Ford has set the truck market on fire when it announced that it would be making the body of its new F-150, one of the top selling vehicles in the US, completely out of aluminum. The move was done to shed weight from the truck and increase performance and fuel economy. One of the questions that has remained about the truck is exactly how much it will cost.
That question has been answered with Ford unveiling the pricing for the truck this week. As you might expect, the price has increased with the base model F-150 XL starting at $26,615. The 2015 F-50 XLT will start at $31,890, both those base model trucks get $400 price increases.
Where the big price increases come in is with the higher-end models of the new F-150. The 2015 F-150 Lariat increases $900 to $39,880. Pricing for the King Ranch will go up $3615 to start at $49,460. Platinum top of the line models will start at $52,155, an increase of $3,055 compared to 2014 models.
If you have ever made a grilled cheese sandwich and didn't eat it straight away, you know how soggy they can get and how quickly crunchy becomes a soft mess. This is a big problem for a restaurant that makes all sorts of grilled cheese sandwiches for delivery called The Melt. Crispy, crunchy goodness at the store can be soggy and nasty in short order.
To combat this problem the company has come up with a Smart Box that is designed specifically to keep the sandwiches crispy, crunchy, and just as good as when it came off the grill during it's roughly 30 minute journey to your door. The Smart Box was created by former Flip Camera founder Jonathan Kaplan.
The challenge in designing the Smart Box was figuring out how to create airflow to prevent moisture build up. The Smart Box has gone through several iterations and the current one can keep the sandwiches fresh and hot for up to 30 minutes. The Smart Box has a heating element and fans that trigger when the temperature gets too low or the humidity too high. The Melt currently has 15 locations in California.
GM has been at the center of a raging controversy and some of the biggest recalls in automotive history over the last year or so. The company has had a myriad of problems, but the biggest of the recalls is the ignition switch problem that has been linked to several deaths. GM has now offered an estimate of what it will cost to pay victims of the ignition switch recall at $1.2 billion.
GM has hired a disaster compensation expert to administer a victims fund and claims will begin being accepted on August 1. The fund is uncapped and for now, the number of victims who are qualified for payments from the fund is unknown.
Some analysts estimate that the total cost of fines and settlements GM faces could total as much as $7 billion. GM is expected to fight lawsuits that are tied to accidents that happened before it exited bankruptcy in July 2009. For now GM has taken a single-time $1.2 billion recall cost from its earnings.
Muscle car fans are probably familiar with the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat; the car is one of the most powerful production muscle cars in the world. Dodge gave the Hellcat a massive amount of power with an engine making 707hp and claiming the horsepower crown in the muscle car realm.
With the Camaro ZL1 packing 580hp and the Shelby GT500 packing 662hp, you might expect the Hellcat with significantly more power to be price a lot higher, and it is more expensive. The sales price for the Hellcat is going to start at $60,990. The Camaro ZL1 starts at $57,650 and the GT500 starts at $55,935.
707hp is an insane amount of power to come from a factory engine in a car meant for the streets. The Hellcat will go on sale this fall along with the other available versions of the car. The SRT 392 version of the car will sell for $46,990.
GM has been fighting massive recalls of some of its most popular cars for months now as the US government forces the automaker to crack down on cars with potentially lethal problems. One of the biggest issues for GM is the ignition recall that has halted sales of cars like the Chevrolet Cruze until the issue is fixed.
GM is going so far with recalls as to tell its dealers that they can no longer sell two popular Cadillac models on dealer used car lots. The models that can't be sold used by GM dealerships is the Cadillac CTS and SRX. No fix is in sight for the ignition issue that was originally issued on June 30.
GM says that the ignition switch on these Cadillac models can move to the accessory position if bumped. If that happens, the car's power steering, power brakes, and air bags won't function. The original recall covered 554,000 Cadillac cars.
Any parent who has gone on a long road trip with a group of kids knows that things can get loud very quickly. That often means you end up screaming at kids to stop what they are doing while cruising down the road. While that can be annoying in a car, in a larger vehicle like a minivan being heard over a ruckus by people all the way in the back seat can be difficult.
Toyota is addressing that issue with the addition of a microphone to its 2015 Sienna minivan. The mic feature is called Driver Easy Speak and it allows the driver to be heard by all the passengers in the car without having to yell.
There are no microphones in the back to allow those passengers to speak to the driver. Considering it can be hard to hear what young kids are trying to say when they are in the back of a large vehicle, a 2-way intercom would have been nice. The new Sienna will hit dealerships this fall.
Many people get around by train all around the world, but Japan has some of the coolest trains in the world. The Japanese bullet trains can streak down the rails at very high speeds cutting transit times significantly. A Japanese rail service called Japan Rail East has had a Ferrari designer create a very cool luxury train.
The designer creating the sleek train is Ken Okuyama and the design is called the Cruise Titan and is set to go into service in the spring of 2017. The train will hold 34 passengers and is to feature ten carriages with five suites inside. One of the suites will be a deluxe unit and the train will feature two glass walled observation cars, a dining car, and a lounge.
The train will have an observation car in the front to allow the passengers to see down the tracks in front of the train. All of the suites will have a shower and toilet with space for four people to sleep. Cruise Titan will be able to operate on electric and non-electric rails.
Automakers have been hit hard with huge recalls all around the world, perhaps the hardest hit is GM with tens of thousands of vehicles being recalled so far. Ford has now confirmed that a huge number of its vehicles are being investigated by the NHTSA for steering issues.
The exact number of Ford vehicles under investigation is about 500,000 and models covered in the investigation include the Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, and Marauder from 2004 to 2007. The NHTSA says that the heat shield on these cars can rust and dislodge causing the steering to jam.
Reports of five accidents related to the issue have been reported with one causing an injury. Ford is cooperating with the investigation.
Tesla is one of the most successful electric carmakers in the world and the company wants to expand into China. Back in January, Tesla had announced that it had settled a trademark infringement case between it and a Chinese businessman named Zhan Baosheng who had registered the Tesla trademark in China before the automaker entered the market.
Zhan has now sued Tesla in a Chinese court again over trademark infringement. He is demanding that Tesla stop all sales and marketing activities in the country, and shut the doors on its showrooms and charging facilities.
Zhan is also demanding a payment of 23.9 million Yuan, which is about $3.85 million in the US. The case is set to be heard by a Chinese court on August 5. Tesla believes that China will be its biggest market for cars.
Automakers like GM and Ford have been recalling thousands and thousands of vehicles around the world for issues that pose a safety hazard to drivers. Motorcycle maker Harley Davidson has now issued a recall on certain motorcycles in the 2014 model year.
The recall covers 66,421 Touring and CVO Touring motorcycles that have anti-lock brakes. Harley is warning riders of these bikes that the front wheel can lock up without warning. The issue has caused five known accidents with two minor injuries reported.
The front wheel lockup happens when the brake line is pinched between the fuel tank and frame. That pinch increases the pressure of fluid in the lines and locks up the front wheel. The fix Harley will offer is to replace brake lines and add straps to hold the lines in place.