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Auto blogWed, 29 May 2013
Like the Fast & Furious franchise, the Michael Bay-directed series of Transformers movies has become known as much for its bad acting as its impressive lineup of cars. As filming just started for Transformers 4, Bay's website has confirmed two new cars for the next installment as well as a makeover for everyone's favorite tractor trailer hero, Optimus Prime.
Joining the cast of T4 are a "race-inspired" Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse. While Bay's website did not supply names for either car, Bugatti is reporting on its Facebook page that the Veyron will join the Autobots. Speaking of the good guys, top Autobot Optimus Prime is getting an all-new body based on a Western Star with a gaudy appearance that was seemingly inspired by Trick My Truck - right down to the six smoke stacks and side pipes!
General Motors must be pretty pleased with sales of its two newest pickups, the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado, as it's announced price hikes for both models, as part of a planned price tweak.
Prices will be bumped by as much as $1,500, although weirdly, they'll be offset by as much as $1,500 in cash-back offers through the end of October. Fox Business reports that GM spokesman Jim Cain said of the price hike, "With the sell down of the '13 models nearly complete, this price adjustment was planned and is a normal part of business."
The move, as Fox is quick to point out, is an interesting one, as sales of the twin pickups struggled last month relative to the Ford F-Series, while both of GM's crosstown competitors have been aggressively undercutting Silverado and Sierra prices. The F-150 starts at $24,070 and the Ram 1500 comes in at $23,600, not counting any cash on the hood. A base Silverado, meanwhile, retails at $25,575.
To say that things aren't going well for the newly redesigned 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is a pretty sizable understatement. Reports have been swirling about the Malibu getting an emergency design refresh, less than a year after its introduction, as well as having its production at the Fairfax Assembly Plant halted twice already this year for excessive inventory. Now, Motor Trend is reporting that the midsize sedan will be receiving price drops across the board ranging from $300 on a number of models up to $770 on the 1LT trim; offsetting some of MSRP drop, though, the destination charge has increased from $760 to $810.
Without destination, the entry-level Malibu LS now starts at $21,995, which is still about $300 more than a Honda Accord and about $300 less than the segment's top-selling Toyota Camry. This new pricing also drops the price of the Eco, 2LT and 3LT trims by $300. The LTZ trim has dropped by $415, meaning that the Malibu's top dog now starts at just under $30,000, excluding destination.
Here are the new starting prices for all eight of the Malibu trim levels compared to the previous prices for the 2013 model year (including destination):