We understand that time is valuable, and for your benefit, we’ve composed a list to highlight the most important news each day of the past week. Kicking things off was an NHTSA announcement that traffic fatalities are gearing up to break a devastating record. Thankfully the next few days brought happier news with the spy photos and videos of some GM SUVs and the reveal of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. If that wasn’t enough to pick up your spirits from Monday’s news, the joined forces of McLaren and Honda should no doubt do the trick.
Read the snapshot of the week’s top stories below.
Monday, May 13
In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration celebrated the lowest vehicle fatality statistics since 1949, but the celebration won’t be continuing. Fatalities for 2012 have risen more than 7 percent, which translates to 2,000 more deaths. This number doesn’t include the entire year, and the NHTSA is trying to figure out why there has been such a jump in deaths. Since distracted and drunk driving have influence a number of accidents every year, the NHTSA noted that 21 percent of fatalities occurred when a driver was over the legal limit. It will be interesting to see how these trends add up to the final numbers of the report.
Tuesday, May 14
We caught the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and GMC Yukon XL shedding their layers of camouflage in front of our cameras. This time, though, we managed to capture a video. Like the current models of the above vehicles, they look to have unique headlight designs, setting them apart from each other as well as the trucks in their respective brands. Both the Chevy and the GMC look to have LED taillights, where they’d be standard on the GMC and an optioned feature on the Chevy. We expect that these vehicles will have base EcoTec3 4.3-liter V-6 engines, producing 285 horsepower, with optional 5.3-liter V-8 engines delivering 355 horsepower.
Wednesday, May 15
In case you missed it, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has finally been revealed. It exemplifies driving characteristics, advanced technology, and luxury that lift the brand’s identity. Mercedes turned its press release into a 104-page story, making it hard for us to pick out important features aside from the word “comfortable.” The S550 will be the first car to boast full LED lamps, not containing a single incandescent bulb. Being a luxury car, it wouldn’t feel right if there wasn’t some absurd feature, and Mercedes didn’t fail us. It has introduced a massage feature based off the hot stone principle. Let’s just hope the driver can stay focused on their drive and not fall asleep to what is no doubt a relaxing optional feature.
Thursday, May 16
Formula 1 fans everywhere have no doubt heard of Honda’s return to the sport. The automaker has partnered with McLaren to build its engines. Formerly, Honda engineers would work with the F1 team for a few years before going back to headquarters, although it’s too early to know if this will be happening again. Specifically, Honda will be responsible for the development, building, and supplying of McLaren’s F1 engines and kinetic energy recovery system, or KERS. This is good news for the racing community as a whole and everyone involved in the partnership. McLaren will be better, and the competition will be stronger, and who knows, maybe some race technology will trickle down into Honda’s lineup.
Friday, May 17
There are those who have stated that the 2009 automotive bailout by the U.S. Treasury Department was the wrong move. GM disagrees, and in case increased sales and profitability wasn’t enough proof, its stocks have surpassed the $33 initial public offering as the company plans to introduce its redesigned full-size pickups. No longer will GM be called “Government Motors.” As of April 1, the government owned less than 17 percent of the company and plans to have all of its remaining shares sold within in the next year. The car industry is picking itself up and GM is no exception. Thanks to the great sales of all its brands, we can expect to see the company in charge of itself once again fairly soon.