Auto Notes - May 2017
New Chevy truck. Chevrolet has announced the expansion of its medium-duty truck lineup with the 2018 Low Cab Forward 6500XD Class 6 model. The dock-height truck, equipped with a 5.2-L turbo-diesel engine and Allison six-speed automatic transmission, will be available by the end of the year.
Front and rear Dana axle ratings on the new 6500XD are 12,000 and 19,000 pounds with a GVWR of 25,950 pounds. Eight wheelbases will be offered and bodies up to 30 feet long can be accommodated.
“Our goal is to offer the best work solutions and customer care in the business,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “Our Low Cab Forward dealers and Uplifter Integration Group will work hand-in-hand with customers to spec the right truck for the job.”
Ford history. It was 90 years ago that Ford Motor Co. discontinued making the popular Model T that began production in late 1908. Company Founder Henry Ford watched the 15 millionth unit roll of the assembly line at his factory in Highland Park, Mich., on May 26, 1927 and production ended later that year. The Model T was replaced by the Model A that was produced from late 1927 until March 1932.
The first Model T, also known as “Tin Lizzie,” had an original retail price of $850, but the cost dropped to as low as $260 by 1925. The T was produced in nine body styles, including a two-seat runabout, a five-seat touring car, and a seven-seat town car. The engine on the rear-wheel-drive Model T was a 177 cubic-inch inline four-cylinder mated to a two-speed (plus reverse) transmission. Top speed was between 40-45 MPH.
While cars of today are a bit more technologically advanced than the Model T, it is recognized as the first mass-produced vehicle in the U.S. to create mobilization at an affordable price. Henry Ford called the Model T “the universal car” because it was relatively inexpensive, was easily maintained, and could traverse the poor road conditions of the day with its durable three-point suspension system.
Coming soon. Subaru sales have increased for seven consecutive years in the U.S., and with its new offering the automaker may experience more growth this year. The new 2018 Ascent is expected to hit showrooms this summer, the first seven-seat offering for Subaru since the Tribeca that went away in 2014.
With an aggressive and rugged front appearance, including imbedded fog lamps, the new AWD Ascent offers a larger option for highly loyal Subaru buyers who may desire three-row seating and more overall interior space for passengers and/or cargo.
The Ascent is expected to be powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-L turbocharged engine mated to a continuously variable transmission. A 3.6-L flat-six engine will likely also be available. Pricing is expected in the $35,000 range.
Simply stinging. Another new entry into the market is the 2018 Kia Stinger, a powerful all-new four-door fastback sport sedan. A 2.0-L turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine is standard, but a 3.3-L twin-turbo Lambda II engine is available that produces 365 HP at 6,000 RPM. That offering is said to reach 0-62 MPH in just 4.9 seconds.
he transmission is a second-generation eight-speed rear drive automatic that features Kia’s first use of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber torque converter to reduce vibrations. With a longer wheelbase (114.4 inches) and length (190.2 inches) than its competitors, the Stinger chassis is comprised of 55 percent high-strength steel and provides an ultra-stiff ride.
Expected pricing will be between $35,000 and $40,000 for the Stinger that is due out this summer and features plentiful technologies, including multiple driver safety systems.
Diesel stats. At the recent Renewable Diesel Seminar held in San Francisco, it was noted that renewable diesel fuel produced by companies such as Neste Corp. is made from 100 percent renewable raw materials and results in a 40-90 percent in reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the fuel’s lifecycle compared to traditional fossil diesel.
“Diesel engines remain the workforce of the global economy,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “Renewable diesel fuels are an exciting new development in the advancement of diesel technology and offer immediate societal and customer benefits, and an overnight transformation of the carbon footprint.”