Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Automotive Reporter/Biz News for Wk of 5-11-15

If you’re a military veteran, you may want to enlist with the General.
General Motors is offering all U.S. Veterans and their spouse an instant discount on any GMC Truck, crossover, or SUV purchase through June 30—regardless of separation date.

GM’s Military Discount Program has been in place since 2008. In 2014, more than 40-thousand active-duty, reserves, retired and veterans took advantage of the offer, which cuts the price to below the MRSP.

GM’s partnership with the military dates back to the War to End All Wars, when its trucks were chosen by the US Army to replace horses and mules. Details on the GM Military Discount can be reviewed here.

GMC "Duck"

GMC delivered its first “Ducks” to the U.S. Army in 1943. "A unique central tire inflation system allowed the driver to adjust tire pressure from his seat. Higher pressure made the craft navigable on pavement; lower pressure provided better flotation and traction on soft ground, such as beaches."

Mom, c.1955
If looking at pictures of Mom from days gone by didn’t make you feel old this Mother’s Day, perhaps this factoid will: The first Dodge Viper was built 20-years ago! The Conner Avenue Assembly Plant has been hand-building the uber-muscle cars in an urban neighborhood of Detroit at a rate of one car every ten days. Dodge says it takes an average of up to 160-man hours to assemble each one.

For the 2016 Viper, aerodynamics, braking and tire technology will guarantee the car’s legacy on the street and on the track. An Extreme Aero package will create the highest aerodynamic downforce—1-ton at 177mph—of any production vehicle.

2016 Dodge Viper
Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes will feature 15.4-inch two-piece front rotors, and 14.2-inch rear rotors. The front brakes will use six-piston calipers; the rear brakes will utilize four-piston calipers.

What kind of tires do Viper owners put on their cars? Any kind they want, but the 2016 Vipers will roll off the assembly line on Kumho Ecsta V-720 high-performance tires. Dodge says the new tires produced lap times 1.5-seconds faster than off-road only race tires in their testing.

“This car is not a 1-3 lap track special," says Tim Kuniskis, President and Chief Executive Officer – Dodge Brand and SRT Brand, FCA – North America. "You can run the car at the track all day, and the performance doesn’t fall off,” he says. “Our goal is to arm our enthusiasts with the ultimate Viper track car to dominate road courses around the world,” says Kuniskis.

 Just when you thought the incredibly sexy Audi TT’s good looks and performance couldn’t get any better, the styling wizards at the Audi Skunkworks have added wider parts, a rear wing that actually works, and filled the engine compartment with enough enhancements to produce 600-hp. 
I’m in love.

Audi is debuting the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo this week (May 13-16, 2015) at Worthersee Tour in Reifnitz, Austria. Allow me to quote from the press release:

“The Audi TT Clubsport Turbo has a power-boosted 2.5 TFSI engine with very impressive performance data. From 2,480 cc of displacement, the five-cylinder engine produces 600 hp and 479.4 lb-ft of torque, the latter from 3,000 to 7,000 rpm. This means that it produces 176 kW (240 hp) and 260 Nm (191.8 lb-ft) per liter of displacement. Power is transferred via a manual six-speed transmission.”

Audi promises the car will achieve 100km/h (62.1-mph) in 3.6-seconds. One of the secrets of that kind of performance is in the electronic turbo. Again, quoting from the release: 

“In the lower engine speed range, the electrically driven compressor boosts torque by up to 200 Nm (147.5 lb-ft). A dedicated 48‑volt electrical sub-system supplies electrical energy to the turbocharger. A compact lithium-ion battery in the luggage compartment stores the energy that is generated by recuperation when coasting.”
Brains and brawn.

Death Trap: 1959 Chevy Bellaire

What happens when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wastes a perfectly good 1959 Chevrolet Bellaire by crashing it head-on into a 2009 Chevy Malibu? 

I know, I know, that’s like apples to oranges. And that’s the point. The video clip shows how modern automotive technology saves lives…and exposes the cars of yesteryear for the death traps they truly were.
Drive safely.

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