Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Automotive Reporter/Biz News for Wk of 6-8-15

It’s Tuesday.
I usually publish on Monday’s, but ‘tis the season for graduations and grand parties, and to be honest, there was no time for blog posts over the weekend. My niece was feted at our home by her aunts in celebration of her high school graduation. Sounds simple enough, but there was much preparation required in the past week to be ready for that event.

The Birthday Boy: Gerald Clanton
My father, Gerald Clanton, turned 86 on Thursday, and we managed to stretch that celebration all the way through Sunday, as is the custom in our family. My wife’s birthday has been elevated over the years to a month-long jubilee. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

If I possessed boundless resources, I would have purchased my Dad one of these: A retro version of the current Mazda MX-5 NC as rendered by Mitsuoka Coachbuilders in Japan. 

The company is actually going to produce and market these automobiles later this Summer in the UK, but has no plans to bring them to the US. Starting sticker price: $82,000.

What goes zoom-zoom, only louder, and creates about 102-hp per liter of displacement?
It’s not a trick question. 

Ford is building an all new 5.2-liter V-8 for its Shelby GT 350 Mustang, featuring some pretty impressive engineering. Ford says it’s the most powerful naturally-aspirated road-going V-8 in the company’s history.

Here are the specs: 526-hp, 429-ft/lb of torque, and a redline of 8,250 rpm.
How do they do that?
The engine uses a “flat crankshaft” to trim weight and allow for higher rpm’s.
Predictably, the new engine will generate a little more vibration—and a lovely V-8 sound, but Ford’s techies have also effectively dampened the effects of that flat crank to minimize the noise and shaking.

Summertime is traditionally the time for automakers to curtail production from diminished demand, but that’s not happening this year. In fact, Ford Motor Company is shortening its usual, two week summer shut down to just one week, effectively adding capacity to meet demand for its most popular trucks and SUV’s. 

Ford estimates that will increase its production by about 40,000 units.
Ford F-150 pickups are selling in an average of 20-days on dealer lots. The new-edition Ford Edge’s are turning in an average of 10-days.

The automobile design industry is going to the dogs. Literally.
Subaru is partnering with the Center for Pet Safety to continue its pet safety and crash testing program. 

Subaru says 56% of American’s travel with their pets, many of them sitting on our laps. You wouldn’t let your two year old do that—so why endanger your pet?

The company is also engaging MGA Research Corporation to help with the testing of crash harnesses for dogs. The companies will use crash test doggie dummies. 
What’s it like?
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