10 Tiny Bits Of Automotive News – April 10, 2012

1. The New York Auto Show kicked off last week with tons of new debuts and some news. VW’s new UP – not sold in the USA – was named Car of the Year. The new 991 body style on the Porsche 911 earned Porsche the new Performance Car of the Year award.

2. Dodge made it official. The Viper is back and the 2013 SRT edition of the car will deliver 640HP. There will also be a standard GTS model. The 2013 SRT Viper’s 4.9 pounds per horsepower puts it just behind the Bugatti Veyron and Ferrari F12. I predict it will be impossible to find one of these at any Dodge dealer without a second sticker markup making it unaffordable. But it’s cool.

3. Chevy Volt sales are on the rise despite the aggressive political campaign against it by Republicans. In fact, the previously-announced summer shutdown at the GM plant making the Volt has been shortened to make sure GM can keep up with demand.

4. The new 2013 Dodge RAM 1500 will feature an eight-speed auto transmission, air suspension and improved fuel efficiency. The 2013 model is a full refresh of the big truck making it more luxurious and capable than ever.

5. Jaguar confirmed that a new true sports car (and AWD) will ship within two years. The F-Type is a two seater (not a two+two like the XK) and is built as the production version of the C-X16 concept. There will be multiple engine choices.

6. There’s a new service in Vegas called Hangover Heaven. If you drink you don’t have to drive or be hung over. Just call these guys.

7. Chrysler is offering a wireless charging mat in the new Dodge Dart. Now you can charge your iPhone just by laying it on the mat. Good idea. What took them so long?

8. Can the Chinese save Volvo? Geely just announced an $11 billion investment in the Swedish car maker. If the Chinese like the car, it might just survive.

9. Ford announced a major recall of 140,000 new Ford Focus models over windshield wipers. Yep – windshield wipers.

10. Cadillac was recognized at the New York International Auto Show by J.D. Power and Associates as the most improved among luxury brands for providing an outstanding customer experience.