This is the Morning Shift, OppoLock Black Friday edition. Black Friday means you're probably standing in line in 28 degree weather reading this on an iPhone 2 hoping to finally upgrade, so here's all the automotive news I can find you within the space of 14 minutes.
1st Gear: Guess what, diesels are cleaner, period.
Conventional wisdom says direct-injection gas engines are the cleanest internal combustion engines around, right? Well, some guys who apparently know what they're talking about say differently, says The Truth About Cars:
TUV Nord, a safety testing and certification agency, has issued a report commissioned by an environmental group that says that modern engines that use gasoline direct injection (GDI) of fuel emit more small particles in their exhausts than modern diesel engines. Particulates raise concerns over possibly causing cancer. GDI has proliferated as a means of increasing power, improving fuel efficiency and lowering CO2 emmissions but TUV Nord says that GDI engines put out 1,000 times more harmful particles than traditional gasoline engines and 10 times more than the latest diesels.
Any excuse to get a new A7 for Christmas, right?
2nd Gear: Yes, people are going to use their Black Friday swag as they drive
Drunk driving is a problem traditionally associated with New Year's, among other holidays. Maybe Thanksgiving will get a connection with driving under the phone influence, as Car and Driver reports:
It's no surprise, then, that State Farm got some traction with a survey on smartphone use behind the wheel, ranging from a front-page story in USA Today to a "news alert" from Rockford, Illinois's WREX-TV, which revealed the following: "Survey Shows More Drivers Using Phones Behind the Wheel."
Use that new electronic swag responsibly, kids.
3rd gear: More "we need to target the female demographic somehow" BS
Lately we've had a few, um, interesting vehicles designed to appeal to women. So far it's been limited to special editions or spun-off trims. But an entire car line? And the Mazda2 no less? Motor Trend reports:
A report from Autocar suggests that's about to change, as Mazda Europe's design chief told the U.K.-based outlet that the next Mazda2 will be styled to appeal to women.
Speaking to Autocar, chief designer for Mazda Europe Peter Birtwhistle said, "The car is much more profitable in Asia than it is in Europe and has therefore been designed to appeal to a predominantly feminine customer base."
Whatever entails more "feminine."
4th gear: If you're not buying a new phone or TV right now, you are probably coming home with a new Bimmer
Luxury car sales are hot on Black Friday, as CNBC reports:
While Hesterberg admitted that Black Friday isn't usually identified as a big day for auto sales, Kelley Blue Book is estimating sales will be 3.6 percent higher than that day last year. That would be an impressive gain, as Black Friday in 2012 saw strong sales spurred by a rebound on the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy.
Get your Bimmers while you still can!
5th gear: Post-Thanksgiving hangovers, Black Friday and...eh, now I've just got nothing
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day, whether you were watching football while enjoying a good meal, freezing in line, or watching the Macy's Parade. Here's some nice looking lady in a, uh, cage thingie? At least I remember her lip-syncing wasn't bad at all, or at least not nearly as ear-screeching as Kristin Chenoweth murdering Frank Sinatra on national television.
Reverse: motorcycle riders show that they can be non-athletes too
What's considered to have been the earliest race specifically for motorcycles was held at Sheen House, Richmond, over a distance of one mile.
The winner was Charles Jarrot on a Fournier with a time of two minutes and eight seconds.
With safety not a priority at the time, this and subsequent races were as much a test of endurance for machine and rider as they were of speed.
[NEWS SHOPPER UK] (yes, really - ten interesting motorcycle racing facts enclosed in the link)
Neutral: What's the best Jalop-related Black Friday swag you've managed to score today? Amazon.com? Sears? Something totally off the wall like Kohl's? Post a link with your comment!