Week in Review: Snakes, Fires, and the Passing of an Automotive Design Icon
Just like that, the first week of April 2012 has come to a grinding halt. This past week was one of the busiest the automotive world has seen in recent months thanks to manufacturers like Infiniti announcing it will be moving operations out of Japan because of the strong yen. Chevrolet also had us busy this week as it announced Volt production would be stopped at the beginning of the week, only to decide it would restart five days later. Oh, and did we mention there was an auto show this week? Well, there was, as the 2012 New York International Auto Show opened its doors to the media this week showcasing a variety of new or refreshed vehicles looking to take the market by storm. The New York auto show featured a few highly-anticipated debuts like the 2013 SRT Viper, 2014 Chevrolet Impala, and a sleeper here and there with the most noteworthy one coming in the form of the surprisingly sexy 2013 Lincoln MKZ. The list goes on but for now the final major auto show for the 2012 calendar year has come to a close for the media and opens up to the public. Now it's time to wait on the public's opinions on such cars like the Viper, Impala, and MKZ to pour in. While we do that, we've compiled a list of the top five automotive news stories that occurred this week. Check them out below. Monday, April 2 The beginning of the week started off with a bombshell dropped by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as it opened an investigation into the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and 2010 Jeep Wrangler with claims of each catching fire. In total, 10 vehicles were said to have caught fire with little to no warning. Two complaints from Cruze owners and the other eight were filed by Wrangler owners. Both Chevrolet and Chrysler have come out and said no injuries or fatalities have resulted from these claims. Check out the full story here and be sure to stay tuned to Automotive.com as more details unfold in the coming days and weeks. Tuesday, April 3 The first major unveil to take place at the 2012 New York International Auto Show came in the form of the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. The large sedan is Chevy's latest interpretation of a vehicle that sold 171,000 units last year. However, the majority of Impalas sold went to multiple government agencies, municipal police forces, and of course, rental fleets. The most -up-to-date interpretation of the large sedan is Chevy's latest attempt to shed that stale reputation and deliver something that feels and looks more modern. The 2014 Chevy Impala swaps dated technology and a tired interior for updated hardware and new threads on the insides. Chevy can now turn its attention completely on the consumer market with the Impala as the Caprice has stepped in for law enforcement duties. You can see the entire story here. Wednesday, April 4 Perhaps the most anticipated unveil at the 2012 New York International Auto Show came on the second media day when Chrysler finally revived its snake super car: the 2013 SRT Viper. The latest snake is the first to solely inhabit Chrysler's Street and Racing Technology division and features a lot of new things, as well as a few core pieces that make up the Viper. An 8.4-liter V-10 engine cradled in a tubular X-brace contains 640 horsepower and helps to lighten the snake's overall weight by 25 pounds. The center-piece of the all-new 2013 SRT Viper is undoubtedly its interior which was on the receiving end of multiple enhancements including a navigational system and comfort materials galore. One drawback to the latest Viper is that for the first time in its history, stability control is a standard feature but only because it's now mandated by law. Check out the 2013 SRT Viper in all of its shiny, new glory after the jump. Thursday, April 5 In the midst of a bunch of new or heavily refreshed vehicles being shown off in New York this week, we take time to pause for a few moments and honor the passing of an icon. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, grandson of the legendary Ferdinand Porsche who founded the sports car company after his own last name, passed away Thursday at the age of 76. F.A. Porsche, as he was commonly known as, was responsible for designing the Porsche 911, arguably one of the best sports cars ever when it first came out and that reputation stands to this day. Porsche first began his career with the company that shares his last name back in 1958 and quickly ascended up the latter. After spending 54 years with the automaker, Porsche stepped down from his position on the supervision board and held the title of Honorary President of the Supervisory Board until his death. Check out the full story here. Friday, April 6 It's been a busy week for auto journalists and manufacturers alike with the New York auto show and everything that came with it. However, it's hard to find an automaker that was busier than Chevrolet this week which began with an announcement that Volt production would be stalled for three weeks this coming July. The announcement came at an odd time as Volt production was currently suspended until April 23. Fast-forward five days later and Chevy has decided that it will call off the five-week hiatus and start production back up immediately. Also coming as a surprise was the news that Chevy decided to revert back to the original two-week break taken during July instead of the proposed three-week break. Check out the full story here. So what say you? Do you like our list? Did we miss something? Sound off in the comment section below.