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Episode 1067 – Profits Down at Nissan, Highlights from Chicago Auto Show, Fastest MINI Ever

February 8th, 2013 at 11:50am

Runtime: 9:14

Nissan just reported its earnings for the first nine months of its fiscal year, and it’s a mixed bag, but generally disappointing. Autoline gives a look at a few of the vehicles that were unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show. MINI just introduced the fastest car it has ever made, a souped up version of the Hardtop. All that and more, plus we find out why Chevrolet is really bullish on selling diesels in the American market.

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Welcome to the Friday edition of Autoline Daily. We’re almost through the week, but there’s some interesting things going on in the auto industry that we want to get to right now.

SALES UP, PROFITS DOWN AT NISSAN
Nissan just reported its earnings for the first nine months of its fiscal year, and it’s a mixed bag, but generally disappointing. The company sold 3.2 million vehicles, up 4 percent. And that boosted revenue by a whopping 21 percent to almost $84 billion. But clearly costs were skyrocketing because the company’s net profit dropped 12 percent to just under $3 billion. Analysts say this is because of the problems that Nissan ran into in China last year, when consumers boycotted Japanese cars. I say, how odd that Toyota and Honda faced the same problems but they did not see this kind of drop in profit. In other Nissan news, at the Chicago Auto Show yesterday the company unveiled a Nismo version of the Juke and officially kicked off its NV200 commercial van.

UAW TARGETING NISSAN
Speaking of Nissan, it’s in the UAW’s cross hairs. Yesterday in an op-ed piece in the Detroit News, UAW president Bob King praised former Brazilian president Lula da Silva. Lula, a former autoworker himself, spoke at a labor conference in Washington DC, where he promised that Brazilian autoworkers would support the UAW’s efforts to organize Nissan’s assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi. At the end of his editorial Bob King says Lula not only promises his support but will use his leverage in “one of the fastest growing markets in the world.” It’s unclear if he means Brazil, but last year Nissan was the fastest growing car brand in Brazil, and the company is investing $1.3 billion there for a new assembly plant in Resende. As a former president of the country, Lula could cause a lot of problems for Nissan in Brazil, and that will definitely provide a lot of leverage to the UAW. Bob King ends his editorial by saying, “Stay tuned.”

NIP AND TUCK FOR THE TUNDRA
Toyota unveiled the all-new Tundra at the Chicago Auto Show yesterday which has been redesigned both inside and out. It’s a good, clean, modern looking update. Mechanically the truck is pretty much the same as before, but new features include a Blind Spot Monitor, a standard back-up camera and standard Bluetooth. The Tundra was styled at the company’s CALTY design center in California, engineered at it’s tech center in Ann Arbor, will be built in Texas, and goes on sale in September.

KIA’S FULL-SIZE CROSSOVER
It looks like Kia wants to step into the full-size crossover market. Yesterday at the Chicago Auto Show it pulled the wraps off its Cross GT concept. The CUV is actually 1.6 inches shorter in overall height than the Kia Sorento but has a wheelbase that is 15.7 inches longer, which makes room for its suicide doors. It comes with a 3.8 Liter V6 hybrid mated to an 8-speed automatic. Kia says it produces 400 horsepower and 500 foot-pounds of torque while still being able to travel 20 miles in full-electric mode.

2013 MINI JCW GP
MINI just introduced the fastest car it has ever made, a souped up version of the Hardtop called the John Cooper Works GP. It’s powered by a specially tuned 1.6 liter four-cylinder that cranks out 211 horses and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The GP is 67 pounds lighter than the Hardtop which helps it reach a top speed of 150 mph and move from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Even so, it averages 29 mpg. It includes several aerodynamic improvements, adjustable suspension and a special traction control program. The back seats were ripped out, sport seats were added up front and red trim runs throughout the interior. That rear bar in the back isn’t to increase chassis stiffness, it’s mandated for cargo. The GP goes on sale in early March with a starting price just under $40,000. But if you want one you better act quick, only 2,000 will be built and only 500 will be sold in the U.S.

WHICH ONE OF THESE IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER?
After running our story of the 2014 Kia Forte a lot of you noticed how it bore a stunning resemblance to the Dodge Dart in side profile. As a matter-of-fact, some of you thought the picture on our homepage was the Dart. So we here at Autoline just want to do a little side-by-side comparison of the two vehicles to show how similar they really are. And wow, are they ever.

Chevrolet is really bullish on selling diesels in the American market. More on that, after this.

CHEVY CRUZE GETS A DIESEL
(Cruze diesel can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

On Autoline After Hours last night, Josh Tavel from Chevrolet filled us in on a lot of details about the diesel engine they’re going to sell in the U.S. market. Here’s a clip from the show.

You can watch that entire episode on our website right now because there is a ton of great information about this diesel engine.

But that wraps up this week’s reports. Thanks for watching and I hope to see you back here again on Monday.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

104 Comments to “Episode 1067 – Profits Down at Nissan, Highlights from Chicago Auto Show, Fastest MINI Ever”

  1. ColoradoKid Says:

    Nissan’s Profits ;

    Aha ! Just I I stated yesterday in relation to M-B’s lower profits…

    As all the financial pundits predicted …

    The China Factor is settling in thru out the industry .

    Who’s next and when being the only question .

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    Almost $40k for a Mini? I don’t even think our resident Mini guru would be signing on the dotted line for that, I believe you can get a Beemer 1 series for that money. That thing has GOT to have some torque steering issues.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, you are right. To me, MINI’s are at their best in base, near-zero-option form.

  4. ColoradoKid Says:

    2 & 3

    No argument from this former MINI owner !

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Posted late in yesterday’s comments section:

    Is this CK’s next vehicle, the new, improved GLK?

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130208/CARREVIEWS/130209904?utm_source=DailyDrive20130208&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_term=image3&utm_content=20130208-2013-Mercedes-Benz-GLK350-review-notes&utm_campaign=awdailydrive

    AW mostly liked it, but those options can really add up. It’s cheaper than the hot rod MINI, if you forgo the options.

  6. T. Bejma Says:

    My $22,000 (when new) 2007 Cobalt SS – Supercharged did 5.9 0-60 (probably in the low 5′s now with the mods) and had 205 hp (250 now).

    I would love to come up to a stoplight alongside one of those JCW Mini’s to show him that even the fastest Mini can’t beat a Cobalt…

  7. gmveteran Says:

    I don’t know Kid, Audi, VW and GM just announced record January sales in China. I think M-B’s problem there is related to distribution and local build, which is why they announced they were investing more money to revamp both to lay the groundwork for increasing future sales levels.

  8. Bradley Says:

    I could be wrong, but doesn’t all GM diesel technology go back to Isuzu?

  9. T. Bejma Says:

    How are automakers going to account for the slowdown in China?

    Russian car market soon to be more relevant than Germany…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/08/russia-autos-idUSL5N0B88CE20130208

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    Sorry Ronny, but every day I read an article that convinces me that we lost the cold war to the other folks. And we were all celebrating when the wall came down, who knew?

  11. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ #8: If you watched AAH yesterday you would know that the new clean diesel for the Cruze was all designed in house,built in Germany I think is what he said.Absolutly no mention of Isuzu.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    Isn’t that compression ratio kind of high for ANY engine, wouldn’t that hurt its lifespan and reliability a bit?

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    8, The “Duramax” V8 diesel used in the pickups is Isuzu.

  14. ColoradoKid Says:

    #5 -So far … without having driven one I’m finding no compelling reason to move to the 2013 model . I don’t like the start/stop thing …. the extra HP I do not need …. the price hike doesn’t please me in the least …. I’m getting 19/24 in my 2011.. and well …. at present I’m looking at simply re-upping my present lease for another 12 months or so .

    Unless of course ….. someone else comes up with a car that suits our needs better or equally as well at a better price …. which I am on the look out for

    gmveteran – Audi and BMW are the current ‘ Flavor of the Month ‘ in China and like all trends this too shall change . Like I said though ALL the financials are saying sales and profits in China are about to plummet automotive industry wide .

    As to Russia … much as I might wish for the automakers for that to be true … I kind of doubt it in light of Russia’s current political situation e.g. Putin !

    Personally …. I think ( opinion alert ) that any and all the so called emerging and/or growth markets will turn out in the end to be nothing more than a string of ‘ Red Herrings ‘ . To quote Randy Newman ;

    ” I could be wrong now …… But I don’t think so “

  15. Rumblestrip Says:

    John, 16.5:1 is still pretty low for a diesel. Was your surprise at that number because it was low?

  16. Chuck Grenci Says:

    20:1, even 22.5:1 is more typical of diesels at least of old; newer diesels lower their ratios to keep NOX down (some).

  17. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: Actually it’s on the low side for most diesels.My last tractor with a Cummins was 18:1.

  18. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Sorry Pedro,mine was 21.3:1 compression ratio.My last one at 18 was a small JD.

  19. C-Tech Says:

    @ #12 Pedro, in central FL. Hertz rents ATS 3.6L auto. trans.
    The compression ratio for a non-turbo Diesel can range from 18-23 to 1. A turbo Diesel is lower because the air/fuel mixture is slightly compressed when it enters the cylinder (14-16 to 1). The longevity of most Diesel engines is due to the block and heads being strengthed to handle the higher compression and torque output.

  20. Chuck @ GM Says:

    IMO GM did rely on Isuzu for diesels in the recent past, but seems to be trending toward all in house stuff now. Especially for cars. I don’t think the Duramax is going anywhere any time soon, other than updates and refreshes.

  21. C-Tech Says:

    John, thanks for the info from your guest. Now I understand the reason for the urea injection.

  22. Bradley Says:

    #11

    Thanks, I wouldn’t expect them to mention Isuzu. However, if GM is truly a global company, I don’t think we can believe the Cruze’s Diesel was a clean sheet design.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14,
    The GLK got the direct injection engine for 2013, which gets better mpg, at least in the EPA tests, and the interior is supposedly better too. The 2013 is basically the same vehicle as the 2011, though, and you seem to like the one you have.

  24. Bradley Says:

    #22

    Well maybe this points to why refinement always seems to be the largest deficit. They keep starting with a clean sheet. :)

  25. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB any data on which ATS engine is the best selling one for retail and not the rental market?

  26. T. Bejma Says:

    #25

    Sorry Pedro, the data I have access to doesn’t breakdown by engine type…

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    Mercedes Benz profits update ;

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/02/07/world/europe/ap-eu-germany-earns-daimler.html?ref=automobiles&_r=0

    Seems everyone might of been a bit hasty in their assessment . Hmmmn .

    Kit – Yup ! We loves the ‘ Franz ‘ . Nary a wobble , niggle or a problem to be seen as of yet .

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    I would think the V6 would be the most popular since even at this stage lots of folks don’t see a luxury car having a 4 cyl engine as a good choice.

  29. ColoradoKid Says:

    #25 Not the most scientific/accurate of methods but try calling a couple of your local dealers and ask them whats selling the most . Assuming even a couple are honest in their answers it’ll at least give you a basic idea what might be on top .

    FYI nothing anywhere on the net either . As Bejma said …. no ones breaking the ATS sales down by model or engine ….

  30. ColoradoKid Says:

    ….. never mind retail vs fleet sales

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    The local dealer has about the same number of base 4 and V6′s in stock they claim to sell more V6′s, so I was told, the diff in price is almost $10k though, I don’t know why rental fleets seem to prefer the V6 unless GM is dumping them on fleet sales.

  32. T. Bejma Says:

    #28

    Not necessarily, the 4 cylinder BMW 3 Series accounts for about 70% of the volume…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-16/bmw-shrinks-engine-adds-twitter-for-top-selling-3-series-sedan.html

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31,
    GM might encourage rental companies to buy the V6′s,and give them good deals, thinking the renters would like them, and be more likely to buy an ATS. Just a thought.

  34. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro: I know the 3.6L gdi in my equinox is a lot of fun to drive,and hwy mpg is around 25+.It would be better if I didn’t get the awd,but hey,that’s what I like.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    #32 Isn’t the 3 series a turbo 4? the ATS has the base 4 as the price leader, I would venture to say that the avg Caddy buyer would opt for the V6 over the T4 since there isn’t really much price difference between them. Please remember in the good ole days, the most popular Beemer was the 318 4 cyl.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I went to a Cadillac dealer a couple weeks ago, wanting to see what the controls of a non-CUE equipped ATS looked like. They didn’t have any. They had cars with all of the power trains except, of course, the 2.0 turbo/manual, but none without CUE.

    The only way the ATS can be ordered without CUE is in base trim level, which is available only with the 4 cylinder engines.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32,35,
    From everything I’ve read, the 3.6 is clearly the best powertrain in the ATS, while the BMW 4, yes, it’s a turbo, gets very good reviews, both with the automatic and manual.

    It costs a lot to get the V6 rather than a 4 in an ATS, because you have to get at least the “luxury” trim level, while you can get the 2.5 or the 2.0 turbo in base trim. The cheapest V6 is $6K+ more than the cheapest turbo. See:

    http://www.cadillac.com/ats-luxury-sport-sedan/build-your-own.html?x-zipcode=32920

  38. T. Bejma Says:

    #35

    320i = 180 hp 4cyl
    328i = 240 hp Turbo 4cyl

    The 70% number probably includes both.

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    I went online and now all these car rental companies are renting Mercedes and BMW’s left and right, no wonder they’re both losing their panache and exclusivity they used to have, now any dumb-ass like me can go and rent one for a weekend.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m wondering what they did to cut the power of the 320i by 60 hp, and if there is a very easy, and cheap way, to get it back. They are both 2 liter turbos.

  41. T. Bejma Says:

    #40

    Wow Kit, you are right, I thought the base was not Turbo. I would be embarrassed to advertise a 2.0L Turbo at 180hp. Especially when you can get 250hp 2.0 in a Verano and a 270hp 2.0 in a Regal…

  42. ColoradoKid Says:

    # 39 …. or alternatively any dumb ___ like me can rent one … fall in love with it …. and promptly head over to his/her local dealership and buy/lease one .

    Which is …. if you remember …. how I wound up with the GLK after renting everything else in its class ;-)

    ————

    BMW Team USA Bobsled update ;

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/bmw-designers-bring-their-approach-to-olympic-bobsled/?ref=automobiles

    Oh my … does that ever look the business …. did you get a chance to see this in person HtG ?

    ———–

    CK’s GM recipe for ( overwhelming ) success ;

    Build the ATS with the top of the line V6 … AWD optional and devoid of all the gee gaws and electronic whizz bangs … sell it for $35K with a Chevy badge on its snout ….. and watch the things sell like funnel cakes at a county fair

    At that price – those goodies minus the Cadillac badge and the infotainment stuff …. I’d even look at one more seriously

  43. ColoradoKid Says:

    #40 If BMW’s is anything like VW-Audis methods …. its one aftermarket chip ( or OEM if you can get a dealer to sell you one ) and you’re off to the races … so to speak .

    A friend did that very thing with his ( version 1.0 ) new Beetle trading its 2.0T chip in for an Audi TT’s ….. and ….. zoom !

  44. ColoradoKid Says:

    True Cost to Own a Carbon Fiber Supercar

    (after you’ve crashed it )

    $1.4 Million . At least thats what Rowan Atkin’s insurance company just shelled out to repair his crash damaged McLaren F1 ( jalopnik ) Eeeesh !

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    How about it TB, any chance of Chevy or Buick selling the ATS platform at a lower price w/o all the bells and whistles of the ATS?

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    F1 2013 1st test round up ;

    Lotus #1

    Mercedes spoonbill solution … isn’t ( a solution )

    Red Bull – all bets are they’re sand bagging

    McLaren – they broke … a lot

    Ferrari – Following in the footsteps of their 458 road car …. the F1 2013 car did the Car-BQ thing

  47. T. Bejma Says:

    #45

    Yes, it’s platform for the next generation Camaro…

  48. pedro fernandez Says:

    So it should be lighter and smaller. just like the good ole days? Do you suppose they’ll have the turbo 4 or will that be sacrilegious?

  49. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: “Which is …. if you remember …. how I wound up with the GLK after renting everything else in its class”

    Including the (not so) Grand Cherokee? If so,what may I ask didn’t you like about the GC?

  50. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Hmmm….. how about the 3.6L V6 as a twin turbo in the ATS,6 speed stick or 8 speed auto,mandatory AWD and magnetic active suspension.No infotainment stuff,just driving phunn.

  51. cwolf Says:

    Are you guys talking of leasing one of the alternet ATS 6′s or buying one long term? Just the other day many of you cautioned me on turbos and 8-9 gear trannys. Sudden change of heart, hey! The ATS for me would be the 2.5 and leather… that’s it.

  52. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I don’t do cars,lol.I was just thinkin’ out loud…..so to say.As for 8-9 gear trannies,as long as it’s an automatic I’m fine with that.I can’t shift anymore.Well,I can but not without pain.

  53. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf are you coming around my way of thinking about all these lazy engineer ways of getting more power from small engines w/o rebuilding from scratch? always been told by every tech I’ve ever dealt with to avoid turbos. I had a buddy years ago who bought a Saab 900 and always told me he would never get it in turbo, even tough that was the most popular model.

  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    Every time I get caught in a bumper to bumper jam (daily) and in a less than stellar mood, I thank the guy who invented the automatic and wish him eternal peace on heaven.

  55. Lex Says:

    I was looking at the Chevy Cruze Diesel at the 2012 Paris Autoshow. My question is why does the the Pairshow Cruze have a better looking grill and front fender near door mounted turning signals. These are very attractive features IMO. I will wait until the Diesel Cruze is available at my local Chevy Dealership so I can do a drive side by side comparison between the standard 1.4 liter turbo and the diesel.

  56. HtG Says:

    You’ll be wanting to check the NYT, CK.

  57. W L Simpson Says:

    Yeah , 54 , the boy racer thing don’t do too well in traffic. I don,t know why mfgers bother. What percentage of new cars sold are stick?

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    #57 If I had a second car, like a weekend or going out type of car, or had a commute that was mostly highway, I would not think twice about getting a stick, but for everyday city shlep, no thanks.

  59. HtG Says:

    Here’s a story about UPS putting 100 EV delivery trucks on the road in California. 75 mile range.

    http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/08/ups-electric-vehicles-in-california/#continued

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    You see ev’s have a future, in that type of use, UPS mail delivery(they’re so broke, they can barely afford to maintain what they got now) Fed Ex and pizza delivery,(they make too little money) Zip car. short term rental in urban areas.

  61. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    It will be interesting to see how that new Mini stacks up to the new Turbo Veloster and Fiesta ST for about half the price.

  62. gary susie Says:

    Whats with you guys john, you all ripped the Aztek but i never hear any auto writer say anything about the uglyist car ever made, the Juke. You can’t get any worst than that car.

  63. gary susie Says:

    Whats with you guys john, you all ripped the Aztek but i never hear any auto writer say anything about the uglyist car ever made, the Juke. You can’t get any worst than that car.

  64. gary susie Says:

    Whats with you guys john, you all ripped the Aztek but i never hear any auto writer say anything about the uglyist car ever made, the Juke. You can’t get any worst than that car.

  65. C-Tech Says:

    Hey CWolf, I am reluctantly coming around to turbos – if they are done right. The key to the 7-8-9 speed transmissions is the controller. They reduce the torque for micromoments between shifts, engage the torque converter clutch sooner, and manage smoother upshifts. So far, the Chrysler 8 speeds have worked well and the Cruze turbos have worked well in rentals. I still can’t understand why the European tourists insist on putting Diesel fuel in their rental cars?

  66. cwolf Says:

    C-Tech, as you are warming up the these new norms, I am having second thoughts. If these things don’t hold up very well the out of pocket cost could be considerable. I may reconsider as more historical data is had. As you know, at this time there is little gain in having a turbo( for avg. drivers with a sometimes heavy foot). So I ask myself,”do I really need one?”. And an ol’ adage reminds me,” If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!”
    Thus… I’m cautious——and want to learn more about the Cruz diesel.

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #61,
    Based on power/weight, the Fiesta ST and turbo Veloster should be close to the MINI JCW in acceleration, but I’d expect the MINI to handle much better.

    Still, $40K for a MINI is crazy. I like my base MINI, but it cost half that, and if I were buying a $40K car, the JCW MINI wouldn’t be too high on my shopping list.

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43,
    That’s would I would have expected. I suppose there is stuff on the BMW forums, but I hadn’t looked.

  69. HtG Says:

    67 my cousin uses the term “Dubai Car” to describe over the top and showy cars, driven by showy young rich men. MINI has done a pretty thorough job of marketing itself to people that want to get attention. Have you seen some of the optioned out cars?

    43 Chips. I’ve been reading that a game Intel plays is to stack pricing on its chips, but to ‘fuse off’ certain features of individual chips in order to slow down the ones that are sold for less money.

    Snow. about a foot, and you don’t want to even think about what the snowplow left across the driveway.

  70. T. Bejma Says:

    #61

    The Hyundai is about half the price but the Focus ST with any kind of options will run about $30K. Still would MUCH rather have either one more than the fastest (slow) Mini…

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m wondering if that seriously detuned 320i is “officially” a regular gas burner. It should be, given its specific power, but being it’s a BMW, I suppose not.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #70,

    Jesse mentioned the Fiesta ST, not the Focus. The Fiesta ST should be mid 20′s “loaded.”

  73. T. Bejma Says:

    Sorry Kit, good catch. My bad. Didn’t even realize there was a Fiesta ST here.

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t know if the Fiesta ST is out yet, but it should be soon.

  75. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yesterday I saw a Caprice police car up close and from the rear it looks just like the current Impala, I had to double check and made sure it had the Caprice insignia on the rear.

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe I’ve seen Caprice police cars on the road, and didn’t know it. Pedro, what police department had the one you saw?

  77. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Link for the Caprice Police vehicle:
    http://www.gmfleet.com/overview/police.html?seo=goo_|_GM+FCO+Police_|_RTN-Chevy+Police-Broad_|_Chevy+Police_|_chevrolet%20ppv

  78. pedro fernandez Says:

    It’s called Pinecrest, a Richie Rich community so. of Miami,where the only thing for the cops to do is hand out tickets and the occasional shop lifting call. If the Carbon Motors cop car ever sees the light of day, I’m sure they’ll be buying one or two

  79. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit believe it or not, the cop cars there are painted dark green just so they can camouflage themselves among the foliage and catch speeders as they break the 25 or 30 mph limit that is the norm in that place, imagine trying to keep them Porsche and other super fast cars at 25 mph, it has to be cruel and unusual punishment.

  80. pedro fernandez Says:

    #77 that is the one I saw, I like how the photos in the ad doesn’t show the rear, wonder why?

  81. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’m guessing the rear-end is a no nonsense functional tail exposure; neat and clean would be a bonus (I would think) for police duty. Function is the name of the game (at least you would think).

  82. T. Bejma Says:

    #80

    Click on the 360 button and you can move it around to see the back.

  83. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yep, that is the one I saw, this is the only one I’ve seen in these parts, I think most cops prefer the Dodge for its more powerful engine, the Taurus has been a big flop around these parts, police just don’t like FWD for pursuit vehicles.

  84. pedro fernandez Says:

    TB are these available for rental fleets as well?

  85. pedro fernandez Says:

    Motorweek just handed out their so-called “Driver’s Choice Awards” Dart and Fiat 500 Abarth won in their class, I wonder just what drivers were consulted for this? Abarth over FR-S BR-Z, Miata and Focus ST? Dart over Focus, Cruze, Civic? Is there some alternate universe that this show occupies? Or maybe they’re just throwing a bone to the underdog?

  86. T. Bejma Says:

    #84

    Not at this time Pedro, they are police only.

    My friend who is a local Sheriff’s Deputy and he really doesn’t like the Charger. They don’t have any of the Caprice vehicles in his department. His favorite is the full size Tahoe.

  87. pedro fernandez Says:

    Chargers go through brake pads like cops go through donuts, so I’ve been told by a tech who works on them for the county. With this winter storm that just went by, most PD probably wished they had them Tahoe 4WD to get through this.

  88. Kit Gerhart Says:

    86,
    Does your friend weigh about 300 pounds? A city police officer I know likes the Charger, but he commented that a “wide” co-worker liked the Crown Vic better, because it is roomier for people his size. I suspect the big guy would like the Tahoe too, as long as he wasn’t buying the gas, and didn’t need to go around any curves too fast.

    I suspect the Caprice is roomier than the Charger, but I don’t know for sure. The department in question doesn’t have any, just Crown Vics and Chargers, and they are buying only Chargers, as the extinct Crown Vics are replaced.

  89. T. Bejma Says:

    #88

    No, he’s probably about 6’1″ 225. There are a few things that he doesn’t like about the Charger – It is small, even for an average sized guy, not all are Hemi’s and the V6 is a dog and the handling “sucks” on both versions. Handling, not room, is the reason why he likes the Tahoe. The police versions are lowered on wider tires and handle very well. As a side note, he also hated the Crown Vic’s handling too.

  90. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My friend likes the Charger with either engine better than the Crown Vic mainly because of the handling. With the hemi, the Charger is much quicker than the Crown Vic, and with the new V6, probably about the same, or a little quicker. Yeah, the Charger with the old V6 would have been kind of a dog.

    I suspect it is “perceived handling” he likes about the Tahoe. I’d put my money on a Charger over the Tahoe any day in an autocross, with equal drivers, but yeah, I’m sure the police Tahoe handles well for a big SUV, but in the Michigan police car evaluation, the Tahoe finished a solid last around a timed course. See:

    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/MSP_2012VehicleTestBook_Web_PDF_375491_7.pdf

    There is some interesting stuff there. This is the 2012 evaluation, so there is no info on the Crown Vic. I doubt that it would have done well in the performance tests, though.

  91. HtG Says:

    Cops.

    When I sat in the front seat of a copcar(Crown Vic)I noticed how uncomfortable it is to be wearing a protective vest and have a laptop computer in the center of the car, plus all the other equipment, plus the officer was plus sized. Didn’t look like fun.

    Donuts

    A former NY State Police officer explained to me that the reason cops eat donuts is that they can watch the food as it is handled by a worker in a shop, and thus not tampered with. Workers may have had a run in with the law.

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That’s interesting about the donuts. I’d never heard that before, but it makes sense.

  93. ColoradoKid Says:

    Bernie Ecclestone is god ; therefore not subject to US law ;

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130210/F1/130219992

    Hmmmmn ;-)

  94. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – Motorweeks alternative universe ;

    Its called the ” Who ever ponies up the most $$$ gets the best reviews and Awards “universe .

  95. ColoradoKid Says:

    I always assumed the donut/cop thing was about donuts being a cheap, quick and easy source of fat and sugar induced energy to balance out the cheap coffee they drink by the gallon .

    At least thats what the cops I know tell me . Hmmmn .

    FYI HtG … if you’ve ever worked in restaurants or food services you’ll know how easy it is to slip an undesirable customer that very special portion etc ( wink wink ) : e.g. donuts are no guarantee of safe food if’n you catch my drift

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    85,
    I think Motorweek’s “driver’s choice” awards are for cars that are new to market

  97. Kit Gerhart Says:

    96 accidentally sent. I continue.

    …..so Focus and Cruze, and some others, probably wouldn’t have been eligible in the Dart category.

    As far as Abarth, that sounds pretty fishy, at least in regard to Focus ST, which is a new model.

  98. pedro fernandez Says:

    One of the dirtiest restaurant kitchens I ever visited was a Dunkin Donut shop near me, the floor was so greasy and slippery, I almost landed on my puss. #94 The DART??? it seems this show got a crush on Sergio, they had 4 awards given to new Chrysler/Fiat products.

  99. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think Motorweek’s awards are for cars that are new to market, so the Focus and Cruze might not have been eligible in the “Dart” class. As far as the Abarth, that sounds fishy, unless the others are “too new.”

  100. HtG Says:

    93 Bernie

    Some little part of me is so batshxt fed up with the collapse of the rule of law, that I hope the little genius butt plug beats the law at its own game.

  101. pedro fernandez Says:

    No, Kit because the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent won in the subcompact category and they’re not new for this year, however the other winners seem to be all refreshed or completely redesigned models. I find that weird.

  102. Kit Gerhart Says:

    99, Maybe there were no new entries in the Rio/Accent class.

    In any case, I suppose they make the rules to fit, after they decide the winners. After I posted #97, I searched “motorweek driver’s choice awards” and found that the BRZ/FR-S were in consideration in the class that the Abarth won.

    http://www.motorweek.org/reviews/drivers_choice_awards/#/best_sport_coupe

  103. T. Bejma Says:

    #90

    Thanks for the link Kit – very cool information. That would have been fun to be one of those guys flogging cop cars around race tracks and high speed loops!

    I think you’re right that it is a perceived handling thing. This guy was never much of a skilled driver anyway. Back in the day he thought his 90 Bonneville SSE could beat my 86 MR2. Couple laps at an open track event at Waterford Hills Road Racing shut him up for good ;-)

  104. ColoradoKid Says:

    #98

    LoL ! I can’t stand ‘ Uncle’ Bernie but I get your point as well .

    #101 – Some wingnut actually thought his pos SSE could out handle a reasonably well driven MR2 on a track ? Thats delusional taken to the extreme .