Hooniverse Asks- What Do You Think Will be the Biggest Car Stories of 2015?

2015
So much happened in the automotive world last year. 2014 was the year that saw Tesla beating the odds; the advent of the first turbo 4-cylinder Mustang since 1986; as well as an unprecedented series of auto industry recalls. As Dickens once wrote, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
That’s all in the past however, and today, now that you’ve hopefully recovered from the New Years festivities, I’d like you to dust off your crystal balls and opine on what you think will be the biggest automotive news stories of 2015. Hey, if we know in advance, maybe we’ll even know to cover them!
It’s a new year, and one that’s going to be full of both cool new cars and lots of industry controversy. Out of all that, what do you think will be the top stories?
Image: Wrestlingitalia, Edmunds

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  1. Kiefmo Avatar

    Fuel prices.
    I'm not sure where it's going, but analysts have said that our current prices are unsustainable. But who will break first? OPEC, or the domestic companies?
    Either way, I'm enjoying the savings from cheap gas/diesel while it lasts, but I'm putting those savings into savings — I believe there's no way in hell fuel is staying this cheap.
    This is my fillup from the other day. I also had a $0.35/gal savings with a HyVee card, so that made it ultra-cheap, but fueling the gashog (because 80:20 city:highway) family hauler is a lot less painful.
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/0wlDgwT.jpg?1&quot; width="700px">

    1. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      I agree on the unpredictability part of your post. Oil companies are real tumblers, and I have invested in oil stock at similar, earlier occasions with great success. But now we do really have an oversupply situation – that might just last. Or it might not, with the slight chance of another global economic uptick or war in oil producing countries.
      Gas prices are hardly affected in Norway, taxes making up 90+% of the retail price.

    2. pdb Avatar
      pdb

      Oil prices will remain in the cellar until the Fed starts up QE4.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar
        Sjalabais

        …then we get back to 2007-ish conditions with a "reverse liquidity crisis" – too much money and nothing to invest it in? I have never really understood how this works, I can't rationally fathom why inflation isn't biting us already. Two public bodies, one printing money and buying the other's debt, the other holding a steady course towards unsustainability. As such, the sudden fall of oil prices without equally sudden changes of the economic surroundings work well as an example of when faith/trust gets a reality check that was open for everyone to see for quite a while

    1. JasonConnor Avatar

      Oh you must have meant car stories of 2016.

      1. muthalovin Avatar

        More like 2020.

  2. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

    Tesla will announce their new electric pickup capable of 300 miles on a charge, payload of 1400 pounds and a tow rating of 7500 pounds.
    That or oil will continue to fluctuate.
    One of those.

  3. Joe Btfsplk Avatar
    Joe Btfsplk

    General Motors will begin to run out of their own cars to recall and will be forced to recall Toyota's, Honda's and Nissan's…….

    1. Maymar Avatar
      Maymar

      Maybe GM will buy up Takata this year?

    2. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      Got to use these skills for something!

  4. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    Elon Musk cameos as a member of SPECTRE this fall, to throw us all off the scent that he really has his sights set on world domination. I'm predicting a massive showdown between him and Richard Branson, one of these days.

    1. skitter Avatar
      skitter

      I'm predicting a massive showdown between him and Richard Branson… IN SPACE!

      1. Maymar Avatar
        Maymar

        That's the sequel, I think.

        1. Tomsk Avatar

          In all seriousness, it will be interesting to see if a) the Model X arrives on time* and trouble-free, and b) what the new Model 3 (a.k.a. the "cheap" Tesla) will be like.
          *Relative to its current release date.

  5. Eric Rood Avatar
    Eric Rood

    I think Nissan's LMP1 program for Le Mans has potential to be a huge story. Mulsanne's Corner—who generally know what they're talking about—are suggesting that the car's layout will be completely unorthodox, possibly with a front-mounted gas engine (possibly an unused F1 V6!) powering the front wheels and an electric-only system (possibly with a design based on the ZEOD's systems) powering the rear wheels with well over 1,000 total system horsepower.
    More importantly, however, Nissan's position with the Gran Turismo games and the associated GT Academy means that sports car racing could become a bigger part of the motorsports consciousness if they play their marketing cards right, which I suspect will at least be part of their aims with the car's reveal during the Super Bowl.
    If it all goes right, their success could then open the door for more manufacturers returning to LMP1 with the ACO's regulations of that class allowing a lot of innovation. I don't expect their car will win Le Mans this year, but I think it will—like the current Audi R18—be designed specifically to win at Le Mans and run the FIA WEC series more or less as a test bed.
    I'm genuinely excited to see: (1) How Nissan have approached the LMP1's design, (2) who they pick to drive it, (3) how competitive it will be, and (4) whether they can make inroads with the motorsports community and, possibly, the general public.
    Here's a very basic CAD rendering from Michael Fuller of Mulsanne's Corner of what he thinks the layout may look like:
    <img src="http://www.mulsannescorner.com/BDWLMPconcept-1.jpg&quot; width="600">
    <a href="http://www.mulsannescorner.com/” target=”_blank”>www.mulsannescorner.com/

    1. Rover_1 Avatar
      Rover_1

      Possibly in different colours

  6. Preludacris Avatar
    Preludacris

    Heh heh… dust off your crystal balls…
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/YN0akEe.jpg"&gt;
    I agree with Kiefmo, oil is the big story. It will likely overshadow whatever happens within the auto industry.

  7. Tomsk Avatar

    I think Ford's rumored GT-successor (and its GTE-racer derivative) will be grabbing a lot of headlines over the next 18-24 months, particularly if it uses an EcoBoost V6 (though I certainly wouldn't mind if it uses the new GT350's "Voodoo" V8 instead).
    Isn't that right, Ms. $kaycog?

  8. GregKachadurian Avatar
    GregKachadurian

    Based on what I've covered recently in the news, it's either:
    1) Acura NSX
    2) Ford Performance, that all-in-one powerhouse they just announced. We'll see a bunch more performance cars from them like the Focus RS and hopefully the next Raptor. That also includes the GT-successor and its racing program.
    3) How the oil industry affects the market. Some are saying Tesla will suffer when gas is cheap, but I'm not so sure.

  9. Vairship Avatar
    Vairship

    Saab splits from NEVS, emerges from bankruptcy, and buys the remains of Spyker at auction. 😉

    1. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

      I would like to see Saab and Spyker alive and well.