Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Canadian Porsche 918 Spyder Plug-in Hybrid Up in Flames at Gas Station




Porsche's top of the line 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid supercar is among one of the most exotic vehicles built at the time. At a Caledon, Ontario Esso gas station this past Sunday night, one of two of those supercars in Canada became a subject for a tales of, "When Bad Things Happen to Good Cars". An over $900,000 supercar combining a 608-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8 engine with 285-horsepower worth of electric power, the Porsche 918 Spyder can run up to 214 miles per hour but could not outrun a tragic end.  

During what was suppose to be a routine fuel filling (something that should have been a little less frequent because of the 918 Spyder's plug-in hybrid drive system), accomplished Canadian investor and member of CBC's upcoming 2014/2015 season of Dragons' Den Michael Wekerie experienced a scary situation. By Wekerie's account, gasoline overfilled and spilled over the side of the vehicle. Wekerie attempted to clean up the fuel spill off the bodywork. Despite efforts, fuel had cascaded down the Porsche 918 Spyder side panels and tickled into the mid-mounted engine causing an immediate fire.

Extensively shaped by Carbon fiber body panels, the supercar plays host to one of the most extravagant uses of plug-in hybrid technology. Unfortunately, much of that performance engineering was burnt up on the vehicle. The fire quickly ignited the rear portion of Wekerie's Porsche 918 Spyder causing a major fire. After the fire was extinguished, what remained was a half-charred Porsche 918 Spyder supercar that Michael Wekerie explained was totalled. Pleasant news in the aftermath of the incident was Michael Wekerie and all others at the station escaped injuries. While the Esso sustained some damage to the fire, an astute station attendant following procedure shut down all the pumps the instant the fire occurred.

Wekerie owned his Porsche 918 Spyder for less than a month prior to the fire that led to its nearly million-dollar demise.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Retail 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Red Hot in Barrett-Jackson Sale



Plenty of classic and collectable cars were purchased at the recently-concluded 2014 Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction in Las Vegas. Selling everything from a Lamborghini Aventador to a 1964 Volkswagen Beetle, the three-day auction involved a vehicle suiting almost any taste going to a new home (With Barrett-Jackson collecting a healthy commission, of course). As always, American muscle car performance has driven the bidding to new heights. While past auctions had classic muscle attracting some high bids, this year's Las Vegas sale was topped by a brand-new model using 21st century technology to push performance to previously unmet plateaus for a production Mopar.

A 2015 model year tire melting two-door coupe, the all-new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat was part of Barrett-Jackson's primetime showcase at the auction. Also known as VIN 700001, the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat arriving for sale inside the Mandalay Bay Event Center was the first of its kind available for purchase. A super-powered 21st century muscle car, the Stryker Red-painted was the most potent Chrysler muscle car ever. The 707-horsepower 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 engine connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission has been proven to go a quarter mile in 10.68 seconds.

For a vehicle of immense power and acceleration, bidders were just as aggressive as the 2015 SRT Hellcat. Bidding rocketed into the six-figure range almost immediately on the lot. By the time the auctioneer dropped the hammer, the first retail available, the temptation to own the black and red keys of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat fired-up bidding to $825,000 US (working out to almost $1,167 per horsepower). With the electrifying bidding, The 2015 model year muscle car was scored as the most-expensive lot sold at the 2014 Las Vegas auction.

Less than the $1,000,000 bid that captured the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 earlier this year in Scottsdale, the SRT Hellcat successfully eclipse the $300,000 highest bid for the first available 2015 Ford Mustang GT. The over $825,000 sale is also more than double Friday's highest price for an early retail example of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. While one lucky bidder won the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, another winner of the sale is the charity Opportunity Village who receives all the proceeds of the auction. 

As is the case with all 2015 Dodge Challengers, the SRT Hellcat is Canadian-built at Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario manufacturing plant.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

An Expensive but Worthy Start to a Year: First Retail 2015 Corvette Stingray Fetches $400,000 in Las Vegas




At last year's Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, the first production version of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was a sought-after commodity. Selling six days after the sports car's introduction to the world, the newly-born automotive darling scaled to a total of 1,1 million dollars US at auction purchased by major car dealer and race team owner Rick Hendrick. On the market for a year, has the base 450-horsepower, seventh-generation lost its luster among performance vehicle fans? The answer is naturally no. Friday at the 2014 edition of the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction, a charity-linked 2015 model proves that the car will enter into another supportive year for the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

With all proceeds going to CARE House of Oakland County (a charity devoted to the prevention of child abuse and mistreatment), the first retail example of the 2015 model year Corvette Stingray was placed on stage as one of Friday night's lots inside the Mandalay Bay Event Center. VIN #001 for 2015, the white coupe with its detachable roof panel removed glimmered under the lights in front of bidders as the price easily shot into the six-figure range. When the hammer dropped on the auction for the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, it attracted $400,000 for a worthy cause.

Though much of the focus for the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette has been centered on the 650-horsepower Z06, the Corvette Stingray does feature some monumental improvements of importance. Along the biggest is the addition of an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Replacing the previous six-speed automatic gearbox found with the Corvette Stingray, drivers who prefer to keep their hands on the steering wheel while racing up to highway speed would realize a smoother transition of power to the rear wheels. The new eight-speed automatic transmission was found on the VIN #001 model of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray sold at Barrett-Jackson.

At $400,000, the charity sale of the 2015 Corvette Stingray was the second-highest sale on Friday at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction. An Arancio Atlas pearl coloured 2013 Lamborghini Aventador captured the highest bid of $440,000.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cadillac Chooses to Name Forthcoming Flagship CT6




It has become self-evident by recent news that Cadillac is seeking to magnify their presence as a distinct luxury brand. One of the measure announced this week will consist of physically separating itself from the General Motors mothership. Intent on being recognized as a more cosmopolitan American marque, Cadillac's head offices will be moving from Detroit to New York City for 2015 becoming a separate business unit in the process. This arrangement will likely resemble Tata Motors’ ownership of the Jaguar Land Rover.

Before Cadillac's relocation and restructuring news, the luxury carmaker created buzz last week as General Motors confirmed there is an additional product in the pipeline. A rear-wheel drive ultra-luxury sedan to be built with its own unique platform was announced for production for late 2015. Left nameless during the product’s official announcement, Cadillac has now given their future flagship its model name.

On Wednesday, Cadillac declared their new sedan will be called the CT6. Lifting the ‘CT’ from the popular CTS, the super luxury four-door’s number denotes the vehicles in the luxury car company’s line-up. In essence, the alphanumeric pattern will work similar to BMW and Audi where the highest numbered car would refer to the flagship. For Cadillac, the CT6 naming does ponder the question is this alphanumeric pattern a precursor to new brand-wide coding (For example, the CTS becomes the CT3 and the XTS will be known as the CT4 or CT5). “As we expand the portfolio, we can assist consumers in placing the cars within a structure, as they compare cars both within our showroom and across the market generally,” said Cadillac’s chief operating officer Uwe Ellinghaus.

Announcing the name of the new high-tech, high-prestige Cadillac, there remains some more With roughly a year before production is slated to start on the car, it should take little time for the Cadillac CT6 to fully reveal itself. 



Information and photo source: General Motors 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Inspired Infiniti Premiering Q80 Inspiration Concept in Paris



Next month, the 2014 Paris Auto Show will start a period known as the auto show season. A season that typically starts in North America with the LA Auto Show in November, European audiences receive the first exhibition of all-new production vehicle premieres and the presentation of mind-wondering concept cars. A show where the likes of Italian designer Pininfarina first appeared on the world stage, the show often motivates the debut of classy styling studies. At Infiniti, you can say the luxury car brand has received inspiration from competitors as well as from their individual designers in the latest concept car.

An interpretation of the four-door fastback premise demonstrated by the Audi A7 Sportback, Aston Martin Rapide and Porsche Panamera, the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept car doesn't appear to be following luxury car rivals when it comes to their image of a vehicle. Sweeping forward and backwards, the bodywork of Infiniti's concept design demonstrates some of the most radiant portrayal of the company's image. Contours all over the Q80 Inspiration concept is definitely derived from sports car design. The roof of the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration consists of a full-length teardrop shaped glass greenhouse coming to a point at the rear. The body is absent outer mirrors and door handles to project a smooth, unobstructed profile. A concept car 198.9 inches long, the Q80 Inspiration is planted on a wheelbase of 122.2 inches. Accented by 22-inch five-dual spoke alloy lightweight wheels, the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration rides on an advanced adaptive suspension system.  

Described as possessing "1+1+1+1" seating, the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept car's interior is configured to provide a personalized touch for four occupants. High-end materials such as carbon fiber, aluminum and leather applied through the interior creating the desired balance between sport and luxury comfort.

Last year, the Q50 Eau Rouge concept car was Infiniti's darling on the auto show circuit. The enveloping luxury performance of 560 horsepower proved so strong that the production version of the car has been strongly hinted. Could the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration generate the same clout to inspire it for a showroom near you?  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Canadian Government Announces Reduced Vehicle Emissions Targets

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Ahead of the major United Nations Climate Summit in New York City convening this week, the Conservative Government of Canada restated the country’s intentions of conforming to tighter emissions for passenger cars, light trucks and heavy-duty vehicles. Mirroring the ambitious measures going into effect in the United States, the new emission laws will drastically prolong the fleet-wide fuel economy for the product line of automakers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Today’s announcement further demonstrates our Government’s commitment to address climate change and provide cleaner air for Canadians. These initiatives, which will protect the environment and provide health benefits, will be aligned with the United States, given the integrated nature of the North American economy.” said the Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq.

With sweeping improvements to start during the 2017 model year, steady improvements in passenger vehicle emissions has a final target date for year 2025. Accompanying cleaner vehicles, fuel economy is also slated to nearly double compare to 2008 fleet numbers. The Canadian government forecasts 2017 to 2025 model year passenger cars and light trucks will result in a 174-megaton reduction in emissions over the course of their operational life (almost as much as the entire transportation sector produces in a single year). In the United States, a fuel economy number of 54.5 miles per gallon has been touted as the goal for all automakers for 2025. In the United States as well as Canada, this number applies to the entire fleet of cars sold by an auto manufacturer in a year.

The full details and regulation changes will be unveiled within the coming weeks. The first part of Canada’s improved vehicle emission regulations is set to be announced on September 27th pertaining to sulphur content in gasoline. This amendment will see the sulphur content of gasoline reduced by around 70 percent. Sulphur content in gasoline has been significantly reduced since 1999. According to a Government of Alberta report, Sulphur in gasoline totalled 320 ppm (parts per million) in 1999 but was reduced to 30 ppm in 2005. The upcoming reduction in gasoline sulphur will bring Canadian and United States regulations in line with the level found in the United Kingdom. The final regulations will be made available on October 8th.

While the emission target announcements by Canadian are largely aligning itself with the United States, the decision has been greeted favourably by the auto industry as standardizing the regulations between the two countries. In part of a statement issued by the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association, president Mark Nantais stated, "by being part of a robust, aligned standard, new more advanced technologies come to market more quickly with greater choice of products that are more affordable for consumers as manufacturers are to able take advantage of the economies of scale derived from the larger integrated market inherent in the North American automobile industry." Though automakers are making efforts to find increased efficiencies with turbochargers and other technologies for improving range on gasoline, these new emission regulations is seen as motivation for enhancing alternative powertrains. Hybrids, plug-in hybrids, full electrics and even diesel propulsion options are already becoming more mainstream in the North American market.


Information source: Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association, Government of Canada

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cadillac Confirms Super Luxury Car in the Pipeline for 2016 Release



For years, it was rumoured that Cadillac wanted to build a super luxury sedan. A car built to feature the very peak of Cadillac's American-derived pursuit for lavish motoring, the proposed vehicle would likely be found with a six-figure price tag and face rivals like Mercedes-Benz and BMW head-on in the top-tier four-door market. More than a decade ago, the Cadillac Sixteen concept car teased the world for what a car from the General Motors premium brand may look like. Despite the intrigue to the idea, the plan has been nothing but a fairy tale story; that is until this week when General Motors delivered a major announcement regarding future vehicle production.

On Friday, General Motors formally declared that a new high-end Cadillac will become an addition to the luxury vehicle line-up for the near future. A rear-wheel drive sedan to be built on unique vehicle architecture, the new car promises to involve "custom-designed materials". Without delivering any other specific details on the future Cadillac product, it's stated that the sedan will feature innovations in both the vehicle as well as in the procedure to manufacture the car. “The objective for this upcoming model is to lift the Cadillac range by entering the elite class of top-level luxury cars,” said Cadillac's President Johan de Nysschen.

The announcement came as a pledge to build an all-new luxury vehicle at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. This facility has recently made headlines as the place of origin for the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt and the more recently-launched Cadillac ELR. Detroit-Hamtramck also handles the present construction of Chevrolet's larger sedans (the Impala and Malibu). In April, General Motors declared a 384-million US dollar investment into the manufacturing facility. It was stated production of the unnamed Cadillac super luxury sedan will start in late 2015 for what will be a 2016 model year issue.

While the XTS is currently marketed as the flagship sedan for Cadillac, the vehicle has a difficult time standing at the top of the luxury car podium. A well-loaded luxury four-door with some unique innovations such as a Safety Alert Seat for the driver, the Cadillac XTS has largely blended into the large premium sedan market. For this reason, when many Cadillac fans would be asked what would be the brand's flagship, the Escalade sport utility vehicle receives the honour. The addition of a high-tier sedan can naturally allow assume to role as Cadillac's flagship with a potential asking price over $100,000. The only other Cadillac featuring a retail sticker with six figures on the left side of a decimal point was the Cadillac XLR-V convertible. An allure for a future Cadillac will also mandate that exclusivity is maintained.

The premise of a super luxury Cadillac product is an old idea just recently being revisited for production. During the height of prestige in the 1950s, some Cadillac products such as the Eldorado Brougham could have cost more than twice as much as a Rolls-Royce. That was a time when products pitched themselves as being "the Cadillac of ..." of the their market.

General Motors has not named this future Cadillac sedan. Maybe one possible name for the vehicle, General Motors registered the word mark 'Cadillac LTS' in 2012 according to a database search. An actual name may not be out of the question also for the super luxury sedan.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mercedes-Benz Introduces Large Sedan as Their First Plug-in Hybrid





With governments and even consumers requesting automakers to explore green technology, luxury cars offer the most viable place to create electrified powertrains. Luxury vehicles are typically sold at a high profit margin allowing the incorporation of new, exotic technologies to be performed without the limitations or sticker shock associated with electric cars trying to appeal to a growing market. That has been the key of success for Tesla Motors and the BMW i line is launching with the anticipation they can find a similar premium market for electrified cars. Taking their first step into the plug-in hybrid vehicle marketplace, Mercedes-Benz is all charged up with the newest variant of their flagship S-Class sedan.

Set to be one of the largest plug-in hybrid cars on the market, the Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-in Hybrid will also be perhaps the most lavish vehicle to be chauffeured through zero emissions motoring. For up to 20 miles, the S550 Plug-in Hybrid will exclusively run off an electric motor. Storing the motor’s electric power, a lithium-ion battery unit is water-cooled and weighs a total of 251 pounds. Using a 230-volt charging station, the battery can be replenished in as little as 2 hours and 45 minutes.






The electric power source will be united with a 3-liter V6 biturbo gasoline powerplant. The gasoline engine of the S550 Plug-in Hybrid alone produces 329 horsepower and 354 pound-foot of torque. When combining the power units, Mercedes-Benz has rated overall output at 436 horsepower and 479 pounds-foot of torque. A modified seven-speed automatic transmission handles the momentum from both powerplants. Mercedes-Benz describes the electric/gasoline powertrain as a crossover of principles being effectively demonstrated in their Formula 1 cars this season. With a hefty curb weight of 2,310.1 kilograms (5,093 pounds), the S550 Plug-in Hybrid can muscle from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour (0 to 62 MPH) in 5.2 seconds. Top speed of the large sedan is electronically limited at 130 miles per hour.






Besides acceleration, the Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-in Hybrid performs impeccably in reducing emissions. C02 (Carbon Dioxide) emissions from the powerplant over the course of 300,000 kilometers can be between 43 to 56 percent less compared to the equivalent vehicle running only on gasoline. The S-Class’ LED lighting also enhances the efficiency of the plug-in hybrid sedan. Even braking for the S550 Plug-in Hybrid is designed for maximizing energy recovery. The electric motor provides initial stopping force for the vehicle before the disc brakes complete the job.

Though the Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-in Hybrid sedan has been engineered to be uncompromised in the delivery of low-cost, environmentally friendly driving, the electric/gasoline version of the luxury vehicle does present a trade-off. This compromise is arrived at when storing luggage in the rear cargo area. Trunk space for the Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-in hybrid sedan is measured at 12.2 cubic feet. Compared to the conventional S550, the plug-in hybrid model loses 4.1 cubic feet of trunk space because of the additional electric powertrain components (Using US measurement).


A well-appointed luxury cabin is a heavily equipped space inside the S550 Plug-in Hybrid. Featuring leather upholstery, Mercedes-Benz has loaded the variant of the S-Class with dual-zone climate control, front seats with Memory package and a COMAND Online as standard. An air suspension system is also included on the S550 Plug-in Hybrid awarding the driver and passengers with a high-comfort ride. From comfort to safety, PRE-SAFE Collision Prevention Assist Plus warning system, Attention Assist and PRE-SAFE impulse is listed as high-end crash avoidance technology found standard.






Technology debuting on the Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-in Hybrid is described as extended pre-entry climate control. The interior, seats, steering wheel and armrests can be preheated to a desired temperature through a computer or mobile device timed ahead of an occupant‘s entrance into the vehicle. Extended pre-entry climate control can also provide optional cooling to the seats of the S550 Plug-in Hybrid.

Plugging into Mercedes-Benz dealerships April of 2015, the electrified S550 will join the brand’s E400 Hybrid as well as variety diesel engined vehicles using BlueTec technology.

 

Information and photo credit: Mercedes-Benz USA

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Toyota Hybrid Vehicles Sold in Canada Surpasses 100,000

Toyota Prius Family 2014 CIAS


It is said the fortune favours the bold. In the 1990s, Toyota Motor Corporation stepped a vast distance into an unknown realm when they pursued gasoline/electric hybrid driving technology. The Toyota Prius led what would be a transformation of a brand and thinking for what electrified cars could be.

At a time when purely gasoline-powered vehicles reigned supreme for almost nine decades on roadways, the idea of hybrid cars was met with mixed reactions. Some viewed the premise of integrating electric power with a gasoline powerplant as a sensible alternative to full electric cars. Issues such as limited range plagued the serious chances of electric cars in the modern world. Hybrids were viewed as the best of both worlds where the electric drive system supplemented the gasoline engine. On the negative judgement side of hybrid vehicles, critics wanted to believe that hybrid cars would be too pricey for automotive consumers and the technology was too advanced to catch on. In Canada, the cold, varying winter climate does present some challenges for the batteries of electric cars. Despite the adversity, the Toyota Prius was introduced to Canadians in 2000. 14 years later, Toyota has reached a six-digit milestone with the hybrid vehicle fleet in Canada.

On September 3rd, Toyota Canada Incorporated announced that their 100,000th hybrid was sold in the country. Started with the Toyota Prius, the powertrain technology the company classifies as Hybrid Synergy Drive has been widely applied to Toyota as well as their luxury-oriented Lexus products. It is believed that globally Toyota was the first major automaker to make their hybrid vehicle technology profitable while some companies accepted hybrid cars as a loss leader. Reaching the 100,000th hybrid vehicle sold in Canada, Toyota praises the environmental benefit of customers spending 30 percent less fuel. "That means since 2000, Toyota and Lexus hybrids have avoided more than 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions while saving over 259 million litres of fuel. That's the equivalent of filling 103 Olympic-size swimming pools.", said President and CEO of Toyota Canada Incorporated Seiji Ichii.

Toyota's position for hybrids in Canada is being heavily reinforced. In 2014, three Toyota Prius family vehicles (the conventional Prius, Prius c, and Prius v) as well as the Toyota Highlander were awarded as the most efficient products in their category by Natural Resources Canada. Canada's acceptance of Toyota hybrid products has resulted in a recent gift. Toyota's South Cambridge Plant has been the birthplace of the Lexus RX450h hybrid crossover since March of this year.


Information and photo source: Chris Nagy, Toyota Canada Inc.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

World Premiere of 2016 Mazda MX-5 Roadster Handled in Glitzy Fashion

Whether referring to it as the MX-5, Miata or the MX-5 Miata, Mazda has resonated a lasting pulse in the sports car marketplace for a quarter of a century. The small two-seat roadster that debuted in 1989 as one of the hottest products thanks to its sporty appearance and relative bargain pricing. Marking 25 years of the sport car in 2014, the past of the little but fast vehicle was addressed as the future of the Mazda MX-5 was being sorted behind closed doors at the Japanese auto company. Prepping for the all-new 2016 MX-5 would be unveiled to the public September 4th 2014. Last night, eager onlookers set eyes on what could be considered the most striking version of the roadster since the original in 1989.

 
It’s little doubt Mazda wanted to rock-in the arrival of their new roadster. Director of Design for Mazda North America Derek Jenkins was joined by pop music group Duran Duran in christening the 2016 model year roadster. Refreshingly, Derek Jenkins’ speech serving as a prelude to the MX-5’s introduction was concise, lasting no more than a few minutes. With an audience in Monterey, California and roughly 30,000 viewers live streaming the event on YouTube, the 2016 Mazda MX-6 rolled into sight. Though the recognized talent of Duran Duran performing the James Bond theme “A View to a Kill” and the group‘s 1980s mega-hit “Hungry Like a Wolf” got the audience roaring, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 remained dazzling in its official coming-out event.

 



Pacifying many, the new MX-5 will remain a two-seat drop-top. Influenced through Mazda’s KODO design language, the body panels are athletically sculpted with a lower nose profile and pronounced wheel arches standing out. Treated with a black colour appearance, the outer mirror housings and the windshield frame imposes a racier look as well as draws dedicated attention around the cockpit. Press photos of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 have shown the vehicle with a fabric roof. Since 2006, the Mazda MX-5 Miata had been offered with a retractable hardtop generating a polarizing reaction to audiences of the vehicle.

Being a roadster, the interior of the new Mazda MX-5 was also presented in great view upon its debut. There is no mistaking the car’s desire to provoke thoughts of sports car performance and agility. The steering wheel is thick but small in overall diameter providing the driver with sharp responsiveness. Dominated in black, aluminum or metallic-like trim is used in a fashion on the steering wheel spokes as well as around the shifter and circular vents of the MX-5‘s interior. Another contrast to the dark interior appearance is the body-colour matching trim on the upper door panels of the 2016 roadster. 

 



While there was little that we publicly knew about the appearance of the 2016 model year roadster before Wednesday’s night unveiling, prior details enlightened us of the new Mazda MX-5’s base. An agreement cemented with Fiat’s brand Alfa Romeo has pledged the co-development of common structural architecture of a rear-wheel drive sports car.

A safe assumption for the future MX-5 would be the incorporation of Mazda’s technology philosophy SKYACTIV. SKYACTIV Technology involving the use of highly efficient powertrain mechanics and weight optimization has indeed been exercised on the new MX-5 roadster. Mazda boasts that the 2016 model year MX-5 is more than 100 kilograms (over 220 pounds) lighter than its predecessor. This would result in the 2016 Mazda MX-5’s estimated overall weight running around 1,000 kilograms or about 2,200 pounds. Mazda has not yet confirmed details of the powertrain for the 2016 model year vehicle.
 



Reaching 25 years of production, there is more than 940,000 examples of the Mazda MX-5 on the globe. The 2016 MX-5 roadster is a profound next chapter expected to go on sale next year.


Information and photo source: Mazda North American Operations

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fate Determined for Museum Sinkhole Corvettes

Photo Credit: Chevrolet



The performance prowess of the Chevrolet Corvette often insulates through ability to escape an uncomfortable situation quickly. However, for eight Corvettes on February 12th of this year, nature swallowed them before they had a chance to apply their V-8 muscle.
 
More than six months ago, the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green,Kentucky, a large sinkhole developed within the facility's Skydome section. With the hole opening overnight, it timing most fortunately spared human harm. The casualties of the sinkhole was limited to some high quality motorized display pieces. In total, eight Chevrolet Corvettes were the victims of a sudden deep fall. This weekend, the National Corvette Museum provided some details on their recovery efforts. Pledging to fill in the opening within the Skydome, Chevrolet has provided updates on three of the vehicle's damaged in the natural occurrence.
 
The 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 prototype (termed the Blue Devil in relations to than-Vice Chairman Bob Lutz's alma mater) and the the one-millionth Corvette, a white 1992 convertible, will be restored by General Motors. Both cars were loaned to the National Corvette Museum as part of General Motors' corporate collection. The "Blue Devil" Corvette was one of first cars recovered from the sinkhole. Damaged by the fall, that particular vehicle faired better than other casualties of the sinkhole. Upon its retrieval, the recovery crew started the Corvette ZR1 prototype's engine. The 1992 Chevrolet Corvette was also promptly retrieved from the sinkhole. Both cars will be restored under the direction of Chevrolet.
 
 
Photo Credit: Chevrolet
 
 
The museum will restore a third Corvette thanks to funding from Chevrolet. The oldest victim of the sinkhole, a 1962 Corvette, will be returned to original condition by a quality restorer. General Motors has pledged a total of $250,000 US to the National Corvette Museum in response to the disaster in February. “Our goal was to help the National Corvette Museum recover from a terrible natural disaster by restoring all eight cars,” said GM's executive vice president of Global Product Development Mark Reuss. There has been no timetable on the completion date for the three cars under restoration at this time.
 
As for the remaining five Chevrolet Corvettes, the decision has been made to leave the recovered vehicles unrestored. Among the vehicles is the 1.5-millionth Corvette and the Mallet Hammer modified Corvette Z06 that were last ones recovered from the collapsed Earth. Those vehicles were in the worst condition of all the vehicles affected. Opting to keep the vehicle's unrestored, the National Corvette Museum is responding to some requests to preserve the Corvettes in an alternative manner. Already examples of America's greatest and most enduring sports car, the five remaining Corvettes will maintain the historical significance of the sinkhole disaster itself. Responding to this decision, National Corvette Museum executive director Wendell Strode said, “For Corvette enthusiasts, the damage to the cars is part of their history, and part narrative of the National Corvette Museum. Restoring them all would negate the significance of what happened.”. Other pieces being left unrestored includes a 1993 40th Anniversary Corvette, a 1984 PPG Pace Car and a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder.
 
 
Photo Credit: Chevrolet
 
 
 
Following the disaster, not all news was bad for the National Corvette Museum. Due to media coverage and fascination in the eight Chevrolet Corvettes involved in the sinkhole fall, attendance at the museum jumped 60 percent in the four months following the incident.