Week in Review: Battles, Recalls, and Reveals

Now in the first week of June, the news has become less hard-hitting and a little more light-hearted. But that's not to say that there aren't any juicy stories thrown into the mix. As new models start rolling out for the 2015 model year, you can expect to hear some noteworthy tidbits. This week, Monday kicked off with the new Mustang and a potential weight issue, while Tuesday showed VW stepping up to take on Toyota head-to-head. Wednesday offered up money-saving advice for those living in big cities, while Thursday gave us some insight into the GM recall scandal. Friday finished out the week with the reveal of the 2015 BMW X6. Read on to catch up on the top stories this week.

Monday, June 2

When talking about sports cars, lighter is better, right? Well, if that's the case, then Ford has some explaining to do in regards to the 2015 Mustang, which gains roughly 200 to 300 pounds. Not only is weight a key element when it comes to power and performance, it plays a huge role in fuel economy figures. But if these numbers are to be believed, then we will be looking at the Mustang GT--complete with a V-8 engine--that will tip the scales at nearly 4,000 pounds. Although this has yet to be confirmed by Ford, Steeda Autosports, which is creating performance parts for the new Mustang and revealed the weight gain, said it got CAD information directly from the automaker. We'll have to wait for an official number from Ford to see if there is any truth to this story.

Tuesday, June 3

To better compete with the likes of the world's largest automaker, Toyota, Volkswagen has announced that it will be increasing its offerings in the SUV market. By 2018, it is expected that this segment will make up over 20 percent of global production, making it a lucrative place to be. Currently, VW only offers two models, the Tiguan and Touareg. These models have been hard to move because of their price points, as other automakers have less expensive options. But for the new model year, VW plans to update the Tiguan, increasing fuel efficiency and adding a coupe version. In addition, the automaker may build a midsize SUV based off the CrossBlue concept and gear it for the U.S. market, but we shouldn't expect to see this come to fruition until at least the 2016 model year.

Wednesday, June 4

When living in a big city, sometimes it doesn't make sense to drive your own vehicle every day. Public transportation continues to improve, becoming a more viable alternative to rising fuel costs and vehicle prices. But just how much can you save by ditching your carand adopting a form of public transportation? The American Public Transportation Association conducted a survey of the top 20 cities for public transportation and found that New York residents could save on average $15,041 a year. Rounding out the top five were San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, whose residents could save around $12,000 annually. Finishing out the top ten were Seattle, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Portland, with savings of over $10,763 a year. This definitely gives us something to think about.

Thursday, June 5

We may finally have some useful information regarding the massive General Motors ignition switch recall, as U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas revealed his findings. According to a recent speech by Barra, the report said there was "a pattern of incompetence and neglect." Not words you want to hear. It looks as though employees were "seemingly looking for reasons not to act, instead of finding ways to protect our customers," said Barra. Throughout this entire recall, CEO Mary Barra has been forthcoming with updates and information, noting that there have been personnel changes, and most recently, that a victim's compensation fund has been established. This program is expected to cover around 1.6 million 2003-2007 recalled vehicles, and nearly 1 million 2008-2011 vehicles. Although there aren't many details on the program, it is expected to begin August 1.

Friday, June 6

Known among automotive journalists as one of the least attractive cars on the road today, the BMW X6 is here to stay. Now in its second generation, the 2015 BMW X6 will offer more power, a lighter body, and a host of new options. Now with a rear-wheel drive option and more power on the top model, the new X6 goes from 0 to 60 quicker than the outgoing model. Standard features include a Dakota leather trim, navigation with touchpad controller, headed front seats, and more. Now, BMW is offering the X6 in two trim levels, the xLine and M Sport line. BMW also focused on weight savings, and decreased overall weight by up to 55 pounds with the help of ultra-high strength steel, thermoplastics, aluminum and magnesium. But traditional BMW features like the kidney grille will still be featured.