Auto News for Oct. 12 – A Rolls-Royce of the Future & a Self Balancing Bike

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 A concept car named the “Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100” made its North American debut in Santa Monica, California. RR said it “defines the future of luxury mobility.”  It is a self-driving car, freeing drivers “of all effort and encumbrance.” The interior, or “Grand Sanctuary” has a centerpiece that is a “beautiful sofa” clothed “in the most opulent fabrics.” The “Grand Arrival” feature is said to create a stage “for our important passengers as they arrive at their ultimate destination. It is an expression of our intrinsic understanding of the possibilities for a true luxury brand and the desires of its customers.”

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 GM has confirmed that the Chevrolet Cruze will be available with a 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel and customers will be able to choose either a six speed manual or a nine speed automatic transmission. Chevy did not release any specs for the engine, but if it is the same as the one offered in the Equinox then it will be 236 lb-ft of torque and 136 horsepower. The diesel will first appear in the spring in the Cruze sedan, and later in the hatchback.

 Cars may not be exactly hot sellers, but SUV’s are and that is why General Motors is adding a third shift and 650 workers at its Spring Hill, Tennessee plant. It produces the Cadillac XT5 and the GMC Acadia.

Toyota is recalling 92,000 Prius models to fix a parking brake problem. The recall covers 2016 and 2017 models. It said the parking brake could become imperative and allow the vehicle to roll away and potentially become involved in a crash if it is not in Park while the ignition is on. If you own one of the recalled cars, look for a notice in the mail or check with your dealer.

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 If we can have self-driving cars, why not a self-balancing motorcycle? In the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 concept bike active assistance systems of the future will automatically balance the motorcycle both out on the road and when stationary. And because the bike has technology to prevent accidents and hazards, BMW said no helmet or other protective gear would be needed. Special glasses will allow operators to see critical operating information without looking down. Obviously, all this is way off in the future, but BMW said the “Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 stands for the ultimate riding experience. Liberated from the need to wear a helmet and protective clothing, the rider is able to enjoy the forces. Acceleration, wind and nature as in touch with the surrounding world, savoring every moment.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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