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Nutson's Nuggets - Automotive News March 25-31, 2013 Just In-Case You Were Snoozing


Auto Central Louisville, KY March 31, 2013 Each week Larry Nutson, Senior Editor, New York Bureau of The Auto Channel, 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 17 year's 1,377,218 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....See you next week, LN

Automotive News March 25-31, 2013

* Auto industry watchers were focused on the New York Auto Show press preview events this week. We saw the Mercedes B-class electric drive, the BMW 3-series GT, new Cadillac CTS, all-new Mitsubishi Mirage, the polarizing Jeep Cherokee, a refreshed Honda Odyssey with a built-in vacuum cleaner, and more. This is the last big U.S. show this 2013 season; Shanghai comes up in April and then it's not until the fall and the Frankfurt Show. We have lots of coverage here on The Auto Channel.

* Unveiled at this week's New York Auto Show Subaru's first ever hybrid, a small crossover called Crosstrek, will arrive at dealers this fall boasting a combined 31 mpg using a 2.0-liter boxer engine and CVT with a 13.4-hp, 10-kilowatt electric motor to boost performance.

* Chevrolet wowed the crowd with a new version of the iconic Camaro Z-28 - this one, though, is for track use, just like the original 1967 Z-28 created to contest the SCCA's Trans-Am competition. It later became a high performance street version and we expect this one will too. The 2014 Z-28 is capable of 1.05 g of cornering force and makes 500 horsepower.

* In other news for Subaru at the New York show, the WRX Concept took center stage with promises that the next generation WRX will look much like it. Like all Subarus the WRX features all-wheel drive but is purely focused on performance winning rally racing competitions around the world. In some critics' estimation it is way overdue for a style and design update and the new one is much more modern with sportier profile.

* Another award comes to VW as the new 7th-generation Golf compact car gets "World Car of the Year" honor at the New York Auto Show this week. The independent award jurors cited the Golf's just-right size, spaciousness, practicality and comfort. VW Chairman, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, said the Golf will soon be available in plug-in hybrid and full-electric versions.

* Ram has been successfully selling Detroit Red Wings-themed 1500 trucks for a little over a year and now they are looking to do that with other sports teams. Any team with a large and enthusiastic fan base is on the Ram radar.

* Another tradition is biting the dust. Famous design firm Pininfarina has designed nearly every Ferrari production car since 1951 but the dramatic LaFerrari, debuted earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show, was designed in-house but Ferrari's own design team. It's too soon to say the partnership is in trouble. In fact, Pininfarina continues to work on two other Ferrari projects.

* A number of U.S. groups from the automotive, marine and outdoor equipment manufacturers petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the EPA's controversial ruling on E15 ethanol for vehicles produced since 2001. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers, the Outdoor Equipment Institute and the National Marine Manufacturers Association collectively filed a petition earlier this week asking the high court to overturn the District of Columbia's Circuit Court of Appeals' August decision that none of the trade associations or parties had a legal standing to challenge approval of E15 gasoline.

* The Obama Administration is proposing new rules to reduce the level of noxious sulfur in the nation’s gasoline supply…thus, reduced emissions but an increase in pump prices. The so-called Tier 3 standards are set to go into effect by 2017.

* A class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday on behalf of millions of Ford owners, claiming vehicles equipped with electronic throttle controls are prone to sudden acceleration. Owners from 14 states filed the suit in U.S. District Court in West Virginia, seeking damages that could potentially cover "millions of purchasers and lessees of Ford vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2010,"

* The NHTSA is opening an investigation into nearly 400,000 2006-2008 Hyundai Sonata cars over reported complaints of rusting, including some that led to electrical problems.

* Our friends at The Detroit Bureau report that the Volkswagen brand now accounts for 72% of the diesel-powered vehicles sold in the U.S.