Nutson's Nuggets: Here Is Last Week's (September 24-30 2012) Automotive News In Case You Were Dozing


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Auto Central Louisville, KY September 30, 2012 Each week Larry Nutson, The Auto Channel's Chicago Bureau Chief, along with Steve Purdy and Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau give you easy to digest nuggets of the past week's automotive news you may have missed.

If you are a car nut like we all are, you can easily "catch up" on these stories as well as the past 16 years 1,353,476 automotive stories, articles, reviews, rants and raves by just searching for the subject you are interested in The Auto Channel's Automotive News Archive. Hey South Florida TV viewers, I know you are enjoying watching The Auto Channel's TACH-TV on channel 44 WHDT-TV Palm Beach (Cable 17 and 438, channel 9 Miami and channel 32 Fort Meyers-Naples, and thanks for the positive feedback...I am covering the Paris Motor Show for you...stories as they happen. See you next week, LN

Automotive News September 24-30, 2012

* The Paris Motor show, formally known as Le Mondial de l'Automobile, opens to the public this week and the media has had its preview. Among the highlights are: a front-wheel drive, 3-cylinder turbo, plug-in hybrid BMW CUV concept; Lexus LF-CC concept coupe, perhaps a preview of the new IS; the production-ready new VW Golf, bread and butter car all over the world to be available in Europe early in 2013; an all-new, sexy, Jaguar F-Type to be available with two different V6s and a supercharged V8 to be on sale in the U.S. by summer of 2013; a Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake (sort of a sporting station wagon) with a cherry wood trunk floor; and lots more. The auto market is dismal in Europe, and young folks there too are not interested in cars, but the Paris auto show has much to crow about.

* One of auto racing's most iconic journalists, broadcasters, publishers and all around nice guy, Chris Economaki, died this week at age 91. Economaki was the voice of motor sports for ABC's Wild World of Sports and publisher of one of racings most important magazines, National Speed Sport News.

* Total Car Score, a comprehensive automotive ranking and comparison website, this week named the top ten classic muscle cars based on listing prices of original or well restored cars. Leading the list are the 1969 Camaro ZL1, 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda, 1969 Dodge Hemi Charger Daytona and 1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang. They've also ranked modern muscle cars. That list is led by the 2000 Ford Mustang Cobra R, 2002 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS-6, 2004 Mercury Marauder, and the 2006 Pontiac GTO.

* The new Fisker Karma extended range electric car failed to get a passing grade or recommendation from Consumer Reports, as they cited problems with the battery pack, a claustrophobic interior and multiple electrical problems with gauges, radio and lights. The magazine liked its ride, handling, braking and interior materials, but says the Karma isn't all that great a car. Karma meets the 2025 fuel economy standard at 66 mpg-e calculated by CR and 47.3 by NHTSA.

* After a series of battery pack fires in its plug-in electric Ram pickups Chrysler decided to suspend the development program while they work on the 12.9-kWh lithium-ion battery system. No fires have occurred in a similar program with minivans. Testing has been promising so far with the pickups averaging 37.4 mpg and minivans 55.0.

* No longer will your sweetheart be able to snuggle up while you're driving down the road in your Impala. The last bench seat in a passenger car - at least one sold in North America, goes away with the introduction of the fully redesigned Impala for 2014. The bench seat is a $195 option in some models of the outgoing Impala. We'll still see a few bench seats in SUVs and pickups.

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