Peter Sellers DB4GT at Hampton Concours of Elegance

An Aston Martin DB4GT once owned by Peter Sellers, and a prop of The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963), will join celebrations at this year’s Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace from 31 August-2 September. The special DB4GT joins \ other Aston Martin DB4 models in celebration of the model’s 60th anniversary.

A comedy crime caper revolving around a gang of criminals who impersonate policeman, the DB4GT provided a getaway vehicle for the thieves. The DB4GT led a high-speed chase through Uxbridge Moor, followed by a Wolseley 6/90 police car. Post-filming, Peter Sellers himself took ownership of the car. Continue reading

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Ford Opens Corktown Station to Community as Mustang puts Camaro and GM on Trailer During Woodward Dream Cruise.

AutoInformed.com on Ford

An unexpected, under-publicized Corktown meeting.

Ford Motor Company during The Woodward Dream Cruise it clearly dominated with Mustang events and announcements also embraced Detroit’s Corktown community by inviting nearly 200 millennial leaders to participate in Reimagined Detroit Tech.

The event held on the Saturday of the Dream Cruise was billed as a day of design challenges, workshops and community building ideas focused on shaping the future of Detroit’s oldest neighborhood (Fastest Ever? 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet, Ford Releases Self-Driving Vehicle Safety Assessment, Ford to Unveil New Model During Woodward Dream Cruise Tomorrow. Mustang NASCAR Cup Edition Coming? )

AutoInformed.com on Woodward Dream Crusie - Ford versus Camaro and GM

Scant presence for GM as Mustang rules Dream Cruise.

Ford said that a diverse gathering of millennial tech and business talent explored new avenues to grow an inclusive tech and entrepreneur ecosystem in and around the iconic Michigan Central Station, the centerpiece of Ford’s new campus and a cornerstone of the company’s vision to become the world’s most trusted mobility company, whatever that means. Continue reading

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Back End of IMSA Season at VIR This Weekend

AutoInformed.com on IMSA

Happier results last year for the No. 3. Neither Garcia nor Magnussen claim to be desperate to win. Sports car racing observers know better. In the words of Roger Penske, “I didn’t come here to finish second.”

With the ending two or three races to the championship now under way in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on the eve of the next race at Virginia International Raceway things look good not great for Corvette. Right now, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia are four points out of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class points lead.

With three races left on the 2018 schedule starting with this Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute Michelin GT Challenge at VIRginia International Raceway, it’s officially “go for the juglar time” in the championship. For Magnussen and Garcia, who co-drive the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, their chief competition for the title has been the pair of entries from Ford Chip Ganassi Racing.

Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe currently lead the GTLM standings on the heels of their third victory of the season in the No. 67 Ford GT earlier this at Road America. Garcia and Magnussen are five points ahead of No. 66 Ford GT co-drivers Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller, who have won two of the last four GTLM races.

 This is going to be the class to watch. Continue reading

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Belle Isle Race to Continue for Three More Years

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The race return is the latest sign of the gradual recovery of the Detroit Three automakers as traditional and expensive marketing techniques are redeployed.

The Detroit Grand Prix and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) have reached an agreement for the annual motorsports celebration to continue Belle Isle for at least three more years.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Grand Prix will return to its home on Belle Isle for three more years beginning in 2019, with an option for extending the agreement two additional years through 2023. Continue reading

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Fastest Ever? 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet

AutoInformed.com on 2018 Mustang Cobra JetTalk about “run what you brung.” Ford Performance has debuted the quickest drag racing Mustang ever, capable of covering a quarter-mile in the low- to mid-eight-second range with a top speed of more than 150 mph.

The 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet is a limited-edition of 68 turnkey race cars that honors the 50th anniversary of the original that dominated drag strips in 1968. The new Cobra Jet makes its public debut this weekend at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise. Continue reading

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Ford Releases Self-Driving Vehicle Safety Assessment

Autonomous Vehicle Development Leaders - Courtesy Navigant Research

The race is on but favorites and winners have yet to emerge. Click to Enlarge.

Right after the announcement that NHTSA has asked SAE to develop guidelines for the safe development and use of upcoming self-driving vehicles, Ford Motor has released a report that outlines its approach to autonomous vehicle development. (See AutoInformed.com on SAE to Administer Autonomous Testing Program*)

The 44-page document, titled “A Matter of Trust,” details Ford’s “prioritization of safety” during self-driving vehicle development, as well as how the company is working with industry and government, and how it is applying the technology to solve the challenges our cities face. It’s partly technical but looks to be largely a marketing document design to sell self-driving vehicles to potential buyers. Continue reading

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Ford Launches with Alibaba Cloud Autonomic in China

AutoInformed.com on connected vehicles

Photo left to right: Simon Hu, president of Alibaba Cloud; Liu Fei, director of Automobile Division, Alibaba Cloud; Gavin Sherry, CEO and co-founder of Autonomic; Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president.

Autonomic, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, and Alibaba Cloud, the computing arm of Alibaba Group yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to bring to China the Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC).

Ford boasts – without evidence – that it’s the world’s foremost transportation and mobility solution for connected vehicles developed by Autonomic. It’s certainly the latest – TMC – acronym in the “let’s not speak English” division of the auto industry. Continue reading

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Rain Shortens Fourth Annual Roadkill Nights – Street-legal Drag Racing on Woodward Avenue

AutoInformed.com on Roadkill Nights 2018

Okay so it was Roadkill day...

It’s an old, but now legal tradition. This year’s Roadkill Nights (Powered by Dodge) attracted more than 44,000 enthusiasts from around the country to watch and participate in legal street racing on historic Woodward Avenue.

 A total of 128 street-legal cars were on a specially prepped 1/8-mile drag strip on Woodward Avenue between Rapid Street and South Boulevard to compete in high-powered drag racing for cash prizes. Heavy rains ended the races early, so 16 total finalists split $20,000 in cash prizes. Continue reading

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Ford to Unveil New Model During Woodward Dream Cruise Tomorrow. Mustang NASCAR Cup Edition Coming?

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Ford is the first big automaker to have carbon fiber wheels as standard equipment on Shelby GT350R Mustang.

As a sponsor of the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise, Ford Motor will announce a new production vehicle. The Cruise, aka America’s largest annual celebration of automotive history and culture, is an ideal place to build on the momentum created last week by the 10 millionth Mustang celebration (Milestones – Production of 10 Millionth Mustang, New Camaro Z/28 Priced at $75,000) and the announcement that Mustang will return to NASCAR Cup racing next February (Mustang Running in NASCAR Cup Starting at Daytona 500).

AutoInformed opines that the time is right for a NASCAR edition production Mustang. On display at the Mustang celebration over the rumble of V8 engines, was the strength and depth of fans and owners of America’s original Pony Car. The one that created a stampede of street machines that continues to this day. ( 8/17: Well we were wrong – or at least prematurely right – no production NASCAR edition just yet. Instead a more targeted Mustang Cobra Jet that isn’t street legal – see  Fastest Ever? 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet) Continue reading

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Profits of Trucks – Tahoe, Suburban Premier Plus Models

Chevrolet is expanding the availability of the 6.2L V8 engine within its full-size SUV lineup by introducing the Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus special editions. Perhaps they should call it the profit packing editions.

“Our customers have shown strong demand for both Tahoe and Suburban with the 6.2L V-8 option,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Trucks Marketing and Advertising. “Thirty-six percent of all Chevy full-size SUV special edition models are now sold with this engine. Premier Plus gives both Suburban and Tahoe customers another option to choose from with several added premium touches.” They start at +$75,000.

Nowhere in the release does Chevrolet note the fuel mileage of the gas gulpers: Suburban and Tahoe both 14 mpg city. Continue reading

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Can New Ferrari CEO Camilleri Meet Marchionne’s Targets?

AutoInformed.com on FerrariUnlike many automakers, Ferrari had a solid second quarter – at €0.84 or $0.98 per share, beating Wall Street analysts’ estimate of €0.80. This was 17% higher than its adjusted EPS of €0.72 in Q2 2017. The Italian Sports car and racing company reaffirmed its 2018 outlook as well. The second-quarter results on small volume sales shames much larger automakers such as FCA, Ford Motor and General Motors. (See AutoInformed.com on Sergio Marchionne Dead at 66, Ferrari 70th Anniversary – 125 S Drives Around Maranello)

During Q2, Ferrari (RACE) reported net revenue of €9.6 million (or, gasp $1.05 billion). Its revenue fell 1.6% from €920 million in the same quarter of 2017. Its shipments to all its major markets rose year-over-year. Globally, it shipped 2,463 cars to customers, +6% over 2,332 units shipped in Q2 2017 and higher than 2,128 units shipped in the first quarter of 2018. Continue reading

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Autonomous Vehicle Market – CAGR of 39.47% 2019-2026

AutoInformed.com on Toyota Autonomous Vehicle 2.0

A lot of industry work is on making the ugly AV sensors smaller or invisible.

According to a study by Allied Market Research the global autonomous vehicle market is expected to be valued at $54.23 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $556.67 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 39.47% from 2019 to 2026.

Currently, the North America dominates the market, followed by Europe. In 2019, the U.S. is expected to remain dominant in the North America market, while the UK is projected to lead the overall market in Europe. NHTSA says the U.S. lost 37,461 friends and neighbors, colleagues and family members to traffic crashes in 2016. Nearly as many in 2017.

Continue reading

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SAE to Administer Autonomous Testing Program

AutoInformed.com on LIDAR and Autonomous Vehicles

A leap in the dark?

NHTSA has asked SAE International to develop Autonomous vehicle safety testing protocols and guidelines. SAE formally announced this Automated Driving Systems (ADS) Safety Performance Testing Program at the end of last month during CAR’s annual Management Briefing Seminar in Northern Michigan. The initiative establishes a network with SAE, government, industry and researchers to develop and create new standards for AV testing.

The program is long, long overdue with Google and automakers such as Daimler, GM, Ford and FCA – among others – are well underway to turning loose on the untrained public semi-automated and fully automated vehicles. Waymo – the Google driverless car will be in service in Arizona this fall. Apple is expanding its fleet of driverless vehicles in California. Continue reading

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Mustang Running in NASCAR Cup Starting at Daytona 500

AutoInformed.com on NASCAR - Ford Mustang 2019

The Mustang does look somewhat like the street version. What happens on high speed ovals remains to be seen as NASCAR rules are highly flexible and sponsor oriented.

Ford today revealed its all-new Mustang NASCAR Cup race car; the first time Mustang will attempt to compete in NASCAR’s top-level Cup racing series starting at the 2019 Daytona 500 in February. Mustang has been competing full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2011 and has won a championship in all but one season.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won back-to-back driver’s championships in 2011 and 2012, while Roger Penske has claimed the owner’s title in four of the last five years.

Mustang’s first official competition was in 1964 when it won – against smart money – the Tour de France Automobile, a 4,000 mile, 10-day rally. Soon after, it began racing legacy in SCCA Trans-Am. IMSA, NHRA, Formula Drift and NASCAR Xfinity – NASCAR’s second tier series followed as Ford wandered in and out and back into racing over the decades. Continue reading

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JMC, Ford Develop Territory in China

AutoInformed.com on JMC Territory

C-Max replacement or early 21st century  JMC Chinese station wagon?

Ford today shared the first images of the new Territory, a mid-size SUV developed together with its joint venture partner, Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC). The partnership largely benefited from JMC’s insights into Chinese customers’ tastes.

Ford was along for the ride with its engineering, testing and manufacturing knowledge. The move comes as the Mustang is the last passenger car due to be produced by Ford in the U.S. The cross-over market globally is the fastest growing among vehicle segments. The new Ford Territory is part of Ford’s China 2025 plan to launch more than 50 new vehicles in the country by 2025. Continue reading

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