Sunday, February 08, 2015

The Automotive Reporter/Biz News for the Week of 2-9-15



FCS US LLP, the company formerly known as Chrysler Group, will have a major announcement this week from the Chicago Auto Show.
My sources tell me the Ram Brand is going to take the wraps off its latest offering.

How big a deal is it?
Remains to be seen, and that's the point.
You can catch it with the rest of the world this Thursday (2/12) at 2:30p Eastern/1:3op CST via this link.

If you bought one of those snappy, new Fiat Abarths this year, but haven't had the time (or a proper place) to wring it out, Fiat's Abarth Experience is hitting the road this week. The two-day drive events will launch from the mecca of road racing, Laguna Seca, in Salinas, CA, and scream through Texas twice--including a stop at MSR Houston in Angleton on April 27-28. 

Fiat 500 Abarth
The Abarth Track Experience is a performance adventure for Fiat 500 Abarth owners, "offering professional driving instruction sessions designed to maximize your driving skills on the street, strip, or track." The cost of the event is already included in the price you paid for your car, so might as well take advantage! (Hint: You'll need your VIN to register to participate.)

Ford Motor Company is so positive about its newly-designed, aluminum F-150 pick up truck, it loaned a pair to Barrick Gold USA, and said, 'go ahead, abuse them.'  The company did--and you can see how in this YouTube clip.

2015 Ford Aluminum F-150 Supercab
Barrick was so impressed with the trucks' abilities, they're initially ordering 35 new F-150's to replace older vehicles in their fleet. The company says its fleet trucks operating at its Nevada gold mine typically last only two years, and rack up over 100k miles. 

Barrick plans to eventually replace all of its current fleet--hundreds of trucks--with the new F-150 SuperCab 4x4's, powered by 3.5-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 engines.

Last week I told you about a little friendly competition that's underway among Microsoft X-Box gamers, all vying to design the livery for the all new 2016 Mazda MX-5. Nick Beard at Mazda USA tells me the submissions outpaced even his highest predictions.

2016 Mazda MX-5. Eau my.
"Just as is true with our enthusiasts, each entry was full of passion, thought, creativity and self-expression," Beard says. 

Mazda has narrowed the entries down to five finalists. Beard says the two final designs will be chosen by the fans of Forza and Mazda through the Xbox 360 and Xbox One platforms. The winner will be revealed at SXSW

"At this point I cannot anticipate the outcome," says Beard. "It is anyone’s race at this point." Beard did reveal more details about the smaller, lighter 2016 MX-5: The car will develop 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque from a 2.0L.
Zoom-zoom, indeed!

Dodge now boasts the fastest production sedan in the world, the 
Charger SRT Hellcat, and it's got video proof. The test car is all OEM, including the special Pirelli tires engineered to achieve 200mph+. 

2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Only in America can you pay cash for a car that can top 200mph--even though it will cost you nearly $64,000. 

That's way cheaper than the BMW M-5 (at $93,600), which has an engine that's electronically limited to hold you at 155mph. 
Where's the fun in that?

Listen to the Automotive Reporter Radio Show this weekend on or from our website.

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