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At the SXSW Eco conference in Austin, TX, SolarCity® and Honda announced that they have renewed their partnership with a new fund expected to finance $50 million in solar projects. The new commitment will make solar power more affordable and available to Honda and Acura customers and dealerships in the U.S. The companies have completed or initiated a range of solar projects for homeowners, dealerships and corporate facilities that total more than 12.5 MW of solar generation capacity. The two companies have already brought enough solar capacity online to offset more than 400 million pounds of CO2 over a 30-year lifecycle. The $50 million fund is a follow-up to a $65 million fund the companies created in 2013.

The next-generation Jeep Wrangler may be built off a unibody platform, feature smaller and turbocharged engines, and switch to an aluminum body, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said.

Such significant changes to the hot-selling SUV would likely mean leaving its longtime, historic production site in Toledo, Ohio, Marchionne said.

For full, original story & photos, click HERE.

Toyota revealed the Urban Utility concept vehicle – or U2 – on September 10 at a private panel discussion hosted by Make: magazine in San Francisco. The car design reflects the growing need for innovation in urban areas, which was discovered through interviews with Maker Faire participants and internal Toyota market research.

Dodge auctioned the first production 707-horsepower 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat VIN0001, the most powerful and fastest muscle car ever, for $825.000 at the Sept. 27 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2014 auction.

The donations will go to Opportunity Village, a not-for-profit organization that serves people with significant intellectual disabilities in the Las Vegas area. The Engelstad Family Foundation of Las Vegas matched the auction price, bringing the grand total raised for Opportunity Village to $1.65 million. With their generous donation, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat raised more money for charity than any other car in Barrett-Jackson history.

Friday, 26 September 2014 00:00

Toyota Moves to Aluminum Hood for Camry

Toyota Motor Corp. is set to become the next global automaker to begin making the expensive shift from steel to aluminum for a high-volume vehicle, according to reports in Automotive News.The U.S.-built Camry, the country's best-selling car, is slated to get an aluminum hood in 2018, according to a source familiar with the plans.

Toyota's first foray into aluminum closures in North America will come next year when the 2016 Lexus RX 350 crossover, which is made in Cambridge, Ontario, gets an aluminum hood and liftgate, the source said.

The aluminum sheet for the Camry hood likely will come from a joint venture between Toyota Tsusho Corp., a trading company affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp., and Kobe Steel to produce more aluminum sheet metal in the U.S. Toyota will be among the venture's first customers, several sources confirmed. Production is expected to begin in 2017 and ramp up to full output at the beginning of 2018.

Ford Motor Co. is recalling 850,050 2013 and 2014 vehicles for an electrical flaw that could cause airbags and seat belt pretensioners to malfunction in the event of a crash, according to reports in Automotive News.

The affected vehicles include the 2013-14 Ford C-Max, Fusion, Escape and Lincoln MKZ. Ford said in a statement today the restraints-control module in the vehicles could short circuit, causing the airbag warning indicator to illuminate.

This is the 12th recall of the 2013 Escape, although a spokeswoman said last month that no single Escape has been involved in all the recalls.

Flaws that other recalls on the Escape have addressed include fluid leaks that could cause an engine fire, doors that can open while the vehicle is moving and rollover airbags that may not deploy quickly enough.

According to Brandon Turkus from autoblog.com, Ferrari is recalling 3,000 458 Italia and Spider models for trunk safety issues. The new models' trunks will be able to be opened from the inside, so in case a child got trapped back there, they could escape.
The previous cars lacked this feature, and were found in violation of federal safety mandates.
Ferrari owners driving around with faulty trunks will be notified by the company and will need to return their car to the local dealer for modifications.

Cadillac will begin offering advanced “intelligent and connected” vehicle technologies on certain 2017 model year vehicles, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said on Sept. 7, 2014 during her keynote address at the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) World Congress in Detroit.

In about two years, an all-new 2017 Cadillac vehicle will offer customers an advanced driver assist technology called Super Cruise and in the same timeframe the 2017 Cadillac CTS will be enabled with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology.

Super Cruise, the working name for GM’s automated driving technology, will offer customers a new type of driving experience that includes hands-off lane following, braking and speed control in certain highway driving conditions. The system is designed to increase the comfort of an attentive driver on freeways, both in bumper-to-bumper traffic and on long road trips.

V2V communication technology could mitigate many traffic collisions and improve traffic congestion by sending and receiving basic safety information such as location, speed and direction of travel between vehicles that are approaching each other. It will warn drivers and can supplement active safety features, such as forward collision warning, already available on many production cars.

As the world becomes more congested and new populations need access to personal mobility, accidents continue to be a global concern. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study estimated that the economic and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes in the United States is more than $870 billion per year.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 00:00

2015 Fiat 500e Arrives in Oregon

  • 2015 Fiat 500e models are now available at studios in California and Oregon 
  • Fiat 500e lease available for $199 a month for 36 months with $999 due at signing 
  • Fiat 500e recently named “Top Electric Vehicle” at the Northwest Automotive Press Association’s annual Drive Revolution event 
  • 2015 Fiat 500e features two new exterior colors and a redesigned center console 
  • All-electric Fiat 500e delivers a best-in-class 108 highway MPGe rating and class-leading 87 miles of combined city/highway driving range, with city driving range typically greater than 100 miles

For full, original article, click HERE.

Clearly, no one is going to buy a 707-horsepower car for exemplary gas mileage, but Chrysler Group is sounding satisfied with the ratings on its new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The "most powerful muscle car ever," as it comes billed, will be EPA rated at 13 miles per gallon in the city, 22 mpg on the highway for a combined 16 mpg for the eight-speed automatic-transmission version. For the manual shifter, deduct 1 mpg on the highway.

For original story & photos, click HERE.

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