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Paul Giamatti, Kieran Culkin star in short films promoting 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

Actors Paul Giamatti and Kieran Culkin star in a new series of commercials for the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagn

Two cinematic stars will play a supporting role to the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport in a new series of short films designed to, in VW's words, "playfully challenge today's culture of excess and unregulated self-interest." The short films, titled, "The Accountant" introduce the SUV and its new ad campaign tagline, "Excessive Where it Matters".

Inn the first episode of the series, Paul Giamatti plays a high-profit accountant who struggles to curtail the spending of this wealthy clientele; one in particular played by Kieran Culkin. He advises against buying a solid gold jet ski, private plane, and tiger. Culkin's character calls the accountant to boast of his latest purchase, a Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. The accountant breathes a sigh of relief at the smart spending decision and feels he's finally gotten through to one of his clients – until he hears him arrive at a famous Las Vegas hotel and casino.

You can watch the commercial below.

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Viewers can watch the following two episodes on TV, digital, and social during March Madness.

According to a release, the new campaign challenges modern culture's obsession with self-interest.

"Excess in itself isn't wrong, but excess for the sake of showing off is," said Saad Chehab, senior vice president, Volkswagen brand marketing. "Americans shouldn't have to overextend themselves to drive a quality vehicle that garners celebrity style attention and respect. That's why we've made the Atlas Cross Sport Excessive Where it Matters.'"

The 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport has a starting MSRP of $30,545 and a sloping rear roof, which defines it most from the boxier 2021 Volkswagen Atlas.

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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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The new Type R set a Suzuka Circuit lap record.

Honda

The new Honda Civic somehow improves on the formula laid out by its numerous predecessors and does so with style, refinement, and value. The Civic Si built on that foundation with a potent turbocharged engine and solid handling, but Honda's not done with the Civic. The automaker just teased the new Civic Type R, and it set records at Japan's Suzuka Circuit during a recent testing session.

The All-New 2023 Type R Achieves Track Record at Suzukawww.youtube.com

The Type R lapped Suzuka Circuit in 2 minutes, 23.120 seconds, a record-breaking lap for a front-wheel drive car. The video features neat telemetry information on-screen during the lap as well, but the real excitement comes later when full specs are revealed.

Honda's been understandably mum on details on the new Type R's powertrain and performance numbers, but the car is expected to carry the same powertrain with its predecessor. The 300-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine made that car a force to be reckoned with, so the 2023 Civic Type R will likely continue carrying that torch.

Honda Civic Type RHonda will fully reveal the car this summer. Honda

Honda will reveal the car in all its glory this summer. As for pricing, the previous car started around $38,000, so the new model should be around there to start. That, of course, is before dealers mark it up and other lucky buyers snap them up for insane resale on an auction site.

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