No. 743,
April 16, 2014

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On The Table



Editor-in-Chief's Note: Part 1 of the media circus in Washington went pretty much as expected yesterday. Grandstanding, self-righteous politicians running the gamut from moral outrage to pathetic whining - while stoking their re-election campaigns - taking GM to the woodshed for a litany of transgressions both real and imagined. And Mary Barra saying "I'm sorry" 67 times or thereabouts. That pretty much sums it up. GM screwed-up and they will pay dearly for it, as they should. Ms. Barra also kept talking about "today's" GM and how "today's GM will do the right thing." That's nice. And vacuous. Mike Thompson, cartoonist for The Detroit Free Press painted a perfect picture of the situation yesterday in one of his illustrations. Ms. Barra is shown saying to a U.S. representative: "Today's GM will do the right thing." And the representative responds with: "It's yesterday's and tomorrow's GM that concerns us." Exactly. - PMD

GM Marketing, Chevrolet. Editor-in-Chief's Note: Chevrolet has a definitive window of opportunity at this very moment while Ford is tooling up the new F-150 for its fall debut. So what are they doing? Blowing that opportunity to smithereens. Ram is eating Silverado's lunch and taking huge chunks of market share away, while Ford is maintaining its leadership position. Why is this happening? The Silverado is much improved, there's no doubt, but it doesn't "smell" new. Ram is innovating and scrambling, while the Silverado is suffering from a lackluster image. The biggest issue? The television campaign for the Silverado is weak and much too soft. Ford and Ram are hammering away at tough and rugged, while Chevrolet is doling out group hugs. Well, there's nothing touchy-feely in the least about the truck market. And GM/Chevrolet better wake up to that fact before it's too late. - PMD

Editor's Note: For a few laughs, check out the new Alfa Romeo app - iNdecision - here. - WG

(McLaren Automotive)
The new McLaren 650S Coupé and Spider are now on sale and available in the U.S. The 650S Coupé starts at $265,500 and the 650S Spider starts at
$280,225. The newest McLaren accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and 0 to 100 mph in just 5.7 seconds. The standing quarter mile takes 10.5 seconds, and top speed is 207 mph in Coupé form. This new McLaren is 0.6 sec faster over the standing quarter mile than the iconic McLaren F1 road car, and a full second quicker to 124 mph. The McLaren 650S will make its U.S. debut during the 2014 New York Auto Show.

(Images courtesy of BMW)
The 2015 BMW M4 Convertible is powered by the same BMW M TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline-six as its siblings. That engine produces 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque and can be mated to either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed M-DCT transmission. The all-new BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe (below) "... combines the performance and capability of a premium Sports Activity Vehicle, with the style and elegance of traditional coupe," according to BMW PR minions. In the US, the X4 will be offered as a X4 xDrive28i, with a MSRP of $45,625 (including destination and handling) and will feature BMW’s 240HP 2.0-liter four cylinder. The top-of-line X4 xDrive35i has an MSRP of $48,925 (including destination and handling) and will feature BMW’s 300HP 3.0-liter inline six. Both models include an 8-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission with shift paddles as well as xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. The all-new BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupe as well as the BMW M4 Convertible make their world debuts at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. Other North American debuts include the all-new BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, the BMW ALPINA B6 xDrive Gran Coupe, and the updated 2015 BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle which will include the X3 xDrive28d, the first BMW Advanced Diesel X3 model for the US.

(Images courtesy of Porsche)
With the factory's return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen is presenting a comprehensive special exhibition -
“24 Hours for Eternity” - focusing on the world's most important endurance event from March 26 to July 13, 2014. Porsche is not only taking a look back at its multiple previous successes at the French endurance classic, it is presenting its 2014 Porsche 919 Hybrid to the public for the first time. The exhibition at the Porsche Museum has been transformed to look like Le Mans, with the 1951 race marking the beginning of the special exhibition. Reenactments of racing situations from the victorious racing years on life-sized wall art and track sections, such as the Hunaudières straight, will guide the museum visitor through the special exhibition.  More than 20 different racing machines tell the unique and exciting history of Porsche at the legendary 24-hour race. Alongside the 919 Hybrid, the 1969 Porsche 908/2 Spyder long tail, the 1971 Porsche 911 T/R, the 1974 Porsche 911 3.0 RSR and the 1981 Porsche 936/81 Spyder will be on display. The Porsche 936, which won in 1976 and 1977 and reached a top speed of 223 mph, will also be there. On the weekend of the race, the Porsche Museum will be open for the first time for more than 24 hours straight, from Saturday, June 14, starting at 9:00 a.m., until Sunday, June 15, 6:00 p.m. Visitors and fans of the endurance race can follow the race live as part of a public viewing program on several monitors inside and around the museum building. Entrance is free of charge on this racing weekend.