August 2017

A quietly capable and comfortable mid-size sedan

By Christopher A. Sawyer
The Virtual Driver

(September 1, 2017) We've written about the current generation Volkswagen Passat on numerous occasions — everything from the launch of the U.S. version and the plant that makes it, to the diesel (pre-software cheat discovery), to the one we have here, a 2017 1.8T SE with the Technology package. It’s not like I call every couple of months looking to get into a Passat. I don’t have to.

Nissan introduces Intelligent Rear View Mirror

(August 31, 2017) NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Following the recent announcement of the advanced ProPILOT Assist and Rear Door Alert (RDA), Nissan is launching another innovative technology in the 2018 model year — the Intelligent Rear View Mirror (I-RVM). I-RVM adds a built-in LCD monitor within the traditional rearview mirror to help provide clear rearward visibility unimpeded by traditional obstacles such as cargo, tall passengers or the design of a vehicle.

2018 Nissan Armada to start at $46,795; gets added features

(August 31, 2017) NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nissan today announced U.S. pricing for the 2018 Nissan Armada full-size, 8-passenger SUV, which goes on sale Sept. 1 at Nissan dealers nationwide, starting at $46,795 including destination charge for the base SV trim with two-wheel drive. That's a $700 increase over the 2017 model.

GM Design studios to double space with $1 billion expansion

(August 31, 2017) WARREN, Mich. — A 360,000-square-foot expansion of the GM Design studios is the final stage of a multiyear $1 billion investment in GM’s Global Technical Center, a National Historic Landmark site.

GM will break ground in mid-2018 on the new studio building, which will surround the iconic Design Dome Auditorium and viewing patio and connect to the existing Design Center. A substantial two-to-three-year project, the new building’s footprint first requires the completion of a new parking structure currently underway at the southwest corner of the campus.

Kia unveils all-new subcompact Rio sedan and 5-door hatchback

(August 30, 2017) IRVINE, Calif. — The all-new 2018 Rio sedan and 5-door hatchback are the latest additions to the Kia Motors America model lineup. Delivering a new design that is decidedly European, this subcompact duo will bring a combination of fuel efficiency, innovative technology, advanced safety technology, everyday convenience and fun-to-drive character to value-conscious consumers when the cars arrive at Kia retailers in the fourth quarter of this year.

Daimler Group reveals smart vision EQ fortwo autonomous concept

(August 31, 2017) The smart vision EQ fortwo concept provides a new vision of urban mobility and individualized, highly flexible, totally efficient local public transport. The autonomous concept vehicle picks up its passengers directly from their chosen location and new individualization options help users to recognize that it is "their" vehicle.

1,000 muscle cars, classics, exotics at Mecum Dallas auction

(August 30, 2017) Mecum Auctions returns to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas Sept. 6-9 with an estimated 1,000 American muscle cars, classics, Corvettes, Hot Rods, Resto Mods and more set to cross the auction block. 

This is the seventh year that Mecum Auctions has staged a collector-car auction in Dallas with results from past years’ Dallas auctions reaching as much as $38 million. Last year, vehicle consignments came from 36 states, and registered bidders traveled to Dallas from 43 states.

Ram launches new 2018 Harvest Edition

(August 30, 2017) DECATUR, Ill. — Ram is celebrating its agricultural bonds with a new model designed specifically for America’s farm families. The Ram Harvest Edition is the industry’s first agricultural market-specific truck and is visually distinguished by two new colors — Case IH Red and New Holland Blue.
“The Ram Harvest Edition marks the first time that Ram dealers will be able to stock trucks that exactly match the colors of two of the most popular lines of farm equipment in the nation,” said Mike Manley, head of Jeep & Ram Brands.

Mini to present Electric Concept at Frankfurt auto show

(August 30, 2017) MUNICH, Germany —Mini is using the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt, Germany, to showcase its take on future personal mobility in the city in the form of the Mini Electric Concept. Designed for use in urban areas, this concept car offers a window into how pure-electric day-to-day mobility might look in the years ahead.

And the Mini Electric Concept also brings the iconic design, city-dwelling heritage and customary go-kart feeling of the Mini brand into the electric mobility age. Mini will present an all-electric series-production model in 2019.