Motor Trend has named the Chevy Camaro as its Car of the Year, calling it “one of the finest driving vehicles in the world …” with a price that is “within reach of the average consumer. Chevy also gets to brag that it snagged the magazine’s Truck of the Year award with the Colorado, while the Volvo VC90 was named Sport Utility Vehicle of the Year. And Subaru of America President and COO, Thomas Doll, was named Person of the Year. Not a bad choice considering Suby is entering its eighth year of consecutive record sales.
New car sales rose just 2.9 percent in Europe in October, the slowest growth rate in five months due to the slowdown in demand for Volkswagens. VW sales fell 0.8 percent but the number would have been higher were it not for increasing demand for the Audi and Porsche brands. Analysts said the full impact of the VW diesel scandal may not appear until November sales figures are released.
Ford has released pictures and details of its updated 2017 Escape. It will be offered with two new EcoBoost engines, a twin-scroll 2.0-liter turbo tops the list with 245 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. A 1.5-liter EcoBoost is the base engine with an expected 180 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. Both will come with the maddening Stop/Start feature. Ford said the new SYNC 3 system allows for remote start, lock and unlock and helps owners remember where they parked their wheels. The Escape made its debut in Hollywood and will be displayed at this week’s L.A. Auto Show. Ford’s second best-selling vehicle will arrive in showrooms next summer.
Kia will introduce an all-new compact hybrid crossover to do battle with the Toyota Prius. The Kia Niro has been designed from the wheels up as a hybrid and will ride on its own unique platform. Production will begin in late 2016. It will be powered by a 1.6-liter four with a lithium polymer battery pack and a 32 kW electric motor with a six speed double clutch transmission.
Kia also announced that by 2020, it plans to introduce a range of partially-autonomous driving technologies to its model lineup. It is aiming to bring its first fully-autonomous car to market by 2030.
Best vanity plate seen yesterday: “Hyoslvr”
If you don’t get it, ask the Lone Ranger.