Auto News for June 23 – A Surprise Guest!

It’s true! An Indiana meeting of the Rolls-Royce owners club that should draw more than 1,000 classic models will be joined by the “world’s largest plumbing manufacturer,” TOTO.
The vanity plate on the silver Audi caught my eye as the two of us, and about a thousand other motorists, rolled along at 30 mph under the speed limit on the Washington Beltway in late morning rush.
“NO PNDL” was the plate and it instantly triggered good feelings in my soul. A stick is always more fun to drive rather than an automatic, right?
Wrong! Bumper-to-bumper stop and go traffic for two-and-one-half-hours from Northern Virginia to home base in Maryland in the heart of the evening rush made me realize that my best friend was the smooth automatic in my test Kia. Well that and the excellent A/C that mitigated the 90+ degree heat and very high humidity that could be rung out of anyone’s shirt after more than 5 minutes exposure.
As semi after semi with their multi speed manual trannies inched along with me I thought, “Those guys must have left legs and ankles like a star defensive lineman in the NFL, or performer in WWE.”
BMW will introduce an “all-new” X3 on Monday at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The 2018 model is said to be larger, lighter and riding on a whole new platform.
Subaru announced that its refreshed 2018 Legacy will carry a starting price of $22,195, a gain of $200 over the 2017 model. The new Outback model starts at $25,895, an increase of $250. Both will arrive in dealer showrooms late this summer.

Ferrari GTB
The 3.9-liter twin turbo V8 that powers the Ferrari 488 GTB and other models has been named International Engine of the Year. This is only the second time that an engine has captured the top award two years in a row.
“The Ferrari V8 is all about amazing power delivery, precision, drive ability and a wonderful soundtrack, too. One day soon it’ll be a classic in its own right; indeed I think it is already,” said Tony Robinson, founder of the International Engine of the Year Awards. The power plant cranks out 661 horsepower and will propel the 488GTB to 60 in just 3.0 seconds.

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