Auto News for Oct. 20 – 1,479 Horsepower & Tesla’s Autonomy

bugatti

 The October edition of “Car” magazine has a must read article on what it is like to drive the world’s soon to be fastest car – the Bugatti Chiron. Think 1,479 horsepower and a 13.6 second run to 186 miles per hour, or the time it takes a Hyundai Accent to reach 62 mph. Top speed is up to 279 mph and the speedometer goes to 310, but the Chiron does not go that fast – yet. Bugatti is shooting for 500 kph and that works out to 310 mph and change. Prices start at $2 million plus. “Car” said that would be enough to get Elton John to play at your wedding. The article, by the way, is by Georg Kacher, in my mind, the best auto writer in the business right now.

 Many may ask why Bugatti would want to produce such a car? Here is why: “It is part of human nature to cross boundaries and set new records – to run 100 m faster than ever before, to fly even further into space and to enter new realms. This striving is also our driving force at Bugatti. The Chiron is the result of our efforts to make the best even better. Bugatti has tested the limits of physics. There is no area where we have not achieved significant improvements,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, President Bugatti Automobiles. 

 Tesla announced last night that all of its vehicles will have full self-driving technology, including the upcoming Model 3, but not right away. Tesla said before activating the features it will further test some of the existing hardware. So, Teslas with first-generation hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available including automatic emergency breaking, collision warning lane holding and active cruise control. “As these features are robustly validated, we will enable them over the air, together with a rapidly expanding set of entirely new features,” the company said. As Bloomberg pointed out, there is a need for further data on how autonomous technology performs and how drivers use them. Last week Germany asked Tesla to drop the term Autopilot in case it was causing some operators to reduce their attention behind the wheel. In short, the technology is simply not ready yet to allow the driver’s seat to go unoccupied.

 Check MotorTrend.com to see a picture of the refreshed and camouflaged 2018 Mustang. MT said the new one may feature the 10-speed automatic tranny developed jointly by Ford and GM.

 Hawaii, at $2.87 a gallon, is the nation’s most expensive market for retail gasoline. California at $2.78 comes in second, while Washington ($2.71), Alaska ($2.63), Oregon ($2.52) and Nevada ($2.51) rank as the nation’s top six most expensive markets, according to AAA. The West Coast is the only region in the country with prices above $2.50. New Jersey has the least expensive gas prices, just $2.02 a gallon on average.

 Nissan is expected to take a controlling 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors by year’s end, and numerous reports say Carlos Ghosn will be Mitsu’s new chairman when, as Kenny Rogers once put it, “the deal is done.” Ghosn is currently chairman of both Nissan and Renault. Mitsubishi’s current chairman and president, Osamu Musuko will retain his title of president. Bloomberg said the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance will be the fourth largest in the auto industry.

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