The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Nutson's Nuggets - Automotive News Factoids July 22-28, 2013 Just In Case You Were Dozing


Auto Central Louisville, KY July 28, 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 1,470,115 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 July 22-28, 2013

* BMW announced pricing for the BMW i3 electric vehicle. The MSRP in the U.S. will be $41,350, before any federal or state incentives. Destination & Handling fee is extra and is currently $925. The BMW i3’s 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque hybrid-synchronous electric motor, developed and produced by BMW, is electrified by a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery, good for 80-100 miles of emission-free driving. Designed from the ground up to be an electric car, the BMW i3 uses the Industry’s first mass produced carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell mounted on an aluminum chassis. The BMW i3 will offer interior space comparable to the BMW 3 Series on a shorter overall body.The BMW i3 will make its world debut at three simultaneous events in New York, London and Beijing this Monday, July 29. It will arrive in U.S. showrooms in the second quarter of 2014.

* Bentley Motors (part of the Volkswagen Group) confirmed that it will proceed with the development of the Bentley SUV, the company’s fourth model line. The SUV will be made in Crewe and will go on sale in 2016. It will create over 1000 jobs in the UK. The SUV will be a thoroughbred Bentley true to the brand hallmarks of luxury, performance, quality and craftsmanship. The styling will set it apart from any other SUV on the road and will be true to the Bentley design DNA. It will be the most luxurious and most powerful SUV in the market. The new Bentley SUV will be based on the EXP 9 F concept vehicle revealed during the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and should sell at around $230,000, perhaps a bargain if it has the aesthetic appeal of the Continental.

* NASCAR went back to its roots this week to race on a dirt track for the first time since 1970. The NASCAR Truck Series raced at Eldora Speedway half-mile dirt track for a one-night only special designed to reconnect NASCAR with its early roots and give fans raised on asphalt and stock cars a taste of the wild races run in the dust. The last time one of NASCAR's top touring series competed on dirt was Sept. 30, 1970, when Richard Petty won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (called the Grand National Division at that time) race at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

* According to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, Volkswagen Group received the highest number of segment awards of all corporations included in the study for the Audi Allroad, Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen GTI and Volkswagen Passat. Chevrolet received the highest number of segment awards of any brand for the Avalanche, Sonic and Volt models, all of which also received awards in 2012. Ford and Nissan brands each receive two model awards: Ford, for the F-250/F-350 Super Duty and Mustang; Nissan, for the Armada and Murano. Also receiving awards are the BMW 5 Series; Buick Encore; Dodge Charger; Fiat 500; Honda Odyssey; Kia Soul; Land Rover Range Rover; Lexus LS; Lincoln MKZ; Mazda CX-5; and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. The Land Rover Range Rover achieved the highest APEAL score of any model in the industry in 2013, which marks the first time a model outside the large premium car segment has done so. Porsche is the highest-ranked nameplate for a ninth consecutive year. Ram is the highest-ranked non-premium nameplate.

* Big news for GM this week: Consumer Reports named the new Chevy Impala Best in Class, rating 95 points out of 100 on their scale. The 2014 Chevrolet Impala became the highest-scoring sedan in Consumer Reports’ ratings. Among all cars, its 95-point score falls short of just the Tesla Model S ultra-luxury hatchback (99) and BMW 1 Series coupe (97). No other domestic car has topped the sedans ratings since CR began tracking scores in that fashion over 20 years ago. Impala shares a platform with the Cadillac XtS and Buick LeCrosse but has a personality entirely distinct from either. The category is "large sedans" and includes some far pricier competitors like Lexus LS and Audi A6. Despite its high test score, this Impala is too new for Consumer Reports to have reliability data, so it can’t be Recommended.

* Not only is Mazda bringing its first diesel to the U.S. this fall in the new Mazda6 but they are also making history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend with a racing version of the 2.2-liter, turbo diesel engine that make 445 pound-feet of torque. A diesel has not completed on that legendary track since 1952 when a 6.6-liter Cummins diesel powered a special Kurtis-Draft racer.

* Toyota edged out GM again in the competition to be the global automobile sales leader. The Japanese company sold 4.91 million cars, light trucks and crossovers for the first half of calendar 2013 a slight decline from the same period in 2012. Toyota took the lead during the industry bust of 2008 and lost it only once since, the result of the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011. GM gets the honors for Q2 beating Toyota by 10,000 units. So, who really cares?

* Word came this week that Acura plans to show a running version of the long-awaited new NSX super car that they showed in concept form at a variety of motor shows in the past year. The car will be build in Ohio and we'll see it doing a few parade laps at the Mid Ohio race track as part of the August 4th Izod Indy Car Series race. Honda is a primary sponsor of the race.

* Classically Italian Fiat and proudly American Chrysler may find themselves combined as a Dutch company if boss, Canadian Sergio Marchionne has his way. He's considering registering the new merged company in the Netherlands. Before the companies can come together, though, Fiat would have to gather more Chrysler stock from the automakers union entity called VEBA.