AUGUST 2015 U.S. AUTO SALES BY THE NUMBERS

 

AUGUST 2015 U.S. AUTO SALES BY THE NUMBERS

BN-KC630_CARSAL_M_20150901172155

 

Automaker

Aug. 2015

Aug. 2014

Pct. chng.

8 months

8 months

Pct. chng.

2015

2014

BMW division

27,755

27,213

2.00%

223,348

211,004

5.90%

Mini

5,109

5,006

2.10%

40,560

34,969

16.00%

Rolls-Royce

95

93

2.20%

760

739

2.80%

  BMW Group

32,959

32,312

2.00%

264,668

246,712

7.30%

Mercedes-Benz

30,633

28,960

5.80%

238,827

221,473

7.80%

Smart USA

617

1,334

–53.7%

4,682

7,332

–36.1%

  Daimler AG

31,250

30,294

3.20%

243,509

228,805

6.40%

Alfa Romeo

75

–%

443

–%

Chrysler Division

25,580

29,762

–14.1%

221,550

194,285

14.00%

Dodge

42,386

49,895

–15.1%

337,177

399,937

–15.7%

Fiat

3,388

3,362

0.80%

28,421

32,141

–11.6%

Jeep

80,804

68,766

17.50%

555,709

461,156

20.50%

Ram

49,439

46,594

6.10%

318,542

298,650

6.70%

  FCA U.S.

201,672

198,379

1.70%

1,461,842

1,386,169

5.50%

Ferrari

177

176

0.60%

1,416

1,406

0.70%

Maserati

1,245

1,233

1.00%

7,506

7,807

–3.9%

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles†

203,094

199,788

1.70%

1,470,764

1,395,382

5.40%

Ford division

225,244

213,227

5.60%

1,678,929

1,637,666

2.50%

Lincoln

8,636

8,146

6.00%

65,284

60,531

7.90%

  Ford Motor Co.

233,880

221,373

5.70%

1,744,213

1,698,197

2.70%

Buick

22,281

22,143

0.60%

149,386

153,298

–2.6%

Cadillac

15,738

16,650

–5.5%

110,791

114,008

–2.8%

Chevrolet

183,098

185,930

–1.5%

1,425,507

1,388,993

2.60%

GMC

49,363

47,700

3.50%

362,853

328,152

10.60%

  General Motors

270,480

272,423

–0.7%

2,048,537

1,984,451

3.20%

Acura

15,313

15,487

–1.1%

117,315

105,918

10.80%

Honda Division

140,178

151,551

–7.5%

937,501

936,464

0.10%

  Honda (American)

155,491

167,038

–6.9%

1,054,816

1,042,382

1.20%

Hyundai division

72,012

70,003

2.90%

514,175

501,448

2.50%

Kia

58,897

54,667

7.70%

426,160

404,389

5.40%

  Hyundai Group

130,909

124,670

5.00%

940,335

905,837

3.80%

Jaguar

1,143

1,184

–3.5%

10,221

10,688

–4.4%

Land Rover

5,225

4,489

16.40%

42,548

35,318

20.50%

  Jaguar Land Rover

6,368

5,673

12.30%

52,769

46,006

14.70%

  Mazda

29,938

31,305

–4.4%

216,091

216,973

–0.4%

  Mitsubishi

8,289

6,786

22.10%

65,701

52,807

24.40%

Infiniti

10,635

9,164

16.10%

85,348

77,043

10.80%

Nissan Division

122,716

125,224

–2.0%

915,358

883,274

3.60%

  Nissan

133,351

134,388

–0.8%

1,000,706

960,317

4.20%

  Subaru

52,697

50,246

4.90%

375,632

333,968

12.50%

  Tesla*

1,700

1,500

13.30%

13,600

12,000

13.30%

Lexus

33,487

32,809

2.10%

222,151

198,831

11.70%

Scion

3,895

6,186

–37.0%

32,691

41,949

–22.1%

Toyota Division

186,999

207,105

–9.7%

1,418,160

1,386,729

2.30%

Toyota/Scion

190,894

213,291

–10.5%

1,450,851

1,428,678

1.60%

  Toyota

224,381

246,100

–8.8%

1,673,002

1,627,509

2.80%

Audi

18,794

17,101

9.90%

130,063

116,066

12.10%

Bentley

228

241

–5.4%

1,685

1,750

–3.7%

Lamborghini*

63

61

3.30%

504

488

3.30%

Porsche

5,008

4,540

10.30%

34,876

31,759

9.80%

VW division

32,332

35,181

–8.1%

238,074

244,878

–2.8%

  Volkswagen

56,425

57,124

–1.2%

405,202

394,941

2.60%

  Volvo Cars NA

5,869

4,960

18.30%

40,854

39,184

4.30%

Other*

98

95

3.20%

780

756

3.20%

TOTAL

1,577,179

1,586,075

–0.6%

11,611,179

11,186,227

3.80%

 

Numbers in this table are calculated by Automotive News based on actual monthly sales reported by the manufacturers and may differ from numbers reported elsewhere.
Source: Automotive News Data Center
Note:
†Fiat S.p.A. completed the acquisition of Chrysler Group LLC on Jan. 21, 2014; the companies were merged under holding group Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Oct. 12, 2014.
*Estimate
**Includes estimates for Aston Martin and Lotus

 

 

Sales edge down but SAAR soars to 17.81 million

 

 

U.S. light-vehicle sales slipped 0.7 percent, far better than projections of a 3.3 percent dip, to 1.505 million in August as consumers shrugged off volatile stock prices continued to splurge on new cars and light trucks.

The seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate soared to 17.81 million, the highest pace of sales since July 2005, when employee-style discounts drove volume, and the strongest month of the 6-year recovery.

Deliveries, led by crossovers and SUVs, have now advanced 3.9 percent to 11.6 million vehicles in 2015 and appear well poised to surpass 17 million for only the third year ever.

U.S. sales had increased 4.5 percent through July.

Because of a calendar quirk that means Labor Day holiday volume will be included in September results this year, August 2015 deliveries across the U.S. had been projected to drop to about 1.53 million cars and light trucks, based on the average estimate from five analysts polled by Bloomberg. There were 26 selling days last month, one fewer than in August 2014.

The seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate for August was projected to come in at 17.3 million, flat with the August 2014 rate, based on the estimates of 12 analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

The SAAR has now topped 17 million five out of seven months this year, including a solid 17.55 million rate in July.

Among major automakers, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posted August sales gains while their biggest Japanese rivals fell amid a solid month for U.S. demand despite some statistical quirks.

Ford’s volume rose 5.7 percent, while FCA eked out a 1.7 percent advance and General Motors dropped slightly. Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. all posted declines as well.

“In spite of a tough 2014 comparison and extreme stock market volatility, our dealers’ competitive spirit kicked in and propelled us,” Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Fiat Chrysler, said in a statement.

August sales slipped 8.8 percent at Toyota Motor with demand falling 9.7 percent at the Toyota brand and skidding 37 percent at Scion. But Lexus volume advanced 2.1 percent to a monthly record of 33,487 — giving the brand its second consecutive monthly luxury title.

“The luxury market continued its hot streak last month,” said Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager of Lexus.

Honda Motor’s August deliveries dropped 6.9 percent on a 7.5 percent decline at the Honda brand and a 1.1 percent dip at Acura.

At Nissan Motor, volume slipped 0.8 percent on a 2 percent decline at the Nissan division. Sales surged 16 percent at Infiniti.

Subaru record

Subaru, overcoming low inventory levels, set a monthly record in the U.S. with August deliveries of 52,679 vehicles, a gain of 4.9 percent over August 2014, and enough to top the record set in July (50,517). The XV Crosstrek and Forester both set monthly sales records, as well, in August.

Subaru’s U.S. sales have now increased 45 consecutive months, year over year, and topped 40,000 vehicles a month for 18 straight months.

Fiat Chrysler’s winning streak had been in doubt in part because the Labor Day sales weekend was not included in August results this year, in contrast to the previous three. Analysts polled by Bloomberg, on average, expected FCA’s sales to drop 1.2 percent during the month.

FCA said Jeep deliveries rose 18 percent to 80,804 in August, an all-time record for the brand and its 23rd consecutive monthly gain.

Volume rose 6.1 percent at the Ram brand and 0.8 percent at Fiat, but sales slipped 15 percent at Dodge and 14 percent at the Chrysler brand.

Ford Motor was helped by strong demand for crossovers and F-series pickups. Volume advanced 5.6 percent at the Ford brand and 6 percent at Lincoln.

F-Series deliveries, aided by improved availability of the redesigned F-150 truck, hit a high for the year with sales of 71,332, a gain of 4.7 percent over August 2014. Sales of utility vehicles climbed 12 percent while car volume skidded 7 percent, Ford said.

GM’s retail gains

At GM, deliveries fell 0.7 percent. Volume was off 1.5 percent at Chevrolet and 5.5 percent at Cadillac; deliveries increased 3.5 percent at GMC and 0.6 percent at Buick. GM’s retail deliveries rose 6 percent. The company, citing J.D. Power data, said it had the industry’s largest retail sales increase and gained more than 1 percentage point of retail market share last month.

Audi rode a 41 percent jump in crossover volume to post sales of 18,794 in August, a 9.9 percent gain and its 56th-consecutive monthly U.S. sales record. The Q5 compact CUV, Audi’s top-selling nameplate this year, posted a 34 percent increase while Q3 subcompact CUV deliveries more than quadrupled to 1,189.

Mazda reported 29,938 sales, down 4.4 percent, as the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 suffered slight declines. The automaker tallied 698 sales of its new CX-3 crossover, which went on sale in mid-August as a rival to the Honda HR-V. The redesigned MX-5 Miata claimed 1,344 sales in its first month, more than triple year-earlier volume.

 

Labor Day holiday volume

Sales generated during the four-day Labor Day holiday period, Friday through Monday, represented 20 percent of light-vehicle deliveries in August 2014, J.D. Power and Associates estimates. And a late-month surge produced the highest light-vehicle volume in August 2014 than any August since 2003.

Low gasoline prices, steady employment growth and favorable financing continued to support new-vehicle demand last month.

But while consumers largely shrugged off volatile U.S. stock prices in late August, the market turmoil may have impacted some luxury segments, analysts say.

Kelley Blue Book noted on Monday that average transaction prices in August for high-performance cars, such as the BMW 6 series and Porsche 911, fell 1.6 percent from July and 3.7 percent from August 2014.

And average transaction prices for high-end luxury cars dipped 3.4 percent last month compared with August 2014.

Dealers and automakers also ramped up discounts on remaining 2015 models, notably small- and mid-size cars, and large pickups.

Among the deals:

• A Buick Encore lease for $190 a month and $190 down for 24 months for current lessees of a non-GM vehicle.

• A 2015 Honda CR-V LX lease for $209 per month for 36 months and $1,999 down.

• Zero-percent financing for 72 months, and $1,000 bonus cash, on most 2015 Ford models.

• $5,000 cash back on the 2015 Ford Taurus, according to Kelley Blue Book

• In Montana, some Toyota dealers dangled $2,000 cash back on the 2015 Toyota Avalon and Venza, and $2,500 in cash off the Toyota Prius hybrid.

• In Baltimore, Fiat Chrysler’s Ram brand pitched a 2015 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab with zero-percent financing for 60 months and a $2,750 cash allowance.

• A 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan lease for 36 months with monthly payments of $179 and $2,499 down.

• Up to $3,520 off a 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth as part of the manager’s specials at Golling Fiat in Birmingham, Mich.

Brian Johnson, an analyst with Barclays, said last week big pickup incentives in August were running nearly 13 percent higher than a year ago, and nearly 5 percent higher than July.

“Competition is intensifying in the large pickup space as Ford’s F-150 inventory further normalizes,” Johnson said.

Even with a slew of clearance deals, transaction prices remain healthy.

Kelley Blue Book estimates the average transaction price for a new light vehicle sold last month was $33,543, an increase of $1,107, or 3.4 percent, from August 2014, but down $79, or 0.2 percent, from July.

“September will be a telling month depending on the impact of Labor Day sales and wavering financial markets,” said Akshay Anand, an analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

JULY 2015 U.S. AUTO SALES BY THE NUMBERS

JULY 2015 U.S. AUTO SALES BY THE NUMBERS

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Automaker

Jul-15

Jul-14

Pct. chng.

7 months

7 months

Pct. chng.

2015

2014

BMW division

26,970

26,409

2.10%

195,593

183,791

6.40%

Mini

5,191

5,811

–10.7%

35,451

29,963

18.30%

Rolls-Royce

95

93

2.20%

665

646

2.90%

  BMW Group

32,256

32,313

–0.2%

231,709

214,400

8.10%

Mercedes-Benz

29,689

29,406

1.00%

208,193

192,513

8.10%

Smart USA

441

1,351

–67.4%

4,065

5,998

–32.2%

  Daimler AG

30,130

30,757

–2.0%

212,258

198,511

6.90%

Alfa Romeo

48

–%

368

–%

Chrysler Division

25,722

23,455

9.70%

195,970

164,523

19.10%

Dodge

37,649

43,118

–12.7%

294,791

350,042

–15.8%

Fiat

3,235

3,807

–15.0%

25,033

28,779

–13.0%

Jeep

73,216

59,588

22.90%

474,905

392,390

21.00%

Ram

38,157

37,699

1.20%

269,103

252,056

6.80%

  FCA U.S.

178,027

167,667

6.20%

1,260,170

1,187,790

6.10%

Ferrari

177

176

0.60%

1,239

1,230

0.70%

Maserati

957

1,132

–15.5%

6,261

6,574

–4.8%

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles†

179,616

168,975

6.00%

1,267,670

1,195,594

6.00%

Ford division

212,478

203,604

4.40%

1,453,685

1,424,439

2.10%

Lincoln

9,536

7,863

21.30%

56,648

52,385

8.10%

  Ford Motor Co.

222,014

211,467

5.00%

1,510,333

1,476,824

2.30%

Buick

20,791

17,683

17.60%

127,105

131,155

–3.1%

Cadillac

14,154

15,241

–7.1%

95,053

97,358

–2.4%

Chevrolet

188,790

175,155

7.80%

1,242,409

1,203,063

3.30%

GMC

48,777

48,081

1.40%

313,490

280,452

11.80%

  General Motors

272,512

256,160

6.40%

1,778,057

1,712,028

3.90%

Acura

14,915

12,480

19.50%

102,002

90,431

12.80%

Honda Division

131,409

123,428

6.50%

797,323

784,913

1.60%

  Honda (American)

146,324

135,908

7.70%

899,325

875,344

2.70%

Hyundai division

71,013

67,011

6.00%

442,163

431,445

2.50%

Kia

56,311

52,309

7.70%

367,263

349,722

5.00%

  Hyundai Group

127,324

119,320

6.70%

809,426

781,167

3.60%

Jaguar

1,242

1,187

4.60%

9,078

9,504

–4.5%

Land Rover

5,011

4,643

7.90%

37,323

30,829

21.10%

  Jaguar Land Rover

6,253

5,830

7.30%

46,401

40,333

15.00%

  Mazda

27,157

29,235

–7.1%

186,153

185,665

0.30%

  Mitsubishi

7,868

6,349

23.90%

57,412

46,021

24.80%

Infiniti

10,433

8,538

22.20%

74,713

67,879

10.10%

Nissan Division

120,439

112,914

6.70%

792,642

758,050

4.60%

  Nissan

130,872

121,452

7.80%

867,355

825,929

5.00%

  Subaru

50,517

45,714

10.50%

322,935

283,722

13.80%

  Tesla*

1,700

1,500

13.30%

11,900

10,500

13.30%

Lexus

29,816

27,333

9.10%

188,664

166,022

13.60%

Scion

3,865

5,127

–24.6%

28,796

35,763

–19.5%

Toyota Division

183,500

183,342

0.10%

1,231,161

1,179,624

4.40%

Toyota/Scion

187,365

188,469

–0.6%

1,259,957

1,215,387

3.70%

  Toyota

217,181

215,802

0.60%

1,448,621

1,381,409

4.90%

Audi

17,654

14,616

20.80%

111,269

98,965

12.40%

Bentley

208

201

3.50%

1,457

1,509

–3.4%

Lamborghini*

63

61

3.30%

441

427

3.30%

Porsche

4,730

4,300

10.00%

29,868

27,219

9.70%

VW division

31,300

30,553

2.40%

205,742

209,697

–1.9%

  Volkswagen

53,955

49,731

8.50%

348,777

337,817

3.20%

  Volvo Cars NA

5,619

4,894

14.80%

34,985

34,224

2.20%

Other*

98

95

3.20%

682

661

3.20%

TOTAL

1,510,941

1,435,502

5.30%

10,033,999

9,600,149

4.50%

Numbers in this table are calculated by Automotive News based on actual monthly sales reported by the manufacturers and may differ from numbers reported elsewhere.
Source: Automotive News Data Center
Note:
†Fiat S.p.A. completed the acquisition of Chrysler Group LLC on Jan. 21, 2014; the companies were merged under holding group Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Oct. 12, 2014.
*Estimate
**Includes estimates for Aston Martin and Lotus

 

 

SAAR hits 17.55 million — the second-highest tally in a decade

U.S. light-vehicles sales — fueled by healthy truck demand and gains at most major automakers — rose 5.3 percent in July, helping the industry begin the second half of 2015 on a strong note.

Light trucks set the pace last month, rising 11 percent, while car demand slipped 1.8 percent.

Ford Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Hyundai-Kia all had gains between 5 percent and 8 percent while Subaru scored its sixth double-digit advance of the year.

The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate jumped to 17.55 million — the second-highest tally in a decade. The SAAR has now topped 17 million in four out of seven months this year.

Summer deals, pent-up demand, falling gasoline prices, low interest rates and steady employment gains continue to outweigh sluggish consumer spending and weak wage growth to spur higher new-vehicle demand.

“Improving economic fundamentals should support continued job growth and a good environment for vehicle buying,” said Yong Yang, Ford’s senior economist for the Americas. “Industry performance should stay strong throughout 2015.”

With a 5 percent increase, Ford more than doubled the pace of its first-half advance. Honda and GM had their biggest jumps since January. Nissan set July records for the company and its namesake brand. FCA US ended its streak of monthly sales gains to 64.

“The second half of 2015 is off to a great start, with industry sales above expectations,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operations.

Industry volume was forecast by analysts to climb about 2.8 percent.

 

 

Automaker by automaker

Nissan Group’s U.S. deliveries rose 7.8 percent to 130,872 on strong sales of SUVs and crossovers. The Nissan division was up 6.7 percent. The Murano and Altima also set sales records for the month, Nissan said.

At Infiniti, sales rose 22 percent to 10,433.

Honda Motor Co. posted an increase of 7.7 percent on sales of 146,324 Honda and Acura vehicles.

Hyundai and Kia both set monthly sales records. Hyundai sales rose 6 percent to 71,013 units during a strong month for the Santa Fe crossover, while Kia sales rose 7.7 percent to a record 56,311 units.

Kia’s biggest highlight was the Sedona, which generated 3,672 sales in July, nearly a fourfold increase. Buyers paid an average of $34,435 for the minivan, up more than $5,000 from last summer, according to car-pricing service Kelley Blue Book.

Subaru continued to outpace the market, with U.S. sales rising 11 percent to 50,517 in July — a monthly record. The brand’s U.S. deliveries have now advanced 44 consecutive months.

Pickups boost Ford

Ford Motor was boosted by a 21 percent gain at Lincoln, while Ford Division was up 4.4 percent. F-series pickups advanced 4.8 percent — their first year-over-year increase since January — and delivered “record average transaction pricing,” Ford said.

General Motors rode increases at Chevrolet and Buick to a 6.4 percent overall jump. Winning divisions were Chevrolet (up 7.8 percent), Buick (18 percent) and GMC (1.4 percent), while Cadillac fell 7.1 percent. The automaker said its retail sales were up 14 percent while fleet sales were down as it continued with efforts to reduce deliveries to rental companies.

Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. sales, aided by another strong showing by the Jeep brand, rose 6.2 percent to 178,027 vehicles.

Jeep deliveries jumped 23 percent to 73,216, a July record. Sales rose 1.2 percent at Ram, while volume advanced 10 at the Chrysler brand. Sales slipped 13 percent at Dodge and 15 percent at Fiat.

FCA’s overall light-truck sales and overall car sales both rose 6 percent last month.

At the Volkswagen Group, sales rose 2.4 percent at VW and 21 percent at Audi.

Toyota Motor Corp. edged up 0.6 percent to 217,181 vehicles last month, with weaker Toyota, Scion and Lexus car volume offset by stronger truck demand. Toyota division volume slipped 0.1 percent to 183,500 and Lexus deliveries jumped 9.1 percent.

Lexus also topped Mercedes-Benz, excluding Sprinter, and BMW in U.S. luxury-brand sales last month.

“July auto sales showed no signs of slowdown for the industry,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.

Light trucks rule

Light trucks and crossovers continue to dominate vehicle mix across the industry as gasoline prices remain low and a favorable credit environment make it easier for consumers to purchase larger vehicles.

“This feels like more of a real 17-million-plus month and not one based on calendar quirks,” Mark Wakefield, AlixPartners LLP’s auto analyst, said on the better-than-expected July auto sales. “There’s nothing special about July except that there’s really nothing bad happening. So consumers aren’t worried and respond to the positive factors like jobs and economic growth and low gas prices.”

July marked the 23rd consecutive month that light trucks outsold cars, Edmunds said today, with compact trucks and crossovers the two fastest-selling product segments. Most SUV segments are selling faster than cars, though many large SUVs struggled in July and generated lower volumes.

Overall, the average days to turn for a light vehicle in July was 62 days, the lowest average for a single month since November 2011, Edmunds said.

The shift to light trucks continues to drive up transaction prices, as well.

“The industry continues to outperform prior-year levels with respect to retail sales and transaction prices,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power, before today’s figures were released. “The average new-vehicle retail transaction price so far in July is $29,673, on pace to achieve a new record for the month.”

TrueCar today estimated the average transaction price for a new light vehicle was $31,691 in July, unchanged from a year ago. Kelley Blue Book projected average transaction prices rose 3 percent to $33,453 last month compared to July 2014.

In some parts of the Midwest and South, the price of unleaded gasoline has dropped below $2 a gallon. AAA says most U.S. drivers paid the lowest price for a gallon of gasoline in July since 2009.

The drop in fuel prices have helped U.S. light-vehicle deliveries climb 4.5 percent through July.

Summer deals

Fueled by favorable financing terms, notably extended loans, higher leasing penetration, and steady job and economic growth, analysts say U.S. deliveries remain on pace to reach 17 million for all 2015. It would mark the sixth consecutive year that sales have increased since hitting bottom at 10.43 million in 2009.

“The industry has found its groove and consumers continue to respond and make purchases, replacing their aging or off-lease vehicles,” said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive.

Many automakers continued or launched summer clearance deals or other promotions in July.

TrueCar estimates the average industry incentive fell 1.2 percent to $2,849 in July from a year earlier.

The biggest spenders on incentives, TrueCar estimates, last month were GM ($3,983); Fiat Chrysler ($3,413); Nissan ($3,168); Volkswagen Group ($3,138) Ford ($2,678); Hyundai ($2,546); Kia ($2,490); Toyota ($2,034) and Honda ($1,935).

 

SOURCE: Automotivenews.com

2015 DODGE CHALLENGER HELLCAT X – 805-hp / Inspired by a WWII fighter

2015 DODGE CHALLENGER HELLCAT X – 805-hp / Inspired by a WWII fighter

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Long before the Dodge Challenger Hellcat took the automotive world by storm, another Hellcat ruled the skies. In the later stages of WWII, the carrier-based Grumman F6F Hellcat was the Navy’s dominant fighter, using a combination of a 2000-horsepower engine and Browning machine guns to combat the legendary Mitsubishi Zero in the Pacific Theater.

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An experimental prototype called the XF6F added even more speed to the aircraft, adding supercharger and turbocharger technology to the 18-cylinder powerplant for maximum power. The XF6F-6 was the fastest version of the Hellcat, and could top 417 mph under the right conditions.

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A new muscle car has been revealed by an organization called Dream Giveaway, and it takes cues from that very flying machine. Starting with the base Challenger Hellcat, the company contracted Walsh Motorsports to add two turbochargers to the supercharged 6.2-liter V8, culminating in a total power output of 805 hp and 800 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the standard car — which already accomplishes the quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds on stock tires — those are improvements of 98 hp and 150 lb-ft.

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Why? Besides the obvious answer (why not?), the car is being raffled for charity. Dream Giveaway supports several organizations including New Beginning Children’s Homes, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Disabled American Veterans, and more, and tickets are just $3 each.

If your number is pulled from the proverbial bucket, you’ll win the tire-shredding beast shown above, but that’s just the start. You’ll also get a 1970 Challenger 440 R/T, complete with a 375-hp V8 and a pistol grip four-speed manual … for comparison purposes. Oh, and an extra $40,000.

 

 

Along with more forced induction than a B-17 Flying Fortress, the X also features some unique styling enhancements that differentiate it from the regular Hellcat. Aviation-inspired aluminum air extractors, a center hood scoop, an accented front grille surround, and a decklid spoiler are the highlights, but with this much power on board, making yourself known shouldn’t be a problem.

How the federal gas tax exemplifies problems in Congress

 

How the federal gas tax exemplifies problems in Congress

 

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The roads and bridges on America’s interstates certainly aren’t getting any better, but little is being done to fix the issue on a national level. President Obama has made attempts for the last two years to offer solutions, but with both being based on adjusting corporate taxes, neither made much headway. The lingering option has always been to finally raise the federal gas tax, which finances the US Highway Trust Fund, but that tax has been stuck at 18.4 cents a gallon since 1993. In an incredibly deep dive into the problem, ProPublica has published a fantastic read about the past, present, and possible future of paying for infrastructure.

The Feds have been using a per-gallon tax to raise money since 1932 when it started at just a penny. President Eisenhower was the first to specifically earmark the revenue for roads in 1956 and used the cash to help fund the interstate system. After a few other increases, the last hike came under President Clinton. Of course, when figuring in inflation, those 18.4 cents buy less today than in ’93.

A poll last year found that over half of the people surveyed would have been willing to pay a higher gas tax. So what’s the hold up? According to ProPublica’s piece, the hatred of any new taxation within Congress is largely the culprit. Republicans loathe the concept of raising the amount in general, and Democrats feel the fee on gas is regressive by having a greater effect on people with lower incomes. The whole article is a fascinating examination of the issue and well worth the time it takes to read.

Chris Bruce  Autoblog

News Source: ProPublica
Image Credit: Elise Amendola / AP Photo

Callaway Cars Releases Their Most Powerful Corvette 757hp – Corvette Z06

 

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0-60 time quoted at 2.8 seconds and a quarter-mile run in 10.5.

Callaway Cars Releases Their Most Powerful Corvette
– 757 bhp / 777 lb-ft
– Z06-based Corvette upgrade boasts 32% larger supercharger, triple intercoolers, and consistent power – lap after lap
The Numbers – Callaway Cars today announced power numbers and performance for the flagship model in their performance car lineup. Equipped with Callaway’s GenThree Supercharger, the Corvette Z06 now produces 757 bhp @ 6,200 rpm and 777 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm (SAE). A launch to 60 mph is now achieved in 2.8 seconds, and a quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds at 131 mph.

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Why Go Big, When You Can Go Bigger? – Size Matters. To reach that power (which is up from 650 bhp / 650 lb-ft) the supercharger itself needed to be bigger since the output of a positive displacement supercharger is proportionate to its size. The Callaway GenThree supercharger is 32% larger in displacement (2300cc vs 1740cc).

Cooling – Callaway engineers recognize that a key contributor to maximizing power is reduction of inlet air temperature associated with forced induction. Callaway’s unique triple-element intercooler configuration provides significantly lower and well-managed inlet charge air temperatures than single or smaller dual-element designs. The supercharger housing extends through the hood, thereby exposing it to outside ambient airflow and adding an element of convective cooling. The supercharger is visible without opening the hood, and heat is inherently extracted from the engine compartment.

Bold Packaging – The supercharger assembly is no longer cramped below the hood line. The completely redesigned manifold helps maintain consistent charge air temperatures with exceptionally low restriction and even airflow distribution to all cylinders, which results in a broad torque band producing over 500 lb-ft from 2,000 to 6,400 rpm. This translates to more consistent power delivery in severe-duty driving environments, a compromise typically observed with “underhood” approaches. A 10-rib drive pulley system was also integrated to prevent belt-slippage.11817005-10153385244079718-4018990563581011236-n-1
Patents – The technical features of the Callaway GenThree supercharger are significant enough that utility and design aspects of the system have been awarded patent pending status through the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Competence – 35 years of experience, compliance and warranty. All Callaway cars are assembled to precise engineering specifications by expert technicians at Callaway facilities, exclusively. Callaway provides the most comprehensive standard warranty among all specialty manufacturers. All Callaway cars are also fully emission-compliant. Additionally, there is an optional 5 year/60,000 mile Extended Powertrain Service Contract on all 2016 models.
CALLAWAY CORVETTE Z06 STANDARD EQUIPMENT INCLUDES:
– Callaway GenThree Supercharger (pat. pend.) with Triple-Element Intercooler System
– Callaway Supercharger Hood Surround
– Callaway Carbon Fiber Engine Mid-Covers
– Callaway High Flow Air Intake System
– Callaway Embroidered Floor Mats
– Callaway Anodized Aluminum Door Sill Panels
– Callaway Exterior and Interior Badging
– Callaway Underhood Build Plaque with Vehicle Identification Number
– Callaway Key Fobs
– Callaway Authenticity Documentation Package
– Callaway 3 Year, 36,000 Mile Limited Warranty
Callaway’s standard 3 Year/36,000 Mile Limited Warranty overlaps the factory GM warranties, and ensures that Callaway Corvettes are not blocked for service by GM dealerships nationwide. Optional equipment for 2016 includes a 5 Year/60,000 Mile Powertrain Service Contract, ShortThrow Shifter, Callaway Sport Exhaust with Double-D Tips, Embroidered Car Cover, and National Corvette Museum Delivery.
All Callaway Corvettes are prepared to Callaway engineering specifications by expert craftsmen in Callaway’s Connecticut and California factories. Callaway Corvettes are sold and serviced by Chevrolet dealerships across North America that are members of Callaway’s Authorized Dealer Network. Callaway staff also works with prospective buyers who are not located near Callaway Authorized Dealers to facilitate delivery, maintenance, and warranty service.
The Callaway Corvette Z06 Package price: $16,995.00 with vehicles now in production.
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LINGENFELTER PERFORMANCE ENGINEERING OFFERS 720 HORSEPOWER STAGE 1 PERFORMANCE PACKAGE FOR 2015 C7 Z06 CORVETTES
BRIGHTON, Mich. – Corvette owners who crave more performance and power from their C7 Z06 LT-4 engine, and an even greater adrenaline rush when behind the wheel, can satisfy their need for increased power with a new Stage 1 engine package from Lingenfelter Performance Engineering.
Lingenfelter’s C7 Z06 engine package ups the LT-4’s horsepower and torque without sacrificing drivability, while providing improvements in both throttle response and acceleration. Created with Lingenfelter’s signature attention to precise detail and quality, the 6.2L engine package increases the amount of boost the LT-4’s 1.7L supercharger makes, raising horsepower from 650 stock to 720 horsepower, with an increase of peak torque to 730 lbs. ft.
The kit includes: Lingenfelter LT1/LT4 dry sump damper, Lingenfelter 9.2-inch 15 percent overdrive supercharger drive pulley, supercharger drive belt, 100mm idler pulley kit, high flow air filter, 170-degree performance thermostat, GM crankshaft bolt, handheld programmer with Lingenfelter-designed tune for the LT-4 power package, professional installation by Lingenfelter-trained technicians as well as chassis dyno testing before/after installation with dyno graphs and video documenting the performance gains on USB drive. Special Lingenfelter branding, comprised of chrome fender badges, interior badge and personalized stainless engine badge, is added, along with Lingenfelter’s official certificate of authenticity. The package is backed by a one year/12,000 mile warranty on the added components.
The Lingenfelter Stage 1 LT-4 kit boosts horsepower and torque across the entire power band, which translates into a noticeable difference in acceleration. Throttle response is also greatly improved, with the LT-4 now responding instantly to pedal input. The result is a Z06 Corvette that feels more like a race car on a road course, yet with the manners and temperament of a car that can easily be driven comfortably daily on the street.

Tesla Model X Will Be The World’s Quickest SUV

Tesla Model X Will Be The World’s Quickest SUV

 

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The Tesla Models S just keeps getting better. With the Ludicrous high-performance mode option, announced late this past week, the Model S will go a step beyond the Insane mode currently offered.

As such, the electric sedan to launch from zero to 60 in just 2.8 seconds and blast through the quarter mile in just 10.9 seconds.    

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And it won’t be the only Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] model with such performance potential.

According to CEO Elon Musk, Ludicrous will also be available to buyers of the the forthcoming Tesla Model X. Along with the upgraded 90-kWh battery, which could allow the gull-wing door SUV to spring to 60 mph in a little as 3.3 seconds.

Of course, testing hasn’t even started yet, so real-world performance is still an estimate. But for those keeping score, that’s a half second quicker than a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, and within spitting distance of the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4’s reported zero to 62 time of 3.2 seconds. If Tesla is able to deliver on the 3.3 second figure that would make the Model X the quickest SUV in the world.

The Model X is scheduled to start reaching buyers early in 2016, but when Ludicrous examples will be available is anyone’s guess. Stay tuned. 

 

Source:Motor Authority 

January 14, 2013 - Detroit, MI. Tesla Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.January 14, 2013 - Detroit, MI. Tesla Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.January 14, 2013 - Detroit, MI. Tesla Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.January 14, 2013 - Detroit, MI. Tesla Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.January 14, 2013 - Detroit, MI. Tesla Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.January 14, 2013 - Detroit, MI. Tesla Model X at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.

Alabama – Aston Martin New Plant location

Alabama – Aston Martin New Plant location

 

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It emerged last month that Aston Martin was looking to add a second plant in preparation for several new models due out in the coming years and the extra capacity they’ll require. A possible location for the new plant was said to be here in the U.S., though Aston Martin could just as easily convert a former Jaguar plant back in the U.K. or expand its existing Gaydon facility.

In a new interview with Automotive News (subscription required), the company’s CEO Andy Palmer said a decision on the location will be made at the end of the year. He also admitted that the U.S., more precisely the state of Alabama, was the “obvious choice”.

Palmer said the new plant will be for an SUV inspired by the DBX concept car unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and that it should be located in a region where most of the vehicles will be sold. He explained that most of the SUVs will be sold in China and the U.S., and that setting up a plant in the U.S. was easier than in China.

This is because the company would have to form a joint venture with a local firm to build cars in China. And then there’s the tough task of convincing shoppers paying top dollar for a vehicle to buy one that’s made in China.

Finally, Palmer said Aston Martin prefers an Alabama location because it would be close to where Daimler builds Mercedes-Benz SUVs. This makes sense for logistics as many of the electrical systems and engines going into the new SUV may be sourced from the German automaker, although the platform will be Aston Martin’s own design. There’s also an extensive supplier base and transport facilities already established in Alabama.

The new SUV, which will feature coupe-like styling but with a five-door configuration, is one of three new model lines Aston Martin plans to launch by 2020. Another is a large, luxurious sedan and the third, which is yet to be confirmed, may end up being an all-electric model. This trio will be in addition to replacements for the Vantage, DB9, Vanquish and possibly the Rapide, and together they should help Aston Martin reach a sales target of around 15,000 vehicles annually, up from around 4,000 at present.

Source: Motor Authority

Jaguar F-Type R AWD Bloodhound SSC Rapid Response Vehicle

Jaguar F-Type R AWD Bloodhound SSC Rapid Response Vehicle

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Late last year, Jaguar announced a partnership with current land speed record holder Andy Green and his team at Bloodhound, which is working on a jet and rocket-powered supersonic car (SSC) that will be used in a new land speed record attempt in the next six to 12 months. Green’s previous best was 763.035 mph, clocked in 1997, and this time around the British air force pilot not only wants to beat his record but also be the first to drive at 1,000 mph.

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Jaguar’s efforts in the project include the supply of F-Type support cars, one of which has been revealed today in a new livery that matches that found on the actual SSC. The support car is officially known as a Rapid Response Vehicle, or RRV for short, and it’s based on the latest 2016 F-Type R AWD.

You might be wondering what the Bloodhound team needs with a fleet of F-Type support vehicles. Well, the cars have already fulfilled a critical role in the development of the SSC, helping out with a communications test shown in the video below.

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Fitted with the same radio equipment as the SSC, an F-Type R was driven head-to-head at top speed with a similarly equipped jet flown at 500 knots and just 20 feet above the ground. The combined closing speed of almost 700 mph enabled the successful test of the system that will allow communications between the ground crew and Green in the SSC.

But it’s not just cars Jaguar is providing. The British automaker is also supplying its engineering expertise and some of its supercharged 5.0-liter V-8s. The 550-horsepower engine isn’t used to drive the SSC but rather to help power the fuel pump of its rocket.

As previously reported, the SSC is a mix of car and aircraft technology, with the front half being a carbon fiber monocoque like a modern supercar and the rear being a metallic framework and panels like an aircraft. Peak output from its combined jet and rocket engines will be in excess of 135,000 horsepower!

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Like sister company Land Rover, which has partnered with another pioneering British project, Virgin Galactic, Jaguar is hoping its partnership with Bloodhound will help inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, which is the overall objective of Bloodhound too.

Source:Motor Authority

2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo – North American Delivery –

2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo – North American Delivery –

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Lamborghini’s one-make racing series, the Blancpain Super Trofeo, is on for a new season, and it once again includes a leg exclusive to the North American continent. This time around there’s an all-new car competing, the Huracán LP 620-2, and the first of the 2015-spec cars for the North American Super Trofeo series touched down at Nevada’s Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch last week, where top photographer Jordan Shiraki was able to capture all of the magic.

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Competitors descended upon the track to view and collect their cars for the season, with Lamborghini Squadra Corse (the automaker’s burgeoning motorsports division) officials on hand to provide technical training sessions on the nuances of the new race car and help teams prepare for the season opener at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca starting May 1.

As previously reported, the Huracán LP 620-2 is closely related to the Huracán LP 610-4 road car but has slightly more power from its 5.2-liter V-10 (611 versus 601 hp), less weight, a sequential gearbox and only rear-wheel drive. The car was developed by the Squadra Corse together with chassis expert Dallara and should perform significantly better than the Gallardo LP 570-4 race car it replaces.

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Because of this, competition in the series is divided into two classes this season: one featuring the Huracán-based car and the other featuring the previous Gallardo racer. Lamborghini tells us that there are more teams than ever this season, which is only the third for the North American Super Trofeo (the others are in Europe and Asia).

 

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“The series has really matured in only its third year of the North American championship,” last year’s North American winner and winner in the Pro-Am class of the world final event, Kevin Conway, said in a statement. “There are several new teams and returning teams alike that have very strong driver lineups.”

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A. Kahn Design Flying Huntsman 105 Pick Up – Defender-Based

A. Kahn Design Flying Huntsman 105 Pick Up – Defender-Based

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Following the reveal of the Land Rover Defender-based 105 Longnose and 110 WB 6×6 Flying Huntsman SUVs at last month’s 2015 Geneva Motor Show, British coachbuilder and nascent automaker A. Kahn Design has added a pickup to its Flying Huntsman family, the aptly named Flying Huntsman 105 Pick Up.

The Flying Huntsman is a unique version of the Defender that comes with a stretched wheelbase, which in addition to altering the proportions of the Land Rover icon also enables Kahn’s engineering team to shoehorn a V-8 engine under the hood. The “105” in the name signifies that there’s now a 115-inch wheelbase, up on the standard Defender 90 model’s 93-inch wheelbase, with all of that extra length found in front of the windshield.

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While the team chose a V-8 for the previous Flying Huntsman SUVs, the new pickup variant gets a 2.2-liter diesel mill. Drive is to all four wheels via a button-operated six-speed automatic transmission. Brake and suspension upgrades, plus an increase in vehicle width by almost 6.0 inches, complete the engineering overhaul.

On the outside, the designers added custom fenders with vents and bolt apertures that give the vehicle an aggressive look. The wheels are Kahn’s own Defend 1945 Retro pattern finished in matte black and measuring 18 inches across. A bit of additional personalization is found in the form of a gold stripe.

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For the interior, Kahn says the glove box, dashboard, grab handles, door panel inserts, instrument cluster, roof headliner and sun visors are all upholstered to complement a pair of sports bucket seats. The standard Defender’s cabin is also enhanced by Churchill-branded clock and aluminum steering wheel and pedals.

Pricing for the Flying Huntsman 105 Pick Up starts at £58,875 (approximately $89,216) before taxes.

 

Source: Motor Authority