Auto News for Aug. 6

We start the day with a look at some upcoming 2015 models from the Detroit three that might be overlooked with so much attention devoted to the new Mustang, Hellcat, and Z06 Corvette. Not that the trio doesn’t deserve lots of attention, of course!


Chevy returns to the mid-size truck market with the Colorado. It just announced that the extended-cab model will start at $20,995 and that includes delivery. The base engine will be a 200 horsepower 2.5-liter four with the option to move up to a 305 horsepower 3.6-liter V6.  Chevy said the top of the line Z71 crew cab 4×4 with a 5 foot box will start at $34,990. Colorado will appear on dealer lots this fall.


The redesigned Ford Edge won’t show up until early next year. The original crossover utility vehicle from the Blue Oval is now based on the Fusion platform with three engines offered – a 2.0-liter EcoBoost with about 245 horsepower, a new 2.7-liter with an estimated 320 horsepower, and the carry over 3.5-liter 6 with 305 horsepower. All three will offer a six speed automatic with paddle shifts. The new Edge is virtually the same size as the 2014 model and there will be four trim levels, with the introduction of the top of the line Titanium.


The compact Focus gets a makeover that turns the front end styling into a smaller version of the handsome Fusion and the new taillights are very striking. Focus gets the 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder as its base engine with a standard rear view camera plus the usual safety equipment. Look for it to appear in the second half of this year.

Jeep fans should not worry that the new baby Jeep, the Renegade, will not be a true off road vehicle. When it appears in December, the Trailhawk 4×4 model will have 20:1 crawl ratio, Selec-Terrain system with Rock mode, increased ride height to 8.7 inches, skid plates of course, front and rear tow hooks, 30.5 degree approach and 34.3 degree departure angles, up to 8.1 inches of wheel articulation, and up to 19 inches of water fording.  Power will come from a 2.4-liter I-4 with 184 horsepower or a 160 horsepower, 1.4 turbo four. Base on a modified Fiat structure, this rugged tyke should be a lot of fun to drive and I am sure it will be tested shortly on some of the more rugged trails of the wild, wild, west.


bmw Alpina

Here is some really wonderful news from BMW. A newly restored 1970 ALPINA 2002ti will run in the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsport Reunion at Legua Seca next week. After its race career ended, the car spent 24 years in storage before being purchased and restored by BMW. Even the steering wheel was returned to ALPINA for their leather specialists to restore the hand stitched leather on the original wheel. A 16-valve, 4-cylinder with 2-barrel Weber carburetors was good for about 220 horsepower at 8,000 rpm. The street version of the 2002ti was one of the most fun to drive cars ever to hit pavement.

Audi reports that its first plug-in hybrid will be available at select dealers during the second half of next year. The A3 will come with a faster 240 volt recharging station for customer homes but installation costs will be extra. Parent Volkswagen announced a similar program for its upcoming e-Golf that will go on sale later this year at participating dealers.


Aston Martin’s new V12 Vantage S roadster will make its global debut at the Pebble Beach Automotive Week starting on August 14th. The V12 is said to be good for 565 horsepower, a 0-60 jaunt in just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of a “go directly to jail” 201 miles per hour. It will go on sale later this year and will be Aston Martin’s fastest series production roadster to date.

Remember those lightweight E-Type Jag’s that I wrote about a few weeks ago? Well, a prototype will be on display at the Pebble Beach event. Only six of the Lightweight E-Types will be built and that’s all Jaguar has to say about it at this time. It will also show off the F-TYPE Project 7, said to be an all-aluminum, fully road legal two-seat roaster with lots of carbon fiber aerodynamic aids.

If you are thinking of restoring a vintage motorcycle, here is something that might help. “The Beginner’s Guide to Classic Motorcycle Restoration” is said to cover bikes from the 1970s and 1980s and is based on real life restorations carried out by author Ricky Burns. It is offered by Veloce books for $49.95. Check with your local book store, if there is one, or on line.



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