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New Dodge commercial takes inspiration from 'Talladega Nights', features new song by AC/DC

Dodge is celebrating its high-ranking J.D. Power survey results with a new commercial.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

There were so many classic lines. Chief among them is, "If you ain't first, you're last." Dodge is showcasing its historic top spot inn J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study with a new "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"-inspired commercial. The brand was also ranked first in the J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study.

The ad features actor Gary Cole as a younger Reese Bobby on a chase after his 10-year-old son Ricky Bobby. The 60-second spot is named "Family Motto" and set to the music of AC/DC's "Shot in the Dark", which is the first music released by the band in six years.

2020 Dodge commercial Talledega NightsActor Gary Cole reprised his role for the commercial.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

"In our 60-second film, we needed to stay 100 percent true to the spirit of the original film, while simultaneously communicating the Dodge brand's record of 'firsts' as ranked by our owners," said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer. "Maintaining brand authenticity extended beyond Sony Pictures, including our music alliance with Columbia Records and AC/DC, in addition to Gary Cole reprising his role as Reese Bobby, and having the original movie's cinematographer, Oliver Wood, involved with this project. Together, we were able to accomplish this epic creative endeavor celebrating the Dodge brand's first-place wins, which could almost be envisioned as a deleted scene from the original movie."

Here's how the spot unfolds according to Dodge:

The spot opens circa 1981 in Talladega County with Reese Bobby, in a new 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, on a walkie talkie imploring his young son Ricky Bobby, who appears to be driving a 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye and who yells, 'I wanna go fast,' to pull the vehicle over. During the chase, Ricky Bobby calls out to his best friend Cal Naughton Jr., who appears to pull up next to Ricky in a 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock and who proudly proclaims, 'I had Mountain Dew for breakfast,' to help him outrun his father by using the infamous Shake 'n Bake maneuver (with a twist!), leaving his father proud and asking his son to remember the family motto, 'if you ain't first, you're last.'

Family Motto | Dodgewww.youtube.com

"Dodge is honored to be the first domestic brand to rank No. 1 in not only the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, but also the J.D. Power Consumer APEAL Study (mass market) in the same year," said Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. "And Dodge is launching three 700-plus-horsepower muscle cars this year with the new Challenger SRT Super Stock, Durango SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, proving that we firmly believe our new 'Family Motto,' 'if you ain't first, you're last.'"

The spot is related to a larger Dodge marketing campaign. The Dodge Power Dollars 2020 incentive program, $10 cash allowance per horsepower on 2020 Dodge Challenger, Charger, and Durango models.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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American muscle cars

Ford Mustang continues sales dominance

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has good reason to be proud of the Mustang. Now almost 60 years on from its introduction, Ford continues innovating with new versions and performance upgrades. It's all good news for buyers, as it's hard to find a "bad" Mustang in Ford's current catalog. The efforts have paid off, too, as the automaker just announced that the Mustang outsold its competition for the seventh year in a row.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Mustang continued outselling the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, and did so without help from the Shelby GT350, which was discontinued. The Mustang Mach 1, with its 5.0-liter V8, led the charge, but Ford notes the performance of its most powerful Mustang, the Shelby GT500.

Ford says Americans are the most prolific Mustang buyers, representing 76 percent of the car's worldwide sales. Mustang sales in New Zealand grew 54 percent and Brazil saw sales climb 37.3 percent, so the car is a global effort for Ford. The automaker notes that retail orders, where a customer places an order for a car instead of shopping for one off the lot, almost doubled last year.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Photo courtesy of Ted Fontenot

The 2022 Mustang may mark the last year of the car's current generation. Spy photographers have caught next-generation cars testing in the wild, and the current-gen cars have been on sale since 2015. Ford also expanded the Mustang name in 2021 with the addition of the new electric Mustang Mach-E, which was met with huge demand and several awards from around the auto industry.

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