Week in Review: A Week of Ups and Downs

If the weather is any indication, summer is here. At least here in SoCal. And with the heat, we know it's hard to want to read all that's happening in the automotive industry as the chill of the ocean water calls to you. So in that vein, we've gathered the top stories of the week. Monday made us rethink our excitement over Kia, while Tuesday had us upset over the latest driver safety study. Wednesday reminded us why we loved the Jaguar E-type, and Thursday had us shaking our heads at the latest GM recall. And Friday tied it all together with the reveal of the latest Nissan Nismo model.

Monday, May 12

Kia got us all finally excited about the brand earlier this year when it revealed the GT4 sports car, and it looks like the automaker was just toying with us. According to the Korean automaker, its priorities are to further strengthen its image and establish itself as a volume brand before it can introduce any new models, even ones that will draw customers to its doors. We were under the impression that Kia wanted to distance itself from sister automaker, Hyundai, but it doesn't look like that will be happening. Both automakers have launched "luxury" vehicles, but to really make that distance stick, Kia would need that sports car under its belt. It looks like we'll just have to wait and see if that model will see the light of day anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 13

According to a new study, driving while pregnant can increase your chances of getting into a serious traffic accident by up to 42 percent. And yes, this is an actual study that has taken place in Canada. It's not only bad enough that women are considered worse drivers by men, but the fact that being pregnant makes it that much worse compounds that fact. The list of concerns from the Canadian Medical Association Journal, who originally published this study, included nausea, fatigue, insomnia, and distraction. All of which attribute to human error. But not all of these symptoms can be attributed to pregnancy alone. Many individuals suffer from at least one of these symptoms, and when sick, that number is increased. While safety is important when driving, we think there are much more pressing concerns that should be studied before the effects of pregnancy.

Wednesday, May 14

Back in the 1960s, Jaguar had plans to build 18 lightweight E-Type project cars. Unfortunately only 12 were made, and the remaining six went "missing." Now, the automaker is remedying that situation by recreating the remaining vehicles with the original chassis numbers of the missing vehicles. Jaguar will build the recreations in-house using the same specifications from the original 1963 models, including the 3.8-liter straight-six engine. While the models won't be shown off until later this summer, there's already a large amount of interest from collectors. To help with the process of selling the models, Jaguar will prioritize potential customers, and place established collectors with a passion for historical race cars ahead of others. It seems like they're trying to make sure these don't fall into the wrong hands.

Thursday, May 15

It seems as if General Motors will never catch a break. The automaker announced another large-scale recall that will involve an additional 2.7 million vehicles. Although not related to the ignition switch recall, there's a laundry list of what will need to be fixed, including brake lights, headlamps, power brakes, windshield wipers, and tie rods. Reports have been flooding GM offices, with reports of at least 13 crashes and two injuries. Added to that, the company claimed to have known about the issues and only fixed a handful of affected vehicles. The tally for recalled vehicles since the beginning of the year is upwards of 11 million vehicles, and we're not even six months in. So just what is GM doing to remedy all these recalls and future issues? It has hired on a Vehicle Safety Chief to better respond to recalls in the future, as well as restructuring its engineering team. We just hope it's enough.

Friday, May 16

Nissan finished out the week on a strong note by dropping the cover on the all-new 2015 370Z Nismo, which receives a revised design, new transmission options, and performance updates. While the 370Z Nismo will retain its 350-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 engine, it will now be paired with either a traditional six-speed manual or the all-new seven speed automatic transmission. The new model features a new front face and aerodynamic body, along with LED DRL lights, black headlight bezels, and Nismo emblems. An aggressive red stripe runs down the front spoiler and down the side of the vehicle and across the rear. A new Tech model helps to separate the latest model from the previous one, with the help of a hard-drive based navigation system and 7-inch display. Other features include a rearview camera, Bluetooth, satellite radio, Bose audio system, and HomeLink.