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Friday
Jul312015

Notes of Note: 7/31/15

News, facts and other stuff clogging our e-mail system

Subaru and the Center for Pet Safety, in conjunction with worked with MGA Research Corporation, have conducted rigorous crash testing on leading pet crates and carriers that claimed to be ”Tested”, “Crash Tested,” offer “Crash Protection” or claim they are for use in a vehicle. The tests were carried out using specially design crash test dog dummies that approximate the size and weight of real dogs. Some of the crates and carriers tested failed completely, but three emerged as top picks. These include the Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8-foot Tie Down Straps, and both the PetEgo Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection and Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock.

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Friday
Jul172015

Notes of Note: 7/17/15

News, facts and other stuff clogging our e-mail system. 

Boston-based Nissan Leaf buyers will two years free public charging when buying from Leaf-certified Nissan dealers in that market. The “No Charge to Charge” promotion includes fast chargers that can bring a Leaf from empty to 80% charge in 30 minutes, as well as the more common Level 2 (240-volt) chargers. Boston is the 17th U.S. market to embrace this promotion, and Nissan expects to roll it out to a total of 25 markets by the end of the year. 

Nissan now offers "No Charge to Charge" in 17 U.S. markets, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno, Seattle, Portland (Oregon), Chicago, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Denver and Washington, D.C. It plans to offer the "No Charge to Charge" program at Leaf dealers in at least 25 U.S. markets later this year. You can find chargers eligible for this promotion at https://www.ez-charge.com/stations/ or via the Nissan EZ-Charge app for iOS or Android.

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Friday
Jul032015

Fiat Chrysler Needs Clear Thinking, Not a Merger

By Christopher A. Sawyer

Alfa Romeo’s new Giulia sedan could lead to a new start for Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat

Alfa Romeo's new Giulia sedan has had many false starts, but could lead to a new dawn for Chrysler.After years of false starts, promises and delays, Alfa Romeo finally introduced its new small sedan to the world. Known in eternally as the 159, the menacingly aggressive red sedan rolled onto the stage at the Alfa Romeo Museum on the 105th anniversary of the founding of A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) as Andrea Bocelli sang an aria from Turandot. Low key this introduction was not. Then again, how could it be? The 159 project has moved in fits and starts, shifted from a transverse front-drive platform to a (sort of) Maserati Ghibli-derived rear-drive architecture, and was developed in secret by a group of about 600 engineers working in a nondescript building in Modena located between Ferrari and Maserati.

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Friday
Jun192015

Michael Johnson: The Will to Win

By Christopher A. Sawyer

We were standing on the patio behind the Detroit Athletic Club around a 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata waiting for the festivities to begin. Behind us was Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. On the other side of the Miata stood a tent filled with tables, and a stage where the latest inductees for the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America would be introduced after lunch. As I stood around sipping water in the muggy afternoon air, a young man wearing a black sport coat and black shorts rolled his also black wheelchair into our midst. The PR person from Mazda — it sponsored the luncheon — introduced him as Michael Johnson, a racer in the Pro Mazda single seater series who had been involved in a serious accident during qualifying for the season-opening race in St. Petersburg, FL, earlier this year. It’s unclear exactly why his JDC Motorsports entry did not respond to his steering inputs in the street course’s fast right-hand third turn, but the aftermath were very clear. The accident destroyed the carbon fiber tub of his racer, and left Johnson with multiple hip and pelvis fractures, as well as severe damage to his lungs.

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Friday
Jun052015

Notes of Note: 6/5/15

News, facts, and other stuff clogging our e-mail system.

Audi and TOMS are offering a limited-edition Alpargata shoe to customers who purchase or lease a new or Certified Pre-owned Audi vehicle during its Summer of Audi Sales Event (June 3 through August 4, 2015). Available in both adult and children’s sizes, the slip-on is made of ash gray coated canvas with red stitch detail. The Audi rings appear on the inner lining and outer side tag. As a result of this program, 55,000 shoes will be donated to children in need by TOMS.

In mid June, the Mitsuoka Roadster will launch in the U.K. showrooms of T.W. White & Sons located across Surrey, South London and Kent. Looking like a Japanese take on a Morgan, the rear-drive Mitsuoka Roadster is powered by a 2.0-liter inline four mated to either a six-speed manual or Powershift automatic. Heated leather seat and automatic climate control are standard, as is a power retractable hardtop that can open or close in just 12 seconds. With VAT, the cost of ownership — manual or automatic — is £53,800 ($82,197) with the metallic or pearlescent paint adding a further £620 ($947). 

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