Auto News for Aug. 27

Fiat Chrysler did its best to get dealers juiced about new future new products during a meeting in Las Vegas. Reporters were not allowed in and no one was allowed to record anything on their smart phones. From various reports, FCA displayed the next Jeep Wrangler that should hit showrooms in 2017 and a larger Grand Wagoneer. Also displayed were a new Dodge Charger and a convertible Barracuda that Automotive News said would be based on the Alfa Giulia. If all these models do make it to market, FCA dealers should have more than a few customers beating a path to their doors.

An update on that story about Ford considering a revival of the Ford Ranger pickup for the U.S. Bloomberg is reporting that a return of the Bronco SUV may also be a part of the package. Should the Bronco reappear, it would constitute a new challenge for the Jeep brand.

Washington, D.C. tops the list of gridlock-plagued cities followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York in a study released by INRIX and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Cities of all sizes are experiencing increased traffic congestion from growing urban populations and lower fuel prices that are outpacing the nation’s ability to build infrastructure. The average travel delay per commuter nationwide is more than twice what it was in 1982 and in cities with less than 500,000 people, the problem is four times worse than in 1982. The authors say the nation needs more roadway and transit investment to meet demands as well as flexible work schedules. INRIX is a data technology company.

Norwegian Morgan Torvolt claims to have driven a Tesla Model S just shy of 453 miles on a single charge, something that he claims is a world’s record. He admits it was a slow drive, averaging just 24.2 miles per hour.

Experian Automotive reports more customers are signing up for new auto leases beyond the traditional three years in order to hold down monthly payments. That would be in line with the growing demand for auto loans up to seven years.

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