Auto News for May 25 – Muscle Cars Crash Tested


The ZL1 features a supercharged LT4 6.2L V-8 Small Block engine, with intake and exhaust systems tailored for Camaro. It is rated at an estimated 640 horsepower (477 kW) and 640 lb-ft of torque (868 Nm), backed by a standard six-speed manual transmission or all-new, available paddle-shift 10-speed automatic. The 10-speed automatic has 7.39 overall ratio for smaller steps between gears. It enables the LT4 engine to remain at optimal rpm levels during acceleration, particularly when exiting corners, for quicker laps and lightning-quick responses on both up- and down-shifts.

2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack


The Ford Mustang came the closest to earning a Top Safety Pick Award, while the Camaro fell short in one category and lacks an available front crash prevention system. The Dodge Challenger is most in need of improvement, said the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety after conducting crash tests on the three muscle cars. The Mustang is just one good rating away from earning the IIHS top rating but falls short in the small overlap crash test. The Camaro came up short only on the matter of roof strength while the Challenger received only a marginal rating in the small overlap test. Roof strength, head restraints and seats were rated only acceptable.

From left, Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group, takes delivery of 2017 Acura NSX, VIN 001, from Acura NSX Engineering Large Project Leader Clement D'Souza.

Rick Hendrick is the happy owner of the first Acura NSX supercar to roll off the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio. He made the winning bid of $1.2 million at an auction in January with all proceeds going to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.  VIN 001 features exclusive interwoven wheels, carbon ceramic brake rotors, leather and Alcantara interior trim and carbon fiber upgrades including the engine cover, roof, and rear decklid spoiler. Each NSX engine is machine balanced, bench tested and broken-in to the equivalent of 150 miles of service to ensure that every NSX engine is track-ready upon customer delivery. Hendrick, owner of the motorsports and automotive group that bears his name, is shown taking delivery of the car from Acura’s Clement D’Souza.

A German newspaper said the emission control system on a Fiat shut down after 22 minutes of testing, or two minutes after the end of the standard test. That allowed the release of more nitrogen oxide than allowed, the report said. With the news, FCA shares closed sharply lower Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. FCA said its vehicles do not have a mechanism to either detect they are being tested or to active a function to operate emission controls only under lab testing. German and Italian government officials are now in talks, since Fiats are made in Italy, and tested by the government there.

Volkswagen has made a $300 million investment in ride-hailing app Gett that operates in 60 cities including New York. It provides on-demand rides in cars with licensed drivers and no surge pricing. Gett is quite active in Europe. Toyota has announced a partnership with Uber and made an investment in the company. The amount of that investment was not made public.

VW and lawyers representing the owners of diesel powered cars are on track to meet a June deadline for a final settlement proposal, according to the Los Angeles Times. Judge Charles Breyer said the parties have made substantial progress but offered no further details. A previously disclosed tentative deal would give owners the option of having their cars repaired or bought back by VW, but a number of details are to be worked out.  The two sides are facing a June 21 deadline for an agreement.

Not sure what to make of this, but LendingTree said Millennials in Memphis, Milwaukee and St. Louis are seeking auto loans more often than their counterparts in any of the nation’s Top 50 cities.

NADA said approximately 31 percent of all trade-ins had negative equity in the last quarter, a better than two percent gain over the first quarter of 2015. This is caused in large part to the decline in used car prices, which means your car is worth less come trade in time. A higher rate of depreciation, combined with increasingly longer loan terms, means it will take consumers longer to reach a point of positive equity in new vehicle loans. The concern among experts is, this will weaken new car sales down the road. J.D. Power is forecasting just a 2 percent gain this year, and only 1 percent 2017.






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