March 2016

Duke's 'Little Mouse' Fiat 500 up for auction

(March 10, 2016) LONDON — A  special pre-war Fiat 500 Topolino with a fascinating history will be auctioned by Classic Car Auctions (CCA) on March 19 at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre.

This particular example, with silver paintwork and a blue leather interior, was ordered new by one of the wealthiest men in the world at the time, the second Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, way back on Sept. 14, Sept. 1939. It was registered to the Westminster ancestral country estate, Eaton Hall, in Cheshire.

New 2016 Honda Civic coupe goes on sale March 15 starting at $19,050

(March 10, 2016) TORRANCE, Calif. — Delivering a new level of style, sporty driving performance, technological sophistication and value, the all-new 2016 Honda Civic Coupe goes on sale on March 15 with a starting starting price of $19,050 for the Civic LX Coupe with manual transmission.

Following the highly successful introduction of the 2016 Civic Sedan, named 2016 North American Car of the Year, the Civic Coupe includes many of the same attributes in a more personal and enthusiast oriented two-door body style.

Subaru 2015 Share the Love event totals nearly $20 million in donations

(March 10, 2016) CHERRY HILL, N.J.  — Subaru of America Inc. has announced it donated nearly $20 million to national and local charities during its 2015 Share the Love event, a record total in the eight-year history of the campaign. Held at the end of each year, Subaru donates $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased to the customer’s choice of one of several national or local charities.

In total, Subaru has donated nearly $70 million to charitable organizations through this initiative over the past eight years.

Ford new-vehicle sales in Europe rise 18 percent in February

(March 10, 2016) Ford continued to outpace European auto industry growth in February on the strength of rising demand for its SUVs, commercial vehicles and large cars. Ford sold 91,700 vehicles in February in its 20 traditional European markets, up 18 percent over last year and the company’s best February sales since 2010. 

Outpacing industry growth of 14 percent, Ford saw its market share in February increase by 0.3 percentage points to 7.5 percent. 

Face-off: 2016 Scion FR-S vs. 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(March 10, 2016) The stage was set, though — at first — it appeared to be a bit lopsided. The Scion FR-S was delivered during a warm, dry week. Two weeks later, the Mazda MX-5 Miata arrived just after a storm that dumped nearly 10 inches of snow. Not exactly the best weather in which to sample a long-awaited convertible riding on summer tires.

2017 Acura RDX goes on sales with refinements, additional equipment

(March 9, 2016) TORRANCE, Calif. — Coming off an all-time annual sales record last year, the 2017 Acura RDX goes on sale Thursday with momentum and a manufacturer's suggested retail price starting at $35,370 — unchanged from the current model.

The 2017 RDX is offered by the luxury marque that named as the luxury brand with the lowest projected five-year cost of ownership and that voted as the 2015 Best Retained Value Luxury Brand.

Riversimple to show its hydrogen-powered car at London show

(March 9, 2016) LONDON — An innovative, two-seater hydrogen cell powered car, developed and built in Wales, will be displayed at the new London Motor Show to be staged in Battersea Park in May 5-8. The Riversimple Rasa is a lightweight and highly efficient, “network” electric car powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology and the first road legal, engineering prototype is coming to the London Motor Show in the Evolution Centre.

New Chrysler Pacifica minivan earns segment's top highway mpg

(March 9, 2016) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan has earned a highway-cycle fuel-economy rating of 28 miles per gallon from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — a benchmark unsurpassed by any minivan on the market. It is also 12 percent better than the Town and Country minivan the Pacifica replaces.

A lesson in the modern suspension system by Chevrolet — in 1936

(March 8, 2016) Auto companies created interesting and educational commercials in the 1930s. One of the most interesting is Chevrolet's educational eight-minute instructional commercial in 1936 depicting how "modern" auto suspensions smooth out the road, soaking up imperfections.

Near the end of the film, Chevrolet depicts two cars traveling in slow motion, one  with "old-style suspension" and the other with a "modern" knee-action suspension showing how pitching and rolling have been harnessed by the 1936 Chevrolet.