Remember when you thought cars that could drive themselves were right up there with ones that could fly? Well, the former may happen sooner than you think, and an American automaker may be the first to do so. That was only the first major automotive news story of the week and it happened on Monday. Tuesday brought us vibrating driver's seats, a first in the pickup truck segment, while Nissan announced it would be slashing prices of several vehicles in its stable on Wednesday. The next Mercedes-Benz S-Class bowed in the latter part of this week while the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo announced its presence to round the first week of May out. Check out a more in-depth rundown of this week's major automotive news stories below.
Monday, April 29th
News of cars driving themselves kicked the week off and Cadillac is getting close to making that become a reality. General Motors' flagship luxury brand is currently working on a semi-automatic driving system, known as Super Cruise, and it has been given the green light to move onto the next stage. This includes real-world driving tests which are being done in a variety of environments. Cadillac's Super Cruise system features hands-off lane following, braking, and even speed control depending on the situation. Keeping up with the Joneses just turned into keeping up with the Jetsons.
Tuesday, April 30th
Lane departure warning systems, while helpful in their own right, are annoying to say the least. Many beep and chirp every time you pass a parked car on the road and if you live in a major metropolis, this can cause errant fist throwing directed at said sounds. General Motors has taken an alternative route, and while its lane departure warning systems still do their fair share of beeping and chirping, instead, it's moving towards less annoying systems, like a vibrating driver's seat. First seen in the 2013 Cadillac XTS, this vibrating driver's seat feature is now offered in the 2014 GMC Sierra, a first in the full-size pickup truck segment. This will either be a groundbreaking safety feature for pickup owners or just startle them repeatedly. Time will tell.
Wednesday, May 1st
On Wednesday, Nissan announced that it would be slashing the prices of seven vehicles in its stable. These vehicles seeing a price drop include the Altima, Sentra, Juke, Murano, Rogue, Maxima, and Armada. The Altima sees the least amount of greenbacks lopped off while the Armada sees the most with $4,400 no matter which trim level or how long it has been on the lot for. Nissan says the decision to chop prices was spurred by its attempt to become more visible in Internet searches. This move will also roll back incentives and other deals which, in turn, will theoretically expand Nissan's market share.
Thursday, May 2nd
Shortly after the suits at Mercedes-Benz announced that they would be killing of Maybach, the super deluxe luxury brand, it didn't take long to find a successor. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always been known for its refinement and luxury so it only makes sense that it would step up and fill the void left by Maybach. On Thursday, we got a first look at what appears to be the production-ready version of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and while it's only one photo, it doesn't look like it will disappoint. The latest S-Class doesn't look like it spent a ton of time under the knife, but everything looks more sculpted, helping it age more gracefully. We expect to see the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class to make its official debut later this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Friday, May 3rd
The week came to a close with the debut of the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo making its official debut. Right off the bat, there's a jump in horsepower to the tune of 560 in the Turbo S, up 30 from the previous model. For those of you keeping score at home, that's 15 more horses than the Nissan GT-R. Make your own assumptions from there. A 3.8-liter flat-6 engine is responsible for all this fury and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. This configuration gets the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo going from 0-60 mph in a nippy 2.9 seconds. Porsche says the latest 911 Turbo is slated to go on sale later this year and will start at $149,250.