Week in Review: Chevrolet SS, 40 Years of M Cars, and Accelerator Pedals That Push Back

By Trevor Dorchies | May 19, 2012
This week began with the 2013 Ford F-150 shedding the camouflage that once covered the full-size light-duty truck's front-end. BMW's M branch, the performance wing of the German automaker, celebrated its 40th birthday on Wednesday and in honor of the milestone, we've compiled a list of the top five BMW vehicles to ever wear the M badge. Perhaps the biggest news story of the week came out of Detroit on Thursday when Chevrolet announced it would be introducing a new model dubbed the "SS" or "Super Sport" when in long-hand form.
Monday, May 14 Ford controlled the automotive news world Monday when it announced it would be recalling 101 2012 model year F-150 trucks to fix an airbag sensor that dictates when the airbag would deploy and when it wouldn't. Thanks to the defect, the airbag could deploy whenever it felt like, or it wouldn't deploy at all in a time of need. The 2013 model year F-150 was also spotted on the same day with less camouflage than ever before leaving the truck's entire front-end exposed to prying eyes. From what we can see so far, there are minimal changes to the truck's front-end but FX4 and XLT models get a grille with a "C-clamp" design, similar to what's seen on its big brother, the Super duty.
Tuesday, May 15 Mercedes-Benz has introduced an accelerator pedal that vibrates to alert the driver to let off in order to save fuel or avoid rear-ending the vehicle in front of you. Of course, you have the option to ignore the pedal's warnings completely, and either burn through a tank of gas, or hit the obstacle in front of you; your choice. The accelerator pedal vibrates and pushes back when an obstacle is detected or to help the driver be more eco-friendly, earning the name "smart pedal." The pedal would vibrate to alert the driver of a quickly approaching vehicle Mercedes-Benz engineer Benjamin Lippert said.
Wednesday, May 16 Wednesday marked 40 years of M badged vehicles from BMW's performance wing. BMW's performance division burst onto the scene back in 1972 and hasn't looked back since. Some notable BMW's to rock the M badge include the M1, E30 M3, and the E39 M5. The M1 was suppose to rely on an engine crafted from Lamborghini but that never came to fruition and instead rumor has it BMW had to forcibly enter Lamborghini's headquarters to get the engine design plans back. What came of it was a3.5-liter inline-six engine that produced 277 horsepower with a top speed of 164 mph, one of the fastest production cars in the world at the time. It also launched one of the most sought-after performance brands in history.
Thursday, May 17 The biggest news story of the week came on Thursday in the form of Chevrolet's announcement that it would be introducing an all-new sedan: the SS, a.k.a Super Sport. What we know so far is that it will go on sale sometime next year as a 2014 model and it will also replace the Impala as Chevy's model to run in NASCAR starting next season. We also know there will be a V-8 engine under the hood, rear-wheel drive, and it will unquestionably be enthusiast-orientated. Whispers have already begun saying that the SS will be based off the next-generation Camaro or possibly the Australian-market Holden Commodore. One thing is for sure though, only time will tell, so stay tuned.
Friday, May 18 Ford has begun taking orders for its compact hatchback, the C-Max, and it has Toyota's Prius v lined up dead-center in its cross-hairs. Ford's C-Max lineup will consist of an array of electrified vehicles, just like the Prius stable. The C-Max hybrid is slated to debut first and is scheduled to appear later this fall; an all-electric version will follow thereafter. With an all-new Ford lineup scheduled to debut between 2013 and 2016, the C-Max looks too take a slice of the hybrid pie from Toyota's all-conquering four-model Prius family.