This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: 10-15% Of Future XTS Sales Should Be Vsport
While the XTS initially felt like a space-filler as GM waited to have enough money to develop new product, there's no denying that it's been a surprise success for the brand that they're now going to keep around. This partially explains the launch of the 410 horsepower Vsport trim
Situated under the pure, track-oriented "V" models like the CTS-V, Vsport adds the new 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 to the mix. That's 410 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. That's a lot of oomf for a non-V Cadillac and brings the XTS to 60 mph in less than five seconds. Will it be as dynamic as CTS-V? No, but this is a trim-level for people who want power and aesthetics but aren't going to autocross.
The trim is also available on the CTS (with 430 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque) and, according to convos with The Detroit News, Caddy says it could expand to other models.
An ATS with 400+ horsepower would be nice and might make room for an even more insane ATS-V.
2nd Gear: 102 Year-Old Man Buys 16th New Ford
Talk about loyalty. Floyd Pullin of Confluence, Pennsylvania just snagged a 2013 Ford F-150 STX at age 102. He's been a Ford customer since the Harding administration, according to Chris Woodyard.
Oh man, just wait until he tries SYNC. He's going to love MyFord Touch!
3rd Gear: Customer Satisfaction WIth New Cars Down
People are buying more cars, sure, but do they like their new vehicles? Survey says… not exactly.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index, based on phone and e-mail interviews with 4,078 recent customers randomly picked between April 6 and May 22, found that customer satisfaction with automobiles and light vehicles dropped 1.2 percent to an industrywide average of 83, down from 84 in 2012. Scores are based on a scale of 0 to 100.
The index was started in 1994 and measures customer satisfaction with the quality of 20 foreign and domestic nameplates, along with other factors such as purchase price and the dealership experience.
Despite the drop in 2013 satisfaction levels, the industry's customer satisfaction score still tops the original baseline of 79 in 1994.
4th Gear: Toyota's Brazil Problem
Brazil isn't just a fevered dystopian dream, it's also a major car market where Toyota isn't exactly flourishing. While the Japanese brand has done well in booming Asian markets, and in the U.S. and Europe, the South American company has been a tougher Brazil nut to crack reports The Wall Street Journal.
Despite being home to Toyota's first overseas plant, Toyota only has about 4.5% of the market, making it sixth place behind Fiat, Volkswagen, and GM.
The brand may turn itself around thanks to the recent hiring of former GM exec Mark Hogan, who knows the area well, and the introduction of the Etios entry-level car produced in Brazil.
5th Gear: Speaking Of Toyota Challenges
Bloomberg brings us news today that Ford is preparing to roll out new Fusions at a U.S. plant soon to up production in order to challenge the Toyota Camry, the perennial best selling car.
As the article points put, the Fusion has a $2,300 per-sale premium over the Toyota and producing more of them in Michigan isn't likely to hurt that advantage. Ford's already cut into Toyota's lead by a quarter so far this year.
Will Ford outpace Toyota and Honda? Almost certainly not, but the closer they get to that number the more money in their pockets.
Reverse: George Eyston breaks own automobile land speed record
Drivers who attempted to set the world land speed record, or the fastest speed traveled on land in a wheeled vehicle, had to complete two mile-long runs in opposite directions, within a space of sixty minutes. George Eyston, an engineer and retired British Army captain, had set the previous record of 311.42 mph at Bonneville in November 1936. On his August 27 run, he hit 347.49 mph on the outbound trip and 343.51 on the return; his new record, 345.49, was the average of the two. As Eyston told the press at the time, he did not even bring his vehicle, the Thunderbolt, to full throttle to achieve the record-setting speed: "I had a very comfortable ride and not once did I feel there was any danger... I wanted to be certain I set a new record, but I also wanted to be sure that the car and I got through in good shape."
Neutral: Tired Of Being In The Grey? Do a text annotation reply to this article and explain what an ATS or Escalade Vsport model might be like and I'll try to "follow" you for Jalopnik so you're no longer in the review box.
Photo Credit: Getty Images