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Auto blogMon, 20 May 2013 16:46:00 EST
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #334 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #334
2014 Mercedes Benz S Class
Among automakers with a big US presence, General Motors is the worst to work for, according to a new survey from Tier 1 automotive suppliers, conducted by Planning Perspectives, Inc.
The Detroit-based manufacturer, which has been under fire following the ignition switch recall and its accompanying scandal, finished behind six other automakers with big US manufacturing operations. Suppliers had issues with trust and communications, as well as intellectual property protection. GM was also the least likely to allow suppliers to raise their prices in the face of unexpected increases in material cost, all of which contributed to 55 percent of suppliers saying their relationship with GM was "poor to very poor."
GM's cross-town competitors didn't fare much better. Chrysler finished in fifth place, ahead of GM and behind Dearborn-based Ford, which was passed for third place this year by Nissan. Toyota took the top marks, while Honda captured second place.
According to Car and Driver, citing a report in BMW Blog, BMW will be offering performance upgrades - likely called the Competition package - for its M5 and M6 models (including the convertible and Gran Coupe versions of the M6). Both cars will continue to be offered with the normal 560-horsepower, 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engines, but this new performance pack is expected to add an additional 15 hp to the mix.
No need to worry, however - the upgrades won't simply be limited to a small boost in power. These M5 and M6 models will reportedly get new wheels, black exhaust tips, a more direct steering ratio and reworked suspension geometry which will provide better overall handling. Top speed is said to remain governed at 190 miles per hour, but that these extra improvements will shave one-tenth of a second off the cars' 0-60 times.
No pricing information has been revealed as of this writing, though we imagine it'll likely come at a substantial cost over the current starting prices of the M5 and M6 ($90,200 and $108,350, respectively).