The first Ford Focus RS has rolled off the production line in Germany, with the hot hatch scheduled to arrive here in the U.S. this spring. It is powered by a new 2.3-liter four with an estimated 350 horsepower and a 0-62 run of 4.7 seconds. All Wheel Drive will also be a part of the package.
Chrysler has acknowledged the filing of a lawsuit by two dealers alleging that dealers were given incentives to produce false sales reports. In a statement, Fiat Chrysler said the allegations are baseless and plaintiffs were notified of this fact before they filed suit. The lawsuit was nothing more than the product of two disgruntled dealers who failed to perform their obligations they signed with FCA US and have failed to perform since at least 2012, the company said. The dealers are located in Florida and Illinois and are part of the larger Ed Napleton Automotive Group.
A 10 year, nearly $4 billion dollar plan to accelerate the development of self driving vehicles was announced by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. It is part of the president’s intention to invest in a 21st century transportation system that was mentioned in his State of the Union address. “We are on the cusp of a new era in automotive technology with enormous potential to save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and transform mobility for the American people, Foxx said. The money will be used for pilot programs to test connected vehicle systems in designated corridors throughout the country, and work with the industry on common rules governing connected an autonomous vehicles. Currently only a few states have rules governing the testing of such vehicles.
Kristen Kreibich, a 20-year veteran of the company, has been named to the newly created position of Safety Advocate at Fiat Chrysler in the U.S. She will promote awareness of safety with employees, regulators, industry observers and trade groups.
The Hyundai Sonata has won a top safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for 2016. That would be Top Safety Pick + meaning it passed tests for small and moderate overlap crashes, side and roof strength and head restraint tests. It also has an available front crash prevention system needed to qualify for the top rating.
The redesigned Honda Civic for 2016 has also earned the Top Safety Pick + rating and a Superior rating for frontal crash prevention when equipped with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assist technologies.
Acura will be the official automotive sponsor of the 2016 Boston Marathon, half-marathon and 5K races.
And Valvoline is now 150 years old. It was the petroleum industry’s first U.S. trademarked motor oil brand and there will be a number of events throughout the year to mark the birthday.