2018 Ford Mustang GT window sticker reveals 10-speed auto’s gas mileage gains

More details on the 2018 Ford Mustang have emerged ahead of the car’s arrival in showrooms later this fall.

The latest tidbit comes by way of a window sticker for the 2018 Mustang GT equipped with an available 10-speed auto.

First discovered by Mustang 6G, the window sticker reveals a slight improvement in EPA-rated fuel economy to 16 mpg city, 25 highway and 19 combined. This compares with the 15 mpg city, 25 highway and 18 combined rating scored by the 2017 Mustang GT equipped with a 6-speed auto.

Sure, the improvement is nothing to write home about but don’t forget that performance is also up. The car’s 5.0-liter V-8 now delivers 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, up 25 hp and 20 lb-ft, and with the 10-speed auto it will deliver 0-60 mph acceleration in under 4.0 seconds.

You can already configure a 2018 Mustang GT on Ford’s website. The starting price is $35,995 for the coupe and $45,495 for the convertible. That represents a $1,900 increase over the previous year.

The 2018 model year sees the sixth-generation Mustang receive the most significant updates since the car was introduced for 2015. Notable changes include revised styling, the elimination of the V-6 option and the aforementioned 10-speed auto. Interestingly, there haven’t been any changes for the Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R models. In fact, the track-focused cars even skip the revised styling. There could, however, be a new Mustang Shelby GT500 introduced. Stay tuned.

This week in Auto: Tata Motors pips M&M to win govt’s electric vehicles contract; JSW Energy joins EV bandwagon

The week saw very diverse action spanning across vehicle segments ranging from abrupt leadership rejigs to investment in electric cars an energy producing company to new launches. Here is a list of the crucial developments in the automotive space.

Tata Motors pips M&M to win large EV order

Tata Motors has won a contract to supply 10,000 electric vehicles to a government-owned company piping Mahindra & Mahindra, the pioneer of EVs in India. The Mumbai-based company will supply 10,000 electric version of its recently launched compact sedan Tigor to Energy Efficiency Services (EESL).

 This is the single largest order for electric vehicles in the country and would be fulfilled by Tata Motors starting this year. Besides Mahindra & Mahindra, Nissan and Hyundai were also believed to be a part of the tendering process. Only M&M has commercially launched EVs in India whereas Tata Motors has promised to launch electric Tiago this year.

Nissan moves India MD to advisory role, reshuffles two more portfolios

Japanese car maker Nissan abruptly moved current Managing Director of India operations Arun Malhotra to the role of a corporate advisor and reshuffled the portfolios of two others.

Further, Jerome Saigot, currently Vice President, Marketing and Datsun Business Unit, Nissan India Motor (NMIPL), will now be responsible for sales and marketing, NMIPL, for both Nissan and Datsun brands. Peter Clissold, currently general manager, Marketing, AMI, will take up the role of Vice President, Marketing, NMIPL, with responsibility for both the Nissan and Datsun brands in India. The announced changes to its senior management team will be effective from October 1, 2017.

Mahindra launches TUV 300 T10 at Rs 9.75 lakh

Utility vehicle market leader Mahindra & Mahindra launched top-end versions of the TUV 300 called T10 with prices starting at Rs 9.75 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). The compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) will have four sub-variants Base, T10 AMT, T10 Dual Tone and T10 Dual Tone AMT.

The range-topping T10 gets gloss black finished inserts in the grille and the fog lamps. The headlamp gets carbon black finish. The alloy wheels are also painted in metallic grey and overall looks good. Other changes include the addition of a rear spoiler and blacked out roof available with a certain variant. The car now gets dual tone black-beige colour combination.

Maruti Suzuki launches upgraded S-Cross

Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest car maker, has launched the upgraded S-Cross, roughly two years after it first launched the premium cross-over in the market through the Nexa channel. The company will announce prices of the car in the next few days.

The new S-Cross gets sculpted bonnet, new headlight assembly, new fog light assembly, 7 inch infotainment panel as new additions. The company decided to discontinue the 1.6 litre diesel engine option for lack of demand. The car will now be powered only by the 1.3 litre diesel engine that generated peak power of 88 bhp.

JSW Energy to set up EV plant in Gujarat

JSW Energy to set up Rs 4,000cr plant for electric vehicles. JSW Energy, a part of the Jindal Group, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat government for setting up a Rs 4,000 crore electric vehicle manufacturing plant.

The facility is believed to have a capacity to make 200,000 electric cars a year. To be set up at Vanod near Dasada in Surendranagar district, will also manufacture electric batteries, electrical storage solutions and charging infrastructure. The facility is expected to generate 2,000 direct and 4,000 indirect jobs.

MG Motor inaugurates Gujarat facility

UK-based automotive marquee MG Motor has inaugurated a manufacturing facility in India, through a minimum initial investment of Rs 2,000 crore. With an initial capacity of 80,000 units per annum in the first phase, MG Motor India will roll out its first product from the plant in 2019.

The facility, spread over an area of 170 acres, will be completely revamped by MG Motor by 2019. The company has already hired an initial workforce of 70 employees at the plant.

Tesla #2 In New Auto Brand Ranking In Germany — Brand Loyalty, Brand Status, & Society’s Conventional Car Inertia

How much does loyalty to a major brand — or at least the status of various brands — limit the transition to electric vehicles from Tesla, Dyson, e.Go, etc.? On the other hand, how much does dissatisfaction with conventional automakers drive customers to such automotive newcomers? How much do legacy automotive brands keep the door shut to newcomers like Tesla versus invite the disruptors in?

A great cleantech leader and early EV adopter recently shared an unfortunate story with me, but it’s one many of us can surely relate to. His wife decided to get a BMW 5 Series rather than a Tesla Model S. It makes no sense to many of us. Why would you do it? How could anyone make that decision, let alone a close family member of an EV and renewable energy leader? Yet, all of us can probably in one way or another relate to the story. Seat Leon Personal Lease

For various reasons, but most especially environmental reasons, CleanTechnica readers and writers are early adopters of cleantech. Many of us have not been early adopters otherwise — we’re just driven by the moral imperative to do our part, and by the concern that if it’s not “too late,” it could be soon. But that is not the majority, and no matter how much some of us talk about it and work on it, other humans near us aren’t guaranteed to come to the same conclusions and feel the same moral imperative and urgency.

This story was striking to me in part because of how unfortunately surprising it was, but also in part because I can imagine several people very close to me making the same decision. Yes, the director of CleanTechnica is no exception — there are people in my close orbit who I can’t get to understand the importance of the climate crisis, or how nonsensical cars that pollute our kids’ lungs and hearts are. Many people I know still don’t understand why these things should override whatever “deal” you can get on a non-electric luxury car and whatever concerns you have about needing to charge the car away from home.

The momentum of what’s “normal,” the psychological impediments to being different, and the fear of change are barriers I have never been able to relate a great deal to. But these are very real and very powerful.

So, I was extra interested when a German reader and colleague shared another story with me right after I received the news above. The story was about a survey on automotive brand trust, loyalty, and especially resilience among Germans. The results are surprising for several reasons. Seat Leon Used Cars

Somehow, Audi is #1*. That’s funny to me, in part, because my first car was an Audi, and the company’s reputation (which has stuck with me) wasn’t grand at the time in the place I lived. I bought it in the 1990s in Florida, and I quickly found out the company had quite a poor reputation for quality and value for the money, but I liked the car. I’m not sure how Audi is viewed in the US today, but it is apparently the darling of Germany … even after parent company Volkswagen Group got busted for a massive diesel emissions scandal and its executives have been charged with colluding with other German auto company execs for decades to game the system. So, why the brand loyalty? Why is the brand so resilient? I’d presume it’s a combo of: marketing, people liking their cars, press coverage, and jobs (Audi is certainly a major employer in Germany).

The other surprising thing, though, is that Tesla is #2! In Germany! It’s ahead of BMW. It’s ahead of Porsche. It’s ahead of Mercedes. It’s ahead of Mini. It’s ahead of Volkswagen. In Germany!

Place in 2017 Brand Points out of 100 Place in 2015
1 Audi 69.5 2
2 Tesla 65.4 1
3 BMW 65.2 3
4 Porsche 64.60 4
5 Mercedes 64.2 6
6 Mini 61.2 7
7 Jaguar 61 8
8 VW 60.6 5
9 Toyota 60.5 9
10 Opel 58.90 12
11 Kia 54.80 11
12 Smart 54.6 14
13 Ford 54.5 10
14 Dacia 51.90 13

Source: BrandTrust Resilienz Index

That’s pretty shocking no matter how you look at it, and even after taking the scandal mentioned above into account. It’s a testament to Tesla’s 762-horsepower-strong brand, its reputation for record-shattering performance, and its sustainability-focused mission, which the company proudly and wisely wears on its sleeve.

It’ll be interesting to see how these rankings change in the future as the electric auto industry really heats up. Will Angela Merkel’s concerns come to fruition? Will Tesla become a giant that German automakers have to concede victory to? Will things more or less remain the same?

Tesla’s position actually dropped from #1 in 2015 to #2 in 2017. It’s unclear if the Silicon Valley company took a hit or if Audi just jumped through the roof — and I’m not sure why either of those things would have happened in the past couple of years. But I’d guess that the press again had something to do with the changes.

*Here’s a short summary of the methodology: “The company Brandtrust has determined 40 criteria which have an influence on the resistance and the future viability of brands. These criteria were compiled into ten resilience indicators and formed the basis for the Brandtrust Resiliency Index: 1010 adults aged between 18 and 69 were interviewed.”

Update: After receiving this brief methodology translation above, it seemed to me that the study is more about resiliency, but my German source says it’s overall about trust, and Google translations highlight trust in key parts. That said, a certain anti-Tesla critic on Forbes came to the same conclusion I came to (something I saw after writing this update). His argument is that it’s all about a brand’s “resiliency,” not “trust.” However, that may be getting too pedantic … after all, it’s a deep consumer trust in a brand that leads to long-term resilience, no? Either way, I’ve updated the article in parts to highlight this matter.

Auto sales in September rise on festival season push, new launches; Maruti Suzuki sales up 9.3%

New Delhi: Festive season, along with new launches, led to automobile manufacturers on Sunday reporting healthy sales figures for September.

Passenger car major Maruti Suzuki India’s total sales rose 9.3 percent to 163,071 units, from 149,143 units sold during the corresponding month of 2016.

“This includes 151,400 units in the domestic market and 11,671 units of exports. The company had sold a total of 149,143 units in September 2016,” the auto major said in a statement.

The company’s September domestic sales edged higher by 10.3 percent to 151,400 units from 137,321 units.

Reuters

Reuters

However, exports declined by 1.3 percent, with only 11,671 units shipped out during last month, down from 11,822 units sold abroad in September 2016.

Similarly, Hyundai Motor India too reported a healthy growth in its domestic sales by over 17 percent.

According to Hyundai Motor India, its September domestic sales rose to 50,028 units from 42,605 units sold during the corresponding period of last year.

“Hyundai achieved landmark sales of 50,028 units with growth of 17.4 percent, on the multiplier effect of phenomenal performance of newly launched Next Gen Verna… along with strong pull for Creta, Elite i20 and Grand i10 in this festive season,” said Rakesh Srivastava, Director – Sales and Marketing, Hyundai Motor India.

Other major manufacturer, Tata Motors’ domestic sales for September rose by 25 percent to 53,965 units, whereas its exports declined by 27 percent to 3,887 units.

Commenting on the growth in passenger vehicles’ sales Mayank Pareek, President, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors, said: “With a growth of 18 percent in September 2017, we have recorded highest sales since November 2012, backed by our strong portfolio of new generation products….

“With the on-going festive season, the consumer sentiment continues to remain positive and are optimistic of maintaining this positive trend with robust growth buoyed by the aspirational values we are offering customers.”

On the same page, Honda Cars India’s domestic sales grew by 21 percent to 18,257 units from 15,034 units sold in the corresponding month last year.

“We have had a good start to the festive season, clocking strong sales in September. With the festive purchase on full-swing, our sales outlook for the season is very promising,” said Yoichiro Ueno, President and CEO, Honda Cars India.

MH370’s enduring mystery ‘almost inconceivable’, report says

Australian investigators have delivered their final report into missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, saying it is “almost inconceivable” the aircraft has not been found.

MH370 disappeared in 2014 while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board.

The search for the jet, also involving Malaysia and China, was called off in January after 1,046 days.

Australian searchers said they “deeply regretted” it had not been found.

“It is almost inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable in the modern aviation era with 10 million passengers boarding commercial aircraft every day, for a large commercial aircraft to be missing and for the world not to know with certainty what became of the aircraft and those on board,” the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said on Tuesday.

“Despite the extraordinary efforts of hundreds of people involved in the search from around the world, the aircraft has not been located.”

Their final report reiterated estimates from December and April that the Boeing 777 was most likely located 25,000 sq km (9,700 sq miles) to the north of the earlier search zone in the southern Indian Ocean.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Relatives of those missing have called for the search to be resumed

The hunt formed one of the largest surface and underwater searches in aviation history.

After the initial 52-day surface search failed, investigators trawled the sea floor and ultimately ruled out an area of more than 120,000 sq km.

In 2015 and 2016, suspected debris from MH370 washed up on islands in the Indian Ocean and the east coast of Africa.

Investigators came up with its current likely location after analysing drift modelling of debris and satellite data.

In the report, investigators said their understanding of MH370’s location was “better now than it has ever been”.

The Australian government has said only “credible” new evidence will prompt it to resume the search.

The Malaysian government is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the disappearance.

Posted in BBC

Einstein’s waves win Nobel Prize

The 2017 Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to three US scientists for the detection of gravitational waves.

Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish will share the nine million kronor (£831,000) prize.

The ripples were predicted by Albert Einstein and are a fundamental consequence of his General Theory of Relativity.

The winners are members of the Ligo-Virgo observatories, which were responsible for the breakthrough.

The winners join a prestigious list of 204 other Physics laureates recognised since 1901.

Prof Weiss gets half of the prize money, while Barish and Thorne will share the other half.

Gravitational waves describe the stretching and squeezing of space-time that occurs when massive objects accelerate.

The warping of space resulting from the merger of two black holes was initially picked up by the US Ligo laboratory in 2015 – the culmination of a decades-long quest.

Three more examples have been detected since then.

  • Gravitational waves quest to go into space
  • Scottish gravitational waves pioneer dies
  • Getting your head around Einstein’s waves
  • Gravitational waves: A triumph for big science
    • Gravitational waves are a prediction of the Theory of General Relativity
    • It took decades to develop the technology to directly detect them
    • They are ripples in the fabric of space-time generated by violent events
    • Accelerating masses will produce waves that propagate at the speed of light
    • Detectable sources ought to include merging black holes and neutron stars
    • Ligo/Virgo fire lasers into long, L-shaped tunnels; the waves disturb the light
    • Detecting the waves opens up the Universe to completely new investigations

    Speaking at a press conference, Olga Botner, from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said: “The first ever observation of a gravitational wave was a milestone – a window on the Universe.”

    The US Ligo and European Virgo laboratories were built to detect the very subtle signal produced by these waves.

    Even though they are produced by colossal phenomena, such as black holes merging, Einstein himself thought the effect might simply be too small to register by technology.

    But the three new laureates led the development of a laser-based system that could reach the sensitivity required to bag a detection.

    The result was Ligo, a pair of widely separated facilities in North America: one observatory is based in Washington State, while the other is in Livingston, Louisiana.

    The European side of the gravitational wave collaboration is based in Pisa, Italy.

    Speaking over the phone at the Nobel announcement in Stockholm, Rainer Weiss said the discovery was the work of about 1,000 people.

    But the Nobel trio’s contribution is also regarded as fundamental.

    Weiss set out the strategy that would be needed to make a detection.

    Thorne did much of the theoretical work that underpinned the quest.

    And Barish, who took over as the second director of Ligo in 1994, is credited with driving through organisational reforms and technology choices that would ultimately prove pivotal in the mission’s success.

    Catherine O’Riordan, interim co-chief executive of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), said: “Weiss, Barish and Thorne led us to the first detection of gravitational waves and laid the foundation for the new and exciting era we officially entered on September 14, 2015 – the era of gravity wave astronomy.”

    Image copyright S.Ossokine/A.Buonanno (MPI Gravitational Physics)
    Image caption A computer simulation of gravitational waves radiating from two merging black holes

    Many commentators had gravitational waves down as a dead cert to win last year, but the Nobel committee has always been fiercely independent in its choices and has made everyone wait 12 months.

    Had the prize been awarded last year, it is very likely that the Scottish physicist Ron Drever would have shared it with Weiss and Thorne.

    The trio won all the big science prizes – apart from the Nobel – in the immediate aftermath of the first detection in 2015.

    But Drever died in March this year and Nobels are generally not awarded posthumously.

    The Scotsman developed some of the early laser systems at Glasgow University before taking this knowledge to Caltech in California.

    Glasgow remains the UK hub for the big British contribution to Ligo. Its Institute for Gravitational Research designed and built the suspension system that holds the ultra-still mirrors used in the US and Italian labs.

Posted in BBC

Monarch chief Andrew Swaffield ‘devastated’ at closure

Monarch chief executive Andrew Swaffield has said he is “absolutely devastated” at the airline’s collapse.

Mr Swaffield said the decision not to continue trading was made on Saturday night after estimating that losses for 2018 would be “well over £100m”.

He told the BBC’s Today programme that Monday was a “heartbreaking day”.

Meanwhile, the first stage of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rescue scheme led to nearly 12,000 people being brought back to the UK on Monday.

A similar number of people are due to return to the UK on Tuesday.

Monarch Airlines ceased trading early on Monday, leading to nearly 1,900 job losses and the cancellation of all its flights and holidays.

The collapse of the 50-year old company is the largest ever for a UK airline.

‘Great family’

Mr Swaffield blamed the company’s demise on “terrorism and the closure of some markets like Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt,” which led to more competition on routes to Spain and Portugal.

“Flights were being squeezed into a smaller number of destinations and a 25% reduction in ticket prices on our routes created a massive economic challenge for our short-haul network,” he told the BBC.

  • What are your rights?
  • The rise and fall of Monarch
  • ‘Shock and anger’ among passengers
  • Four reasons why Monarch failed

He explained that it was impossible for the airline to keep on flying beyond the weekend once the decision to close had been taken.

“The UK insolvency framework doesn’t allow airlines to continue flying unlike in Germany and Italy, where we see that Air Berlin and Alitalia continued when they were in administration.

“We tried to operate a normal schedule all day Sunday so we could be ready for the CAA rescue flights on Monday morning without causing a massive backlog.”

Mr Swaffield said the staff at Monarch had been a “great family” and said every effort was being made to find new employment for the 2,000 people who had lost their jobs.

“We are doing all we can,” he said. “We are talking to our competitor airlines, trying to organise job fairs and trying to connect staff with our competitors.

“We also have hundreds of head office staff in Luton and are trying to organise the same kind of conversations with employers in Luton and Bromley.”

‘Buoyant’

CAA chair Dame Deirdre Hutton told the BBC that their programme to return holidaymakers to the UK had got off to a good start.

“Day one went really well and day two is going well so far but it is a huge undertaking and I’m sure there will be some glitches on the way,” she said.

She added that the programme would run until Sunday 15 October and that if people were not flown into their departure airport, they would be taken there by bus.

Dame Deirdre denied that the collapse of Monarch and cancellation of some winter flights by Ryanair meant that the airline industry was in trouble.

“The industry is very buoyant and during this year passenger numbers have been up, airlines have been doing very well and airports have been reporting record numbers of passengers,” she said.

The government is set to pick up the tab for flying Monarch passengers home, but is talking to credit card companies about sharing some of the cost.

 

Posted in BBC

Catalan referendum: Anti-police strike hits public services

Protesters are blocking major roads in Catalonia and there is little public transport because of a general strike.

Catalan trade unions called the strike to show public anger at Spanish police violence that marred the region’s independence referendum on Sunday.

At least 24 protesters’ roadblocks were reported across Catalonia, causing big traffic jams. Barcelona port was at a standstill, union sources said.

However, the city’s El Prat airport and its taxis are operating normally.

Many small businesses across Catalonia have shut for the day. Schools, universities and medical services are also closed or operating at a minimum level.

Mercabarna – Barcelona’s massive wholesale market – was left deserted as some 770 food businesses closed for the day.

The strike was called in protest at “the grave violation of rights and freedoms” seen during Sunday’s ballot. Almost 900 people were hurt as Spanish police tried to prevent voting, in a referendum declared illegal by the Madrid government.

Media captionMany Catalans have expressed shock at the use of violent tactics by Spanish police

Some police officers were seen firing rubber bullets, storming into polling stations and pulling women by their hair.

Thirty-three police officers were also injured in Sunday’s clashes, Catalan medical officials said.

However, more than 2.2m people reportedly voted in spite of this. The Catalan government says the vote in support of independence was nearly 90%, but official results have not yet been released.

Turnout was relatively low at a reported 42%, potentially weakening the position of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont.

  • Spain’s biggest crisis for a generation
  • The reasons for the referendum
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Protesters blocked a street outside a police station in Barcelona
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Barcelona metro: A sign warns commuters that there will be minimum services
Image copyright EPA
Image caption A huge Barcelona wholesale market – Mercabarna – is paralysed by the strike

On Monday evening the Spain national football team abandoned a training session after fans booed and whistled at defender Gerard Pique, who has strongly backed the Catalan referendum.

Guardia Civil police mingled among the crowd, as some fans waved Spanish flags and anti-Pique placards.

He plays for FC Barcelona, which announced that it had joined the strike. None of the professional teams or the youth teams at FC Barcelona will train tomorrow,” the club said on Monday evening.


Catalan rage: Separatism or populism?

By Europe Editor Katya Adler

It would be wrong to interpret the anger and anguish so palpable in Catalonia right now as an expression of political unity. Catalans are as divided as ever on the question of independence.

Media captionCatalans sing their anthem ‘Els Segadors’, or ‘The Reapers’

What unites them today is a seething fury and resentment at the heavy-handedness of the Spanish government, represented by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, with what Catalans perceive as his Madrid-centric arrogance, brutishness and disregard for the rights of individuals.

This is far less about separatism than populism. Anti-establishment, nationalist sentiment a la Catalana.

Read more from Katya: Why Catalan emotions are running high


Meanwhile, political leaders are trying to find a way forward.

President Puigdemont has said he wants a new understanding with the central government in Madrid, but the Spanish government has warned it could suspend autonomy of the wealthy north-eastern region.

  • How Barcelona and Madrid viewed the vote
  • The most powerful images of Catalan clashes

Given the chaotic nature of the vote, the turnout and voting figures should be taken with a pinch of salt, says the BBC’s Tom Burridge in Barcelona.

Media captionRiot police were seen using batons and kicking people to block voting

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the vote made a “mockery” of democracy.

He held talks with Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the main opposition Socialist party, as well as Albert Rivera, the head of the centrist Ciudadanos party, late on Monday.

While the socialist leader urged Mr Rajoy to hold talks with the Catalan president immediately, Mr Rivera said Spain should invoke article 155 of the constitution, in effect suspending Catalonia’s autonomous powers.

Mr Puigdemont has called on the international community to help mediate between the two sides.

However, the European Commission described the crisis as “an internal matter” for Spain, that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order.

Posted in BBC