Auto Notes - October 2018
Pirelli joins fund. Pirelli has become the first tire company to join the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, pledging $600,000 for 2018-2019. The money will help fund efforts to make a significant impact on global road safety.
Filippo Bettini Pirelli’s chief sustainability and risk governance officer was also nominated to have a seat on the fund’s advisory board.
Company officials said Pirelli’s foremost concern is to increase driving safety, mainly through the application of innovative technologies. Their involvement in the United Nations (UN) program is aimed at cutting in half the number of worldwide traffic accident deaths by 2020. According to UN data, an estimated 1.25 million people are killed in road accidents each year.
Honda Pilot tech. The 2019 Honda Pilot arrives at dealers loaded with new technology in the world of advancing ADAS. The Pilot, available in 13 2WD and AWD models, will have Honda Sensing on all trims, as well as available Display Audio touch screen system with ApplePlay and Android Auto Integration, 4G LTE-based Wi-Fi, and Honda’s exclusive CabinControl and CabinTalk app. The latter is a next-generation HondaLink platform that connects drivers to online content both inside and outside the SUV for a variety of cloud-based services.
Honda Sensing is a suite of advanced safety and driver-assist technologies that includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (with Forward Collision Warning), Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist System, and Adaptive Cruise Control. Honda’s blind spot detection system, formerly only available on Elite trims, is now standard on EX, EX-L, and Touring models.
In addition, there is Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control on all models, and multi-angle rearview cameras with either static or dynamic guidelines.
Base price on a Pilot LX 2WD is $31,450, and the top of the line Pilot Elite AWD begins at $48,020.
Mustang hoopla. Ford has produced its 10 millionth Mustang in just more than 54 years of selling the iconic sports car. And the world’s best-selling Pony car recently made history with its one-of-kind Eagle Squadron Mustang GT to honor Americans who served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II.
In celebration the 100th anniversary of the RAF, Ford and world champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. designed the one-only aircraft-inspired Eagle Squadron GT that was auctioned off at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) largest fundraiser held during the Oshkosh Fly-in in Oshkosh, Wis.
“The Eagle Squadron Mustang GT build with Vaughn and the Ford design team is a great way to honor our heroes and keep the spirit of aviation alive for the next generation of American pilots,” said Darrell Behmer, Ford Mustang design chief.
Over the years, Ford has donated 11 special vehicles to the EAA auction with the Eagle Squadron GT being the 10th Mustang in the mix. In total, Ford has helped raise more than $3 million for the association.
The first production Mustang, a 1964 Wimbledon White model, was purchased by Captain Stanley Tucker, a Canadian airline pilot. Because it was supposed to be used for promotion and demonstration purposes, Ford provided Tucker with a 1966 customized Mustang, and the original model he purchased (VIN 5F08F100001) is now on display at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.
Lotus 70th anniversary. In celebration of its 70th anniversary in 2018, British automaker Lotus is offering two 70th Edition cars.
An Exige 70th Edition, available in either the 350 Sport or 380 Sport guise, will be limited to 40 models, and only 30 Elise Cup 260 will be offered.
The 260 will be finished in gold paint and will cost about $77,000.
Lexus in Kentucky. The first 2019 Lexus ES 350 recently rolled off the assembly line in Georgetown, Ky. While the plant has been operational since 2015, this marks the first production of the next-generation 2019 ES models. The all-new F-Sport model will also be assembled at the plant.
The $360 million Georgetown facility received the Platinum Award from J.D. Power & Associates Initial Quality Study in 2016, just a year after its first production series. The 800-plus staff at the plant received more than 150,000 hours of training to build the ES model.
Volvo autonomous car. Based on its new 360c autonomous concept, Volvo Cars said a major challenge of autonomous technology is the need for global standards so all autonomous vehicles on the road can communicate with one another.
The 360c addresses the challenge with systems that actually recognize external sounds, colors, movements, and other aspects of vehicles interfacing with each other.