AD #1470 – Paris Reveals, Sales in September Lukewarm, Corvette Z06′s Eye Popping Acceleration

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:54am

Runtime: 7:26

- Fiat Reveals Jeep Based 500X
- VW’s Ducati Powered XL Sport
- Q80 Inspiration for Infiniti’s Future
- Toyota’s Wild C-Segment Concept
- Analyst Predictions Fall Short for September
- Corvette Z06′s Eye Popping Acceleration
- GM Reveals Trax Pricing
- Tesla Teases New Vehicle in Tweet

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. In today’s show a look at September car sales, the Corvette Z06’s staggering 0 to 60 time and Tesla teases a new car. But first we’ll start with some of the reveals from the Paris Auto Show.

Fiat continues to expand the 500 line-up. The newest entrant is a compact crossover called the 500X which shares a common architecture with the Jeep Renegade. It’s powered by two diesels or 6 gasoline engines but only three will be available at launch. The engines can be mated to a five or six-speed manual, 9-speed automatic or a 6-speed dual clutch transmission. The 500X is also offered in front and all-wheel-drive. The car will be built in Italy and sold in over 100 countries including the U.S.

Do you remember Volkswagen’s fuel sipping XL1? Well, the German automaker has taken some of the soul from that car and put it into what VW calls the XL Sport. As you can see some of the exterior design characteristics are carried over from the XL1, but then were massaged to give it a more aggressive, sporty look. Similar tricks from the XL1 were also used to improve aerodynamics and keep down weight. The XL Sport comes in a shade under 2,000-lbs. and has a coefficient of drag of just 0.258. The engine however was plucked from a Ducati motorcycle and comes in 2-cylinder form with a pretty staggering 197 horsepower. The car can hit 100 kilometers-per-hour in under 6-seconds and tops out at almost 170 miles-per-hour. Volkswagen is only building 250 XL1’s so if the XL Sport even makes it into production I think we’ll see a similar number of units.

Infiniti is giving some hints to its future with this wild-looking concept vehicle called the Q80 Inspiration. It’s a four-door hatchback that features some pretty sleek lines over the whole body, a slightly new interpretation of the automaker’s signature grille and suicide doors. Under the hood is a hybrid powertrain that includes a twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6, which cranks out 450 horsepower and is said to be a precursor to a new family of engines that will be introduced within the next 2 years. The simplified interior has a unique HUD for the driver that only shows information important to him or her. The front passenger gets their own personal HUD, while each rear seat passenger has access to a touch screen.

Oh and look, another wild-looking concept that hints at future design, the Toyota C-HR Concept. Powered by a hybrid powertrain, the crossover takes the automaker’s design language to a whole new level, to give a look at what Toyota would like to bring to the C-segment market.

Earlier in the week we reported that analysts were predicting strong sales in September. But that’s not quite what happened. Ward’s had forecasted that the seasonally adjusted annual rate would hit 16.7 million units but the SAAR last month actually came in at 16.34 million vehicles. Car sales in the U.S. totaled 1.24 million units, a gain of 4.7% on a daily selling rate. But that’s the lowest they’ve been since February when most of the country was frozen solid. But let’s look at the winners and losers from last month and start with the winner’s. Mitsubishi had the largest gain amongst automakers in September, posting a 33% increase. Mitsu was followed by its Japanese rival Subaru which recorded a gain of 25%. General Motors came in at number three with over a 14% gain. The General was followed by its crosstown rival Fiat-Chrysler and Nissan. Both automakers posted a 13% increase in sales. Ok, now let’s move on to the carmakers that struggled in September and Volkswagen lead the way so to speak, recording a 22% drop in sales. VW was followed by Jaguar Land Rover which saw its sales slip over 13%. Tesla is next with sales falling 11%. Ford saw its sales drop by 7% and Hyundai rounds out the list with just over a 2% drop in sales.

And now we have some pretty jaw dropping stats to report. When equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission the 2015 Corvette Z06 can run from 0 to 60 MPH in a staggering 2.95 seconds and complete a ¼-mile in under 11-seconds. Those times are slightly slower with the 7-speed manual. Well, it looks like the horsepower wars are really starting to heat up and Ford hasn’t even thrown its hat in the ring yet with the new Mustang.

And in other GM news, the company announced pricing for its new compact crossover, the Trax. When it hits dealerships this January in the U.S., the Trax will carry a starting price of $21,000. And it will cost another $1,500 for all-wheel-drive which is offered on all trim levels.

While all the major automakers are unveiling cars in Paris, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter that the automaker will unveil a new car next week. Musk says in the tweet and I quote “About time to unveil the D and something else.” End quote. It also included this teaser photo of the car and the reveal date of October 9th. As we told you earlier, Tesla’s sales are down, so it definitely could use some more products.

Before I sign off, make sure you catch tonight’s Autoline After Hours. Our guest is Jeff Nowak, the Chief Designer at Ford’s virtual design house called Studio 2000X. That show will be available tonight at 6PM eastern time on our website,

And don’t forget to check out our coverage from the Paris Auto show. Just head to for all the latest info.

But that brings us to the end of today’s show, thanks for watching and please join us again tomorrow.

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34 Comments to “AD #1470 – Paris Reveals, Sales in September Lukewarm, Corvette Z06′s Eye Popping Acceleration”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    I know I’m biased,but I like that Toyota concept, no word on the upcoming entry level Jaguar, built to compete with the German entry level group, I hope they do a better job than that horrendous X model.

  2. Brett Says:

    That 500X is pretty appealing. Quite a contrast to the 500L.

  3. Mike Says:

    I did go look at the 500X pictures. Boy, does that just about define the term “Bland”. I bet it is dead clever under the skin, but the body design underwhelms.

  4. Drew Says:

    That VW XL1 Sport is certainly sporting a design language very simillar to the Audi R8. It must be hard to juggle unique brand design identities with so many brands in the corporate coffers.

  5. Drew Says:

    @1 Pedro,I had an X-Type. If you were expecting a 3-Series competitor, yes, you’d be disappointed. But, if you were looking for an entry to the world of Jaguar design (leather, wood, chrome, J-gate, etc.), it was very pleasing. My only complaint was the driveline/axle whine and performance-robbing weight of the AWD system.

  6. MJB Says:

    Gotta say it… That Toyota CHR concept looks like what the Nissan Puke (eerrrrrrr, Juke) WISHES it’s designers made it look like.

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Had a co-worker who had a manual transmission Jag X and he hated the thing, broke down often and got expensive to repair.

  8. puremoose Says:

    Like the FIAT 500X….would be nice if they made a 2 door

  9. Buzzerd Says:

    corvette Z06- pretty impressive car to say the least.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There are a lot of silly car names, but Fiat takes the cake, using “500″ for several different cars, none even remotely like the real Fiat 500, which had a rear mounted two cylinder air cooled engine.

  11. puremoose Says:

    Kit……….just like the Corvette..they first had a 6 cyl engine

  12. Bradley Says:

    How can a car hit 60mph under 3 seconds, but hit the quarter mile in 11 seconds?

    The VW thingy looks like something I would expect to hold the Acura NSX title.

    How could I educate myself on the definitions of “C Segment” ?

  13. HtG Says:

    12 check the sandbag compartment

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 But all Corvettes are front engine, rear drive two seaters with liquid cooled engines. My point with the Fiats, is that they are not remotely related to the real 500 in any way, except having 4 wheels. I feel pretty much the same about the new Beetle, except there is only one Beetle, rather than three totally different cars using the same name, as with Fiat. Probably not many Americans even know what a Fiat 500 was, so all is probably ok from a marketing standpoint.

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Well, in the lingo of drag racing, the ZO6 (using the 8-speed auto) hits 0-60 in under 3 seconds (2.95) and is a ’10′ second car (at 10.95). It is an 11 second car when driven with the manual transmission (11.2).

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12, C segment is more a European thing than American. This wiki article explains it pretty well.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15, Does that mean that, in the lingo, the Z06 does a 2 second 0-60 run?

  18. HtG Says:

    I’ve been following Autoline’s tweets from Paris. The links to YouTube interview vids are great. Just search for @Autoline.

  19. HtG Says:

    Also following a tech conference from Santa Clara. An OS for embedded processors was released. It’s free and unifies existing software. No way autos don’t benefit, as the intention is to connect devices in the world to servers.

    Still, Intel won’t just give up

  20. HtG Says:

    Suzuka GP may be moved up

    Due to cyclone approaching Japan, the F1 race may be held earlier.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20, Interesting.

    Another rumor is that the race will be cancelled.

    It looks like they could just run the race Saturday, and head out of town posthaste. It would seem they could run the Friday practices as scheduled, move the 3rd practice and qualifying to an earlier time Sat, and have the race Sat. Then, I don’t know much about the thought processes of Bernie and company.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Did they name the typhoon after the upcoming iPhone 7, with the little phan to cool the user’s brow?

  23. HtG Says:

    22 yes

    the F1 circus doesn’t want to be there after a typoon passes through. They’re just going to be a nuisance, and they need to be in Socchi for the next weekend.

    What will be fun is watching the race if it’s windy and rainy.

  24. Chuck Grenci Says:

    17 Kit

    Is that sarcasm :) ; that’s okay (but when you talk the 1/4 mile, that is how it is expressed, i.e., “I’m in the 10′s”. The 0-60 can be said to be in the ‘twos’ but never referred (as such); actual number is always quoted.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24, Yes, it was sarcasm. Yeah, even in the 60′s, people talked about a “14 second car,” if it ran a quarter mile in 14.99 seconds.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe real estate sales people got their convention from drag racers, where a house “in the 100′s” has an asking price of $199,990.

  27. Jonathan Says:

    The new c7 z06 A8 is a beast. This is the car dreams are made of. Unbelievable total performance achievement and we don’t even have lap times other than the c7 z06 laps Milford one second faster than the ZR1 which was a mighty performer in its own right.

  28. Bradley Says:

    I saw something on the internet last night…

    Ford is trying to put together a plan for a Ranchero type vehicle. Basically a uni-body compact car based truck.

    I laughed at the Subaru Baja, but now given no other options…it isn’t a bad ride :) .

    I would prefer true body on frame compact truck, but if Ford does produce such a vehicle, it may be my next purchase.

    Seat 4 Humans, over 30 rated mpg, a bed that can haul a little more than the Baja, etc.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Jeep Comanche was a unibody pickup, and it seemed to be ok. A couple friends had them and liked them. They were very thirsty for a small pickup, though, with the old Rambler six, but it was a long lived engine for the time.

    I never see Comanches now, I suspect because the road salt has put them all in junk yards.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27, It’s a beast, and with a regular torque converter automatic. There seems to be no need for dual clutch gear boxes to get performance, at least in big engine cars.

  31. Bradley Says:


    A guy in my neighborhood has a Comanche. Its an old Maroon one, it appears to be in great shape.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m now in Indiana, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen a Comanche. I see a few in Florida. I saw an Omni yesterday, the first on I’ve seen in a while, but I see a few of them on the road each summer in IN.

  33. C-Tech Says:

    As the pick-up market expanded with extended cabs and extra doors, the Comanche did not, staying a regular cab (probably due to it being a unibody it was expensive to change bed length and/or wheelbase). The market passed it by and Chrysler did not want Jeep competing with the Dodge Dakota. I don’t think sales exceeded 30K per year for its limited run.

  34. C-Tech Says:

    Technically the Comanche was a “uniframe” vehicle. The back half of the Comanche being a conventional pick-up frame welded to the Jeep Cherokee unibody front body.