Auto New for Feb. 28

On the one hand, more people were late with their auto payments in December, according to TransUnion. But on an annual basis, late payments in 2012 hit their lowest rate in more than a decade.

Here comes a 9-speed automatic transmission! It will debut at the Geneva Auto Show next week in a Land Rover Range Rover Evoque. It will replace the 6-speed in the 2014 model and backers say it will improve gas mileage and lower emissions.

9 speed evoque

The Detroit News says Chrysler workers will demonstrate outside the Warren, Michigan plant today to protest a new work schedule. It would have them working four 10-hour days a week staggered over six days. Workers claim it is a way for the maker to avoid paying Saturday overtime. Yet their union supports the work plan saying it has created thousands of jobs in communities where it is already in effect.

Volkswagen will introduce a new GTI at the Geneva Show with a turbo four good for 220 horsepower, or ten more with an optional performance pack. The GTI currently sold here is good for 200 horsepower. VW claims gas mileage will improve by 18% in the GTI that will go on sale in Europe in May. No word on what power plants will be available here in the U.S. or when it will go on sale here. The 230 horsepower model will take just 6.4 seconds to hit 60 with a top speed of 155 mph.

Volks GTI

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