Muscle-Bound: A Brief History of the Malibu

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One of Chevrolet’s oldest sedans is all new and ready to take on the town.  The Malibu has been completely redesigned for 2016, and your friends at Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC has them.

Any time Chevy rolls out a fresh take on one of their classic models, we tend to get a little nostalgic. So we thought we’d take you on a quick tour of the Malibu brand starting all the way back to the Muscle Car Era.

A Malibu was a Chevelle

chevyhistoryThere is some debate about which car, exactly, started the muscle-car craze of the 60s and early 70s, but the point is essentially moot because most of the cars commonly credited for it were introduced the same year, 1964. It seems everybody got about the same idea at about the same time, and General Motors — which generally receives most of the credit on account of the Pontiac GTO — entered the muscle car market in 1964 with a mid-sized, A-body car known as the Chevelle.

To put it most simply, the Malibu was a fancier Chevelle — cooler interior patterns, nicer upholstery, a fancier steering wheel, different wheel covers, etc.

You could get them with a V-6 or the iconic 327 V-8, which made 300 horsepower in 1964.

Second Generation

Chances are, when you hear the word “Chevelle,” the image that pops into your head is the second-generation Chevelle, which ran from 1966-72, and included what many consider the ultimate expression of what a Muscle Car was: the 1970 Chevelle SS 454. It’s not only the massive big-block that makes the car a legend (although that is a major part of it). It is the rounder, more muscular body, the aggressive stance, and that beautiful dual-headlight setup that was gone by 1971.

By 1970, Chevrolet had dropped the lower trim packages and sold Chevelles as Malibus only. The overlapping branding didn’t seem to bother customers of the time or enthusiasts of today. Second-generation Chevelles sold like crazy in their time, and remain some of the very most collectible cars in the world, regardless of classification.

End of an Era

That the Oil Embargo of 1973 effectively ended the Muscle Car Era has been well documented. It took several years for all of the effects to change the way American manufacturers and American buyers thought of American cars, but by the 1973 model year you could already see some changes in the works.

The Chevelle was completely re-designed that year. It retained its engine lineup for the most part, but horsepower was down. By 1977, the Chevelle had evolved into the kind of high-cubic-inch land barge people associate with cars of the late 70s.

Also of note, in 1974, the Malibu became the entry-level Chevelle, replaced with something called the Malibu Classic, which had briefly been known as the Laguna.

Fourth Generation

Beginning in the throughs of the Malaise Era, the fourth-generation Malibu had disconnected from its muscle-car roots entirely by 1978. It was a foot shorter and, depending on the package, 500-1,000 pounds lighter than its predecessor. The once-loping body design was squared off.

This marked the end of the Chevelle nameplate. With the exception of a specialty car sold only in the Carolinas, this generation was known only as the Malibu and Malibu Classic, with a Malibu Classic Landau series offering two-tone paint and a vinyl top.

Ironically, these fourth-gen cars have become popular with enthusiasts and hot-rodders, who appreciate their simple styling, rear-wheel-drive chassick, and the ease with which they can be modified and reconfigured. This may have had to do with the Malibu’s extensive use in NASCAR from 1973-83.

Death and Resurrection

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Chevrolet discontinued the Malibu for the 1984 model year, and it appeared to be gone for good. Throughout the 80s and 90s, first- and second-generation Chevelles soared in popularity among collectors and drag racers, and as a result the Malibu brand name remained strong. It stood for muscle, performance and style, and connected people, particularly Baby Boomers, to a fondly remembered era.

So it made sense in 1997 when Chevrolet decided to bring it back. This was a new configuration to be sure. Front-wheel drive, and not offered with a V-8, the fifth-generation Malibu was not intended to revive the Muscle Car Era — GM had other vehicles in the works for that. But it was named Motor Trend Car of the Year in 1997.

The Malibu has been continually restyled ever since. With the introduction of the 2016 model year, this ninth-generation Malibu remains one of Chevrolet’s strongest brands and one of the best selling models available at Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC.

Learn more: 

A history of muscle cars, from History Channel.

An original review of the 1966 Chevelle.

What To Do When Your Car Overheats

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An overheated car is something to send to a professional technician, but we all know cars don’t wait until you’re at a car dealership to get hot.

Sometimes, you’re in the middle of nowhere and your temperature gauge starts rising and you don’t know what to do, but you know you need to get your car to someplace else.

Well, we’re here to help. Here is what to do if your car overheats.

Turn Off the Engine

This sounds obvious, but it is of such vital importance that it has to be mentioned. If your car’s temperature gauge gets into the danger zone, you smell coolant, or you see steam coming from the engine bay, it’s time to shut off the engine as soon as you safely can.

This is one of those scenarios in which you really can ruin your engine for good. So if you do nothing else, shut off the engine and let it cool.

Open the Hood

Pop open the hood and see if you can tell what the problem is. There are a lot of different reasons a car might overheat, but some of them will be obvious when you open the hood. For example, a common cause of overheating is a broken radiator hose, which lets coolant escape and results in a hot motor. If this is what happened, you’re probably looking at a steam of coolant shooting out of a hose.

Remove the Radiator Cap

Caution: You must be extremely careful about this. An overheated engine will be filled with outrageously hot liquid that might be under pressure. Let the engine cool down until it is no longer under pressure, then, with a rag to protect your hand, remove the radiator cap. Steam will come out. If you can’t see any water/coolant in the radiator, you need to add some.

This advice applies only if, as we suggested at the top, you’re in the middle of nowhere and need to get your car to safety. If you can, just have the car towed to a technician. If you can’t, you need to add some water or coolant or, ideally, a 50-50 mixture of the two.

Start the Car

Assuming you don’t have a leaking radiator hose, assuming you’ve allowed your car a good 10-20 minutes to cool, and assuming your radiator is now full of coolant/water, you can start your engine.

Keep a very close eye on the temperature gauge and shut the car off again immediately.

We hope we’ve made it clear that this is a stop-gap solution to a problem that requires the attention of an expert technician, like the ones we have at Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC. Come see us, and you’ll be back on the road in no time with the peace of mind that comes with knowing your vehicle was repaired by pros with genuine GM parts.

Do You Really Need That Premium Fuel?

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Let’s get this out of the way right off the top. The answer to the headline above is, most likely, “no”, you probably do not need premium gasoline. The vast majority of cars are designed to run just fine on regular gas, and adding premium to their tanks will do precisely nothing for your car.

So that’s the long and short of it. But if you’re like us, you’re gonna need more of an explanation.

That’s why we’re here.

What’s the Difference?

So, the technical explanation of this is pretty … technical. But we’ll try to put it in the simplest possible terms. The difference between 87 octane fuel and 93 octane fuel is the particular point at which they will explode. High-octane fuel can withstand more compression before it combusts, and therefore is only necessary for use in high-compression engines (typically performance engines).

Won’t Premium Gas Give My Engine More Power?

It will not. If you put premium fuel into an engine not designed for it, it will have no effect whatsoever. It won’t add power. It won’t increase efficiency. It won’t burn cleaner. It won’t do squat, other than cost you more.

What If I Put Regular In My Performance Car?

If your engine has a high compression ratio, and its manufacturer recommends running high-octane gas through it, using regular gas will cause a phenomenon known as “knocking,” which is exactly what it sounds like — a knocking sound coming from the combustion chamber. This is because the regular fuel won’t be exploding at the right time, and might be exploding more than once per revolution. It won’t immediately ruin your engine or anything, but you should definitely not run 87 gas in a vehicle designed for 91.

Why Do They Call it “Premium,” Then?

Because they’re in the business of selling gasoline, and “premium” sounds better than “regular,” and premium costs more. It’s effective marketing, but since we aren’t in the business of selling gasoline, we can tell it like it is.

So How Do I Know For Sure If I Need Premium Or Not?

If your vehicle requires premium gasoline, your vehicle will indicate that in some key areas, such as the gas cap, fuel door, fuel gauge, owner’s manual … don’t worry, it’ll tell you.

If your vehicle offers no indication one way or another, you’re fine going with the cheap stuff. Unless, of course, you’ve rebuilt your engine and modified it to make more compression, in which case you’re on your own.

If your car isn’t running right, bring it to our expert technicians at Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC. We’ll get you back on the road quickly and conveniently, with the confidence the job was done right.

Don’t Leave Home Without These 5 Vehicle Emergency Items

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If you’re like most of us, the main things you have in your car at any given time are, like, a coffee cup, a pair of gym shoes, a discarded wrapper or two, a pack of gum. You get the idea. The point is, we carry around a lot of stuff we don’t need.

But there are some things we do need to carry around in our cars — or at least some things we might regret not having at some point.

Here are five things you should keep in your car just in case:

Motor Oil, Other Fluids

If you’re checking your oil regularly, you’re probably in good shape, but it’s not a bad idea to keep a quart of oil in the trunk for that one day when, much to your surprise, the oil light comes on. While you’re at it, throw in some coolant/water, and maybe some brake fluid and power steering fluid. It could save the day.

First Aid Kit

This is fairly self-explanatory, but make sure your first-aid kit makes sense for you, specifically. If you have medications, keep some in there, along with emergency phone numbers. And don’t forget to include a flashlight with good batteries.

Jumper Cables

Every car should have a pair of jumper cables in the trunk. They cost very little, they never wear out, and they can often be the difference between being stranded in some parking lot and being on your way home. The thing is, your car’s battery will die at some point. It’s pretty much inevitable. Be prepared for that moment.

Rags

Or towels, even. If something goes wrong with your car — dead battery, oil low, etc. — odds are you’re going to end up getting your hands dirty dealing with it. Some shop rags are nice for this. But you may also consider something a little bigger, for that time your dog decides to roll in in the mud, or you get caught in a rain storm.

Battery-Powered Cell Phone Charger

Let’s say your battery is dead and you’re nowhere near civilization and you need to call for help, but your phone is about to die. This is when it would be really nice to have one of those portable phone chargers for some emergency juice.

Road Trip Down Memory Lane: A History of The Chevy Impala

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The Chevy Impala: no matter which group you ask, someone’s bound to know what you’re talking about. America’s most iconic muscle car stands just as strongly in our memories today as it did when it started its journey in 1958, as a high-end Bel Air model. Known as one of the few cars that’s ever made history, it’s a memory some can still look back on with fondness. So let’s take a cruise down memory lane and chronicle the Impala’s incredible journey.

1957

The first Chevy Impala is assembled at one of Chevrolet’s factories. Named after the antelopes of Africa, it’s intended for use as a luxury family sedan. The advertising campaigns of the time stated timelessly that the Impala “lets you know you’re the boss”.

1958-1959

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The Impala gains speed, as it flies off the shelves almost faster than Chevy can produce it. The designers made some fast decisions based on demand. A bold redesign resulted in one of the nation’s wildest, best auto designs of all time, with cat eye taillights and a Batmobile-style lid. Impala was no longer a gimmick: it was a line of fully featured vehicles.

1960

After their bold moves in ’59, Chevy dialed the design back a bit and made the accented lines a little less extreme, adapting the new slogan “Space, spirit, splendor” and focusing on new, electric technological features.

1961

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This was the year Chevy invented the muscle car. Another heavy redesign was in store for the Impala, as well as the birth of the legendary Super Sport. The release of the Super Sport with its 409 engine marked the beginning of an iconic era in American automaking. In fact, the Super Sport was so good on the road, that the Beach Boys themselves wrote a song about it. Now that’s history.

1962

Chevrolet refocused the Impala in ’62, building it more and more for the American Everyman. Adding more sedans to the lineup and squaring out the visuals, they focused in large part on keeping the Impala a quiet, stable ride.

1963

Adding even more space to the trunk and interior, by this point the Impala was offered in editions holding up to 9 riders! Trending strongly towards style as well as muscle, Chevy knew its clientele very well, making sure those who bought an Impala were constantly reminded of its above average status and quality.

1964

The Impala smoothed out even more in ’64, featuring a softer look with alterations to the signature taillight. The transition away from the hard corners and straight lines was divisive, but the 64 is still one of the more sought after models.

1965

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You guessed it – another redesign. Impala had figured out that diversification was key. More pronounced cases for the headlights, a switch from an X-frame to a perimeter base and a new suspension were just a few of the improvements. Clearly, this model’s blend of smooth aerodynamic contours was a hit. Chevy set the all-time industry annual sales record with this model.

1967

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Chevy ramped up the muscle in this generation of the Impala. Blending the roof right into the casing and wrapping the front grille around, Chevy also knew that a faster Impala had to be safer, including belts, side lights and a collapsible steering wheel mount.

1970

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The last true year of the blockbuster big sport coupe, Chevy saw the signs and discontinued some superfluous features on their Impala. Rest in peace, Super Sport. Other more direct models lived on to fight the good fight.

1971-1976

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As the years progressed, the Impala lost some horsepower, but gained an exorbitant amount of space, offering unheard-of comforts to passengers and drivers alike. To compensate for the extra space, Chevy packed loads of luxury features into the interior as well, essentially creating the classy cruise machine of the decade.

1978-Present Day

 

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Sadly, as all good things do, ’78 marks the year the classic Impala came to an end. Different demands down the decades meant different designs to deal with, and the muscle ethos of the previous generations just didn’t fit the majority need anymore. These days you can find the Impala in luxury lots, hinting ever so slightly at the glory days of yore.

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In spite of – or perhaps, because of its tumultuous evolution to the present, the Impala deserves to be remembered as one of history’s greatest and most versatile vehicles. Here’s to you, Impala. Run free.

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At Finnegan Chevy Buick GMC in Rosenberg, we have a whole lineup of brand new Impalas featuring the latest technology and performance like a custom-tailored Bose surround sound system, 10 standard air bags, and a 305 HP V6 engine. Come by our location today and take the latest generation Impala for a test drive!

Five New Year Resolutions For Your Car

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Well, 2016 is barely a week old as of this blogging and if you’re like most of us, some of those New Year resolutions are already starting to become a challenge to keep.  Of course, most of us have trips to the gym and diets on our mind when it comes to turning over new leaves but there are other areas that would benefit from some of that physical fitness resolve…like your vehicle.  That’s why your friends at Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC are happy to share a few suggestions for some New Year maintenance resolutions for your car to help keep your wheels turning throughout 2016.

1. Keep That Oil Changed

We all do it.  Stretching those oil changes well beyond the recommended 3,000 mile limit is an issue we all struggle with.  But, the life expectancy of your vehicle’s most complicated, and most important, parts can be prolonged dramatically by resolving to change the oil regularly.  Thanks to synthetic motor oil, drivers can nearly double the amount of time between oil changes, but that extra time comes at a higher price than regular petroleum-based oil. Regardless of what type of oil you use, of all of the car maintenance resolutions you can make this year, this one should be #1 on everybody’s list.

2. Pump It UP!

Another simple maintenance step that typically goes ignored is regular tire pressure checks. Back in the days of full-service gas stations, car tires were regularly checked by the attendants every time a car pulled up for gas. Of course, those days are gone as are the regular tire checks. So, making it a point to check your tire pressure at each fill-up is an excellent idea to save wear-and-tear on the tires as well as keep your fuel-sipping MPG from dropping to gas-guzzling levels.

3. Drink Plenty Of Fluids

A good idea for anyone, including your car.  No matter what level of mechanical expertise you may have, this fact cannot be ignored. Your vehicle, like your body, needs fluids to survive.  With the demise of the full-service gas station, the responsibility for checking our vehicle’s coolant, oil, transmission, and brake fluid levels has been passed from the attendants to us.  Giving  your vehicle a fluidic once-over when you stop at the pump is never a bad idea. Just keep this thought in mind, no one ever experienced a catastrophic engine failure for having plenty of lubricating and cooling fluids in their vehicle’s respective systems.

4. Keep it clean

It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married with kids, our vehicles can easily become as full as our lives if we’re not careful.  Keeping the car clean doesn’t just enhance the appeal of the vehicle, it actually helps prolong the life of your paint and interior materials.  Over time, dirt and grime can act like sandpaper and cause permanent damage to the features that attracted you to it in the first place. The best part about this resolution is it is easy and (mostly) free. You’ll be amazed at what a little soap and water can do to keep that “new car” feel all year long.

5. Stop Ignoring That Pesky Warning Light

Not everyone does this, but we know plenty of people who ignore that “check engine” light for far too long.  Modern vehicles come equipped with highly sophisticated diagnostic computer systems designed to detect potentially harmful malfunctions long before they become emergency-level disasters. As easy as it is to downplay that warning light or procrastinate on getting it checked, resolving to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape means taking care of any and all mechanical problems, hopefully while they’re still minor and relatively inexpensive.

These are just a few ideas we had when planning our own New Year’s vehicle maintenance resolutions. As always, your friends at Finnegan Auto Group are here to assist you with any maintenance and service needs you may have. Just schedule a service appointment online or stop by our service center and let Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC help you keep your vehicle going strong all year long.

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.

The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Transforming A Genre

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When Chevrolet announced a redesign to their best selling sports coupe, you could cut the anticipation for its unveiling with a chainsaw.  When the curtain was finally raised last May, anticipation was quickly transformed into desire.  The sixth-generation Camaro came in lighter, tighter, and loaded to its stylish grille with performance features that industry insiders are still trying to get their heads wrapped around.

So let’s get the preliminaries out of the way. If you like the look of the Camaro (and who doesn’t), you’ll see everything you love about Chevy’s modernization of the classic muscle car plus some new twists.  There is no mistaking the Camaro look, but the 2016 version seems to have been engineered in a wind tunnel.  “Aerodynamic” doesn’t begin to cover how tightly this car has been designed. This is a leaner, meaner looking sports car designed to not simply turn heads but to permanently lock them onto its muscle-bound lines.

But if you’re talking Camaro, you’re talking performance and generation six stands to put all previous generations to tear-jerking shame.  If zero-to-sixty in 3.9 seconds sounds like your speed, then this Camaro should have your full attention. Pop the hood on the SS version and feast your eyes on the Corvette Stingray’s meaty 6.2-liter LT1 small-block V8.  Drop all 455 horses on a chassis that is easily 100lbs lighter than the gen-5 Camaro and you may think you’ll need an altimeter added to your instrument panel.  But lighter doesn’t necessarily mean it feels like a lightweight.  With Chevrolet’s lightning fast electric-assist steering and asphalt-hugging front end grip, the low-riding Camaro corners like a dream and will easily make short work of anything a tour through the back roads can throw at it.

Toss in all of the modern conveniences and technological gadgetry known to 21st century drivers and you’ve found your cure for the rush hour blues. The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is already rolling into showrooms across the country and Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC has them. Shop us online or stop in for a test drive today and find out for yourself how the 2016 Chevy Camaro hasn’t just raised the sports car bar, it has redefined it.

 

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