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Nutson's Nuggets - Automotive News Factoids September 23-29, 2013


Auto Central Louisville, KY September 29, 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 1,475,221 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 September 23-29, 2013

* We drove the new and redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla at an East Coast media preview in Miami this week. Watch for our full report here on The Auto Channel.

* The return of Alfa Romeo to the U.S.will take a little longer. Fiat is delaying the brand's return until the second quarter of 2014, Chrysler has said. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, told reporters in January that the U.S. automaker would start selling the compact 4C sports car this year.

* Good news for diesel pickup fans: Nissan announced this week a Cummins 5.0-liter V8 diesel will be available in the 2014 full-size Titan. The new powertrain will provide 300 horsepower and around 500 pound-feet of torque. While Nissan is a small niche player in the pickup market they expect this powerful option will make for a substantial number of conquest sales.

* This week marks the opening of the Texas State Fair where every year someone invents something else deep fried and truck news is always made. Texas is truck country, after all. GM took advantage of the venue to introduce their new Heavy Duty line of pickups, due out early next year, claiming best-in-class towing and payload and Ford showed everyone the 2015 King Ranch F-450 turbo diesel. These are often not just work trucks as they get dressier and more efficient with each update.

* Apple iTunes Radio will make its automotive debut with Nissan. The new streaming service will be offered in the 2014 Rogue, Versa Note and the Leaf EV. iTunes Radio's chief rival in streaming is Pandora.

* "Rush" the movie has opened. Director Ron Howard's production of the 1970s Formula 1 rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda is packed with action and breathtaking racing. Also running now is "Snake & Mongoose" which depicts one of the greatest rivalries in National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) history and the groundbreaking accomplishments of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "Mongoose" McEwen.

* We reported some time back about Project Drive-In, the effort by Honda to save drive-in theaters that are facing closure due to the end of 35mm film distribution. They needed new digital projectors that can cost up to $75,000. Honda originally planned to help five drive-ins. Fans voted on which theaters should get the projectors. More than 2.6 million ballots were cast and in the end Honda delivered nine high-definition projectors to theaters in South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Oregon, Michigan, Maine, Texas and Illinois.

* Collector car enthusiasts have gone gaga over the nearly 500 cars and pickups from a long-gone Chevy dealership in Nebraska that will be auctioned off this weekend. Some of these cars date back to the 1950s and have barely double digits miles on their odometers like a '64 Impala with 4 miles and a '58 Chevy Cameo Pickup with just 1 mile. Prebids have been strong and the auctioneer expects as many as 8,000 people to participate in the bidding.

* The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety took a step beyond their usual crash testing to evaluate collision avoidance systems that have become more common on not only high-line luxury cars but are also finding their way into mainstream cars. These systems detect hazards in the path of a car and both warn the driver and even apply the brakes if needed. Top scores went to Subaru, Cadillac and Volvo while Infinity did not do so well.

* New Jersey has been listed provisionally as the June site of a second FIA Formula One Grand Prix race for the U.S. for the 2014 season. The other U.S. race is in Austin, Texas in November. The New Jersey race would sandwich between Monaco and Montreal making for serious logistical problems for teams.