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Nutsons Nuggets - Automotive News November 19-25 2012 In Case You Were Dozing


Auto Central Louisville, KY November 25, 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 1,357,987 automotive news, 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 hope all of my readers had a very enjoyable and meaningful Thanksgiving, see you next week with the hottest LA Auto Show nuggets, LN

Automotive News November 19-25 2012

* With the current model becoming more anachronistic every day, we're about to get a new Chevrolet Impala. The thoroughly modern full-size Chevy will be at dealers in the spring and they've just announced pricing. The entry level car, LS, with a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, rated at 35-mpg on the highway, starts at $27,535. First out of the shoot, though, will be the 305-hp V6 starting at $30,760.

* Engines of choice in most European cars have been, for many years now, diesels. With tough new emission standards coming into effect in September of 2014 that disfavor diesels, that is expected to change to favor more gasoline engines. Electric automobiles have failed to become a significant player for lack of infrastructure (for the same reason here in the U.S. too, I might add), and fuel cells are still decades away.

* Another recall for Toyota concerns 2001 to 2004 Tacoma pickups that can loose the spare tire from under the rear of the truck. Mostly effecting trucks in cold northern climates where salt is used on the roads to combat ice and snow, the recall is about steel plates that hold the spare tire that are rusting away.

* The most unusual and innovative new race car design in generations, Nissan's DeltaWing with narrow front track has won a place on Popular Science Magazine's list of "Best of What's New for 2012" products and innovations. The broad categories include technology and design innovations that break new ground in their respective arenas. In addition to the amazing stance it features huge advances in aerodynamics, power utilizations and weight.

* If you live in the Western U.S. and drive in heavy traffic on a weekend you are very likely to be wearing your seatbelt. A new NHTSA nationwide survey of seatbelt use shows usage at an all time high of 86%. The South made big gains from 80% to 85%. Usage is the highest in the West at 94% and lowest in the Northeast at 80%. The 32 states that allow primary enforcement…stopping you only for the reason of not being belted…have higher usage. Click-it or ticket.

* Ford Motor Co. will introduce its 1-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine in its 2014 Fiesta subcompact. Fuel economy estimates were not revealed but it should make the Fiesta the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid available in the U.S.

* In other Ford related news, GE has said it will purchase 2000 Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for use in its corporate fleet.

* Formula One returned to the U.S. this week for the first time since 2007. The inaugural U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas was won by Lewis Hamilton driving a McLaren. And, "The Captain", Roger Penske, won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship with Brad Keselowski driving the Team Penske Miller Lite Dodge. It's the 28 year old Keselowski's first championship. BTW, both Penske and Keselowski hail from Michigan. A bittersweet victory for Dodge, as they will no longer race in NASCAR Sprint Cup next year. Oh, and Danica Patrick and her husband are divorcing after 7 years of marriage.

* GM is considering to change the Buick logo. We're not sure why but a lot of what happens with Buick is for the Chinese market where it is very successful. But here in the U.S., Buick is also looking to attract younger buyers to its brand. A Buick spokesperson reportedly has said that Buick is the only brand that has reduced the average age of its buyers over the last five years. I wonder what Cadillac thinks about that.

* Volkswagen is recalling 2,791 model year 2012 and 2013 VW Beetle cars in North America because the airbag may deploy even if a child is secured in the front seat.

* The Los Angeles based Motor Press Guild (MPG) has named the 2013 Cadillac ATS its "Vehicle of the Year."

* And also on the left coast, next week begins the Los Angeles Auto Show press preview and it promises to be the best in years. Pre-event info promises 50 debuts. See all the news and video in The Auto Channel's 2012 LA Auto Show Press Pass Coverage.