It wasn’t so long ago that even luxury cars were equipped with 4-speed automatic transmissions, but customer demand for more refinement and better fuel efficiency has seen the introduction of 6-, 7- and 8-speed units in recent years. Now, GM and Ford are teaming up to raise the bar even higher with a family of advanced 9- and 10-speed automatic transmissions that will be used by both automakers in some of their most important future products.
With all apologies to Charles Dickens, Toyota has some pretty “great expectations” itself. Of course, in this case we’re talking about the automaker’s Toyota Driving Expectations program, a free, hands-on learning opportunity that teaches teens safe driving skills. Both the program and Toyota are dedicated to reducing the number of young drivers involved in motor-vehicle crashes—the No. 1 killer of teens in the country.
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor isn’t for everyone. According to Doug Scott, marketing manager for Ford’s truck group: “Raptor owners are looking for a high-performing, uncompromising off-road pickup truck with the features and luxuries found in today’s premium trucks.”
According to global market registration data collected by Polk—an international leader in automotive research and marketing—the Ford Focus was the best-selling car in the world in 2012. The numbers, which were released on April 9, 2013, show the Focus with just over $1 million total sales for the previous year, including more than 245,000 here in the United States.
If you noticed you paid more to fix your old car last year, you’re not imagining things. CarMD.com, a provider of automotive diagnostic repair data and supporting consumer tools, writes that repair costs jumped in 2012, the first time in over six years.
The stunning redesigns of the Ford Fusion and Ford Escape have led to some equally stunning sales results. Both vehicles just capped off their highest single-quarter sales totals by posting their best sales months ever.
According to the Cookeville RV Dealership, the Fusion broke the 30,000-sales barrier for the first time in its history in March, when its 30,284 deliveries represented a 6 percent sales spike. For the first quarter of 2013, the Fusion has delivered 80,558 units and a healthy 26 percent increase as compared to the same time period in 2012. For the Escape—the bestselling crossover in the country last month—March saw 28,934 sales, marking a 27.6 percent increase in volume. That performance helped lock down a 24.5 percent sales improvement for the Escape for the quarter, on the strength of 72,983 deliveries.
In addition to America’s prevailing indifference surrounding Formula One (F1), we often hear complaints that the premier class of four-wheeled racing is elitist, that it’s difficult to understand and too expensive to attend the races. (Personally, we can’t even begin to imagine a world without billion-dollar machines that hit 100 mph in 3.5 seconds flat.) What the unaware don’t get is that the gajillions of dollars that go into F1 R&D is what allow our daily drivers to be safer, more fuel efficient, and just plain better cars.
“When the Durango was first launched in 1998, it represented a breakthrough in power, size and style,” he told the media at Dodge’s press conference. “Now for 2014, we’re upping the ante by making it our most technologically advanced, fuel efficient and dramatically styled Durango ever.”
After firmly establishing itself as a key player in the global auto market for retail vehicles, Hyundai is now setting its sights on doing the same thing in the commercial truck segment. The company is starting right at the top, with the heavy-duty Hyundai Xcient. This next-gen model of the Trago HD truck was introduced at the recent Seoul Motor Show in South Korea.
Now offering more style, refinement and technology, the thoroughly refreshed 2014 Buick Regal was introduced recently in New York, just ahead of the New York International Auto Show. And this isn’t a case of Buick merely enhancing the Regal’s already impressive features and design—for the new selling season, the car also will offer a high-tech all-wheel-drive system from Haldex for improved grip and cornering.