Auto News for Oct.1

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BMW has announced a sporty upgrade in the “Sports Activity Coupe” segment with the X4 M40i. When it goes on sale next February it will offer a new turbo six good for 355 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims a 0-60 sprint of just 4.7 seconds. There will be 20 inch wheels, sporty seats and exhaust, and Black Chrome tailpipes among other touches. An 8 speed automatic will be the tranny with launch control and paddle shifts.

Honda announced its 2016 Accord has received a top safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That would be Top Safety Pick Plus when equipped with optional front crash prevention.

2016 Lancer GT

Mitsubishi said its 2016 Lancer will carry a starting MSRP of $17,595. The GT trim level comes with a sport tuned suspension, larger disc brakes, 18 inch wheels and either a 5 speed manual or a CVT. All models will feature the 2.4-liter four with all but the base model churning up 168 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque. There is a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty.

Porsche has a new chairman of the board this morning. Dr. Oliver Blume will succeed Matthias Mueller who was named to the tough job of chairman of Volkswagen. Blume has been a member of Porsche’s board for the past five years.

Members of the United Auto Workers union have apparently rejected that proposed new contract with Fiat Chrysler. The official results were not released at the time of this writing, but from what we know the answer from the members was a flat NO. Sixty-five percent of the workers at the large Belvidere, Illinois rejected the contract. The main hang up seems to be the two-tier wage structure whereby newer workers earn less than more senior workers. What comes next is not clear, but we should learn more shortly from union leaders.

Ford has signed “The Rock” to promote your local dealer’s service department. Dwayne Johnson will appear on your telly starting Oct. 12. By the way, “The Rock” owns three Ford vehicles.

Various reports say Google co-founder Sergey Brin was one of the first to take possession of the hard to get Tesla X all-electric sport utility. He was an early investor in Tesla. Brin and Elon Musk are said to be buds.

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