The government is recovering from its two-week shutdown right now, but the automotive industry hasn’t slowed down one bit. Our week was filled with news stories, as well as some pieces that were on the lighter side. Monday showed us that although Toyota may have known about the IIHS’s latest test years in advance, they didn’t do anything to change their vehicles. Tuesday captivated audiences with the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro’s lap time around the famed Nurburgring, while Wednesday introduced us to a new technology to keep our eyes focused on the road ahead. Thursday debuted a new way to place hybrid and electric vehicle batteries into cars without losing cargo room, and Friday told us why we can expect to wait almost a year before we can get our hands on the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51. Don’t worry; we didn’t post the entirety of every article. We know you don’t have all the time in the world to read every word we write. Check out the summaries below of the top stories from the week.
Monday, October 14
These days, it seems like Toyota just can’t catch a break. Adding to the list of setbacks is the latest safety testing from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. The new 2014 Corolla only managed to earn a “Marginal” rating in the new small overlap front crash test, but Toyota is already working on a solution. Safety is one of the main focuses of the company, and although the automaker knew about the newest test years before it was implemented, it didn’t make the necessary changes to its vehicles to earn a Top Safety Pick + rating. A Toyota rep claimed that the company didn’t want to start planning for the test until it was official, and we can expect to see changes by the 2015 model year or sooner.
Tuesday, October 15
There’s been a lot of hype about the new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, saying it’s the best-performing Camaro ever built and so on. To prove its racing chops, Chevy took the Z/28 to the Nurburgring to see what it’s capable of. It impressed with a lap time of 7 minutes, 37.47 seconds, lapping expensive European cars like the Porsche 911, Porsche 911 Carrera S, and Lamborghini Murcielago LP640. Pretty impressive for the American muscle car. During it’s time on the track, conditions were rather wet, and Chevrolet stated that if the track were dry, the latest Camaro could run a lap time six seconds faster. Although this may be an enthusiast’s dream car, don’t expect the same creature comforts found on other Camaro models; the Z/28 has done away with its audio system, air conditioning, and other features to save roughly 300 pounds.
Wednesday, October 16
“Keep your eyes on the road!” It seems like every manufacturer is trying to come out with new technology to keep your eyes on the road and away from the screen of your smartphone. Chevrolet is one of the latest automakers to implement a new system. Chevrolet and Apple have joined forces to bring Siri Eyes Free to select 2014 models. This new feature will enable drivers to use voice commands to make phone calls, play music, switch stations, compose, send, and listen to text messages, and access the Calendar app and add appointments. Customers with an iPhone 4S or newer running iOS 6 or 7 will be able to connect their phones with this new system.
Thursday, October 17
Are you tired of your hybrid or electric vehicle’s battery taking up your cargo space? Well, it seems like Volvo customers are, as the automaker has come up with a new way to place battery cells in their vehicles. After four years of research, Volvo has created a way to store batteries in the structure of its cars. The company created lightweight structural energy storage components out of carbon fiber, nano-structured batteries, and super capacitors. These innovations save on weight, money, and are eco-friendly. The new battery packs are located in the trunk, hood, and door panels. Currently, the automaker has created two components that are ready for testing and development, a trunk lid and engine cover.
Friday, October 18
We know you all want to get your hands on the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51, but you’re just going to have to wait in line. For a year. You read that right. People have been lining up at dealers across the nation when news that there would be a new Stingray hit the fan. Even before the car was unveiled, people were laying down money. Even though the vehicle has launched and is ready for shipment, each dealer handles their shipments differently. Say Chevrolet managed to turn out 100,000 cars next month, there would still be plenty of people waiting to get their cars. Demand will eventually stabilize as the cars are delivered, but the majority of people looking to buy one of the new Stingrays are just going to have to sit back and relax.