Last Weeks News In Review

A Koenigsegg Agera RS was crashed during its shakedown testing in Sweden. This picture has been floating around the web, but for obvious reasons Koenigsegg aren’t sticking their hand up to identify the car exactly, however quite a few people seem to think it looks a lot like the Gryphon edition shown off at the Geneva Motor Show earlier in the year.

The Honda Civic Si should be on sale by the time you read this, and the price is starting at just $23,900. It comes with 205 horses under the hood, a short throw manual, a helical slip diff, adaptive dampers, beefed up stabalizer bars, control arms and a whole lot more fun performance adaptations on the standard Civic line. With the turbo charges 1.5 litre engine, torque is available lower in the rev range than Si drivers are used to, so it’s going to be a slightly different animal to previous iterations. It’s also a little lighter than the last Si.

Now looks like a good time to hunt down a used car on the lot. A little less than five years ago in the USA, used vehicle inventories were understocked. However between 2014 and 2016 automakers experienced a boom in sales and leasing as the financial recession came to a close. Now those vehicles are coming off lease and, according to Reuters, something like 12,000,000 vehicles are set to come off lease by 2019 and find their way onto the market.

Gret news if you’re looking to buy a used car but not so great if you’re looking to trade one in for a new model.

The Ford GT embargo was apparently lifted as everyone released their video reviews pretty much at the same time. My favourite is the one from DriveTribe – beautifully shot, thoughtfully edited and presented as honestly as they come.

Just in case you had forgotten the emissions scandal, Volkswagen claimed this week that it cannot and will not publish a final report conducted by a U.S. law firm investigating the scandal.

On top of that, the National Labor Relations Board filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the company for dramatically raising health insurance premiums and changing working hours of employees who voted for union representation at their only U.S. plant.

Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller also decided to announce that “The future is electric”, which at this point I don’t really know what to make of. It sounds a little like a company that wants to separate itself from diesel as quickly as possible; and over reaching itself in the process. There’s a long way to go selling normally powered cars before that possibility could pay off.

In contrast to everyday cars going down in price, Hagerty reports that affordable classics are rising in value. Haggarty classes affordable classics as cars from the 1950s through the 1970s that are priced under $40,000.

Currently they are valuing at an all time high, and have only just paused in the steady rise in value since September 2011.

I’m no expert on the classic car market, but the value of simple cars to maintain in the current age of highly complex motor vehicles is something I can see continuing, and most likely followed by cars from the 80’s, 90’s and early this century.

South Korea is building a small city as a test site for self-driving technology. Known at the moment as K-City, its being built on an 88 acre piece of land for use by local technology companies including Samsung. Samsung has also recently gained approval for testing autonomous cars on public roads in South Korea.

The cost for the city containing expressways, bus lanes and parking zones for the vehicles should be completed in 2018 and cost the South Korean equivalent of around ten million U.S dollars.

Of course, it should be mentioned that late last year construction began in Southeast Michigan by the U.S. Department of Transportation for a similar 335 acre site dedicated to the testing and self-certification of connected and autonomous vehicles.

We live in interesting times.

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