.

The Mercedes-AMG E43, boasting a 3.0-liter V6 Biturbo engine, will represent the most powerful variant of the luxury sedan when it hits dealerships by early 2017. This high-powered six-cylinder engine delivers an output of 396 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque.

Jeep, Mopar unveil seven concepts for annual Easter Jeep Safari

(March 11, 2016) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Seven new, ultra-capable Jeep concept vehicles, featuring an array of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts available to consumers, will conquer the famous and challenging trails of Moab, Utah, at Easter Jeep Safari, March 19-27. Thousands of off-road enthusiasts are expected to descend upon Moab this year to celebrate what will likely be the most popular Jeep Safari ever, as the 50th annual event coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Jeep brand.