Championship Year: Chevrolet Racing Scores Big in 2015 Motorsports

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Chevrolet racing is coming off of one of its most successful years to date with a combined total of 11 championships in NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, United SportsCar Championship, and Pirelli World Challenge series.  Additionally, Chevy drivers took the checkered flag in several important races including the Indianapolis 500, IndyCar Dual in Detroit, NHRA U.S. Nationals, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 hours at Daytona, and Chevy’s first victory in over 50 years at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

You may think all of this has little to do with the Chevrolet you’re driving every day, but as Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, Jim Campbell, stated recently, “What we learn on the race track helps us build better vehicles and powertrains for the showroom.” So all of this success doesn’t just fill Chevy execs with pride and bragging rights, it also fills your Chevrolet vehicle with the most cutting edge technology available to modern drivers.

Chevrolet’s 2015 wins are a testament to their engineering and design teams’ dedication to driving excellence. The most amazing aspect of this list of championships is they were won on practically every track available to modern motorsports; from road and oval courses to drag strips.  Here is the rundown of this year’s racing accomplishments for Chevrolet:

INDYCAR – The twin-turbo V6 IndyCar engine crushed the competition with 16 poles and 10 wins in 16 races in its 4th consecutive Manufacturer Championship.  Scott Dixon brought home the Driver Championship trophy and Juan Pablo Montoya won the 99th Indianapolis 500.

NASCAR Sprint Cup – For the 13th consecutive year (and 39th time overall), Chevrolet won the Manufacturer Championship prolonging its place as king of the manufacturer hill. Drivers for Team Chevy collected 15 NASCAR race wins including the manufacturer’s 750th all-time win when Kevin Harvick crossed the finish line at Dover last October.

NASCAR Xfinity – For the 17th time, Chevrolet won the Bill France Performance Cup. This year’s win put Chevrolet’s all-time victories at 400 when Chase Elliott took the checkered flag at Richmond in September.

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) – Chevrolet dominated in the drag racing world as well by collecting its 2nd consecutive (and 21st overall) win at the Manufacturer Bowl. Team Chevy won 29 national event victories in three Eliminator categories.

IMSA TUDOR United SportCar Championship – The Prototype Engine Manufacturer title went to Chevrolet for the 2nd consecutive year with its Corvette Daytona Prototype (DP). The Corvette DP took seven consecutive wins and each of the four teams that make up Chevy Racing won in 2015. In the GT division, three endurance races were won by Corvette Racing.

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge – 2015 was a banner year for Chevy Racing with their first championship in the Grand Sport (GS) class.

After a year like 2015, Mr. Campbell couldn’t praise his racing team enough, “We’re proud of the Chevrolet drivers, teams, and crews that delivered wins and championships that made 2015 another successful race season.”

We couldn’t agree more. As long-time members of the Chevrolet manufacturing team, Finnegan Chevrolet is thrilled with the season Chevy Racing just completed and look forward to many more years making these award-winning, championship vehicles available to you. So shop us online or stop into our showroom and experience the Chevrolet difference yourself. One test drive is all you’ll need to see why no one beats Chevrolet or Finnegan Chevrolet.

Self Motorvated: The Advent of Self-Driving Car Technology

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You may not be aware of this but just this month President Obama signed a $305 billion transportation bill that contains grant money for research and development of self driving vehicles.  With a stroke of a pen, the United States federal government became the largest investor in a discipline of mechanical science that has the potential to permanently transform the transportation landscape as we have known it for the last century.

Self-driving technology is not a new concept. Companies like Google and Tesla have spent countless hours and dollars in researching and developing robotic counterparts to human drivers. Many automakers have incorporated a simplified version of this technology into a growing number of modern safety features like self-braking, self-corrective steering, and even self-parking features. As helpful and even life saving as these safety features may be, a car that can stop itself when it senses a potential accident is a far cry from a car that safely take you from point “A” to point “B” completely autonomously.

You may read this and wonder why the push for self-driving automobile technology. Well the answer to that question can be summed up into one word: safety.  With an estimated 32,000 lives claimed by traffic accidents across our nation every year, the demand for creating safer vehicles has become a predominant one in the automotive industry and one that automakers, state governments,  and now the federal government have/has made a priority.

While modern safety features in today’s vehicles have provided an entire generation of drivers and passengers unprecedented safety, automakers are constantly in search for the next innovation that will provide their customers with the safest product on the market. Those in favor of autonomous automobiles can easily make the case for this fledgling robotic technology. This is especially true when you factor in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics that found over 90% of the reported automobile accidents in the nation involved human error.

Of course the idea of relinquishing the wheel to a robot is not an universally attractive prospect. Despite the overwhelming statistical data, many people prefer to remain in control of their vehicles. As understandable as that concept is to relate to, it doesn’t take much imagination to envision the improvements in traffic flow (as well as safety) with computerized navigation at the helm.

Regardless of individual feelings on the matter, you can expect advancements in self-driving vehicles to become a reality in the not-to-distant future.  As always, Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC will be here to keep you informed of this and any other news that may impact the most important commodity we have; our customers.

The Future of Automotive Safety Tech

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Once upon a time, automotive safety equipment consisted of good ol’ American steel and good fortune. But as time passed and sparsely populated roadways evolved into densely packed highways and freeways, automotive manufacturing technology evolved as well. With the advent of lighter and cheaper materials, automakers discovered much more cost efficient ways to mass produce their products for a growing population of drivers.  Unfortunately, as the cars got lighter the damages caused by accidents became more severe, both to the vehicle and the passengers.

Hence the introduction of automotive safety features that quickly became the governmentally mandated standard in all automobiles made and/or sold in the U.S.  Beyond the basic safety features like seat belts and head rests, the three big technological advancements to vehicular safety in the 20th century were Anti-Lock Brake Systems (ABS), Supplemental Restraint Systems (SRS), and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).  Most of these technological advancements were amazing feats of mechanical technology with some computerized control components tossed in as the new millennium dawned.

For the 21st century driver, the safety features that come standard on most new vehicles resemble something you’d see on a science fiction movie set a long time from now in a future far, far away.  But thanks to technological advancements of the digital age, drivers are not just benefitting today from some incredible safety features like back-up cameras, dual-stage air bags, and tire pressure monitors (to name a few), but there is some new tech coming that won’t just make modern vehicles safer, it will transform the way we drive.

Many of the safety features listed here are either in the works or are already being used in several makes and models across the automotive industry landscape.  Here are just a few of the safety technologies coming soon to a vehicle near you:

 Back Up Cameras

If you’ve bought a new car in the last few years, you’re most likely familiar with this feature.  In case you haven’t been introduced to this safety tool, the concept is fairly simple. Put a camera in the rear of the vehicle to improve the driver’s vision when attempting to back up. Some vehicles even add “guide lines” onto the camera’s monitor to better aid the driver with the maneuver.  The reason why this feature is on a list of “future” safety tech is because of the evolutionary advancements being produced for back up cameras.  Check out this list of a few of the current and planned advancements in back up camera features:

  • Variable Angle Rear Camera – As the name implies, this feature allows for multiple angles to better see what is behind you.
  • Front Camera – Again, the title is fairly self explanatory. This camera will allow you to see what is in front of you beneath the view of the windshield.
  • 360-degree Surround-View Camera – For those who want to see it all, this camera system gives you a view of the entire radius of your vehicle’s exterior.

Cross-Traffic Alerts

This feature allows your car to sense when cross-traffic is about to hit (or “T-Bone”) your vehicle.  The sensors along the sides of the vehicle can sense when someone is too close to the vehicle and will let the driver know with an illuminated warning on the dashboard as well as a warning beep.  This feature is especially helpful with backing out of parking spaces in crowded parking lots or out of driveways.

 Adaptive Cruise Control

This feature maintains not only the speed but also the distance between your vehicle and other vehicles or obstacles. Utilizing front-view cameras and computerized sensors, this feature will go a long way toward providing added safety while cruising down the highway.

Forward Collision Technology

Using cameras and sensors, this tech will either warn you of a potential front end collision with warning beeps and illuminated dash warnings, or actually stop the vehicle for you before impact with a computer controlled automated braking system.  As you can imagine, insurance companies are particularly fond of this feature.

Blind Spot Warning Tech

Like the forward collision technology, this feature uses side-mounted sensors (and in some cases side-mounted cameras) to detect when vehicles are approaching from the dreaded “blind-spot” angle found in most vehicles. Not only will this feature warn the driver of encroaching traffic with illuminated icons in the side-view mirror and a warning beep, but in some vehicles, the computer will even help prevent the vehicle from moving into the approaching vehicles’s path.

Night-Vision Display

Say goodbye to those night blindness issues.  As the name implies, this feature will use infra-red tech to project a real-time illuminated view of the road ahead on the vehicle’s display screen.  This tech will improve the visibility up to three times greater than with traditional low-beam headlights.

Drowsy Driver Detection

This tech is in its infancy stages but the safety advantages should be obvious.  Using a combination of cameras and sensors, the vehicle will be able to detect activity associated with driving while sleepy.  The driver will be warned with beeps and lights to let them know they may need to stop. In some vehicles, the car will safely pull the vehicle over once it has determined the driver hasn’t responded to the warnings.

These are just a few examples of the safety technologies that are currently in production or coming soon.  We’re sure you can see the benefits to these safety features as automotive safety technology continues its evolution toward smarter and safer forms of travel for everyone.

There’s a Buzz Surrounding the All-New Chevy Volt!

2016 Chevy Volt

The 2016 Chevy Volt has left U.S. assembly plants and are finally en route to dealerships nationwide. So, what’s new with the All-New 2016 Chevy volt? Well, everything!

Improved Range

The 2016 Chevy Volt boasts a 40% increase in range over the previous first generation model. Consumers can now enjoy even less trips to the pump with an extended 53 miles per charge. In fact, with the Volt’s combo mix of electricity and gasoline, the new Chevy model has an EPA estimated range of 420 miles on a single charge & tank. The boost in charge range is thanks to a 200 lb. lighter frame, and increased battery power using the same amount of space as the last battery pack.

Intuitive Interior

One of the most requested upgrades to the 2016 Chevy volt was an update to its interior. Specifically, consumers were looking for an easy-to-use infotainment system, and Chevy more than delivered. The Volt now comes with a knob-controlled all-color display, which comes fitted with an app-like user interface, similar to your iPhone or Android smartphone. Additionally, drivers can connect their smartphones via bluetooth for improved hands-free interaction. Oh, and the upscale leather addition is also a nice touch.

Smooth Ride

One of the added benefits of driving an electric vehicle is how smooth it sounds and drives on the road. The Volt’s partially-electric engine provide a much quieter ride when in electric mode than vehicles fitted with an all-gasoline engine. When you’re hitting the road on a long road trip, your sanity will thank you for the noticeably quiet ride.

Test-Drive One Today!

The 2016 Chevy Volt will be hitting our showroom floor here shortly. Give us a call or visit us online at www.FinneganAutoGroup.com for more information and to schedule a test drive! You won’t regret it.

Why You Should Consider Satellite Radio

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When shopping for a new car, you have a lot of decisions to make. In each vehicle you look at – especially technologically advanced vehicles like ChevysBuicks, and GMCs – there are dozens and dozens of optional features and services to choose from. You want to spend your money wisely, but you also don’t want to find yourself yearning for features you decided to skimp on to pinch pennies. This is especially true if you don’t fully understand the features.

This brings us to satellite radio. When it was introduced back in the ‘90s, everyone thought satellite would overtake traditional radio fairly quickly. Well, that turned out to not be the case. But satellite radio still offers some pretty strong benefits over traditional radio, and is well worth your consideration.

A Wealth of Options

There’s a good chance our first reason is the main thing you think of when you think of satellite radio. One of satellite radio’s major selling points was the sheer volume of stations they offered. Once you spend more than a moment listening to these stations, though, you understand what a boon it really is.

There are the basic genre stations that offer options like pop, hip-hop, alternative, and heavy metal, which are supplemented by stations dedicated to each decade from the ’40s up to the present day. They even have stations dedicated to specific artists like Elvis, Pearl Jam, Frank Sinatra, and Bruce Springsteen, as well as stations with playlists curated by celebrities, including Ozzy Osbourne, Tom Petty, and Eminem.

But satellite radio has much more than music on offer. Sports fans have plenty of options, with stations from the NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA, with several channels carrying live games (we’ll talk more about this later). For comedy fans, there’s everything from family-friendly comedy to the day’s hottest standup, even a station curated by Jamie Foxx himself. And you can catch all the latest news with stations from Fox News, CNN, BBC, and many more.

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The Crowd Goes Wild

As we mentioned earlier, satellite radio is a dream come true for the sports fan on the go. For all your daily news and talk, there are stations for all the major sports, plus talk around the clock from Chris “Mad Dog” Russo. From NASCAR to soccer to college football, virtually any sport you can think of has a home on satellite.

The same is true for play-by-play on live games. If you find yourself having to take a long drive on game day, you don’t have to worry about missing a single play. There are even channels that will display scores from around the league on your screen, so you can keep track of what’s going on (vital for fantasy team owners).

Always A Signal

How many times have you been on a road trip and slowly found your radio’s signal fading away. Texas is a big place, and there are lots of pockets where you won’t be getting anything at all. You could always try and find a local station, but who wants to take the time to do a full scan and find one you might like?

With satellite radio, you can rest assured that you can listen to all your favorite stations, no matter how far you roam. After just one road trip without the kids complaining about being bored, and you’ll realize how important this feature is.

Try It Out at Finnegan Chevy Buick GMC

If you find yourself feeling like you can’t live without satellite radio after reading all of this, you’re in luck. At Finnegan Chevy Buick GMC, we have an inventory full of fine automobiles equipped with satellite radios. Many even come with a complimentary trial of the service, just in case you want to be sure it’s right for you. Stop on by today and let us show you how to make your commute better than ever!

Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC
26529 Southwest Freeway
Rosenberg, TX 77471
(281) 725-6075

(c) 2013 Finnegan Auto Blog