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North American premiere at Rennsport Reunion VI in California

Porsche 911 Speedster Concept Fascinates U.S. Audience

ATLANTA, Sept. 27, 2018 -- The Porsche 911 Speedster Concept received an enthusiastic welcome at its third public appearance. Following its world premiere on June 8 in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany, as part of the "70 years of Porsche Sports Cars" anniversary celebration, and first demonstration drives at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, the open-top concept car is now celebrating its U.S. debut at  Rennsport Reunion VI in California. The 911 Speedster Concept is based on the current 991 generation and offers a preview of a potential new equipment range from the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. With Heritage Design packages, the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer is considering providing a modern interpretation of the distinctive themes and colors of its history from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. In addition to the 911 Speedster Concept, Porsche is presenting another unique product at the Laguna Seca Raceway as part of Rennsport Reunion VI: the Porsche Design '911 Speedster' concept chronograph. A decision about a possible production version of the 911 Speedster Concept will be made very soon.

Painted in a two-tone GT Silver Metallic and White, the concept car reflects the core of the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer in precise clarity and historically accurate design. It was developed at Porsche Motorsport in close cooperation with Style Porsche and the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. It is powered by a naturally aspirated flat-six engine developing over 500 horsepower and capable of revving up to 9,000 rpm. Power is transferred to the rear wheels by a six-speed manual transmission. The development focus was on creating a pure and exhilarating driving experience.

Pump Prices Trend Lower for Majority of Motorists

Motorists in 32 states are welcoming cheaper or stable gas prices at the start of the workweek. Today’s national gas price average is $2.85, which is the same price as last Monday, one-cent more than last month and 27-cents more expensive than this time last year.

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) data reports that both U.S. gasoline demand and stocks declined signaling supply and demand are in sync post the summer. This is true for most regions, except in the Great Lakes and Central region where prices are increasing due to maintenance at a handful of refineries.

While the national gas price has remained stable throughout September, the price of crude oil started to increase in the last week.

“Crude oil prices pushed past $70/bbl for three days last week,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “If they trend above this level for a sustained amount of time, we could see a trend reversal in pump prices meaning it may cost more to fill-up as we get closer to the end of the year.”


Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.53), Mississippi ($2.53), Louisiana ($2.57), South Carolina ($2.58), Tennessee ($2.58), Arkansas ($2.59), Texas ($2.59), Virginia ($2.61), Missouri ($2.61) and North Carolina ($2.68).
The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes are: Delaware (-8 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Michigan (-5 cents), North Dakota (+5 cents), Oklahoma (+5 cents), Indiana (+5 cents), Iowa (+5 cents), Minnesota (+5 cents), Illinois (+4 cents) and Nebraska (+4 cents).

Drivers Rely Too Heavily on New Vehicle Safety Technologies In Spite of Limitations

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2018) – More and more, drivers are recognizing the value in having vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like blind spot monitoring systems, forward collision warning and lane keeping assist. However, while many of these technologies are rapidly being offered as standard, many drivers are unaware of the safety limitations of ADAS in their vehicles, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. For example, researchers found that nearly 80 percent of drivers with blind spot monitoring systems were unaware of limitations or incorrectly believed the system could accurately detect vehicles passing at very high speeds or bicycles and pedestrians. In reality, the technology can only detect when a vehicle is traveling in a driver’s blind spot and many systems do not reliably detect pedestrians or cyclists. Lack of understanding or confusion about the proper function of ADAS technologies can lead to misuse and overreliance on the systems, which could result in a deadly crash.

“When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.”

In 2016, more than 37,400 people were killed in traffic crashes- a five percent increase from 2015. “With ADAS technologies offering proven safety benefits when properly used, it is important that automakers and others play a greater role in educating motorists about the technology available in the vehicles they purchase,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “AAA also urges drivers to take charge of learning their vehicle technology’s functions and limitations in order to improve safety on the road.”

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey drivers who recently purchased a 2016 or 2017 model-year vehicle with ADAS technologies. Researchers evaluated drivers’ opinions, awareness and understanding of these technologies and found that most did not know or understand the limitations of the systems:

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Named Performance SUV of the Year by Automotive Video Association

Stelvio Quadrifoglio continues to highlight Alfa Romeo's performance expertise with best-in-class 505 horsepower and segment-leading V-6 torque, powering it from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds with a top speed of 176 mph

Stelvio Quadrifoglio lapped Nürburgring in record 7 minutes 51.7 seconds, the fastest time ever posted by a production SUV, making it the fastest production SUV in the world.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio was named Performance SUV of the Year by the Automotive Video Association (AVA) at their second annual Automotive Video Awards competition.

To win its title, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio beat out vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 63 and the BMW X3 M40i. In addition to naming the Stelvio Quadrifoglio as its Performance SUV of the Year, AVA judges crowned the McLaren 720S as their Performance Car of the Year.

The two winners were chosen from among five finalists in each category (Performance Car and Performance SUV). All vehicles were put through a series of tests and then rated by AVA judges.

"This year's contenders were the best vehicle lineup we've had yet," said Nik Miles, president of OurAutoExpert.com. "Although the battle was fought hard, only two winners could come out on top. Voting was down to the wire for every single contender in each performance category. Ultimately, only two remained from all judge's entries."

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 18, 2018 -- Less than half of Americans (43 percent) are interested in utilizing self-driving cars, down from 53 percent last year, according to the fourth annual Sharing Economy Index* released by Allianz Global Assistance. The lack of interest is primarily attributed to safety concerns (71 percent in 2018, compared to 65 percent in 2017), while other reasons include cost/budget, lack of familiarity and bad publicity. Recent high-profile crashes involving self-driving cars have dampened America's confidence and excitement over auto-piloted vehicles. In March, two self-driving vehicles were involved in fatal accidents.

Even more indicative of Americans' sentiment on self-driving vehicles, only 52 percent of Americans (down 12 points from 2017) say they are confident that the technology will develop safely enough to consider trading their conventional vehicles for self-driving ones.

Companies continue to invest billions of dollars into autonomous vehicle technology, despite the recent fatal crashes. Supporting these findings by Ipsos and Allianz Global Assistance is a Pew Research Center survey which found that 39 percent said they were not sure whether the vehicles would make roads safer or more dangerous, and 87 percent favored requiring that a human always be behind the wheel to take control if something goes awry.

"Based on consumer perceptions, our survey reveals an uncertain future for self-driving cars," says Daniel Durazo, director of communications, Allianz Global Assistance USA. "Many Americans are far from being convinced that self-driving cars can be operated safely on our streets. As our Future of Travel survey last year indicated, more travelers would feel safer on a rocket to space than being a passenger in a self-driving vehicle." View the Future of Travel survey results here.


Gas Prices Remain Stable Amid the Aftermath of Hurricane Florence

While Hurricane Florence battered the Carolinas over the weekend with life-threating storm-surge, rain and flooding, it has had little to no impact on gas prices, with the national average, holding steady at $2.85 on the week.

Gas prices have not seen much movement because unlike the Gulf Coast, which is home to dozens of refineries, the Carolinas house only pipelines and terminals. This means U.S. crude processing is not impacted and therefore neither are gas prices nationally.

Prior to Florence’s arrival, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported the Lower Atlantic Region’s total gasoline stocks — which includes West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida — measured at 27.9 million bbl. That is 10 percent higher than the 5-year average for this time of year.

“Gasoline stocks in the hurricane-impacted area are healthy, but delivery of gasoline will be an impediment to meeting demand in coastal areas this week,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “As power is restored, water recedes and roads open-up, we will have a better idea of how quickly fuel deliveries can be made to gas stations in the area. And while fuel availability at stations is a concern, AAA expects station outages to be short-lived.”

According to the Department of Energy, states are working closely with industry to expedite resupply shipments to impacted areas. AAA will continue to monitor hurricane recovery efforts and fuel resupply.

The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.52), Mississippi ($2.54), Arkansas ($2.57), Louisiana ($2.58), Tennessee ($2.59), South Carolina ($2.60), Missouri ($2.60), Texas ($2.60), Virginia ($2.62) and Oklahoma ($2.64).
The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: Colorado (+10 cents), Indiana (-6 cents), Delaware (+6 cents), Florida (-5 cents), South Carolina (+5 cents), Louisiana (-4 cents), Alaska (-4 cents), Utah (-4 cents), Iowa (+4 cents) and California (+4 cents).

Nissan and EVgo open 'I-95 Fast Charging ARC' connecting EV Drivers between Boston and Washington D.C.

EV owners can now make the 500 mile journey from Boston to Washington D.C. with ease as a series of EVgo Fast Charging stations, known as the 'I-95 Fast Charging ARC' is now open.

The ARC consists of nine EVgo Fast Charging stations equipped with 52 fast chargers in total, each with two charging connector options.

Most of the fast charging stations are located within close proximity to I-95 providing convenient access

These sites will be among the largest public fast charging stations* available to the public

NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2018 -- Nissan and EVgo have completed their plan to connect the cities of Boston and Washington D.C. with a series of nine electric vehicle fast charging stations. The completion of the Northeast fast charging corridor provides a comprehensive charging infrastructure, giving electric vehicle (EV) owners peace of mind and convenience when travelling the 500 miles between the two cities.

Each fast charging station can charge up to four or more EVs simultaneously at a power output of 50kW. The stations have also been designed and constructed to adapt to future advances in EV technology, including pre-wiring for higher charging outputs to allow easy upgrading to 150kW fast chargers.

"We're excited to continue pioneering the development of electric vehicle infrastructure with the opening of our second charging 'corridor' project in the U.S.," said Brian Maragno, director, EV sales and marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. "This charging route along one of the most heavily populated areas of the country further demonstrates our commitment to the mass implementation and future development of easily accessible EV technology and will foster EV travel up and down the Northeastern coast of the United States."

"EVgo and Nissan's I-95 Fast Charging ARC is designed to make fast charging easy and convenient for EV drivers from Boston to Washington D.C.," said Cathy Zoi, EVgo CEO. "Because we own our fast charging stations, EVgo drivers can rely on us to offer exceptional service from coast to coast. We applaud Nissan's historic leadership in infrastructure investment in partnership with EVgo, affording drivers the opportunity to rely on the I95 Fast Charging ARC today."

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At $2.83, the national gas price average is trending toward lower gas prices that motorists haven’t seen since early May. Today’s national gas price average is one-cent less on the week, four-cents cheaper than last month, but 19-cents more than a year ago.

Motorists took advantage of these stable and lower prices by driving gasoline demand to its highest level ever on record at 9.899 bbl for the week ending August 24, according to the Energy Information Administration. But that spike is not expected to continue.

“With summer in the rearview mirror, demand is expected to significantly drop off in the coming weeks which means motorists can expect to see gas prices steadily decline,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “AAA expects the national average to hit $2.70 or less this fall.”

Quick Stats

The nation’s top 10 most expensive markets are: Hawaii($3.78), California ($3.62), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.31), Oregon ($3.26), Idaho ($3.25), Nevada ($3.19), Utah ($3.18), Pennsylvania ($3.05), and Connecticut ($3.04).
The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: Indiana (-16 cents), Kentucky (-12 cents), Illinois (-11 cents), Delaware (-10 cents), Ohio (-10 cents), Idaho (+10 cents), Utah (+10 cents), Alaska (-9 cents), South Dakota (-8 cents) and Michigan (-8 cents).

West Coast

The West Coast remains the nation’s most expensive region for retail gasoline, and most of the states represented in the nation’s top ten most expensive are located west of the Rockies. Hawaii ($3.78) is the nation’s most expensive market, followed by California ($3.62), Washington ($3.38), Alaska ($3.31), Oregon ($3.26), Nevada ($3.19) and Arizona ($2.86). Prices in the region are mostly flat compared to last week, except for a two-cent jump in both California and Oregon.

Last week’s, Energy Information Administration report showed West Coast gasoline supplies dropped by 1.2million bbl, their largest one-week draw in five months. The region’s supplies now sit at 28.9 million bbl, which is still 2.7 million bbl higher than the same week last year.

Porsche Experience Centers Prove Immersive Retail Works for Sports Cars, Too

ATLANTA, Aug. 30, 2018 -- In a digital age, physical experiences are rare and valuable. Consumers can have a hard time getting the touch and feel of a product when everything is online or automated. Porsche is bucking those trends with a large-scale commitment to consumer immersion at its two Porsche Experience Centers (PECs), where anybody can touch rubber to the track instead of just touching a screen. And it's working. Less than three years after the biggest investment by Porsche outside of Germany, the two U.S. Experience Centers have now topped a combined 250,000 visitors who come to drive, shop and dine in a Porsche environment.

The model works as a way to connect with new audiences, a goal for every premium automaker. About 60 percent of PEC visitors do not currently own a Porsche, but after driving the centers' tracks, 30 percent of non-owners say they are very likely to buy one. For others, Porsche becomes more memorable and aspirational once they've driven one. The average visitor is seven years younger than the average Porsche customer. And about one-quarter of visitors are under age 35.

"A quarter of a million guests so far is a testament to the power of experience and to the fascination of Porsche sports cars," said Klaus Zellmer, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Inc. "Porsche stands for superb design and engineering, but also for a superb experience. Getting people behind the wheel in a place where they can really test the performance is the best way to connect them with the Porsche brand."

Porsche's commitment to its Experience Centers comes as the retail landscape is being redefined by younger consumers. A recent Harris Group poll revealed that 72 percent of Millennials would rather invest in experiences than things. Since 1987, spending on experiences and events relative to total U.S. consumer spending increased 70 percent, according to the same study.

What is a Porsche Experience Center? The destinations serve as track-based brand embassies where visitors can indulge in everything Porsche. They are different than drive experiences offered by other carmakers because they were purpose-designed and built to be immersive retail experiences for the public. Experience Centers do not sell cars, but they work closely with the 190 independent U.S. Porsche dealers, for example hosting customer groups sent by dealers.

Jeep® Introduces New 2018 Wrangler Moab Edition

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug. 28, 2018 - Jeep® Wrangler Moab Edition builds on Sahara model, adding special content to the exterior and interior, including aggressive 32-inch mud-terrain tires

The Jeep® brand is introducing the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Moab Edition. The first limited-edition model based on the all-new Jeep Wrangler, the Wrangler Moab Edition honors the long and storied history the brand shares with the annual Easter Jeep Safari event in Moab, Utah, and the unique role it plays in offering valuable customer insight.

Jeep Wrangler Moab Edition

The Jeep Wrangler Moab Edition is based on the Wrangler Sahara model and features Rubicon hood and steel bumpers with removable end caps, aggressive 32-inch mud-terrain tires, LED headlights and tail lights, a Moab decal on the hood and 17-inch Rubicon wheels painted in Low-Gloss Black. The headlight surrounds, grille throats and tow hooks are also painted Low-Gloss Black. Wrangler Rubicon rock rails are standard on the Wrangler Moab Edition, but Sahara side steps are available at no additional charge. A body-color hard top is standard, but the Dual Top Group or Sky One-Touch power top are also available.

Wrangler Moab Edition is available in nine colors: Granite Crystal, Billet Silver, Punk'n Metallic, Mojito!, Black, Bright White, Sting Gray, Ocean Blue Metallic and Firecracker Red.

Inside, Wrangler Moab Edition features the Leather Interior Group, which includes leather-trimmed seats and a leather-wrapped dashboard with contrast stitching, and Safety Group, which includes Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection, ParkSense park assist with reverse stop and ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines. Other standard features include Selec-Trac full-time two-speed transfer case, Passive Keyless Entry, Trac-Lok limited-slip rear differential, 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen with navigation, a nine-speaker premium Alpine sound system and all-weather slush mats.

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