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Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Digest June 6-12, 2016


By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

AUTO CENTRAL Chicago, June 12, 2016; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, Senior Editor and Chicago Car Guy along with fellow senior editors Steve Purdy and Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, give you TACH's "take" on this past week's automotive news in easy to digest mega-tweet sized nuggets. If you wish to know more just click on the link that will take you to the full story as published here on The Auto Channel.

If you are a car and driving fan like we all are here at The Auto Channel, you can easily wish to "catch up" on these stories as well put them in context with the past 20 year's 1,982,111 automotive news, automotive stories, articles, reviews, archived news, video, audio, rants and raves. Just search The Auto Channel's Automotive News Archive.

Hey Boston TV viewers, you can now enjoy The Auto Channel TV Network "Free and Clear" on WHDT Channel 3 in Boston and on your local cable systems. Just added Naples Florida, along with all South Florida auto fans who can continue to watch The Auto Channel TV Network on WHDT-TV Channel 9 in West Palm Beach as well as cable channel's 17 and 438, channel 9 Miami. WHDN launched its full schedule (including The Auto Channel)of broadcasting in the Naples-Fort Myers market on digital PSIP channel 9.1 channel. Enjoy and thanks for the positive feedback and ratings. See You Next Week, LN.

The Past Week's Automotive News Highlights In Easy To Digest Chunks
May 30-June 5,2016

* teamed up with MotorWeek to determine the segment leader in its Midsize Sedan Challenge. With a panel of expert judges and a local Atlanta couple in the market for a new sedan, evaluated nine of the most popular 2016 models. The tests resulted in the following ranking: 1) 2016 Volkswagen Passat, 2) 2016 Kia Optima, 3) 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, 4) 2016 Hyundai Sonata, 5) 2016 Honda Accord, 6) 2016 Subaru Legacy, 7) 2016 Toyota Camry, 8) 2016 Mazda6 and 9) 2016 Nissan Altima.

* The hotly anticipated VLF Destino is being delivered to customers at last. The Destino — first seen as a concept at the 2013 Detroit auto show — is the opening product of a partnership between ex-General Motors product chief Bob Lutz, former Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker and entrepreneur Gilbert Villarreal. While the original Karma chassis was produced in Finland, the Destino is assembled in Auburn Hills, MIchigan. Billed as one of the world’s fastest four-door sedans, the 200-mph Destino is the gorgeous offspring of the marriage of a Fisker Karma chassis and supercharged 638HP Corvette ZL1 V-8 engine. The 4,300-pound GT will go from 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 200mph.

* Automotive News reports that Volkswagen Group's Skoda unit is considering whether to sell cars in the U.S. where its parent is mired in a diesel emissions scandal. A Skoda spokesman said the Czech value brand is examining the potential of markets where it is not yet present. "That includes North America," the spokesman told Automotive News Europe. No decision has been made, he said.

* NHTSA is looking into suspension failures on the Tesla Model S. The interesting twist is that apparently Tesla has asked customers who experienced the failure and got their car repaired to sign a confidentiality agreement to not speak about it with government officials. The agency has warned Tesla to refrain from encouraging customers not to report safety concerns.

* The LAPD is getting cleaner. BMW of North America announced that it has won its bid to supply the Los Angeles Police Department with 100 fully-electric BMW i3 vehicles for use in the department’s transportation fleet. The BMW i3 police cars began hitting the streets of Los Angeles this spring badged with an LAPD insignia. As the department’s non-emergency fleet vehicles, the BMW i3s will be used throughout the department as transportation vehicles for officers and in community outreach initiatives.

* Subaru of America, Inc. announced that a Subaru WRX STI Time Attack car piloted by Mark Higgins set a new lap record of the fabled 37-mile Isle of Man TT Road Course with an average lap speed of 128.73 mph and a time of 17.35. This breaks the previous record held by Higgins of 116.47 mph and a time of 19.26. The all-new 2016 Subaru WRX STI time attack car is a joint development of Subaru of America, Inc., and Prodrive, with technical assistance provided by Subaru Tecnica International (STI). The new car is purpose-built for the Isle of Man TT Course.

* Craig Breedlove set a new land speed record of 526 mph in his Spirit of America jet car back in 1964 breaking the 500 mph barrier. Following that he sent his car to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry for display. Now fifty years later the museum wants too give it back. It turns out they didn't take very good care of the Spirit of American and it is extensively damaged. Craig Breedlove is suing the museum to get them to pay for the restoration and repairs estimated to cost nearly $400,000.

* The sixth running of the modern iteration of the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge starts this week with 115 teams ready to challenge over 8,500 of the worlds most challenging roads. The endurance rally transits 11 nations and will take five weeks to complete. The challenge began in 1907 and today includes both modern and antique cars, including a pre-war Bentley, a 1955 Lancia and even American muscle cars. The route cover crosses the Gobi Desert, Siberia, and Eastern Europe before the finish in France.

* Another huge motorsports event coming up is the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado, celebrating the 100th anniversary of that all-out timed contest up one of the tallest peaks in the Rocky Mountains. Acura will field three new NSX hybrid super cars in the contest. Various classes include nearly stock cars though full-race and rally-racing cars, now including even electric car classes. Acura NSX entries include a full-electric version and two hybrids.

* The CEO of Automobili Lamborghini presided over the reopening of the fully renovated Lamborghini Museum at the company headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese near Bologna this week in honor of the company’s 50th anniversary. Part of the celebration is the Miura Tour, a 500 km drive though Emilia, Liguria and Tuscany featuring one of the company’s most significant models.

* Pickup fans rejoice - the U.S. Postal Service announced the release of a new series of stamps featuring 4 classic pickups - a 1938 International D-2, 1948 Ford F-150, 1953 Chevrolet and 1964 Ford f-100. The images are produced by Pittsfird, NY artist Chris Lyons. The term “pickup” is credited to Studebaker based on a 1913 advertisement. These new stamps will go on sale July 15th.

* Father’s Day will be the 29th presentation of one of the most prestigious car shows in the country - EyesOn Design at the Eleanor and Edsel Ford home in Grosse Point Shores, Michigan. The invitational show is unlike other Concours events in that it features the “design” of automobiles and other things vehicular rather than rarity, excellence in restoration and other criteria. This year’s theme is “Powered by Design” featuring classes that showcase how auto manufactures use design to convey power and performance.

* Roush Performance is now taking orders for the new 2017 Stage 3 Mustang powered by a Ford Coyote 5.0-liter V8 making 670 horsepower. The supercharged engine is fully warrantied and built in the U.S. by Roush. The car comes with a variety of other performance and cosmetic options.