Published on December 3rd, 2011 | by John O'Neil0
This week in the Automotive Industry – 12/3/11
10. Cobra Jet returns
Ford’s new Mustang gives enthusiasts with big bank accounts even more to rejoice about. Jalopnik reports for 2012 consumers can buy a new race-ready Cobra Jet, the year’s fastest straight-line production car. It features two new versions of Ford’s four-cam 5-liter V8.
9. Automotive obituaries
The slow economy and new regulations mean some slow selling and dated cars get axed, according to the New York Times. The deceased include storied and admired enthusiast machines, such as the Mazda RX-8 and Lotus Elise, plus charming old brutes like the Crown Vic and Ranger. The article explores what we lose with their passing.
8. Made where?
The globalization of the auto industry blurs the line between foreign and domestic cars, with Toyota producing more vehicles in the U.S. than Chrysler, for example. To help you keep track of where cars on your list are actually made, the New York Times publishes a helpful graphic.
7. Pentastar shines bright
Automobile reveals that Chrysler Group saw its sales jump 45 percent so far this year, an impressive turn for a company that recently seemed teetering on collapse. The Chrysler brand alone saw a nearly two-fold rise, with the group’s other brands also posting good gains. While it reports on the renaissance, the article also wonders if it will last.
6. Supercars in China
As more Chinese get rich and want toys, supercars see huge sales increases, with China’s millionaires and billionaires stocking their garages with Paganis, Porches, Lambos and Veyrons. MSNBC examines how the increased demand from the Far East may reshape the supercar landscape.
5. Adding lightness
As autos grow ever lighter due to tougher emissions and mileage regulations, automakers get creative to make models rigid enough to also meet safety requirements. An article at MSNBC explores the new techniques, and hints at how exciting, light-weight sports cars could emerge from the trend.
4. Scandinavian struggles continue
Even after an infusion of Chinese cash, the future of Saab dims more, due to dismal sales and stubbornness from GM. Inside Line lays out how Saab ran a loss in the third quarter, while GM stalled Saab’s buyout by refusing to completely let go. Inside Line repeats what Saab’s bosses have to say, and look for hope for the quirky Swedes.
3. R is for Record
As hard to pronounce as its name may be, fledgling Swedish hyper-car company Koenigsegg keeps bringing out rear-drive, mid-engine rocket ships that frighten many competitors. Its latest, revealed in Autoweek, is the Agera R, which smashed six Guinness world records for acceleration and braking. Autoweek describes the experience inside a record breaking ride.
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2. Rear-drive rebirth
Autoblog reveals that Scion FR-S is the name given to Scion’s version of the three models that to come from the Toyota and Subaru joint-venture sports car, dubbed FT-86. Toyota releases specs after the car’s debut at the LA auto show, while Autoblog wonders if it will live up to the hype.
1. Green Redline
Once, the terms “performance” and “green” never appeared together. Now MSNBC reports that new sports cars like the 2012 Porsche 911 tout improved performance and reduced environmental impact, due to weight-saving techniques that also improve fuel economy. But it’s still unknown if such changes will redeem hot cars for tree-huggers.