AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The week is drawing to a close and while that can mean several things, most importantly (of course), it’s time for another installment of Ask AutoGuide, the information superhighway’s most exciting semi-regular feature. Beating the competition to market with mildly informative and generally accurate content is the name of the game. Our skilled geniuses are ready to spread their expertise like frosting on a sheet cake; just scoop it out of the tub and smear it all around.
While not quite segment leading, the new numbers are near the top of the pack, with the entry-level 160 hp 2.0-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder rated at 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway with the six-speed manual, and 29 mpg combined.
Available after launch will be a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbocharged 4-cylinder (shared with the Fiat 500 Abarth) also making 160 hp mated to a dual-clutch transmission making 27 mpg city and 39 mpg highway, though it will still get a 29 mpg combined rating. Dodge also plans to launch a fuel economy package “aero” version of the Dart with “at least” 41 mpg highway, which will arrive in the the Fall.
In addition, Dodge will offer a 184 hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder model, though no fuel economy numbers have been announced for that package yet.
The 2013 Dodge Dart will go on sale in June starting from $15,995.
GALLERY: 2013 Dodge Dart
Discuss this story at DartForums.com
A series of very public Li-ion defect related incidents have caused the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) decision to hold a meeting with automakers and battery suppliers with regards to the safety of the new technology.
Mercedes-Benz revealed images and a video of its latest Concept Style Coupe design study earlier this week, but the concept’s rollout accelerated as the Mercedes CSC exhibit headlined yesterday’s Transmission LA:AV Club at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles.
A 17-day art event featuring concerts, DJ nights, performances and installations, the Transmission LA:AV Club is curated by Mike D of the iconic Beastie Boys rap group. While the Mercedes-Benz CSC concept only officially bows at next week’s Beijing Motor Show, this LA sneak preview provided a welcome closer look at the car.
10. 2012 Mazda CX-5
Ward’s Auto has released its top 10 picks for best interior in 2012 today, though in no particular order. Here they are with brief notes on each car’s engine specs and starting price.
The 2012 Mazda CX-5 crossover is powered by 2.0-liter Skyactiv inline four cylinder that makes 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque with a starting MSRP of $20,695 with front-wheel drive.
The Facebook game gives users and four of his or her friends the opportunity to create a short virtual trip in the new Ford electric vehicle, using MapQuest mapping data to calculate how far a destination is in relation to available charging stations nearby.
Ford Focus Electric marketing manager Chad D’Arcy says, “This is a great way for consumers to both have fun and learn about the new Focus Electric at the same time. We want to offer people the opportunity to experience the car now, especially those on Facebook who have supported us for so long.”
In response to these trends, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has conducted a study revealing the proposed 54.5 mpg CAFE standards for 2025 will cause a significant increase in the technology as well as the cost required to build vehicles and, in turn, increase the price for each vehicle. As a result, many potential new-car buyers will be forced out of the market.
According to estimates calculated by the Environmental Protection Agency and NHTSA, the efficiency standards will cause the average retail price of passenger cars and light trucks to increase by nearly $3,000 by 2025. NADA’s study, “The Effect of Proposed MY 2017-2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards on the New Vehicle Market Population,” states that the price hike may be too much for approximately 7 million lower income consumers, such as college students and working families, as they may no longer qualify for auto financing to purchase the more expensive vehicles.
Regarding the 2025 CAFE requirements, Ford dealership owner Don Chalmers said during the NADA press briefing, ”To work, fuel economy improvements must be affordable. While you can mandate what automakers must build, you can’t dictate what customers will buy, nor can you dictate if a bank will make a loan.”
Chalmers continued, “If my customers can’t buy what I’ve got to sell, there are no savings at the gas pump and there is no environmental benefit. If car and truck buyers do not purchase these new products, we all lose.”
Doug Greenhaus, NADA chief regulatory counsel for environment, health, and safety, summed up the sentiment and suggested that the government must better understand the impact of the proposed CAFE regulations on consumers and auto lending before proposing the lofty mpg mandates. Greenhaus urged, “Disregarding vehicle affordability will undermine the environmental and national security benefits the administration is seeking. The proposed MY 2017-2025 fuel economy rules should be deleted until there is a more accurate picture of how prospective buyers will react.”
Despite the commitment of many automakers to go green, consumers do not share the sentiment. According to a Polk study released today, almost two-thirds of U.S. hybrid buyers do not return to the market for another hybrid.
From surveys recorded since 2008, customer loyalty ratings for hybrids have been inconsistent. While the loyalty rate for hybrids are at 22 percent now, loyalty once reached 41.8 percent during the second quarter of 2009. By the fourth quarter of 2010, the rate had fallen to 26.4 percent, but had risen back to a total of 35 percent for 2011.
Ford Motor Company has announced a recall of 140,310 model-year 2012 Ford Focus vehicles built through Oct. 18 in the Wayne, Michigan Assembly plant over a potential windshield wiper defect.
According to Ford, a seal plug on the passenger side windshield wiper motor electrical connector may be missing, causing water to fall into the motor and a short in the unit.
Ford’s recall entails the installation of a redesigned seal plug and dealers will re-coat grease for electrical connectors to ensure wipers are protected and functioning.
Ford told dealers to begin the recall on Tuesday and notified affected owners on Friday.
To get people excited about the new, topless Roadster, MINI has opened up a live peep show on Hollywood Blvd, just a block away from the Kodak and Chinese Theatres.
A tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign for 25 days, curious passersby will get to feast their eyes on some MINI action after pressing a button on the display, triggering the window blinds to roll back to reveal a roadster showing off on a slowly rotating pedestal, complete with neon lights, a disco ball, smoke effects, and music to set the mood.
Vice President of MINI USA explained, “The new MINI Roadster is a devilishly fast, uncompromising two-seater soft-top with the soul of a sports car and the heart of a MINI. Our Peepshow reveal in this prime Los Angeles location sets the scene perfectly for our latest model which delivers more fun than one person can handle with its exhilarating ride and unlimited headroom.”