MT Four Years Ago: Gas Prices Spike, Jaguar XE is Born

Every so often, we enjoy looking back at the top automotive stories of yesteryear. In honor of Leap Day, we’re winding the clock back four years to the last time we had an extra day in February. Here’s a look at what was making headlines in the auto industry on February 29, 2012:

Gas Jumps Startling $0.23 on West Coast: If you need a reason to celebrate today, think about how gas prices have changed. Four years ago, we reported that gas prices hit a nationwide average of $3.721. Today, gas prices average just $1.783 around the nation, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (We had it particularly bad on the West Coast, as prices were well above the $4.00 mark four years ago).

Spied! 2014 Jaguar XE Porsche 911-Fighter Mule: Four years ago, Jaguar was just starting to prepare its entry-level sedan. On February 29, 2012, we caught our first glimpse of an XE prototype, and incidentally, it looks nothing like today’s model. Instead, the prototype appeared as a shrunken version of the XK Convertible. At the time, we guessed the model could come with a V-6 or V-8 offering, but it turns out the XE will launch in both four- and six-cylinder variants. After a long wait, the 2017 Jaguar XE sedan reaches the U.S. market this spring.

We Hear: Subaru Meets to Talk About Future WRX, Including CVTs?: It was hard to believe four years ago that Subaru was considering putting a CVT in the WRX. But on February 29, 2012, that’s exactly what one report claimed. A Subaru executive also hinted the new WRX could receive a 2.0-liter boxer four, and this prediction also came true on the 2015 WRX.

GM, PSA Peugeot Citroen Form Global Platform Sharing Alliance: In 2012, GM and PSA Peugeot Citroen formed an alliance to share vehicle platforms. The deal involved giving GM 7 percent stock in the French company and promised the benefit of “huge economies of scale.” Although the automakers scaled back their original agreement, they agreed to work together on multipurpose vehicles.

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