Auto News for Dec. 18


The BMW M2 and X4 M40i will make their world debuts at the Detroit auto show on January 11th.  The M2 should be a fun drive with a 3.0-liter six delivering 365 horsepower with 343 lb-ft of torque. BMW cites a 0-60 romp of 4.2 seconds. Pricing will be announced shortly with the car available in showrooms in the spring.

The X4 M40i, now there’s catchy name, also gets a six with 355 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque. Its 0-60 comes in at 4.7 seconds and speed tops out at 150 mph. It will appear in showrooms in February. No word yet on price. The chassis will be tuned to M Performance specs, and the vehicle will feature BMW ConnectedDrive, intelligent xDrive and Twin Scroll turbo technology.

Vauxall Maloo

And here is another strange name, the Vauxhall Maloo, the only pickup offered by the GM brand. Now here is why you should care. GM has taken the V8 out of the Camaro ZL1 and put it into the trucklet in slightly detuned form. It clams a 0-60 in just 4.6 seconds thanks to its 6.2-liter power plant and it is said to be the “fastest production ute manufactured in Australia”, and the fastest vehicle of its type available in the UK. In U.S. form, that V8 is rated at 455 horsepower. So if the trucklet were offered here, would you buy one?

Volkswagen will halt production of its high lux Phaeton sedan in late March. It was a slow seller on world markets and sales were halted here in the U.S. back in 2006. The rumor mill has it that the Phaeton will return as an all-electric vehicle in 2019 or so.

Volks has brought on board renowned lawyer Kenneth Feinberg to try to work out settlements with the U.S. owners of diesels that don’t meet pollution standards. Forbes reports that Volks is facing more than 500 lawsuits. Feinberg had a similar role in the GM ignition switch affair and handled compensation for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. “His extensive experience in handling such complex matters will help to guide us as we move forward to make things right with our customers,” said Michael Horn, president and CEO, VW Group of America.

Volks may display an electric concept car or van at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show that it claims will mark “the beginning of a new era of affordable long-distance electromobility.” That word must be out of “Star Wars!”

December could be the strongest month for new vehicle sales since 2005 and 2015 could set a new sales record, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. It said consumers are on a pace to spend more than $44 billion on new vehicles in December and $437 billion on new vehicles in 2015, “both record levels.” Power said the Fed’s decision raise interest rates by one quarter of one percent “should have a minimal impact on new vehicle sales.”

Chevrolet claims that the Malibu and the Silverado were among the Top 10 trends in vehicle searches on Google this year. The Toyota Tacoma was third on the Google list, followed by the Chevy Camaro and the Honda HR-V. If it matters, Bud Light Mixxtail, Gose beer, and Grapefruit beer were the most searched brews. Pardon me, but grapefruit beer?

The hottest segment of the classic car market is models built from 1980 through the early 2000’s according to Hagerty, the classic car valuations and insurance firm.  North American classic car auction sales have reached a record $1.45 billion for the year, an 11 percent increase over 2014. Some cars with the greatest increase in average sales price were the 1974-77 Porsche 911, 2004-09 Aston Martin DB9, and the 1984 -96 Ferrari Testarossa. Heading the other way were the Hudson Commodore, BMW 2002 and the American Motors CJ-7 Jeep.







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