Welcome to the Starting Grid, where we start your day off right with the biggest news in the auto industry, such as the capabilities of the Ford Fusion Energi and much more on this Thursday morning.
Pole Position: Ford Fusion Energi Capable of 21 EV-Only Miles
Keeping up their full-court press on the competition, Ford has announced their plug-in hybrid Fusion Energi is capable of 21 miles in EV Mode, with a full range of 620 miles – that’s triple the EV range of the Prius PHEV, and double the Honda Accord PHEV. Of course, Ford has had some run-ins with fact checkers lately (story here), so stay tuned.
Front Row: Top Gear Names Toyota GT86 COTY
The one and only Jeremy Clarkson has named the Toyota GT86 his personal Car Of The Year. Why? “Because it's come barrelling into the bottom end of the marketplace with a big, dirty smile on its face and a suggestion in the way it stands that it would like to have fun with your middle parts.” Ok, then. We had quite a bit of fun blasting through the California wilderness in a Scion FR-S (story here), so we’d have to agree. [TopGear]
Third Position: How GM Accountants Killed Pontiac and Oldsmobile Corvettes
In the end, it all comes down to money, a strategy that has killed many an awesome vehicle in the last century. Benjamin Preston of Jalopnik explains how exactly that happened to two forgotten Vettes, the Oldsmobile F-88 and Pontiac Bonneville Special. [Jalopnik]
Fourth Position: Ford and GM Shares Tumble Thanks to Europe
Both brands saw December sales decrease by at least 27-percent, and expected losses are in the billions. The problem of what to do with the crumbling European economy has no clear solution, and the two giant automakers could be in for the long slog. [Freep]
Safety Car: Corvette Debuts Today in 1953
We all drooled over the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray this week (photos here), and rightfully so, but today marks the 60th anniversary of the iconic American sports car and we should pay homage to the predecessors. Check out this slideshow to take a trip through automotive time. [ABCNews]
Video of the Day: Chris Harris in a Singer 911
Stop. Stop it. Just stop. Whatever you’re doing, stop and watch this video of ultra-hoon Chris Harris playing with a delectable Singer Porsche 911. You’re welcome.