November 30th, 2012 at 11:53am
The U.S. Department of Energy is set to announce a new project to develop low-cost batteries for electric vehicles. Chevy unveiled its new race car for NASCAR and says it will closely resemble the production car. The 2014 Mazda6 will be the first vehicle in Mazda’s line-up to feature its SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine. All that and more, plus John talks with Lincoln’s John Clinard on why it decided to showcase classic cars from its past at the LA Auto Show.
Hello and welcome to another episode of Autoline Daily. It’s the last day of November and I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, hijacking the Autoline airwaves once again while John is out of town.
By the way, if you still haven’t caught Autoline’s live webcast from the LA Auto Show, you can get the whole enchilada right now at Autoline.tv. Check it out, amigos. But let’s get to the news.
2013 NASCAR CHEVROLET SS REVEALED
Chevy unveiled its new race car for NASCAR. The rear-drive Chevrolet SS will debut next year in the series and is powered by the company’s iconic small-block V8 engine. The company says the NASCAR version will closely resemble the production version which will hit showrooms late next year. It will be the first time in 17 years Chevy has offered a rear-drive sedan in the United States.
D.O.E ANNOUNCES EV PROJECT
The U.S. Department of Energy is set to announce a new project to develop low-cost batteries for electric vehicles. According to the Detroit News, the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago will be the home base for what is known as the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research. It will include a consortium of 40 labs, universities and businesses around the country. The $120 million project will develop technologies to reduce the size, weight and cost of batteries to make EVs more affordable.
LINCOLN SHOWCASES ITS PAST
While most automakers are showing off their latest and greatest cars in LA. Lincoln decided to showcase classic cars from its past. So why did the brand decide to this? John spoke with Lincoln’s John Clinard to get the answer.
2014 MAZDA6 DIESEL
But let’s get back to the new stuff. Mazda took the wraps off the all-new 2014 Mazda6 sedan yesterday at the LA Auto Show. The 6 will initially be equipped with a 2.5 liter gasoline engine that produces 184 horsepower and 185 foot-pounds of torque. But what’s more intriguing is that the 2014 Mazda6 will be the first vehicle in Mazda’s line-up to feature its 2-stage turbo SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine. EPA fuel economy numbers are not available yet as well as performance estimates for the diesel. Either engine can be mated to a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual. The gasoline version will go on sale in January of 2013 with the diesel following shortly behind in the second half of the year.
And that brings us to this week’s Autoline poll. It’s simple. Which automaker stole the LA Auto Show? We’re leaving this one open ended, so just provide an automaker name and, if you want, a reason why. To make your vote count, click the link under today’s show. Johnny will reveal the results when he’s back in the saddle next week.
Coming up next: The “driver’s” Porsche.
THE “DRIVER’S” PORSCHE
Porsche has taken the wraps off its new Cayman at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show. The third generation of the mid-engine Cayman now occupies a unique place in the Porsche lineup, a lineup that has clearly evolved over the years. From a company that was founded on the idea of making pure sports cars – and sports cars only – Porsche now offers sports cars, the Boxster, Cayman and 911; GTs – the Panamera; and SUVs – the Cayenne and upcoming Macan.
The iconic 911, Porsche’s touchstone car, has evolved into a bigger sports car. It’s still outstanding, make no mistake about that, but there’s no doubt it isn’t the taut little sports car that it once was. As a matter of fact, when equipped with the PDK gearbox, it errs ever so closely to being a GT, which is a decided – and in some cases alarming – shift for most hard core 911 enthusiasts.
Which brings me to Porsche’s smaller and edgier sports cars, the Boxster and the Cayman. I love the Boxster, in fact I think it’s the finest open-air, high-performance motoring experience you can get. But if you grew up loving the old-school 911s, the Cayman has become the “driver’s” Porsche. The Cayman’s compact overall size is damn near perfect. The handling, steering and braking capability of the machine is superb, as a matter of fact the “feel” of the Cayman makes it simply the most satisfying driving experience you can have behind the wheel of a Porsche. And that is, after all, what the Porsche driving experience was and is supposed to be all about, right?
So don’t despair 911 enthusiasts, just get down to a Porsche showroom and check out the Cayman.
When it comes to modern Porsches, it’s driving in its purest form.
And that’s the High-Octane Truth for this Friday, November 30th, 2012.
And that’s also the end of today’s show. Once again, I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the autoextremist, thanks for watching and I am outta here.
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