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    William Maley

    Aluminum is kind of a big deal

    The current-generation Ford Expedition has been with since 2003 and despite the refreshes and engine changes that have in the past few years, it was time for a new model. Today, Ford unveiled the next-generation Expedition.
    The big news is the Expedition's body switches from steel to aluminum, dropping curb weight by 300 pounds. In terms of design, the Expedition's lines have been smoothed out along with a new front end that is similar to the Explorer. There will be two versions of the Expedition - the standard wheelbase (adds four inches to overall length, three inches in wheelbase) and Expedition Max (renamed version of the EL).
    The interior becomes a bit smarter thanks to a new dash that is borrowed from the F-150. The Expedition can seat up to eight and features a sliding second row that offers tip-and-slide functionality - allows you to enter the third row without removing a child's seat. On the tech front, the Expedition gets Sync 3, Sync connect with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility; wireless device charging in the center console, six USB ports, and the option of 4G LTE wireless internet access.
    The Expedition is sticking with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 as its only engine. Ford isn't talking power figures, but we wouldn't be shocked if it matches the F-150's 375 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. A ten-speed automatic routes power to either the rear or all four wheels. 
    The 2018 Ford Expedition will go on sale this fall in XLT, Limited, and Platinum. A base XL model will only be offered to fleets. Expect pricing and power figures sometime before then.
    Source: Ford
    Press Release is on Page 2


    ALL-NEW FORD EXPEDITION REDEFINES FULL-SIZE SUVS WITH ADAPTABLE INTERIOR, SMART TECHNOLOGY FOR EVERY OCCUPANT
    All-new Ford Expedition – the smartest, most capable and most adaptable Expedition ever – provides families generous space, connectivity and smart new technology for their next adventures Flexible seating and storage solutions include second-row tip-and-slide seating that provides easy access to the third row even when child seats are installed; new, more powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine and class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission are expected to deliver the best towing capability of any full-size SUV Ford introduces the all-new Expedition today with an assist from the Dallas Cowboys in Texas – America’s best-selling full-size SUV market; Dallas firefighters join Ford to surprise a local first responder with an all-new Expedition DALLAS, Feb. 7, 2017 – For today’s active families, Ford introduces the all-new Expedition – the smartest, most capable and most adaptable Expedition ever – with technology to keep every passenger connected, more power for drivers, and more expected towing capability than any other full-size SUV.
    The all-new Expedition makes its debut today with an assist from the Dallas Cowboys in Texas – America’s best-selling full-size SUV market.
    “When Expedition was introduced 20 years ago, it set the standard for active families who simply needed a big and strong SUV to take them places,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Today’s families want even more smart technology to help them cover more ground safely, more efficiently and more comfortably – all while staying connected to friends and family.”
    Smartest Expedition ever
    The all-new Expedition offers more driver-assist technology than any other full-size SUV.
    In addition, an all-new high-strength, aluminum-alloy body and redesigned high-strength steel frame form the foundation for Expedition’s rugged off-road and strong towing capabilities. Thanks to the use of advanced materials, the all-new Expedition saves up to 300 pounds, and the team reinvested that weight savings everywhere it counts to give customers more technology and convenience features than ever before.
    More than 40 features and driver-assist technologies new to Expedition help make the journey as enjoyable as the destination.
    These include class-exclusive enhanced active park assist to easily pull in and out of parking spots, as well as available 360-degree camera technology to help customers see more around their Expedition for easier parking.
    On the road, Expedition’s lane-keeping aid is designed to reduce unintentional drifting of the vehicle outside its intended lane, while adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go allows drivers to set a cruising speed, using radar and camera technology to monitor traffic to maintain a set distance between vehicles.
    Its collision avoidance detection system helps drivers avoid other vehicles or pedestrians, while available Blind Spot Information System helps monitor blind spots outside the driver’s immediate view.
    In addition, Expedition offers available new connectivity technologies and convenience features, including:
    Wireless charging; Expedition is Ford’s first vehicle to feature this system, which allows customers to place compatible mobile devices on an integrated charging pad conveniently located in the front center console Wi-Fi hotspot supports as many as 10 devices at once, up to 50 feet away from the vehicle Dual-headrest rear seat entertainment system provides a next-generation video experience that allows passengers to view their home cable programming on either of two video screens or hand-held devices SYNC® 3, with both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ capability, allows drivers to stay connected on the move SYNC Connect lets owners connect with the vehicle remotely using FordPass® to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle from anywhere, while also allowing access to important vehicle diagnostic information Power for passengers in every row, with four 12-volt power points, six USB chargers and a 110-volt power outlet that lets passengers stay charged and connected 12-speaker B&O PLAY premium audio system perfected by acoustic engineers for a sound experience even audiophiles will appreciate Advanced cargo manager with an adjustable shelf behind the third row lets owners create a storage space customized to whatever they’re hauling; even when parked on a hill, cargo won’t roll out the back of Expedition when the liftgate is opened Panoramic Vista Roof spans two rows, a feature not offered by any competitor Most capable Expedition ever
    Powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine with standard Auto Start-Stop plus a class-exclusive new 10-speed automatic transmission, the all-new Expedition is the most powerful Expedition ever. A newly available electronic limited-slip differential on models with Intelligent 4WD enables improved off-road capability by sending power where it’s needed.
    More than 50 percent of Expedition customers value towing, and 15 percent tow weekly or monthly. That’s why the all-new Expedition offers Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which makes backing up a trailer as easy as turning a knob.
    Plus, an available hands-free liftgate makes loading cargo easy.
    Most adaptable Expedition ever
    The all-new Expedition has a roomy, flexible interior. With seating for up to eight people and their gear, this full-size SUV makes modern family adventures more comfortable during short and long trips alike.
    The all-new Expedition is the first full-size utility to feature a sliding second-row seat with tip-and-slide functionality, providing easy access to the third row without the need to first remove a child safety seat. Once in the third row, even adults will appreciate more legroom and reclining seats.
    Expedition’s second- and third-row seats can be quickly folded flat with the push of a button to open up a cargo area wide enough to handle 4x8-foot sheets of plywood and other gear, depending on cargo weight and load distribution, even with the liftgate closed.
    Even the drive is more adaptable, with Expedition’s all-new Terrain Management System™ that lets customers choose between drive modes for optimal vehicle handling in different conditions. This includes normal for around-town driving, sport for more spirited trips, tow/haul for improved towing and hauling performance, eco for enhanced fuel economy, grass/gravel/snow for loose terrain, sand for low traction situations, and mud/rut for uneven surfaces.
    Revealed today
    The all-new Ford Expedition is being unveiled at Ford Center at The Star with Stephen Jones, Dallas Cowboys chief operating officer and executive vice president.
    Last fall, Ford and the Dallas Cowboys surprised Dallas firefighters of Station 43 by refurbishing their station. Ford is now working with both the Cowboys and the fire station to surprise a local first responder with an all-new Expedition to continue his unstoppable level of service and enable new family adventures.
    The all-new Expedition is available in XLT, Limited and Platinum series. In addition, an XL version is available for fleet customers, from law enforcement to emergency services. To help customers choose the right amount of interior room for their families, all series are available on the extended-length Expedition MAX.
    The all-new Expedition is part of Ford’s plan to grow its SUV leadership with five new vehicles for North America in the next four years.
    The all-new Expedition arrives this fall. It is built at Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. 
     

    William Maley

    Because who doesn't need a 475 horsepower three-row crossover

    Dodge has gone mad in terms of power. Case in point is the 2018 Durango SRT that will be shown this week at the Chicago Auto show. 
    Under a new hood featuring a functional scoop is a 6.4L HEMI V8 producing 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. 0-60 mph is said to take 4.4 seconds and the quarter-mile takes 12.9 seconds. If you're interested, the Durango SRT is rated to tow a max of 8,600 pounds.
    The suspension gets revised springs, a stiffer rear sway bar, and adjustable dampers. Larger Brembo brakes are hidden by a set of 20-inch wheels finished in black. There will be the choice of two Pirelli tire choices. 
    Outside, the Durango SRT looks the part with a new front fascia with a reshaped grille, additional air vents, and a revised rear fascia with dual exhausts that have been tuned to sound like the Charger 392. The interior comes with six-passenger arrangement with heavily bolstered bucket seats for the front and second row. Optional will be a hand-stitched leather dash and carbon fiber trim.
    The Durango SRT will arrive during the fourth quarter of the year.
    Source: Dodge
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Dodge Unleashes New 2018 Dodge Durango SRT: America’s Fastest, Most Powerful and Most Capable Three-Row SUV

    "Dodge Charger of the Full-size SUV Segment" Will Be First Shown at 2017 Chicago Auto Show on February 9
    New 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is the most powerful three-row SUV with its 475-horsepower legendary 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 engine Fastest and most capable three-row SUV with a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)–certified quarter-mile time of 12.9 seconds and capable of 0-60 miles per hour (mph) acceleration in 4.4 seconds Durango SRT out-hauls every three-row SUV on the road with best-in-class towing capability of 8,600 pounds New exterior performance features include wide body exterior design and functional SRT hood with center air inlet duct flanked by heat extractors, as well as a new front fascia and lower valence to house new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps Standard leather and suede, available high-performance Demonic Red Laguna leather seating and new carbon-fiber trim distinguish Durango SRT’s performance interior All customers who buy a new Durango SRT will receive one full-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will start arriving in Dodge dealerships during fourth quarter 2017 February 7, 2017, CHICAGO - The Dodge and SRT brands are rocking the high-performance automotive world once again, bringing a huge burst of American power, acceleration and best-in-class tow capability to the three-row SUV segment with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT – the fastest SUV in its class.
     
    With the proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 under its new functional SRT hood, the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque, and a wicked fast time on the drag strip – from 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in 4.4 seconds, covering the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds as certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
    “The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT – FCA North America. “This is what you get, when you take everything great about the Durango and combine it with the performance of the Charger SRT: a 12-second quarter mile, toy-hauling, three-row muscle car.”
     
    The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT will make its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 9. Vehicles will start arriving in Dodge dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2017.
    The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is loaded with performance features designed to make it America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, including:
    Proven 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 delivers 475 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque and 4.4 second 0-60 mph times New wide body exterior brings the Durango SRT together as a true performance SUV Newly designed SRT hood with a functional cold-air duct and heat extractors to cool the engine and improve overall performance Standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels New driver-oriented electronic T-shifter, standard on all 2018 Durango models, provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control New SRT seven-mode drive system gives the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort New Sport Mode reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Auto Mode and delivers up to 65 percent of the 392 HEMI engine’s torque to the rear wheels New Track Mode delivers maximum performance track driving with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience New performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set world-class performance marks Sophisticated Active Damping System opens and closes the Durango SRT’s suspension’s damper valves, according to which of the seven modes is chosen, giving the driver options for any driving style Stiffer front springs (3 percent), stiffer rear springs (16 percent) and stiffer rear sway bar (18 percent) give Durango SRT drivers outstanding high-speed cornering capability. New exhaust system tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance Dodge SRT exhaust note modeled after the Dodge Charger SRT Massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers and vented rotors at all four corners, measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear) New Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires New performance Laguna leather and carbon fiber trim offered for the first time in a Durango New interior appointments, including a hand-wrapped instrument panel with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with SRT paddle shifters, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos New 180-mph speedometer True carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels (late availability) Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo Suede-wrapped headliner and A pillars New SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome New performance AWD badging on liftgate   Performance at its core
    For the first time ever, SRT power is now available in the Dodge Durango. The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is powered by the potent 392-cubic-inch HEMI V-8 engine with Fuel Saver Technology that delivers 475 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm – providing America’s best horsepower and torque ratings and making the new Dodge Durango SRT the fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV.
    To keep the powertrain running cool and efficient in higher demand environments, a new cold-air duct provides cooler outside air into the engine. Testing has shown up to an 18-degree Fahrenheit improvement in intake air temperature, resulting in an engine that performs flawlessly on the street, racetrack or when towing a favorite trailer or toy. 
     
    Assuring maximum performance under extreme conditions, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT has been validated through rigorous 24-hour track durability testing – a testing standard that every SRT vehicle adheres to.
     
    The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides enhanced shift quality and performance drivability, as well as optimized fuel economy through its TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. This proven transmission was specifically calibrated for the Dodge Durango SRT to optimize shift points and deliver maximum torque to all four wheels. For the ultimate driver-controlled experience, the transmission can be manually shifted using the performance-inspired steering wheel paddle controls on the exclusive SRT-lit flat-bottom steering wheel.
     
    The TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission takes into account variables, including engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, tire slip and downshift detection to determine the appropriate transmission shift map. The end result is a fully adaptable performance experience.
     
    Additional parameters integrated into the control strategy include vehicle speed control, electronic stability control interaction and temperature. The result is automatic shifting that is ideally attuned to the performance requirements of any performance-oriented driving demand.
     
    When the driver downshifts, the “rev match” function uses the engine controller to blip the throttle, which provides optimal transition between gears for improved performance and greater stability when downshifting at the traction limit.
     
    When placed in “Sport Mode,” the transmission reduces shift times by up to 50 percent versus Auto Mode and delivers 65 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.
     
    Acceleration and performance handling are enhanced by transfer case proportioning and dynamic controls for the AWD system when the vehicle is in Track Mode. When in Track Mode, maximum performance track driving is achieved with 160-millisecond shifts and up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque delivered to the rear wheels for the most pronounced rear-wheel-drive experience. Durango SRT drivers will also notice a vehicle that is more responsive from mid-corner to exit.
    The new driver-oriented electronic T-shifter provides the driver with intuitive gear selection and offers an Auto Stick selector gate for added control. Drive and Sport shifting can be selected with no effect on the chosen suspension, stability control and driveline torque split settings.
     
    The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT features launch control, which mimics a professional driver’s inputs to optimize performance by bringing engine, transmission, driveline, stability control and suspension together for an optimal launch and consistent straight-line acceleration.
     
    The new exhaust system has been tuned to offer an unmistakably deep, high-performance note that is distinctive to Dodge/SRT and provides a lasting impression. To achieve this iconic exhaust tone, engineers have replaced the rear mufflers with resonators to increase overall sound level and improve tone of the true performance 2.75-inch dual exhaust system.
    Ride and handling
    The Dodge Durango SRT rides on a short- and long-arm (SLA) independent front suspension with coil springs, specially tuned Bilstein adaptive damping suspension (ADS), upper- and lower-control arms (“A” arms) and a stabilizer bar. Additional changes include 3 percent stiffer front springs, 16 percent stiffer rear springs and an 18 percent stiffer rear sway bar to provide Durango SRT drivers with outstanding high-speed cornering capability.
     
    In the rear, a specially tuned multi-link suspension design has coil spring, Bilstein ADS, aluminum lower control arm, independent upper links (tension and camber), plus a separate toe link, and a stabilizer bar.
     
    The 120-inch wheelbase allows for outstanding stability and consistency in high-speed cornering, while a new performance-tuned AWD system helps the Durango SRT set the world-class performance marks. 
     
    The Durango SRT also features the SRT seven-mode drive system, which provides the driver the ability to precisely adjust drive settings to maximize performance or comfort. Suspension, torque distribution, shift points, stability control and engine mapping are all controlled through this system. In addition to these parameters, suspension feel is controlled by a sophisticated Active Damping System that opens and closes the suspension’s damper valves according to the chosen drive mode, providing the driver with options for any driving style.
     
    The seven SRT drive modes include:
    Auto: activates automatically when starting the vehicle. Sets the suspension and steering to comfort setting and longer shift times for longer, relaxed driving conditions  Sport:  delivers increased vehicle performance capability over Auto Mode. Tightens up suspension damping and increased steering gradient feel for improved cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 23 percent in 1-4 gears and electronic stability control (ESC) allows more yaw for spirited driving Track: delivers maximum vehicle performance capability on smooth, dry surfaces. Tightens up to full hard suspension damping and steering gradient feel for maximum cornering response. In addition, shift speed increases 50 percent in 1-4 gears from Auto mode and ESC allows maximum yaw Snow: sets ideal configuration for driving in snow by setting transmission to use second gear (rather than first gear) during launches to minimize wheel slippage; stability control is set to Full-on and AWD is set to 50/50 distribution Tow: sets ideal configuration to tow a trailer by using full stability control; AWD is set to 50/50 distribution and trailer sway control is enabled in the ESC system. In addition, the Active Noise Cancelation system is automatically engaged to reduce engine noise from the high-load towing condition   Valet: engine is remapped to mimic the Dodge Charger V-6 engine’s torque and horsepower settings; transmission locks out access to first gear and upshifts earlier than normal; traction, steering and suspension are set to their Auto settings; steering wheel paddle shifters are disabled; ESC is enabled to Full-on and launch control is disabled ECO: maximizes fuel economy with a revised shift schedule, second-gear starts and extended range of the Fuel Saver Technology Standard five-spoke 20-inch “Goliath” wheels with a new “Black Noise” finish ride on Pirelli 295/45ZR20 Scorpion Verde all-season tires or available Pirelli P Zero three-season tires. Available, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels feature a new split five-spoke design also featuring the “Black Noise” finish.
    Benchmark braking
    The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT delivers excellent braking performance, requiring an estimated 115 feet to come to a full stop from 60 mph. Credit belongs to massive new Brembo high-performance six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers, and vented rotors at all four corners measuring 15 inches (front-slotted) and 13.8 inches (rear).
     
    Aggressive, functional and luxurious inside and out 
    Along with its new ultimate performance capabilities, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT provides the same combination of uncompromised utility, advanced technology and aggressive styling its well known for.
     
    Inside the refreshed cabin of the Durango SRT, new appointments include a hand-wrapped dashboard with live silver accent stitch, SRT flat-bottom performance steering wheel with standard paddle shift, heated and ventilated front and heated second-row captain’s chairs with embossed SRT logos. Nappa leather with suede inserts and silver-stitched SRT logos are standard. Demonic Red Laguna leather interior with embossed SRT logos is optional.
     
    Other luxurious touches brought to Durango for the first time in the SRT model include new Light Black Chrome center stack, HVAC, full console and door handle bezels along with two choices of decorative bezels. Standard finish is Matte Reverse Chain, and for the first time on Durango a true carbon-fiber instrument panel and door bezels will be offered (late availability). Premium velour bound floor mats with embroidered SRT logo are standard. Adding to the impact of the hand-wrapped instrument panel, the headliner and A pillars are available in Dynamica suede. 
     
    A newly designed 7-inch, thin-film transistor (TFT) customizable digital instrument gauge cluster with 180-mph speedometer allows drivers to select from a multitude of layouts and information. The class-exclusive Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen media center houses the new SRT Performance Pages along with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD radio, downloadable apps and 5-year trial of SiriusXM Travel Link and Traffic. The standard BeatsAudio premium sound system features nine speakers, subwoofer and 506-watt amplifier.
     
    On the exterior, the 2018 Dodge Durango SRT carries a SRT hood with functional center air-inlet ducts flanked by heat extractors that help to keep the engine bay cool by removing hot air from the engine compartment. A new front fascia and lower valence house the new cold-air duct and LED fog lamps. This new unique look will also include the SRT-inspired grille mesh pattern finish.
     
    New integrated wheel flares and body-color side rocker panels help provide an aggressive stance. The “392” badges flanking each fender with Bright Chrome and Metallic Grey accents differentiate the ultimate performance Durango.
     
    At the rear, a new SRT rear body-color lower fascia with Gloss Black accent surrounds the 4-inch dual round exhaust tips finished in Nickel Chrome. 
     
    The Durango SRT is also distinguished by new badging on the rear liftgate that denotes the new performance AWD system. 
     
    The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is available in 11 exterior colors, including Billet Clear Coat, Blu by Yu Pearl Coat, Bruiser Grey Clear Coat, Dark Black Clear Coat, Granite Clear Coat, Ocean Blue Pearl Coat, Octane Red Pearl Coat, Redline Pearl Coat, Sangria Metallica Clear Coat, White Knuckle Clear Coat and Vice White.  
    Safety and security
    The 2018 Dodge Durango offers consumers more than 60 available safety and security features, including standard all-speed traction control and ESC, which improve overall vehicle handling and performance both on- and off-road. Standard trailer-sway control enhances towing capabilities and keeps the vehicle and trailer aligned as the Durango travels down the road.
     
    Available safety and security features include forward collision warning with crash mitigation, adaptive cruise control with stop, Uconnect Access with 9-1-1 call and roadside assistance. Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection, which aid drivers when changing lanes or in parking lot situations. In addition, standard front-row active head restraints, standard full-length three-row side-curtain air bags and standard front-seat-mounted side thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision. In total, Durango offers seven standard airbags.

    William Maley

    Chicago will be home to the debut of the next Elantra GT

    Hyundai is teasing their showing for next week's Chicago Auto Show which happens to be the next Elantra GT. But we already have a good idea what it might look like. How? The front end is the dead giveaway since it perfectly lines up with the i30 that debuted last fall at the Paris Motor Show. 
    We can also take a possible guess as to what one of the engines could be. With the red trim and stitching on the steering wheel, this gives a hint that Hyundai will be employing the turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder from the Elantra Sport with 201 horsepower.
    We'll find if our guess is correct next Thursday. In the meantime, you can check out the Elantra GT teaser and i30 galleries below.
    Source: Hyundai
    Press Release is on Page 2


    HYUNDAI RELEASES 2018 ELANTRA GT TEASER VIDEO AND IMAGES
    FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Feb. 2, 2017 - Get ready: One week from today, join us for the debut of the all-new 2018 Elantra GT at the Chicago Auto Show. More details to come!

    William Maley

    See if you can spot the changes

    Subaru has revealed an updated version of their Legacy sedan that will make its official debut at the Chicago Auto Show next week. The obvious question being asked at the moment is what Subaru has changed. On the outside, the front grille is slightly wider and the air intakes have been slightly lowered. There is also new headlights and two color choices - Magnetite Gray Metallic and Crimson Red Pearl. Interior changes are a bit more noticeable with larger infotainment screens - 6.5-inch touchscreen as standard and 8-inch touchscreen as an option - featuring the latest version of Subaru's Starlink infotainment system. There is also real stitching on the dash, seats, and door panels for higher trim models, and the addition of gray to interior color choices.
    Under the skin of the 2018 Legacy, Subaru has retuned the suspension to reduce harshness and body roll and improved the power steering system. The 2018 Legacy should be a bit quieter as well thanks to reshaped side mirrors for less wind noise and insuliating film for the windows. Subaru hasn't messed with the Legacy's powertrains in this update. the 2.5i comes 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine producing 175 horsepower and the 3.6R uses a 3.6L boxer-six with 256 horsepower. Both come paired with a CVT and all-wheel drive.
    Subaru has bumped up the Legacy's safety creds for 2018 with reverse automatic braking, adaptive headlights, and individual tire pressure monitoring systems.
    The 2018 Legacy arrives at dealers this summer.
     
    Source: Subaru
    Press Release is on Page 2



    February 2, 2017
    SUBARU DEBUTS 2018 LEGACY AT THE CHICAGO AUTO SHOW WITH MORE ELEGANT STYLING, UPGRADED INTERIOR, NEW SAFETY FEATURES AND ADVANCED MULTIMEDIA
    Revised front and rear styling for sportier look. Redesigned interior with more premium materials. Ride made even smoother and quieter. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. New available Steering Responsive LED Headlight system. New multimedia capabilities. Cherry Hill, N.J. -  Subaru of America, Inc., which posted its eighth consecutive year of record-breaking sales, today announced that it will debut the 2018 Legacy midsize sedan at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show on February 9th. The new Legacy features revised styling and significant upgrades to comfort, safety, and multimedia capability. In addition to major changes, myriad smaller engineering and design details throughout the 2018 Legacy enhance the driving experience. The 2018 Subaru Legacy will go on sale this summer.
     
    The 2018 Legacy, the roomiest sedan in the midsize segment, is available in a 2.5i model with an efficient and responsive 175-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder BOXER engine, or, as the Legacy 3.6R with a 256-hp 3.6-liter 6-cylinder BOXER engine. Both engines come teamed as standard with the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) with manual mode and paddle shift control switches. A retuned ECU for 2018 provides the CVT with more responsive and smoother acceleration. The 2.5i will be available in standard, Premium, and Sport trims; Limited offers a choice of 2.5i or 3.6R engines. Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring are standard in all trims, making the Legacy the only midsize sedan to feature all-wheel drive as standard on all models.
     
    Already an exemplar of passenger safety, the Legacy adds to its array of driver-assist features for 2018, including available new Steering Responsive Headlights (SRH). Available in conjunction with LED headlights, SRH aims the lights into turns as the driver steers. Also for 2018, Limited models with EyeSight utilize the systems’ cameras for High Beam Assist, which automatically turn the high beams on and off depending on traffic conditions. 
     
    Sportier, Yet More Elegant Design
    The Legacy wears a sportier and more elegant look for 2018, highlighted by wider, lower grille openings and new bumper that complement the wider Subaru hexagonal grille, now with distinctive wing element. The C-shaped headlights and parking lights and new horizontal lines extending outward from the grille subtly suggest the piston motion of the BOXER engine, a Subaru core technology. The redesigned headlights now feature distinctive “Konoji” daytime LED running lights.
     
    Available LED fog lamps lend a sophisticated image. Other design details bolster the luxury-class appearance for the 2018 Legacy, including new high-contrast wheel designs and two rich new exterior colors, Magnetite Gray Metallic and Crimson Red Pearl. From the rear, the 2018 Legacy conveys a wider, more planted stance, although the car measures the same width as before. The new tailpipe design integrated into the lower fascia adds a premium touch.
     
    More Responsive and Quieter
     
    Subaru went through the Legacy chassis to make the 2018 model even more comfortable to drive, while also retuning its suspension to enhance agility and steering and brake feel. Retuned dampers reduce the initial impact of bumps while also reducing body roll through turns. Smoother, more linear response from the Electric Power Steering (EPS) and a firmer, more direct brake-pedal feel also make the Legacy more engaging to drive.
     
    Already lauded for its quiet ride, the Legacy moves another step up in cabin comfort for 2018 with further reductions from all noise sources. The Lineartronic CVT on 2.5-liter equipped cars now uses a quieter ultra-short-pitch chain, and adjustments to engine timing under acceleration further reduce powertrain noise. Reshaped exterior mirrors are among a number of enhancements that help reduce noise entering the cabin. New sound-insulating inner film glass for the front side windows makes the front seat area quieter, while thicker rear wheel well aprons reduce rear seat ambient noise.
     
    More Comfort, More Tech
     
    The 2018 Subaru Legacy debuts an interior with new premium materials and a redesigned center console with an available 8-inch display screen for enhanced multimedia capabilities. On Premium and higher trims, real stitching on the dash, seats and door panels along with high-gloss black trim and silver-color bezels for various controls enhance the high-quality feel of the Legacy cabin. A new gray interior is now available, in addition to black or ivory. The steering wheel is all new with a sportier look and feel.
     
    Subaru enhanced Legacy comfort in both large and small ways for 2018. The air conditioning system cools the cabin more quickly and provides more uniform temperature throughout the cabin. Subaru moved the temperature setting indicator to inside the control dial for more intuitive operation. As an added convenience on all models, interior power is retained for a short time after the ignition has been switched off. A redesigned clock is now larger and easier to read.
     
    SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia
     
    The 2018 Legacy gains the brand’s latest SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia system with Bluetooth wireless capability, iPod control, smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more. The top-level system includes TomTom navigation with 3 years of free map updates. Two USB power ports are added to the back of the center console for rear seat passengers’ convenience.
     
    The standard STARLINK 6.5” Multimedia system is an upgrade from the previous STARLINK 6.2” system and offers quicker performance. The available STARLINK 8.0” system debuts a new 8-inch central display that uses a faster CPU to greatly increase startup speed, giving the touch screen a more smartphone-like operation and feel. More smartphone-linked operations improve the multimedia experience while reducing the need to divert eyes from the road or hands from the steering wheel.
     
    The use of two microphones and Technology by Nuance (maker of Dragon Dictation apps for PCs and other devices) significantly improves the voice recognition capabilities. The driver can more easily use Apple Siri or OK Google voice commands. The system is also compatible with multiple languages.
     
    Among standard features on all SUBARU STARLINK systems are Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod control, a USB port and auxiliary input jack. High-line trims add more features, including dual USB ports. Smartphone integration features Aha and Pandora, along with STARLINK cloud applications iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Calendar, Music Player, News and Weather.
     
    Apps added for 2018 include:
    Magellan NAVI offers advanced cloud-based mapping eBird advises of local bird sightings and locations Best Parking locates and compares parking rates   YELP delivers crowd sourced reviews of businesses Glympse provides real-time location sharing RightTrack monitors driving habits and recommends improvements Quick Guide is a digital reference guide for the vehicle eventseeker provides information on local events The new Legacy STARLINK Multimedia systems are also compatible with OTA (Over the Air) updates using WiFi.
      
    Safety Leader with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology 
    The Subaru Legacy builds on its long record as a safety standout for 2018, with Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB) and newly available Steering Responsive Headlight (SRH) system. RAB can detect objects in vehicle’s path and convey audible warnings to the driver, including showing distance and position of the object in the center display screen.
     
    Also new for 2018, the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) now detects pressure changes at each tire. The Blind Spot Detection/Rear Cross Traffic Alert indicator lamp is larger and has been moved from the mirror surface to the side of the mirror. In highline trims, redesigned LED turn signals in the mirrors are easier for other drivers to see.
    All Legacy trim lines come standard with a rear-view camera. New for 2018, when reversing, the guidelines displayed on the screen move in sync with the steering to provide more accurate vehicle positioning.
     
    The brand’s available award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, available on most trims, includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking, Vehicle Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist. Models with EyeSight also come with Blind Spot Detection/Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which includes Lane Change Assist.  For 2018, all Legacy models are equipped with Incline Start Assist and the electronic Hill Holder System that holds the vehicle in place until the driver applies the throttle.
     
    The 2018 Subaru Legacy also helps take care of personal security. Standard Welcome Lighting automatically operates cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the vehicle. New for 2018 are automatic locking doors. Subaru also made child seat installation easier in the 2018 Legacy with improved LATCH anchors.
     
    Two Levels of SUBARU BOXER Power
    The Legacy 2.5i is powered by a 175-hp double overhead cam (DOHC) 2.5-liter BOXER engine that produces 174 lb-ft peak torque. The Active Grille Shutter system helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance. The DOHC 3.6-liter 6-cylinder BOXER engine in the Legacy 3.6R produces 256 hp and 247 lb-ft of peak torque, sustaining 90 percent of peak torque from 2,000-6,000 rpm for exceptional response at all vehicle speeds.
     
    In all Legacy models, Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is an active AWD system that uses an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch to actively manage torque distribution based on acceleration, deceleration and available traction. The system automatically directs up to 100 percent of available torque to the wheels with the best grip.
     
    SUBARU STARLINK Connected Services
    Two SUBARU STARLINK packages are available and are among the most affordable in the industry. The STARLINK Safety Plus package, which is complimentary for the first year and $99 per year after that, includes SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Maintenance Notifications, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and Diagnostic Alerts. For even greater peace of mind, the STARLINK Safety Plus & Security Plus Package adds Stolen Vehicle Recovery Service, Vehicle Security Alarm Notification, Remote Lock/Unlock, Remote Horn and Lights and Remote Vehicle Locator.

    William Maley

    Back with A Vengence

    When Toyota redesigned the Tacoma last year, we wondered if a TRD Pro version would be coming as well. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota revealed the 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro.
     
    The Tacoma TRD Pro begins with the suspension as Toyota has added a set of FOX 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks, TRD front springs that raise the ride height by an inch, and a set of progressive-rate off-road leaf springs. The four-wheel drive system comes with a limited-slip differential, Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select. A set Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires come with a set of sixteen-inch TRD wheels.
     
    Power comes from a 3.5L 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. There is a choice between a six-speed manual or automatic.
     
    Outside, the Tacoma TRD Pro comes with the old school TOYOTA emblem on the grille, TRD Pro badging finished in black, hood scoop, and a skid plate. Inside are a set of leather seats with the TRD logo embroidered, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Toyota's Entune infotainment system with navigation, and a mount for a GoPro camera.
     
    The Tacoma TRD Pro arrives at dealers this fall.
     
    Source: Toyota
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro - - Dirtier Than Ever!
    Toyota Kicks Up More Dust with the Debut of the Newest Tacoma TRD Pro Off-Road Pickup

    CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2016 - - Whether tackling treacherous snow-covered terrain, driving off the beaten path, or surviving extreme conditions where roads fear to tread, the adrenaline-pumping TRD Pro Series from Toyota is up for any challenge. Two years ago, the TRD Pro Series arose from Toyota’s storied off-road racing heritage, with its numerous victories in the grueling Baja off-road endurance races. Born from this experience, the Toyota TRD Pro Series Tacoma, Tundra, and 4Runner have helped serious off-roaders go places they never dreamed possible.
     

    This fall, the Toyota Tacoma will rejoin the 2017 model year TRD Pro family with all-new factory-installed off-road equipment designed by the experts at Toyota Racing Development (TRD) to make it even more off-road capable than before.
     
    Aimed squarely at extreme off-roading enthusiasts who challenge themselves and their trucks and SUV’s in some of the harshest conditions, the new 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro will raise the bar on TRD Pro performance. Courtesy of TRD, the new Tacoma TRD Pro will add an array of new performance equipment and features, making this a truly second-generation TRD Pro product, and the new benchmark for challenging off-road terrain.
     
    Extreme Exterior for Extreme Performance
    The 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro is designed to not only look tough, but to perform in the toughest off-road environment. Based on the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4x4 Double Cab Short Bed model in either 6-speed manual (with clutch start-cancel switch) or 6-speed automatic transmission, the new Tacoma TRD Pro will be available in three exterior colors: Cement, Barcelona Red Metallic, and Super White. The exterior of each Tacoma TRD Pro model will also include:
    16-inch TRD black alloy wheels with Goodyear Wrangler® All-Terrain Kevlar®-reinforced tires TRD Pro aluminum front skid plate Rigid Industries® LED fog lights Projector-beam headlights with black bezels, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and auto on/off feature Taillights with black bezels TRD Pro badge on front door with diamond-pattern knurled finish Black TRD Pro and 4x4 rear tailgate badging

    Each Tacoma TRD Pro will also come equipped with a heritage-inspired TOYOTA front grille with color-keyed surround, blacked out hood scoop and graphic, color-keyed power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, color-keyed door handles, black overfenders, and a color-keyed rear bumper.
     

    Interior Sportiness Combined with Convenience Technology
    Driving a sporty package in rugged off-road conditions does not mean you can’t ride in comfort and with the latest safety and convenience technologies. The new Tacoma TRD Pro combines sportiness and convenience with standard features that include:
    Black TRD Pro leather-trimmed heated front seats with TRD Pro logo located in the headrest 4-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and 4-way adjustable front passenger seat Entune™ Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite TRD shift knob TRD Pro floor mats Leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth® hands-free phone controls Rear parking assist sonar Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)

    The new Tacoma TRD Pro also includes an analog instrumentation that features a 4.2-inch color Multi-Information Display (MID) with an integrated inclinometer and tilt gauge. The MID also adds outside temperature, odometer, tripmeters, and average fuel economy.
     

    As in all Tacoma models, a GoPro® mount is located on the windshield for serious off-roaders who like to document their exploits with GoPro® HERO cameras.
     
    Pro Performance
    The new 2017 Tacoma TRD Pro continues to be all about off-road performance as it strives to raise the bar from the original. The Tacoma TRD Pro will be powered by a 3.5-Liter V6 DOHC 24-valve direct-injection Atkinson-cycle engine with VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) intake and VVT-I exhaust.
     
    Tacoma TRD Pro really earns its off-road cred through its TRD-installed suspension and exhaust enhancements that include:
    FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass shocks tuned by TRD TRD-tuned front springs with a 1-inch lift TRD-tuned rear suspension with progressive-rate off-road leaf spring

    Every Tacoma TRD Pro will be equipped with 4WDemand part-time 4WD with a transfer case and Automatic Limited-Slip Differential (Auto LSD) that are both electronically-controlled. Also standard will be a V6 Tow Package that includes a Class-IV towing receiver hitch, ATF cooler (automatic only), engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, 4- and 7-pin connector with convertor, and Trailer-Sway Control (TSC).
     

    An electronically controlled locking rear differential is also standard to help distribute engine power evenly to both rear wheels so they move at the same speed, providing more grip in low-traction conditions.
     
    When the trail gets challenging, Tacoma TRD Pro’s Crawl Control (CRAWL) will help drivers conquer their off-road adventure. Equipped on automatics only, this advanced system automatically modulates the throttle and brakes on five low-speed settings so you can keep your focus on navigating across difficult terrain.
     
    Equipped on Tacoma TRD Pro automatic is the Toyota Multi-terrain Select system. With five modes to choose from, the system helps regulate wheel spin by automatically adjusting the engine throttle and traction control. When combined with the standard Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires with tough Kevlar construction, Multi-terrain Select helps enhance traction dramatically, meaning you can get back to the fun more quickly.
     
    Tacoma TRD Pro’s Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), equipped on automatic transmission models only, helps you safely get up those hills. This technology helps minimize Tacoma from rolling backward when you move your foot from the brake to the gas pedal, so you can move upward with confidence.
     
    The added traction of 4WD is great, but with Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), it’s even better! Equipped only on the Tacoma TRD Pro manual, A-TRAC is a 4WD traction control system that uses the 4-channel ABS system to control power flow to the front and rear wheels, all without cutting throttle input, to help make traction no matter where you may be.

    William Maley

    Finally! Nissan Talks About the Half-Ton Titan

    We have been waiting very patiently for Nissan to give us any information on the Titan half-ton and today at the Chicago Auto Show, they did just that.
     
    In terms of design, it is hard to tell the difference between the half-ton and the XD models. Where the differences are apparent is in the chassis. The Titan's overall length measures out to 228.1-inches long, about 11.8-inches shorter than the XD's. Wheelbase and height are also shorter than the XD. Interestingly, both the Titan and Titan XD have the same width - 79.5 inches.
     
    When the Titan goes on sale this summer, Nissan will offer three cab options (single, king, and crew) and three bed lengths (5.5, 6.5, and 8 feet). A V6 will be the base engine (details will be announced at a later date), and 5.6L Endurance V8 with 390 horsepower and 401 pound-feet will be optional. A seven-speed automatic will be bolted to the V8.
     
    Source: Nissan
     

     
    You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here.
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    Nissan releases details of upcoming all-new, half-ton TITAN pickup at Chicago Auto Show
    Half-ton truck fills out TITAN lineup; goes on sale in summer 2016

    CHICAGO – Now that the all-new flagship XD model of Nissan's reimagined TITAN family of pickups is on dealer lots, Nissan is turning its attention to the upcoming "standard" (half-ton) version of TITAN at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show with a special photography release.
     
    "There's a strong family resemblance between TITAN XD and the standard TITAN, with their shared rugged exterior style," said Rich Miller, Director of Product Planning for Trucks, SUVs and Commercial Vehicles, Nissan North America, Inc. and Chief Product Specialist for TITAN and TITAN XD. "TITAN will compete in the heart of the full-size pickup segment – the half-ton – while the TITAN XD provides a unique solution for customers by bridging the cost and capability gap between traditional half-ton and full heavy-duty pickups. Together TITAN and TITAN XD will cover nearly 85 percent of the total full-size truck market."
     
    TITAN is built on a separate chassis from TITAN XD, and is approximately 228.1 inches long (14.7 inches less than XD) and 79.5 inches wide (same as XD), with the cab size shared between the two vehicles. "The TITAN and TITAN XD do not share any common chassis components," added Miller. "Even the lug nuts are different."
     
    TITAN will be available in 4x2 or 4x4 drive configurations with three cabin configurations – Crew Cab, King Cab and Single cab – and three bed lengths – 5.5, 6.5 and 8 feet. Similar to TITAN XD, TITAN will be available in five trim levels – S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve.
     
    The TITAN will be powered by Nissan's 5.6-liter Endurance® V8 gasoline engine capable of 390 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine will be mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. A V6 gasoline engine will also be available (details to be announced at a later date).
     
    The Nissan TITAN will be assembled in Canton, Mississippi with the 5.6-liter V8 gasoline assembled in Decherd, Tennessee. The truck goes on sale in summer 2016.

    Drew Dowdell

    One of the brawniest off-roaders on the market gets a refresh

    The Ram Power Wagon is one of the most capable off-road trucks on the market today. For 2017, RAM has redesigned the Power Wagon.
     
    The Ram gains the Ram 1500 Rebel grille, enlarging it for 2500 use. Six colors will be available along with additional custom colors and graphics. Inside, the seats get a tire tread pattern that matches the tread pattern of the 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires.
     
    But what matters most on the Power Wagon is the hardware you can't see. Motive power comes from a standard 6.4 liter Hemi V8 with 410 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. Properly equipped, that allows the Power Wagon to tow 10,030 lbs.
     
    The front suspension has Ram's Articulink system that has high movement joints and sway-bar disconnect that allows for extra axle movement during crawling maneuvers.
     
    For those who want the Power Wagon without all of the flashy graphics and paint, a Power Wagon Tradesman will be available in more subdued colors and with the standard Ram cross-hair grille, but with all of the same hardware under the covers.
     
    You can get the rest of the details on the hardware aspects of the Power Wagon on Page 2.
     

     

     

    New 2017 Ram Power Wagon – The Ultimate Off-road Truck Benefits From New Design
    New 2017 Ram Power Wagon front grille design styling super-sizes Ram 1500 Rebel Tops Ram – “The Off-road Truck Leader” – 4x4 lineup New colors, lighting, wheels, grilles and legacy graphic takes cues from 1979-80 “Macho Power Wagon” New interior colors and materials, including Diesel Gray and Black seats with tire tread-matching pattern Unique 17-inch wheels and 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires pull dirt from its comfort zone Standard 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with best-in-class 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque features unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/60,000 miles Unique Ram “Articulink” front suspension system incorporates high movement joints and sway-bar disconnecting system, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation Ram engineering continues to lead heavy-duty segment innovation with five-link coil rear suspension to deliver best-in-class ride and superior axle control Ram Power Wagon features standard front and rear electronic-locking differentials for true four-wheel drive and maximum traction Standard Warn 12,000-lb. electric winch mounted behind the front bumper, able to hang competitors off the ground Power Wagon available in Tradesman trim and design Up to 10,030 pounds of towing capacity Introduced in 1945, Power Wagon was first mass-production 4x4 pickup — simply no other pickup on the market matches Power Wagon’s on- and off-road capability

    February 11, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Ram Truck continues to build the best pickups. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel delivers the industry’s best fuel economy at 29 miles per gallon (mpg). Ram’s Heavy Duty truck line owns best-in-class towing at 31,210 pounds and best-in-class torque at 900 lb.-ft., but Ram Truck has held one title longer than any production pickup: the most off-road-capable. Engineered to conquer the great outdoors, the 2017 Ram Power Wagon receives all-new exterior and interior design elements to match its aggressive behavior and off-road biased lifestyle.
     
    For 2017, Power Wagon will top a lineup of off-road trucks that includes Rebel and the 4x4 Off-road Package and will support the Ram brand’s claim to being the off-road truck leader.
     
    Based on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4x4 Crew Cab, the Power Wagon features a number of off-road-specific enhancements, including a unique suspension with more than two inches of lift, locking differentials and a 12,000-lb. winch, giving this beast a significant advantage over all production pickups.

    “The Ram Power Wagon is an off-road, all-access pass, removing the limitations, instilling confidence and allowing owners to reach areas of recreation and lifestyle not attainable with any other pickup,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand and Ram Brand, FCA - Global. “The 2017 Ram Power Wagon delivers to those who travel into extreme terrain, while providing the towing and payload capability required in a heavy-duty truck.”

    The 2017 Ram Power Wagon engineering efforts include a best-in-class 410 horsepower, 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 engine.

    “Dating back to 1945, the Ram Power Wagon’s heritage holds a distinctive position in the Ram Truck lineup as an example of engineering innovation and off-road capability,” said Rob Wichman, Director – Ram Truck Engineering. “For 2017, the Power Wagon’s best-in-class, can-do toughness is matched by can’t-stop-me looks.”
     
    The Power Wagon nameplate was initially produced from 1945 through 1980. Early trucks were based on the Weapons Carrier (WC) series of Dodge ¾-ton military-use trucks built during World War II. The Power Wagon went on to become a well-known civilian vehicle. The iconic truck was reintroduced in 2005 and now exists as an independent model in the Ram Truck lineup.

    Exterior Design
    The 2017 Ram Power Wagon backs up its “ultimate off-road truck” claim with a new exterior design that leaves little doubt as to its capabilities.
     
    Similar to the Ram 1500 Rebel, the new Power Wagon has an all-new grille with a prominent Billet Silver “RAM” letter badge. The larger blacked-out grille is bookended by Black bezel bi-functional projector headlamps with LED marker lights. The vent-stamped hood also includes a Gloss Black graphic, which occupies mid-hood to the windshield.
     
    Truck color dictates the Power Wagon’s graphic features. While the optional two-tone, lower Black paint is carryover, the design team pulled a popular graphic from the late 1970s for the profile. The 2017 model receives a thick vertical stripe aft of the cab with “Power Wagon” in a large rotated font, paying tribute to an admired design from 36 years ago and providing quick identification of the Power Wagon model. The optional graphics come in two slightly different color variations, depending on vehicle paint. Bright White, Flame Red, Bright Silver, Blue Streak and Granite Crystal receive Gloss Black graphics, where Black Power Wagon’s are covered in Bright Silver graphics.
     
    Front and rear bumpers receive a healthy dose of powder coating. The bold front bumper effectively hides a Warn 12,000-lb. winch, roller fairlead and 125 feet of line with nothing visible except a single heavy gauge steel cable and dozer-size hook that attaches to one of the two massive front tow hooks. All-new and unique to Power Wagon, the 17-inch forged, multi-surface aluminum wheels with Silver outer and Matte Black inner are bound in 33-inch tires and feature exposed lug nuts with a small center cap.
     
    The blacked-out theme continues on the flanks, where wheel-arch moldings, badges, mirrors and lower body panels create a distinctive appearance.
     
    Continuing around to the rearview is a 324-point bold original font “RAM”-stamped tailgate with blacked-out lettering. The Power Wagon Gloss Black graphics meld with the Black powder-coated rear bumper and Black bezel tail lamp housings. A black “Power Wagon” decal crosses the bottom of the tailgate.
     
    The 2017 Power Wagon includes an optional backup camera in the tailgate, providing a better field of vision when maneuvering. Also optional is Ram’s exclusive cargo-view camera. This unique view allows owners to monitor bed loads without turning around. A touch screen toggles your choice on the Uconnect 8.4, alternating the view from tailgate to truck bed. Additionally, a new optional tri-fold tonneau cover is embossed with the Ram logo.

    The Power Wagon also is available as a Tradesman Crew Cab 4x4 model. Although this option does not include the same interior and exterior design elements, it does include the same unique off-road equipment, including the winch, lockers, larger tires, electronic disconnecting sway bar, suspension and under-body armor. Monotone paint covers this package. The grille-surround and inserts are from the Tradesman model and are colored Black as are the headlamp filler panels and wheel flares.
     
    Interior Design
    The new Power Wagon is available in a choice of two interiors and offers a uniquely designed cabin that focuses on function with flair. Major upgrades to touch points and wrapped and stitched surfaces are evident from the previous year.
     
    The Power Wagon’s interior has been upgraded with unique technical grain seats finished in Diesel Gray and Black with Sedoso fabric inserts embossed with the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tire tread pattern, matching the Power Wagon’s actual footprint. Front seats with heated option feature Light Slate Gray accent stitching and Ram logo embroidery on the headrests and Black with Light Diesel Gray Power Wagon nameplate affixed to the upper seat bolsters.
     
    A premium trim option steps up to leather seats with Power Wagon and Ram logos tastefully embroidered on the bolsters and Ram logos on the sides of the headrests. Matching Slate Gray stitching gives the material connection points a clean, detailed appearance. Ambient lighting brightens overhead, door panels and foot wells to complete the upscale atmosphere.

    Both trims share an all-Black instrument panel, door armrests and 20 percent seat console armrest cover, which are accented in Light Slate Gray stitching.
     
    The 7-inch center cluster uses “Power Wagon” startup graphics, which complement the 8.4-inch Uconnect backdrop screen featuring an off-road theme.
     
    The center stack and doors are finished in Iron Gray Metallic paint, giving a cast-iron appearance and adding industrial color of a serious nature to the interior. Satin Chrome vent rings outline air output points and the cluster.
     
    The steering wheel is wrapped with semi-perforated Black leather with an available heat feature, accented with Slate Gray X-stitches, and the upper glove box door and cluster are finished with a Power Wagon nameplate badge.

    On the floor, “deep dish” all-weather rubber mats with contrasting Diesel Gray Ram’s head logo help contain dirt, snow and debris.

    Overhead, a new Black headliner and matching upper pillars finish out the alterations of the 2017 Power Wagon interior.
     
    Powertrain
    Undeniable numbers tell the best-in-class story of the standard 6.4-liter HEMI 16-valve V-8 engine: 410 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and a peak torque rating of 429 lb.-ft. (582 N•m) at 4,000 rpm. The engine calibration is unique to Power Wagon to enhance its off-road maneuverability and finesse. When driving in four-wheel-drive "Low," the throttle response softens and the idle speed increases by 100 rpm (from 650 to 750 rpm) – providing added control when ascending and descending off-road obstacles at slow speeds.

    The legendary HEMI architecture provides the foundation of the 90-degree V-8 engine. But its advanced technology is decidedly forward-looking. Cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) delivers greater efficiency and elevated refinement. These attributes are manifested in reduced pumping losses and lower emissions. Pumping losses are further reduced by variable-valve timing (VVT). Efficiency is a hallmark of the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8, starting with the company’s Fuel Saver cylinder-deactivation technology. When conditions allow, as in highway cruising, the system seamlessly shuts down four cylinders to conserve fuel. The engine features an active dual-runner-length intake manifold optimized specifically for the Ram Heavy Duty lineup. The result is improved low-end torque without sacrificing high-end power.
     
    Efficiency is further reflected in a revised positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system, which is integrated in the intake manifold. The resulting benefit is improved oil efficiency.
     
    Heat is the enemy of durability. But the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 includes such features as:
    Robust/high-volume oil cooler Oil jets for piston cooling Aircraft grade, stainless steel gaskets and fasteners for improved durability at high temperatures
    In addition, computational fluid dynamics was employed to optimize the cooling circuit in the block, heads and water pump. With upgraded valve-seat material to fight wear, and anchored by a cast-iron block, aluminum cylinder heads and forged-steel crankshaft, it is little wonder the 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 boasts a five-year / 60,000-mile warranty.

    The 6.4-liter HEMI is offered with the 66RFE six-speed automatic transmission and connects to a part-time, manual-engagement Borg Warner BW 44-47 transfer case. Hill-descent Control allows drivers to control Power Wagon’s speed down steep, rugged grades with the buttons on the column shifter – without the need for throttle or brake pedals.
     
    The Power Wagon’s axles are the pinnacle of durability. Built by American Axle Manufacturing, the units measure 9.25 inches in the front and 11.5 inches in the rear (an increase from 10.5 inches), delivering power via a 4.10:1 ring and pinion ratio. Robust rear axle shafts are upgraded to 38 mm, providing rotating force directly to the 33-inch tire/wheel combination. Both axles include electronic-locking differentials driven by electro-magnetic actuators. All Ram Heavy Duty trucks incorporate a segment-exclusive, front-axle disconnect system. When conditions warrant, front drivetrain components are disconnected to reduce parasitic loss and improve overall efficiency. The system provides a gain in fuel efficiency of up to 1 mpg.
     
    Additional axle data: FRONT REAR 9.25 AAM 11.5 AAM Front pinion: 98.3 mm Rear pinion: 121.3 mm Front ring gear: 235 mm (9.25 inches) Rear ring gear: 292 mm (11.5 inches) Front axle shaft diameter: 35 mm Rear axle shaft diameter: 38 mm
    Crawl ratio - 3.23 (1st gear ratio) * 2.64 (transfer case ratio) * 4.10 (axle ratio) = 35:1
     
    Suspension
    The 2017 Ram Power Wagon features a specifically designed suspension system, including Bilstein shocks, modified control arms, spring rates and more than two inches of lift.

    In the front, the entire Ram Heavy Duty line features an advanced three-link front suspension to ensure roll stiffness. Greater roll stiffness reduces body roll or lean, and is an important characteristic in taller vehicles and especially trucks with heavy payloads. Roll stiffness is measured by the amount the truck’s body tips side-to-side, independently of the wheels, during cornering.

    The Ram Power Wagon packages a unique-to-model design of the standard three-link suspension system with Bilstein monotube shocks. The Ram Articulink design incorporates high movement joints at the control-arm-to-axle mount, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation.

    Additional suspension flex is achieved via the class-exclusive electronic disconnecting sway bar, which allows the front axle to move more independently of the truck’s frame. The driver-actuated "Smart Bar" disengagement is possible in both four-wheel-drive "High" or four-wheel-drive "Low" at speeds below 18 miles per hour (mph). As a safety feature, the Smart Bar automatically re-engages at speeds above 18 mph, increasing roll stiffness.

    Heavy Duty trucks generally have a rear suspension equipped for constant, heavy payloads. This usually leads to a harsher ride when unloaded. Ram innovation leads again. All Ram 2500 Heavy Duty trucks, including the Power Wagon, use a segment-exclusive five-link coil rear suspension system for best-in-class ride and handling.
     
    The exclusive five-link coil design provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf spring system and the robust coil springs are more than up to the task of handling heavy payloads. Although the 2017 Ram Power Wagon is loaded with off-road components, owners will appreciate a payload of up to 1,510 pounds and a towing capacity of up to 10,030 pounds.

    The five-link coil design provides support at all major points of force. Leaf spring suspensions struggle to combat axle wrap by using staggered shock absorbers (one mounted on the front of the axle tube and one mounted on the rear of the axle tube). The superior design of the five-link coil system functionally resists unwanted axle rotation. Leaf spring configurations also lack lateral support, forcing the leaf ends and shackles to hold against lateral loads — a task they're not particularly good at and one reason the competitive leaf-sprung rear suspensions shutter on rough surfaces.
     
    Because of the unique five-link axle control and natural rotation, U-joints in the driveshaft run smoothly and with less vibration through the suspension’s range of motion, an advantage not shared with leaf springs. Another benefit of coil springs is less unsprung mass and elimination of stick-slip friction found between the leaf springs. Additionally, links are engineered in-line with frame rails, so overall packaging is better, not to mention an overall weight reduction of more than 40 pounds when compared to a leaf-spring configuration.

    The rear suspension also includes Bilstein monotube shocks, and a Bilstein dampener links the top of the rear axle to the frame, providing additional control – bringing the Ram Power Wagon far beyond what competitors offer for axle control.

    The 2017 Ram Power Wagon's combined axle and suspension package adds to greater suspension articulation, a determining factor when negotiating extreme obstacles. With Smart Bar engaged, the Ram Power Wagon reaches a Ramp Travel Index (RTI - a measurement of a vehicle's suspension articulation) of 510 (26 inches of travel).

    Ground Clearance and Protection
    Power Wagon provides optimal balance between on-road civility and off-road capability with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, which feature a beefy tread pattern to help grab ledges along the trail and deliver optimum traction through sand, mud and snow — a workhorse tire for rugged off-road terrain that still offers a quieter ride on paved roads.
     
    Larger tires and a suspension lift contribute to the Power Wagon’s 14.3-inch ground clearance, compared to 12 inches on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty. The truck’s approach angle is boosted to 33.6 degrees, the departure angle is increased to 26.2 degrees and the breakover angle is enhanced to 23.5 degrees. This gives the Ram Power Wagon significant clearance for navigating a variety of severe inclines and declines, as well as providing up to 30 inches of water-fording capability.

    Underneath the 2017 Ram Power Wagon are generous underbody protection components. Fore-aft bars bring together the transfer case and fuel tank skid plates, resulting in armor that minimizes underside damage and rock wedging.
     
    Frame
    Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature frames built with high-strength 50,000 psi steel, including eight separate cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength and mass efficiency. Chassis controls on the Ram Heavy Duty models ensure outstanding noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measurements and ride-and-handling characteristics.
     
    A large plated-structure interface to the frame brings a lengthened weld surface creating a stiff, robust front section. The design ensures optimum mass efficiency with no need for reinforcements to deliver strength, despite shape complexity. Center frame rail sections are roll-formed, an efficient means for maintaining consistent strength in less complex longitudinal sections. In the rear portion of the new frame, the structure includes fully boxed rear rails and offers a factory-installed rear axle cross-member.
     
    Steering
    The hydraulic steering system features recirculating ball steering gear, which delivers precise on-center feel, despite the vehicles immense towing and payload capacities.
     
    Brakes
    Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all 2017 Ram Heavy Duty Truck models. Front rotors measure 14.17 inches (373 mm) in diameter and are clamped with dual-piston calipers; rear rotors are 14.09 inches (356 mm) also use dual-piston calipers. All Ram Heavy Duty trucks feature standard four-channel electronic stability control (ESC).
     
    Body
    The Ram Heavy Duty is equipped with robust engine, transmission and body mounts, including pioneering hydro-mounts at the C-pillar positions for class-leading noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics, despite the truck’s aptitude for higher payloads and towing.
     
    The Power Wagon features a standard Class 5 receiver hitch with four- and seven-pin connectors on the bumper. A tailgate handle-mounted, high-definition rear backup camera system is available with dynamic imaging in the 8.4-inch display. Also, an optional cargo-view camera located in the center high-mounted stop lamp (CHMSL) provides a view of the bed for monitoring payload.
     
    Electrical
    As the Ram Truck Brand continues to offer more featured content, it’s created the need for a technology that allows more information to be electronically communicated within the truck. The Powernet electrical architecture system allows both high and low-speed data networks to be equipped with as many as 40 individual modules, all designed to improve vehicle performance and enhance the comfort and safety of driver and passengers. Within the Powernet high-speed network, each module (e.g., electronic stability control) processes its individual data and transmits the appropriate commands within the vehicle to activate any additional systems (e.g. anti-lock brake system and cruise control).
     
    A majority of the commercial truck customers need to tie into the electrical system and certain fleet customers require access to vehicle information to even be considered, especially ambulance packages and some utility companies. A best-in-class vehicle system interface module (VSIM) is capable of communicating between aftermarket modules and various factory control modules. The VSIM upfitter interface module features a total of 53 circuits, including lighting controls, door position, and throttle and transmission position. The class exclusive module acts as a secure gateway to the vehicles’ electrical systems and data bus architecture to enable safe, secure plug and play connectivity for upfitter friendliness.
     
    The 2017 Ram Heavy Duty is equipped with intelligent battery sensor technology, which continually measures the flow of current in and out of the battery. The system is an enabler for intelligent load shedding, systematically shutting off select electrical systems onboard the vehicle when the battery is running low, to help prevent further depleting the battery.
     
    The new Power Wagon offers a dual-alternator system – the first of its kind for 3/4- and 1-ton pickup trucks with gas powertrains – combining 220- and 160-amp units for 380-amps of total best-in-class output.
     
    Additional features
    Ram Power Wagon customers can enjoy the convenience of power folding mirrors and power rear-sliding window with defrost. Also, one-touch, central locking includes the RamBox cargo management system and tailgate power locks, creating a convenient solution for locking all exterior doors and storage lids. Spray-in bedliner, LED bedlighting, front and rear park-assist system, power-adjustable pedals and remote start also are available, adding to a truckload of content.
     
    Total cost of ownership and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty
    The 2017 Ram Power Wagon is backed with a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. The powertrain-limited warranty covers the cost of all parts and labor needed to repair a covered powertrain component – engine, transmission and drive system. Coverage also includes free towing to the nearest Ram Truck dealer, if necessary. The warranty also is transferable allowing customers who sell their truck during the warranty period to pass the coverage on to the new owner. The standard three-year/36,000-mile basic limited warranty provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for the Ram Power Wagon, from the body to the electrical system.
     
    Manufacturing
    The 2017 Ram Power Wagon is built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico and will be available in the fourth quarter of 2016.
     
    Power Wagon history – America’s first mass-produced civilian 4x4 truck
    After World War II, G.I.s returning home wrote to Dodge and asked, "Where can we get a truck like the ones we used in the war?" Dodge responded by building the Power Wagon. Virtually unchanged from its introduction in 1945, Power Wagons first appeared on the civilian market in 1946 as the model WDX. The truck was similar in design to the ¾-ton military weapons carrier, with a 126-inch wheelbase and closed cab. The model designations changed over the years, but the Power Wagon was offered only as a 1-ton truck through 1968.

    The original Power Wagon featured a 230 cubic-inch flathead six engine, a two-speed transfer case, a four-speed transmission with a power take-off opening, which would send power to the front and back of the truck for operating auxiliary equipment and big 9.00/16-8 ply tires on 16x6-inch five-stud wheels. The 1-ton rated Power Wagon's maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) was 8,700 pounds. Its maximum payload was 3,000 pounds.

    A pickup box was designed that measured 8 x 4.5 feet. Dodge factory-built this four-wheel drive truck over a year-and-a-half before the Willys 4T and 10 years before other manufacturers began producing 4x4 trucks, making it the first mass-produced civilian 4x4 truck. The 1947 WDX featured such amenities as electric wipers, a single driver's sun visor and armrest, dome light, a heater and 10,000-lb. winch.

    In 1957, Dodge introduced another line of four-wheel-drive trucks, also known as Power Wagons, with the model designations W100, W200, W300 and W500. More conventional in styling, these Power Wagons were available with different engines, including V-8s. The body transitioned in 1972 through 1980 with a number of identifiable grilles and paint schemes. Utility and function was not challenged by the few competitors in the segment, as the towing, payload, and snow plowing capacity of the Power Wagon equipped with "Dana 60" eight-lug axles was the “King of Durability.”

    After the 1980 model year, the Power Wagon went out of production with the introduction of the Dodge Ram, with the four-wheel-drive models being sold under the "Power Ram" nameplate through 1993. The Power Wagon nameplate was reintroduced in 2005, where it continues to hold the top spot in pickup truck off-road capability.

    William Maley

    A Mercedes-Benz for the workin' man or woman

    Mercedes-Benz might not be the first or possibly fifth thought when it comes to cargo vans. But the German automaker has been selling their Sprinter since 2001 (when it was called the Dodge Sprinter). But there is one problem with the Sprinter, to get into one, you need to pony up $37,490 just to get into the base model.
     
    Mercedes has decided to fix this with the introduction of the Sprinter Worker, a base model aimed at small business or commerical buyers. With a starting price-tag of $33,490 (includes a $995 destination charge), the Worker undercuts the standard Sprinter by $4,000. It also undercuts the Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit vans when equipped with a diesel. Now it should be noted that the ProMaster and Transit are less than the Sprinter worker when equipped with the standard gas engine.
     
    The Worker only comes in a 144-inch wheelbase and low-roof configuration. Power comes from a 2.1L turbodiesel four with 161 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed automatic. Mercedes says the Sprinter Worker can tow up to 5,000 lbs, has a max payload capacity of 3,512 pounds, and can hold 319 cubic feet of stuff.
     
    Standard equipment includes power windows, air conditioning, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, four-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and Mercedes' Crosswind Assist to keep the van in control during high-wind conditions.
     
    The Sprinter Worker will go on sale at Mercedes-Benz Van dealers later this year.
     
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
     

     
    You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here.
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Sprinter Expands Portfolio with the Affordable WORKER Model
     
    February 11, 2016 - Atlanta
     
    Mercedes-Benz Vans is pleased to announce the expansion of the Sprinter portfolio by debuting the WORKER model, which goes on sale in Spring 2016. Starting at just $32,495*, the Sprinter WORKER will offer the simplest and most straightforward equipment and packaging within the Sprinter Van model line, which includes the 2500 and heavy-duty 3500 models. Targeting the heart of the commercial van market for plumbers, electricians, general contractors, and HVAC specialists, the WORKER was designed with input from dealers and customers alike, offering the safety, reliability, and best-in-class service intervals—up to 20,000 miles--expected from Mercedes-Benz vans, all at an affordable and approachable starting price.
     
    "We are pleased to announce the new Sprinter WORKER model, which is every bit as capable as the rest of our Sprinter lineup at an even more attractive starting price: $32,495," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President of Mercedes-Benz Vans in the USA. "The Sprinter brand is no stranger to hard work and we are making a statement by targeting the heart of the commercial van market by offering an affordable and approachable model designed for plumbers, electricians, HVAC specialists, general contractors and similar fields. The Sprinter offers the best value, as well as simple and straightforward packaging for our toughest customers. Together with creative financing solutions from Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, it has never been easier to own a Sprinter"
     
    Everything you need to work hard with a price that won't hold you back
    The new Sprinter WORKER is a straightforward base model with simple packaging that meets the needs of our toughest customers, yet offers more standard equipment than other brands, including a standard diesel engine, Bluetooth connectivity and class-exclusive Crosswind Assist, and class-leading interior cargo volume. The WORKER model offers maximum capability and customization potential for aftermarket van interiors and exteriors, all at an incredible starting price of just $32,495. With a 144" wheelbase and a standard-height roof (the most commonly-ordered Sprinter Van configuration) the Sprinter WORKER boasts a 137.4" cargo floor length and 66.5" interior standing height. The WORKER also receives a powerful diesel engine and an efficient, class-exclusive 7G-TRONIC 7-speed transmission which allows for more time on the road and less time at the gas pump.
     
    Additional standard equipment includes a 4-speaker AM/FM radio with aux-input, USB interface and with Bluetooth® Telephone Interface and audio streaming, cabin partition preparation, class-leading 6 standard airbags, industry-exclusive Crosswind Assist and Load-Adaptive Traction Control (ESP).
     
    A blank-canvas both inside and out
    Available only in white, the Sprinter WORKER provides both small-business owners and fleet companies with an ideal canvas for signage, advertising and wrapping with graphics. With a total roof load capacity of 660 lbs., ladder racks and roof attachments can be added to the WORKER from any number of upfitters.
     
    Inside, the WORKER's standard 319.1-cubic-feet of cargo volume provides ample room for racks, bins, shelves, cabinets and toolboxes. The standard steel floor can be left unfinished or can be customized with an optional wood floor or with any other floor covering of choice.
     
    One place that doesn't need customization: the front passenger compartment. With power windows, A/C, tilting & telescoping steering wheel, 5 cup-holders, adjustable armrests, ample storage, and a standard 4-speaker audio system that boasts Bluetooth® telephone interface, wireless music streaming and an auxiliary port, the WORKER aims to make time on the road productive convenient and comfortable.
     
    Standard BlueTEC diesel engine for maximum power and efficiency
    Time is money, and time spent at the gas pump is time that could be spent on the road or at the job site. The Sprinter WORKER comes exclusively with a powerful and efficient 4-cylinder diesel engine paired with an efficient, class-exclusive 7G-TRONIC 7-speed transmission that helps stretch each gallon of diesel further. Based on over 300,000 miles of user-reported fuel economy on fuelly.com, this efficient engine and transmission combination is capable of well over 23 miles per gallon, even in high-roof, extended- wheelbase Sprinter 2500 applications.
     
    Producing 161 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque (available at just 1,400 RPMs), the Sprinter WORKER's 2.1-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine provides seamless power thanks to its two-stage turbocharger. This engine knows how to work hard, with a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. and a maximum payload of 3,512 lbs.
     
    In combination with exhaust gas recirculation, two-stage cooling, selective catalytic reduction (SER), Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) injection and a particulate filter, the Sprinter WORKER is not only efficient, but environmentally responsible.
     
    Best-in-class service intervals
    The Sprinter WORKER has a best-in-class service interval of up to 20,000 miles. With a service interval as long as this, the WORKER can spend more time on the road and less time in the shop. Thanks to its low rate of depreciation and high overall value, the Sprinter once again received ALG's Residual Value Award for Fullsize Commercial Vans in 2016.
     
    Packaging provides additional flexibility, capability
    With three affordable packages, the Sprinter WORKER can be customized from the factory to suit your needs even better:
    The CONVENIENCE Package ($1,499) includes: Heated Power Mirrors, Cruise Control, Automatic Light and Rain Sensor (for windshield wipers), Multifunction Steering Wheel with Enhanced Info Screen and Trailer Hitch Pre- wiring The UTILITY Package ($2,999) includes all contents in CONVENIENCE Package, plus: Wood Cargo Floor, Rear Step, LED Lights in Cargo Compartment, Two Additional Keys (4 total), Glass in Rear Cargo Doors and Grab-handles (left/right rear door) The OVERTIME Package ($4,499) includes all contents in both CONVENIENCE and UTILITY packages, plus: Upgraded Audio System, Highbeam Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Rear View Camera, First Aid Kit and Emergency Flashlight

    The Sprinter WORKER will be available to order at Mercedes-Benz Van dealerships immediately with a starting price of $32,495 and a destination/delivery charge of $995.

    William Maley

    When Hybrid meets Utility

    Kia took to the stage this morning at the Chicago Auto Show to reveal their first dedicated hybrid, the 2017 Niro.
     
    The Niro is what Kia classifies as a Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV). We can see some elements of the Sportage crossover in the Niro's design such as the tiger nose grille and overall shape. The design is very aerodynamic as well, recording a 0.29 coefficient of drag.
     
    Under the skin is a new front-wheel drive platform designed exclusively for hybrid vehicles that can accommodate various configurations of engines and batteries. This same platform underpins the new Hyundai Ioniq.
     
    At launch, the Niro will use 1.6L DI four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor producing a total output of 146 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic routes power only to the front-wheels. A 1.56-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack sits under the rear seat. Fuel economy is unknown at this time, but Kia is aiming for 50 MPG combined.
     
    To boost MPG further, the Niro will feature a coaching system to help the driver improve overall efficiency. There will also be a system called Predictive Energy Control that uses the navigation system and cruise control to manage energy flow from the battery.
     
    Kia says a plug-in hybrid is expected sometime later in the Niro's lifecycle.
     
    “The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid'. The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning KMA.
     
    The Kia Niro will be available at your local Kia dealer sometime later this year.
     
    Source: Kia
     

     

     
    You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here.
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    All-New 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle Arrives In the Windy City for Global Debut At Chicago Auto Show
    Kia’s Hybrid Utility Vehicle Boasts a Number of Firsts for the Brand, Including an All-New, Dedicated Eco-Car Platform and Unique Hybrid System Niro is a no-compromise package, maintaining the style and appeal of a utility vehicle while offering outstanding fuel economy with a targeted 50 mpg combined1 Niro challenges the hybrid-electric segment with an innovative hybrid system that directly contributes to a dynamic driving experience

    CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2016 – A key component to Kia Motors’ Green Car Roadmap was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show today as Kia Motors America (KMA) hosted the global debut of the all-new 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV). A no-compromise vehicle that combines driving enjoyment with eye-catching design, functional utility and hybrid efficiency, the all-new Niro strikes the perfect balance for today’s consumers and stakes claim to a unique position between the hybrid-electric vehicle and CUV segments.
     

    “The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid,’” said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning KMA. “The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before.”
    The Niro is yet another vehicle introduced under the Kia Motors EcoDynamics environmentally friendly sub-brand and represents a number of firsts. While it was preceded by clean mobility products such as the Optima Hybrid and Soul EV, Niro is the first Kia to make use of an all-new, dedicated eco-car platform and is an important next step on the path to nearly tripling the brand’s global green car line-up by 2020. A plug-in hybrid powertrain is due to be added to the car’s line-up later in its life-cycle.
     
    An “Un-Hybrid” Design
    Designed at Kia’s design centers in Irvine, California, and Namyang, Korea, the Niro demonstrates that owners don’t have to sacrifice emotionally engaging design or functional utility in the name of efficiency. The HUV’s design language is atypical of a hybrid, appearing strong and confident with subtly sculpted surfaces offset by robust styling cues. The Niro sports wide and low proportions with a long roofline and short overhangs that give it an overall athletic profile. Up front, the Niro bears a familiar front fascia highlighted by Kia’s signature grille and flanked by aggressively shaped headlights that accentuate the Niro’s strong shoulders. Contours on the hood lend visual interest and, along with voluminous wheel arches, rocker cladding, roof rails, and rear skid plate, contribute to a sporty look. Although the Niro has a cohesive crossover theme, it was designed with aerodynamics in mind, with its carefully shaped bodywork contributing to a relatively slippery coefficient of drag of .29.
     
    Stepping inside the Niro reveals an inviting, modern, and high-tech interior. Glossy white or black accents underline the HUV’s straightforward theme. The instrument panel is uncluttered and clean, with colorful and informative gauges at the forefront and perfectly positioned primary and secondary controls falling readily to hand. Interior roominess comes by way of the Niro’s 106.3-inch wheelbase, body height, and wide stance, which affords ample leg-, head- and shoulder-room. Seats with increased pad density in the cushions ensure a comfortable ride, helping to prevent fatigue on longer trips. With its crossover-like proportions, the Niro boasts an elevated seating position much like the Kia Soul, providing drivers with a more commanding view of the road as well as easy ingress and egress. While the clever packaging of the high voltage battery assists in delivering a desirable driving experience, its location underneath the rear seats also increases cabin and cargo space and allows a flat load floor.
     
    In addition to spaciousness and comfort, ensuring a quiet interior environment was also a key development focus for engineers. Copious insulation in the Niro’s front structure, optimized suspension bushing stiffness, careful body sealing, and application of expanding foam inside the A- and B-pillars all prevent road and tire noise from entering the cabin. Furthermore, acoustic windshield glass and carefully shaped side mirrors mitigate wind noise.
     
    Engineers also worked hard to address the innate issues often associated with hybrid powertrains. To that end, they minimized system noise and vibration at the source with specially designed engine mounts, equal-length driveshafts, and even added a damper inside the steering wheel hub to minimize vibrations felt in the steering wheel. Other NVH measures include a special embossed foam in the floor (under the carpet), and a dense insulating pad underneath the hood also help to keep unwanted noise to a minimum.
     
    Strong and Light CoreThe platform underpinning the Niro has been specifically engineered to accommodate the unique gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, and with 53 percent of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), including reinforcement in the A- and B-pillars as well as the roof rails, it is both a lightweight and durable structure. Extensive use of hot-stamped components and industrial joint adhesive increase torsional rigidity and structural integrity. As such, engineers are targeting the Niro to earn top honors from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS).
     
    Weight reduction was a critical Niro development aspect, and in addition to the body, AHSS was also used to engineer other elements, including novel lightweight seat frames. Further, engineers were able to bring down the overall weight by using aluminum for the hood, tailgate and several suspension elements including the front lower control arms, front and rear knuckles, and in the brake calipers. Even the parking brake pedal contributes to the weight savings through the use of fiber-reinforced plastic construction. Finally, the engineers eliminated the traditional 12-volt battery to reduce weight, instead, utilizing the high-voltage lithium-ion polymer battery.
     
    Uniquely Engineered Hybrid Powertrain
    Motivating the Niro is a highly efficient and engaging powertrain starting with an all-new, state-of-the-art Kappa 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine, engineered specifically for hybrid applications. Making 103 horsepower, the new engine marks the first combination of the Atkinson Cycle, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), GDI and a long-stroke-narrow-bore specification to maximize efficiency2. Efficiency and emissions are further improved via the Niro’s exhaust heat recovery system, which speeds engine warm-up by routing coolant to a heat exchanger in the exhaust system. A 43-hp tractive motor, known as the transmission-mounted electric device (TMED), works in tandem with the gasoline engine to produce a robust 146 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.
     
    That power is transmitted through a newly developed, second-generation six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), which not only boosts efficiency but is also a key factor to the Niro’s great driving experience. The transmission delivers smooth, quick shifts for a natural and spirited feel in stark contrast to that of other hybrids equipped with continuously variable transmissions. Bringing the whole system together is a compact and lightweight 1.56-kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery located underneath the rear seat. Because the high-voltage battery is both power and energy dense, engineers were able to use the downsized gasoline engine to maximize fuel economy and reduce emissions.
     
    With its unique combination of the lightweight TMED, proven GDI and Atkinson Cycle technology in the internal combustion engine, along with the DCT providing a dynamic driving experience, the Niro offers enjoyment and efficiency all in one, targeting a combined fuel efficiency rating of 50 mpg.
     
    Driving Fun
    The Niro’s parallel and simplified hybrid system creates seamless transitions of power delivered to the front wheels, resulting in a very un-hybrid-like driving experience. The hybrid system is neither intrusive nor obvious. The Niro accelerates quickly off the line and continues its smooth power delivery, inspiring driver confidence in everyday driving maneuvers like merging onto the highway.
    Special attention was also paid to brake feel. Applying lessons learned through development of two generations of Optima Hybrids as well as the fully electric Soul EV, Kia engineers designed the Niro’s regenerative system to seamlessly blend in hydraulic friction braking. Consequently, deceleration feels more consistent and linear than other hybrids.
     
    Advanced Hybrid Tech
    Like the rest of Kia’s lineup, the Niro will be offered with a suite of advanced driver assistance and convenience technologies. Familiar features that will be available on the HUV include Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist; Advanced Smart Cruise Control; Lane Departure Warning; and Autonomous Emergency Braking3.
     
    All-new Eco-DAS1 (Driver Assistance System) features Kia’s first application of Coasting Guide and Predictive Energy Control. The Coasting Guide aims at maximizing fuel economy by essentially coaching the driver on when to coast and brake. Predictive Energy Control, meanwhile, uses the navigation system and cruise control to anticipate topographical changes on the road ahead and actively manage energy flow, seamlessly determining when its best to recharge the battery and when its best to expend stored energy to optimize overall efficiency. Similar systems have been seen on German luxury makes, but Kia’s system is the first in the industry to monitor and adjust for both ascending and descending scenarios. Other notable features include Smart Air Intake, which reduces drag by carefully managing the intake of outside air for the HVAC system, and also an accompanying Auto Defog system that prevents condensation from building on the glass by monitoring cabin air conditions to manage the cycling of the A/C compressor.
     
    Kia’s award-winning infotainment and telematics system aims to keep Niro drivers connected at all times4, with the newest version, UVO3, trickling down from the all-new 2017 Sportage. Complete with Android5 Auto™, Apple6 CarPlay®, and UVO eServices featuring 14 telematics services, the enhanced system features up to 8 GB of music storage, access to onscreen apps such as Pandora®7 and Soundhound and Wi-Fi tethering capability. All this is displayed on a 7-inch capacitive touch screen.
     
    1 Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and your vehicle’s condition.
    2 40 percent thermal efficiency
    3 These features are not substitutes for safe driving, and may not detect all objects surrounding vehicle. Always drive safely and use caution.
    4 Warning: Driving while distracted can result in a loss of vehicle control that may lead to an accident, severe personal injury and death. Always drive safely and use caution.
    5 Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc.
    6 Apple® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.
    7 Pandora® is a registered trademark of Pandora Media, Inc.

    William Maley

    What happens when you add Nissan badges to an Infiniti QX80

    The Nissan Armada was a dinosaur in the brand's SUV lineup and we're not talking about the size. The current model has been with us since 2004 and has changed very little. We were wondering if anything was going to happen, especially the sister car - the Infiniti QX80 - had been updated a couple years ago. Tonight, Nissan answered this question with a new Armada for 2017.
     
    The new Armada looks very similar to the QX80 in terms of overall looks. The only difference is a new front end that comes from the Titan. Wheel sizes range from 18 to 20 inches. Compared to the outgoing model, the 2017 Armada is 1.2 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider, rides 2.2 inches lower, and features a smaller wheelbase.
     
    Move inside and the similarities to the QX80 continue with both models sharing the same dash design and layout. All trims get heated seats, navigation, dual-zone climate control, and push-button start. Seating ranges from eight on the SV and SL trims, to seven on the top of the line Platinum (second row captain chairs).
     
    Power comes from an updated 5.6L Endurance V8 producing 390 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. Yes, this the same engine you'll find under the hood of the Titan and Titan XD starting this April. A seven-speed automatic comes standard, and there is a choice between two-wheel and four-wheel drive. Nissan says with either layout, the Armada can tow up to 8,500 pounds.
     
    Nissan says the Armada will be available at dealers later this summer. Pricing will be announced at a later time.
     
    Source: Nissan
     

     

     
    You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here.
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    2017 Nissan Armada full-size SUV makes world debut at Chicago Auto Show
    Designed for full-size family adventures, the 2017 Armada offers new exterior and interior designs, along with enhanced performance from new 390-horsepower 5.6-liter Endurance® V8 and 7-speed automatic transmission Features class-exclusive* available safety and security features, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Intervention, Backup Collision Intervention and Around View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection The new generation of Nissan's flagship SUV is due to arrive in summer 2016 Will be on display at Chicago's McCormick Place, Feb. 13th through 21st

    CHICAGO – Nissan debuted the all-new 2017 Armada full-size SUV this evening prior to its upcoming appearance at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, the largest auto show in North America. Nissan is also displaying a trio of "Winter Warriors," custom-built Pathfinder, Murano and Rogue models equipped with special snow tracks in place of their wheels and tires.
     

    The new Armada features a fresh exterior design, a comfortable full-feature cabin, enhanced performance and an extensive list of available safety and convenience features – including Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Backup Collision Intervention (BCI), Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Distance Control Assist (DCA), Lane Departure Prevention (LDP), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Intervention (BSI) and Blind Spot Warning (BSW).
     
    "With the introduction of the all-new, second-generation Armada full-size SUV, the last piece of Nissan's transformation of its SUV and crossover lineup falls into place following the recent makeovers of our Pathfinder, Murano and Rogue models," said Phil O'Connor, Director, Chief Marketing Manager, Nissan North America, Inc. "We're particularly proud that with this new Armada we're setting a new standard in class, offering advanced safety and security features usually reserved for much higher priced luxury sedans or premium SUVs."
     
    The 2017 Nissan Armada
    The new Armada also continues the nameplate's reputation for value and choice, offering a range of three high-content grade levels – SV, SL and Platinum – in both 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive configurations. In addition, the 2017 Armada offers an exceptional array of standard features, including Nissan Navigation with NavTraffic and NavWeather information (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately) and 8.0-inch color display, heated front seats and 13-speaker Bose® audio system.
     
    The all-new Armada is built on the heritage of the Nissan Patrol, which has been a workhorse for the world for many decades. While it is intended primarily for family adventures here in North America, Armada remains true to its roots as a strong, durable and authentic full-size, 8-passenger SUV. As part of its adventure-ready spirit, the new Armada offers standard towing capacity of 8,500 pounds for both 4WD and 2WD models (when properly equipped).
     
    Armada's redesigned body features an aggressive stance with bold V-motion front grille and standard LED low-beam headlights and signature LED Daytime Running Lights – maintaining the previous generation's rugged, athletic image but with added contemporary style. In the rear, bold combination lights include LED taillights.
     
    Inside, the 2017 Armada combines style, roominess and premium interior comfort – including special emphasis on quietness and quick interior cooling and heating. "Library level" interior noise levels (at idle) are achieved through the use of acoustic glass on the windshield and the front side windows, as well as through expanded use (versus the previous generation) of sound absorption materials.
     
    The new Endurance V8, while maintaining the same 5.6-liter displacement as its predecessor, offers an increase in horsepower to 390 from the previous 317, thanks in part to the addition of several advanced technologies – including new Direct Injection Gas (DIG™) and advanced VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift) systems. Also new is the advanced 7-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the previous 5-speed automatic.

    Drew Dowdell

    Chevy's mini-CUV gets a quick makeover

    It may seem a little early to those of us in the U.S., but Chevy is giving the Trax a makeover for 2017. In the U.S., the Chevrolet Trax has only been on sale for about 13 months, but for other markets it has been around since 2013.
     
    The refresh is mostly cosmetic. The current 1.4T 4-cylinder with 138 hp and a 148 lb-ft of torque, and 6-speed automatic carry over.
     
    On safety, the Trax now has available side blind-zone, rear cross traffic, lane-departure, and forward collision alerts.
     
    The front fascia is all new and moves the Trax in visual line with the 2016 Malibu and Cruze. The interior has been updated with a new Chevy MyLink infotainment system that includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto in a 7" diagonal screen, along with an updated gauge cluster.
     


     
    2015 was the first full year on the market for the Trax and Chevy sold 63,303 of them, making it the second best selling car in its class, right behind the Buick Encore.
     
    The Chevrolet Trax is sold as the Chevrolet Tracker and Holden Trax in other market, so we should expect to see those models get the same updates.
     

     
    Chevrolet Press Release on Page 2


    CHICAGO – Building on its early success and the rapid growth of the segment, Chevrolet today introduced the 2017 Trax – a more expressive take on one of America’s best-selling small SUVs.
     
    Contemporary design elements, including an all-new front-end appearance, and a new premium interior compose the visual updates, while new available active safety features and a new infotainment system – with available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility – expand its range of customer-focused technologies.
     
    “In the fastest-growing segment, Chevrolet Trax’s momentum is sure to continue with great design enhancements, premium details, and the latest technologies,” said Steve Majoros, director of marketing, Chevrolet Cars and Crossovers. “Features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and four new active safety features offer customers more than most competitors – and at an entry-level price.”
     
    With sales of 63,303 in 2015 – its first full year on the market – the Trax quickly climbed to the second-best-selling small SUV in America. It is also ranked in the top three globally, achieving more than 400,000 sales in 73 markets since its launch in late 2012. China and the United States are its top markets.
    In the United States, more than half of Trax’s customers with a trade-in turned in something other than a Chevrolet. Trax also attracts nearly 60 percent female customers – the highest percentage in the brand’s entire lineup.
     
    “With the Colorado and Trax, Chevrolet and our dealers are able to offer brand-new entries in fast-growing segments, which helps bring new customers to Chevrolet,” said Majoros. “And with other new vehicles such as the Cruze Hatchback and Bolt EV, we will continue to attract new customers to the Chevrolet franchise and continue to grow market share, as we did in 2015.”
     
    The 2017 Trax goes on sale this fall, offered in LS, LT and new Premier trims.
     
    Contemporary design
     
    The Trax’s fresh, contemporary appearance reflects the modern face of Chevrolet around the globe. A new grille and headlamps echo the styling elements seen in new Chevrolet models such as the Malibu, Cruze and Volt.
     
    “It’s a more sculptural, sophisticated design,” said Steve Kim, Chevrolet Trax designer. “There’s also a sporty streak in the new styling that speaks to the Trax’s agile, fun-to-drive personality.”
     
    The front fascia is all-new and incorporates Chevrolet’s new proportioned dual port grille. New, sleek headlamps flow around the corners and into the front fenders. Trax LS models feature new halogen reflector headlamps and uplevel LT and new Premier models have halogen projector headlamps with LED signature lighting. Chrome also accents the outboard fog lamp bezels.
     
    At the rear is a new fascia and dual taillamps, with the Premier model featuring LED signature lighting. The Premier is also offered with new 18-inch aluminum wheels.
     
    Premium interior
    A modified instrument panel is the foundation for the 2017 Trax’s premium interior enhancements. It interprets Chevrolet's signature dual-cockpit design more expressively, with an upper dashboard hood that flows uninterrupted across the panel to enhance the perception of spaciousness.
     
    The redesigned center instrument panel features greater visibility of a new 7-inch-diagonal MyLink color touch screen and Galvano chrome trim on the instrument panel and console contribute to the Trax’s premium ambiance. Premier models are offered with contrasting-color instrument panel trim that matches their leatherette seating trim.
     
    “Customers will really notice the elevation in the Trax’s interior design and attention to detail,” said Kim. “It’s an environment that transcends segment boundaries, offering rich, premium appointments and seamless integration of the technologies they rely on most.”
     
    Also new for 2017 is the instrument cluster, which features a new gauge display with prominent analog speedometer and tachometer readouts along with digital displays from the standard driver information center.
     
    Enhanced connectivity
    The 2017 Trax offers a new 7-inch diagonal infotainment system designed to support the latest connectivity technologies, including available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot.
     
    With the 4G LTE connection, Trax allows passengers to connect up to seven personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to high-speed wireless Internet. Keyless Open and Start also add to the Trax’s roster of available new technologies.
     
    New active safety features
     
    New active safety features are designed to help alert drivers to potential crash situations. They are available depending on the model and include:
    Side Blind Zone Alert Rear Cross Traffic Alert Forward Collision Alert Lane Departure Warning

    Additional crash-avoidance technologies include a standard rearview camera. Trax also features 10 standard air bags.
     
    Turbocharged performance
     
    Returning for 2017 is the Trax’s Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is rated at an SAE-certified 138 horsepower (102 kW) and 148 lb-ft of torque (200 Nm) between 1,850 and 4,900 rpm.

    William Maley

    Chevrolet Adds More Track Performance For the Camaro V8 and Now V6

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto the racetrack, Chevrolet has announced the return of the 1LE package for the Camaro. Debuting tomorrow at the Chicago Auto Show, the 2017 Camaro 1LE will be available for the V8 and for the first time, the V6.
     
    Let us break down what you get with either engine.
     
    LT 1LE
     
    The V6 1LE - available on the LT - gets some equipment from the SS 1LE. This includes a new fuel system and the FE3 suspension package with stabilizer bars. Other items for LT 1LE include a mechanical limited slip differential, upgraded cooling system four-piston Brembo brakes for the front, 20-inch lightweight aluminum wheels, and set of Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. A black satin hood and suede interior accents dress up the 1LE. Optional will be a set of Recaro seats and Performance Data Recorder.
     
    SS 1LE
     
    The SS 1LE comes with the new FE4 suspension package with magnetic ride control, electronic limited slip differential, six-piston Brembo brakes on all four corners, 20-inch wheels, and a Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires specifically developed for this vehicle. Upgraded cooling systems for the V8 engine, transmission, and differential come standard. A set of Recaro bucket seats and a head-up display finish the interior.
     
    “The Camaro 1LE packages follow a recipe any track-day enthusiast will appreciate. Start with a lightweight, stiff structure and then add higher levels of suspension stiffness and damping, more aggressive tires, higher downforce, more powerful brakes and more cooling," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer.
     
    “The result delivers better performance in all measures. In our development tests, the V-6 Camaro 1LE delivers lap times comparable with the previous-gen V-8 model. The 2016 Camaro SS 1LE sets the new benchmark for the segment, lapping the Big Willow track at Willow Springs three seconds faster than the standard Camaro SS.”
     
    Chevrolet says the 1LE package will be available late this year. Pricing will be announced a later time.
     
    Source: Chevrolet
     

     
    You can follow our coverage of 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here.
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    New 1LE Packages Elevates Camaro Track Capabilities
    Track package returns with more technology for V8 models, first time offered on V6

    CHICAGO – The Chevrolet Camaro 1LE performance package returns for 2017, poised to set new benchmarks for attainable track performance.
     

    The package builds off the success of the previous-generation 1LE, offering increased handling and track performance. In response to customer demand, Chevrolet will offer two distinct 1LE packages, for both V6 and V8 models, each visually distinguished with a satin black hood, specific wheels and more.
     
    For the first time, the 1LE package will be available on Camaro 1LT or 2LT coupes equipped with the 3.6L V6. Featuring more aggressive suspension tuning, standard Brembo brakes and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, the LT 1LE delivers an estimated 0.97G in cornering grip. Available Recaro seats will keep you planted through the corners, and an available Performance Data Recorder will allow you to view and share your track experience.
     
    The new 1LE package for Camaro 1SS models includes magnetic ride control, with a new FE4 suspension tuning and a new, segment-exclusive electronic limited slip differential (eLSD). Paired with massive Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, lateral acceleration will exceed 1G. Additional features available on the 1LE package include standard Recaro seats and a Performance Data Recorder (PDR), new to the Camaro lineup.
     
    As a result, the 1LE package elevates the award-winning performance that earned Camaro the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year and Car and Driver 10Best awards.
     
    “The Camaro 1LE packages follow a recipe any track-day enthusiast will appreciate,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “Start with a lightweight, stiff structure and then add higher levels of suspension stiffness and damping, more aggressive tires, higher downforce, more powerful brakes and more cooling.
     
    “The result delivers better performance in all measures,” said Oppenheiser. “In our development tests, the V-6 Camaro 1LE delivers lap times comparable with the previous-gen V-8 model. The 2016 Camaro SS 1LE sets the new benchmark for the segment, lapping the Big Willow track at Willow Springs three seconds faster than the standard Camaro SS.”
     
    The new 1LE packages are available in late 2016, on 2017 Camaro SS and LT V-6 coupes equipped with manual transmissions. Pricing and performance data will be announced at a later date.
     
    Camaro LT 1LE
    The Camaro LT 1LE was developed to be the most track-capable sports coupe in its price class. Highlights include:
    3.6L V-6 rated at 335 horsepower and matched with the six-speed manual transmission FE3 suspension components (from the Camaro SS), including dampers, rear cradle mounts, ball-jointed rear toe links and stabilizer bars Lightweight 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 245/40R20 front tires and 275/35R20 rear tires Brembo 4-piston front brake calipers Mechanical Limited-slip differential with 3.27 ratio Standard track-cooling package, with engine oil, differential and transmission coolers Suede steering wheel and shorter-throw shifter Standard dual mode exhaust system Camaro SS fuel system for higher-load cornering capability Satin black hood, front splitter and unique three-piece rear spoiler Unique high flow upper and lower grille with satin black accents Available Recaro seats and PDR video/data recording system.

    “With a curb weight under 3,500 pounds, excellent front-to-rear weight balance and the precision of the FE3 suspension, the Camaro LT 1LE offers unmatched capability in its class,” said Oppenheiser. “As a result, it offers incredible performance for Camaro V-6 customers.”
     

    Camaro SS 1LE
    The 2017 Camaro SS 1LE introduces the new FE4 suspension to the Gen Six Camaro – a performance-oriented chassis system with specific tuning for the Magnetic Ride dampers, springs and stabilizer bars. Additional highlights include:
    6.2L LT1 V-8 rated at 455 horsepower, and six-speed manual transmission (automatic transmission not available) Magnetic Ride Control Segment-exclusive electronic limited-slip differential with 3.73 ratio Unique forged aluminum wheels with 285/30ZR20 front tires and 305/30ZR20 rear tires Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a compound and construction developed exclusively for the Camaro – offering exceptional grip on the track Brembo brakes with new six-piston monobloc front red calipers – featuring the 1LE logo – and two-piece rotors. Measuring 14.6 inches (370mm) in diameter, the front rotors are 7 percent larger than Camaro SS Track-cooling package, with engine oil, differential and transmission coolers Suede steering wheel with shorter-throw shifter Dual mode exhaust system Recaro front seats with aggressive bolsters optimized for shifting and steering comfort Satin black hood, front mirrors and unique three-piece rear spoiler Satin Graphite front splitter and rear diffuser Available PDR video/data recording system


    Cmicasa the Great

    The 6th Generation Camaro gets a 1LE package while the Chevrolet Trax gets a refresh.

    GM Spokesman, Fred Ligouri, has announced that Chevrolet will unveil a 1LE Performance Package for the Camaro. No information has been revealed about the Generation 6 Camaro's 1LE package, but it is expected to only enhance the SS versions already exemplary track capabilities.
     
    In the previous Camaro (Generation 5) the 1LE package added about $3500 to the bottom line of the car. The package consisted of lightweight 20-inch rims found on the Camaro ZL1 , high performance Goodyear Eagle Supercar Gen 2 tires, a high performance suspension setup that includes larger monotube dampers, a larger anti-roll bar up front, a front strut tower brace, and heavy duty rear shock mounts. The exterior of the vehicle consisted of unique body upgrades front to rear and some minor interior upgrades.
     
    Along with that, we should expect a mid-cycle enhancement for the Chevy Trax compact crossover. Although the Trax has only been on sale for about one year in the U.S., the Trax has been on sale in other global markets since 2013. Chevy is set to update the exterior and interior of the vehicle amidst strong sales. The Chevrolet moved 63,030 Trax in 2015, while its sister brand Buick, moved an additional 67,549 Encores.
     
    We'll have more updates on the Camaro 1LE and updated Chevrolet Trax in the coming days.
     
    You can follow this and all other 2016 Chicago Auto Show News here.

    William Maley

    A Mild Refresh for the Toyota Avalon

    Toyota's big sedan, the Avalon has gotten a mild refresh for the 2016 model year. The updated sedan, which debuted today in Chicago gets a number of small tweaks a new trim level.
    The tweaks begin outside with LED accents for the head and taillights, along with an enlarged front grille. All trim levels get new wheel choices. Inside, new trim pieces and a revised Entune infotainment system on XLE models and up.
    Powertrains for the Avalon remain unchanged. That means a 3.5L V6 for the standard Avalon, while the Avalon Hybrid goes with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system. What has changed is suspension tuning. Most Avalons will come with a suspension tune that provides a more comfortable ride. The new Touring trim will come a more aggressive suspension tune to provide more sport.
    The 2016 Avalon arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Toyota


    Press Release is on Page 2
    First Look in the “Second City:” The Refreshed 2016 Toyota Avalon Premium Mid-Sized Sedan
    Updated Styling
    Retuned Suspension for Enhanced Comfort
    New LED Headlights and Taillights
    Upgraded Convenience Features

    CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Call it a trio of firsts in the Second City as the refreshed Toyota Avalon and sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions made their world debuts at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The three models rode into Chicago with a head of steam as the Avalon, Camry and Corolla are each the sales leaders in their respective segments, a first for Toyota. All three vehicles are 2016 models and will go on sale later this fall.
    Refreshed 2016 Avalon
    Unveiled as all-new in 2012, the fourth-generation Avalon was the first vehicle to meet Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s challenge to create cars that spark people’s emotions. Toyota mixed its legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) with a strong dose of emotion through fresh new styling, improved performance, and high-tech features. They proved to be winning ingredients as Avalon quickly grabbed the attention of mid-size premium car buyers in segment leading numbers.
    Five distinct grades on the V6 models will give customers a wide array of choice (XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited and Touring). Hybrid customers can choose from three separate grades, adding luxury features and technology options as they move up the chain from XLE Plus to XLE Premium and Limited.
    Two unique suspension systems were developed for the 2016 Avalon to better align with diverse customer preferences. One retuned suspension prioritizes a comfortable ride for the XLE through Limited grades. The other, provides a more dynamic and responsive driving experience for the Touring grade.
    Both of these suspension tunings are new and represent significant improvements over the current production Avalon.
    The refreshed 2016 Avalon adds more refinement with an array of styling, performance and technology enhancements. New features on all Avalon grades will include:
    Wider lower front grille with narrow upper grille design
    Newly-designed turn signals (replacing fog lights)
    Refined LED taillights
    Chrome rear bumper accent
    New gray accent stitching with light gray interior

    Additional new standard features on the XLE and XLE Plus grades include:
    Redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels
    7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen
    Premium woodgrain dash ornamentation
    Tire-specific Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

    Technology upgrades are added to the Avalon XLE Premium grade as it receives Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and the Qi Wireless Charging as standard equipment. The performance-tuned Avalon Touring grade adds to its sporty styling with new standard features that include:
    Redesigned 18-inch dark gray painted alloy wheels
    New sporty front fascia
    New LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
    Unique “Touring” badge

    The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited rounds out the updates with the addition of new 18-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on gas models, and new 17-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on the Limited hybrid (also optional on gas Limited). The Limited adds optional advanced safety features including automatic high beam headlights, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and Lane Departure Alert.

    William Maley

    Nissan previews a possible new member for the NISMO family

    Nissan is using the Chicago Auto Show to see whether or not it should add another model to their growing NISMO lineup. The 370Z NISMO Roadster concept could be the sister model to the 370Z NISMO coupe.
    Like the coupe, the 370Z NISMO roadster features a number of aerodynamic parts from the GT-R such as red-accented lip spoiler and rear spoiler. There's also black headlight housings and red striping on the side mirrors and side skirts. The concept keeps the power soft-top from the standard 370Z roadster. Inside are a set of Recaro bucket seats wrapped in leather with red stitching and off-white Ultrasuede inserts.
    Power comes from an upgraded 3.7L V6 with 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. The concept boasts a seven-speed automatic transmission with the Downshift Rev Matching feature. This is due to many people who opt for the 370Z roadster go for the automatic. The concept also boasts a Nismo-tuned suspension - unique springs, stabilizer bars, and a front tower strut brace - along with lightweight 19-inch wheels hiding a set of massive brakes.
    Source: Nissan

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept makes world debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show
    Combines legendary NISMO performance, style and technology with Nissan 370Z Roadster open-air motoring excitement
    One-off design study created to gauge market interest in an ultimate factory Z® Roadster
    Offers unique engine, suspension, exterior and interior features versus standard Nissan 370Z Roadster models – including 350-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 and NISMO-tuned suspension
    Would join current Nissan 370Z NISMO coupe model, expanding NISMO lineup to five models

    As the heart and soul of Nissan performance for both the track and on the street, NISMO continues to set the standard for straight-from-the-factory enthusiast vehicles. The lineup of NISMO production models for 2015 includes the GT-R NISMO, 370Z NISMO, JUKE NISMO and JUKE NISMO RS.
    Yet as the popularity of NISMO models continues to grow – the 2015 GT-R NISMO is sold out, the 370Z NISMO accounts for 20 percent of total sales and JUKE NISMO models for about 15 percent – one group of performance enthusiast remains left out: Open-air sports car lovers. Enter the Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept, which makes its world debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The custom vehicle combines the long list of 370Z NISMO Coupe performance equipment with a modified 370Z Roadster body and interior.
    "The idea of adding NISMO levels of look, feel and performance to a Nissan 370Z Roadster is one that we've been considering for a long time," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "The creation of the Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept brings that idea to life and lets us judge consumer reaction – which we predict is going to be outstanding."
    The Nissan 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept's striking visual presence starts with the addition of its GT-R-inspired functional and fully integrated aerodynamic body pieces. In front, the deep front fascia with Hyper LED Daytime Running Lights, black headlight bezels, NISMO emblem and signature NISMO red stripe accents set the tone.
    On the sides of the vehicle, the NISMO red accents and red sideview mirror covers continue the NISMO theme, adding a touch of flair to the dramatic top-down profile. In the middle of the vehicle, the fixed headrest bars are leather-wrapped with red accents. The rear is highlighted by a custom carbon-fiber rear spoiler created exclusively use on the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept.
    The convertible top itself, though it is expected to be rare that it is in the closed position, is a cloth power-folding roof with fabric inner liner design. It includes a single action top operation with automatic roof lock, steel tonneau cover and fixed glass wind deflector – just like every 2015 Nissan 370Z Roadster.
    The dramatic exterior appearance is topped by an aggressive stance provided by the wide 19-inch NISMO super-lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels by RAYS (19x9.5-inch front, 19x10.5-inch rear), which receive a special custom finishing. Y-rated Bridgestone Potenza S001 245/40R19 front and 285/35R19 rear tires complete the package.
    "With as much attention as the exterior modifications are expected to attract, we knew the interior had to be just as special, especially since with the convertible top in the down position everything is in plain sight," said Loing. "It doesn't disappoint."
    The NISMO-styled interior is anchored by black Recaro® leather-appointed seats with red stitching and stain-repellent, off-white premium Ultrasuede® inserts – chosen to resist heat build-up when parked in open sunlight. The interior features custom red stitching with NISMO logo, an Alcantara®-appointed leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel and NISMO red tachometer.
    The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept's suite of technology includes Nissan Navigation System with 7.0-inch VGA touch-sensitive display, RearView Monitor and Bose® Premium Audio System with six speakers and dual subwoofers to provide a clear soundtrack, even with the top down.
    Even more than racing-inspired aerodynamic bodies and driver-oriented cockpit-style interiors, at its core NISMO is all about performance. To that end, the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept is conceived to incorporate most of the engine and suspension modifications (versus non-NISMO 370Z models) of the 370Z NISMO coupe. This includes its potent 350-horsepower 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL). The 370Z NISMO's enhanced engine power and acceleration (versus non-NISMO 370Zs) is provided through use of an exclusive H-configured exhaust system design and muffler tuning, along with optimized ECM (Engine Control Module) calibration, to help create 18 horsepower more than a standard 370Z. Torque is rated at 276 lb-ft.
    The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept utilizes Nissan's refined 7-speed automatic transmission with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM), Adaptive Shift Control and manual shift mode with paddle shifters. "The majority of 370Z Roadster buyers prefer the automatic transmission, which with Downshift Rev Matching and paddle shifters comes close to the performance of a 6-speed manual – so that's how we specified the 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept," said Loing. "Matched with the NISMO-tuned engine, suspension and steering, it is a great combination, perfect for long open-top drives along the shoreline or mountain roads alike."
    The 370Z NISMO Roadster Concept adds a NISMO-branded strut tower brace under the hood, along with a red engine cover. The NISMO-tuned 4-wheel independent suspension includes special springs and stabilizer bars. Large Nissan Sport Brakes and a Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD) – with a shorter final drive ratio for better acceleration feel – are also included.
    "While it is only a design study at this point, we think the 370Z NISMO Roaster Concept would be a tremendous addition to the long and distinguished history of Z® sports cars," said Loing. "There's still nothing better than an open top and an open road ahead of you, especially when there's a NISMO badge on the bumper."

    William Maley

    Small Changes Are the Story for the 2016 Acura RDX

    Possibly the only bright spot for a few years at Acura has been their crossover lineup. The seven-seat MDX has been a strong seller, while the smaller RDX had its best sales year in 2014. Acura wants to keep that momentum going by introducing a refreshed RDX at the Chicago Auto Show today.
    The 2016 gets minor changes inside and out. Up front is a more chiseled face with a new grille and Acura's Jewel Eye headlights. Around back are a set new LED taillights. A new set of wheels finish off the exterior.
    Heading inside, Acura updated the trim and has installed a new 4.2-inch TFT screen for the instrument cluster. Acura has also added more standard features for each RDX trim level. Here's how it looks,
    RDX: Heated front seats and air vents for rear passengers.
    RDX w/Tech Package: Dual-screen infotainment system, eight-way power passenger's seat, blind spot monitoring, and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.
    RDX w/Advance Package: rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies.

    The 3.5L V6 has been updated with 6 more horsepower and 1 more pound-feet of torque to deliver final power figures of 279 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. The V6 also boasts cylinder deactivation which improves fuel economy to 20 City/29 Highway for the front-wheel drive model and 19/28 for the all-wheel drive model.
    The 2016 Acura RDX will be coming this spring.


    Source: Acura
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2016 Acura RDX Brings the Heat in World Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show
    Hot-selling Acura RDX luxury crossover boosts its considerable market strength with significant upgrades to performance, luxury, styling and safety features

    Feb 12, 2015 - CHICAGO
    Coming off its best-ever year, the newly refreshed and energized 2016 Acura RDX luxury sport-utility made its world debut at the Chicago Auto Show, sporting a host of significant upgrades to performance, luxury prestige and styling. Launching at Acura dealerships nationwide this Spring, the 2016 Acura RDX receives Jewel Eye™ LED projector headlamps and LED taillights, a new, more powerful 3.5-liter i-VTEC® V-6 engine, an expanded list of AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technologies, and a host of new luxury features and technologies, including a new line-topping RDX with Advance Package.
    The Acura RDX and MDX have formed a potent 1-2 punch in the luxury SUV game, posting record sales in 2014 well ahead of European rivals in their segments. With the 2016 MDX also getting significant new features and technologies, including a 9-speed automatic transmission, the new RDX and MDX stand as an even more formidable presence in the luxury SUV space.
    "The RDX ended on a high note in 2014, posting its best sales year ever, but at Acura, we are not content in resting on our laurels," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of Acura. "The 2016 RDX gets a major infusion of Acura brand DNA including enhancements to styling, driving performance, and exciting new luxury feature-content, further solidifying its place as the one to beat in the entry luxury SUV segment."
    The 2016 RDX gets an important performance boost courtesy of its new 3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation technology. Peak horsepower and torque output are up—279 (+6 hp) and 252 lb.-ft. (+1 lb.-ft.), respectively, while sporting a broader torque curve for more immediate and powerful acceleration response—right where it counts. Variable Cylinder Management™ allows for deactivation of two of the engine's six cylinders under light engine loads, helping the more powerful 2016 RDX increase its highway EPA fuel-economy ratings by 1 mpg, rising to 19/28mpg for AWD models and 20/29mpg for FWD models (city/highway). Driving refinement is further enhanced by new active front and rear engine mounts, updates to the steering control system and increased suspension mount stiffness. Additionally, the RDX's all-wheel-drive system – AWD with Intelligent Control – has been tuned for greater rear torque bias to further enhance dynamic stability and all-weather performance.
    The 2016 RDX also gets key elements of Acura design DNA with restyled front and rear fasciae, including the addition of Acura's signature Jewel Eye™ LED headlights and LED taillights with light-pipe design on all models and a new three-dimensional grille treatment. The lower front and rear fascia areas also support the new look with fresh luxury details while all models receive new wheel designs.
    Inside, the new RDX gets a fresh look with a high-contrast silver and black trim plus significant upgrades to both standard and available luxury features and technology, including standard heated front seats and new second-row air-conditioning vents. The RDX with Technology Package adds a new 8-way adjustable power passenger's front seat (4-way power in base models), Acura's intuitive dual-screen On-Demand Multi-Information Display (ODMD), HD Radio®, blind spot information (BSI) and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.
    A new Advance Package for the 2016 RDX adds rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, Bi-Directional Keyless remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, and AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Both the Technology and Advance packages are equipped with the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. All RDX models with AcuraWatch™ also get a new 4.2-inch full-color TFT Multi-Information Display with expanded, customizable information readouts such as average vehicle speed, fuel economy, fuel range, tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) and turn-by-turn navigation.
    While offered as standard equipment on the new Advance Package, all RDX models can now be equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System™ and Lane Keeping Assist, along with a standard Multi-View Rear Camera and Expanded View driver's side mirror. AcuraWatch™ uses sensor fusion technology, the cooperative operation of a millimeter wave radar system and a windshield-mounted monocular camera to expand both the scope and fidelity of its sensing capabilities, including the ability to sense and respond to numerous road hazards, including a pedestrian detected in the roadway.
    In addition to the available AcuraWatch™ technologies, the 2016 RDX offers enhanced collision performance with numerous changes to its Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure that further improve frontal collision performance. The 2016 RDX targets top-in-class safety ratings – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
    The RDX is produced at the company's award-winning East Liberty, Ohio, plant, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In January, Acura marked the sale of its two-millionth North American-made vehicle in America. Today, approximately 94 percent of all Acura models sold in America are made in the company's plants in Ohio and Alabama.

    William Maley

    Ever wanted an off-road Kia Soul?

    Kia has made the Chicago Auto Show home of the Soul. Within the past few years, Kia has introduced a number of Soul concepts and the electric version of it. Today, Kia introduced another Soul concept - the Trail'ster.
    The Trail'ster concept shows what happens when you give the Soul a bit of adrenaline. There are oversized foglights, skid plates, body cladding, a 2.5-inch increase in ride height, oversized wheels and tires, and a retractable canvas roof.
    Under the hood is a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder produces 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. In the back is what Kia calls e-AWD; a small electric motor produces 35 horsepower and provides all-wheel drive traction. Total power output stands at 220 horsepower and 285 pound-feet of torque.
    Kia says the two powertrains work independently which will help fuel economy. While no fuel economy numbers were released, it said the Trail'ster can return approximately 25 to 30 percent better city mileage and 10 to 15 percent better highway mileage when compared to the Soul equipped with the 2.0L engine.
    Source: Kia

    Press Release is on Page 2
    KIA MOTORS AMERICA STORMS INTO CHICAGO WITH ELECTRIC ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE TRAIL’STER CONCEPT
    Advanced Soul-Based Off-Roader Captures the Essence of the “Go Anywhere” Compact CUV Intended for Urban Escape and Mountain Adventures
    With its bold design, fully retractable canvas roof and smartly integrated electric all-wheel-drive system, the turbocharged Trail’ster takes Kia’s iconic Soul to a new level of expression, efficiency and capability
    Trail’ster was conceived in Kia’s Irvine, California, design studio, birthplace of remarkable concept vehicles such as the Track’ster and GT4 Stinger

    CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Aligning form and function to conceive a uniquely compelling vehicle for the city-dweller-turned-outdoor-adventurer, Kia Motors America (KMA) today took the wraps off the boldly designed Trail’ster e-AWD concept at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Based on the brand’s iconic Soul urban passenger vehicle, the turbocharged Trail’ster – with its Polar Pearl Snowdrift/Terra Bronze Metallic paint scheme, roll-top canvas roof and armored aluminum skid plates – captures the essence of an advanced and capable CUV intended for those looking to escape their urban environs in search of higher-elevation playgrounds where snow, mud, streams and trails abound. Efficient and lightweight, the Trail’ster is ideal for transporting adventurers and their gear. With its rugged, functional and upscale approach to an active mountain-focused lifestyle, Trail’ster was dreamt up at Kia’s California design studio, birthplace of the unforgettable Track’ster and GT4 Stinger.
    “The Trail’ster concept is a near-future look at how the production Kia Soul would logically evolve into an AWD-capable version that’s built to escape the city streets and roam into the mountain wilderness,” said Tom Kearns, chief designer, Kia Design Center of America (KDCA). “It takes the go-anywhere capability of an SUV and reimagines it within a compact and sporty package with an expressive design to match.”
    Underscoring Kia’s focus on all-wheel drive capability, the Trail’ster enables a wide array of mountain activities, from skiing and snowboarding to camping, hiking and mountain biking. Whether it’s trekking up to a high, snowy summit or traipsing down a muddy fire road to a piney trailhead, the Trail’ster – thanks to a rear axle-mounted electric all-wheel-drive system – is all about surefootedness in the wild.
    A Soul Searcher, Inside and Out
    Based on the production Soul, the Trail’ster’s overall shape and size are unmistakable. But with family genes tied closely to the thought-provoking Track’ster and Soul’ster concepts — which pushed Soul far into new directions to realize its performance and lifestyle possibilities — the Trail’ster also takes a dramatic departure from its production-car roots with styling and drivetrain components that turn Kia’s popular urban passenger vehicle into a rugged runabout, further demonstrating that Soul is indeed the ideal platform for creativity and experimentation.
    The exterior color was inspired by the earthy combination of springtime snow and mud, the terrain for which the Trail’ster has been created to travel confidently through on its way to outdoor destinations high above sea level. The Polar Pearl Snowdrift exterior paint is a modern neutral color, against which the warm and contrasting Terra Bronze Metallic tone of the roof and lower cladding brings connection to the soft dirt of roads less traveled. Anodized fire-red wheel accents and polished billet aluminum sections infuse a purposeful and sophisticated aesthetic to the Trail’ster’s precise design, taking inspiration from high-tech, high-performance outdoor sporting gear.
    Overhead, the Trail’ster features a stylish full-length, weatherproof rollback canvas roof to create an open-sky environment for occupants to enjoy the outdoors even before reaching their chosen high ground. This fully retractable cover also helps lighten the vehicle and lowers the center of gravity, promoting higher efficiency and improved dynamics. Integrated roof rack fittings with aluminum cross rails allow adventurers to tote mountain bikes or snowboards with ease.
    The Trail’ster’s use of advanced LED technology creates a strong and unique lighting identity from top to bottom, front to back. Upfront, the signature Kia grille bars extend through the K900-style projector headlamps to create a full-width frontal graphic. And below, expressive fog light elements give the vehicle a bold personality while providing additional wattage for illuminating off-the-beaten-track excursions. The Trail’ster’s rear view takes on a tough-looking appearance framed by LED taillamps that are built into durable, ruggedized light housings. Highlighting its off-road prowess, the Trail’ster wears aluminum skidplates around the entire vehicle, providing a protective armor to shield the undercarriage from jagged rocks and ice.
    Within, the Trail’ster’s color and trim palette combines brown leather and aluminum accents to relay an earthy but upscale environment that’s both durable and comfortable. Cabin materials are inspired by snow sports gear and equipment. “We drew from high-quality active lifestyle accessories like snowboarding gloves, boots and helmets to bring a premium level of craftsmanship and character to the interior space,” commented Kearns.
    The focal point of this interior is a tactile and sturdy center console incorporating a thickset gear shifter, AWD controls and a bright red ignition button. Brown leather-trimmed seats feature a pillow-embossed textile for the seat inserts and the floor mats feature aluminum inlays for all-weather traction. Other interior finishes and details were also inspired by the top-quality materials of cold-weather sporting gear, like leather, high-gloss paint and metallic trim.
    Being based on the Kia Soul means the Trail’ster also benefits from efficient packaging and an abundance of space for passengers and their cargo as they head out on their next adventure.
    Ready to Roam Anywhere
    The Trail’ster is primarily powered by a robust 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine outputting 185 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission, matched to an electric all-wheel-drive system on the rear axle intended for low-speed assist, enhanced launch acceleration and improved traction in inclement weather or off-road situations. In addition, this approach helps mitigate turbo lag by providing instant torque. The system also improves fuel economy over standard all-wheel-drive setups by operating only when needed and serving as an energy recovery mechanism. Further defining the near future perspective of Soul as a capable and efficient all-wheel-driver runner, the Trail’ster arrives as a “Through-the-Road” hybrid, which means it has two power sources (a front gas engine and a rear electric motor) that make up the hybrid system and meet “through the road,” as opposed to inside the transmission with a common driveline connection. It requires all four wheels being driven in careful coordination, but there’s no mechanical link between engine and electric motor. The link between the two is the road itself.
    "This powertrain strategy of a downsized turbo and ‘Through-the-Road’ hybrid power yields a dual benefit of increased performance – torque and traction – and optimized efficiency,” said Kearns. “This is AWD being done the advanced, intelligent and responsible way, while sacrificing nothing.” Should the Trail’ster find its way to production, fuel economy would be targeted at a 25-30 percent improvement in city driving and 5-10 percent in highway driving over the normally aspirated 2015 2.0-liter gasoline Soul.
    The Trail’ster’s electric propulsion system draws energy from a 1.2 kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery powering a 27 kW, 270 volt AC synchronous permanent magnet electric motor outputting 35 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels and bringing total output to an impressive 220 horses and 285 pound-feet of torque. To further improve fuel efficiency, the system also utilizes a Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) to start/stop the engine as needed (and to feed energy to the high voltage battery), and an electrically driven A/C compressor, which can run when the engine is shut off. This technology is designed for easy, lightweight packaging, with the compact battery pack stored under the cargo floor.
    Operationally, the rear electric drive system engages in one of three scenarios, depending on throttle position and road conditions: Under light throttle, the Trail’ster attains true clean mobility as the electric motor drives the car solely for a range of two to three miles; under normal driving, the rear electric motor assists the 1.6-liter turbo during acceleration events calling for greater power and torque; when treading off-road or on wet pavement, the electric drive system is introduced when front wheel slippage is detected. Finally, the Trail’ster’s electric motor acts as a generator to recover kinetic energy and recharge the battery when the vehicle is braking or coasting.
    For traversing tough terrain, the Trail’ster has been raised more than two-and-a-half inches over the production Soul. In addition, this mountain rover wears Pirelli Winter Carving 245/45-19 snow tires for enhanced traction and utilizes KSport coilover shocks to absorb the impact of rough, uneven ground and rocky surfaces.

    William Maley

    The Chevrolet Bolt EV Will Soon Be Rolling Down An Assembly Line

    Last week, we brought you a report that said General Motors was going to send the Chevrolet Bolt into production by late 2016. Sources said the Bolt and a sister Opel model would be built at General Motors' Lake Orion assembly plant. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, GM North America President Alan Batey confirmed most of that report.
    “The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”
    GM will be investing $160 million into Lake Orion to get it ready for Bolt production. The company will also invest $40 million for the Pontiac Metal Center for new dies.
    Details such as start of production and other details will be announced at a later date.
    Source: General Motors
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Chevrolet Commits to Bolt EV Production
    Game-changing, long-range EV to be built at Orion Assembly facility in Michigan

    CHICAGO – Chevrolet this morning confirmed production of its next-generation pure electric vehicle, based on the Bolt EV concept. It will be built at General Motors’ Orion Assembly facility near Detroit.
    GM North America President Alan Batey made the announcement ahead of the Chicago Auto Show. The Bolt EV concept was introduced last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    “The message from consumers about the Bolt EV concept was clear and unequivocal: Build it,” said Batey. “We are moving quickly because of its potential to completely shake up the status quo for electric vehicles.”
    Leveraging the industry-leading battery technology found in the Chevrolet Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept was developed as a game-changing, long-range pure electric for all 50 states, designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000.
    The progressively styled concept vehicle features selectable driving modes for preferred driving styles, such as daily commuting, and it was designed to support DC fast charging.
    “We’re proud that Chevrolet has decided to produce the Bolt EV here in Michigan at the Orion Assembly facility,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “Michigan unquestionably remains the global automotive leader. Chevrolet is tapping a skilled workforce that includes some of the most talented and hard-working people in the world for this cutting-edge vehicle. Chevrolet is an important part of our state’s automotive history, and Michigan-made products like the Bolt EV point to a bright future as well.”
    Start of production and additional details will be announced later.
    $200-million investment
    GM’s Orion Assembly, home of the Chevrolet Sonic sub-compact and Buick Verano luxury compact, and Pontiac Metal Center facilities are receiving a $200-million investment to support production of the next-generation electric vehicle. Orion will receive $160 million for tooling and equipment, and Pontiac will receive $40 million for new dies.
    “As one of the most environmentally progressive facilities in GM’s global network, Orion Assembly is uniquely suited to build this game-changing electric vehicle,” said Doug Hanly, Orion Assembly and Pontiac Metal Center plant manager. “In partnership with UAW Locals 5960 and 653, we’re committed to building the highest level of quality into it.”
    Located approximately 30 miles north of Detroit, Orion Assembly is powered by gas from two nearby landfills, which saves more than 6,300 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere annually. It is also home to a 350-kilowatt solar array that produces the energy equivalent to power 165 homes and sends enough energy back to the grid to power about 45 homes.
    “This is very exciting for our members who were facing the possibility of losing that plant during the auto crisis,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the union’s GM Department. “Our members are also proud to have their plant chosen to produce what is sure to be another popular and dynamic Chevy product rolling off the line at the Orion Assembly Plant.”

    William Maley

    Ram amps up the luxuries found on the Laramie Limited trim

    Chicago is known as a place where truck manufacturers show off their wares. Case in point is Ram which is showing off a new version of its flagship trim - the Laramie Limited.
    Available on all Ram truck models, the Laramie Limited increases the amount of luxuries found in the cabin. There is black Natura Plus leather with gray piping; Black Argento wood trim, soft touch materials, and Liquid Graphite accents line the dash.
    The Laramie Limited's exterior throws subtlety out the window. The front end gets a new grille with a large 'RAM' emblem. Around back, a 20-inch 'RAM' badge sits on a rear tailgate. If you ever wanted to let everyone - especially in space - this is your truck. Other notes on the exterior include chrome bumpers and mirror caps; LED turnsignals and taillights; and 20-inch wheels.
    Ram says the Laramie Limited trim arrives in the third quarter of this year.
    Source: Ram Trucks


    Press Release is on Page 2
    Efficiency, Capability, Class and Detail — Ram Truck Announces New Laramie Limited
    Ram continues building momentum with new top-of-class Laramie Limited model
    Prominent badge, Argento wood and premium leather are key ingredients of new Ram Laramie Limited design, treasured by high-end pickup buyers
    Laramie Limited trim is part of Ram’s strategy to continue its aggressive pace in the truck market

    February 12, 2015 , Chicago - Ram Truck brand is taking the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited – the benchmark in truck opulence – to an even higher level of sophistication and attention to detail.
    The upgraded interior and exterior trim aligns with a long list of best-in-class titles under the Ram moniker, including fuel economy, payload, torque and towing capacity.
    “Among Ram Truck’s greatest strengths is our ability to quickly react to customer demand,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO, Ram Truck Brand — FCA US LLC. “The new Laramie Limited trim is a perfect example of how Ram directly responds to customer input with the highest level of luxury available in pickups. The Laramie Limited trim exceeds the high expectations of affluent truck buyers by combining capability with refinement.”
    Featuring premium materials, such as an all-black, full-leather seating, real wood interior components and unique badges, Ram Laramie Limited is a “black-tie” luxury alternative to the popular southwestern-themed Laramie Longhorn edition pickup.
    “Today’s high-end Ram pickups have more features than select luxury sedans,” added Hegbloom. “We will continue to strive for the highest levels of sophistication, while keeping the core needs of a truck owner top of mind.”
    The new Ram trim, available on the1500, 2500 and 3500 models, will make its debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the media on Feb. 12, 2015.
    Exterior
    The Laramie Limited’s all-new grille is the most prominent change of the exterior. As the leading point of the new Limited, its new billet port grille breaks from the long tradition of a crosshair styling with bold “RAM” lettering.
    Exterior features include a body-color front fascia with fog lamps and a matching, painted rear bumper. For added flash, an optional exterior package covers the front and rear bumpers in bright chrome. To address customer demand, select-colored Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks come standard with chrome.
    On each side of the grille, a quad headlamp design includes a bi-functional halogen projector system placed in a dark background. Fifteen amber LEDs illuminate park/turn/position lamps and three amber LEDs serve for the side markers. A vertically ribbed inner lens softens the glow and retains the improved visual component of the segment exclusive LEDs. The Ram design team carefully crafted the interior bezel and housing to create a visually entertaining, yet functional piece of hardware. Also, a Ram shield logo is molded into the housing, and the Ram name molded into the inside of the outer lens.
    The side profile of the Limited is dressed in chrome accents for body-side molding with etched “Limited” mirrors, door handles, window molding and standard wheel-to-wheel side steps.
    Ram 1500 Laramie Limited features an all-new 20-inch forged multi-surface aluminum wheel – unique in the truck market and a detail not to be missed. Polished surfaces are accented with painted silver. Heavy Duty models also feature a new multi-surface 20-inch fully-polished aluminum, six-spoke wheels. Wheel centers are embossed with the Ram brand name.
    Matching the new front grille theme, a new tailgate design is fixed with a 20-inch-wide, bright chrome “RAM” badge so onlookers can clearly identify the truck. A new chrome accent strip lines the base of the gate. Premium tail lamps are equipped with 15 red LEDs and three red LEDs for the side marker. A frosted inner lens creates visual entertainment and softens the glow.
    The Ram Laramie Limited is available in seven exterior color choices, including: Brilliant Black, Bright Silver Metallic, Pearl White, Red Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, Maximum Steel Metallic and True Blue Pearl.
    Interior
    The 2015 Ram Laramie Limited is the apex of modern luxury. Subtle stitching accents, pin striping, unique materials and patterns are found throughout the interior. These are details created for the customer who appreciates them.
    The Limited starts with an all-black leather cockpit – the seats are covered in Black Natura Plus premium leather. Unique pinstripe stitching designs lend the Ram Laramie Limited an unmatched level of sophistication and style. Graystone leather piping rides the stitching peaks, creating a visible silhouette profile of the seats contrasting an all-black backdrop. Using an idea borrowed from the Longhorn trim, rear flap-closure seatback map pockets with modern, chrome Ram-lettered buckles also are unique to Laramie Limited.
    Passenger touch points are given a soft, comfortable feel. The Ram Laramie Limited’s newly designed, deep and double-stacked center console is topped with a forgiving, French-stitched full-leather lid and pronounced Limited badge, covering USB, Auxiliary and 12-volt service points. Just forward of the console lid, a new bin houses a cellular phone and tablet holder, which can be concealed with a new tambour wood sliding door. The real wood door is made from Black Argento, the chosen timber for the Limited interior. The collective Silver pinstripe theme runs through the wood and a satin chrome handle rolls the door with ease.
    Laramie Limited includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel from the 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock positions. The remaining portion of the steering wheel receives high-gloss Black Argento treatment with silver accent lines. A-pillar and B-pillar handles feature a leather wrap with rollover Graystone stitching. The column-mounted shifter on Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty models also receives leather treatments with accent stitching and satin chrome accents. Ram 1500 models feature a machine-spun aluminum shifter mounted on the instrument panel with knurled edges to assure finger and glove traction.
    Placed into a black mask background, Ram Laramie Limited’s Liquid Graphite-faced gauges are surrounded with diamond knurled, Liquid Chrome rings, a design cue inspired by modish watches. Gauge needles are finished in white with Liquid Graphite painted hubs. Limited’s cluster also has a unique modern font, with clean white accent lighting to further differentiate the trim. The instrument panel is topped with Graystone accent stitching and fitted with a Liquid Graphite glove box spear, pinstripe design and understated “Limited” badge.
    The 2015 Laramie Limited features the next generation 8.4-inch Uconnect system with standard navigation. Digital background screens are tailor-made to the high-class trim, another detail valued by premium truck customers. The center stack is finished off with K-black Dark Metallic paint, Argento inlays and surrounded by large Liquid Graphite bezels.
    Front and rear door trim are layered in premium leather. Armrest uppers are accented with matched French stitching and pinstripe stitching designs. The top of the door panel is covered in ultra-soft Natura Plus leather, uncommon in trucks. High-gloss Argento wood spears with silver accent lines lay above the armrest upper and satin chrome trim rings and badges provide subtle flair.
    Ram Laramie Limited editions receive remote LED lighting at the inside door handles, and a full-length light that illuminates the truck’s multifunction lower map pockets, front and rear. Beneath the dash is soft footwell lighting, providing both functional and aesthetic properties.
    New for Ram Truck, and debuting on the 2015 Laramie Limited model, is an all-black headliner and pillars combination. This change allowed designers to control where contrasts exist best for visual appeal.
    Finally, passengers will enjoy solid Black premium Berber carpet floor mats, which are removable by using Liquid Graphite snaps, leaving a rubber, slush and mud-capturing mat with Limited badge. The carpet continues the silver-lined theme, which matches the steering wheel, center stack, console tambour door and door spears. For entry and exit, brushed-silver Ram-branded door-sill plates resist scuffs and add visual appeal and close out the most luxurious interior available in a pickup — the 2015 Ram Laramie Limited.
    Other Features
    Ram Laramie Limited also is equipped with air suspension (1500 only), wheel-to-wheel side steps, navigational radio, remote start, backup camera, power adjustable pedals with memory, heated steering wheel, front ventilated and heated seats, heated rear seats and RamBox (Heavy Duty, 6-foot, 4-inch bed only).
    The Laramie Limited trim will be available in Ram 1500, Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 single- and dual-rear-wheel; Crew Cab and Mega Cab (Heavy Duty); four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive; and short- and long-wheelbase models.
    The Ram 1500 Laramie Limited luxury trim will be available in the second quarter of 2015 as a 2015 model. The Ram Laramie Limited 2500 and 3500 will be available in the third quarter as a 2016 model.

    William Maley

    The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox - ITS A CROSSOVER

    The current Chevrolet Equinox has been on sale for around 5 to 6 years. Usually, an automaker would give a model this old a redesign. But General Motors is going with the 'if ain't broke, why fix it' mantra with the 2016 Chevrolet Equinox.
    The only real note of change for 2016 Equinox is the exterior. The front end features a larger lower grille and a slim body-color bar. New headlights, reshaped taillights, and new 17- and 18-inch wheels. As for the interior, all Equinox models get a 7-inch touchscreen as standard.
    Powertrains carry over from last year. The base is the 2.4L four-cylinder with 182 horsepower, while a 3.6L V6 with 301 horsepower is optional.
    The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox arrives at dealers later this fall.
    Source: Chevrolet

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Fresh Face: Chevrolet Introduces Restyled 2016 Equinox
    Premium cues, new safety features enhance Chevy’s record-selling compact SUV

    CHICAGO – Chevrolet today introduced the 2016 Equinox – a contemporized version of the popular compact SUV. Updates include new styling with premium accents, new wheel designs and new available safety features, as well as a larger color touchscreen radio and a standard rear-vision camera for entry-level models.
    The enhanced Equinox goes on sale this fall, building on five years of record sales in the highly competitive compact SUV segment and strengthening Chevrolet’s broad sport utility lineup, which includes the Traverse, the all-new Trax small SUV and the redesigned 2015 Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs.
    “Chevrolet Equinox is a pillar of the compact SUV segment, thanks to a value rooted in great style, efficiency, safety and connectivity,” said Alan Batey, president, GM North America. “The enhancements to the 2016 Equinox make a versatile vehicle an even better choice, and demonstrate Chevrolet’s commitment to delivering the broadest lineup of SUVs in the industry.”
    Equinox sales in the U.S. increased to 242,242 in 2014 – the fifth consecutive year of record sales since the second-generation launched as a 2010 model.
    It also held more than 9 percent of the compact SUV market, which surged 17.4 percent in 2014 and accounted for 15.5 percent of the total vehicle market – eclipsing midsize cars for the first time to become the auto industry’s largest segment.
    The roster of new and updated features available on the 2016 Equinox includes:
    New trim lineup: L, LS, LT and LTZ, a streamlining of the model lineup that eliminates the 1LT and 2LT trims.
    New front fascia and chrome-accented dual-port grille design – including specific chrome trim on LT and LTZ grilles
    New, premium projector-beam headlamps on all models helps make the Equinox more visible at night
    New daytime running lamps on LT and LTZ, with reflector-style lamps on L and LS, and light-emitting diode, (LED) lamps on LT and LTZ that create a distinctive, upscale lighting signature
    New fog lamps on LTZ
    New, Chevy-signature dual-element taillamps, revised license plate applique and revised lower rear fascia on all models, with chrome trim on LTZ lower fascia
    New 17-inch aluminum wheels on LT and new 18-inch aluminum wheels on LTZ
    New available 17-inch wheel optional on LS model
    New chrome exhaust outlets on V-6 models
    Available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features on LT and LTZ
    Standard seven-inch-diagonal Color Touch radio (including Bluetooth phone connectivity) and rear-vision camera on L and LS models
    Revised instrument panel “center stack” with new storage shelf and updated control graphics
    New, chrome-trimmed transmission shifter with Electronic Range Selector mode buttons relocated to the top of the shifter handle
    Enhanced interior fabrics in L and LS designed for a premium look and feel
    New Saddle Up interior color
    New universal tablet holders available through dealers from Chevrolet Accessories. They mount on the rear of the front seats to provide convenient access for rear-seat passengers.

    “The new face of the Equinox is highlighted by a more expressive execution of chrome accents and premium lighting,” said John Cafaro, executive director of design, global Chevrolet cars. “The result is a modern exterior that’s matched inside with premium features on all trim levels, complementing the Equinox’s enhanced technology and functionality.”
    A compact SUV with big features
    The 2016 Equinox seats five, with all-wheel drive offered on LS, LT and LTZ models. Its roomy interior – with the GM-exclusive MultiFlex sliding rear seat – offers 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat and 63.7 cubic feet (1,803 liters) with the rear seat folded.
    The standard Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected engine delivers an EPA-estimated 32 mpg on the highway (FWD models). A direct-injected 3.6L V-6 is available with LT and LTZ models and delivers best-in-class 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 272 lb-ft of torque (369 Nm). The V-6 engine also enables a trailering capacity of up to 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg) – capability unmatched by four-cylinder-only competitors.
    Chevrolet MyLink is standard on LT and LTZ models, while OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotpot is offered on all trim levels. Equinox was the first in the segment to offer 4G LTE and it provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the car is on and comes with a three-month/3GB data trial (whichever comes first).
    In addition to available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features, Equinox also offers Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning as part of comprehensive safety packages.
    Equinox fast facts
    Chevrolet’s second-best selling vehicle in North America, after Silverado
    Equinox claimed 9.3 percent of the U.S. compact SUV market in 2014
    First generation debuted as a 2005 model
    Second generation introduced as a 2010 model
    Second generation sales in the U.S. and Canada totaled more than 1 million through the end of 2014
    More than 1.4 million Equinox vehicles of both generations are on the road.


    Drew Dowdell

    Honda thinks outside of the boxy for their redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot

    At the 2015 Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, Honda released their redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot mid-size crossover SUV. This is the third version of the Pilot to be designed and built in the United States.
    Being all new, the Pilot sheds its previous boxy look for a much sleeker profile that is reminiscent of both the Honda CR-V and Honda Odyssey. Weighing in at nearly 300lbs lighter than the outgoing model, the Pilot still yet gains a stiffer and tighter body construction.
    The lighter weight combines with new fuel efficient powertrains. Under the hood resides a new 3.5 liter, direct-inject V6 with Variable Cylinder Management and now adding an idle stop feature. Customers will have their choice of a new 6-speed automatic or an optional 9-speed automatic. Both versions will naturally be available in front wheel drive or all wheel drive versions. Honda expects Pilot to lead the segment in fuel economy.
    Honda expects the Pilot to achieve a 5-star safety rating and to back that up, Honda has equipped the Pilot with a host of available safety technology.
    You can follow all of the news from the 2015 Chicago Auto Show here.

    Source: Honda Media
    Press release on Page 2

    All-New 2016 Honda Pilot Makes World Debut and Redefines the Midsize, Three-Row SUV at 2015 Chicago Auto Show


    · Modern, refined and confidently capable new Pilot launching this summer
    · Advanced and efficient Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrains
    · Class-leading safety features, fuel efficiency and driving dynamics
    · A host of new technologies and even more packaging flexibility
    CHICAGO, Feb., 12, 2014 – The all-new 2016 Honda Pilot SUV made its global premiere today at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Reengineered and redesigned in America, the 2016 Honda Pilot delivers more family-friendly utility, more advance technology and more premium attributes and amenities than ever before, boasting class-leading safety features, fuel efficiency and confident driving dynamics in a thoroughly modern, stylish and sophisticated new package.
    The all-new 2016 Pilot, launching at Honda dealerships nationwide this summer, is the third generation of Honda’s three-row midsize SUV to be designed, developed and manufactured in America. Reinforcing 2015 as the “Year of Honda,” Pilot further strengthens Honda’s SUV/CUV triple threat by joining the exceptionally well received 2015 CR-V (2015 Motor Trend SUV of the Year) and greatly anticipated new 2016 HR-V.
    “With looks that command attention and the powerful presence of true functionality, the 2016 Pilot sets a new benchmark in the midsize SUV class with an unmatched combination of sophistication and utility,” said Jeff Conrad, Honda Divisionsenior vice president and general manager. “This means the all-new Pilot will comfort, entertain and assist active families in all aspects of their lives, whether it’s an evening out for two, a road trip adventure for all or just the chores of everyday life.”
    Premium Style and Features
    The all-new design of the 2016 Pilot sports a modern, sleek, yet commanding and muscular form incorporating new premium features, including optional brighter and more efficient LED projector headlights with auto high beam technology, available signature LED daytime running lights and taillights, plus available 20-inch wheels and a first-ever panoramic roof option. The premium quality of the new Pilot carries over to the interior, where designers have applied high-quality, soft- touch materials throughout the cabin and added thoughtful details such as LED map lighting.
    Additional high-end amenities include available heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated second-row seats. For the first time, upper-trim Pilot models will have available two second-row captain’s chairs, providing for easy walk through between the second and third rows, in addition to the standard second-row three-person 60/40 split seat for 8-passenger seating capacity.
    Advanced Technology
    The new Pilot delivers the connectivity and power access that the modern family demands, including up to five USB ports, four that provide better recharging with 2.5-amp output, to charge iPads or smartphones while in use. Additional ports and plugs include an auxiliary jack for nearly any audio player, an HDMI port for a gaming console, two headphone jacks, two 12-volt power outlets and a 115-volt outlet to power just about anything.
    The new Pilot also incorporates Honda’s latest thinking for advanced, family-friendly technology, including an upsized 8-inch capacitive touchscreen Display Audio telematics interface powered by a new Android-based operating system and more powerful processor, along with an available all-new embedded Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™. The new navigation system features improved graphics and new capabilities, including 3D renderings of terrain, buildings and road signs, improved lane guidance, live search function, 911 emergency services and more.
    The Pilot’s Display Audio system enables simplified smartphone connectivity making for easier access to all the features and connectivity options of the HondaLink™ connected-car system. A 9-inch rear entertainment system with DVD and new Blu-Ray disc™ capability is available.
    Family-Friendly Utility
    The new Pilot builds on its reputation for best-in-class interior space, versatility and utility with 3-inches of added vehicle length, enabling a larger cargo area that can hold an 82-quart cooler without compromising third-row seating capability, a segment-exclusive feature. Third-row entry and exit is made even easier and more intuitive courtesy of an available one-touch walk-in second-row seat that slides and tilts to its forward-most position at the touch of a button. As compared with the current Pilot, the width of the lower portion of the third-row entryway has been increased by 2.5 inches with 1-inch lower step-over height.
    The Pilot’s new center console features a cavernous storage compartment capable of accommodating items as large as a full-size iPad or large purse. And with its seamless cover in the closed position, the console provides a convenient, non-slip surface for items that the driver or front passenger may need close at hand.
    Earth Dreams Technology™ Powertrain
    The 2016 Pilot delivers more refined, powerful and fuel-efficient performance than ever before courtesy of its new 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC® V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) cylinder deactivation technology. For improved fuel efficiency, the Pilot will include available Idle Stop technology that shuts off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, instantly and smoothly restarting the engine when the driver lifts their foot off the brake pedal. The new engine is mated to one of two advanced new transmissions – a Pilot-first 6-speed automatic transmission, or on upper trims, a Honda-first 9-speed automatic transmission – both delivering notably refined, responsive and fuel-efficient performance. The new Pilot will be available in front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations and will feature a completely new Honda all-wheel-drive system that delivers even more confident, efficient and dynamic all-weather performance.
    The new Pilot is almost 300 pounds lighter than the outgoing model; its more rigid, tightly sealed yet lighter body in combination with new, efficient powertrains, a new all-wheel-drive system and class-leading aerodynamics result in class-leading dynamic performance and fuel efficiency along with a new level of cabin quietness befitting its status as a premium family SUV.
    Advanced Safety Performance
    In keeping with Honda’s commitment to safety, the new Pilot will feature the most comprehensive set of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies ever offered on a Honda vehicle. Together these technologies make up Honda Sensing™, a suite of technologies designed to expand the driver’s situational awareness while sensing and responding to potential road hazards, including other vehicles, road obstacles and even pedestrians, mitigating the possibility or severity of a collision. It includes Honda’s popular LaneWatch™ display, Blind Spot Indicators, a standard Multi-Angle Rear View Camera, and available Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, Adaptive Cruise Control and a Honda-first Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) system.
    The new Pilot is expected to deliver the highest safety ratings in its class and targets a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a GOOD rating in all crash modes. The new Pilot incorporates Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, designed to more efficiently absorb and disperse the energy from a frontal collision, along with a new ultra-high-strength door ring designed to help better protect occupants. The 2016 Pilot also incorporates an all-new 3-bone platform while also utilizing high and ultra-high strength body materials, which together reduce noise, vibration and harness (NVH), improve handling, increase rigidity and reduce weight.
    Standard safety and driver-assistive features include four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist; Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control; an Expanded View Driver’s Mirror; dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, driver and front passenger SmartVent™ side airbags and side-curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions; and a new Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with real-time display of individual tire pressures.
    All-American Honda Pilot
    All three generations of the Honda Pilot have been designed and developed in America by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. at its Los Angeles design studio and Raymond, Ohio, vehicle development center. The Pilot and its engine are manufactured at Honda’s Lincoln, Alabama auto plant. In 2014, nearly 98 percent of all Honda-brand vehicles were produced in North America.
    The Pilot joins the Honda CR-V – 2015 Motor Trend SUV of the Year and America’s best-selling SUV for eight of the past 11 years – the popular Odyssey minivan and the dynamic new HR-V crossover, launching this spring, in Honda’s growing lineup of innovative light truck offerings. An all-new Honda Ridgeline pickup will join the Honda lineup within the next two years. All Honda light truck models are produced in North America using domestic and globally sourced parts.

    Drew Dowdell

    Nissan takes an unconventional route with their new Le Mans race car.

    While we saw a glimpse of it in Nissan’s Super Bowl commercial where we also saw the upcoming Nissan Maxima, Nissan officially took the wraps off their 2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo Le Mans car today at an event leading up to the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. Nissan is taking an innovative look at the Le Mans regulations and instead of producing a Le Mans car in the traditional rear-engine layout, they have opted for a front-midship design (ahead of the driver, but behind the front wheels) with front wheel drive.
    Powering the GT-R LM, is a 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6 hybrid. But this is not your Grandmother’s Pruis; Rather than using batteries and electric motors to assist the gasoline engine, the GT-R LM uses a kinetic energy recovery system (ERS). In over-simplified terms, when decelerating, the ERS collects the kinetic energy in a large flywheel, when accelerating, that energy is pushed back into the drivetrain. The hybrid system is important because Le Mans regulations are based on how much fuel a car can burn over a given time. The more efficient the powertrain at that rate of fuel burn, the more power the driver has. ERS systems are not lightweight however, so Nissan was challenged to get the entire powertrain plus ERS install under the regulation weight.
    With its front wheel drive layout, one naturally expects the wider tires to be up front, but that is just a starting point. Nissan moved the aerodynamic down pressure points more forward and shifted the weight distribution of the car forward to further aid with traction.
    The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo sees its first race on April 12th 2015 in Silverstone, UK.

    You can follow all of the news from the 2015 Chicago Auto Show here.
    Source: Nissan Media

    William Maley

    Ford readies a new Interceptor Utility for duty

    Following the updates done on the 2016 Explorer, Ford has also given the police version - the Police Interceptor Utility - a similar treatment. The result will debut at the Chicago Auto Show later this week.
    Starting on the exterior, the Interceptor Utility gets a revised front end with a new grille and headlights. Inside a new instrument cluster and a enhanced electrical system that can better deal with the electrical loads police cars use. There's also a new liftgate release switch which opens the rear hatch for 45 seconds to allow officers to get equipment out before locking back up.
    Power comes from either a 3.7L V6 with 304 horsepower and 279 pound-feet of torque or a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come paired with all-wheel drive. The six-speed automatic transmission features a pursuit mode which allows for more aggressive up and downshifts. The mode kicks in when the vehicle detects a change in the driver's behavior via brake line pressure, deceleration, and lateral acceleration rates.
    "From the heavy-duty suspension and powertrain offerings, to the unique steering and transmission calibrations, Ford Police Interceptor Utility is built to provide any law enforcement agency a vehicle ready to meet extremely demanding needs," said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for the new Police Interceptor Utility.
    Source: Ford


    Press Release is on Page 2
    NEW FORD POLICE INTERCEPTOR DEBUTS AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW, SETS ITS SIGHTS ON INNOVATION, CONTINUED SALES LEADERSHIP
    Ford Police Interceptor – the top-selling law enforcement vehicle in the United States – is ready to hit the streets with a fresh look and new features this summer
    2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, created with hands-on input from Ford’s Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, is the most customer-centric, purpose-built vehicle from Ford
    Ford Police Interceptor Utility and Police Interceptor Sedan are built at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant and shipped to markets across the world

    CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2015 – Ford will unveil the 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicle at the Chicago Auto Show this Thursday, kicking off a new chapter for the utility that has changed the face of law enforcement.
    Since its introduction in 2012, Police Interceptor Utility quickly became America’s best-selling police vehicle, helping Ford capture 55 percent of the U.S. law enforcement vehicle market.
    The 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility was developed with input from the Ford Police Advisory Board to handle the extreme rigors of police duty. In the business of fighting crime, performance and durability are king. Ford Police Interceptor Utility is the only Pursuit Rated midsize utility vehicle; Ford’s utility and sedan versions are the only Pursuit Rated vehicles with standard all-wheel drive.
    “Our Police Interceptor Utility is the best-selling police vehicle in America because we have a unique relationship with our customers,” said Jonathan Honeycutt, Ford North American marketing manager for Police Vehicles. “By listening to the Ford Police Advisory Board, we have engineered a vehicle that officers love.”
    Customer-driven innovation
    To create the most innovative law enforcement vehicles, Ford listened to the experts.
    The Police Advisory Board was created by Ford to refine and develop future products that meet the needs of law enforcement agencies. The board, created in 2000, consists of a rotating panel of 25 experts from the law enforcement community. The group has supplied Ford with customer feedback and served as a pilot group for products, programs and services.
    The 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility features a new front and rear design, new headlamps, a new instrument panel and an enhanced electrical system to distribute electrical loads more efficiently.
    Available Surveillance Mode technology warns the driver when someone approaches the rear of the vehicle. Upon detection, the driver’s window automatically raises and all doors lock. Ford is the first manufacturer to bring this innovative feature to market.
    As a direct response to customer feedback, Ford added a liftgate release switch, accessible to occupants in the front. It allows the rear liftgate mechanism to remain unlocked for 45 seconds before timing out, permitting officers to access the cargo area.
    A rear camera with washer is standard for the 2016 model with a 4-inch screen in the center stack. As an option, the view from the camera can be seen in the rearview mirror.
    Ford Police Interceptor Utility comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 producing 304 horsepower and 279 lb.-ft. of torque, while an available 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 makes 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing agencies to select the engine that best meets their patrol requirements. Police Interceptor Utility’s standard all-wheel drive is designed to deliver low-speed traction and high-speed handling and stability.
    “From the heavy-duty suspension and powertrain offerings, to the unique steering and transmission calibrations, Ford Police Interceptor Utility is built to provide any law enforcement agency a vehicle ready to meet extremely demanding needs,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for the new Police Interceptor Utility.
    Both engines have been calibrated to meet extreme test requirements defined by the Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Tests include aggressive driving on road courses and racetracks, braking and acceleration, top speed and city pursuit testing.
    In both Police Interceptor models, the standard six-speed transmission features a unique Pursuit Mode specifically programmed for law enforcement use. The transmission automatically switches from normal, fuel-saving operation to Pursuit Mode when it detects aggressive driving situations, based on brake line pressure, deceleration and lateral acceleration rates.
    Once in Pursuit Mode, the upshift and downshift performance of the transmission is optimized for aggressive driving, returning to fuel-save mode when it senses the aggressive driving is complete. The software is tuned to perform a reverse J-turn, which is when a reversing vehicle is spun 180 degrees and continues, face forward, without changing direction of travel.
    In addition to unique cooling systems designed for extreme use, Police Interceptor also features custom-developed brakes designed to withstand excessive use. The 18-inch steel wheels have high venting characteristics to help cool the brakes.
    The vehicle has been designed to stand up to the demands of police work, with heavy-duty powertrain mounts, reinforced subframe mounts and unique hubs and bearings. Larger-diameter springs are used in the suspension. The upgrades help ensure every Police Interceptor model can handle the extreme rigors of law enforcement work. Even the tires are specifically designed to meet durability and pursuit standards, with some departments logging as many as 50,000 miles per year.
    The unibody structure of Police Interceptor Utility features boron steel in the A-pillar and a hydroformed, high-strength steel tube that runs the width of the vehicle to improve structural rigidity. Interior and exterior dimensions remain the same for the 2016 model.
    Designed in Dearborn, built in Chicago
    Police Interceptor Utility and Police Interceptor Sedan are sold in more than 80 markets around the world, but built in the heartland of America, at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant. Once initial work is completed at Chicago Assembly Plant, the vehicles are transported less than a mile away to Troy Design and Manufacturing to be upfitted with law enforcement equipment.
    A wholly owned subsidiary of Ford, Troy Design and Manufacturing operates out of a 54,000-square-foot facility, where approximately 200 workers bring Police Interceptor vehicles to life. Law enforcement agencies can select from 125 packages, which include a variety of lighting options, wraps and styles. Last year, an estimated 269,000 police-duty accessories were installed on 36,000 vehicles before shipping to police departments across the globe.
    One of the most important and recognizable features of Police Interceptor are the lights. The 2016 Police Interceptor Utility allows agencies to choose from up to 25 different patterns. The lights are now better integrated into the new front and rear fascia, allowing for a more seamless design and a stealthier look for patrol duty.
    In a nod to police vehicle nostalgia, Ford added a blinking white function called “wig-wag” to the incandescent high-beam light bulbs.
    Other key technologies available on Ford Police Interceptor Utility:
    Ballistic shields built to Level III specifications determined by the National Institute of Justice Standard, factory-installed in the driver and passenger doors for additional protection against gunfire
    SYNC®, a hands-free information technology so officers can operate various communication and audio equipment by voice control
    Available Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®), which uses two radar sensors located in the rear quarter panels to detect vehicles in the surrounding lanes. If a vehicle enters the driver’s blind spot zones, the system alerts the driver with a warning light in the sideview mirror
    Available cross-traffic alert, which uses existing BLIS radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot. The system functions only while the vehicle is in reverse and warns when cross traffic appears within three car-widths
    Available Reverse Sensing System, which emits an audible tone to alert the driver to certain objects up to 6 feet behind the vehicle


    William Maley

    Toyota Has A Bountiful Showing Coming To Chicago

    Toyota has quite the showing at the Chicago Auto Show next week. First off is a refresh for the full-size Avalon sedan. We don't much about the refresh, but judging from a from teaser shot, Toyota has made some slight tweaks to front end. We'll have more information come next week.
    The other two reveals are special edition models of the Camry and Corolla. The Camry Special Edition starts off as the SE model equipped with four-cylinder engine and gets some more aggression. This begins on the exterior with a choice of either Blizzard Pearl or Blue Streak Metallic paint; 18-inch wheels with black accents, and smoked taillights. Inside are a set of sport seats with blue stitching and black bolsters, Entune Audio Plus stereo, push-button start, and a moonroof. Toyota plans on building 12,000 Camry Special Editions starting in August.
    The Corolla Special Edition takes the Corolla S Plus model and adds a set of gloss black 17-inch wheels and a choice of Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl, or Super White colors. Inside is red stitching and accents for the seats, dashboard, and door trim. You'll also get push-button start and special edition floor mats. Toyota plans on building 8,000 Corolla Special Editions starting in August.
    Source: Toyota

    Press Release is on Page 2
    Toyota to Create Turbulence in Windy City with Sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions
    Camry and Corolla to Create Excitement With Special Edition Debuts
    Limited Production Models Equipped With Unique Sport-Themed Features
    Refreshed Avalon to be Unveiled at Chicago Auto Show

    CHICAGO, (Feb. 5, 2015) – Winds of change will be blowing into the Chicago Auto Show. Toyota’s Camry mid-size sedan, the best-selling car in America for the past 13 years, and Corolla compact sedan, the world’s best-selling car of all time, will debut special edition models at next week’s Chicago Auto Show. The debuts will be part of a press conference that will also feature a refreshed Avalon sedan.
    Camry Special Edition
    When redesigning the Camry for 2015, Toyota went bumper to bumper and floor to roof, changing or re-engineering nearly 2,000 parts. Only the roof remained unchanged, and it capped off the boldest Camry ever. Now, only one year after this major redesign, America’s best-selling car will offer the 2016 Camry Special Edition for owner’s looking for an extra dose of both aggressiveness and technology. Based on the youthful Camry SE, the limited production Camry will add sporty interior and exterior features. In addition to features found on the Camry SE, standard equipment on the Special Edition will include:
    Unique 18-inch alloy wheels with machined face contrasted with gloss black painted accents
    Power tilt/slide moonroof
    Smoked tail lamp treatment
    High contrast blue stitching on the seats, shift boot, and dash
    Exclusive sport appearance seats trimmed with black SofTex bolsters and blue patterned inserts
    Sport meter cluster with blue details and white background
    Entune Audio Plus
    Available Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite
    Smart Key with Pushbutton Start
    Qi Wireless Charging
    Two exterior colors: Blizzard Pearl and new Blue Streak Metallic
    Floor mats with logo and unique exterior badge

    The Camry Special Edition will be powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Like all Toyota vehicles, the Camry Special Edition will come standard with the Star Safety System.
    Production of the Camry Special Edition will be limited to approximately 12,000 units and will run from August 2015 to January 2016.
    Corolla Special Edition
    The iconic Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling name plate of all-time with over 40 million sold since 1966. With its all-new 11th generation introduced in 2014, the current Corolla is the roomiest and most fuel-efficient ever.
    Corolla will add more driving excitement with the launch of the 2016 Corolla Special Edition. Sporty styling features, inside and out, complement a spirited driving experience made possible with steering wheel paddle shifters, rear disc brakes and Sport Driving Mode along with an array of additional standard features.
    Based on the sporty Corolla S Plus grade, the 2016 Corolla Special Edition will turn heads as it adds:
    Unique 17-inch alloy wheels with gloss black finish
    Black interior with red contrast stitching
    Red accented dash and door trim
    Smart Key System with pushbutton start
    Three colors: exclusive Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl and Super White
    Special Edition floor mats with logo and unique exterior badge

    Toyota’s Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and power tilt/slide moonroof will be available as options.
    The Corolla Special Edition will be produced between August and December 2015 and will be limited to 8,000 units.
    In addition to the Camry and Corolla Special Editions, Toyota will unveil the refreshed 2016 Avalon premium mid-size sedan during a press conference in the Toyota display at Chicago’s McCormick Place on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 2:30 p.m. CST.

    William Maley
    Kia has released a teaser for their upcoming concept car that will be shown at Chicago. The concept will feature an electric all-wheel drive system and be aimed at "city dwellers seeking the ultimate urban escape." From what we can tell from the teaser shot, it looks like a Soul with a few more inches of ground clearance and body cladding.
    We'll have more information and live shots from Chicago Auto Show in a couple of weeks.
    Source: Kia
    Press Release is on Page 2
    KIA MOTORS AMERICA TO REVEAL CONCEPT AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
    Kia Motors America will unveil an advanced and capable electric all-wheel drive (e-AWD) concept vehicle at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show. This bold off-roader was conceived by Kia’s California design studio and built for city dwellers seeking the ultimate urban escape. Intended to enable a wide array of outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding, to camping, hiking and mountain biking, this rugged runabout captures the essence of adventuring at higher elevations with the promise of surefootedness in the wild.
    Kia’s newest concept will be revealed on the Kia stand Thursday, February 12 at 9 AM.

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