July 2016

BMW develops new 1 Series sedan for Chinese market

(July 18, 2016) BEIJING — The BMW Group and BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. (BBA) will further explore the premium compact segment in China with the BMW 1 Series Sedan — the first small sports sedan under the BMW brand.

This makes BBA's product range in the compact class even more comprehensive with premium entry-level cars covering segments of the Active Tourer, Sports Activity Vehicle, and Sports Sedan, attracting new customer groups to become premium car owners. The premium compact car segment is the fastest growing segment worldwide and in China. 

An encore for Adaptive Forward Lighting

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(July 18, 2016) Big news. GM is adding Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) and full LED front lighting to the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka. “The what?,” you say. The Mokka. Or as we call it in the U.S., the Buick Encore small crossover.
This is great news, especially in light of the recent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) study that showed just how pathetic new car headlights can be.

Ford reveals most race-ready, road-legal 'Ole Yeller' Mustang

(July 17, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford has created the most track-ready and road-legal Ford Mustang to benefit Experimental Aircraft Association’s youth education programs, including the Young Eagles. The aviation-inspired Ford “Ole Yeller” Mustang will be donated and sold via auction at the Gathering of Eagles charity event — the ninth straight year Ford has donated a car — on July 28 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016, the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.

Jeep brand celebrates 75th anniversary

(July 16, 2016) AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Since 1941, the Jeep name has symbolized a unique family of go-anywhere, do-anything vehicles — first developed for military use, and after 1945, continually adapted for a wide variety of civilian applications. The Jeep brand is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016, and to mark the occasion, a commemorative one-of-a-kind Wrangler 75th Salute concept vehicle is being created as a tribute to the brand’s legendary history and military heritage.

Baseball All-Star Game MVP Eric Hosmer awarded Chevy Colorado diesel

(July 15, 2016) SAN DIEGO — The 2016 Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, Eric Hosmer, chose a Chevrolet Colorado Diesel Midnight Edition during the MVP award ceremony presented by Chevrolet at Petco Park in San Diego on Tuesday night.

Chevrolet gave Hosmer who went 2-for-3 in the contest with a home run, two runs batted in and a run scored, his choice between the 50th Anniversary Edition Camaro SS Convertible and a Colorado Diesel Midnight Edition. This is Hosmer’s first All-Star MVP award and the first for a Kansas City Royal since Bo Jackson in 1989.

Mazda releases updated 2017 Mazda3

(July 15, 2016) HIROSHIMA, Japan — Mazda has released an updated Mazda3, which goes on sale in Japan today. Mazda’s new-generation lineup, which is designed to offer "Jinba Ittai" driving performance and an ideal driving position, got its start with the launch of Mazda CX-5 in 2012.

These products have been developed based on a human-centered development philosophy supported with research into human traits and sensations in order to ensure a pleasing driving feel.

H-E-R-I-T-A-G-E, the new spelling of 'investment'

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(July 15, 2016) If you haven’t ordered your 2017 Ford GT yet, you might want to consider the limited-edition ’66 Heritage Edition that pays homage to the 1966 race-winning Ford GT Mk. II driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon. But hurry. This particular model will be offered only during the 2017 model year.

Jackie Kennedy's White House Lincoln Continental convertible on block

(July 14, 2016) WALWORTH, Wis. —The Mecum daytime auction in Monterey, Calif., on Aug. 18-20 will be headlined by a spectacular array of supercars and sports cars from makers such as Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, McLaren, Ford, Bugatti and Aston Martin. Classics from such renowned automotive marques as Duesenberg, Packard and Peugeot will also highlight the sale, while a select array of superbly turned out racing cars will be sprinkled throughout.

Buckle up — New 350-horsepower Ford Focus RS arriving

(July 14, 2016) DEARBORN, Mich. — The wait is finally over. The highly coveted, all-new Ford Focus RS is now arriving at dealerships across the U.S. and for Jackson Gilmore — the first customer to take delivery of his RS — news of the car’s arrival was so big he ditched work to get behind the wheel.

Car workers buddy up with robots — Man and machine work hand-in-hand

(July 15, 2016) COLOGNE, Germany — More than 100 years after the first cars rolled off Henry Ford’s pioneering assembly line, Ford Motor Company is breaking new ground in the way workers and robots are collaborating to manufacture vehicles. New collaborative robots, also known as co-bots, are first being used to help workers fit shock absorbers to Fiesta cars, a task that requires pinpoint accuracy, strength, and a high level of dexterity. Employees work hand-in-hand with the robots to ensure a perfect fit every time.