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Adaptive headlights aim to be the next must-have safety feature12/01/2015
Just as cars without rearview cameras as standard equipment are beginning to look stingy or outdated in the marketplace, plain old headlights that do not track the road ahead may be the next safety feature to inspire greater -- if not industry-wide -- adoption.
The driving force expected to encourage automakers to offer adaptive headlights on more models is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and its rankings, Automotive News reports. The safety assessments of vehicles by this organization have, over time, acquired substantial influence in the industry, encouraging automakers to offer safety features and technologies in an effort to woo consumers who pay attention to IIHS ratings and vehicle safety as a whole.
"We’ve studied all of these different innovations to the extent we’re able, and the strongest signal we get back from the data is that the steerable headlights are associated with the largest reductions of crashes reported to insurers," says David Zuby, the IIHS’ chief research officer.
New car sales for November
Winners and losers12/01/2015
Ford, Nissan, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors all posted modest U.S. sales increases in November as the industry appeared poised to chalk up another strong month.
Nissan Motor Co. rode strong demand for the Rogue crossover to a 3.8 percent increase. FCA extended its streak of monthly advances to 68 with a 3 percent rise. GM was up 1.5 percent, while Ford Motor Co. eked out a 0.3 percent gain.
The increases come in comparison to a strong November 2014 that also had two more selling days than last month.
Automakers are releasing their November sales results amid forecasts for a third straight month of a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate above 18 million. A strong November will also push the industry closer to topping the U.S. sales peak of 17.4 million, set in 2000.
Through October, deliveries across the industry rose 5.8 percent to 14.5 million, spurred by rising incentives, record leasing rates, pent-up demand, and favorable financing and credit availability.
2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 drive review
Not just a smoke machine11/27/2015
I was assigned the Cadillac ATS-V Coupe for the weekend. When I arrived in the parking garage and discovered that it was equipped with an automatic, I ran upstairs for another set of keys and discovered those of a Chevrolet Z06 convertible, also equipped with an automatic. I hadn’t really spent time in an Aisin eight-speed-equipped Z06 since shortly after the car’s launch, and you know, V8.
As you know, the current king of Corvette hill is a monster. With 650 hp and 650 lb-ft, it will readily turn tires to smoke under normal conditions. (When the air temperature drops, those big rear tires tend to behave like the solid-plastic rear tires of a big wheel, so be careful out there.) It’s not just a smoke machine though; the Z06 will take you around your chosen racetrack faster than just about anything with blinkers, provided it stays cool. Depending on who you ask, it may or may not stay cool in certain on-track situations.
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 AMG review
Killer crossover coupe?11/25/2015
The Mercedes-Benz GLE seems to be an answer to the question, “Shouldn’t Mercedes have something to compete with the BMW X6?”
I’m not sure who asked that question, or why, but here we are. Still, after a few days with the bubble-shaped AMG450, I have a little better sense of what this car is truly for.
I had the AMG for our first weekend of snow here in Michigan, and on those aggressive Pirelli P-Zeros, things got a little dicey. On my first expressway jaunt, when there were just a few slippery inches on the ground, the car felt sloppy. I looked at the window sticker and didn’t see the 4Matic notation, which made me even more nervous. I ended up putting the car in snow mode, which softened up the throttle, allowing me to use my normal pedal force without flying off the road. When I found it was 4Matic-equipped, I got a little more aggressive and found the 4WD and traction control system working in unity, no matter what I did with the right pedal. The porky curb weight of nearly 5,000 pounds surely helped it push through the slushy mess.