Sunday, September 13, 2015

Automotive Reporter Biz News for Wk of 9-14-15

What do you get when you cross a dirt bike with a Nissan 240-Z? Take a peak.
This week’s Frankfurt Motor Show will reveal the latest Frankensteinian creation from the Skunkworks in Yokohama, Japan as Nissan’s Gripz Concept Crossover is rolled out for the first time.

The automotive rumor mill is guessing the Gripz might be a replacement for the Juke, but why change what’s already working well for Nissan? 

The company’s press office says the Gripz represents “a new sporty direction for a Crossover concept and was conceived to create an innovative new driving sensation.”
Can’t wait to get my hands on one!

Your next new automobile could be more like an automaton than you think. Volvo is among ten manufacturers which are voluntarily adopting Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking as standard features on their products within the next five years. General Motors is also jumping on the bandwagon in committing to calls from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Institute for Highway Safety for such improvements in automobile safety.

Volvo wants regulators to include the safety system in the 5-Star Crash Rating system that compares new cars’ relative safety rankings. GM offers the Forward Collision Alert system in 32 of its vehicles, and  in 19 also offers Automatic Emergency Braking. 

Volvo first introduced Automatic Emergency Braking on the the XC60 in 2009, and made the feature standard on all of its models in 2014. Volvo’s “Vision 2020 Statement” sets a standard of having no one killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo vehicle by 2020.

General Motors is joining the ranks of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)—the only US automaker to be so listed. The Index grades companies for environmental, economic, and social sustainability performance and disclosure. 

Volkswagen Group is also listed in the DJSI this year, and is considered the top performer with a score of 91 out of a possible 100-points.The grading is conducted by sustainability investment firm RobeccoSAM, which recognizes companies which are best-equipped for long term success as measured against sustainability risks and opportunities. RobeccoSAM analyzed over 1,800 companies this year.

While achieving great marks for sustainability, Volkswagen also produced some winning vehicles, including a new Golf GTI to commemorate the car’s 40th anniversary. The Golf GTI ClubSport will be introduced this week at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, with a 265 PS Special Edition.

Volkswagen says the ClubSport is the most powerful production Golf ever, with an overboost function that pushes horsepower from 265- to 290-PS for up to ten seconds. That translates into a zero-to-62/mph time of 5.9-seconds. Hence the snappy decal on the side of the car. The 6-speed automatic version promises 34.8/mpg. Those innovative Germans!

Never underestimate the value of product placement in a movie. But not just any movie. Aston Martin continues its 50-year association with the James Bond movie franchise, and is teasing us with a few scenes from the upcoming “Spectre” installment.

The YouTube clip features “Spectre” stunt driver Mark Higgins behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB-10. His wheelwork is most impressive…if not artistic.

Aston Martin developed the DB-10 exclusively for the newest 007 film, making only ten examples to commemorate the automaker’s 50-year association with the genre. 

The first Aston Martin featured in a James Bond flick was the iconic DB-5.
“Spectre” opens November 6.

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