Auto News for Aug. 28


The high performance Tesla P85D scored so well in Consumer Report’s testing that the staff had to make changes to its rating system. When everything was totaled up the score was better than 100 at 103! Oh that we could have brought that test score home to our parents! The CR staff loved the electric car’s acceleration, handling, braking and luxury even at the $127K price tag. But all was not perfect with demerits for interior noise and materials, and a balky door handle. Even so, the P85D emerged as the best car the magazine has ever tested.

The P85D posts a 0-60 run of just 3.2 seconds according its maker thanks to the addition of a 221-hp electric motor that drives the front wheels. It works in concert with a 470-hp motor that drives the rear wheels. To answer your next question, that means there is 686 lb-ft of torque to play with, and that’s a heap. I almost forgot the car’s “Ludicrous Speed” upgrade that reduces the 0-60 run to just 2.8 seconds, Tesla claims.

If you live off the beaten path but still want top performance, think of what would happen if you took the 707 horsepower Hellcat V8 and put it into a Jeep Grand Cherokee! Fiat Chrysler will do just that and achieve a 0-60 run in a very short 3.5 seconds in what they will call the Trackhawk. Various reports indicate it might show up on dealer lots sometime next summer.


If you REALLY live off road, there is always the replacement for the Hummer, the JLTV produced by Oshkosh Corp. The company has won a $6.7 billion contract to produce the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle for the Army and Marine Corps. The JLTV features 20 inches of wheel travel for improved off-road mobility and a suspension that can be raised and lowered to meet demand. Unfortunately, died in the dirt off roaders, it will be only offered to the military. But that is one mean looking machine.

A state owned Chinese auto company is said to be in talks to acquire a stake in Daimler, the parent of Mercedes Benz. BAIC’s chairman Xu Heyi has confirmed to the Taiwan newspaper “Want China Times” that the two sides are talking and he hopes to seal the deal by the end of the year. It is not clear how large a stake BAIC would acquire in Daimler, yet the Times said it would become Daimler’s third largest shareholder. Previously, the two firms signed a series of cooperation agreements and Daimler owns a stake in BAIC, or Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co.

August new vehicle sales are expected to decline 1.2 percent, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive and your can blame the calendar. A year ago Labor Day weekend transactions were counted as part of August sales. But that will not be the case this year since the holiday falls on Sept. 7, too late to be included in the August sales tally. This time around, August sales are expected to total 1.3 million units and the daily selling rate is trending 8 percent higher this year compared to 2014, so the decline may be of little concern.




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