Ford GT v Porsche 911 v Acura NSX at Virginia International in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Racing Championship

AutoInformed.com on Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and Pfaff Motorsports Porsche IMSA GT 2019

“In terms of how we’ve won the last two races, we’re hoping for more of the same at VIR,” said Ford driver Ryan Briscoe of Ganassi. “Hopefully, our consistency can pay off again.”

IMSA is wrapping up this summer racing season this weekend at Virginia International Raceway with five series and seven races scheduled over the three days.  The Michelin GT Challenge will have the second and final GT-class showdown between the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM and GTD classes. It’s live Sunday, August 25 on NBCSN at 1:30 p.m. ET, as well as follow live flag-to-flag coverage on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App. Qualifying will also be streamed live Saturday starting at 12:25 p.m. on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.

The GT teams are particularly entertaining because the cars they drive look like the cars wealthy people can buy. Watch Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and Pfaff Motorsports to see how they do. Both are on a run. Continue reading

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Chevrolet 2020 Bolt EV – 259 Miles of Range Claimed

AutoInformed.com on 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Energy Assist allows customers to view and search for scarce charging stations.

Starting with model year 2020, the Chevrolet Bolt EV will offer an EPA-estimated 259 miles of range on a full charge, a 21-mile increase over previous models. Be aware – as always – actual range will vary based on temperature, terrain, battery age and how a driver uses and maintains the Bolt.

Through Q2 2019 – the latest GM data available – Chevy has sold 8,281Volts compared to 7,858 for the same period a year earlier. Critics/cynics say this is an expensive hobby, not a business.
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Execs Changed at Changan Ford China JV. European Transformation Ongoing

Ford Motor Company today announced that Steven Armstrong, 55, who is chairman, Ford of Europe, has been named president of the Changan Ford joint venture in China. Armstrong succeeds Nigel Harris, 58, who is  retiring from Ford at the end of 2019 after 34 years with the company.

Stuart Rowley was named president, Ford of Europe back on April 1, when Steve Armstrong was named Chairman of Ford Europe (and Ford had both there as it was undergoing its latest  transformation plan strategy work – Ford Shakes up European and International Markets as CFO Shanks Retires. Restructuring Continues as Stock Languishes). Stuart is now leader in Europe without the Chairman title. The new role for Armstrong will be effective 1 October. He will report to Ford China President and CEO Anning Chen.

Sales of Chongqing-based Changan Automobile dropped in July continuing a trend. During the seven months of 2019, sales dropped more than 60% compared to the same period a year earlier. Continue reading

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Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Sets Meaningless Record

AutoInformed.com on Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Getting Dirty in Sweden

Porsche keeps truckin’ along.

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid has demonstrated its on-road and off-road performance with a very special “record” (sorry, German humor). As part of a film shoot, the most powerful Cayenne ever clocked a hand-stopped time of 3:51 minutes around the Swedish Gotland Ring. The track is still under construction and partly paved. Continue reading

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Stout Scarab Minivan Joins Concours of Elegance 2019

AutoInformed.com on 1936 Stout Scarab Minivan

Chrysler Airflow stablemate?

A 1936 Stout Scarab – one of nine made Stout Scarab – with a questionable claim to be the world’s first production ‘minivan’ – will be on display at Concours of Elegance in September.

The Scarab was the creation of automotive and  aviation engineer William Bushnell Stout. Inspired by ‘futurist’ architect and designer Buckminster Fuller and his tear-drop creation: the Dymaxion, Stout saw the Scarab as a production phenomenon in an age of uninspiring automotive design. Continue reading

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My Friend Jim Dunne

In some circles he was considered an outlaw, but as a hired gun he took the best spy shot I ever saw. Jim Dunne sitting in the driver’s seat of what was likely his deliberately bland white Chevy Caprice took a photo off of his outside mirror of a line of cars undergoing testing on a public road. In focus in the lead car was Dave Hill driving, then chief engineer of the Corvette, followed by a line of prototype Corvettes. (I hope this photo re-emerges as people remember his passing yesterday.)

It had it all – Detroit Royalty surprised, hot cars, and a globally saleable glamour shot. Yes, Jim Dunne had it – he was the sine qua non of an entire category of journalism – automotive spy photography.

Here’s typical Dunne back in 2013 in AutoInformedPony Car Wars – 2015 Mustang Mule Posted on 30 April 2013 by Jim Dunne:

AutoInformed.com

Though covered to the extreme, the photo does show some of Mustang’s plans for the 2015 model.

 “It takes from two to four years to develop a completely new car for production, and automakers like to pretend they can do it faster than others can. The process takes place in steps, with early prototypes using selected future-car chassis parts and body sections in current model mules. Later, as full body metal is developed and approved, finished cars – fully disguised by paint patterns or canvas – appear for testing. Continue reading

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Honda Database Leaks 134M Rows of Employee Data

An exposed database at Honda allowed anyone to see which systems on its network were vulnerable to unpatched security flaws, potentially giving hackers insider knowledge of the company’s weak points.

The server contained 134 million rows of employee systems data from the company’s endpoint security service, containing technical details of each computer and device connected to the internal network. Affected by the White Hat probe were locations in Japan, USA, Mexico, and the UK. Continue reading

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New Audi Customers Offered Seven Silvercar Rental Car Days

AutoInformed.com on Silvercar by AudiAudi of America announced today a new customer program, “Always Audi.” Customers – apparently, they are scarce – who purchase or lease a 2019 or newer Audi A4, A5 Cabriolet, Audi Q5 or Audi Q7 will receive seven rental days, which can be used individually, with Silvercar at no additional cost.

Silvercar is the fledgling all-Audi, car rental service available in 26 Silvercar locations nationwide. Program marks industry first for the so-called premium market by in Audi’s view proving a “customer experience linking ownership and on-the-go transportation needs.” Continue reading

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EVs ‘Normal Now’ Claims Electrify America

AutoInformed.com on EVsElectrify America, a fast-charging provider for electric vehicles today launched its newest marketing campaign titled “Normal Now.” The digital campaign will kick off nationwide with a new informational website – www.NormalNow.com – as well as online videos, streaming TV ads, digital banner ads, social media ads, paid search, and streaming audio and podcast.

The “Normal Now” campaign aims to introduce and normalize zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) for the vast majority of Americans who are not aware of or have never considered switching to a zero-emission vehicle.
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Penske’s Will Power Wins Pocono Demolition Derby

AutoInformed.com on IndyCar

Pole-sitter Josef Newgarden, #2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet V6 (l to r); Simon Pagenaud, #22 Penske Truck Rental Team Penske Chevy V6; and race winner #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevy – Will Power.

Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 won a rain-shortened NTT IndyCar Series ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania yesterday. The victory marked the 13th consecutive season that Power has won at least one race, a streak that dates to the 2007 Champ Car World Series season.

It was only a couple of miles into what was supposed to be a 500-mile race at the Pocono tri-oval, when a bonehead move by Takuma Sato eliminated five contenders. The restart 45 minutes later pretty much determined the outcome in a thunderstorm shortened race that purported to be professional racing. Thus far Sato has not been penalized for causing a life-threatening accident.
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Toyota Recalls New Camry Models for Bad Airbags

AutoInformed.com on Toyota Camry

Software continues to affect to performance of hardware – not always to the driver’s  or passenger’s benefit.

Toyota Motor is recalling some 2019 Camry vehicles blowing up.  for a programming defect that  prevents front airbags from inflating. The Occupant Classification System (OCS) “may have been improperly calibrated, which may prevent the proper deployment of the front passenger air bag and knee air bag, in the event of a crash.”

Dealers have been instructed to comply with the law and stop selling affected cars in inventory.* Continue reading

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July Global Vehicles Sales Drop More Than 3M

AutoInformed.com on July Global Light Vehicle Sales

Everywhere you look the economy is fragile and likely headed for a recession.

July global light vehicle (LV) sales fell 1.5% in year-on-year (YoY) terms in July, but the selling rate rose to 92.5 mn units/year, from 92.1 mn units/year in June, according to consultancy LMC.

Sales performance was mixed, with good results in some regions counterbalanced by weakness elsewhere. There was YoY growth in the USA, Western Europe, Japan and South America, but the US selling rate was lower than in June, while Western Europe was propped up by Germany. Continue reading

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Carvana Launches First Vending Machine in California

AutoInformed.com on Carvana Los Angeles

All Carvana vehicles come with a 7-day return policy.

Carvana (NYSE: CVNA), an e-commerce platform for buying and selling used cars, unveiled its newest Car Vending Machine today, located in the Westminster area of Los Angeles. The newest addition stands eight stories high and holds 30 vehicles, offering a unique pickup experience for those who purchase a vehicle on Carvana.com.

Customers that choose to pick up their vehicle at the Car Vending Machine are greeted by a Customer Advocate and receive a commemorative, oversized Carvana coin to activate the fully automated vending process, taking only minutes to complete the transaction compared to hours spent at the dealership. Continue reading

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Aston Martin Automotive Galleries and Lairs

AutoInformed.com on Aston Martin Automotive Galleries and Lairs

How the One Percent live…

Aston Martin today revealed a new design service for car enthusiasts and collectors. Aston Martin Automotive Galleries and Lairs, revealed at Pebble Beach, enables people to “create the perfect space for their car in a customer garage or a complete, luxury retreat.

“Automotive Galleries and Lairs is an opportunity for clients to work with the Aston Martin Design Team but also with renowned architects, focusing on those with local knowledge and an excellent understanding of the specifics of the brief,” said Aston. Continue reading

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All-New 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Mustang Unveiled

AutoInformed.com on Ford Performance aka Ford Racing

The previous Xfinity Mustang started racing full-time in 2011, winning the driver’s championship three times and the owner’s title on six occasions.

Ford Motor today revealed the all-new 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Mustang racecar. It’s part of Ford’s presence in race series around the world, from hot rods to stock cars to endurance racers.

The NASCAR Mustang marks the fifth all-new motorsports Mustang unveiled in the past year. It joins the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, National Hot Rod Association Funny Car division, Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, and grassroots Cobra Jet, which have all found their way to the winner’s circle in their respective forms of racing. Continue reading

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