The nation’s average gas mileage rose to a record 24.1 mpg last year according to the EPA. Over the past five years, it has increased almost 5 mpg, but the pace is slowing. EPA still believes that auto makers will meet its mandate for an average of 54.5 mpg by the year 2025.
Tesla is going to make some kind of an announcement today and the betting is it will be the introduction of an all-wheel drive version of the Model S. This would be the Model D that was teased recently.
Bentley maintains it is on track for a record breaking year. Global deliveries are up 19 percent with strong demand here in North America, the luxury brand’s top market.
Ford has filed a patent that would eliminate keys and start buttons, and use fingerprints to start a vehicle. Sensors would be embedded in the steering wheel and others in the seat that would measure an operator’s pulse. They could also sense one’s body temperature and adjust the ventilation system accordingly. That beats some of the touch screens that I have seen. Wonder what the sensors would do if the operator passes gas.
They are going the way of chrome bumpers – the spare tire that is. Research and Markets said in 2008 69 percent of all passenger cars worldwide came equipped with a full-size spare. By 2012 that number had fallen to just 48 percent as automakers sought to reduce weight and save space. By 2020, the number of cars with full size spares is forecast to fall to 36 percent replaced by run-flat tires, tire repair kits and self-sealing tires.
Ford is said to be considering the idea of a new compact pickup truck, much the size of the discontinued Ranger. It would be smaller than the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon that are just now hitting the market.