Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport Saves Some Cash but Not Some Gas

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

Last year, the mid-size Rogue crossover became Nissan’s top-selling vehicle, surpassing the Altima as it climbed close to 330,000 yearly sales. When something is drawing in that many customers, it’d be foolish not to try to build on that momentum. So, for the 2017 model year, Nissan is expanding the brand and introducing the compact Rogue Sport (sold as the Qashqai elsewhere) to the U.S. market. It will start at $22,380, which is about 10 percent less than the regular Rogue.

Similar to the Rogue lineup, the Rogue Sport will have three trim levels: the base S, the $23,980 SV, and the $27,030 SL. All three can be upgraded from front- to all-wheel drive for $1350. A USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, a backup camera, tire-pressure monitoring, and satellite radio come standard on the S. The SV adds 17-inch wheels, a proximity key, push-button start, a roof rack, automatic headlights, and a rear multifunction cargo system. The SL is loaded with heated front seats, leather, 19-inch wheels, remote start, navigation, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, a heated steering wheel, and a 360-degree-view camera. The S has an optional Appearance package ($570), the SV has available All-Weather ($920) and Premium ($1500) packages, and the SL has available Premium ($2280) and Platinum ($570) packages.

2017 Nissan Rogue Sport

Those looking to the Rogue Sport for better fuel economy will be disappointed to learn that the mini Rogue actually drinks slightly more. The sole powertrain is a 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-four that makes 141 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The EPA has rated the FWD Sport at 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined, while the FWD 2.5-liter four-cylinder Rogue is 1 mpg better in all measures. The AWD Sport is rated at 24/30/27 mpg, compared with the AWD Rogue’s 25/32/27 mpg. This despite the Sport’s 200-pound advantage. When we asked about this, a Nissan spokesman attributed the loss of fuel efficiency to differences in aerodynamics and tire compounds.

The Rogue Sport, which is 12.1 inches shorter and has a 2.3-inch-shorter wheelbase than the Rogue, will join the Juke to compete in the subcompact-crossover market against the Kia Soul, the Jeep Renegade, and the Toyota C-HR, among others. Considering the current market climate, it’s not hard to imagine these things will be flying off showroom floors when they go on sale starting May 11.

2017-Nissan-Rogue-Sport-REEL2017-Nissan-Rogue-Sport-REEL

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/2017-nissan-rogue-sport-saves-some-cash-but-not-some-gas/

Five-Cylinder Fever! Audi Announces TT RS and RS3 Pricing

Now that those who were imprinted by Group B cars as children have reached their prime earning years, Audi has smartly returned the departed TT RS to us and deigned to send along the RS3. Equipped with 400-hp turbocharged five-cylinder engines, just like Michèle Mouton used to run—only less laggy, more efficient, and featuring the aid of modern traction and stability control, therefore perhaps less likely to hurl an enthusiastic motorist off the side of a mountain. And unlike the 302-hp Sport Quattro of the 1980s, the new MQB-based RS siblings won’t cost as much as a single-family home. At least, not any sort of single-family home you’d actually want to reside in.

The TT RS starts at $65,875, which is expensive when you consider that it shares its bones with your neighbor Herff’s Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, but the sum begins to sound reasonable when you note that it’s got one more cylinder than corporate sibling Porsche’s 718 Cayman S, makes 50 more horsepower, and costs $1475 less. For your money, Audi gives you 19-inch wheels, a leather/imitation suede multifunction steering wheel, nappa leather, and eight-way power sport seats. The RS also features LED headlights and the customary fixed rear spoiler.

Options include 20-inch wheels, carbon-ceramic front disc brakes, Audi’s Black Optic package that darkens the brightwork, an interior with red diamond-pattern stitching and RS-emblazoned floor mats, a Bang Olufsen sound system, the MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system, Audi Connect 4G LTE connectivity with Siri Eyes Free functionality, and a smartphone interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Herff, of course, will just think you put fancy pipes and a body kit on a TT, but what does Herff know? Herff’s really into his inflatable hot tub.

But if you’d really like to confuse Herff, buy a new RS3 and leave his weak-tea decals flapping in the breeze. Available for the first time on our shores, the screamin’ sedan features the same five-pot honker as the TT RS, but it features four doors and a back seat usable by human beings with intact lower limbs. Starting at $55,450 for 2017 models and rising to $55,875 for the 2018 version, the sedan’s styling mines a similarly aggressive vein as the TT’s but features a slightly amended list of options. Fret not, for you can still opt for the carbon-ceramic front rotors, Fireball Roberts.



If you’re in the market for one of the first RS3s off the boat, your options are already chosen for you. All 2017 models will have carbon-fiber inlays, a Bang Olufsen sound system, 19-inch five-spoke wheels with a titanium finish, MMI Navigation Plus, red brake calipers, and a black-tipped RS sport exhaust. And no, Herff did not just cruise past, bumping Devo’s “Freedom of Choice.” You’re hearing things, man. You’ve got the five-cylinder fever. You’ve got it bad.

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/five-cylinder-fever-audi-announces-tt-rs-and-rs3-pricing/

This Diesel-Powered BMW M550d Has As Many Turbos As a Bugatti

BMW-M550d-xDrive-PLACEMENT

BMW has concocted a recipe that will have many car enthusiasts salivating: a diesel-powered, nearly 400-hp, all-wheel-drive, quad-turbocharged 5-series that is available as a wagon. It’s called the M550d xDrive, and it joins the V-8–powered M550i as the second M Performance model in the new seventh-generation 5-series lineup. At least it does in Europe, where it’ll go on sale later this year. As is often the refrain with European diesels and wagons, don’t count on it coming to the U.S. anytime soon.

The new turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six installed in this special 5-series makes 394 horsepower and a whopping 561 lb-ft of torque. It’s aided by four turbochargers (yes, four)—one more than the previous-gen M550d’s inline-six had—to produce its maximum torque as low as 2000 rpm; it also achieves the rough equivalent of 40 mpg. All it’s missing for true purist street cred is a manual transmission; an eight-speed automatic is standard, routing power through a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system.

BMW M550d xDriveBMW M550d xDrive

Both the sedan and wagon versions of the M550d xDrive get a special body kit and their own 19-inch or optional 20-inch wheels to set them apart visually. Interior upgrades include sport seats, faux-suede touches, and aluminum trim. And, of course, you’ll find M badges everywhere, lest anyone overlook that you’ve splurged for the high-performance 5-series, if not the full-blown M5.

As for us Americans, we’ll have to be content with the 5-series sedan, because BMW has essentially ruled out the possibility of any 5-series wagon variant coming to the United States. At least diesel fans can hold out some hope; BMW says an oil-burning 5er is coming to America eventually, although we reckon the more pedestrian 530d is more likely than this M550d on our shores.

BMW-M550d-xDrive-REEL


Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/this-diesel-powered-bmw-m550d-has-as-many-turbos-as-a-bugatti/

Waymo Recruiting Hundreds of Volunteers to Ride in Self-Driving Minivans

Waymo-Arizona-3

Eight years into its effort to make self-driving cars a reality, executives from Waymo say they’re shifting their focus from the technology itself and turning more attention toward the needs of people who will use the vehicles. The company, an independent subsidiary spun out from Google’s self-driving-car project, has announced that it’s adding 500 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans to its autonomous fleet.

That represents a massive increase from the 100 Pacificas that Waymo outfitted with its self-driving systems last year. Many of the new vehicles will head to Phoenix, Arizona, where the company has created an Early Rider program that allows members of the public to use self-driving cars in their daily routines in exchange for giving feedback on the vehicles. The program quietly launched over the past two months, Waymo revealed.

“We’ll learn things like where people want to go in a self-driving car, how they communicate with our vehicles, and what information and controls they want to see inside,” said Waymo CEO John Krafcik. “Our early riders will play an important role in shaping the way we bring self-driving technology into the world.”

One of the first families chosen to participate in Waymo's Early Rider program poses with one of the company's Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans.

One of the first families chosen to participate in Waymo’s Early Rider program poses with one of the company’s Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans.

Waymo says it is seeking “hundreds” of people from a variety of backgrounds to use the vehicles in Phoenix and its suburbs. Residents interested in participating can apply to be part of the program on the company’s website. The application hints at the broad spectrum of users Waymo hopes to attract, from enthusiastic adopters of new technology to people in households where someone has a medical condition that prevents driving.

Three families have already been enrolled in Early Rider. Their reasons for wanting to use the self-driving vehicles range from helping shuttle multiple kids to school to relaxing en route to their destinations to logistical support for opposite-direction commutes.

“Rather than offering people one or two rides, the goal of this program is to give participants access to our fleet every day, at any time, to go anywhere within an area that’s about twice the size of San Francisco,” Krafcik wote in a blog post on Medium.

Riders use the vehicles much as one might call a ride-hailing service, summoning the vehicles via an app that Waymo developed internally, according to a company spokesperson.

Among companies pursuing self-driving technology, only Volvo has launched a similar effort, recruiting as many as 100 households in and around Gothenburg, Sweden, to use XC90 SUVs equipped with autonomous technology in their everyday travels in geofenced areas. Recruiting for this program, called Drive Me, is underway now, and participants are expected to hit the road later this year.

It’s unclear how quickly Waymo intends to ramp up its Early Rider testing. The first 100 Pacificas, ordered last spring, arrived in December 2016. After receiving the minivans from Chrysler, Waymo needs to outfit them with its technology, which includes a suite of sensors built in-house and attached to the minivan in a decidedly non-integrated way. The sensor-housing goiters on the front fenders, grilles, and roofs of the Pacificas must make Fiat Chrysler Automobiles design chief Ralph Gilles cringe.

Waymo-Arizona-2

The fleet expansion nevertheless bodes well for FCA, which has not invested in autonomous technology the way some other automakers have but instead has staked its future mobility fortunes on partnerships like the one with Waymo. In a statement, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said, “The collaboration between FCA and Waymo has been advantageous for both companies as we continue to work together to fully understand the steps needed to bring self-driving vehicles to market.”

The Pacifica’s electrical, powertrain, chassis, and structural systems are all modified to accommodate Waymo’s self-driving technology. A group of engineers from both companies, located together in southeast Michigan, collaborated to develop the vehicles. The self-driving vehicles have been tested at FCA’s proving grounds in both Chelsea, Michigan, and Yucca, Arizona.

Not all 500 of the minivans are destined for Phoenix, although Waymo is not yet saying exactly how many will be used there or revealing the destination for the remaining Pacificas. The  project represents a big win for Arizona, which has aggressively courted pilot projects using self-driving vehicles. When California revoked the registrations of Uber’s autonomous vehicles following a public standoff in December, the company relocated some of its testing to Arizona. Ford and General Motors’ Cruise Automation both test in Arizona, as does Local Motors, a company that, among other things, is producing autonomous shuttles.

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/waymo-recruiting-hundreds-of-volunteers-to-ride-in-self-driving-minivans/

Tesla Installing More Urban Chargers as BMW and Nissan Build Road-Trip Waypoints

Tesla - supercharger expansion

Until now, Tesla has focused the development of its Supercharger fast-charging network on enabling longer-distance travel. Meanwhile, Nissan and BMW, the two automakers who were bullish on urban charger installations several years before Tesla started its network, have largely put their focus on urban infrastructure of the sort commuters might use. Now, in something of a role reversal, BMW and Nissan are placing more investment in highway corridors and road-trip routes, while Tesla is looking inward to urban cores.

The infrastructure moves make sense given the companies’ respective electric-vehicle products. Tesla plans to make the first deliveries of its more affordable electric car, the Model 3, later this year, so it’s preparing its Supercharger network (which is no longer free) for a dramatic increase in traffic. Tesla is also preparing for a different kind of buyer—one who might lack charger access at work or have a less than ideal home-charging setup—and it’s looking ahead to those younger, urban buyers by installing more of its Supercharging fast chargers within city centers.

Taking Supercharging into the City

The California automaker is undergoing a major expansion of the network—with 1000 new Supercharger locations in its home state expected by the end of the year. Also by the end of 2017, Tesla expects to have 10,000 fast-charging Superchargers and 15,000 of its slower Destination Charging connectors globally, with the number of locations in North America alone increasing by 150 percent. Some of Tesla’s larger sites will be able to charge several dozen vehicles at once—although, depending on the location, the speed of charging could be affected if fully utilized.

Tesla also appears to be investing big in preparation for Model 3 urbanites. “In addition, many sites will be built further off the highway to allow local Tesla drivers to charge quickly when needed, with the goal of making charging ubiquitous in urban centers,” the automaker said in a blog post.

2015 Tesla Model S P85D long-term

Tesla’s first Supercharger hardware was up and running in 2012, and since then the company has installed more than 5400 Superchargers, which provide fast charging at up to 145 kW (although the vehicles at this time permit a maximum of 120 kW).

As for BMW and Nissan, both of those automakers have put more focus into metro-area charging availability until now—Nissan with its No Charge to Charge program, BMW with ChargeNow—but both are looking ahead to longer-range models, so they’re now investing more in outlying infrastructure and highway waypoints.

Others Look to Long-Distance Travel and Tourism

Last week Nissan announced that it will build nine more stations with charging provider EVgo to help fill the remaining gaps in a 50-station corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C., termed the I-95 Fast-Charge ARC (which stands for Advanced Recharging Corridor). These stations use dual-standard hardware compatible with both the CHAdeMO interface used by the Nissan Leaf and the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard used by many other models. They’ll also all be upgradable to upcoming 150-kW standards as soon as vehicles with that capability are available—which could come as soon as the end of the year, when the next-generation 2018 Nissan Leaf is expected to go on sale.

BMW i3 charging

BMW is involved in an initiative that could lead more visitors to drive EVs when visiting U.S. national parks. The charging partnership brings together BMW of North America with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy. It aims, BMW said, to “help reduce air pollution in parks and gateway communities as well as demonstrate the viability of electric vehicles in everyday life.”

One station for the parks initiative has already been installed—at Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey, where BMW is sponsoring all charging costs for the first six months. Technical work on a total of 100 charging sites will be done by the DOE’s Clean Cities program and the national parks.

Some major automakers—although certainly not all of them—have recognized that investment in infrastructure helps sell electric vehicles. Unlike other automakers, Tesla owns, runs, and manages its infrastructure. The jury is still out on whether that puts the company at a competitive advantage, but the Model 3 will prove quite the litmus test.

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/tesla-installing-more-urban-chargers-as-bmw-and-nissan-build-road-trip-waypoints/

West Seattle Blog… | WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Tire/wheel …

The latest West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports:

TIRE/WHEEL THEFT: The photo and report are from Matt in Alki:

I live on the corner of 59th Ave SW and Admiral. When I went out to my car this morning to leave for work I came upon this. Someone had jacked just one entire tire/wheel with bolts. Has anyone else in the area had this happen or did any of my neighbors notice anything unusual last night?

SHARED-CAR VANDALISM: Last night, somebody smashed the window of a car2go vehicle left parked outside Ben‘s house on 8th SW in Highland Park:

He says 911 told him he couldn’t file a report because he wasn’t the victim. After multiple tries, he reached car2go, which said they would report it and send someone over to clean up and get the car.

PACKAGE TAKEN: The video and report are from Isaac on Puget Ridge:

16th Ave right across from South Seattle College. Happened today 4/25 at 12:32 pm.

PACKAGES, MAIL TAKEN: From Adam in the 3000 block of SW Avalon Way:

We have had two packages stolen from our home, one on 4/10 @ 3:35 AM and also on this Saturday @ 02:11 by different people. Both are outgoing food delivery coolers to be picked up by FEDEX in the morning which is why we place them outside before we go to bed.

Also last week our mailboxes were ripped open and the mail stolen.

MEETING REMINDER: Neighborhood crime/safety concerns? The West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets at 6:30 pm at the precinct, with new Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge as guest speaker. All welcome. (2300 SW Webster)

Article source: http://westseattleblog.com/2017/04/west-seattle-crime-watch-tirewheel-stolen-shared-car-vandalism-packages-taken/

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Ford, General Motors and Toyota Motor

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 24, 2017 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Ford (NYSE: F – Free Report ), General Motors (NYSE: GM – Free Report ) and Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM – Free Report ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

Shanghai Auto Show Goes Electric

The Shanghai Auto Show has opened to the public today and will continue through Apr 28. It is a huge affair with over a thousand automakers participating and expected to attract over 100X that number in car enthusiasts. There will be 1,400 cars on exhibition, of which 159 will be new energy vehicles (NEVs), including fully electric and hybrid cars. Given the Chinese government’s focus on clean energy, 96 of these 159 cars will be of Chinese make and the rest of foreign make.

A Little Background

Today, China is the world’s largest auto market having lapped up 28 million cars in 2016 itself. Four-wheel SUVs were 40% of this while NEVs were less than 2%. The reason for low NEV sales is similar to the U.S.: less variety, limited distribution and relatively cheaper fuel costs boosting demand for SUVs. This year, the Chinese government might be the cause of a fourth reason: reduced subsidies on green cars by a fifth to ultimately phase out subsidies altogether by 2020 with the goal of creating an independent EV market (this will, however, increase cost of manufacturing and therefore raise prices).

This year, the Chinese auto market growth rate is expected to drop off from last year’s 13.7%, but it will still be a decent 5%, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The drop-off isn’t so much a question of weaker demand as the fact that tax incentives on smaller engine cars are being rolled back.

It isn’t clear what percentage of this year’s sales will be NEVs. But it’s worth noting that China is also the world’s largest market for fully electric cars having grown 65% last year to 400,000 units (state-owned Beijing Automotive Group and Warren Buffett-backed BYD were the largest players). Moreover, in September, the government proposed a credit system that would require automakers to make NEVs 8% of sales this year, going up to 10% in 2019 and 12% in 2020 (a downward revision in these targets is expected).

Bottom line: Automakers have to balance the high demand for SUVs with the government demand for NEVs while factoring in the increased cost/lower subsidy. It’s expected that more stringent fuel efficiency standards will in any case drive manufacturers to greener alternatives.

Tales from the Show

Not all cars are production ready, and where they’re not, there are promises of things to come over the next few years:

Ford : Ford (NYSE:F – Free Report ) expects to launch a plug-in hybrid sedan called the Mondeo Energi by 2018 and is also working on a fully electric SUV over the next five years. Its luxury brand Lincoln launched its first gasoline-electric hybrid based on the MKZ midsize sedan model. It also had a concept SUV called Navigator that will start selling later this year.

Ford has a Chinese JV partner in Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd., with which it expects to launch hybrid or fully electric versions of all models built in China by 2025. But the company isn’t in any hurry with company executives maintaining that the volume of cars sold is dependent on things like government subsidies, regulatory policy, as well as cost and refueling speeds of these vehicles.

General Motors : General Motors (NYSE: GM – Free Report ), which operates in China through a JV with state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp (SAIC) announced the Buick Velite 5 plug-in hybrid. The Buick is very popular in China as a premium brand but GM will be discounting it by 36,000 yuan ($5,233) because of uncertainties about the amount of government subsidy that may be allowed this year. GM is targeting the launch of at least 10 NEVs by 2020 and has already built a battery assembly plant in Shanghai to deliver battery packs next year.

Volkswagen : The Volkswagen I.D. Crozz four-door coupe-style vehicle will also have self-driving technology. It expects to have 13 NEV models by 2020 and 30 by 2025, by which time it expects to sell a million cars annually. The company is also in talks with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC) to form an NEV JV in China.

Audi : The company showcased the e-tron Sportback electric car concept that will launch in 2019, after the electric SUV called e-tron that is expected to launch next year. The car uses Volkswagen Group’s C-BEV electric car platform. Earlier, the company said that it would have three electric cars by 2020 and thirty by 2025.

Toyota : Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM – Free Report ) will begin testing its hydrogen fuel cell concept later this year with the tests expected to continue through 2020. As part of the project, it will open a hydrogen refueling station at its Chinese RD center to take care of fueling aspects. Hydrogen cars emit only water vapor, so they are very good for the environment. As a result, Toyota has made this technology a key part of its long-range powertrain plans.

The company also has plans for the EV segment where it plans to build plug-in hybrids at home in Japan and then sell into the Chinese market. The hybrids are expected to ship next year, but the company hasn’t yet allotted a timeline for its fully electric offerings.

Renault : The French company showed off the RS2027 Vision concept car for formula one racing in ten years from now.

Lynk Co : The Chinese company’s Volvo Cars brand, bought from Ford in 2010, will launch an all-electric car based on the economy-size CMA platform in China and the rest of the world. The car will start selling in 2019.

Conclusion

China is the world’s largest auto market and also one of the fastest growing. Plus government initiatives to drive NEVs are creating a new market. But because of the protectionist economy, many of the largest car makers are partnering with local players including government-owned entities. This definitely seems like the way to go.

Will You Make a Fortune on the Shift to Electric Cars?

Here’s another stock idea to consider. Much like petroleum 150 years ago, lithium power may soon shake the world, creating millionaires and reshaping geo-politics. Soon electric vehicles (EVs) may be cheaper than gas guzzlers. Some are already reaching 265 miles on a single charge.

With battery prices plummeting and charging stations set to multiply, one company stands out as the #1 stock to buy according to Zacks research.

It’s not the one you think.

See This Ticker Free

Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free .

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They’re virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today’s 220 Zacks Rank #1 “Strong Buys” were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free .

Get the full Report on F – FREE

Get the full Report on GM – FREE

Get the full Report on TM – FREE

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

support@zacks.com

https://www.zacks.com/

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The SP 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Toyota Motor Corp Ltd Ord (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research

Article source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/zacks-analyst-blog-highlights-ford-133001186.html

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Alphabet, Ford and Tesla

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 25, 2017 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL – Free Report ), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL – Free Report ), Ford (NYSE: F – Free Report ) and Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA – Free Report ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Will Self-Driving Cars Push Apple (AAPL) to New Highs?

Reuters said that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL – Free Report ) has “outlined” a plan to “train” self-driving car operators, giving an insight into its closely guarded self driving car/technology efforts. Reuters cited documents released exclusively to it by California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

For a while now, there has been tremendous speculation about Apple’s autonomous car technology development efforts, which is apparently codenamed Project Titan. As usual, Apple has refrained from commenting on the matter so far as it loves to maintain secrecy regarding projects it’s working on.

Per latest report from Reuters, Apple’s 41 page application submitted to DMV, CA, comprises a 10 page training plan that includes a document called “Automated System: Development Platform Specific Training Overview.” The objective of Automated System: Development Platform Specific Training Overview is “to train safety drivers in various automated driving conditions,” Reuters further adds. However, these documents don’t reveal a lot of things, like the kind of sensors attached to the vehicles or the self driving car platform mechanism.

Last week, it was reported that Apple had secured a permit to test self-driving vehicles. The permit is issued to test drive three vehicles (2015 Lexus RX450h models) with two drivers each, added DMV.

Apple’s Project Titan has been in the news since 2014–2015. Initially, it was reported that Apple was working on an “iCar.” There were numerous reports of the company making sound talent acquisitions as well as collaborating with the likes of BMW for the car design. VP of Product Design, Steve Zadesky was permitted to set up a 1K strong workforce for the project.

Later on, the “iCar” rumors lost steam as the project was reportedly marred by conflicts and management troubles. Following this, Apple decided to prune some of its 1K strong workforce assigned to the project. In Jan 2016, with the resignation of Zadesky, things became more blurred. However, reportedly, Bob Mansfield was brought on board to once again spearhead the project in July 2016.

It is now speculated that Apple may not be designing a full fledged car but an autonomous self driving car technology platform.

Apple’s fortunes remain tied to its flagship offering, iPhone, at least in the near term. With iPhone 7 and 7 Plus performing relatively well and the excitement building up for iPhone 8 (dubbed as a super cycle), Apple can breathe easy.

However, increasing competition from cheaper handsets is emerging as a big concern. Apple is under great pressure to introduce new products. Apple Pay, Apple Watch, Apple Music are some of the new ventures undertaken by the company.

Also, revenues from App Store are growing. Apple is also working on developing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality/ virtual reality (AR/VR), which are fast emerging as lucrative business opportunities. The company’s interest in the autonomous car project is understandable as this is now being labeled as a big business opportunity.

According to Boston Consulting Group estimates, the autonomous car market will be worth $42 billion by 2025 and $77 billion by 2035. Per Statista, the market for fully autonomous vehicles will grow to almost $6 billion while partially autonomous vehicles market will reach $36 billion by 2025.

Self-driving technology gained immense importance in the past few years with tech and auto behemoths like Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL – Free Report ), Ford (NYSE:F – Free Report ), Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA – Free Report ), Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG, Uber and Lyft directing resources to develop this technology.

However, analysts are skeptical about self-driving cars being feasible before 2020, at least.

Zacks Rank and Stock Price Movement

Currently, Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Over the past year, shares of Apple have registered growth of 35.40% compared with the Zacks categorized Computer Mini industry’s gain of 34.86%.

More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone!

It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 27 billion devices in just 3 years, creating a $1.7 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 6 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don’t buy now, you may kick yourself in 2020. Click here for the 6 trades

Today, Zacks is promoting its ”Buy” stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free .

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They’re virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today’s 220 Zacks Rank #1 “Strong Buys” were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free .

Get the full Report on AAPL – FREE

Get the full Report on GOOGL – FREE

Get the full Report on F – FREE

Get the full Report on TSLA – FREE

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/zacksresearch

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

support@zacks.com

https://www.zacks.com/

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The SP 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Tesla Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research

Article source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/zacks-analyst-blog-highlights-apple-133001590.html

2017 Honda Civic Type R Sets FWD Nurburgring Lap Record [Video]

2017-Honda-Civic-Type-R-1082017-Honda-Civic-Type-R-108

Like the tech industry’s lightning-fast progression, the auto industry’s titles for Best, Fastest, or Quickest car are prestigious but often fleeting. Just ask the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S; its record as the fastest front-wheel-drive production car to lap the Nürburgring has just been crushed by the 2017 Honda Civic Type R, only months after it was set last October.

The Japanese automaker claims that the all-new Type R lapped the 12.9-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 7:43.80. That is 3.39 seconds faster than the limited-run Golf GTI Clubsport S and 6.83 seconds faster than the previous-generation Europe-market Civic Type R, which had held the record before the Clubsport flared its nostrils (twice). There is one catch, however.

2017-Honda-Civic-Type-R-1102017-Honda-Civic-Type-R-110

This Type R was a preproduction development vehicle that Honda claims was “technically representative of production specification.” It wore Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires at the Nürburgring, Honda said, although the production model will get Continental ContiSportContact 6 performance tires as standard (Honda won’t yet say whether the Michelins will be a factory option in the U.S.). For safety purposes, a full floating roll cage was added to the Type R, but it supposedly did not add any extra rigidity to the vehicle. The added weight of the cage was offset by the removal of the display audio system and rear seats. Sticklers might take issue with that type of asterisk; we saw with the Lamborghini Huracán Performante just how skeptical people are of claims surrounding these records.

The heart of the new Type R is a U.S.-made 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four that makes 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. And although some people have already been complaining that that’s not enough power, it’s the hot hatchback’s handling dynamics that really allow it to excel. The Type R is a claimed 38 percent torsionally stiffer than the previous generation.

“The cornering speed achieved in the new Type R is higher because the car features a wider track and tires, a longer wheelbase, a new multilink suspension in the rear, and optimized aerodynamics that improve stability,” the lead chassis engineer for the Honda Civic Type R, Ryuichi Kijima, said in a release. “For example, drivers typically enter the corner after Metzgesfeld at around 93 mph. Even at this medium-speed corner, the speed is around 6 mph higher due to the new Type R’s excellent stability. So, with improved cornering performance, we can increase the speed throughout the lap, helping the new Type R to achieve a much quicker lap time.”

Honda has yet to even release zero-to-60-mph times for the Type R, so this is the first indication of what the car is capable of.  With video below to document the accomplishment, it’s safe to say fanboys will be lining up for the Type R once it goes on sale later this spring.

2017-Honda-Civic-Type-R-REEL2017-Honda-Civic-Type-R-REEL

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/2017-honda-civic-type-r-sets-fwd-nurburgring-lap-record-video/

Developing hydrogen beyond the car market

Japan dreams of a hydrogen society

TOKYO — What will Japan’s hydrogen society look like beyond the car market?

Imagine a city where houses and businesses have their own on-site fuel cell stacks that turn hydrogen into electricity for lights, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners.

Japan calls these cogeneration systems “ene-farms.”

The country began deploying ene-farms in 2009, and some 200,000 residential ones are already in operation today, connected to the municipal gas supply. The first step is reforming that gas into hydrogen. The hydrogen is then fed into the fuel stack in a process that generates heat and electricity. The electricity powers the house while the heat helps generate hot water.

Japan’s goal is to have 1.4 million ene-farms for residential use by 2020 and 5.3 million by 2030. Japan will introduce them for commercial and industrial use this year.

Cost is key. The 2020 target assumes a cost structure that will allow buyers of the ene-farms to recoup their investment within seven or eight years. By 2030, the goal is to shrink that time to five years.

In the intermediate term, ene-farms will convert natural gas to hydrogen on-site. But long term, as demand grows, Japan envisions replacing its infrastructure of natural gas pipelines with hydrogen pipelines. That would feed hydrogen directly into homes and businesses.

Meanwhile, as consumers slowly warm up to the idea of hydrogen for their daily driving, Japan plans to introduce hydrogen fuel cell buses, forklifts and other industrial vehicles, such as those that pull planes at airports.

The idea is to simultaneously drive down the costs of making fuel cell powertrain components and boost demand for fuel and fueling stations.

Tokyo launched its first hydrogen fuel cell city bus in March, a 77-seater made by Toyota. It is the first of some 100 fuel cell buses Tokyo wants in operation by the time the capital city hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, to shuttle visitors and athletes. Toyota, a top sponsor of the games and a leading proponent of fuel cell technology, has a big stake in making it happen.

The bus shows how Toyota aims to eke out economies of scale wherever it can, by sharing components already developed for the four-seat Mirai fuel cell sedan. Each hydrogen bus, for instance, uses two of the Mirai’s fuel cell stacks and 10 of its high-pressure hydrogen tanks.

And by logging long routes every day, buses are a key demand driver. One bus, for example, uses as much hydrogen fuel in a year as 45 fuel cell cars such as the Mirai, said Taiyo Kawai, a hydrogen fuel cell general manager at Toyota’s rd management division.

“The impact of the fuel cell buses is very significant because it spurs demand for fuel,” said Kawai. “We can’t achieve cost performance if we manufacture fuel cells just for vehicles.”

Meanwhile, a Japanese consortium, including the cities of Yokohama and Kawa-saki as well as Toshiba Corp. and Japanese energy company Iwatani Corp., launched a test fleet of hydrogen-powered forklifts last year to service warehouses and factories along the Tokyo Bay waterfront.

It helps that Toyota Group company Toyota Industries Corp. is the world’s biggest manufacturer of forklifts. A Toyota executive projected last year that there could be as many as 100,000 of these industrial vehicles powered by fuel cells in use here by 2030.

Article source: http://www.autonews.com/article/20170424/OEM06/304249967/developing-hydrogen-beyond-the-car-market