Mazda is using an old racer’s trick—adding lightness—to increase the fuel mileage of its next-generation vehicles. The goal is to cut 220 pounds off each one, which is easy on heavy crossovers and SUVs but more of a challenge with smaller cars. Even so, the first try, with the 2013 Mazda CX-5 crossover, resulted in a curb weight hundreds of pounds lower than that of the CX-7 it replaced.
AM General is mulling over the idea of producing a kit Hummer composed of certain military-spec HMMWV body and chassis components into which aspiring urban commandos install their own engine and powertrain. Called the C-Series (C for civilian), it’s thought that off-road racers and enthusiasts would be the first to put down deposits if the project goes ahead.
Carmakers often proclaim how environmentally friendly their vehicles, and even their manufacturing plants, are in an effort to lure young green-leaning Gen Y buyers into their showrooms. But Jim Lentz, chief executive of Toyota Motor sales, says Gen Y is lukewarm at best about cars, preferring to ride bikes and take public transportation instead, and more likely to buy the latest smart phone than a new car. Still, there’s hope in the form a survey data predicting that this age group might well comprise as much as 40 percent of U.S. sales in the next decade, and that they’re particularly interested in hybrids.
Clark Gable’s 1935 Duesenberg will go on the auction block at the Pebble Beach Concours later this month. It’s one of just 10 JN models built, and while no reserve price has yet been announced, it would be worth putting in a bid of your own just so you could stand up and say, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn how much it costs!”
If you thought paper-hat jobs at places like McDonald’s were a dead end, you might have to eat those words (do you want fries with that?). Volkswagen says some of the best employees at its Tennessee plant come from the ranks of fast-food workers because they “know standardized work” and don’t bring any bad habits with them from previous manufacturing jobs.
Some cars’ engines sound so good they’re like music to your ears. But other parts of a car can be turned into musical instruments, too, as demonstrated here:
2013 Mazda CX-5 - Official Website
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