Included is his first-in-production 1953 Buick.
Neil Young to auction model train collection, classic cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Nov 2017 11:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Included is his first-in-production 1953 Buick.
Neil Young to auction model train collection, classic cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Nov 2017 11:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Big diesels have their benefits, but perhaps fuel mileage isn’t one of them.
Should heavy-duty pickup trucks have window stickers and fuel mileage estimates? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN), the leading global mountain resort company has partnered exclusively with the premium truck and SUV manufacturer GMC. This multi-year agreement marries GMC’s professional grade identity to Vail Resorts’ mission to provide guests with an experience of a lifetime.
This partnership will provide guests of Vail Resorts’ 13 North American ski resorts with an exceptional GMC brand experience through onsite activations and signature resort events year-round, along with a complimentary vehicle service available at premier Vail Resorts’ lodging properties.
Key components of the partnership include:
“GMC’s ‘Professional Grade’ brand and remarkable attention to design and detail are well aligned with Vail Resorts’ collection of world-class mountain resort destinations,” said Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer of Vail Resorts. “We’re looking forward to sharing the GMC experience with guests at our resorts through on-snow activations and complimentary vehicle programs at a selection of our casually elegant lodging properties.”
“Similar to Vail Resorts, GMC provides its customers the ability to experience life’s adventurous side through our premium vehicle offerings. We are eager to kick off this partnership, and the upcoming ski season, by inviting Vail Resorts guests to live to a higher standard through their experience with our bold and capable trucks and SUVs,” said Rich Latek, director of GMC Marketing.
About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 11 world-class mountain resorts and three urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher in Australia; Stowe in Vermont; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.
GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at www.gmc.com, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at www.facebook.com/gmc.
During the early 1990s, not every family needing a capacious hauler opted for a minivan or SUV. Some still followed the traditions of their forefathers and bought station wagons with faux-wood exterior panels. Here’s one in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard.
Junkyard Gem: 1992 Buick Century Woodie station wagon originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 09 Oct 2017 13:16:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
ATLANTA, Ga. — The 2018 Enclave is part of Buick’s effort to reinvigorate its brand, positioning itself as a maker of “attainable luxury” vehicles. That means a total redesign, a number of safety and technology upgrades, and the introduction of the Avenir sub-brand (think of that last one as sort of the Denali of Buick). It also means more space and more luxury. With this in mind, we traveled to Atlanta to get to know the new Enclave, both in the city and on a long drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains into North Carolina.
Our first impressions of the new Enclave came not from the driver’s seat, but from a
Our second impression: “Boy, it’s quiet in here.” Heading toward downtown Atlanta on the freeway, we were unable to pick up wind noise, and only just a smidge of road noise as the Enclave trundled over the occasional rough patch of pavement. This is, of course, completely intentional on the part of Buick. The windshield and front windows use acoustic glass. The doors are triple sealed for a tighter, quieter fit when closed. Buick has insulated the Enclave with more sound deadening and included active noise cancellation. “Our goal is to make it as social as possible,” said Dean Perelli, chief engineer for the Enclave. And social it is. It is easy to carry on conversation across the Enclave’s three roomy rows.
When we got out of the Enclave, we had a chance to take it in from the outside. It features attractive, wing-like lighting front and rear. The front signature lighting uses technology called “Evonik Acrylite,” (a mouthful, even for the engineers) which is a polycarbonate material arranged in a dazzling, faceted and delicate array. The paint finishes we saw were attractive, with depth. The Enclave features a floating-style roof that extends into a rear spoiler, and it makes the rear three-quarter view our favorite angle from which to view the car. We really enjoyed the contrast of the painted rear bumper, a classier look than plastic cladding, which would have looked too rough for this refined Enclave. Its large aluminum alloy wheels look sporty, and offer nice finishes as well, our favorite being a just slightly less-than-glossy almost-chrome.
The new Enclave has a wheelbase two inches longer than the previous generation, which translates to more room for third-row passengers. The packaging of the suspension – MacPehrson front and five-link rear – is more compact than previous generations, allowing Buick to take advantage of the added space. The “Magic Slide” second-row captain’s chair on the passenger side can kneel forward to allow rear egress even with a child seat strapped on. There’s a good amount of room for stuff, too. The floor of the rear cargo area lifts up to reveal a deep well with hooks to keep your groceries in place. The spare tire is located even further below that, thanks to some spatial miracle on the part of Buick.
Before we got behind the wheel, we learned a bit about the air quality system. Not only does the Enclave feature tri-zone automatic climate control, it also has an ionizer for air purification. Located in the ductwork, it produces negative ions that capture finer pollutants and allergens like dust, pollen, smoke, bacteria, viruses and odors, and clumps them together to make them either fall out of the air or become more easily caught in the air filter. If you’re someone who suffers from seasonal allergies or lives in a smoggy city, you might appreciate this technology.
The Enclave is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 producing 310 horsepower and 266 pound feet of torque. That power goes to the wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. While it’s not underpowered, it’s not exactly what we’d call quick, either – 0-60 miles per hour comes in 6.4 seconds in the front-wheel drive version, while the all-wheel drive Enclave makes the same sprint in 7.1 seconds. There’s enough get-up to merge at highway speeds on a short onramp. The V6 mostly makes itself unheard, but on the occasions it does pipe up, it produces a pleasant note.
The really impressive thing about this powertrain is its smoothness, and the transmission is truly the highlight of the new Enclave’s refined drive experience. This CUV is already quiet, but its buttery shifts make acceleration a completely drama-free activity, and almost CVT-like in its linearity (without the awful droning that often accompanies continuously variable transmissions). While we could hear the shifts happening under full throttle, we couldn’t really feel them. We didn’t find much value or engagement using the paddles on the back of the steering wheel, and preferred to let this exceptional transmission sort the gears on its own.
The Enclave’s ride is just as isolating as the rest of the driving experience. Our car also had the upgraded suspension with continuous damping control. “We tied it down more than other vehicles,” Perelli told us ahead of our drive. This all translated to a calm ride up front, with the bumps largely unfelt and body roll quite well managed, even in the hairpin corners on the rural highways of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Sitting in the third row, though, we felt more motion through the suspension, but it was still comfortable through the corners.
Make no mistake about it, though: This is a big vehicle. On Atlanta’s city streets, it was difficult to be confident about placing the Enclave in its lane, mostly because the corners of the vehicle are hidden from view. While it might be a little tricky on a tight city street, the Enclave offers a number of features to help ensure safety and make the drive easier. It has a rear-view camera (with a spray nozzle), which displays in the mirror to provide a wider view à la the Cadillac CT6. A 360-degree camera view is extremely helpful when parking. Lane-keep assist is subtle, and helps keep it steady on the highway, where the lines are generally more defined. The adaptive cruise control works well, bringing the car to a full stop.
The Enclave is also a connected vehicle. In addition to OnStar, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it offers 4G LTE Wi-Fi running on AT&T’s cellular service. In all but the most remote parts of our trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains, it worked quite well with a number of people using it simultaneously. There’s enough room, even in the third row, to whip out a laptop and work online, assuming you’re not prone to motion sickness. Our vehicle also had a couple of USB ports in every row, allowing us to charge a phone from any seat in the vehicle.
For years, Buick was a bit of a punching bag, and while some of the shade tossed its way has been unfair or cliché, much of it was deserved. It’s rare for a product from the brand to stir up much emotion either way. Frankly, we were caught off guard by the way the 2018 Enclave — not just a Buick, but a crossover — made us feel, and it has us rethinking the brand. The price tag might still be a deterrent for some buyers, but if you’re looking at an Acura MDX or an Infiniti QX60, you ought to take a look at the Enclave, too. You might be just as surprised by it as we were. Furthermore, you might find some GM dealer incentives to sweeten the deal.
Unless it’s a fluke, the 2018 Enclave demonstrates a renewed savviness on the part of the brand in terms of technology, design, attention to detail, and that hard-to-quantify but perhaps most important quality, charisma. If this CUV is evidence of the brand’s new tack, (and Buick has basically said as much) we won’t be as surprised with Buick’s success as we were about how much this new Enclave resonates with us. In fact, this new Buick is something we could really get used to.
2018 Buick Enclave First Drive Review | Fortress of quietude originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 Oct 2017 09:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Car crash death rates get increasingly high as population density drops, fueled in part by lower seat belt use in the remotest rural areas, a U.S. study suggests.
“We already knew that death rates were higher and seat belt use was lower in rural versus urban areas,” said lead study author Laurie Beck, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. “This study expanded those findings to show that, even within rural areas, there are differences in passenger-vehicle occupant death rates and seat belt use,” Beck said by email.
Car crashes are a leading cause of death nationwide, CDC researchers note in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. While collisions are more common on urban roads, fatalities occur more often in rural regions. For the study, CDC researchers examined data based on six categories of population density from the most metropolitan, with at least 1 million city residents, to the most rural, with fewer than 2,500 residents living in urban communities.
Passenger vehicles included cars, light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles. Crash deaths focused on adults 18 or older, and excluded younger passengers. Even within the primarily urban Northeast, crash death rates ranged from 3.5 fatalities for every 100,000 people in the most urban counties to 10.8 deaths for every 100,000 people in counties with fewer than 20,000 residents in metropolitan areas.
In the South, where more people live outside big cities, crash death rates ranged from 6.8 fatalities for every 100,000 people in the most urban areas to 29.2 deaths for every 100,000 people in the least urban areas, with less than 2,500 residents in urban communities. Seatbelt use ranged from about 89 percent in the most urban counties to slightly less than 75 percent in the most urban counties.
Researchers also looked at how crash death rates changed based on whether states had so-called primary seat belt laws – which allow traffic stops just for failure to wear seat belts – or what’s known as secondary seat belt laws, which permit tickets only in conjunction with other violations.
Even in Northeast states with primary seat belt laws, crash death rates were lower in cities and highest in rural communities. Among all states with primary seat belt laws nationwide, overall crash death rates were lowest in the Northeast at 3.9 fatalities for every 100,000 people and highest in the South with 10.9 deaths for every 100,000 people.
One limitation of the study is that researchers calculated crash-death rates based on where the victim lived, not where the collision occurred, the authors note. This might have underestimated the difference in fatalities between urban and rural areas because drivers who travel across different regions are more likely to head from small towns to big cities, the authors point out.
Still, lower seat belt use in rural areas clearly contributes to higher death rates, said Dr. Jacob Sunshine, a researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle who wasn’t involved in the study. “Other potential contributing factors include higher speeds that are readily achieved in rural areas compared to urban areas; increased per-capita levels of impaired driving; and less proximity to designated trauma centers following traumatic injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash,” Sunshine said by email.
Lower wages and higher unemployment in some rural communities might also mean more people are driving older cars with fewer safety features to prevent fatalities in a crash, Sunshine added. But the study also shows that stricter seat belt laws can make a difference, especially with more stringent enforcement, he said.
“Seat belts are proven to save lives and we should educate drivers and passengers about their benefits,” Sunshine said. “Laws are important too; enforcement needs to be a priority, particularly in rural areas.”
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2xiNbKV CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, online September 22, 2017.
If you frequently read car reviews, you’re almost guaranteed to find at least one in which the reviewer gripes about an infotainment system being hard to use and that it’s distracting. But exactly how distracting are some systems, and what about some of the tasks? That’s what the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety set out to find with its new study. It evaluated systems from a wide array of cars and trucks, as well as several available functions, to find out which was worst.
Starting with what infotainment functions are the worst to use while driving, we weren’t very surprised to find that adjusting the audio settings were the least distracting. This may have something to do with the fact that we’ve been changing stations, inputs and volumes for decades now, and each of those tasks doesn’t take much more than one or two button presses or turning a knob. A little more surprising was that neither making a phone call nor sending a text message with the infotainment system was the most demanding. That honor (dishonor?) goes to using the navigation, and specifically entering an address. This task had the highest visual demand and distracted the driver for the longest time. The next worst tasks were texting and making phone calls.
The task itself isn’t the only distracting aspect of using an infotainment system. The interface a car’s system uses can be distracting as well. The study examined three types: controls on a center stack, voice controls, and controls down in the center console. Once again, it’s not entirely surprising that the center stack controls were the least distracting. Like with adjusting the radio, we’re simply used to pressing buttons and knobs on the center stack, whether it’s for the radio, navigation or climate controls. Interestingly, the most distracting control scheme was the center console setup. This doesn’t bode well for manufacturers such as Mazda, Audi and others that rely on a large knob in between the seats.
AAA’s conclusion to this study seems to be that automakers have some room for improvement for infotainment systems, and more complicated tasks such as manually texting, dialing numbers and inputting addresses, as well as any kind of web or social media browsing should be locked out while the car is being driven. It’s also advisable to complete tasks such as address input before actually driving.
We would also add a small caveat to AAA’s findings. An infotainment system can be a very subjective thing. A system that one person finds horribly complex and distracting, might make perfect sense to you. So it’s something that should be tried out on your own before ruling it out, probably before you start test-driving the car. If it’s tough to use, maybe consider a different vehicle. Also, while the study did allow participants to become somewhat familiar with each car before performing tests, remember that any system you try will likely become easier and less distracting the more you use it and get practice. Still, it’s smart to pick a system that’s fairly easy to pick up without prior knowledge.
“General Motors believes in an all-electric future.”
DETROIT — General Motors outlined plans on Monday to add 20 new battery electric and fuel-cell vehicles to its global product lineup by 2023, financed by robust profits from sales of gasoline-fueled trucks and sport utility vehicles in the United States and China.
“General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” GM global product development chief Mark Reuss said on Monday during a briefing at the company’s suburban Detroit technical center. Future generations of GM electric vehicles “will be profitable,” Reuss said, but added it was not clear when GM could make all its new vehicle offerings zero-emission electric cars. Regulators in China and some European countries have floated proposals to ban internal combustion engines by 2030 or 2040. “We will continue to make sure our internal combustion engines will get more and more efficient,” Reuss said.
GM shares were up more than 4 percent in midday New York trading on positive comments from Rod Lache, auto analyst at Deutsche Bank. Automakers, including electric vehicle market leader Tesla, lose money on electric cars because battery costs are still higher than comparable internal combustion engines.
The company offered sneak peeks of three EV prototypes: a Buick SUV, a sporty Cadillac wagon and a futuristic pod car wearing a Bolt badge.
GM funds its forays into new technology using a river of cash generated by old-technology vehicles popular with its core customer base in the United States heartland. In comparison, Tesla has burned through an estimated $10 billion in cash and has yet to show a full year profit. GM earned more than 90 percent of its $12.5 billion in pretax profits last year in North America, amid robust demand for its lineup of large sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks. The company’s profitable operations in China rely on consumer demand for an expanding lineup of gasoline powered SUVs.
GM has previously announced plans to make some of its future electric vehicles capable of driving themselves in robot taxi fleets. The company offered sneak peeks of three electric vehicle prototypes: a Buick brand sport utility vehicle, a sporty Cadillac wagon and a futuristic pod car wearing a Bolt badge.
GM collaborated with Korean battery maker LG Chem to build the Bolt battery system. Company officials did not say what companies would supply batteries for the larger fleet of vehicles promised by 2023.
Fuel-cell vehicles will also play a role in GM’s future, the company said. GM showed on Monday a prototype of a rolling, hydrogen-fueled truck platform called “SURUS” — Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure — that could be used for multiple purposes.
The company plans to offer a fuel-cell vehicle to retail customers within five years, it said. Toyota Motor Corp, Honda and Hyundai already are marketing fuel-cell vehicles in low volume.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said last month the company plans to introduce at least 10 new electric or hybrid vehicles to the Chinese market by 2020, and open a battery plant this year with Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp.
China has set goals for electric and plug-in hybrid cars to make up at least a fifth of auto sales by 2025. Some of the electric vehicles GM will offer in China are among the 20 Reuss promised by 2023. GM also hinted that it may take new steps to expand the public infrastructure for rapid recharging of electric vehicles, without offering any details.
The No. 1 U.S. automaker joins several rivals, including German automakers Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW, that have pledged to accelerate development of electric vehicles, in response to proposals in China and several European countries to ban internal combustion engines by 2030 or 2040.
GM’s announcement comes just two days before rival Ford is scheduled to roll out a new strategic plan, and as Tesla ramps up production of its high-volume Model 3 electric sedan.
Reporting by Joseph White
GM promises to add 20 EVs and fuel-cell cars to lineup, paid for by SUVs originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Oct 2017 14:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Pete Diaz of Key Largo had just spent $100,000 restoring his ’65 Corvette, but his garage didn’t prove much of a haven—it got inundated by Irma and is a total loss. Also gone is his wife’s 2016 Mercedes, another Corvette and a Harley.
Should Pete have sought higher ground? Where would that have been? The hurricane covered the entire state of Florida, as well as several states to the north. We’ve seen images of flooded Ferraris, Lamborghinis and a Ford GT40, all of which are now at the Royal Purple Raceway, a dragstrip where waterlogged cars are going to die.
Import Image Racing deserves a Hero of the Month award for offering to take in enthusiast cars—free of charge—at its warehouse in Fort Myers. Other companies paid back in other ways. Tesla, for instance, used its vaunted update-by-wire ability to temporarily (until September 16) extend the range of its Florida-based cars—giving owners a better chance of getting away. It wasn’t announced ahead of time—people just woke up to find their Model X and S cars charged past any point they’d known in the past.
I like the concept; it shows Tesla taps into original thinking. Of course, the roads were so clogged that not many stragglers could get out by that point, but the thought was there.
Meanwhile, down in Texas, the state is reeling from Hurricane Harvey damage that could tally as much as $180 billion. A significant part of that loss is cars and trucks, and more than 100,000 claims have already been filed—the number could climb to 500,000. Katrina took out 600,000 cars in New Orleans.
There’s a number of points to be made here. Florida hurricane victims with auto or truck losses should cross their fingers and file their claims as soon as possible, because the available insurance funds may be exhausted. As the New York Times pointed out, the big, deep-pocketed insurance companies long ago abandoned the state because of the coastal risks involved. The Florida Catastrophe Hurricane Fund has only $17 billion on hand, and that is not likely to cover the losses.
Second, be very careful of too-good-to-be-true car deals in the wake of Irma and Harvey. It’s not always obvious that a car has been in a storm, with water up to the bucket seats. There are plenty of quick fix-ups being offered for sale now, and new carpeting or upholstery is one sign of a problem.
Another thing to watch out for is a “salvage” title—run from any such vehicle. Salvage titles go to cars declared a total loss. Legitimately, some undamaged parts can be sold off those cars, but buying these swimmers as bargains is asking for trouble. The National Insurance Crime Bureau maintains a free VINcheck system that will give you the straight dope on the title of any car you’re considering.
Other things to look for, according to NICB:
Have a mechanic check the car out if you don’t feel up to these tasks.
Getting back to the original question—what should you do to protect your car before the storm—the answer is pretty simple. Get vehicles to the nearest high ground, preferably indoors but if outside at least away from trees or objects that can become projectiles.
Even better, put yourself in the car, and drive it out of the danger zone well ahead of the crowds. That’s the good advice that state and federal officials were handing out weeks ahead of Irma. With Harvey, Houston’s mayor told people to stay put (to avoid gridlock on the highway) and time will tell if that was a smart decision or not.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
We all have complained about traffic before. I do it, you do it, everyone does it. Because it stinks. There’s really no way around it. It’s a time-waster and we can all think of other places we’d rather be than stuck behind an old car with a bad exhaust problem for an hour or so after work. To put things in perspective, TomTom has released a very informative study that they’ve conducted that shows the worst cities for traffic. Some of it may surprise you, some of it probably won’t.
Top 10 Most Congested Cities in the United States
(report is for both North and South America)
4. Los Angeles (no shocker there)
6. San Francisco
10. San Jose
11. New York City
15. Washington D.C.
17. New Orleans
The real shocker?
39. Dallas-Fort Worth
Maybe I think it’s worse when I’m stuck in it, but I was surprised by DFW being ranked number 39. It also makes me not want to travel to Los Angeles or San Francisco anytime soon. The top three most congested cities across the Americas are Rio De Janiero, Mexico City and Sao Paulo. That makes feel wonder just how bad it is down in Brazil with the World Cup going on right now.
A few more interesting findings on the report are the lightest and heaviest days for traffic. In Dallas – Fort Worth, the lightest morning commute is on Friday, while the heaviest is Tuesday. The lightest evening commute is Monday, while the heaviest is Friday, which doesn’t surprise me at all. Anyone who has been in traffic here in DFW on a Friday evening knows that it’s a parking lot all over the metroplex.
Houston and Austin are both above Dallas-Fort Worth on the list (number 23 and 25, respectively).
Check out the full report here and see where your city ranks!