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    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.

    William Maley

    Honda Talks About What They Have In Store for Chicago

    Just after a week of the madness that is the Detroit Auto Show, automakers are gearing for the next show on the schedule: Chicago. Honda is the first automaker to announce what they have in store for the show next month and it happens to deal with crossovers.
    First up is the 2016 Pilot. Honda has released a teaser shot showing off the greenhouse of the redesigned crossover. From this shot, we can see Honda has retired the boxy shape that has been part of the Pilot since the first-generation model and going for shape that is more in common with the CR-V and HR-V. Honda goes onto say the Pilot will showcase 'new standout technologies, versatility, and dynamics currently unavailable in the mainstream SUV segment.'
    Second is Honda's luxury counterpart, Acura announcing the 2016 RDX. The compact luxury crossover was redesigned in 2013, but apparently is up for a refresh. The updated model is expected to feature "a long list of styling and performance improvements plus desirable new luxury and safety features" along with "important improvements to performance, dynamics, comfort and NVH."
    We'll have more information and live shots when both vehicles debut at Chicago on February 12th.
    Source: Honda, Acura
    Press Releases are on Page 2
    All-New 2016 Honda Pilot SUV to Make Global Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show
    Honda to fortify light-truck leadership on Feb. 12 by debuting all-new Pilot three-row SUV, and revealing the styling direction for future Ridgeline pickup

    Jan 21, 2015 - TORRANCE, Calif: A completely reengineered and redesigned Honda Pilot SUV will make its world debut at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show on February 12 at 9:30 a.m. The all-new, eight-passenger Pilot SUV – completely designed, developed and manufactured in America -- will raise the stakes in the mainstream three-row SUV segment with new technology, advanced safety, class-leading fuel economy and enhanced family utility and versatility.
    The new Pilot represents a dramatic shift in design, while showcasing new standout technologies, versatility, and dynamics currently unavailable in the mainstream SUV segment. Further, the Pilot remains as family-friendly as ever, proving once again that driving the family truckster can be a joy.
    The redesigned Pilot SUV, launching at Honda dealerships nationwide this summer, will further augment a Honda light truck lineup that includes the recently redesigned Honda CR-V – 2014 Motor Trend SUV of the Year and the best-selling SUV in America – and the all-new Honda HR-V crossover, launching this spring. In addition to showcasing the completely redesigned Honda Pilot SUV, the company also will reveal details and styling direction for its forthcoming Ridgeline truck at the Chicago Auto Show.
    "Honda continues to fortify its light-truck lineup in 2015, this time turning our eye to the fast-growing family SUV segment," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "The new Pilot will raise the bar in a segment it helped to create, with more innovation, style, premium features and family utility than ever before."
    The original Honda Pilot was introduced in 2002 as the first mainstream eight-passenger SUV to feature car-like unitized body construction, delivering more refined driving dynamics, better fuel economy and superior cabin space in a family-oriented sport-utility vehicle. The second-generation Pilot was launched in 2008. All three generations of the Pilot have been designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in Los Angeles and Ohio. The Pilot and its engine are now produced at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant.
    The Honda brand's U.S. light-truck sales were up 10.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 154,480 SUVs, pickups and minivans, including an 8.6% gain for Pilot, to 28,610 units, in the fourth quarter.
    Hot Winter Wind: 2016 Acura RDX to Bow at 2015 Chicago Auto Show
    Quick, luxurious, fun and practical new RDX to bring even stronger package to red-hot segment

    Jan 21, 2015 - TORRANCE, Calif: Coming off a record sales year as one of the best-selling SUVs in its segment, Acura's RDX is set to move its already lofty bar even higher when the new 2016 model bows at the Chicago Auto Show on February 12. The new RDX sports a long list of styling and performance improvements plus desirable new luxury and safety features designed to further solidify its leadership in the compact luxury SUV segment.
    The 2016 RDX artfully blends numerous fresh exterior and interior design elements to further enrich its sport and luxury qualities, all with a cohesiveness that speaks to its new capabilities. Already one of the quickest and most fuel-efficient V6-powered entry-luxury SUVs, the 2016 RDX takes the position a step further, adding important improvements to performance, dynamics, comfort and NVH.
    Don't miss the debut of the newest Acura RDX at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. CST in the Acura booth.

    Drew Dowdell

    Subaru celebrates 25 years of the Legacy nameplate with a new design.

    Arguably the most significant debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show is the redesigned 2015 Subaru Legacy. The 2015 Legacy marks 25 years of the Legacy nameplate in the United States.
    Already know for some of the best fuel economy in the all-wheel drive car segment, the 2015 model continues with with a 26 city/35 highway preliminary EPA rating in the 2.5i model. The standard all-wheel drive now features standard torque vectoring. Engines have received a modest peak power increase however they now deliver that power over a broader RPM range. The standard continuously variable transmission has been revised to reduce internal friction and thereby increase fuel economy.
    Inside Subaru is claiming to have the largest passenger compartment in the mid-size class, though after sitting in the car, it is claim we will be running by the fact-checkers after release. The interior sports new infotainment options with the choice of a 6.2 inch screen or an upgraded 7 inch system. A 12 speaker Harmon/Kardon sound system will also be available. Subaru has also taken steps to improve the sound isolation with numerous acoustical panel additions.
    The exterior styling is evolutionary rather than revolutionary with the face adopting a more conservative look. Subaru pulled the base of the windshield forward 2 inches to give the car a steeper rake. This improves aerodynamics by 10% contributing to the Legacy's fuel economy performance.
    Subaru sales have been on a roll lately with a 5 year streak of sales increases. In 2013, Subaru even beat Volkswagen in total U.S. sales. Subaru expects the new Legacy to continue on that trend.

    Our Take: Subaru redesigns their flagship sedan to look more conservative and will have no problem selling every one they build, but Ford and Hyundai called... they want their grille back.
    Press release after the jump.
    Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears

    SUBARU INTRODUCES ALL-NEW 2015 LEGACY® SEDAN

    Roomiest Legacy ever with largest passenger cabin in the midsize segment
    Fuel efficiency at the top of AWD midsize sedan class with estimated ratings of 26 mpg city / 36 mpg highway for 2.5i model
    Higher level of comfort, quiet and refinement
    Revised powertrains and standard Lineartronic® CVT on all models
    New standard Active Torque Vectoring for greater agility
    New EyeSight driver assistance system with improved camera performance.
    New available safety technology including rear radar with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    New infotainment technology with available 12-speaker premium audio



    CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2014 – Subaru of America, Inc. today introduced the all-new 2015 Legacy, delivering a more compelling blend of standout design, interior refinement, safety technology and higher fuel efficiency along with the largest interior passenger volume in the midsize sedan segment. Still the only car in its class with All-Wheel Drive as standard, the 2015 Legacy continues the brand’s safety leadership by introducing an improved EyeSight system and available rear radar system that supports new driver-assistance technologies.
    Offering a choice of 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder BOXER engines, the 2015 Subaru Legacy comes standard with Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. With estimated ratings of 26 mpg city / 36 mpg highway / 30 mpg combined, the 2015 Legacy 2.5i matches or exceeds fuel economy of some midsize models that come only with front-wheel drive. The 6-cylinder model also sees fuel economy improve by 10 percent or more, with new estimated ratings of 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway / 23 combined.
    The new 2015 Legacy arrives in Subaru dealerships in summer 2014 with the 4-cylinder 2.5i model available in Standard, Premium and Limited trim lines, accompanied by the top-of-line 6-cylinder 3.6R Limited.
    The 2015 Subaru Legacy is the best-equipped ever, with all trim lines adding new standard amenities. The Limited trim line models offer the highest level of luxury ever in a Subaru, including standard perforated leather upholstery; two-position memory for the 10-way power driver’s seat; a 4-way power front passenger seat; three-mode heated front seats (also standard for Premium) and dual-mode heated rear seats; rear seat air conditioning vents and a high-end surround sound audio system with 12 harman/kardon® speakers.
    New Design Language
    The 2015 Legacy echoes design themes introduced by the Legacy Concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. The production model combines sporty form and efficient function. Key to the sleeker, coupe-like profile is a “nosecone” front section that combines the grille and bumper into one smooth piece. An aluminum hood reduces weight over the front wheels, enhancing steering response. The 2015 Legacy maintains a footprint similar to the model it replaces.
    The 2015 Legacy’s windshield is more raked, pulled forward 2.0 in. at the base. The new windshield angle, higher seating hip points, new front partition windows and door-mounted side view mirrors help improve visibility. A 10-percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency contributes to lower fuel consumption. All 2015 Legacy 2.5i trim levels debut a standard Active Grille Shutter system, which helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance when closed.
    In the Legacy 3.6R Limited, new standard HID low-beam headlights give the car a more distinctive nighttime signature. The U-shape tail and brake lights on all models use LED bulbs for lower power consumption and a luxurious appearance. Limited trim line models feature turn signal exterior mirrors, which are available as an option for the Premium.
    New Safety and Security from a Safety Leader
    The 2015 Legacy comes standard with a rear-view camera, now located closer to the center of the car for more natural imaging. A new rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags if an imminent rollover is detected. For added nighttime security, the 2015 Legacy features new standard welcome lighting that automatically turns on cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the car. The Limited trim offers a Keyless Access & Start system, as well.
    The 2015 Subaru Legacy introduces a new type of airbag restraint and a new available rear radar system. The new front seat-cushion airbags help to keep occupants in place in a frontal collision.
    A new rear radar system, which is standard on the 2015 Legacy 2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited and available for the 2.5i Premium, introduces the brand’s next step toward full-perimeter preventive safety. The rear radar system offers three functions. Blind Spot Detection detects vehicles behind the C-pillars and in other blind spots; Lane Change Assist detects approaching vehicles when changing lanes, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects close vehicles while reversing, such as out of a parking space or driveway. LED indicators on the side mirrors alert the driver. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses an indicator in the rear view camera display. Also for the 2015 Legacy, new Steering-Responsive Foglights are added, which help illuminate curves for better visibility.
    The EyeSight® driver-assist system option for Premium and Limited trim models, integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. EyeSight, which uses Subaru-developed stereo camera technology, is the highest-rated front crash prevention system by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2015 Legacy is projected to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.
    Four- or Six-Cylinder BOXER Engines
    The 2015 Legacy 2.5i is powered by a double-overhead-cam (DOHC) FB series 2.5-liter BOXER engine that debuted for 2013 and now receives numerous enhancements for lighter weight, improved efficiency and quieter operation. Power is increased slightly, to 175 hp vs. 173 hp before. Peak torque remains at 174 lb.-ft. but is spread over a broader engine speed range for more responsive performance.
    With the 2015 Legacy, Subaru continues to offer a 6-cylinder model in the midsize sedan segment. The 3.6-liter BOXER engine produces 256 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of peak torque. For 2015, all Legacy models now come standard with a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), with the 6-cylinder model using a high-torque version. Changes made to reduce friction in the CVT contribute to higher fuel efficiency in the 2015 Legacy. All 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.
    Quieter Ride, Enhanced Agility
    The Legacy offers an even smoother, quieter ride for 2015 thanks to a new acoustic windshield, liquid-filled engine mounts, thicker panels in key locations (floor, toeboard, rear wheel apron, inner fenders) and expanded use of foam insulation and floor damping material.
    New quick-ratio electric power-assisted steering delivers outstanding feel and also contributes to reduced fuel consumption. Revised spring and damper tuning and geometry and standard 17-inch wheels (18-in. on Limited) endow the 2015 Legacy with greater handling agility. Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system also featured on the brand’s high-performance 2015 WRX and WRX STI models, can apply brake pressure to the inside front wheel to facilitate more neutral cornering. The 4-cylinder Legacy now uses the same ventilated rear disc brakes as the 6-cylinder model, in place of solid discs used previously.
    More Room, Greater Refinement
    With nearly the same exterior footprint as the previous Legacy, the 2015 model offers a roomier passenger cabin, at 104.6 cu. ft. (up from 103 cu. ft.). The added space yields gains in shoulder, hip, elbow and leg room. Rear seat legroom measures a generous 38.1 inches. The Legacy’s trunk has been enlarged to 15.0 cu. ft., up slightly from 14.7 cu. ft. for the 2014 model, a significant point considering that the standard Symmetrical AWD system requires packaging for the multilink rear suspension, a rear differential and drive axles. A standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seat expands carrying capacity.
    The driver faces a decidedly sporty instrument panel in the 2015 Legacy, highlighted by two binocular-style gauge pods with center LCD information display -- 3.5-in. on cars without the EyeSight driver-assist system and 5-in. on EyeSight cars. In all models, an ECO gauge indicates and promotes fuel-efficient driving habits using color bars. The Premium and Limited-trim models feature electro-luminescent gauges with elegant blue ring illumination.
    Accentuating the passenger cabin’s increased room, the Legacy features a new interior design that highlights horizontal themes. A combination of new soft-touch materials, thicker cushioning for armrests and the center console and new trim styles give the Legacy a more premium feel.
    The heater control panel integrates the digital clock and outside air temperature displays, with the time automatically corrected by GPS in navigation-equipped models. A new one-touch lane changer function for the turn signals adds convenience. Legacy Premium and Limited trim levels come equipped with standard auto up/down driver and front passenger windows with pinch protection.
    New Infotainment
    Subaru significantly upgraded infotainment capability in the 2015 Legacy. A new 6.2 Infotainment System in the Legacy 2.5i model provides AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®, Radio Data Broadcast System, single-disc in-dash CD player, 6.2-in. multi-function touch screen display, Subaru STARLINK connectivity with Aha™ and Pandora® smartphone integration, rear vision camera, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod® control capability, USB port and aux. input jack. The multi-touch display offers swipe and scrolling gestures – much like tablets and smartphones,
    The Upgraded Infotainment System in the 2.5i Premium adds a 6-speaker audio system with 7-inch touch screen display, SiriusXM® satellite radio, SMS text messaging, iTunes® tagging capability and dual USB ports.
    Standard for the 2015 Legacy Limited trim models, a new high-end audio system combines a 576-Watt equivalent AM/FM/HD Radio unit with 12 harman/kardon speakers, including a front center speaker and a rear subwoofer. The amplifier and speakers use harman/kardon Green Edge technology, which reduces system weight and power consumption.
    The Navigation Infotainment System available for the Premium and Limited trim levels, in addition to the multi-function display, features an interactive voice command system that accepts natural language and phrases and also operates the dual-zone automatic climate control system.
    A more versatile center console in the 2015 Legacy provides a storage area that can hold an iPad®. A new covered storage bin at the front of the console incorporates a USB port, 3.5mm AUX jack and a 12v power port. Models with high-grade audio or navigation feature two USB ports, making it possible to listen to music and charge two connected devices.
    Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
    Both 2015 Legacy models are equipped with a newly refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD. An electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. The system can send additional torque to the rear wheels either pro-actively or in response to slippage at the front wheels. Taking input from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors, Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery.

    William Maley

    Meet the fastest Volvos that will be on sale in the U.S. in June.

    When you think of Volvo, the images of boxy sedans and wagons that are very safe come to mind. Performance and something to lust over isn't something that you would equate with the brand at all. Until now.
    At the Chicago Auto Show today, Volvo introduced the S60 and V60 Polestar which turn up the performance wick. Under the hood, Volvo's tuning partner Polestar has modified the turbocharged 3.0L inline-six with a new turbocharger, intercooler, and engine management software. Those changes increase power to 345 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque from the standard 325 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission paired with a Polestar-developed Haldex all-wheel-drive system gets all of that power to the ground. 60 MPH comes in 4.7 seconds.
    Under the skin, the S60 and V60 Polestar come with much stiffer springs and a set of uprated Ohlins shocks. Larger brakes (14.6 inches up front and 11.8 inches for the back) sit behind a set of twenty-inch wheels.
    The exterior of the S60 and V60 Polestar get unique front and rear splitters, along with a rear spoiler and diffuser to improve aerodynamics.
    Volvo says there will only be 120 S60 and V60 Polestars available in the U.S. beginning this June. No word on pricing at the moment.
    Our Take: Volvo does the impossible with the S60 and V60 Polestar; they create Swedish Lust.
    Source: Volvo

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The Volvo V60 And S60 Polestar Bring Race-Tested Innovation To Real-World Driving
    Quickest factory Volvos ever make U.S. debut at 2014 Chicago Auto Show
    Special press conference being held today at 11:30am CT during the 2014 Chicago Auto Show
    V60 sports wagon and S60 sedan models will be available in two colors
    345 hp / 369 lbs.-ft T6 power plant, matched with fully tuned suspension
    Coming to U.S. showrooms this summer

    ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Feb. 6, 2014) – The Volvo wagon is most definitely back in the U.S., and together with performance and tuning partner Polestar, 2014 also welcomes the quickest factory Volvos to date: The V60 and S60 Polestar. Only 120 of the ultra-limited edition sportswagon and sedan will be available in the U.S.
    With a host of upgrades, from the chassis all the way through to the exterior, the latest from the Volvo and Polestar partnership represent the best automotive experience that Sweden has to offer. Both models will be on display in the U.S. for the very first time at a special press conference being held today at 11:30am (Central Time) during the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.
    “We are proud to present the V60 and S60 Polestar models. Both have been developed for those who share our passion at Polestar: That driving really matters and that a true driver’s car should enable you to enjoy driving all year, on all roads and in all weather conditions. These are driver’s cars for real life,” said Christian Dahl, CEO of Polestar.
    “It is very satisfying to see how Polestar has been able to combine this level of driving performance in their interpretation of the S60 and new V60, while upholding Volvo’s original service program, class-leading safety features and certified fuel and emission ratings. Customers buying these cars will get the best from both Polestar and Volvo,” said Alain Visser, senior vice president marketing, sales and customer service at Volvo Cars.
    Performance For The Real World
    Built around the standard V60 and S60, the Polestar editions combine the safety and comfort customers expect from Volvo with numerous adjustments and updates to numerous facets of the vehicles. The result is a wagon and sedan that are at home on any road in any condition, and that will undoubtedly enhance the everyday driving experience.
    Starting with the chassis, upgrades include a more rigid structure overall, with new springs that are 80 percent stiffer than those available on the S60 R-Design. High-performance Öhlins shock absorbers and 20-inch Polestar-exclusive wheels round out the customized handling package. For greater stopping power, Polestar has included 14.6-inch ventilated front discs matched with six-piston Brembo calipers, and 11.8 inch ventilated discs at the rear. The exterior of the V60 and S60 Polestar – available in Black Sapphire or Rebel Blue – carry a number of aerodynamic elements borne directly out of Volvo’s and Polestar’s wind tunnel testing. New front and rear splitters increase overall down force and allow for more streamlined airflow, as do the new rear spoiler and diffuser.
    Under the hood, the V60 and S60 Polestar feature Volvo’s venerated turbocharged T6 six cylinder engine, complete with an all-new, twin-scroll turbo as well as a new intercooler. Tweaks to the engine management software have also been made, and the 2.5-inch stainless steel exhaust with 3.5-inch tips, finish out the package. All told, the T6 produces 345 hp (SAE) at 5700 rpm, and 369 lbs.-feet of torque available at 2800 rpm. A six-speed automatic gearbox with a new paddle shift system and Polestar-developed, Haldex four-wheel drive system put the power to the road to carry the V60 and S60 Polestar to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.7 seconds. Inside, upgraded seats, steering wheel, and other items throughout the cabin have been treated with new materials and Polestar-specific colors for an even more engaging feel for the driver and passengers.
    The new Volvo V60 and S60 Polestar will be available at select U.S. dealers beginning in June 2014, with pricing to be announced in the coming months. To learn more and to find a dealer, please visit www.nextpolestar.com andhttp://www.volvocars.com/us/top/about/default/pages/default.aspx.
    Technical Specifications
    Performance
    0-60 mph 4.7 sec
    0-120 mph 16.3 sec
    50-75 mph 4.7 sec
    Top speed 155 mph – Electronically limited
    Chassis
    Polestar Öhlins shock absorber system
    Polestar bespoke rims, 20x8 inch ET53 with 245/35R20 tires
    Engine
    6-cylinder inline T6 engine, 2953 cc
    345 hp (SAE) @ 5700 rpm
    369 lbs.-feet @ 2800-4750 rpm
    Max 6500 rpm
    New twin-scroll Borg Warner turbo
    New intercooler
    Polestar 2.5 inch stainless full-flow exhaust system with twin 3.5 inch tail pipes
    Weight
    S60 Polestar: 3528 lb
    V60 Polestar: 3790 lb
    Transmission
    AWF21 automatic gearbox with paddle shift system
    Polestar transmission calibration for faster gearshifts, launch control and curve-hold functionality
    Polestar Haldex calibration for more rear torque dynamic distribution
    Polestar calibrated stability control system
    Brakes
    Front: Polestar/Brembo 6 piston brake calipers
    14.6 inch (371x32 mm) ventilated and floating Brembo discs
    Rear: 11.8 inch (302x22 mm) ventilated disc

    William Maley

    Versa Note Gains Some Sport.. Somewhat. Also, Possibility of diesel for Frontier.

    Nissan rolled out a pair vehicles today at the Chicago Auto Show that show a somewhat sporty side.
    The first is the 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR which is somewhat sporty-ish. The SR adds revised front fascia with smoked headlamps, standard foglamps, and black chrome accents. Along with the changes to front, the SR comes with a dark-finished sixteen-inch wheels, revised mirrors, side sills, and a new rear spoiler. The interior also gets some enhancements as well with a 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, swede-like seats with orange accents, and piano black trim.
    Those hoping for an enhancement in power with SR will be disappointed. The Versa Note SR sticks with the 1.6L inline-four engine with 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with Nissan's Xtronic CVT.
    The Versa Note SR arrives sometime in the spring.
    Nissan's other showing gives us a possible sneak peek into what they possibly have in store for the next-generation Frontier. This is the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept and Nissan is using this concept to gauge consumer interest for a diesel engine in the next-generation Frontier.
    Taking a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 as a starting point, Nissan and diesel partner, Cummins slips in a 2.8L four-cylinder diesel engine with nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 pound-feet of torque. Paired with an eight-speed automatic, Nissan says the diesel engine boosts the Frontier's fuel economy by 35 percent when compared with the V6. Towing and payload would be roughly the same as the V6.



    There are some changes to the exterior such as a two-tone finish of high-gloss red and matte silver paired with carbon fiber trim and off-road wheels.
    Our Take: Nissan has gotten the sporty looks with the Versa Note SR. Now if they could only add some more power.. Like a 1.6L turbo-four.
    As for the Frontier Diesel Runner Concept, we wouldn't be surprised if the next-generation Frontier gets it. Especially if the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon Diesel start selling like hot cakes.
    Source: Nissan
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2015 NISSAN VERSA NOTE SR DEBUTS AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW – OFFERS UNIQUE SPORTY STYLING AND INTERIOR TREATMENTS
    One of two new trim levels, along with Versa Note SL, designed to expand equipment and feature choices for buyers of Nissan's popular sub-compact hatchback
    - Versa Note lineup grows to five trim levels for 2015, set to go on sale this spring
    - New models retain 40 miles per gallon highway fuel economy with standard 1.6-liter engine and Xtronic® transmission
    - New Versa Note SR adds sporty front and rear fascias and grille, unique rear spoiler, 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels and exclusive interior enhancements
    - Versa Note SL includes standard NissanConnectTM smartphone integration for iOS and Android including Google™, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Facebook; NissanConnectTM Apps; Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant; and Divide–N-Hide® Adjustable Floor
    Nissan today provided an early preview of the 2015 Versa Note hatchback with the debut of the sporty new Versa Note SR. The new grade level is one of two new trims being added to the Versa Note lineup for its second year of production, along with the Versa Note SL. Both new grade levels go on sale this spring at Nissan dealers nationwide, joining the Versa Note S MT, S Plus CVT and SV CVT.
    Also for the 2015 model year, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System with steering wheel-mounted controls becomes standard across all trims of Versa Note. One new option package is also being introduced for 2015, the SR Convenience Package, and new content is added to the SV Convenience Package and SL Tech Package.
    Introduced in June 2013, the second-generation of the popular sub-compact 5-door Versa Note offers an exceptional combination of versatility, technology and value. It is designed to satisfy both the owners' emotional and rational needs with sleek styling and features like the first-in-class Around View® Monitor – all at an affordable price.
    "The new Versa Note SR and SL grades retain all of the favorite consumer attributes of the Versa Note S, S Plus and SV trim levels – while adding a sportier look and feel in the case of the SR, and more standard technology and convenience items with the SL," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "Now it's as easy to find the right combination of equipment in the showroom as it is to enjoy the Versa Note when you take it home."
    About the 2015 Versa Note SR
    The new Versa Note SR's standout styling starts with the modern, sculpted look of the second-generation Versa Note and adds a wide range of exclusive features. In front, a unique fascia and grille combine with a dark headlight treatment and standard fog lights with black and chrome accents to provide an aggressive, sporty character.
    Body-color side spoilers and redesigned side mirrors with integrated turn signals complement Versa Note's distinctive "squash line" side profile. The dynamic exterior look is capped off by a unique rear spoiler, SR badging and high-contrast machine-finished 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels with dark paint mounted with 195/55R16 all-season tires.
    Versa Note SR interior enhancements include an exclusive 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, suede-like fabric seats with sporty orange accents and double stitching, a redesigned piano black center instrument panel with silver accents and chrome knobs, and Euro-inspired Fine Vision triple-dial gauge cluster with floating trip computer.
    "The new Versa Note SR offers an even more powerful appearance than the other grade levels, blending a sporty, European-style energy with a distinctive, driver-focused cockpit," said Loing. "It's a great demonstration that vehicles in this segment can offer sporty style along with attributes such as high utility and fuel economy."
    Under the skin, the Versa Note SR builds on the foundation of the second-generation Versa Note, including an advanced 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control) mated to a standard next-generation Nissan Xtronic® transmission. The engine is rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. EPA fuel economy for the front-wheel drive Versa Note SR is estimated at 40 mpg highway, 31 mpg city and 35 mpg combined.
    Excellent everyday drivability is provided by an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar; electric power steering; and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
    Like every 2015 Versa Note, the SR grade takes full advantage of Nissan's global "V" platform. It features a long 102.4-inch wheelbase helping maximize interior roominess, while short front and rear overhangs help provide parking maneuverability.
    The roomy five-passenger Versa Note SR interior provides 112.9 cubic feet of interior volume and 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard interior features include 6-way adjustable front bucket seats, Fine Vision instrumentation, AM/FM/CD/Aux-in audio system with 4 speakers, 12-volt power outlet, front door pockets with bottle holders, dual front and rear cupholders and front seatback pockets.
    Interior versatility is further enhanced through use of the innovative Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, which is offered as part of the SR Convenience Package. Also available as part of the SR Convenience Package is the advanced NissanConnectTM system with a 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and NissanConnectTM Apps (offering smartphone integration for Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio).
    The 2015 Versa Note SR is offered in eight exterior colors: Metallic Blue, Red Brick, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Aspen White, Metallic Peacock and MorningSky Blue – each matched with an interior with exclusive, sporty suede-like fabric interior.
    About the 2015 Versa Note SL
    Like the Versa Note SR, the Note SL offers an extensive list of features and equipment that are unexpected in the sub-compact hatchback segment.
    The list of standard comfort and convenience items includes fog lights, NissanConnectTM and NissanConnectTM Apps, 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, variable intermittent front wiper, heated front seats, Nissan Intelligent KeyTM with Push Button Ignition, Easy Fill Tire Alert and SL badge.
    Standard safety and security systems on all 2015 Versa Note models include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags), front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with available Easy-Fill Tire Alert.
    "With a broader lineup for 2015 – and the standout style of the sporty new SR grade – we expect Versa Note to garner more attention and greater sales in the competitive entry-level hatchback segment," concluded Loing. "When we launched Versa Note last year we called it 'Your Door to More.' Now there are 'More' choices to enjoy."
    NISSAN PRESENTS FRONTIER DIESEL RUNNER POWERED BY CUMMINSTM PROJECT TRUCK AT 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
    • Project truck created to gauge consumer interest in a next-generation Frontier with a Cummins diesel engine
    • Concept builds upon Nissan's long heritage in innovative pickup trucks
    • Powered by a 2.8-liter Cummins turbo diesel with nearly 200 horsepower, more than 350 lb-ft of torque
    • Estimated fuel economy increases 35 percent over current Frontier V6
    CHICAGO (Feb. 6, 2014) – Nissan is renewing its commitment to the mid-size pickup segment, long a part of its sales success in the United States, with the creation of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by CumminsTM. This project truck, based on a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 model, serves to both gauge the market reaction to a Nissan mid-size pickup with a diesel engine and plot a potential future direction for the Frontier.
    The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins arrives a mere six months after the announcement of a partnership with Cummins Inc. to provide a 5.0-liter turbo diesel V8 in the next-generation Titan full-size pickup, which will arrive in calendar-year 2015.
    "Frontier continues to be a huge success story for us, with more than 60,000 units sold in 2013," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Parts & Service, U.S.A, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). "Nissan has always valued the mid-size pickup segment, and with this technical study project, we are looking to explore what is possible for the next-generation Frontier. We are always looking for ways to engage our customers, innovate and take the segment in an evolutionary direction."
    At the heart of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins is a 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine designed to meet or exceed future emissions standards. As adapted for use in this truck, the engine produces nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft. of torque, while increasing fuel economy 35 percent over a V6-powered two-wheel drive 2014 Frontier.
    Backed by a ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission, the two-wheel drive diesel Frontier maintains, and even increases, the usability of a Frontier truck. Along with the mileage increase, payload and towing capacity are expected to be in range of that offered by the V6-powered Frontier.
    While not a "plug-and-play" engine and transmission installation, many of the Frontier Diesel Runner project's key components, from the body to wiring harnesses to the radiator and more are from a production 2014 Desert Runner.
    Collaboration between Nissan and Cummins stems back to a U.S. Department of Energy project called "ATLAS" (Advanced Technology Light Automotive Systems) which began in 2010. Over the course of "ATLAS," Cummins installed 4-cylinder engines into two Nissan Titan trucks as an ongoing platform for research on the next-generation of 4-cylinder automotive clean diesel engines. Research compiled during the "ATLAS" program helped to shape the Cummins engine used in the current project.
    "We've been building pickup trucks in the U.S. for more than 30 years and selling them here for even longer than that, even offering 4-cylinder diesel in our U.S. pickup truck in the 1980s," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, NNA. "With this Frontier Diesel Runner project truck, we can reflect on our extensive heritage while also looking to the future and the changing demands of mid-size pickup buyers."
    The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins was designed by Nissan Design America in San Diego, CA in conjunction with Nissan Global Design Center in Atsugi, Japan. Exterior modifications include a custom paint treatment that mixes three elements: a bright high-gloss "Arrest Me Red" color inspired by Cummins' engine red; a raw "Matte Silver" color created to express the steel body-on-frame Frontier chassis foundation; and carbon fiber and carbon fiber film accents to signify the truck's outstanding performance and efficiency.
    Along with carbon film-coated features such as the chin spoiler, mesh grille, roof rack, aerodynamic full-bed tonneau cover and tailgate spoiler, the hood of the vehicle draws special attention. A partially transparent acrylic hood insert serves as a window to the engine bay, where all powertrain-related elements continue the red theme. The special carbon fiber engine cover, seen through the hood insert, features an oversize Cummins logo, with a red center, black carbon sides and hidden illumination. "Cummins Turbo Diesel badges" are also recessed into both front fenders.
    The 16-inch wheels, borrowed from a Frontier PRO-4X, have been treated with a special two-tone paint – Arrest Me Red for the rear wheels and Silver in front, each accented by satin black paint. The brake calipers have also been custom painted in contrasting colors - red front and silver rear.
    The Frontier Diesel Runner's interior mirrors the silver and red exterior design, with red accents throughout and carbon-trimmed seats and panels. The front and rear seats feature carbon-print leather appointments with grey accent stitching and black-on-black "Tracks" embroidery. The carbon film-wrapped instrument panel is highlighted by red-tinted gauges and a special black-faced diesel-specific three-gauge pod on top of the C-cluster. Completing the interior enhancements are embroidered floor mats and theme-colored shifter knob and steering wheel.
    The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins will be showcased throughout the consumer days of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place, Chicago. Nissan and Cummins have also built a separate development vehicle that is currently undergoing rigorous real-world testing.
    "We hope consumers in Chicago and across the U.S. will let us know what they think of the prospects of a diesel engine in this segment," Loing added.
    KEY SPECIFICATIONS
    Engine Cummins 2.8-liter turbo diesel
    Horsepower Approximately 200
    Torque More than 350 lb-ft
    Transmission ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic
    Axle ratio (:1) 3.13

    Drew Dowdell

    Kia expects an 80 - 100 mile range from its first foray into the EV market with the Soul EV.

    At the Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the coming electric version of their Soul model.
    Kia claims the Soul EV will have an 80 to 100 mile range while packing one of the most energy dense batteries on the market. Producing 27kWh, the Soul EV's battery has a 200 watt hour per kilogram rating. A fully depleted Soul EV will take 24 hours to fully recharge on a standard 120v wall outlet while taking 5 hours to recharge on a 240v power source. An 80 percent charge can be achieved in 33 minutes when plugged in to a 50 kW output charger. The Soul EV can recapture up to 13% of its kinetic energy through brake regeneration.
    The battery in the Soul EV is located under the floor making interior intrusion minimal with only a 3.1 inch reduction in rear seat headroom. With the location of the battery being so low, it lowers the center of gravity in the car making for a more solid handling feel.
    In spite of Kia's current mascot, the Soul EV doesn't have just hamsters under the hood. The Soul EV produces 210 lb-ft of torque and 109 horsepower with 0-60 time in the 12 second range.

    Our Take: Kia's first entry comes a couple years after the competition, but it doesn't make any advancement in battery range.
    Press Release after the jump.
    Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @CheersnGears

    SOUL EV LIGHTS UP 2014 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
    Kia’s First Mass Market Electric Vehicle Makes World Debut in the Windy City
    New 2015 Kia Soul EV offers an expected 80-100 miles of range
    State-of-the-art 27kWh lithium polymer battery has 200 Wh/kg energy density
    EV-specific version of UVO eServices1 includes downloadable apps, EV charger locations and more

    CHICAGO, February 6, 2014– Set to the sounds of soulful electrified blues music, Kia Motors America (KMA) today hosted the global unveiling of the 2015 Soul EV at the Chicago Auto Show. Scheduled to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, the Soul EV will be Kia’s first all-electric, zero-emissions car sold in the U.S. and expands the brand’s line of environmentally conscious vehicles. The Soul EV joined the refreshed 2014 Optima Hybrid on stage along with the Niro hybrid concept, illustrating Kia’s intent to lead the industry in providing technologically advanced vehicles that also reduce our dependency on non-renewable resources. Kia’s eco-friendly commitment was further underscored when Underwriters Laboratory (UL)1 honored the Soul EV with the organization’s first automotive environmental validation for its integration of more than 20 bio-friendly materials.
    The new Soul EV is at the forefront of Kia’s ‘Clean Mobility’ program and will offer an even more environmentally friendly option to our customers when it goes on sale later this year,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, KMA. “The Soul EV retains the fun and funky style as well as the packaging efficiency and utility that have made the gasoline-powered Soul such a huge hit with consumers. And to that winning combination it adds useable real-world range and multiple charging options, making it the perfect EV for everyone.”
    The Soul EV will initially be sold in California and Oregon in the West and several Eastern states including New York, New Jersey and Maryland, the regions with the largest EV markets and infrastructure. KMA will look to offer the vehicle in other markets in the near future as infrastructure and demand grow. Pricing for the Soul EV will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch.
    High Energy Density Battery and Usable Power
    A top concern for EV buyers has commonly been range anxiety. The Soul EV addresses this issue by utilizing a highly energy-dense lithium-ion polymer battery. Located beneath the floor, the 27kWh, air-cooled, 200 watt-hour/kg battery is expected to yield a range of approximately 80-100 miles of real-world driving on a full charge, with internal testing and evaluation results exceeding 100 miles in some instances.
    The 360 volt 96-cell lithium-ion polymer battery has been engineered for high capacity, thermal stability and safety. Accordingly, the battery features a nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, which helps increase capacity, and a graphite-based anode, which increases durability while reducing weight. Additionally, the cells use a gel electrolyte, and each cell contains ceramic separators to significantly improve thermal stability and safety.
    In an effort to maximize efficiency and range, the Soul EV uses Kia’s third-generation regenerative braking system to capture up to 12 percent of the car’s kinetic energy, which is fed back into the battery while the Soul EV is coasting and braking. Soul EV owners can choose between four different regeneration modes: “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “Off,” and “Drive” or “Brake” modes in Eco-mode “On” (the “Brake” setting with Eco-mode “On” producing the most regeneration).
    The Soul EV makes charging easy by plugging into any standard 120v outlet or a conventional 240v EV charger. Two charging ports are standard, including a SAE J1772 port for Level 1 and Level 2 AC, and a CHAdeMo DC fast-charging port (480v). Found behind a sliding door located in the front grille, the dual ports offer flexibility and increase the Soul EV’s go-anywhere appeal, making it more convenient to charge inside the owner’s garage or when on the road. Recharging times vary from 24 hours for a fully depleted battery using a standard 120-volt outlet and under five hours when plugged into a 240-volt outlet. An 80-percent charge can be achieved in as little as 33 minutes with a 50 kW-output charger. Kia has partnered with three charger providers – Bosch, Leviton and AeroVironment™ – which give Soul EV buyers an opportunity to select the unit best suited to their in-home needs. Additionally, Kia retailers who sell the Soul EV will offer charging at no cost to Soul EV owners, making charging even more convenient.
    The front-wheel drive Soul EV is powered by an 81.4 kW, 109-hp electric motor, producing a generous 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The liquid-cooled AC synchronous permanent magnet motor uses multi-layer magnets to help improve efficiency and reduce the whine that’s commonly experienced with other electric vehicles. The motor delivers its power to the front wheels through a single-speed constant-ratio gear reduction unit. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is expected to take fewer than 12 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to approximately 90 mph. The battery’s location beneath the floor offers the stable feel of a lower center of gravity, which helps ride and handling and ensures that the EV remains true to the Soul’s fun-to-drive reputation. Additional cross bracing beneath the low-mounted battery contributes to a 5.9 percent improvement in torsional rigidity over the gasoline-powered Soul.
    Improved aerodynamics and the absence of engine noise, combined with special sound-proofing materials, result in an exceptionally quiet ride. For the benefit of pedestrian safety, the Soul EV is equipped with a Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS) that emits an auditory alert at speeds below 12 mph and whenever the car is in reverse.
    Minimal Battery Intrusion
    The Soul EV offers plenty of space inside the cabin thanks to minimal battery intrusion. Because of the battery’s flat design and location beneath the floor, there is only a slight 3.1-inch reduction to rear seat leg room (from 39.1 to 36 inches) from the non-EV Soul, yet Soul EV still offers more rear seat leg room than other key EV competitors. Rear shoulder and hip room remain unchanged from the gasoline-powered Soul, making Soul EV one of the roomiest in the segment. Rear cargo space is minimally impacted (reduced 5.1 cu.-ft. to 19.1) as the space under the cargo floor is utilized for the battery cooling fan and storage of the standard 120v portable charger.
    Uniquely Designed Inside and Out
    The Soul’s bold exterior design is also found on the EV. From the “floating” roof to the greenhouse that makes the car look like it is wearing wraparound sunglasses, the EV’s look is inspired by the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept and retains the iconic square-shouldered broad stance of the original Soul. Initially, the Soul EV will be offered in three color choices: Pearl White lower body with Electronic Blue roof, Caribbean Blue lower body with Clear White roof, and Bright Silver with Clear White roof. The signature two-tone paint theme is exclusive to the EV and was inspired by a similar treatment seen on the Track’ster. The EV-exclusive front fascia utilizes a larger grille to accommodate the charging ports, and other unique exterior Soul EV design features include color accent trim in the front and rear fascias, projector headlights, LED positioning lamps, and LED tail lights. “Eco Electric” fender badging replaces the “Soul” fender garnish found on the gasoline-powered car, and the Soul EV gets its own set of distinctive 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped with specially engineered Super Low Rolling Resistance (SLRR) tires that offer 10 percent less resistance than standard low rolling resistance tires, helping to improve range.
    When launched in 2014, the all-new Soul was lauded for its premium interior and significantly reduced levels of NVH. The Soul EV will be instantly recognizable for these same qualities. Like its gasoline-powered sibling, a circular theme pervades the cabin and is a pleasing contrast to the exterior’s angular good looks. Inside, the Soul EV sets itself further apart from its gasoline-powered sibling with bright white accent trim on the center console, instrument panel and door panels, lending a light and modern feel to the passenger space. Distinguished by Kia’s most extensive use of bio-based materials, the Soul EV has received UL’s first ever automotive environmental claim validation for its 10.9 lbs. of bio-based organic content in interior plastic. Front and center is the use of BTX-free paint on the audio system surround, vent bezel and the floor console. Bio-based plastics derived from cellulose and sugar cane are found in many places within the cabin, including the door panels, headliner, seat trim, roof pillars and carpeting. In all, organic, bio-based materials are used in 19 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application. Separate from the bio-based content validation, extensive use of antibacterial materials also help to keep the cabin clean and are found on the gear selector, audio and HVAC controls, instrument panel switchgear and the floor-mounted center console. Combined, eco-friendly materials are used in 23 different interior parts, making the Soul EV an electric-vehicle segment leader in eco-friendly material application.
    The Soul EV features exclusive interior color options that perfectly complement the exterior. Two interior seating materials will be offered: Standard eco-friendly cloth or optional leather. Both are gray with offsetting blue stitching on the cloth seats and blue piping on the leather seats. Additional blue stitching is found on the steering wheel and center console armrest.
    Standard Soul EV amenities include navigation, Rear Camera Display2, Bluetooth®3 hands free operation, power windows, power driver’s seat, cruise control, 6.6kW on-board charger and an exclusive HVAC system designed to extend driving range by minimizing energy draw.
    Air conditioning is one of the largest energy drains in any electric vehicle, but the Soul EV’s HVAC system is designed to provide optimum comfort while also helping to extend the car’s range by minimizing energy use. The Soul EV uses four key technologies to maximize HVAC efficiency: an available heat pump (optional on Base, standard on “+”), individual ventilation, scheduled ventilation, and air intake control. The heat pump and surplus heat recovered from the Soul EV’s electrical systems help heat cabin air. Individual ventilation allows selection of “Driver Only,” which stops airflow to the passenger side front dash and floor vents and the floor vents for the rear passenger compartment, thereby focusing airflow on the driver and reducing the amount of energy needed to reach a comfortable interior temperature. Scheduled ventilation reduces EV energy use by pre-heating or cooling the passenger compartment prior to starting the car, while it is still plugged into a charger. Air intake control regulates inner and outer air flow to minimize HVAC usage, regulating interior temperature by carefully managing recirculated cabin air.
    Forward Thinking Technology
    Available at no cost for the first five years of ownership, UVO EV Services, a special version of Kia’s award-winning telematics and infotainment system, is put to even greater use in the Soul EV. Utilizing an embedded connectivity solution powered by the Verizon network and an integral smartphone app, UVO EV Services provides owners with an innovative, real-time, in-vehicle connectivity experience that includes navigation and added convenience features specifically tailored for the Soul EV that will help owners stay informed as to their vehicle’s charging status while on the go. UVO EV Services provides real-time battery-level status, distance to empty, and the ability to search for nearby charging stations. Also, via the UVO EV app, owners can preset charging time and charging level ratios, as well as precondition the vehicle cabin with remote control of the HVAC presets. Preconditioning the vehicle moderates cabin temperature in advance, helping reduce battery draw once the Soul EV is uncoupled from the charging station. At a glance, UVO will also update EV owners of their CO2 savings and their relative positive impact on the environment.
    Introduced for the first time on the Soul EV, UVO EV Services includes downloadable apps that reside on the Soul EV’s standard 8-inch capacitive-touch navigation screen. EV owners may download Yelp®4, the online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, relax and play. Soul EV owners will also enjoy iHeartRadio, the free, all-in-one digital radio service that lets customers listen to their favorite live stations or create their own commercial-free, all-music custom stations. Sound Hound, which is also available and accessible through the touch screen, listens to what’s playing and displays all related information such as lyrics, the artist, title and album cover art.
    Arriving with a five-year complimentary subscription to SiriusXM™5 Data Services and Travel Link, the Soul EV has access to charging stations and travel information such as road conditions, weather and security alerts as well as sports scores, movie times and stock prices through the screen’s graphical interface and electronic program guide.
    The Soul EV also features Kia’s first use of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) technology. Low energy consumption and virtually no heat build-up make OLED perfect for an electric-vehicle application. Found within the Soul EV’s exclusive Supervision instrument cluster, the 3.5-inch OLED screen is crystal clear and provides information on the vehicle’s energy flow, charging time, ECO driving level and energy economy, which measures how efficiently the battery is operating. Additionally, the OLED screen provides a three-stage alert for the Soul EV’s State of Charge (SOC), which allows the driver to quickly decipher how much charge remains within the battery and when it’s time to plug in to a charging unit.

    Drew Dowdell

    Dodge updates their popular Journey model with a more rugged trim line for 2014.

    Dodge is bringing out a more rugged trim for their popular 7-passenger Journey crossover. Debuting at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad features new, butcher fascias, dark tinted exterior lighting, and special 19 inch wheels.
    Inside, the Crossroad gains standard black leather seats with accent stitching unique to the Crossroad trim. Also included is the 8.4 inch UConnect system, one of the best performing automotive infotainment systems in the market.
    Like all 2014 Dodge Journeys, the Crossroad is powered by your choice of 2.4 liter 4-cylinder or the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 which produces a best for the class 283 horsepower and 260 ft-lb of torque. Even with all of that power, the Journey V6 is EPA rated for 25 mpg on the highway. All-Wheel-Drive on the Crossroad is optional.
    Dodge is positioning the Crossroad as a step between the mid-line SXT and the top of the line Limited models. Expected base price will be $24,995 plus destination fee.
    Dodge last updated the Journey for the 2011 model year with an all new interior.

    Our take: Dodge adds an attractive trim package to a gracefully aging crossover to keep things fresh a little while longer.
    Press release after the jump.
    Drew Dowdell is managing editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears
    New 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad to Debut at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show

    Journey Crossroad Gets Rugged Appearance; Available All-wheel-drive Capability Backs It Up

    New Journey Crossroad model features unique performance front and rear fascias, lower side sills, dark-tinted headlamps and tail lamps and unique 19-inch Hyper Black wheels, giving it a rugged, capable look
    Unique interior content loaded with premium finishes and features, including the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, new leather seat design with accent stitching and Liquid Graphite appliques
    Available award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and all-wheel-drive capability provide confidence in all driving conditions
    With a starting U. S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,995 (excluding $995 destination), the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad will be available in Dodge dealerships this spring

    January 31, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Building on the Dodge Journey’s best sales year ever in 2013, the Dodge brand is introducing a new Journey model – the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad – at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.
    The new Journey Crossroad features distinctive new front and rear fascias, Platinum Chrome side sills and unique 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels, giving the three-row, seven-passenger crossover a rugged, capable look. The interior is loaded with premium finishes and features, including the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, new leather seat design and Liquid Graphite appliques.
    "The Journey has always been Dodge's Swiss Army knife in the CUV segment, and with the new Journey Crossroad, we are expanding that flexibility by now offering three different exterior appearances," said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO — Dodge Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "The Journey Crossroad's rugged styling gives it a tough presence on the road; the available all-wheel drive system gives it the capability to back it up in a variety of bad weather driving conditions.”
    The new 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad is positioned between the SXT and Limited models in the Journey lineup. Journey Crossroad will start arriving in Dodge dealerships this spring with a starting U. S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,995 (excluding $995 destination).
    New look, new features
    Dodge designers added several special exterior design cues to the Journey Crossroad that give it a distinct look in the lineup, including a new front fascia with a Platinum Chrome accent and Gloss Black grille and fog lamp surrounds, Platinum Chrome roof rails and unique extended side sills, black headlamp bezels, Gloss Black tail lamp bezels and a new lower rear fascia finished in Platinum Chrome and a “Crossroad” badge on the tailgate. Journey Crossroad also features unique 19-inch Hyper Black five-spoke aluminum wheels.
    Exterior colors for the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad include Pitch Black, Bright Silver Metallic, White, Copperhead Pearl, Fathom Blue Pearl, Granite Crystal Metallic, Pearl White Tri-Coat and Redline Red 2-coat Pearl.
    On the inside, the Journey Crossroad adds many unique interior touches, including new standard black leather seating with sport mesh inserts with Light Slate Grey accent stitching. Light Slate Grey accent stitching on the center armrest and door panels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, are standard equipment. A new Liquid Graphite finish is applied on the instrument panel, gauge cluster, center console, door pulls and steering wheel trim. The Dodge Journey Crossroad also comes standard with the class-exclusive 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen, power front seat and a front passenger fold-flat seat with hidden storage bin under the seat cushion.
    The 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad offers levels of utility and refinement not typically found in the crossover market. Standard features such as power heated and foldaway mirrors, seven air bags, illuminated cup holders, Keyless Enter ‘n Go with push-button start and steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls.
    Second- and third-row seats fold flat to create 67.6 cu. ft. of cargo space. Second-row seats recline and have available class-exclusive integrated child booster seats. There are also innovative removable storage bins in the floor ahead of the second-row seats that can hold everything from muddy clothes to soda cans, to concealing valuables like a camera, laptop or purse. With front passenger, second- and third-row fold-flat seats, second-row in-floor storage, and front passenger in-seat storage, Dodge Journey has best-in-class storage.
    Power and efficiency
    The Journey Crossroad is powered by a standard 2.4-liter 16-valve DOHC four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and 166 lb.-ft. of torque, linked to a four-speed automatic transmission. This four-cylinder engine delivers 26 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway.
    The award-winning available 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine on the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad produces a best-in-class 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. This Pentastar V-6 engine was recognized as a Ward’s “10 Best Engines” for 2012 and 2013. In addition to excellent power, it delivers up to 25 mpg on the highway.
    Both the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and available 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 powertrain deliver more than 500 miles of highway driving range. With a 5-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, owners can rest assured knowing their powerful and efficient Journey is well covered.
    Confidence in all driving conditions
    Backing up the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad’s rugged look is its available all-wheel-drive system, perfect for drivers who want extra grip for a more performance feel, or who live in the Snow Belt or rainy parts of the country and appreciate the extra traction Journey’s all-wheel drive system provides.
    Journey Crossroad’s all-wheel-drive system works on demand, driving only the front wheels to maximize fuel efficiency until power to the rear wheels is needed. All-wheel drive also is activated on dry pavement between speeds of 25 and 65 mph to enhance handling during performance driving. This system provides added traction on snow, ice and other low-traction surfaces without having to be switched on and off.
    When traveling faster than 25 mph, Dodge Journey’s all-wheel-drive system sends torque to the rear wheels when cornering with the throttle open to make the car turn more easily, which makes the handling more neutral. This is more readily accomplished with Journey’s electronically controlled coupling (ECC) than with viscous-coupling or gerotor systems that require some degree of front-to-rear slip before torque is transferred to the rear wheels. At speeds greater than 53 mph, the control strategy provides minimal torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions to provide better fuel economy.
    Dodge Journey features standard electronic stability control (ESC) and all-speed traction control, which help keep the crossover on path in a variety of road surface and weather conditions. Journey’s available all-wheel-drive electronic control module works with the ESC and traction control systems, allowing the ESC system to use the ECC to help gain control of the vehicle, reducing the amount of torque that the ECC transmits to the rear wheels. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes and electronic roll mitigation also are standard on all 2014 Dodge Journey models.
    More than 50 safety and security features
    Dodge Journey is loaded with an abundance of more than 50 safety and security features, including standard advanced multistage front passenger air bags, active head restraints, electronic stability control with all-speed traction control, electronic roll mitigation and Brake Assist, driver-side knee blocker air bag, side-curtain air bags covering all three rows, front seat-mounted side air bags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, LATCH child seat anchor system and trailer-sway control.
    The Dodge Journey is built in Toluca, Mexico.
    For more information regarding the 2014 Dodge Journey Crossroad, please visit www.dodge.com/en/special-editions/journey-crossroad.
    About Dodge Brand
    The Dodge brand is tearing into its centennial year with a keen eye focused on the future and a desire to create vehicles customers t wait to drive and are proud to park in their driveways. With 100 years of history, Dodge is building on the technological advancements of 30s 40s, design evolution of 50s, the racing heritage of 60s, the horsepower of 70s, the efficiency of 80s and unbelievable styling of 90s as it paves the road to its future. New for 2014, the Dodge is kind of a big with a new eight-speed transmission that delivers up to 25 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway, a new 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment center and best-in-class power, towing, and driving range, in addition to its class-exclusive technology. The new Durango joins a stable that includes the new 2014 Dodge Dart with its breakthrough 2.4-liter 184-horsepower Tigershark engine, and the celebrated 2014 Dodge Avenger. Both earned 2014 Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Completing the 2014 Dodge lineup are the Challenger, Charger, Journey and 30th Anniversary Grand Caravan. The Dodge lineup features five vehicles with best-in-class power, seven vehicles that deliver 25 mpg or higher, three vehicles that deliver 31 mpg or higher and three vehicles that offer seating for seven.

    William Maley

    Subaru Teases The Next Legacy

    Just a few months after Subaru showed off the Legacy Concept at the LA Auto Show, the company announced that the 2015 Legacy will make its official debut next week at the Chicago Show.
    Along with that announcement, the company released a teaser photo that gives us a few clues of what is in store for the new Legacy. The design looks to combining coupe-like styling elements and the profile of the Buick Regal.
    We'll have more information when the Legacy debuts next Thursday at Chicago.
    Source: Subaru
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    The BMW 7-Series, Now Available With Diesel Power

    BMW's march of the diesels will continue at the Chicago Auto Show next month as they will unveil the first 7-Series with a diesel for the U.S. market. Meet the 2014 740Ld xDrive.
    The 740Ld xDrive comes will utilize a 3.0L inline-six diesel engine producing 255 horsepower and a mighty fine 413 pound-feet of torque that peaks between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system. Now BMW hasn't revealed fuel economy numbers for the 740Ld, but the company does say its diesel technology is good for a 25 to 30 percent increase in fuel economy. This could mean that the 740Ld could achieve mid to high 30's on the highway.
    Pricing for the 2014 740Ld xDrive will start at $83,425 (includes a $925 destination and handling charge). The 740Ld xDrive arrives at dealers sometime in the spring.
    Source: BMW
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive
    The first BMW Advanced Diesel 7 Series in the US.
    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – January 24, 2014 . . . BMW announced today that the BMW 7 Series would become the latest model line to benefit from BMW Advanced Diesel technology in the US in the form of the BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan. The new model will feature BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo diesel engine in the long-wheelbase 7 Series body and will include xDrive, BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system. The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan will have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $83,425, including $925 destination and handling. It will make its US auto show debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2014 and arrive in US showrooms in Spring 2014.
    BMW Advanced Diesel now available for BMW’s flagship sedan
    The 3.0-liter inline-6 BMW Advanced Diesel engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology makes 255 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 413 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 – 3,000 rpm. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The BMW 740Ld xDrive will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds. US EPA fuel economy estimates are not yet available, however, other models equipped with this engine have seen a 25 – 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over their direct gasoline-powered counterparts. Standard features like Driving Dynamics Control with Eco Pro mode and Auto Start/Stop will help the driver to reduce fuel consumption in real-world driving situations.
    Through the latest in advanced diesel technologies and the use of weight-saving aluminum block and head designs, BMW’s Advanced Diesel powerplants represent a key component of the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy for the reduction of fuel consumption and emissions while providing exceptional BMW driving dynamics.
    The 3.0-liter inline-6 BMW Advanced Diesel engine features a single turbocharger with variable vane turbine technology. This design helps improve low-end torque while facilitating precise control of the boost pressure and eliminates the need for a wastegate.
    The engine uses the latest generation of electronically controlled high-precision diesel injection system. The system plays a significant role in the reduction of fuel consumption as well as exhaust emissions. The normal operating pressures reach as high as 1800 bar (26,107 PSI) and the fuel injectors can deliver multiple injections over extremely short durations of time, helping to reduce exhaust emissions.
    The exhaust gas treatment system is specifically designed to comply with ULEV II emission standards. It uses a combination of a Nox Storage Catalyst, Diesel Particulate Filter, and the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system with no fewer than nine specific sensors working in concert to keep exhaust emissions to an absolute minimum.
    The all-aluminum crankcase and hollow camshafts not only save weight, they also contribute to noise and vibration reduction. Additionally, the timing chain is placed at the flywheel end and not toward the front of the engine which further reduces rotational vibrations.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 8, 2013
    Forty years ago, Volkwagen introduced a very special edition of the Beetle called the GSR. Short for Gelb-Schwarzer Renner (Yellow Black Racer in english), the model was designed to take the Beetle racing.
    At the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen announced they will be bringing back the GSR to the Beetle. The Beetle GSR comes with a very wild yellow paint job with black stripes. Also included for the exterior is a large rear spoiler and nineteen-inch wheels shod with 235/40 tires.
    Pop the hood of the Beetle GSR and you're looking at Volkswagen's venerable 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder. In the GSR, the 2.0L produces 210 horspower and 207 pound-feet of torque. That's paired with either a a six-speed manual or DSG transmission.
    Volkswagen says there will be only 3,500 Beetle GSRs built for the U.S. and will arrive this fall.

    Album: 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR
    6 images 0 comments Source: Volkswagen
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS THE LIMITED-EDITION BEETLE GSR AT THE CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
    - Classic 1970s' Beetle serves as inspiration for the GSRTM
    - Sportiest Beetle boasts a 210 horsepower turbocharged engine
    - On sale in the Fall as a 2014 model
    - Limited edition of just 3500 worldwide
    - Leather-trimmed sport seats and unique GSR trim mark out the interior
    Wolfsburg / Chicago, February 7, 2013 - Forty years ago, the sportiest version of the classic Volkswagen Beetle made its debut. Called the GSR (Gelb Schwarzer Renner or "Yellow Black Racer"), the vehicle was based on a 1303S and was instantly recognizable by its color scheme. Just 3500 units were built and they are now collectors' items.
    Today, at the Chicago Auto Show, Volkswagen of America, Inc. pays homage to that 1970s' model with the world unveiling of the 2014 Beetle GSR. Striking in yellow and black, just like its predecessor, the GSR also debuts an uprated version of the award-winning EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder TSI® engine that generates 210 horsepower. This engine will be fitted to the Jetta GLI and Beetle Turbo during the 2013 model year, boosting their power by 10 hp.
    With this new car, Volkswagen has re-interpreted the 1970s GSR for the modern era. The bodyshell of the 1973 Beetle was painted yellow, while the hood, trunklid, and bumpers were finished in matte black. The look was rounded out by black trim strips underneath the side windows and black rocker panels. Yellow and black link old and new: the body and the R- Line® bumpers on the new GSR are predominantly yellow, the hood is mainly black, and the trunklid, roof, and the exterior mirror caps are all black. The new car has yellow/black stripes with "GSR" lettering above the side skirts and a large rear spoiler to complete the look. The stance of the new car is very different, as it rides on 19-inch "Tornado" aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/40 tires, compared with the original GSR's 15-inch steel wheels and 175- section tires, which were quite common even on sporty cars back then. The new GSR also features black-painted brake calipers.
    Then as now, the GSR features a unique interior with a yellow/black theme, sport seats, and a leather sport steering wheel. The new GSR is a lot more sophisticated, however. The black- trimmed leather sport seats and high-grip leather steering wheel both have contrasting yellow stitching, for example. Other interior changes include an R-Line dash pad, a GSR shift lever, a leather handbrake lever, and black floormats with contrasting yellow embroidery. A badge on the steering wheel is marked with the special-edition number (1 through 3500) to emphasize the uniqueness of the car.
    Forty years ago, the Beetle GSR had all of 50 horsepower, enough to give it the requisite performance for a sporty compact of the time. But the modern world demands much more under the hood. The new GSR's 210 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque enable the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds and to reach an electronically governed top track speed of 130 mph. Most impressively, the engine delivers peak torque from as low as 1700 rpm, giving smooth, effortless acceleration in all the gears. The GSR is standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a dual-clutch DSG® six-speed automatic transmission will be an option.
    Just like its predecessor, only 3500 GSR models will be made-and more than half of those will be sold in the U.S. Since the GSR is based on the Beetle Turbo with Sunroof and Sound model, it comes comprehensively equipped with the Fender® Premium Audio System; a panoramic sunroof; Keyless access with push-button start; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs; LED license-plate lighting; heatable front seats; Bluetooth® connectivity; a Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod® cable; three-color ambient lighting; aluminum-alloy pedals; and three auxiliary instruments that include a clock with a stopwatch function and a boost gauge. The Volkswagen Beetle GSR will go on sale in the fall as a 2014 model; pricing will be announced closer to launch.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 8, 2013
    The old cargo van guards are being replaced with a new flock of new commercial vehicles from Europe, like the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and now Ram. At the Chicago Auto Show, Ram introduced the new 2014 ProMaster.
    The ProMaster is the North American version of the Fiat Ducato van which means it has a unibody construction with a front-wheel-drive layout. Not quite the recipe you would expect for a commercial van.
    Chrysler has made numerous changes to the ProMaster to make it more friendly to the North American market. For starters you have the choice of two different engines. The base is Chrysler's 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque that's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. There is also a 3.0L inline-four EcoDiesel producing 174 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque that's paired with a six-speed electronically controlled automated manual gearbox.
    Under the skin, the ProMaster has re-engineered chassis, a more robust suspension setup, and two-piston Brembo calipers at each wheel.
    Ram has made sure to make the ProMaster very versatile. To that end, Ram will be offering the ProMaster two roof heights, three wheelbases and four body lengths. You'll also have the choice between cargo, chassis cab, and cutaway body styles.
    Other versatility tricks the ProMaster has include hinged rear doors open up 260 degrees, cargo space that measures up to 530 cubic feet, tie down rings built into the floor of the cargo area, and the option of dual sliding side doors.
    Production of the ProMaster will begin in the third quarter.
    Source: Ram

    Album: 2014 Ram ProMaster
    10 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2014 Ram ProMaster
    New 2014 Ram ProMaster Expands Ram Commercial Offerings with New Full-size Van Featuring Best-in-class Fuel Economy, Cargo Capacity and Payload
    • 2014 Ram ProMaster puts Ram Truck back into the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer
    • New 2014 Ram ProMaster van developed from the successful, long-standing Fiat Ducato: 30-plus years of reliable service and more than 4.5 million units sold
    • Exceptional cargo capability, durability, a unique front-wheel-drive system and outstanding uptime
    • Ram ProMaster is a purpose-built, highly customizable van designed to exceed the demands of commercial customers
    • ProMaster best-in-class features:
    ♣ Fuel economy
    ♣ Cargo capacity
    ♣ Payload
    ♣ Total cost of ownership
    ♣ Turning radius
    ♣ Interior ceiling height
    ♣ Step-in height
    • North American debut of world-class, torque-rich 3.0-liter I-4 EcoDiesel promises best-in-class fuel efficiency, robust capability and long service intervals
    • 280-horsepower output from award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 unmatched among Ram ProMaster competitors
    • Proven 62TE six-speed automatic transmission enhanced to suit unique ProMaster application
    • North American-first automated six-speed manual controlled by software that responds to road conditions
    • Best-in-class powertrain warranty – 5 years/100,000 miles
    • New Ram ProMaster combines functionality and versatility with modern styling and professional appeal
    • Ram ProMaster offers more than 35 safety and security features, including six air bags standard and electronic stability control technologies
    The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is Ram Commercial's latest addition to its popular commercial vehicle lineup. ProMaster takes its place in the expanding, purpose-built, full-size van segment with a number of best-in-class features focused on the commercial customer. Coming from a strong background of commercial vehicles produced by Fiat Professional, the ProMaster is based on the Fiat Ducato, which has been in production for more than 30 years. ProMaster boasts numerous best-in-class features that are appreciated by the hard-working customers of Ram's new van. Best-in-class fuel efficiency, cargo capacity, usability and of course total cost of ownership all combine to deliver a proven solution for businesses and fleets.
    "As Ram takes a larger presence in the commercial truck market, the 2014 Ram ProMaster is a great addition, contributing to a one-stop shop of commercial-duty Ram trucks and vans," said Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. "The ProMaster answers to key segment demands with best-in-class features, quality, durability, capability and low total cost of ownership."
    Ram Truck is tapping into Fiat Professional, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the entire world, offering more than 110 years of experience. That knowledge will help Ram Truck enter new segments and expand its product line. The new 2014 Ram ProMaster is based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato, which is the most popular full-size van in Europe. The 2013 Ram ProMaster is the Company's first shared truck collaboration with Fiat Professional.
    The Fiat Ducato is now in its third generation with more than 4.5 million sold worldwide. The Ducato platform offers Ram a proven, award-winning workhorse with an incredible combination of durability, value, efficiency, and capability like no other in its class. Additionally, the ProMaster is the only offering in its competitive set to provide both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory.
    Engineered for the North American market
    Conceived and developed in Italy, Ram's new van also spent quality time proving itself on this side of the Atlantic undergoing extensive, extreme-duty testing to prepare for its North American debut as the Ram ProMaster. Engineering the new ProMaster for the Ram Truck brand required a number of changes for new capabilities, powertrains, environments, duty cycles and customers.
    Chassis
    The 2014 ProMaster is available in two roof heights, three wheelbases, and four body lengths. Additionally, the ProMaster offers both a chassis cab and cutaway from the factory. Its unibody frame architecture makes it significantly lighter than the competition. As a result, the ProMaster boasts an impressive best-in-class payload capacity up to 5,145 pounds and a maximum towing capacity up to 5,100 pounds. The gross combined weight rating (GCWR) for the 3.6-liter V-6 is 11,500 pounds and 12,500 pounds for the 3.0-liter I-4 EcoDiesel. A unibody structural has additional advantages, including stability and strength from front to rear, a reinforced plenum area for optimized engine packaging, and "truer" tuning of chassis systems and related hardware when compared to more common body-on-frame applications.
    Front-wheel drive
    The unibody system under the cab is an enabler for the ProMaster's segment exclusive front-wheel-drive system. The body-integral construction and multiple configurations allow Ram's new 2014 ProMaster to be up-fitted for virtually every conceivable job. Without rear driveshafts or rear differentials, the proven drive system creates a number of advantages:
    • Best-in-class fuel economy
    • Best-in-class cargo capacity
    • Best-in-class step-in height and lowest load floor
    • Best-in-class ceiling height
    • Overall weight reduction and lower maintenance costs
    Cargo area
    Thanks to its unique front-drive system, body-integral construction and the multiple of configurations offered, Ram's new 2014 ProMaster can be upfit for virtually every conceivable commercial need. Proportionally, the ProMaster brings a new standard to the large commercial van-based segment. The ProMaster is available in two roof heights, 90 or 101 inches with best-in-class standard roof height and the most vertically oriented side walls in the cargo van category (nearly 90 degrees in relation to the cargo compartment floor).
    The ProMaster features a standard sliding door on the passenger side with an optional sliding door on the driver's side. The sliding door openings are based on roof height – 49 inch x 60 inch for the low roof model and 49 inch x 70 inch for high roof models. In the rear, an available two-position rear clamshell door swings open up to 260-degrees, folding almost flat to the side of the van. All three door openings enable fork lift pallet loading and unloading, and spaciousness that leads the competitive set.
    Upfitter friendliness
    Ram Truck is well known for being the most upfitter-friendly brand in the truck market. The Ram ProMaster continues the tradition and features an integrated cab configuration for unmatched up-fitter/conversion solutions. Adding to the ProMaster's design for adaptability, virtually all primary vehicle systems are packaged forward of the cargo area.
    Electronic stability control
    The standard electronic stability control (ESC) system on the new Ram ProMaster is a sophisticated four-channel (independent control to all four corners of the vehicle) active handling system that links the vehicle's dynamic control systems to assist the driver in maintaining control under demanding or adverse conditions such as wet, snow-covered or icy roads, tight turns, and evasive maneuvers. In effect, the ESC determines the driver's intentions and optimizes overall vehicle control to keep the dynamic forces within select limits in any driving situation – nearly transparent so control seems almost intuitive.
    Powertrain
    The 2014 Ram ProMaster van's powertrain lineup features the award-winning standard-equipment, gasoline-fueled V-6 and a torque-laden, I-4 EcoDiesel engine. The engines are paired, respectively, with a proven six-speed automatic transmission and an electronically controlled six-speed automated manual.
    EcoDiesel
    The 2014 Ram ProMaster marks the North American introduction of the potent 174-horsepower 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 lb.-ft. at just 1,400 rpm. The engine features a number of refinements, including internal engine components, turbo and emission controls. Helping to reduced total cost of ownership, an oil-level sensor contributes to an oil-change schedule of up to 18,500 miles.
    Pentastar
    The standard-equipment 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is rated at 280 horsepower with peak torque of 260 lb.-ft., the dual overhead cam, 24-valve Pentastar delivers the capability required of a commercial van without compromising refinement – hallmarks that have contributed to its ranking among Ward's 10 Best Engines for three years running. Reducing vehicle operating costs was paramount in the minds of the powertrain engineers who contributed to Ram ProMaster's development. Recommended oil-change intervals range up to 10,000 miles. But an intelligent oil-servicing system that monitors vehicle usage will trigger an alert when service is most appropriate.
    Transmissions
    The smooth-shifting 62TE automatic transmission is upgraded to accommodate the Ram ProMaster's prodigious weight ratings. Specifically, its 3.86 final-drive ratio enables comfortable grade transit under full freight. The transmission more readily adopts the most appropriate ratio for a given driving situation. The numerically lower overall top gear ratio delivers a more economical highway operation.
    The trailer/tow program comes standard with 62TE and the new M40 automated manual, which is not only exclusive to the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, it stands alone in the Ram ProMaster's competitive set.
    The unique M40 gearbox delivers the efficiency of a manual transmission with the functionality of an automatic. At its core, it is a manual, but gear shifts and clutch functions are accomplished with electro-hydraulic actuation system. However, the driver can opt for manual shift-lever inputs when desired. But the driver needn't do all the work. Gearbox software delivers a unique response to driving conditions.
    Shift logic is adjusted according to grade steepness. The result is a well-connected driving experience that delivers the fuel economy required of a commercial van such as the Ram ProMaster.
    Design
    The Ram design team started with a functional exterior and interior, adding distinct Ram styling while adapting the new full-size van for North America.
    Exterior
    The front of the new ProMaster is identified by visually durable bodylines, a broad wraparound bumper and twin-reflector headlamp clusters. True to the Ram Truck brand, the ProMaster leads with a bold, hexagon-shaped crosshair grille, featuring the Ram's head logo proudly displayed as the focal point of the crosshair. The cab-forward, short dash to front axle design pushes the nose inward and the headlamps upward. This design provides higher passenger seating positions and better visibility – obviously important for commercial users – thanks to a more confident vantage point from which to operate the vehicle.
    The front bumper is a three-piece styled modular design, resulting in reduced repair costs and downtime. Durable front-wheel arches are styled with the bumper to protect the doors. A unique step is designed into both front bumper corners, making it easy to clean the windscreen from either side.
    The new full-size van features plenty of real estate on all four sides. This space allows for businesses to post signage and graphics, making the van a rolling billboard to help promote the owner, trade or vocation.
    Interior
    The functional and innovative features continue inside the Ram ProMaster. Although much was borrowed from the Fiat version, Ram designers made alterations for U.S. customers. Interior design and function is of primary importance for a light commercial vehicle in which the driver normally spends long hours at the wheel, often under demanding conditions. The cabin of the ProMaster was therefore designed with comfortable driving ergonomics, important because the ProMaster is a place of work.
    Because goods always need to be transported in total safety, the new Ram ProMaster van is fitted with accommodations to hold down goods on the floor. Up to 17 tie-down rings with 1,000-lb. rating fold away to maintain a flat floor, easing loading and unloading operations. Available partitions also offer passengers excellent protection against the possibility of load shift the cabin.
    Safety
    Safety and security were two of the guiding principles followed by engineers throughout the development of the new 2014 Ram ProMaster van. Ram's new full-size van offers more than 35 active and passive safety and security features. The ProMaster also includes standard ESC, hosting a number of technologies such as trailer-sway control. Security also means notification of the traffic around you. Ram ProMaster features ParkView backup camera and ParkSense with audible warning, all of which are useful when maneuvering a large van.
    Uconnect
    ProMaster customers can make the best use of their valuable time by leveraging Uconnect's easy-to-learn, easy-to-use interface – acclaimed for its convenience and sensible design. Handsfree calling in the all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster is made convenient via reliable Bluetooth technology. Similarly, the truck's handsfree text-reply feature enables customers to quickly deliver messages. A full-color, five-inch touchscreen is available with global positioning satellite (GPS) navigation, providing Ram ProMaster customers the ability to chart time-saving routes to their destinations. Uconnect Web, powered by Autonet Mobile, is available to U.S. customers. This system delivers continuous Internet connectivity, creating an efficient workspace and real-time information access on the go.
    Best practices
    In total, the Ram ProMaster test fleet accumulated millions of miles enabling Ram and Fiat teams access to real-world data. This includes testing done in laboratories in Turin, Italy and Auburn Hills, Mich., at Fiat and Chrysler Group proving grounds, as well as reliability testing on public roads in many different climates in Europe and the United States.
    The 3/36 Reliability Testing, appropriately named as each test car accumulates 36,000 miles (equivalent to three years of use) in about three months, is conducted day and night by teams of drivers. To reflect typical daily driver scenarios, the test drivers do not originate from the engineering ranks and are intentionally chosen from diverse backgrounds to represent customers of different ages, sizes and ethnicities. The test drivers scrutinize all the customer functional aspects of each vehicle as well as overall driving evaluations. This includes radio and navigation system checks, seat-belt buckling, heating and ventilation operation and opening and closing storage compartments and windows.
    Configurations
    The 2014 Ram ProMaster offers 13 different configurations:
    ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 118-inch wheelbase low roof
    ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase low roof
    ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase high roof
    ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van 136-inch wheelbase high roof
    ProMaster 2500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof
    ProMaster 3500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof
    ProMaster 3500 Cargo Van 159-inch wheelbase high roof extended body
    ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 136-inch wheelbase
    ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 159-inch wheelbase
    ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab 159-inch wheelbase extended body
    ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 136-inch wheelbase
    ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 159-inch wheelbase
    ProMaster 3500 Chassis Cab Cutaway 159-inch wheelbase extended frame
    ProMaster competitors are: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ford Econoline, Chevrolet Express, GMC Savanna and Nissan NV Cargo.
    Manufacturing
    Start of production for the 2014 Ram ProMaster is scheduled for third quarter of 2013. All configurations will be produced at the Saltillo Van Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 7, 2013
    For the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Nissan decided to show their performance wares.
    2013 Nissan Juke NISMO
    First up is the 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO which features many modifications to give it more oomph. The exterior is more aerodynamic than the standard Juke and features red painted exterior rearview mirrors, smoked headlights, eighteen-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and blacked out B-Pillars.
    Under the skin, the 1.6L DOHC turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been reworked to increase horsepower and torque to 197 and 184. The suspension has been lowered to improve aerodynamics and tweaked to improve traction. A six-speed manual is available on front-wheel models while all-wheel drive models get a continuously variable transmission.
    Stepping inside the Juke NISMO, Nissan has fitted new seats that offers more lateral support and a alcantara steering wheel.
    Interested? You can pickup a Juke NISMO at your local Nissan dealer in March.
    2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO
    Next up is the 2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO which still retains a 350 horsepower 3.7L V6 and six-speed manual. Other performance tweaks include a more aerodynamic front fascia and rear spoiler, nineteen-inch wheels with a sport suspension and a strut tower brace.
    The exterior gets new gray accents and red striping on the front and rear fascias, lower side sills, side mirrors and rear spoiler. Inside the 370Z NISMO, there is a Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and a new red Nismo tachometer.
    The 370Z NISMO arrives in the summer.
    2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition
    Rounding out the performance showings at the Chicago was the 2014 GT-R Track Edition.
    The Track Edition integrates a specially tuned suspension that features Bilstein DampTronic gas pressure shocks and higher spring rates, unique brake cooling system, a front spoiler with carbon-fiber air ducts, carbon-fiber rear spoiler, and new fuel injectors.
    The GT-R Track Edition's interior features blue-trimmed, high-grip leather and fabric front seats. The back seats found in other GT-R's has been removed and in its place is a lightweight quilted cloth mat.
    Only 150 GT-R Track Edition will be coming to the states and will be available in May.

    Album: 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo
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    Album: 2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo
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    Album: 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition
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    Album: Nissan's NISMO Showing At The 2013 Chicago Auto Show
    8 images 0 comments Press Releases are on Pages 2, 3, 4
    2013 JUKE NISMO OFFERS UNIQUE STYLE, ATTAINABLE PERFORMANCE BORN FROM MOTORSPORTS
    – Nissan Expands NISMO Line-up in the United States with Addition of New JUKE NISMO –
    • Kicks off new strategy to expand NISMO's presence in key markets
    • Race-inspired exterior provides enhanced aerodynamic performance
    • NISMO-tuned suspension, steering and transmission help deliver engaging driving dynamics
    • Fourth model in popular Nissan JUKE line-up, available in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive
    NISMO, its vision and name derived from NISsan MOtorsports, is embarking on an aggressive journey to expand its presence beyond the racetrack in key markets around the world. Already a legendary brand among professional and grassroots racers, as well as performance enthusiasts everywhere, NISMO now is applying its near-50 years of engineering experience and expertise to an expanding range of affordable production vehicles such as the new 2013 JUKE NISMO model.
    The new JUKE NISMO, with its track-derived design, enhanced performance and engaging handling, gives JUKE buyers a distinct choice among the affordable S, well-equipped SV and premium SL grades of the popular crossover. Two configurations – front-wheel drive with a 6-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive with sport-tuned Xtronic CVT® – are available.
    Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, Nissan North America, Inc. said: "NISMO's unique motorsports DNA adds a new dimension to the pioneering JUKE's long list of attributes. With nearly 100 separate performance, exterior and interior modifications and solid functionality behind every element, JUKE NISMO adds a whole new dimension of sporty style and driving exhilaration – all within reach of performance buyers' budgets."
    Ultimate Sports Styling
    Far from being purely cosmetic, the modifications to the JUKE exterior are designed to enhance the JUKE NISMO's aerodynamics, resulting in a 37-percent improvement in downforce (versus non-NISMO models). Many of the aggressive sports-cross styling elements were influenced by NISMO's motorsport expertise, in particular using lessons learned from the styling and engineering of the Nissan GT-R racers that compete in the Super GT series in Japan.
    Compared to the standard Nissan JUKE, the most obvious visual change is to the front fascia and grille, which have been modified to better control airflow to the engine. The new front end features a lower and more aggressive design. JUKE's familiar integrated fog lights have been replaced by thin-strip LED accent lights, positioned at the top edge of new small vents to the side of the larger grille. On front-wheel drive versions these are blanked, but on all-wheel drive models the left-hand side vent allows air into the engine bay for the CVT oil cooler and the right-hand vent is styled to match.
    The prominent upper edge of the large lower grille features a red pinstripe, which drops dramatically to curve around the smaller vents and continues all the way to the front wheel arches. This distinctive NISMO cue gives the nose a visual width and presence while emphasising the Juke NISMO's athletic stance on the road. The signature Nissan V-strut grille is finished in a darker shade than other JUKE models. To the right of the grille is a NISMO badge with a red "O," stamping NISMO's distinctive motorsport heritage on JUKE for first time. The distinctive JUKE combination lights are smoked as part of the NISMO appearance treatment.
    The red pinstripe continues on the flanks of the car at the base of the doors. The sculpted side skirts have been reworked to enhance aerodynamic performance, directing airflow around the rear wheels and away from the car as quickly and efficiently as possible. To increase the JUKE NISMO's visual stance, the wheel arches are more muscular and are now finished entirely in the body color to give a truly premium feel. The door mirrors have been painted red to give a visual indication to the casual observer that this is not a standard Nissan JUKE. The B-pillars are now finished in gloss "piano black," also promoting a sleek and sporty image.
    In the rear, the bumper is deeper than on non-NISMO models and the red pinstripe is also visible on the black sill. A redesigned body-colored liftgate spoiler and rear fascia diffuser complete the body modifications.
    Also part of the stunning JUKE NISMO exterior appearance are the new 18-inch lightweight aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/45R18 Continental ContiSportContact5 summer tires, which help give drivers additional grip during cornering and further boost the JUKE NISMO's on-road presence. One inch larger than the standard JUKE wheels, the diamond-cut alloys feature a 10 twin-spoke design and are finished in dark anthracite.
    The 2013 Nissan JUKE NISMO is available in three exterior colors – Sapphire Black, Brilliant Silver and Pearl White. All come equipped with red outside door mirrors and the matching pinstripe around base of the vehicle.
    Sporty Interior Styling Focused on the Driver
    NISMO's core belief is that everything should be focused on the driver. It's about enhancing their experience, pure and simple. So the JUKE NISMO's seats, instrumentation, steering wheel, gear knob, pedals and door trims have all been redesigned to boost driver enjoyment by creating a more performance-oriented environment.
    The front seats have been redesigned to offer additional lateral support. Trimmed in suede, they sport vibrant red stitching – picking up the detail introduced by the red bodywork pinstripe. Red is also used as a background to the tachometer and also appears on the steering wheel stitching, which is finished in Alcantara and leather. The tactile steering wheel now includes a red marker to indicate "top dead center," another feature derived directly from racing. The rear seats also feature red stitching.
    Dark Smoke coloring is used throughout the interior to help allow the driver to focus entirely on the elements that are most important – the gauges, switchgear and controls. Consequently the headliner is black (no moonroof is available with the JUKE NISMO) and there is a gloss "piano black" finish around the ventilation and audio controls. There is also new smoked grey trim around the gear selector.
    In the footwell, the standard black rubber pedals have been upgraded to a metallic finish, and there is a NISMO badge visible on the dead pedal. The NISMO logo has also been precision-stitched into the seatbacks.
    Other standard content includes privacy glass, Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start and the I-CON (Integrated Control) system with automatic air conditioning.
    Revised Powertrain for Improved Dynamics
    NISMO's spirit of innovation and determination, born on the racetrack in 1984, remains at the heart of the performance brand today. This DNA has been injected into the JUKE NISMO in the form of a reworked version of Nissan's advanced inline 4-cylinder 1.6-liter DOHC aluminium-alloy Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) turbocharged engine. Direct injection helps improve combustion, enhancing power, torque, economy and emissions. The use of the turbocharger and intercooler also help boost power, while the variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles improves low-end engine response.
    For use in the JUKE NISMO, both power and torque have been increased without compromising emissions and efficiency. The JUKE NISMO is rated at 197 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, versus the standard JUKE's 188-horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque.
    The front-wheel drive JUKE NISMO is equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, while the all-wheel drive version comes with a sport-tuned version of Nissan's advanced Xtronic CVT® (Continuously Variable Transmission) with manual mode.
    Fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg City (est.) and 32 mpg Highway (est.) for JUKE NISMO FWD (6MT) model and 25 mpg City (est.) and 30 mpg Highway (est.) for JUKE NISMO AWD (CVT).
    Improved engine performance is only one element of Juke NISMO's dynamic enhancements. The suspension settings have been completely revised, leading to greater traction and improved body response and roll control.
    The suspension has also been lowered slightly versus non-NISMO JUKE settings, reducing the gap between the tires and wheelwells for a cleaner appearance and improved aerodynamics. An independent MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension is utilized on FWD models, while JUKE NISMO AWD model offers a multi-link rear suspension design. A cradle-type front subframe enhances lateral stiffness of the assembly. Front and rear stabilizer bars are standard on all models.
    The JUKE NISMO's vehicle-speed-sensing electric power-assisted steering has been reworked for sportier and more direct handling. Thanks to increased resistance at the wheel, more feedback is evident at medium and high speeds. Braking is supplied by power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
    Advanced Torque Vectoring AWD
    The JUKE NISMO's advanced torque vectoring AWD system – standard in all 2013 JUKE AWD models – offers performance technology often reserved for premium vehicles. The torque vectoring system is designed to limit understeer by increasing torque to the outside rear wheel, helping the car follow its intended course. It also enhances agility, giving the JUKE NISMO exceptional ride comfort and handling in spite of its higher ground clearance when compared to other compact cars.
    As well as splitting torque front to rear – up to a maximum of 50:50 – the torque can also be shifted from side-to-side across the rear axle. In total, up to 50 percent of the total available engine torque can be sent to either rear wheel. Information collected by various sources (measuring wheel speed, steering angle, yaw rate and lateral G-force) is interpreted to anticipate the driver's intention. System actions are relayed to the driver via a real-time graphic display on the instrument panel depicting the torque distribution under all conditions.
    Both FWD and AWD JUKE NISMO models include another example of advanced Nissan technology – the innovative Integrated Control (I-CON) system that combines control of the automatic A/C and the three-mode drive selector – Normal for everyday driving; Sport for a more intense performance feel; and Eco for maximum efficiency – adjusting throttle, transmission (CVT) and steering feel.
    The centrally mounted I-CON digital screen changes display, color and functions depending on the mode selected by the driver. Settings alter throttle maps, steering effort and CVT shift schedules on the AWD models. In the D-Mode Sport setting, the throttle map is retuned to deliver higher engine revs and sharper responses, while in the Eco setting, engine revs are reduced for more gentle progress. In the M-CVT version (AWD only), the Sport setting even introduces a "rhythmic" auto upshift that simulates manual gear changes at redline.
    In addition, steering effort in Sport is firmer and more responsive, while in Normal it's lighter and more linear. In the Eco setting, the quantity of cold air circulating in the cabin is optimized, reducing the load on the climate control and lowering the system's power consumption.
    Real time trip information can also be displayed giving average speed, fuel economy, journey times and engine torque and turbo boost as well as a daily fuel consumption history. The I-CON system even incorporates a G-Force indicator.
    Said Loing: "For a vehicle of its compact size and attainable price, JUKE NISMO packs a huge amount of advanced performance technology."
    A Range of Available Features and Amenities
    The 2013 JUKE NISMO is offered with a range of features that add a level of convenience equal to its sporty style, including an available Nissan Navigation System with 5-inch color touch screen display and NavTraffic capability (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Rockford Fosgate ecoPUNCH™ audio system, USB interface (iPod® compatible) and RearView Monitor.
    Standard features include dual front and rear beverage holders, speed-sensitive automatic door locks, storage under the rear cargo floor (FWD models only), Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Interface System for iPod®, and AM/FM/CD audio system with steering wheel controls. In the rear, a fold-down 60/40-split bench seat and flat load floor provide passenger and cargo hauling flexibility.
    Every JUKE NISMO comes equipped with the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags and seat belt and occupant classification sensors, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection, seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags and front-seat Active Head Restraints.
    Other standard equipment includes LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system, Nissan Vehicle Immobilizer System, Vehicle Security System (VSS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).
    Said Loing: "The JUKE NISMO combines distinctive style, advanced technology and a fun-to-drive factor that is unlike anything in the segment – all at an attainable price. It optimizes the already innovative JUKE design, re-engineering it to NISMO standards and sets the stage for future NISMO-branded models to come."

    2014 model previewed at the Chicago Auto Show
    Features new exterior color with dark grey accents and red stripes
    Continues to offer 350-horsepower 3.7-liter V6, close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission, sport-tuned suspension and brakes and 19-inch forged aluminum-alloy wheels
    Joins new JUKE NISMO in Nissan showrooms this summer

    In conjunction with the U.S. debut of the new 2013 Nissan JUKE NISMO – and the ongoing expansion of the NISMO brand worldwide – Nissan is giving attendees at the Chicago Auto Show a preview of the 2014 370Z NISMO. Set to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide this summer, the 370Z NISMO follows the new NISMO design theme with distinctive new exterior and interior accents.
    Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, Nissan Americas said: "The 370Z NISMO, since its introduction as part of the original Nissan 350Z lineup, has embodied the spirit of NISMO – race-proven engineering that is attainable. With the enhancements for the 2014 model year and the addition of the new JUKE NISMO, we're unifying the look and feel of these distinctive NISMO models and paving the way for additional NISMO vehicles to follow."
    With the current 370Z NISMO setting the bar as a tuner-Z® enthusiast's dream straight from the factory and fully warranted – offering 350 horsepower, racing-inspired exterior and interior styling, a specially tuned suspension and unique super-lightweight forged alloy wheels – the enhancements for 2014 are designed to up the car's already strong visual impact. On the exterior, new dark gray coloring is added to the front and rear fascias, lower side sills, side mirrors and NISMO rear spoiler, with each element (except side sills) featuring NISMO-style red pinstripe accents. In addition, Solid Red replaces the previous Magma Red as one of four 370Z NISMO exterior color choices. Interior enhancements include the addition of a new steering wheel with Alcantara appointments and red accents, and a red NISMO tachometer.
    The 370Z NISMO's outstanding performance is anchored by an advanced Nissan FM (Front Midship) platform, refined 4-wheel independent suspension and 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL) rated at 350 hp @ 7,400 rpm and 276 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm. The VVEL system helps optimize intake valve open/close movements, allowing the needed air to be sent promptly to the combustion chamber at the precisely optimized time. 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.
    Just one transmission is offered, a close-ratio 6-speed manual with Nissan's SynchroRev Match® synchronized downshift rev matching system. The SynchroRev Match® function automatically controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the speed of the next gear position, essentially "blipping" the throttle to smooth out any up/down shifts. This not only allows the driver to focus more on braking and steering, it improves the smoothness of gear shifts by reducing the typical "shock" when the clutch is engaged. The system can be deactivated with a button next to the shifter for drivers who prefer to shift on their own.
    The 370Z NISMO also features a tight, rigid body structure with a strut tower bar brace and a pair of performance dampers, which quickly and efficiently react to help control body vibrations from road input via the tires, contributing to the 370Z NISMO's outstanding handling and performance feel. The 370Z NISMO's double-wishbone front/4-link rear suspension design suspension is specially tuned for exceptional handling, including higher spring and stabilizer bar rates and increased roll stiffness and front and rear damping factors (compared to non-NISMO models).
    The 2014 370Z NISMO rides on unique 5-spoke Nissan-branded 19-inch RAYS forged aluminum-alloy wheels (19x9.5-inch front, 19x10.5-inch rear) with a Gun Metallic finish. The wheels are mounted with Bridgestone Potenza S001 Y-rated high-performance tires (245/40ZR19 front, 285/35ZR19 rear). Braking is provided by NISMO Sport Brakes with large diameter 14.0-inch front and 13.8-inch rear vented rotors with 4-piston front and 2-¬piston rear aluminum calipers.
    The braking system includes a variable ratio brake pedal, high-rigidity brake hoses, R35 Special II fluid and red-finish calipers.
    Along with the new color treatments, the 2014 370Z NISMO exterior includes an extended front nose design and a fully integrated chin spoiler – providing a sense of dynamic movement while enhancing airflow and downforce for enhanced aerodynamic performance. The 370Z NISMO is 6.2 inches longer than the standard 370Z Coupe. Special side sills and a unique rear bumper help control airflow under the vehicle, while the functional rear spoiler increases downforce. Four exterior colors are offered: Pearl White, Magnetic Black, Gun Metallic and Solid Red.
    Inside, the 370Z NISMO's driver-centric interior includes NISMO logo seats with black and red fabric and red stitching, a NISMO tachometer, steering wheel with Alcantara wrap and red parallel stitching, smooth leather-wrapped shift knob and aluminum-trimmed pedals. A special serialized plaque of authenticity, located on the vertical panel above the floor-mounted console, is matched to each 370Z NISMO identifying its unique serial and model year designation.
    The sporty woven cloth seats feature standard 8-way driver's/4-way passenger manual adjustments and adjustable front seat Active Head Restraints. Standard interior comfort and convenience features include Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start, power windows with one-touch auto up/down feature, power door locks with auto-lock feature and automatic climate control. An AM/FM/CD/AUX 4-speaker audio system is standard. Also available is a Bose® Package featuring an in-dash 6CD changer, two additional speakers (six total), two subwoofers, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System, auto-dimming inside mirror and HomeLink® Universal Transceiver. There are no other options offered.
    Said Loing: "The great thing about the 370Z NISMO, like the JUKE NISMO, is that there is solid functionality behind every element – race-inspired but ready for the street – and with pure NISMO style."
    Along with the 370Z NISMO, the Nissan 370Z is available in 370Z Coupe and 370Z Roadster models.
    2014 NISSAN GT-R ADDS NEW "TRACK EDITION" TO U.S. LINEUP; EXCLUSIVE TWO-SEAT SUPERCAR'S SALES BEGIN IN MAY
    • New Track Edition joins Premium and Black Edition models, allowing buyers to further specify their GT-R performance and equipment levels
    • Specialized Track Edition suspension developed at famed Nürburgring Circuit by GT-R development driver Toshio Suzuki
    • Driver-oriented interior features high-grip seating surfaces, deletion of rear seat
    • Body features include front spoiler with carbon fiber air ducts, brake cooling air guides
    The new Nissan GT-R Track Edition, which makes its U.S. debut at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, is the third and most exclusive model in the 2014 GT-R lineup. Designed to take Nissan's legendary 545-horsepower street supercar even closer to a pure motorsports competition machine, it features a specially tuned suspension, special brake cooling guides, front spoiler with carbon fiber air ducts and a lightweight quilted cloth mat where the rear seats usually reside. It is set to go on sale at select GT-R certified Nissan dealerships nationwide beginning in May 2013. Production will be limited to 150 cars for the U.S. market.
    Said Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product and Advanced Planning and Strategy, Nissan Americas: "The concept behind the GT-R Track Edition is to enable drivers who enjoy even more demanding high-performance driving than the GT-R Premium and Black Edition models' extreme performance, the chance to come closer to a competition spec vehicle – no back seat, stiffer suspension, higher grip seats, additional brake cooling – the works."
    Changes to the GT-R's sophisticated 4-wheel independent suspension for the Track Edition include specialized Bilstein DampTronic gas pressure shock absorbers and higher spring rates. Much of the 2014 GT-R's suspension development took place on the Nürburgring, one of the world's most challenging racing circuits, where the Track Edition damping force and handling benchmarks were further refined by GT-R development driver Toshio Suzuki. The Track Edition's air guides for the front and rear brakes were also refined through rigorous track testing.
    The Track Edition's performance enhancements are added to a significant number of upgrades to the GT-R for the 2014 model year, ranging from the adoption of new fuel injectors for enhanced torque response in the 4,500 – 6,000 rpm range and improved throttle and acceleration feel at mid- and high-rpm ranges, to the addition of an oil pan baffle to stabilize oil turbulence and oil pressure under high performance driving conditions. An aluminum nameplate is now added to each hand-assembled engine bearing the name of the specially trained "Takumi" craftsman who built that individual engine.
    In addition to developing 545 horsepower, the GT-R's standard VR38DETT V6 produces 463 lb-ft of torque. The engine is backed by an advanced paddle-shifted sequential 6-speed dual clutch transmission, which can be driver selected to shift at race car-like speeds (0.15 seconds). The sequential-shifting transaxle features separate wet clutches for the odd (1,3,5) and even (2,4,6) gears and pre-selects the next highest and next lowest gear for quick shifts. It also features Hill Start Assist for easy starts on uphill inclines. High performance differential oil, used in GT-R motorsports competition, is standard.
    The Nissan GT-R's unique Premium Midship platform, created expressly for use with the GT-R, enables the use of a world's first independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system, which optimizes weight distribution and handling capability. The rear drive-biased system can vary torque split from 0:100 to 50:50 depending on speed, lateral acceleration, steering angles, tire slip, road surface and yaw rate.
    In the interior, the new GT-R Track Edition includes special blue-trimmed high-grip front seats that use a special leather and fabric appointments. And, like all 2014 GT-Rs, the Track Edition's interior offers a cockpit-style instrument panel with a large center-mounted tachometer, a large metallic-framed center console with ergonomically designed shift lever, a red "engine start" button and carbon fiber interior trim.
    The centerpiece of the instrument panel is a video game-inspired multi-function display with 11 pages of available information, including mechanical and driving information, acceleration, brake pedal pressure, steering angle and a recording function with playback. Additional on-screen information includes a Navigation system and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System. The navigation system includes NavTraffic Real-Time Traffic Information and NavWeather capabilities (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).
    All 2014 GT-R models include a specially designed 11-speaker Bose® audio system that features two forward-facing woofers in the rear center armrest area. Rigid aluminum die cast panel-mounting of all speakers allowed Bose® engineers to perfect the acoustical performance of the GT-R sound system. Streaming Audio via Bluetooth® is also standard.
    Finishing off the GT-R Track Edition's special features are a handmade, lightweight dry carbon fiber rear spoiler and special metallic black six-spoke RAYS® forged lightweight wheels mounted with Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx GT 600 DSST CTT ultra high performance run-flat nitrogen-filled tires. (Both the wheels and spoiler are also offered on the Black Edition.) The rear spoiler's lightweight GT-R specific dry carbon fiber material* is also incredibly strong, contributing to increased aerodynamic downforce.
    The GT-R Track Edition is offered in five exterior colors: Deep Blue Pearl, Jet Black, Solid Red, Gun Metallic and Pearl White.
    Concluded Loing: "The new Track Edition sends the message that when it come to Nissan GT-R performance, there is no endpoint. We will continue to push its development and keep the competition in the rearview mirror. The legend continues."
    *Dry carbon fiber requires specific maintenance. Please see Owner's Manual for details.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 7, 2013
    The 2012 L.A. Auto Show brought forth the new 2014 Kia Forte sedan. At the the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Kia introduced the 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door. The 5-Door comes with some different styling changes (besides the hatchback shape) which include a smaller tiger-nose grille, larger lower intake, LED taillights, and dual exhaust outlets. Inside, the Forte 5-Door gets the same standard features of the Forte sedan such as Kia's UVO infotainment system with rear camera display, Bluetooth, satellite radio, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter.
    Under the hood of the Forte 5-Door comes, the base EX model uses a 2.0L direct-injected four, producing 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The SX model uses a 1.6L turbocharged engine 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. The 1.6L can equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic.
    While the 2014 Forte sedan arrives at Kia dealers later this month, the 5-Door version arrives later this summer.
    Source: Kia

    Album: 2014 Kia Forte 5-Door
    8 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    KIA MOTORS AMERICA UNVEILS ALL-NEW FORTE 5-DOOR AT 2013 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
    201-HP Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Engine is First for Forte 5-Door SX
    Lower, longer and wider, the all-new Forte 5-door combines European style with the practicality of a hatchback
    Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013

    CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 – Kia Motors America (KMA) ignited the 2013 Chicago Auto Show when the all-new, ultra-hot Forte 5-door rolled on-stage today. The all-new Forte 5-door SX’s eye-catching European-inspired hatchback design is complimented by an all-new 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected (GDI) turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, making the all-new Forte 5-door SX the most powerful Forte from KMA to date. The Forte 5-door is expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2013, and pricing will be announced closer to launch.
    “We received very positive feedback after the all-new Forte sedan made its debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, and we expect the all-new Forte 5-door will build upon that success,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing & communications, KMA. “The combination of a useful hatchback for carrying cargo and the sportiness of the turbocharged SX trim make the all-new Forte 5-door a dual threat in the segment.”
    Presented in two trim levels, EX and SX, with two distinct engine choices, the Forte 5-door will offer customers Kia’s long list of premium amenities and features not normally found in the compact segment. Under the hood, the Forte 5-door packs a punch, with the EX’s 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine putting out a healthy 173 horsepower and 154 lb.-ft. of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The performance-oriented SX comes standard with the hard-charging 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder, a first for the Forte line. The SX also offers buyers the chance to pick their own gears with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, or they may opt for the 6-speed automatic featuring steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
    Standard Features and Technology Take Value to New Levels of Sophistication
    Carrying on Kia’s reputation of offering tremendous value, the all-new Forte 5-door offers buyers an impressive allotment of technology and safety features. The base EX comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, UVO eServices with rear camera display1, Bluetooth®2 wireless technology, SiriusXM™ Satellite Radio3, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio and cruise control buttons, FlexSteer™, tilt and telescoping steering column, power windows, and LED positioning headlights with fog lights.
    The SX trim ups the ante with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips, and LED tail lights. Forte 5-door SX also offers an aggressive front fascia with larger bumper and grille openings, black gloss grille inserts, larger front brakes, alloy sport pedals, front and rear seats with carbon fiber-style accents. The lower front fascia and rear valance also feature carbon fiber-look trim pieces.
    Additionally, both EX and SX trim levels offer optional HID headlights, navigation system with HD Radio™4, sunroof, heated steering wheel,10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, heated front seats and cooled driver’s seat, heated rear outboard seats, leather seating surfaces, SmartKey with push-button start, electric chromatic rearview mirror and dual-zone automatic climate control.
    Stunning European Design Language
    Born from the Kia design studio in Seoul and overseen by Kia’s global chief of design, Peter Schreyer, the Forte 5-door’s sophisticated hatchback profile, large wheels and aggressive posture give it a distinctly European appearance that speaks to its performance intentions. The chiseled body commands attention and continues Kia’s tradition as a design leader in the industry.
    Like its Forte sedan counterpart, the Forte 5-door’s swept headlights stretch deep into the front fenders and the raked windshield and broad shoulders give the front end a sleek, sporty appearance. LED positioning lights add a premium look to the front fascia. Moving around the vehicle, the large 18-inch wheels fill the wheel wells on the SX, and the hatchback profile affords a performance-oriented European personality. Around back, the rear hatch glass opens to reveal 23.2 cubic feet of usable cargo space. LED tail lights complete the premium feel of the exterior and a sporty rear valance with twin chrome exhaust tips maintains the Forte 5-door’s edgy demeanor.
    Sporty Cabin with Premium Features
    Inside, the Forte 5-door features premium materials and soft touch points. Large, easy-to-read white-on-black gauges nestle deeply into the instrument cluster. Chrome accents around the HVAC controls and optional push-button start, along with carbon fiber-like textures on the dash and seats, add a sporty touch. A grippy leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are further evidence of the Forte 5-door’s performance aspirations. Class-exclusive available features such as front and rear heated outboard seats, an air-cooled driver’s seat and driver-selectable electric steering further set the Forte 5-door apart from its competition.
    Thrilling Driving Experience
    The Forte 5-door SX is the most powerful Forte built by Kia to date, utilizing a 1.6-liter GDI turbocharged four-cylinder that help improve performance. Power is seamlessly transferred to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The GDI powerplant produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb.-ft. of torque between 1,750-4,500 rpm. The advanced powertrain features double overhead cams with dual continuously variable valve timing to help improve efficiency and performance.
    The Forte 5-door EX comes standard with a 2.0-liter GDI powerplant producing 173 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 154 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,700 rpm. During durability testing, the engines are run 300 continuous hours at redline under full load then for an additional 20 hours at 10 percent above redline under full load.
    To help further improve performance, the Forte 5-door features a sport-tuned suspension with a McPherson strut setup in front and a multilink rear design. The Forte 5-door rides on standard 205/55R-16 tires while 225/40R-18 tires are included with the SX trim for an even more sporting driving experience.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 7, 2013
    Kia pulled the wraps off a very unique and luxurious concept called the Cross GT at the Chicago Auto Show today. The Cross GT could hint at what a luxury crossover could come from Kia.
    The Cross GT's design has some elements of the GT Concept shown at 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The crossover has a a long wheelbase, short overhangs and a wide stance. The back doors open up suicide-style, which offers better access to the back seat. On the roof, Kia designers placed hexagonal skylights. Inside the Cross GT, Kia used Reclaimed walnut wood trim on the dash, leather seats, a buttonless, touch-screen infotainment system up front, and flat screen monitors with Internet access for rear seat passengers.
    Powering the Cross GT concept is a 3.8L V6 paired to Kia's hybrid system that provides a combined output of 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. That is hooked up to a eight-speed automatic and a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system.
    While its just a concept for now, expect to see certain elements of the Cross GT to make it into Kia's future models.
    Source: Kia

    Album: Kia Cross GT Concept
    6 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    KIA UNVEILS STUNNING NEW CROSS GT CONCEPT CUV AT 2013 CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
    Combining the Beauty and Elegance of the GT Concept with the Functionality of a Crossover
    Inspired by the power of nature while pushing the boundaries of technology
    Cross GT takes Kia design in a bold new direction that hints at the future of the brand’s premium aesthetic in a larger package

    CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 – Blurring the line between Kia’s gorgeous GT concept and a luxury CUV, Kia Motors America (KMA) today slipped the silk off the beautiful Cross GT concept at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Amid the popping strobes of cameras, the Cross GT stunned onlookers with its elegant yet powerful stance, confirming once again Kia’s now-well-established reputation for world-class design. The Cross GT seamlessly melds high technology with nature, creating a harmonious partnership between driver and vehicle that also respects our global environment. Purely conceptual, the Cross GT reveals Kia’s intentions to potentially offer a larger premium CUV than the current Sorento.
    “The debut of the GT in 2011 heralded a new frontier for Kia, both from a design and a business perspective,” noted Peter Schreyer, Kia Motors Corporation president and global chief of design. “It beautifully illustrated to the world that the brand was ready to explore the possibility of perhaps one day offering a full-size rear-drive luxury saloon. The Cross GT, with its raised stance and large cargo area, allows us to envision the GT in the form of a full-size luxury crossover.”
    While the GT’s lines were penned in Frankfurt, Germany, the Cross GT hails from Kia Design Center America (KDCA) in Irvine, Calif., the house that breathed life into the Track’ster, KV7 and Soul’ster concepts, and most recently the all-new production 2014 Forte sedan. Based on the GT chassis, the Cross GT’s proportions are similar to its rear-drive stablemate with short overhangs, a long wheelbase and an aggressively wide posture. But the Cross GT offers even greater visibility thanks to its taller stature and features all-wheel drive for improved performance and all-weather capability.
    Drawing inspiration from nature, driven by technology and bathed in gorgeous Fusion Copper, the Cross GT is powered by an efficient hybrid powertrain that looks to reduce the vehicle’s carbon footprint while providing the uncompromising performance that’s expected of a large, luxury crossover.
    Utilizing a state-of-the-art 3.8-liter V6 hybrid, 8-speed automatic and torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive, the Cross-GT’s powertrain matches the sophistication of the exterior and interior designs. Backing the V6 is an evolution of Kia’s parallel hybrid system, a pancake-shaped electric motor sandwiched between the V6 and transmission. The electric motor is neatly packaged under the rear floor. Combined, the V6 and electric motor produce 500 lb.-ft. of torque and 400 horsepower, with an all-electric range of 20-miles - sufficient to enable exhilarating performance, while delivering superior fuel economy and fuel efficiency.
    While strictly a concept powertrain, Kia’s proven hybrid technology, combined with all-wheel drive are thought-provoking ideas that may one day find their way into a production vehicle.
    While clearly a member of the same bloodline as the award-winning Sorento, the Cross GT cuts an even more imposing figure. At 122.0 inches, the Cross GT’s wheelbase is longer than Sorento’s by 15.7 inches, and its overall length of 192.8 inches is 8.4 inches greater than Sorento. The 79.1-inch width is 4.9 inches wider than Sorento, but the Cross GT’s overall height of 65.3 inches is actually 1.6 inches shorter, giving the concept a lower roofline than most large CUVs. The Cross GT is designed to easily accommodate four passengers and their cargo in luxurious surroundings, but the large greenhouse, airy cabin and gently sloping hood give the Cross GT a nimble feel that’s at home in crowded urban environments.
    The Cross GT’s sophisticated image is enhanced by the dual rear-hinged doors, more commonly referred to as “suicide” doors. The unique configuration allows for easy access to the rear bucket seats and affords generous views of the Cross GT’s premium textures and materials. The cargo compartment is accessed through a “clam shell” design that incorporates a traditional glass hatch and a tailgate. Use of advanced LED technology creates a strong and unique lighting identity that dramatically highlights Kia’s signature grille. Letting light into the cabin is a multi-paneled sky light with hexagonal glass inserts that enhance the Cross GT’s premium design aesthetic.
    Inside, the Cross GT exemplifies modern luxury while remaining firmly grounded in nature. Anchored to the central tunnel, the four Almond-Terra-colored leather-covered bucket seats appear to float within the cabin, lending an open, modern feel. Inspired by fine equestrian saddles, the seats feature contrasting stitching and are tanned with vegetable oil using natural dyes and no chemicals. Use of re-harvested American Walnut across the sweeping instrument panel and 100 percent eco-friendly renewable wool felt throughout the vehicle also add to the Cross GT’s environmentally friendly appeal. The Cross GT’s subsystems, including HVAC, telematics and entertainment, are accessed via an easy-to-use touch screen and central mouse control technology that keeps the driver’s hands on the wheel at all times. The rear passengers have the ability to access the Internet and infotainment options through flat panel screens mounted to the headrests of the front seats. A large storage compartment has been incorporated beneath the flat load floor in the cargo area behind the rear seats.
    So just how much of the Cross GT is concept and how much is reality? “As witnessed by the introduction of the all-new Cadenza at the recent Detroit Auto Show, our customers are looking to the Kia brand to offer relevant vehicles in the premium segments that take value to new levels of sophistication,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president of marketing and communications, KMA. “The Cross GT is the next logical step in that evolution. And while only a concept today, it signals one possible design direction we may explore for the future.”

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 7, 2013
    Back in 2007, Toyota surprised everyone by introducing the current-generation Tundra full-size truck at the Chicago Auto Show. This year at the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota hopes to do it again with the introduction of the 2014 Tundra.
    The 2014 Tundra brings forth a "chiseled" and "modern industrial" design with a taller grille, revised three piece bumpers, squarer sheetmetal, new bed and tailgate, and revised taillights. Inside, Toyota ditches the plastic-fantastic interior of the current model and goes towards a more luxurious design with a redesigned instrument cluster and center stack.
    Powertrains are carried over from the current Tundra which are,
    4.0L DOHC V6 - 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, Five-Speed Automatic
    4.7L DOHC i-Force V8 - 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque, Six-speed automatic
    5.7L DOHC i-Force V8 - 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, Six-speed automatic

    Toyota has also improved the shock-absorber valving to help avoid some of the rear-end chattering that was common in the previous Tundra.
    The 2014 Tundra will also come with a few segment-first technologies like all models getting a backup camera as standard equipment, a blind spot warning system, and a new cross-traffic alert system.
    The 2014 Tundra will be available in the base SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, and the all-new “1794” Edition which will compete with Ford's F150 King Ranch.
    The 2014 Tundra arrives at dealers in September.
    Source: Toyota

    Album: 2014 Toyota Tundra
    17 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Toyota Unveils 2014 Redesigned Tundra Full-Size Pickup Truck at 2013 Chicago Auto Show
    CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2013 - Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., unveiled the redesigned 2014 Tundra full-size pickup truck at a press conference at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
    Tundra has been a quality leader with Toyota’s DNA of quality, dependability and reliability. The industry has recognized Tundra with a myriad of awards over the last 12 years, including winning the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study for seven years running in the Full-Size Pick Up segment. Not resting on its laurels, the 2014 Tundra will be redesigned, inside and out, representing the first major change since the launch of the current generation for the 2007 model year.
    The redesigned Tundra continues to be a truck with true American roots that was once again engineered by Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and its new look designed by Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor. Finally, Tundra continues to be assembled exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, in San Antonio, Texas.
    “Toyota prides itself on listening to its customers and the development of the 2014 American-born Tundra is a perfect example,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. “Tundra’s new exterior design and all-new interior were inspired by customer feedback requesting a more chiseled exterior and refined interior with improved driver ergonomics, and easy-to-use technology, giving customers more of what they want instead, in addition to what they need.”
    The 2014 Tundra will have a grade strategy consisting of the hard-working SR, volume-leading SR5, the well-appointed Limited, and two premium grades: “Platinum” and the all-new “1794 Edition.” The new 1794 Edition is a tribute to the ranch, founded in the year 1794, on which the Tundra plant is located in San Antonio. Tundra is offered in three cab styles, two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab and four-door CrewMax, all available in 4x2 and 4x4.
    Significantly New, Unique Exterior Designs; Distinct Look for Each Grade
    Inside and out, each grade embodies a specific theme through distinct designs that go beyond just badging.
    The Calty design team set out to create a bold and powerful exterior to embody Tundra’s performance capability. The all-new front design integrates the hood and grille for a chiseled and modern industrial image. Designers increased the size of the front fascia and tightened up the surfaces and character lines to punctuate Tundra’s pulling power and wide stance. The chrome grille has a taller, bolder look visually connecting the upper intake to the lower bumper. The front lower bumpers are now a three-piece design, allowing for grade differentiation and less expensive replacement parts. In addition, the fenders and wheel wells have been squared-off for a wide and sturdy stance.
    An all-new bed design helps carry the chiseled character lines all the way down the profile, leading to a rugged new bed and tail gate, with an integrated spoiler and “TUNDRA” stamped into the sheet metal, creating a one-piece forged look. The integrated spoiler in the deck helps with fuel efficiency, while the tail lamps express a tool-like quality to match the appearance of the body. Like the front bumper, the rear bumper changes from one piece to three, for lower replacement costs.
    An All-new Spacious Interior; Each Grade With a Unique Identity
    Calty’s design team worked closely with the product planners and Tundra engineers to develop an all-new bold interior focusing on styling differentiation between grades and improving the availability of features most important to truck buyers. The all-new interior variations are thematic and cater to a specific customer with a specific budget. Ergonomic improvements include easier driver access to controls as the reach to the audio and HVAC controls was reduced by 2.6 inches. Large knobs have been retained so they can be operated with or without work gloves. Overall passenger comfort was improved with an all-new front and rear (CrewMax) seat design and improved front seat ventilation. In addition, front seats have additional travel, and CrewMax rear seats can now be folded up for additional cargo carrying capability while maintaining a comfortable seating back angle.
    The interior has a rugged, interlocked construction with an all-new instrument panel. The meters feature 3-D metallic rings and individual gauges grouped in a clear, easy-to-see design with a center-mounted multi-information display screen. The console design holds multiple storage areas for personal items and electronics plus additional padded surfaces and accent stitching in premium grades. Both Double Cab and CrewMax will be available with a bench or bucket seats for the front row.
    The interior of the SR5 features a “professional gear” theme, with unique driver and passenger zones, metallic accents and bold contrasting fabric. Most importantly, the all-new design uses premium surface treatments to enhance interior quality and durability.
    The Limited grade has an “active premium” image with leather seating surfaces matching soft-touch stitched door and console surfaces, and wood-style interior trims. The Limited will be available with Black, Sand Beige and Graphite leather-trimmed interiors and will have standard auto HVAC controls.
    The Platinum grade has been completely redesigned for the next generation of personal use truckers. It features perforated black leather-trimmed seats with double-stitched diamond plate leather, door and instrument panel inserts, and chrome seat and console accent badging for an upscale yet urban feel. In addition, Platinum uses premium leather never before used on a Toyota truck and comes with many standard amenities, including a 12-speaker JBL audio system with Entune™, heated and ventilated front seats, navigation and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
    The 1794 Edition reflects a western lifestyle theme and includes exclusive premium saddle brown leather seating with embossed leather and ultra-suede accents. Matching soft-touch materials also accents the shift console, the front and rear door trim, and the instrument panel. Like the Platinum, the 1794 Edition includes an array of standard features that includes heated and ventilated front seats, JBL audio and Entune, navigation and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
    Three Engine Options Remain Among Segment’s Most Capable
    Several enhancements have been implemented on the 2014 Tundra to improve performance. Shock-absorber valving has been re-tuned to improve Tundra ride quality over harsh surfaces.
    Steering feel and straight line stability has been improved due to steering system improvements. These improvements reduce the inputs from road variations and imperfections, resulting in improved straight line stability and less driver fatigue.
    Patented aerodynamic stabilizer fins are added to the outside surface of the rear tail lamp lens, and the outside mirror bases. These patented “Aero-Fins” reduce the air turbulence along the sides of the vehicle resulting in improved straight-line stability during normal driving conditions and while towing.
    Interior cabin noise is reduced from an improved design of engine compartment NVH treatments and innovative engineering to reduce sound transmission from the engine compartment to the vehicle cabin.
    Tundra continues to offer three proven powertrains. A 4.0-liter Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) V6 is standard on Tundra Regular and Double Cab models and produces 270 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. peak torque. It is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with uphill/downhill shift logic.
    The available 4.6-liter DOHC i-Force V8 offers 310 horsepower and 327 lb.-ft. of peak torque, and the 5.7-liter DOHC i-Force V8 produces 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of peak torque, in both gasoline and “Flex Fuel” variants. Both V8’s come standard with a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. All Tundra engines feature an aluminum cylinder block and DOHC heads, along with Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) for a broad torque curve and optimized efficiency.
    The SR and SR5 grades will ride on 18-inch styled steel wheels, while the Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition will ride on all-new 20-inch alloy wheels specific to each grade.
    Tundra remains the only full-size pickup in the segment to adhere to the SAE J2807 towing standard. When equipped with a tow package, Tundra has a maximum tow capacity of 10,400 pounds (4x2 Regular Cab).
    All 2014 Tundras Feature a Number of Segment Firsts
    Tundras will feature a number of segment firsts, including a new Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a standard back-up camera (viewed from the audio display screen), and standard Bluetooth. Additional standard features include a 3.5-inch multi-information display in the gauge cluster.
    The Limited grade adds eight-way power driver seat, standard chrome door handles and outer mirrors, 20-inch alloy wheels and a deck rail system.
    The Platinum and 1794 Edition come standard with a 10-way power driver’s seat with memory and a four-way power passenger’s seat, both with heat and ventilation, power moonroof (CrewMax only), parking sonar, and Display Audio with Navigation, Entune and JBL.
    Toyota’s STAR Safety; Segment First Blind Spot Monitor with Cross Traffic Alert
    The 2014 Tundra will be the first in its segment to be equipped with a standard backup camera on all grades, and the first truck in its segment to offer a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (Platinum and 1794 Edition).
    All Tundra models will also feature the standard Toyota Star Safety System™ that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop (SST) brake override technology.
    Smart Stop Technology is designed to automatically reduce engine power when both brake and accelerator pedals are pressed at the same time under certain conditions, helping the driver bring the vehicle to a stop.
    Tundra will be equipped with eight standard airbags including front seat-mounted side airbags, and front and rear Roll-sensing Side Curtain Airbags (RSCA) in all models, driver and front outboard passenger airbags with an Advanced Airbag System, and the segments only driver and front outboard passenger knee airbags.
    Additional safety features include manual headlamp leveling and standard LED Daytime Running Lights (Platinum and 1794 Edition).
    The redesigned 2014 Tundra will reach Toyota dealers in September.
    2014 TUNDRA PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
    POWERTRAINS
    4.0 Liter V6
    270 H.P. @ 5600 RPM
    278 lb-ft Torque @4400 RPM
    5-Speed Automatic Transmission
    4.6 Liter V8
    310 H.P. @ 5600 RPM
    327 lb-ft Torque @3400 RPM
    6-Speed Automatic Transmission.
    5.7 Liter V8
    381 H.P.@ 5600 RPM
    401 lb-ft Torque @ 3400 RPM
    6-Speed Automatic Transmission
    DIMENSIONS (inches)
    Overall length: 228.7 (Std Bed)
    Overall width: 79.9
    Overall height: 76.2
    Wheelbase: 145.7 (Long Bed)
    TRUCK BED DIMENSIONS (inches)
    Bed length 78.7 (Std Bed)
    Bed width
    (between wheel wells): 50.0
    Bed width
    (wall-to-wall): 65.0
    Bed depth: 22.2

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 7, 2013
    Volkswagen is giving the current-generation GTI a swan song here in the U.S. by introducing two limited edition models at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
    The first limited edition model is the GTI Wolfsburg Edition that adds eighteen-inch Laguna wheels, throwback golf-ball shift knob, and red-stitched floormats. A six-speed manual GTI Wolfsburg Edition starts at $25,890, while a DSG version will cost $26,990 (both prices include $795 destination charge). Volkswagen says only 2,000 GTI Wolfsburg Editions will be built and arrive at dealers sometime in first quarter.
    The second limited edition GTI model from Volkswagen is the Driver’s Edition GTI. The Driver's Edition takes a GTI equipped with the Sunroof and Navigation Package and adds eighteen-inch Laguna wheels, throwback golf-ball shift knob, red-stitched floormats, and leather seats. Pricing for the Driver’s Edition GTI starts at $30,490 for the six-speed manual and $31,590 for the DSG. Only 3,000 Driver’s Edition GTIs will be built and arrive in the second quarter of this year.
    Also being shown at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show by Volkswagen is the Beetle convertible R-Line. The Beetle convertible R-Line is the fifth model in Volkswagen's R-Line lineup and comes with nineteen-inch aluminum-alloy wheels on lower-profile all-season tires, bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights, flat-bottom, multifunction leather steering wheel, leather seats, and aluminum pedals.
    The Beetle convertible R-Line is due later this year.
    Source: Volkswagen
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2 and 3
    VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES LIMITED-EDITION GTI MODELS
    Acclaimed hot-hatch receives two new trims to close the 2013 model year
    Wolfsburg Edition with six-speed manual starts at $25,095
    Driver’s Edition with six-speed manual starts at $29,695

    Herndon, VA / Chicago, - Volkswagen announced today that it will offer two limited-edition models for the GTI for the 2013 model year. The GTI Wolfsburg Edition and GTI Driver’s Edition will be offered in limited quantities for the final model year of the sixth-generation hot-hatch. The limited-edition models are available in four-door guise only and are offered in three colors—Candy White, Carbon Steel Gray, and Deep Black.
    The first to go on sale is the GTI Wolfsburg Edition, which will be in dealerships during the first quarter of 2013. Featuring the well-equipped GTI’s standard trim, the Wolfsburg Edition adds 18-inch “Laguna” wheels, a retro-themed golf ball shifter knob, and red-stitched carpeted floormats. The Wolfsburg Edition will start at $25,095 for a six-speed manual transmission version or $26,195 when equipped with a six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission. There will be a total of 2000 Wolfsburg Edition models.
    Arriving early in the second quarter of 2013 is the GTI Driver’s Edition. This takes the GTI Sunroof and Navigation package and adds the 18-inch aluminum-alloy Laguna wheels, a golf ball shifter knob, red-stitched carpeted floormats, and partial leather seat coverings. Just 3000 units will be sold in the U.S., priced from $29,695 with the manual transmission and from $30,795 for the version with the six-speed DSG gearbox.
    Every GTI Driver’s Edition buyer also receives a Certificate of Authenticity along with a special package of GTI gear that includes a hat, keychain, and parking sign.
    VOLKSWAGEN INTRODUCES PERFORMANCE INSPIRED R-LINE® TRIM ON BEETLE CONVERTIBLE
    R-Line specification offers another level of sportiness to the all-new Beetle Convertible lineup
    Joins the CC, Tiguan, Touareg, and the Beetle coupe as the fifth car in the R-Line family

    Herndon, VA / Chicago, - Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show that it will offer the R-Line trim on another model for the U.S. market. Joining the CC R-Line, Beetle R-Line coupe, and the recently introduced Tiguan R-Line and Touareg R-Line, the Beetle Convertible R-Line will be added to the Volkswagen line-up for model year 2014.
    Augmenting the Beetle Convertible Turbo’s impressive list of standard equipment, the Beetle Convertible R-Line adds performance-inspired exterior and interior treatments. On the outside, the R-Line features unique 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels on lower-profile all-season tires. Paired with the Beetle Turbo’s sport-tuned suspension, the combination gives more dynamic driving characteristics. Additional enhancements include an R-Line badge on the front grille and Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs.
    Inside, the Beetle Convertible R-Line features “metallic-finish” dash and door trim; a sporty flat-bottom R-Line multi-function leather steering wheel; stainless-steel R-Line scuff plates; aluminum sport pedals; and leather sport seating surfaces. Other interior appointments include the RNS 315 navigation system; Keyless access with push-button start; and the award-winning Fender® Premium Audio System, which delivers rich sound via a 10-channel, 400 watt amplifier with eight speakers and a rear subwoofer. Beetle Convertible R-Line pricing will be announced closer to launch later this year.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 7, 2013
    Its been a long wait since we first heard rumors that Chevrolet would be introducing a diesel version of the Cruze, but that day has finally come. Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet will unveil the new 2014 Cruze Diesel.
    Power comes from a 2.0L turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine boasting 148 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, with all of that torque appearing at just 2,000 RPM. There is also a overboost function that allows the engine to deliver up to 280 lb-ft of torque for 10 seconds at a time. Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, Chevrolet says the Cruze Diesel can get 42 MPG on the highway. That happens to be the same number that you can get with the Cruze Eco when equipped with a six-speed manual.
    Standard equipment for the Cruze Diesel includes leather interior, seventeen-inch alloy wheels, an Aero Performance Package, two-year maintenance plan and a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
    Chevrolet says the Cruze Diesel will cost $26,505 and will begin arriving in select markets in May before expanding to the entire nation sometime later.
    Source: Chevrolet

    Album: 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
    6 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Chevrolet Debuts 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel
    • Turbocharging helps deliver segment-leading 148 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque with estimated 42 mpg highway
    • $25,695 MSRP includes destination and two-year maintenance plan
    CHICAGO – Chevrolet is entering the U.S. and Canadian diesel car markets this summer with a 2.0L turbo-diesel version of its hottest-selling sedan, the Cruze, featuring the cleanest diesel passenger car engine General Motors has ever produced.
    Clean diesels generate at least 90 percent less Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and particulate emissions when compared to previous-generation diesels.
    Built in Lordstown, Ohio, the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel delivers a combination of segment-leading features and efficiency. Based on GM testing, the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has demonstrated estimated best-in-segment range and 42 mpg on the highway with spirited performance and the durability diesel owners value around the globe.
    "Chevrolet has a diverse portfolio of products and technologies to meet the needs of the most discerning customer, whether it's driving across town gas free in a Spark EV or cross-country in a clean turbo diesel," said Chris Perry, Chevrolet vice president of marketing.
    The compact sedan's new 2.0L turbo-diesel engine produces segment-leading estimated 148 horsepower (110 kW) and estimated 258 lb-ft torque (350 Nm) with 0-60 performance of 8.6 seconds, which is better than the Volkswagen Jetta TDI automatic and competitive with German diesel cars that dominate the U.S. market.
    Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel's emissions will be below stringent U.S. environmental standards including Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions standards.
    "Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel fills an important role in Chevrolet's diverse four-cylinder lineup, and is primed to win over diesel devotees and compact car buyers with its performance, torque and fuel economy," said Perry. "We leveraged engineering expertise from around the globe to develop a world-class, low-emissions engine to give U.S. and Canadian customers a car that's both fun to drive and practical at the pump."
    With a starting price at $25,695, including a $810 destination charge (excludes tax, title, license, and dealer fees) Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, 3.20 final drive ratio, 140-amp alternator, 800 cold-cranking amps battery, 17-inch alloy wheels, ultra-low-rolling resistance all-season tires, rear spoiler, Aero Performance Package and leather-appointed seating.
    Other standard features include Chevrolet's infotainment system MyLink, a two-year maintenance plan, and a five-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
    "Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is the most sophisticated passenger car diesel engine GM has ever produced," said Jens Wartha, GM global program manager and chief engineer for the Cruze's diesel engine. "We merged European diesel expertise with the real world driving preferences of North American consumers."
    GM has sold nearly 2 million Chevrolet Cruze models globally since it was launched in mid-2010. GM produced more than half a million small diesel-engine cars across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America last year, including Cruze. In Europe, approximately 40 percent of Cruze models are diesel-powered.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 7, 2013
    Looking for coverage about the vehicle appearing at the Chicago Auto Show? Look no further. Cheers & Gears will be providing coverage of the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
    2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel
    2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline
    Ford Fiesta ST Global RallyCross Car and Focus TrackSTer
    Kia Cross GT Concept
    2014 Kia Forte 5-Door
    Mopar 13' Dart
    Nissan's Peformance Trio: 2013 Juke NISMO, 2014 370Z NISMO, 2014 GT-R Track Edition
    2013 Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Van
    2014 Ram ProMaster
    2014 Toyota Tundra
    2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR
    2013 Volkswagen GTI Special Editions and Beetle R-Line Convertible
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 6, 2013
    Ford's showing at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show will be about their racing efforts. For starters, Ford will show off 2014 Ford Fiesta ST RallyCross car that will compete in this year's Global RallyCross championship. The Fiesta ST RallyCross car that will be shown was built by Swedish tuner OlsbergsMSE and will be driven by Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan.
    Also being shown at the Chicago Auto will be the Ford Focus TrackSTer. Ford teamed up with gymkhana star Ken Block and the tuner firm fifteen52 to build a Focus ST that appeals to the hardcore enthusiast.
    Source: Ford, fifteen52

    Album: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST RallyCross
    4 images 0 comments
    Album: Ford Focus TrackSTer
    8 images 0 comments William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2 and 3
    Ford Announces Fiesta ST Race Car, Expanded Partnerships for Global RallyCross Championship
    Ford Racing to introduce new OlsbergsMSE-built Fiesta ST Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) race car based off the new Ford Fiesta ST production car, which goes on sale this summer
    The OlsbergsMSE Fiesta ST GRC cars will be driven by Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan
    Ford Racing and OlsbergsMSE sign a multiyear manufacturer partnership to build on their back-to-back Global RallyCross Championships and multiple X Games medals
    Ford driver and 2012 X Games silver medalist Ken Block will also compete in the 2013 Global RallyCross Championship and will introduce his new Fiesta ST GRC car later this year
    The OlsbergsMSE Fiesta ST GRC race car will be on display Thursday and Friday at the Chicago Auto Show
    Ford announced as sole automotive sponsor for the 2013 summer X Games with RallyCross events at all four global events

    DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 6, 2013 – In many ways the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST is a race car built for the street; Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) fans will soon get an up-close view of the same car built exclusively for competition at the Chicago Auto Show.
    With Ford’s global launch of Fiesta ST under way, Ford Racing will introduce the ST performance badge in the 2013 season of the Global RallyCross Championship and Global X Games events.
    The move is part of an expanded Global RallyCross program for Ford as it capitalizes on the growing popularity of the series and its increased visibility through X Games and some larger-than-life personalities, including Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan and Ken Block.
    The first Fiesta ST GRC cars will debut this season with Block, Deegan and two-time Global RallyCross champion Foust. Foust and Deegan will give performance car enthusiasts and media the first look at the OlsbergsMSE Fiesta ST GRC race car this week at the Chicago Auto Show.
    “Global RallyCross has been a great series for us to demonstrate what Ford’s small performance cars can do,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “With great drivers and teams, and now a formal manufacturer partnership with OlsbergsMSE, Ford Racing’s commitment to Global RallyCross is quickly growing. We’re excited about the debut of the Fiesta ST GRC car this year, and it will be fantastic to see Ford’s global performance car compete in four countries around the world this season.”
    To support development of the RallyCross Fiesta ST program, Ford Racing has formalized its manufacturer partnership with OlsbergsMSE, whose credentials include two consecutive GRC driver championships with Foust, and podium finishes at all six rounds in 2012. The team has helped Ford earn GRC manufacturer’s championships in 2011 and 2012.
    OlsbergsMSE will field the Fiesta STs for Foust and Deegan.
    “OlsbergsMSE has a good history developing extreme/RallyCross cars, and with the longer-term manufacturer relationship with Ford and its technical support, together we will develop even stronger RallyCross cars,” said Andreas Eriksson, OlsbergsMSE team principal. “The partnership is exactly what OlsbergsMSE needs to continue to be a winning team in the coming years.
    “There are great teams and manufacturers coming to the series and the sport,” Eriksson continued. “We will have better and tougher competition, and I look forward to the challenge of staying persistent in the development of our cars.
    “Outside of our technical development, we will also be very focused on providing our drivers with the information and input they need to be the best,” Eriksson added. “This is the way our entire OlsbergsMSE program moves forward, together with Ford. To be the best in this extreme sport, hard work and dedication is required from drivers and team.”
    Joining Foust and Deegan to round out Ford’s GRC program is Block and the Hoonigan Racing Division. Block’s strong 2012 Global RallyCross season was highlighted by a silver medal at X Games 18 behind World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, and he posted top two qualifying positions in each of the series’ last four rounds.
    “I’m stoked to be able to say I’m going to be continuing to race Fords in Global RallyCross for the next few years, especially with the four X Games events this summer,” said Block. “For the upcoming 2013 season, my team is taking everything we learned during my rookie season last year and applying it to an all-new RallyCross car. It’s going to be a fun season.”
    The Global RallyCross Championship will have a true global presence in 2013. In addition to five expected North American events, there will be four X Games in 2013 with RallyCross competition. Ford is sole automotive sponsor for all four 2013 summer global X Games, which will include the traditional event in Los Angeles and new venues in Brazil, Spain and Germany.
    “Global RallyCross and X Games allow us to connect with the next generation of Ford customers and a very important group of performance enthusiasts,” said Allison. “They already know Ford for great products like Mustang and Raptor, but are becoming a real force helping drive the growing B- and C-car performance segments.”
    Fiesta success in 2012 Global RallyCross Championship
    1-2 finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Marcus Gronholm and Foust
    Sweep at Texas Motor Speedway with Gronholm, Foust and Deegan
    Silver and bronze at X Games with Block and Deegan
    Third-place podium finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with Deegan
    1-2 finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Foust and Deegan
    1-2 finish at SEMA in Las Vegas with Foust and Deegan
    Foust clinched second-consecutive GRC Championship, followed by Deegan
    Ford clinched second-consecutive GRC manufacturer’s championship with four first-place finishes and 12 podium appearances

    Protected: Focus TrackSTer Goes To CAS
    Fifteen52 and Project ST Announce CAS Debut for Project Focus TrackSTer
    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 6, 2013 – Los Angeles-based automotive tuner fifteen52, via Project ST, will use the 2013 Chicago Auto Show to debut its Focus TrackSTer project build.
    One of three different Focus ST builds, the TrackSTer is to be the first debut for the Project ST campaign. Project ST is a relationship between fifteen52, Ken Block and Ford. The project goal is to make today’s hot hatch king – the Ford Focus ST – even hotter.
    fifteen52 is excited to bring the Focus TrackSTer to the Chicago Auto Show.
    “Using the CAS venue to debut the TrackSTer is bound to be one of the main highlights for the Project ST campaign,” said Brad Beardow, fifteen52 co-owner. “Chicago, if not the entire Midwest, seems to have more than its fair share of hot-hatch enthusiasts, and there’s just something so right about coming to CAS – in the dead of winter – and unveiling the hottest Focus ST anyone’s seen so far.”
    Since fifteen52 launched Project ST in the late summer of 2012, interest in the campaign has grown tremendously. Regular updates via the project-st.com website have captivated an ever larger group of enthusiasts, and as each of the three cars nears completion, fans throughout the country can look forward to seeing them in person as fifteen52 plans to bring the cars to a variety of 2013 events.
    TrackSTer is a Focus ST that is destined to feel just as at home on a road course as on the way to a road course. Using only top-quality engine, transmission and suspension components, TrackSTer is designed to appeal to the hardcore performance enthusiast.
    Inspired by Ford’s rich global history of small performance cars, fifteen52 has worked closely with Ford Racing to build a Focus ST that pays homage to such cars of the past, while also demonstrating just how far today’s Ford performance envelope can be pushed.
    Said Project ST partner Ken Block, “Teaming up with fifteen52 for this project was an obvious choice for me. They’ve got a great understanding of what’s hot in the small car performance marketplace right now, both from the style perspective and from the performance end of things. With the TrackSTer, they’ve worked closely with both Ford Racing and Mountune to put together a potent package that blends on-road performance with on-track performance. I can’t wait to actually get this car out on a track and put it through the paces.”
    fifteen52 has incorporated the best of the best in constructing the TrackSTer, and trips to the Ford Racing performance well have been numerous, to say the least. A partial list of incorporated parts that will soon be available to all Focus ST enthusiasts includes:
    Ford Racing short-throw shifter
    Ford Racing performance exhaust system

    In addition to Ford Racing Performance Parts, components and partners from Ford Racing’s Focus race programs globally have lent their expertise, including:
    Mountune engine build (using forged rods and pistons)
    Mountune performance intercooler
    Mountune upgraded ECU
    Quaife limited-slip differential (developed for Focus ST-R)
    Centerforce custom clutch kit (developed for Focus ST-R)
    Four-piston front caliper front brakes (developed by StopTech for Focus ST-R)
    Fender flares from Chinese Touring Car Championship Focus

    With such a vast array of race-tested quality performance parts at its disposal, along with access to Ford Racing data, expertise and global strategic relationships, fifteen52 believes it has built what is possibly the ultimate all-around Focus ST with the TrackSTer.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 4, 2013
    Besides the Challenger R/T Redline package, Chrysler will also being showing the new and limited edition Mopar 13' Dart at the Chicago Auto Show this week. The Mopar 13' Dart is the forth special-edition, Mopar-badged model since Chrysler became part of Fiat in 2009.
    The Mopar 13' Dart's exterior is decked out in gloss black paint with contrasting Mopar Blue racing stripes. The exterior also benefits from a ground effects kit that includes a front lip, one-piece trunk spoiler, and rear diffuser. Inside, the Mopar Dart has a Mopar Blue leather seat with contrasting black accents for the driver, and black leather with blue accent stitching for the rest of interior.
    Under the hood there is a 1.4L MultiAir turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Mopar fitted a sport-tuned exhaust system to give a more meatier noise. Other changes include a sport suspension kit, premium brake kit with slotted rotors, and a revised steering calibration.
    Only 500 Mopar 13' Darts will be built. No information on pricing or a release date has been announced.
    Source: Chrysler

    Album: Mopar 13' Dart
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    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Chrysler Group LLC Introduces New Mopar ’13 Dodge Dart
    Select Mopar parts and accessories outfit new Mopar ’13 Dart
    Performance upgrades include lowered sport suspension, revised steering calibration, sport-tuned exhaust, ground-effects kit, and premium brake kit with slotted rotors
    Custom leather Mopar driver’s seat
    Industry-first wireless charging for smartphones
    500 numbered units to be built at company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Ill.
    Limited-edition vehicle to be displayed at Chicago Auto Show
    Mopar ’13 information to go live at http://www.dodge.com/en/2013//dart-mopar13/ tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 1

    Auburn Hills, Mich. , Jan 31, 2013 - Chrysler Group LLC today introduced the limited-edition Mopar ’13 Dart, marking the fourth special-edition Mopar-badged vehicle created since the company partnered with Fiat S.p.A in 2009. The car will be shown at next week’s Chicago Auto Show.
    Building on the success of the Mopar ’10 Challenger, Mopar ’11 Charger and the Mopar ’12 300, the limited-edition Mopar ’13 Dart will be built and customized with Mopar performance parts and accessories. Production for a limited run of 500 units will begin this spring at the company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Ill.
    “Our new Mopar ’13 Dart will turn heads and stand out from the crowd,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “For this special, limited-edition vehicle, we specifically kept the driver in mind as we added select Mopar parts and accessories.”
    Inspired by the tuner scene, the Mopar ’13 Dart is designed for driving enthusiasts. Powered by a 1.4-liter MultiAir® intercooled turbo engine with a manual transmission, the Mopar ’13 sports a gloss-black finish with a pair of car-length Mopar Blue stripes, which mirror each of the three previous Mopar-themed models.
    For enhanced handling, upgrades include a performance steering-gear calibration, a 7 millimeter-lowered suspension and low-profile 40 aspect performance tires (225/40R18). From the racing scene, Mopar added a premium brake kit with slotted rotors. Engine breathing is enhanced with a performance-tuned exhaust and to further optimize aerodynamics and increase downforce, the custom Dart features Mopar’s ground-effects kit, which includes a front-chin spoiler, one-piece deck-lid spoiler, as well as a unique and aggressively styled rear diffuser.
    Unique exterior elements include a Mopar badge in the crosshair grille and gloss-black 18-inch wheels with a Mopar logo on the wheel center caps. The vehicle’s unique interior, featuring a serialized plate, gives the driver a custom Mopar Blue leather seat with black accents. To keep the emphasis on the driver, the driver seat is Mopar Blue while all other seats are black with blue accent stitching. The centerpiece of the interior is a floating island bezel that is accented with Mopar Blue paint and lighting. The interior is further enhanced with rich details, including Mopar Blue accent thread, as well as light-black chrome and gloss-black elements.
    Along with a Mopar serialized badge on the dash, the special-edition Mopar ’13 includes industry-first wireless charging for smartphones, a blue-stitched leather-wrapped steering wheel with an identically garnished shifter knob, a bright sport-pedal kit, premium Mopar carpet floor mats, door-sill guards and an 8.4-inch navigation screen.
    The limited-edition Mopar ’13 Dart will be delivered to each customer with a personalized owner kit. Assembled in a custom-made black case, contents include a personalized plate with vehicle specifications, the date of manufacture and the unique identification number (of 500) of the vehicle. Along with a Mopar ’13 brochure and other memorabilia, the kit will include a limited-edition sketch of the vehicle signed by Mark Trostle, Chrysler Group Chief Designer for the Mopar Brand.
    Information on the Mopar ’13 will be go live at http://www.dodge.com/en/2013//dart-mopar13/ tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 1

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 2, 2013
    Last year, Dodge unveiled a new package for the Challenger SXT Plus called the Rallye Redline which added a list of visual, interior and handling changes. However some complained that the Challenger R/T model should have this package as well. Dodge has heard those calls and at next week’s Chicago Auto Show will show the 2013 Challenger R/T Redline.
    Much like the Rallye Redline, the R/T Redline gets twenty-inch black chrome wheels with red paint accents. However, the R/T Redline also gets side stripes with graphite graphics featuring Redline lettering to give it a more retro look.
    Under the hood, the R/T sticks with the 5.7L HEMI V8. When equipped with the six-speed manual, the 5.7L produces 375 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque thanks to a performance-tuned, low-restriction exhaust. Go with the five-speed automatic and the engine produces 372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet. The five-speed also gets a chrome Mopar t-handle shifter and paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
    The R/T Redline package will cost $1,995 and be available on the Challenger R/T ($32,985*) and R/T Plus ($34,985*). You can order a Challenger R/T with the R/T Redline package now and they will arrive in April.
    *Prices include $995 destination charge.
    Source: Dodge
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    New Dodge Challenger R/T Redline Delivers Red-hot Muscle Car Performance and Styling at the Ice-cold 2013 Chicago Auto Show
    New 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline heats up the brand’s iconic muscle-car lineup with HEMI®-power, red-hot exterior accents and performance suspension
    Signature 20-inch Black Chrome wheels feature a Redline Red accented lip and backbone for a customized look
    Legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 delivers up to 375 horsepower and 410 lb-ft torque through a track-proven six-speed manual transmission, or paddle-shifting and driver adaptable automatic transmission
    The 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline Group will be available this spring on R/T and R/T Plus models at a tremendous value with starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just $1,995 building off America’s most affordable V-8 muscle car

    February 1, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - While ice cold winter weather sweeps across Lake Shore Drive, the Dodge brand heats up the 2013 Chicago Auto Show by building on Challenger’s red-hot record selling year, and now at the show, the introduction of the new Challenger R/T Redline with modern muscle-car cues, a potent HEMI® V-8 engine throwing down 375 horsepower and a performance-tuned chassis for world-class dynamics — this new Challenger delivers exactly what Dodge fans want.
    “Building on Challenger’s all-time sales record in 2012, the new Challenger R/T Redline fuses our iconic heritage with a one-of-a-kind customized appearance,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Dodge Brand. “Featuring unique body-side stripes and black chrome wheels with red accents, the new R/T Redline combines unmatched personalization with the unmistakable performance of the legendary HEMI V-8.”
    The new 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline builds on the success of the 305 horsepower V-6 Challenger Rallye Redline model that arrived in the middle of the 2012 model year.
    2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline
    Based on the 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T — America’s most affordable V-8 muscle car at $29,995 MSRP — or R/T Plus, the new Challenger R/T Redline adds even more attitude and style with a right-from-the-factory custom look to the brand’s iconic coupe.
    Following Dodge Challenger’s signature A-line bodyside character line, an all-new two-color Redline Red and Graphite stripe runs from behind the front wheel arches to the tail. For a distinctive look, the rear-quarter section of the stripe features the “Redline” name in Red over Graphite color scheme. For a distinctive look, the R/T Redline features a body-color grille surround.
    Filling the wheel wells, the Dodge Challenger R/T Redline features 20-inch Black Chrome wheels with a Redline Red lip and inner backbone for a one-of-a-kind look. For even more performance and driving precision at-the-limit handling, the available Super Track Pak adds Goodyear Eagle F1 P245/45R20 three-season performance tires, high-performance brake linings and a lowered ride height.
    With its two-color stripe and four available exterior colors, including Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Bright White and Pitch Black, each new Dodge Challenger R/T Redline will stand out from the crowd. Dodge Challenger R/T Redline features a Dark Slate Gray interior with Dark Slate Gray (R/T) performance seats, or premium Nappa leather performance seats in Radar Red or Dark Slate Gray (R/T Plus). Automatic transmission models also feature bright pedals, a Mopar® T-Handle shifter and remote start.
    HEMI Power
    For the performance enthusiast, the 2013 Dodge Challenger R/T Redline features the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine that delivers up to 375 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque and gets up to 25 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway. When paired with the track-proven Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission, the Dodge Challenger R/T delivers smooth shifts, while delivering even more power through unique performance-tuned dual exhaust and under-floor mufflers with low-restriction bottle resonators. The result, 0-60 mph runs in the low-5-second range and a sinister exhaust growl for the cars left in its rear-view mirror; a trademark of the original Challenger HEMI from more than 43 years ago.
    The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine is also available with a five-speed automatic transmission producing 372 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. In addition, this version of the engine includes Chrysler Group’s innovative Fuel Saver Technology to seamlessly transition to high-fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand. And for even more control, steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters with “sport mode” transmission calibration are included.
    Loaded with standard features
    Dodge Challenger R/T Redline also includes a tremendous level of standard equipment found on every 2013 Challenger R/T, including the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with cold-air induction delivering up to 375 horsepower, Tremec six-speed manual transmission, performance-tuned suspension, performance-disc brakes, performance-tuned steering calibration, Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth, console-mounted USB port with iPod control and auxiliary audio input jack, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 12-months subscription, automatic headlamps, LED-illuminated instrument cluster with 160-mph primary speedometer, instrument panel with mini-carbon bezel, fog lamps, “R/T” grille badge, “HEMI” hood badges and rear body-color deck-lid spoiler. Remote start, bright pedals and Mopar T-handle shifter are also included with the five-speed automatic transmission.
    For drivers who want even more premium refinement and details, the new Dodge Challenger R/T Redline can also be built on the 2013 Challenger R/T Plus, which includes premium Nappa leather seating in Dark Slate Gray or Radar Red, heated front seats, six Boston Acoustics premium speakers with 276-watt amplifier, ParkSense rear park assist, power heated mirrors, Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with temperature gauge, location specific tire-pressure monitoring and compass, vehicle security alarm, and HomeLink universal transceiver. Remote start, bright pedals and Mopar T-handle shifter are also included with the five-speed automatic transmission.
    Just in time for spring
    The 2013 Dodge Challenger with R/T Redline Group is available for ordering now and arrives at dealerships this April with a U.S. MSRP of $1,995. When configured on the Challenger R/T or R/T Plus models, the MSRPs are $31,990 and $33,990 respectively (both prices exclude $995 destination).

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 8, 2012
    If you wanted a compact cargo van, your only choice was the the Ford Transit Connect. Now, Nissan introduced their competitor, the NV200 at Chicago.
    We've seen the NV200 in its passenger form as the new New York City taxi, and the cargo van is the same; minus the yellow paint and rear windows.
    Power will come from a 2.0L, four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission. Nissan isn't revealing power figures of the NV200.
    The NV200's cargo space is estimated to hold 123 cubic feet and can carry up to 1500 lbs. The cargo space can be accessed by sliding doors on either side and 60/40 split rear doors.
    Two models will be available; the base S comes with power windows, 12V power outlets, audio auxiliary inputs, and a “mobile office”-style center console. The SV adds power door locks, power heated outside mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Options include Bluetooth, an Appearance Package, and a Technology Package, which includes navigation and a rear back-up camera.
    The NV200 goes on sale in 2013.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Van Offers Efficient Packaging with a Large Cargo Space Within a Small Footprint



    – Latest Addition to the Nissan Commercial Vehicle Lineup Combines Innovative Ease-of-Use and Smart Design While Minimizing Cost of Ownership –


    CHICAGO - The all-new Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Van, which makes its North American debut at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, is set to join the growing lineup of Nissan Commercial Vehicles in early 2013 at 300 Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealerships nationwide. The NV200 follows the full-size Nissan NV Cargo, introduced in spring 2011, and the recently announced full-size Nissan NV Passenger that goes on sale this spring. The Nissan NV200 provides a new entry point for current cargo van and small pickup buyers looking for a compact, efficient alternative to their larger, less fuel-efficient vehicles.
    “There is an increasing need for a ‘right-sized’ van that optimizes cargo space while offering the best possible fuel economy and an affordable price – the exact sweet spots of the innovative new Nissan NV200,” said Joe Castelli, vice president, Nissan Commercial Vehicles and Fleet. “Businesses today, both large and small, are also looking for vehicles that represent their brands in the best light – smart, innovative, and professional. NV200 does that and much more.”
    While new to North America, the Nissan NV200 compact van is already in use in more than 40 countries around the world, receiving acclaim from both users and media alike for its optimal functionality and smart design. It won the 2010 International Van of the Year award in Europe, the 2010 Commercial Delivery Van (CDV) of the Year in China, and the 2011 Universal Design Award from Universal Design GMbH, a German organization dedicated to promoting the convergence of design and the emerging importance of customer needs. NV200 has also established a presence as the strong segment leader in Japan with a wide-ranging lineup that includes a taxi version.
    “Our global success provides a great foundation for the North American version, which we know will become an essential tool for business,” added Castelli.
    High Volume in a Small Footprint, Exceptional Ease of Use
    As the next “innovation for business,” NV200 offers a large cargo capacity of 123 cubic feet (estimated using SAE J1100 rev 2009) with a small exterior footprint. Unique for North America, the NV200 body has been extended 7.9 inches (200 mm) versus the models sold in other global markets. This longer body length offers additional cargo carrying capability for North American customers.
    Measuring just 186.2 inches in overall length, on a 115.2-inch wheelbase, NV200 is highly maneuverable in traffic and negotiating city parking spaces. Yet it allows for a 1,500-pound (estimated) maximum payload. The cargo area dimension between the efficiently designed wheelhouses allows for loading standard U.S. 40x48-inch pallets. Added utility is provided by the standard integrated mounting points, which allow installation of racks and shelves without drilling into the sidewalls, and six available floor mounted cargo hooks in the cargo area.
    NV200’s exterior design features a Nissan signature front grille, aerodynamic front end design, and functional cabin design. The large body side includes low-effort dual sliding side doors and large areas for business signage and graphics. In the rear, NV200 features tall 40/60 split opening doors with dual opening positions (90 and 180 degrees). The low floor height and tall interior cargo height aid easy loading and unloading. Other exterior features include halogen headlights, durable black front and rear bumpers, and outside mirrors with wide-angle spotter mirrors and available heated function.
    “In many ways, choosing a new work van is like finding a new business partner. Beyond the basic necessities, it must instill trust that it can always get the job done – and that you are comfortable with for many years,” said Castelli. “In that regard, along with the innovative cargo area features, NV200’s interior is designed to offer comfort and convenience day in and day out.”
    The driver-focused cockpit includes both comfort and functional features. The driver’s seat is 6-way adjustable with manual lumbar and armrest and is designed for durability with outboard vinyl wear patches. NV200 offers “Mobile Office” functionality with a center console featuring laptop/hanging file folder storage, pen/pencil tray, CD holder, and dual cupholders. Recessed storage areas are provided on the upper instrument panel for folders and documents. In addition the passenger seat folds down to serve as a worktop or extends the cargo space for hauling longer items.
    Power windows with auto up/down are standard. A 12-volt power outlet on the instrument panel is standard, along with an available 12-volt power point in rear of center console. There is also a passenger-side underseat storage tray, drive computer, battery saver feature, AM/FM/CD with auxiliary input and two front door mounted speakers.
    Available technology includes a Nissan Navigation System, Bluetooth® wireless communications, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately), RearView Monitor, and telematics pre-wiring (Nissan Fleet Tracker).
    Standard safety features include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS), roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front occupant head protection, front seat mounted driver and passenger side impact supplemental air bags, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
    Efficiency and Affordability
    The 2013 Nissan NV200 is built on Nissan’s proven compact commercial platform and features an efficient 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder engine. The engine is matched with a responsive and efficient Xtronic CVT® transmission.
    The suspension utilizes independent struts and stabilizer bar in front and a leaf spring design in the rear. Front disc/rear drum brakes with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) are standard, along with electric power-assisted steering and 15-inch steel wheels mounted with 185/60R15 high-load all-season tires.
    “The Nissan NV200 is designed as a durable work tool, with features such as the seating wear patches, low-effort sliding side doors and wide-opening rear doors,” adds Castelli. “And since we fully understand how vans like this are used in business, it’s also a very pleasant vehicle to drive and use as a mobile office.”
    One other key element of NV200, built in from the earliest planning, is low total cost of ownership. The 2013 Nissan NV200 will have a competitive price, excellent fuel efficiency, and reduced upfitting costs (due to the standard integrated mounting points), all of which will provide business owners with a low total cost of ownership.
    Two Well-Equipped Models
    Two well-equipped models are available, Nissan NV200 S and Nissan NV200 SV in a choice of five exterior colors, matched with a gray cloth interior.
    In addition to the long list of standard features on the NV200 S, the SV model adds power heated outside mirrors, power door locks with auto-locking feature, remote keyless entry with two key fobs, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, rear cargo floor mat, additional 12V power point in the rear of the center console, six floor-mounted cargo hooks in the cargo area, and full wheel covers.
    Several option packages will be available, including rear door glass; an Exterior Appearance Package with body-color bumpers, door handles and outside mirrors and chrome grille; Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System; and a Technology Package with Nissan Navigation System, RearView Monitor and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately).
    The new Nissan NV200 will be manufactured in Cuernavaca, Mexico and available through a select network of certified Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers nationwide.

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