Automotive News – September 25, 2009
Posted Friday, Sep 25, 2009 by
• Chrysler to replace owners manuals with DVDs. In a move likely to be hailed by car owners, environmentalists and Fiat’s bean-counters, Chrysler has announced that it will replace its bulky owners manuals with DVDs beginning next year. (A basic 60-page printed guide will still be standard.) Chrysler says its move will save an estimated 20,000 trees every year—not to mention millions of dollars in printing costs. The bankrupted American automaker was purchased by Italy’s Fiat Automobiles in June 2009.
• Fiat’s Cars Have Lowest C02 Emissions in Europe. Speaking of Fiat, the Italian automaker announced that, for the first half of 2009, its cars now have the lowest average carbon dioxide (C02) of any brand sold in Europe. Its average emissions figure of 129.1 g/km makes it the first major automaker to meet the EU’s fleet goal of 130 g/km, a benchmark set for 2015. Much of this accomplishment is the result of Fiat’s focus on cars powered by natural gas, which produce only 115.8 g/km in C02.
• “Clunker” Sells on eBay for $226,000. The auction of a 1963 Pontiac LeMans Tempest turned into a windfall for its owner. Although it lacked either both an engine and transmission, the rusty Tempest had an unusual suspension setup and racetrack dash plate that immediately raised eyebrows among classic car enthusiasts. Within days the car was identified as one of only six 1963 Pontiac LeMans Tempest Super Duty coupes ever made, this one apparently driven by Stan Antlocer in 1963. It was believed to be the fastest drag racer in the world before it “disappeared.” With only seven minutes remaining in the auction, the bid stood at $95,000—before jumping to $226,521 in the final seconds. The winner has been identified only as “ccsi2000.”
• It’s Back-to-the-Future for “Next Generation” Corvette. By early next decade, the Chevrolet Corvette may once again sport its iconic “split window” design popularized by the classic 1963 Corvette Stingray. GM’s Vice President of Global Design, Ed Welburn, has said he expects the split window to return, noting, “With the back-up cameras and blind-spot detection systems that we have these days, the visibility issue is much less of a problem.” Experts say the split window favors a traditional front-engine drive, not the mid-engine configuration some enthusiasts had been expecting.
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