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    2016 Detroit Auto Show: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica


    • The father of the minivan learns some new tricks


    Goodbye Town & Country, Hello Pacifica? No Chrysler isn't bringing back their crossover from the mid-oughts. That is the name of their new minivan which made its debut this morning at the Detroit Auto Show.

     

    In terms of design, the Pacifica is inspired by the 700C concept with a 200-esque front end and sloped windshield. Chrysler lowered the beltline and mounted the rear-view mirrors below it to increase the feeling of space. Wheel size goes up to 20-inches. The Pacifica is similar in size to the Town & Country - a tenth of an inch smaller in length, half an inch bigger in height, and an inch bigger in width.

     

    The interior borrows a lot from newer Chrysler models with flowing curves, different color and material choices, and the latest version of Chrysler's UConnect system. Rear seat passengers will get the option of UConnect theater which includes a pair of 10-inch touchscreens. No matter where you sit in the Pacifica, you'll definitely feel there is a lot of space thanks to 200 cubic feet of passenger space.

     

    For power, the Pacifica will come with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This will be paired with a nine-speed automatic. There will also be a plug-in hybrid version which gets a detuned version of the 3.6 (248 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque) paired with an electric motor and 24-kWh battery. Chrysler says the Pacifica plug-in can travel up to 30 Miles on a full charge and take about two hours to charge when plugged into a 240V outlet.

     

    Compared to the outgoing Town & Country, the 2017 Pacifica is much lighter thanks to a new platform and the use of lighter materials such as all-aluminum sliding doors.

     

    No word on pricing for the 2017 Pacifica lineup, but we would expect the base LX to be within the $30,000 to $35,000 ballpark. The 2017 Pacifica arrives at dealers this spring, with the plug-in hybrid following in the fall.

     

    Source: Chrysler

     


     

    You can follow all of our reports from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show here.

     

    Press Release is on Page 2



    All-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Reinvents Minivan Segment With Unprecedented Level of Functionality, Versatility and Technology

    • 2017 Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid revolutionize the minivan segment with nearly 40 new minivan firsts
    • After creating the minivan segment more than 30 years ago, FCA US now boasts an unmatched 115 minivan innovations
    • Re-engineered from the ground up on an all-new platform for class-leading ride, handling, and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH)
    • Delivers class-leading gasoline and hybrid powertrains to the minivan segment, with the Pacifica Hybrid offering up to 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in city driving
    • 2017 Chrysler Pacifica brings sculptural styling, beautiful surfacing and highly crafted execution to the minivan segment
    • Offers more than 100 standard and available safety and security features, including 360-degree Surround View camera, ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Hold and Forward Collision Warning-Plus
    • The most technologically equipped of its kind with available all-new Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment, 8.4-inch touchscreen display and premium audio systems
    • Full array of comfort and convenience technologies available, including Stow 'n Vac integrated vacuum, tri-pane panoramic sunroof, handsfree sliding doors and liftgate and redesigned Stow 'n Go seating with Stow 'n Go Assist and Easy Tilt access to the third row


    Auburn Hills, Mich., Jan 11, 2016 - Delivering unparalleled levels of functionality, versatility, technology and bold styling, the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica redefines the minivan segment.

     


    As the original creator of the minivan more than 30 years ago, FCA US LLC has transformed the segment with firsts – notching 78 innovations through the first five minivan generations. With the introduction of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica, FCA US adds 37 minivan firsts to its portfolio for an unprecedented total of 115 innovations in the segment.

     

    "The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is truly a no-compromises minivan, giving customers everything they need or want," said Timothy Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands, FCA - North America. "We started from the ground up to design the most technologically advanced minivan, which offers bold styling, class-leading ride and handling, and unmatched fuel economy, with the Pacifica Hybrid delivering up to 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in city driving. The all-new Chrysler Pacifica was thoughtfully designed and engineered to provide unsurpassed levels of comfort, convenience, technology and functionality, making it the perfect combination for modern families."

     

    Engineering

     

    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was re-engineered from the ground up on an all-new platform, delivering class-leading ride and handling and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Its body structure is the lightest and stiffest in its class, making it more responsive with lower levels of body roll and enhanced agility to absorb and distribute road inputs. Class-leading aerodynamics contribute to the Pacifica's unsurpassed fuel efficiency.

     

    The all-new Pacifica is engineered and executed to deliver a "vault-like" interior environment with low levels of wind noise, road noise and related vibration/harshness characteristics. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is standard on all models to further heighten the Chrysler Pacifica's refinement factor during a comfortable daily commute or an extended road trip with family and friends.

     

    The Chrysler Pacifica boasts the largest interior volume in the segment, with clever storage, available eight-passenger seating, and – a requirement with all generations of FCA US minivans – the ability to fit an 8 x 4-foot sheet of plywood.

     

    Powertrain

     

    The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan features a choice of two powerful, efficient and advanced powertrains – the segment's first hybrid vehicle, and the next generation of the award-winning Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine, which is mated to a segment-exclusive TorqueFlite nine-speed automatic transmission.

     

    The Pacifica Hybrid, the industry's first electrified minivan, will deliver an estimated range of 30 miles solely on zero-emissions electric power from a 16-kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. In city driving, it is expected to achieve an efficiency rating of 80 MPGe based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

     

    The pivotal technology behind the all-new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is its innovative electrically variable transmission (EVT). Patented by FCA US, the device features two electric motors, which are both capable of driving the vehicle's wheels.

     

    On the Chrysler Pacifica gasoline models, the latest iteration of the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine produces best-in-class horsepower (287) and torque (262 lb.-ft.), along with unsurpassed fuel economy. Enhancements such as two-step variable-valve lift (VVL), cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) and innovative weight-reduction strategies boost the engine's efficiency and performance, all while preserving the smoothness that remains a hallmark of the Pentastar brand. For added fuel efficiency, engine stop-start (ESS) technology is a standard feature on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (late availability).

     

    Design

     

    Featuring the face of the Chrysler brand, the all-new Chrysler Pacifica has a sculpted exterior with athletic proportions. A fast silhouette and sophisticated, fluid-like surfacing deliver a level of style not found in the minivan segment. The Pacifica's sliding door track lines are hidden under the rear-quarter side glass, making them virtually indistinguishable. With its long wheelbase, wide track, low ground clearance and available 20-inch wheels, the Chrysler Pacifica appears planted, with a capable stance.

     

    The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid features a unique front grille pattern and wheel design, as well as distinctive badging, differentiating it from the rest of the Pacifica lineup.

     

    The thoughtfully designed and beautifully crafted interior mixes high-tech elements with a sculpted, muscular feel. With horizontally drawn features, the interior's spaciousness is amplified, and the linear elements keep the eye moving throughout the cabin. The available tri-pane panoramic sunroof, with a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a fixed glass pane over the third row, adds to the feeling of spaciousness.

     

    The Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid are available in 10 exterior paint colors that accentuate the vehicle's surfacing: Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Molten Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Velvet Red Pearl Coat, Jazz Blue Pearl Coat, Dark Cordovan Pearl Coat, Tusk White Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat and Silver Teal Pearl Coat (available only on the Pacifica Hybrid and paired with an exclusive interior environment).

     

    Safety and Security

     

    The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica showcases the latest in advanced safety and security technology, offering more than 100 standard and available features. Available for the first time on the all-new Pacifica is the Surround View camera, which uses four cameras positioned around the vehicle to provide 360-degree views, including a bird's eye perspective of the vehicle and its surroundings. Other advanced features include:

    • ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, which uses ultrasonic sensors to guide the driver into parking spaces
    • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Hold, which maintains the distance between the vehicle and the one in front of it, and can bring the vehicle to a controlled stop under certain circumstances
    • Forward Collision Warning-Plus deploys the brakes to alert the driver if an impact appears imminent, and assists with driver response
    • LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus leverages electronic power steering (EPS) by delivering a torque input to alert and assist the driver with corrective action


    Other standard and available features include Blind-spot Monitoring, ParkSense rear park assist with stop, ParkView rear backup camera, electronic stability control and electric park brake. As part of FCA US's ongoing efforts to proliferate advanced safety and technology, the Pacifica's all-new body structure features the use of additional high-strength steel.

     


    The Chrysler Pacifica also boasts up to five seating positions that will accommodate LATCH child safety-seat installation – a capacity unsurpassed in the segment.

     

    Technology and Convenience

     

    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the most technologically equipped vehicle of its kind, offering an all-new Uconnect Theater entertainment system, 7-inch full-color driver information display, 8.4-inch touchscreen, acclaimed Uconnect Access and an array of other features.

     

    With the all-new, class-exclusive Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment system, passengers can watch movies, play built-in games, connect personal devices to surf the Internet and stream content throughout the vehicle via two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens.

     

    The available KeySense programmable key fob places limits on speed and audio volume, mutes the audio when front seatbelts are not buckled, prevents the disabling of certain features like Forward Collision Warning-Plus and ParkSense rear park assist, and allows blocking of SiriusXM Radio channels.

     

    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica features the available easy-to-use Uconnect 8.4 system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, navigation, integrated voice command, and Uconnect Access, which keeps drivers and passengers connected with helpful information, such as fuel prices and movie listings

     

    For audiophile-quality sound, the Chrysler Pacifica comes standard with six speakers and Active Noise Cancellation. Premium audio systems, either a 13-speaker Alpine system or a 20-speaker Harman Kardon system, are also available.

     

    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is loaded with comfort and convenience features, including Keyless Enter 'n Go, remote start, and heated and ventilated seats. Other notable features include segment-first handsfree sliding doors and liftgate, which are operated by making a kicking motion under the sliding door or bumper to open or close the sliding doors or liftgate.

     

    For added convenience, the available Stow 'n Vac integrated vacuum powered by RIDGID provides easy access to all corners of the vehicle. The Stow 'n Go seating and storage system, a hallmark of FCA US minivans for more than 10 years, has been redesigned for added ease of use, and the addition of the all-new Stow 'n Go Assist feature helps to further simplify the process. With the press of a button on the B-pillar, the front seat moves forward to allow the second-row seat to be stowed into the floor tub. Once the seat is stowed, pressing the button again moves the front seat back to its starting position. In addition, the Easy Tilt second-row seats allow for easy access to the third row, even with an empty child seat installed in the second row.

     

    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is available in six models and the Pacifica Hybrid in two models. The Chrysler Pacifica will be available in dealer showrooms in spring 2016, with the Pacifica Hybrid arriving in the second half of 2016.

     

    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is built at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

     

    First hybrid powertrain in minivan segment

     

    "Due to its large footprint and multiple daily trip patterns, the minivan is ideally suited for electrification technology," said Bob Lee, Vice President and Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion Systems Engineering, FCA – North America. "The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica lives up to this promise and then some, with efficiency, power and refinement."

     

    Launching in second half of 2016, the Pacifica Hybrid is the industry's first electrified minivan. With an estimated 248 horsepower, the vehicle will deliver an estimated range of 30 miles solely on zero-emissions electric power from a 16-kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.

     

    In city driving, it is expected to achieve an efficiency rating of 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

     

    When the battery's energy is depleted to a certain threshold, the Pacifica Hybrid becomes a part-time electric vehicle, like a conventional hybrid. Power to the wheels is supplied by the electric drive system or supplemented by a specially adapted new version of the award-winning FCA US Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine.

     

    The battery pack – neatly packaged under the second row floor in the new unique battery case – may be fully recharged in as little as two hours using a 240-volt plug-in system.

     

    The pivotal technology behind the all-new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is its innovative electrically variable transmission (EVT). Designed and patented by FCA US, the device features two electric motors – both of which are capable of driving the vehicle's wheels.

     

    Conventional electrification schemes dedicate one motor to serve as a generator and a second motor – usually much larger – to deliver torque to the wheels. But the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid uses a one-way clutch that allows the motor typically used only as a generator to deliver torque to the wheels, depending on driving conditions. The result is increased efficiency, refinement and improved component packaging.

     

    Unique hybrid engine

     

    Based on the newly upgraded Pentastar engine architecture, the new hybrid engine features an Atkinson cycle combustion system for improved pumping efficiency without compromising vehicle performance due to its hybrid electric motors working in tandem with the engine when full load performance is required.

     

    Unique "handed" pistons provide a compression ratio increase to 12.5:1 for further thermodynamic efficiency improvement.

     

    The front cover and front accessory drive system was re-engineered due to the elimination of the alternator and power steering pump which is common to most hybrid engines.

     

    Friction reduction improvements, along with ignition and fuel injection improvements found on the upgraded Pentastar V-6 are all part of the specially adapted hybrid Pentastar engine, while 2-step valve lift and cooled EGR have been removed with the addition of Atkinson cycle combustion system.

     

    Recharging

     

    Deceleration triggers the motor to turn into a generator, which creates electricity to send back to the battery pack.

     

    The 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is stored efficiently under the second-row floor, keeping the rear cargo area as roomy as ever and preserving the third-row Stow 'n Go seating and storage.

     

    The exterior charge port is located on the driver's side fender for quick and easy plug in after exiting the vehicle. On the inside, a charging indicator light is located on the instrument panel so owners can easily monitor the battery charge process.

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    Looks good, for a mini van. 

     

    LOVE that they will have a plug-in hybrid! I feel like this class of vehicles needs it as much as any in order to keep people buying them. Because people who buy large SUVs realistically would be suited better in a van with and with a good mpg advantage this should help them steal some SUV sales. Up to a 30 mile range sounds fantastic! 

     

    Why leave the Town and Country name after all these years? 

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    Not sure I would have used the Pacifica name here. Other than that, looks fairly promising. It's got it's work cut out for it, that's for certain.

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    Nice looking Minivan, I see clues to the shape of the old CUV Pacifica. Disagree with their Marketing who changed names. They had history that was solid for leading the way with minivans. If they think they can get more CUV buyers to go to the minivan by changing names they are wrong and it is a failure for the name.

     

    Interior is nice but does not look as well made as the Honda or Hyundai minivan. The seats look thin which I know is the new trend but also very uncomfortable. I do not see any comfort there for a road trip.

     

    Over all like the outside design and fluid flow but the interior is only a B rating.

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    I don't mind the name change.  I liked the Pacifica name.  The people who bought the original Pacifica loved the form factor, but reliability was an issue.   They sold so few of them, I don't think there is much, if any, baggage with the name for FCA to worry about. 

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    I love this.  I would never own one because, well, minivan and I don't need one.  I see them easily keeping their dominance in the segment. 

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    Nice looking Minivan, I see clues to the shape of the old CUV Pacifica. Disagree with their Marketing who changed names. They had history that was solid for leading the way with minivans. If they think they can get more CUV buyers to go to the minivan by changing names they are wrong and it is a failure for the name.

     

    Interior is nice but does not look as well made as the Honda or Hyundai minivan. The seats look thin which I know is the new trend but also very uncomfortable. I do not see any comfort there for a road trip.

     

    Over all like the outside design and fluid flow but the interior is only a B rating.

     

    Wait, Hyundai is building a minivan again?! (I think you mean Kia).

     

    Sitting inside the Pacifica, it is really well done. I think it leaps over the Odyssey and the Sedona in interiors.

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    Wow. I am shocked Sergio didn't fk this up. Looks great !

    I had thought it was inevitable we would be turning in our 2015 town and country when our lease is done in 24 months but now it's evident to me that rolling into a new lease may be a good choice. I'm cool with the name change. Town and country sounds way older than Pacifica. And Pacifica has name equity.

    Biggest thing for me is the 3.6 comes back and the physical siZe stays the same.

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    Looks to be a nice van! I'm torn on the name though. I didn't think anything was wrong with Town & Country, and Pacifica could've been applied to a crossover. 

     

    It's a shame that the original Pacifica was a bit ahead of its time. Aside from the reliability woes, it was a very nice vehicle and it's odd that Chrysler hasn't followed up with a successive mid-lux crossover.

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    I like it, I think it looks good, about as sleek and sporty as you can make a minivan look, and still looks pretty refined.   I like the Pacifica name change, it is a CUV name applied to a minivan, "Town and Country" was a tired name, Pacifica sounds like a crossover name, so buyers will like that.  I liked the original Pacificas they had good space in them and weren't a van, not a truck, the idea was good, maybe not the best quality or exception of it.

     

    A Hybrid van is a good idea, that will be a segment exclusive.  Should give them a big edge over the competition.

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    While this is an improvement it is facing a tougher non friendly Mini Van market.

    Of all the minivans left this one will find a home with the diehard fans but the CUV will really cut into sales and this will sell only a small percentage of models as the past models sold.

    I hope this one does not smoke like all the others I see daily. They must go through the oil but they do keep running.

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    Not many CUVs seat 7 or 8 people.  Not many plug-in CUVs that get 80 mpg either.  30 miles of electric range is pretty good too.  If cargo and people hauling is your top priority this Pacifica makes a lot of winning points.

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    Not many CUVs seat 7 or 8 people.  Not many plug-in CUVs that get 80 mpg either.  30 miles of electric range is pretty good too.  If cargo and people hauling is your top priority this Pacifica makes a lot of winning points.

    And not as many people want the castrating Minivans anymore. People like them better when you sit them up higher and let them pretend they are trucks vs. family trucksters. The MiniVan is slowly going the way of the Station Wagon.

    Any of the tricks used here can be applied to any CUV and will be at some point.

    Just with the higher and larger profiles the EV range is still not what is could or should be for this kind of class and when range continues to improve we will see more of it in the others.

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    Minivans are not a growth segment, but they did sell 93,000 Town and Countrys last year at a base price of $30k.   I think they could move 100,000+ Pacificas a year and if the base is $30k, most will probably sell for $35-40K.   I don't think 100k units a year is anything to sneeze at for a mid $30s priced vehicle.

     

    As far as the EV range, it is 30 miles more than any other mini van, Explorer, Traverse, Enclave, or Acadia offers.

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    I'm not so enamored with this. The sleek styling works well on a sleek sedan.

     

    On a minivan it looks like it's melting.

     

    The next gen Odyssey is supposed to launch soon too. I wonder if it'll break the 30 mpg hwy barrier on all current minivans.

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    Minivans are not a growth segment, but they did sell 93,000 Town and Countrys last year at a base price of $30k.   I think they could move 100,000+ Pacificas a year and if the base is $30k, most will probably sell for $35-40K.   I don't think 100k units a year is anything to sneeze at for a mid $30s priced vehicle.

     

    As far as the EV range, it is 30 miles more than any other mini van, Explorer, Traverse, Enclave, or Acadia offers.

    GC + T&C sales maybe came close to 200k last year?  nothing to sneeze at

     

    But GM will chase Buick coupes with a Camaro and ATS already out there, right?

     

    There's always going to be those that want to haul a couch or have sliding doors for babies and kids, Chrysler invented the minivan, canadians love them, it's still a great segment for them now that we see they didn't hose up the powertrain, the design, or the size.

     

    Chrysler not selling vans would be like GM not selling suburbans.

    Edited by regfootball
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    I like the styling, esp. the smallish 200 headlights and grille--kind of understated, and the rear treatment...rather dramatic compared to the stodgy, blocky current van rear.   I can see going w/ the Pacifica name, 'Town & Country' is dated and stodgy, reminds me of crappy 80s minivans and wagons w/ fake woodgrain.   Is it correct Dodge won't be getting a Caravan version of this? 

     

    As an aside, since the 200 and Pacifica share front end styling cues, I assume the next 300 will also..that will be quite a change from the big mouth grille of the current model...

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    While this is an improvement it is facing a tougher non friendly Mini Van market.

    Of all the minivans left this one will find a home with the diehard fans but the CUV will really cut into sales and this will sell only a small percentage of models as the past models sold.

    I hope this one does not smoke like all the others I see daily. They must go through the oil but they do keep running.

    So, they have the hybrid ou bitched about and ou still find nonsense to complain about.  I seriously doubt you are seeing any 11+ models with the pentastar smoking and burning oil.................

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    Not many CUVs seat 7 or 8 people.  Not many plug-in CUVs that get 80 mpg either.  30 miles of electric range is pretty good too.  If cargo and people hauling is your top priority this Pacifica makes a lot of winning points.

    And not as many people want the castrating Minivans anymore. People like them better when you sit them up higher and let them pretend they are trucks vs. family trucksters. The MiniVan is slowly going the way of the Station Wagon.

    Any of the tricks used here can be applied to any CUV and will be at some point.

    Just with the higher and larger profiles the EV range is still not what is could or should be for this kind of class and when range continues to improve we will see more of it in the others.

     

    Um, minivan sales say otherwise.  500k sales a year for them combined is still a lot for the segment and more than enough for this thing to make huge profits.  Face it, you just don't like because it is Chrysler.  If it was GM you would be singing it's praises.

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    Not many CUVs seat 7 or 8 people.  Not many plug-in CUVs that get 80 mpg either.  30 miles of electric range is pretty good too.  If cargo and people hauling is your top priority this Pacifica makes a lot of winning points.

    And not as many people want the castrating Minivans anymore. People like them better when you sit them up higher and let them pretend they are trucks vs. family trucksters. The MiniVan is slowly going the way of the Station Wagon.

    Any of the tricks used here can be applied to any CUV and will be at some point.

    Just with the higher and larger profiles the EV range is still not what is could or should be for this kind of class and when range continues to improve we will see more of it in the others.

    Um, minivan sales say otherwise.  500k sales a year for them combined is still a lot for the segment and more than enough for this thing to make huge profits.  Face it, you just don't like because it is Chrysler.  If it was GM you would be singing it's praises.

    GM sold 3/4 that in just the Terrain and Nox that are old and outdated and even they should have done better.

    The only thing I have against Chrysler is Sergio and fan boys like you. Just so emotional!

    What is the fastest growing segment? Small SUV models. Mini vans has have dropped in volume. Nothing Anti Chrysler there as it is what it is. You just do not like the truth.

    Just look at the fastest growing sales at Chrysler. Where are they? Jeep! What are the two fast Cherokee and Renegade.

    The truth is the only company that could really push a mini van is Chrysler because of the previous fan base but it is not like it used to be. And yes many of the Chrysler 4 engines are know for burning oil. It is common and well know in the industry. Todays engines are much better but the past was a Smokey one.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    Aren't they going to share this platform with a CUV?  That'll get them the volume they need to keep the minivan alive.

     

    Yep

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      The combination of these two, along with some manufacturers pulling out of Detroit over the past few years resulted in this year's show. 
      Does this mean the Detroit Auto Show is doomed? Not at the moment. This year, organizers took a page from the LA Auto Show by doing more in terms of talking about the future of the automotive industry and mobility with press conferences and talks from various industry folks from Sunday to Tuesday.
      But the writing is beginning to appear on the wall. Down the road, it seems the auto show will not be the place where news is made. Instead, it will be the place where vehicles are gathered for all to look at.
      Before that day comes, we might get a couple more high points.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      This would have been my fourth Detroit Auto Show (or North American International Auto Show as some would like you to call it) for Cheers and Gears. But due to a leg injury sustained a couple of weeks before the show, I was unable to make it. Maybe that was a blessing in disguise as I would miss out on dealing with individuals who break out tape measures and clipboards to note every little detail, along with journalists complaining about why the show isn't held during a warmer month. But it would turn out this year’s show would be a bit disappointing.
      That isn't to say there were not any breakouts. The new Kia Stinger GT looks very intriguing as the new Lexus LS. I'm interested in checking out the new Toyota Camry (bet you weren't expecting that). Volkswagen's I.D. Buzz concept could bring something new in terms of electric vehicles (if it ever gets built). Plus Ford's announcement that the Bronco and Ranger were coming was some excellent news. But everything else landed with a bit of a thud. 
      So how did we end up here? A lot of this comes down to the past few years at Detroit being very bountiful with vehicles that caused jaws to drop and excitement levels to rise. The likes of the Acura NSX, Buick Avista concept, Chevrolet Bolt, Ford GT, and Lexus LC made our souls stir and revel in this magical time. But sooner or later, the well was going to dry up and leave a show that was lacking in spark. 
      At first, I thought it was part of a cycle. You have your high points before falling back down and then rising back up. But the more I thought about it, this might be a sign that the auto show is beginning to fade.
      The past few years have seen a number of automakers hold events off site before the kick-off of the show. Looking at the various social media feeds on Sunday, I was able to count seven different events. Holding something offsite give an automaker a way of controlling the message. It also gives a bit more time in the spotlight, not having to fight with other automakers for it during a packed press day.
      There are also more outlets for automakers to show their wares. The week before the Detroit Auto Show was the Consumer Electronics Show. The past few years have seen more and more automakers take part in regards to electric vehicles and autonomous driving. It has also been home for a small number of debuts; Volkswagen Budd-e, Chrysler Portal concept, and Faraday Future. 
      The combination of these two, along with some manufacturers pulling out of Detroit over the past few years resulted in this year's show. 
      Does this mean the Detroit Auto Show is doomed? Not at the moment. This year, organizers took a page from the LA Auto Show by doing more in terms of talking about the future of the automotive industry and mobility with press conferences and talks from various industry folks from Sunday to Tuesday.
      But the writing is beginning to appear on the wall. Down the road, it seems the auto show will not be the place where news is made. Instead, it will be the place where vehicles are gathered for all to look at.
      Before that day comes, we might get a couple more high points.
    • By William Maley
      On the spectrum of concept vehicles, we have models that are wildly out there and have no chance of going into production. Then we have models that are thinly disguised production vehicles. The Infiniti QX50 Concept falls into the latter. 
      An evolution of the QX Inspiration concept, the QX50 doesn't really differ a lot in terms of exterior design. The front end is similar to the Q60 Coupe with a large grille and chiseled bumper. The side profile shows a bit of sculpting and a creasing running underneath the window. The interior looks mostly production ready with high-quality leather, wood trim, and what looks to be a new infotainment system. 
      The QX50 Concept also features Infiniti's upcoming variable-compression 2.0L turbo-four. Bear with us as we try our best to describe how this engine work. Instead of having the pistons connected to a crankshaft, they are hooked up to a pivot arm. The arm is also connected to a second lower shaft, which is controlled by an actuator arm. The action of the variable-compression engine is the same as a gas engine - pistons move up and down when crankshaft or pivot arm turns. The trick comes with the actuator arm which can alter the angle of the pivot arm up and down. This is turn changes the engine compression. When the arm is up, you get a higher compression ratio. Move the arm down and the engine has a lower compression ratio. Infiniti says this engine offers more power and better fuel efficiency. 
      Back to the turbo 2.0L at hand. The engine is rated at 268 horsepower and 288 pound-feet.
      Like most concepts these days, the QX50 features a suite of autonomous technologies. A system comprised of lidar, radar, and cameras would monitor the road and the latest software would allow the vehicle to travel down the highway with no driver involvement.
      Source: Infiniti 
      Press Release is on Page 2
      QX50 Concept: INFINITI's vision for a next-generation mid-size premium crossover
      New QX50 Concept represents an evolution of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration, with an original yet practical new crossover form QX50 Concept's cabin challenges conventional thinking on interior car design with elevated levels of modern craftsmanship INFINITI's latest concept lights a path to the future integration of the brand's autonomous drive support technologies Demonstrates a potential application for INFINITI's production-ready VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine DETROIT – Making its global premiere at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the QX50 Concept showcases INFINITI's vision for a next-generation mid-size premium crossover.
      Demonstrating how the design of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration, its conceptual forebear, could be adapted for a future production model, the QX50 Concept confidently articulates INFINITI's 'Powerful Elegance' design language. A 'cabin-forward' silhouette combines with muscular lines and flowing surfaces to telegraph its purpose as a dynamic and practical crossover.
      The organic forms of the 'driver-centric, passenger-minded' cabin were designed in harmony with the exterior shape. Blending progressive design with modern craftsmanship, the QX50 Concept's interior reflects INFINITI's desire to challenge conventional approaches to premium interior design.
      INFINITI's latest concept is the next step toward the company's future autonomous drive support technologies. Central to the strategy for the development of all future INFINITI autonomous drive support systems, they ensure the driver retains ultimate control over their vehicle – in keeping with INFINITI's focus on driver engagement.
      Furthermore, the QX50 Concept illustrates a potential application for INFINITI's advanced Variable Compression Turbo (VC-Turbo) engine, offering drivers a powertrain that adapts to offer both power and efficiency.
      An evolution of INFINITI's 2016 QX Sport Inspiration mid-size crossover
      The QX50 Concept shows how INFINITI could develop its future presence in the world's fastest-growing vehicle segment INFINITI seeks to explore a more emotional execution of crossover design than existing models in the class "With the unveiling of the QX Sport Inspiration at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, we showed the future of INFINITI QX models. The new QX50 Concept evolves this concept further and shows how INFINITI could develop its future presence in what is the fastest-growing vehicle segment globally." Roland Krueger, President of INFINITI
      With the QX50 Concept, INFINITI seeks to explore a more emotional execution of crossover design, bringing a degree of elegance and artistry to a segment typified by an uninspiring, clinical aesthetic. Marrying human artistry with utility, the QX50 Concept fulfills the expectation of practicality with a spacious cabin and cargo area. Furthermore, with a design adapted for the greatest possible packaging efficiency, the QX50 Concept previews how INFINITI could adapt future vehicle designs to accommodate a compact powertrain, such as the company's VC-Turbo engine.
                     
      The QX50 Concept marks the next stage in INFINITI's continued renewal of its product range. INFINITI designs concepts with production intent, such as true-to-concept production versions of the Q30, QX30 and Q60 concepts. The creation of each of these has previewed the design and layout of the brand's next-generation models. The QX50 Concept previews the evolving signature INFINITI design elements, demonstrating how they could be adapted for a mid-sized premium crossover.
      With its ground breaking proportions, the 2003 INFINITI FX45 set the template for future crossovers to follow throughout the last decade. The world's first mid-size multi-purpose sports vehicle, the INFINITI FX is still considered a crossover design icon today. Last year's QX Sport Inspiration sought to rekindle that excitement – and in an increasingly crowded and popular market segment, the new QX50 Concept now illustrates how these design themes could be translated into a production reality.
      Exterior: an artistic execution of functional crossover design
      QX50 Concept represents the latest interpretation of INFINITI's 'Powerful Elegance' design language Its design combines taut and muscular lines with heavily profiled surfaces QX50 Concept demonstrates how the design of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration could be adapted for future production models Influenced by the design of the INFINITI QX Sport Inspiration, the QX50 Concept expresses its crossover purpose through proportional clarity, clearly telegraphing its power and dynamic capabilities. The QX50 Concept eschews many of the familiar, 'me too' design forms and themes shared by established models in the mid-size premium crossover segment. The result is a highly original yet practical new crossover form, demonstrating how the design of INFINITI's earlier concept could be adapted for future production models.
      The QX50 Concept is the latest embodiment of INFINITI's 'Powerful Elegance' design language and is both aesthetic and functional. The exterior of the concept combines taut and muscular lines with flowing, heavily profiled surfaces. A sharp, straight character line runs from the clamshell hood and along the length of its shoulders, giving the QX50 Concept a commanding presence and extending the vehicle's visual length. A wide, muscular stance accentuates its versatile capability.
      INFINITI's signature design elements are evident on the QX50 Concept, each subtly evolved for their new application. At the front, INFINITI's double-arch grille conveys an immediate sense of power and purpose and provides a focal point for every line on the concept's body. A taller, wider and more practical vehicle than the QX Sport Inspiration, the QX50 Concept's grille adds a greater sense of presence to the front of the car. At the rear of the vehicle, the leading edge of the crescent-cut D-pillar is higher than on any current INFINITI production car, further extending the visual length of the roofline.
      The interplay of the exterior lines and surfaces is accentuated by a newly-created Forged Bronze paint finish, with three times the amount of metal flake compared with standard production paint finishes.
      In profile, the hood is shaped like the rise of a snake's head, with a pair of sharp creases extending upwards from the base of the A-pillar, then plunging down the hood, leading into the edges of the expansive 'double-arch' grille. These lines disguise the hood's relatively short length, suggesting how the appearance of a production car could be adapted for a more compact engine, such as INFINITI's VC-Turbo, applying power to the road through an intelligent all-wheel drive powertrain.
      Functionality is a necessity in the mid-sized crossover segment and is central to the QX50 Concept's design. More practical than its QX Sport Inspiration progenitor, the QX50 Concept has a 'cabin-forward' silhouette and a slightly more vertical rear hatch, both reference points for a versatile and accommodating interior. The new shape of the crescent-cut D-pillar provides clearer over-the-shoulder visibility for the driver and a better view out for rear passengers.
      Interior: Challenging conventional thinking on premium cabin design
      Concept cabin demonstrates new direction of thinking with premium materials and craftsmanship Authentic materials and artistic design execution is at the heart of the concept's carefully curated cabin Driver-centric, yet passenger-minded, the cabin places similar importance on both form and function Blending progressive design with elevated levels of modern craftsmanship, the cabin of the QX50 Concept demonstrates INFINITI's desire to challenge and reinterpret conventional thinking on premium crossover interior design and material usage.
      In the place of high-gloss woods and soft-touch plastics, the interior of the QX50 Concept features a more modern application of wood, leather and stitching. Each material is treated and applied in a way to establish new trends in the design of premium crossover interiors.
      Deliberately articulating a sense of advanced human artistry, the QX50 Concept's cabin espouses a handmade feel and is the result of two Japanese approaches to craftsmanship – 'mitate' (pronounced "mee-ta-teh") and 'shitate' ("shee-ta-teh"). 'Mitate' relates to the practice of curating and bringing together the best possible selection of materials. 'Shitate' is the desire to tailor the chosen combination of materials, bringing out the best. With fine attention to detail and finish, such an approach creates an appearance and ambience throughout the cabin greater than the sum of its parts.
      The combination of materials and the way in which they have been applied has allowed INFINITI designers to demonstrate some of the highest levels of craftsmanship ever seen in a crossover in this segment.
      The QX50 Concept is wrapped in a variety of different leathers – genuine, semi-aniline, and synthetic nubuck – for a rich variety of textures and visual depth. The eyes naturally follow each different surface as it flows around the cabin. The QX50 Concept's cabin hints at a widening range of interior finishes for INFINITI customers to choose from, including a carefully selected three-tone color scheme.
      Adopting different leathers for the interior allows INFINITI to imagine how this three-tone cabin could look. Rich, brown leather lines the upper layer of the cabin, contrasted with white leather for the lower dashboard, door trim and seats. Between the two runs a line of navy blue synthetic nubuck, which also finishes the front center console. A line of close twin stitching runs along the top of the dashboard and doors, and around the seats.
      INFINITI has applied for a patent for a new 'dot quilting' method for the leather that lines the doors and seats. Inspired by classic buttoned leather sofas, dot quilting is sewn into place at individual points. The physical characteristics of the leather produce a more informal interpretation of the diamond lozenge shape that gives classic Chesterfield lounge chairs their distinctive appearance.
      Where many expect premium vehicle interiors use high-gloss wood surfaces to create the perception of quality, the QX50 Concept is trimmed in real, open-pore ash. The wood is treated to retain its natural, and sometimes irregular, characteristics in texture and appearance. Running a hand over it, the grain of the ash is still present, providing an authentic, modern appearance and enhanced tactility.
      The natural, flowing shapes of the cabin harmonize with those of the QX50 Concept's exterior, contrasting with the technical, linear – even austere – designs of other vehicles in the segment. A blend of positive and negative surfaces adds a level of visual depth to the cabin, with a complex interplay of light and shade. The organic lines of the cabin follow a similar form to the interior of the QX Sport Inspiration, referencing how they could be progressed from the original concept to a production car.
      Both 'driver-centric' and 'passenger-minded,' the layout of the QX50 Concept's cabin is divided into distinct zones for the driver and passengers. Consistent with its conceptual predecessor, the dashboard is focused on the driver, using its form and appearance to engender a true sense of confidence at the wheel.
      The horizontal forms of the dashboard wrap around the driver and passenger, with twisting, uninterrupted character lines flowing from the center console, along the dashboard and out to the rear of the cabin. The seats feature an ergonomic hexagon motif, for a wide and welcoming appearance, and maximum back and shoulder support for occupants.
      The QX50 Concept places form on the same level as function, with utility at the heart of its remit.
      In moving the base of the A-pillar further forward than on the QX Sport Inspiration, and shortening the hood to accommodate a more compact engine, the QX50 Concept's cabin-forward design creates a longer, more spacious passenger compartment. The upright stance of the rear hatch – more vertical than its forebear – is designed to give the QX50 Concept exceptional cargo space. The Concept's cargo bay is, for instance, long enough to store a stroller, suggesting how such a vehicle could suit a young family.
      The QX50 Concept's Graphic User Interface shows how new technologies could be incorporated into future INFINITI vehicle cabins.
      The center of the dashboard features a wide touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface). As well as displaying navigation and infotainment features, the QX50 Concept's touchscreen could display to occupants the current status of other technologies in the vehicle. The dashboard could display to all occupants the status of the vehicle's various driver assist technologies, as well as how the VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine adapts as it shifts seamlessly between offering greater fuel efficiency and performance.
      INFINITI engineers continue to develop autonomous driving support technologies
      INFINITI's future autonomous drive support technologies will allow the driver to  retain ultimate control over their vehicle Future package of technologies will take a proactive approach to driver assistance and delegate elements of driving to the car The INFINITI QX50 Concept's driver assist system is part of the company's development of autonomous driving support technologies.
      The development strategy for all future INFINITI autonomous drive support systems is that they should ensure the driver retains control over their vehicle – in keeping with INFINITI's focus on driver engagement.
      In the future, INFINITI autonomous drive support technologies will continue to make driving less stressful – such as navigating stop-start traffic on the highway or keeping track of the positions of surrounding vehicles.
      Since its inception in 1989, INFINITI has brought pioneering driver-assistive technologies to the customer. The company has been responsible for a series of world-first technologies, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning, drive-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering® and Active Lane Control.
      The QX50 Concept's INFINITI driver assistance technologies preview the first production-ready incarnation of this package.
      With a proactive approach to safety, the QX50 Concept assists the driver in identifying and responding to other road users and potential hazards. Future technologies will draw on inputs from a network of laser scanners, radar and cameras to read the road ahead and monitor the vehicle's surroundings, allowing the car to react accordingly.
      This framework of sensors will be developed in future production models with a series of new functionalities.
      VC-Turbo – the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine
      QX50 Concept suggests a potential application for INFINITI's VC-Turbo engine Packaging benefits for a mid-size crossover, powered by a compact engine with high specific power and efficiency INFINITI engineers target a 27-percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to V6 gasoline engines The INFINITI QX50 Concept demonstrates a potential production application for INFINITI's advanced new VC-Turbo engine. INFINITI has yet to confirm which of its future vehicles could benefit from its variable compression ratio engine, though a mid-sized crossover could be one of the ideal applications for the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo power unit revealed by the company in 2016.
      The QX50 Concept's packaging efficiency and spacious cabin are due in part to a compact, space-efficient engine bay design. With its proportionately shorter hood, the QX50 Concept suggests how the 2.0-liter gasoline engine could power a front-biased intelligent all-wheel drive system.
      INFINITI's production-ready 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine represents a compelling alternative to diesel powertrains, particularly in the mid-sized premium crossover segment. The VC-Turbo engine is able to adapt its compression ratio according to driving conditions to deliver optimal levels of performance and efficiency. It challenges the notion that hybrid technology and diesel are the only powertrains capable of offering high efficiency and torque. For its application in the QX50 Concept, the human-machine interface (HMI) demonstrates to the driver and passengers how the VC-Turbo is adapting according to driving conditions. The HMI displays the engine's current status as it intelligently chooses appropriate levels of performance and high efficiency.
      With a downsized capacity and high power and torque, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine boasts an impressive specific power output – higher than many competing four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines, and close to the performance of some V6 gasoline powertrains. In time for the engine's production debut in 2018, INFINITI engineers are targeting a 27-percent improvement in fuel efficiency over V6 gasoline engines of similar power output.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      On the spectrum of concept vehicles, we have models that are wildly out there and have no chance of going into production. Then we have models that are thinly disguised production vehicles. The Infiniti QX50 Concept falls into the latter. 
      An evolution of the QX Inspiration concept, the QX50 doesn't really differ a lot in terms of exterior design. The front end is similar to the Q60 Coupe with a large grille and chiseled bumper. The side profile shows a bit of sculpting and a creasing running underneath the window. The interior looks mostly production ready with high-quality leather, wood trim, and what looks to be a new infotainment system. 
      The QX50 Concept also features Infiniti's upcoming variable-compression 2.0L turbo-four. Bear with us as we try our best to describe how this engine work. Instead of having the pistons connected to a crankshaft, they are hooked up to a pivot arm. The arm is also connected to a second lower shaft, which is controlled by an actuator arm. The action of the variable-compression engine is the same as a gas engine - pistons move up and down when crankshaft or pivot arm turns. The trick comes with the actuator arm which can alter the angle of the pivot arm up and down. This is turn changes the engine compression. When the arm is up, you get a higher compression ratio. Move the arm down and the engine has a lower compression ratio. Infiniti says this engine offers more power and better fuel efficiency. 
      Back to the turbo 2.0L at hand. The engine is rated at 268 horsepower and 288 pound-feet.
      Like most concepts these days, the QX50 features a suite of autonomous technologies. A system comprised of lidar, radar, and cameras would monitor the road and the latest software would allow the vehicle to travel down the highway with no driver involvement.
      Source: Infiniti 
      Press Release is on Page 2
      QX50 Concept: INFINITI's vision for a next-generation mid-size premium crossover
      New QX50 Concept represents an evolution of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration, with an original yet practical new crossover form QX50 Concept's cabin challenges conventional thinking on interior car design with elevated levels of modern craftsmanship INFINITI's latest concept lights a path to the future integration of the brand's autonomous drive support technologies Demonstrates a potential application for INFINITI's production-ready VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine DETROIT – Making its global premiere at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the QX50 Concept showcases INFINITI's vision for a next-generation mid-size premium crossover.
      Demonstrating how the design of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration, its conceptual forebear, could be adapted for a future production model, the QX50 Concept confidently articulates INFINITI's 'Powerful Elegance' design language. A 'cabin-forward' silhouette combines with muscular lines and flowing surfaces to telegraph its purpose as a dynamic and practical crossover.
      The organic forms of the 'driver-centric, passenger-minded' cabin were designed in harmony with the exterior shape. Blending progressive design with modern craftsmanship, the QX50 Concept's interior reflects INFINITI's desire to challenge conventional approaches to premium interior design.
      INFINITI's latest concept is the next step toward the company's future autonomous drive support technologies. Central to the strategy for the development of all future INFINITI autonomous drive support systems, they ensure the driver retains ultimate control over their vehicle – in keeping with INFINITI's focus on driver engagement.
      Furthermore, the QX50 Concept illustrates a potential application for INFINITI's advanced Variable Compression Turbo (VC-Turbo) engine, offering drivers a powertrain that adapts to offer both power and efficiency.
      An evolution of INFINITI's 2016 QX Sport Inspiration mid-size crossover
      The QX50 Concept shows how INFINITI could develop its future presence in the world's fastest-growing vehicle segment INFINITI seeks to explore a more emotional execution of crossover design than existing models in the class "With the unveiling of the QX Sport Inspiration at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, we showed the future of INFINITI QX models. The new QX50 Concept evolves this concept further and shows how INFINITI could develop its future presence in what is the fastest-growing vehicle segment globally." Roland Krueger, President of INFINITI
      With the QX50 Concept, INFINITI seeks to explore a more emotional execution of crossover design, bringing a degree of elegance and artistry to a segment typified by an uninspiring, clinical aesthetic. Marrying human artistry with utility, the QX50 Concept fulfills the expectation of practicality with a spacious cabin and cargo area. Furthermore, with a design adapted for the greatest possible packaging efficiency, the QX50 Concept previews how INFINITI could adapt future vehicle designs to accommodate a compact powertrain, such as the company's VC-Turbo engine.
                     
      The QX50 Concept marks the next stage in INFINITI's continued renewal of its product range. INFINITI designs concepts with production intent, such as true-to-concept production versions of the Q30, QX30 and Q60 concepts. The creation of each of these has previewed the design and layout of the brand's next-generation models. The QX50 Concept previews the evolving signature INFINITI design elements, demonstrating how they could be adapted for a mid-sized premium crossover.
      With its ground breaking proportions, the 2003 INFINITI FX45 set the template for future crossovers to follow throughout the last decade. The world's first mid-size multi-purpose sports vehicle, the INFINITI FX is still considered a crossover design icon today. Last year's QX Sport Inspiration sought to rekindle that excitement – and in an increasingly crowded and popular market segment, the new QX50 Concept now illustrates how these design themes could be translated into a production reality.
      Exterior: an artistic execution of functional crossover design
      QX50 Concept represents the latest interpretation of INFINITI's 'Powerful Elegance' design language Its design combines taut and muscular lines with heavily profiled surfaces QX50 Concept demonstrates how the design of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration could be adapted for future production models Influenced by the design of the INFINITI QX Sport Inspiration, the QX50 Concept expresses its crossover purpose through proportional clarity, clearly telegraphing its power and dynamic capabilities. The QX50 Concept eschews many of the familiar, 'me too' design forms and themes shared by established models in the mid-size premium crossover segment. The result is a highly original yet practical new crossover form, demonstrating how the design of INFINITI's earlier concept could be adapted for future production models.
      The QX50 Concept is the latest embodiment of INFINITI's 'Powerful Elegance' design language and is both aesthetic and functional. The exterior of the concept combines taut and muscular lines with flowing, heavily profiled surfaces. A sharp, straight character line runs from the clamshell hood and along the length of its shoulders, giving the QX50 Concept a commanding presence and extending the vehicle's visual length. A wide, muscular stance accentuates its versatile capability.
      INFINITI's signature design elements are evident on the QX50 Concept, each subtly evolved for their new application. At the front, INFINITI's double-arch grille conveys an immediate sense of power and purpose and provides a focal point for every line on the concept's body. A taller, wider and more practical vehicle than the QX Sport Inspiration, the QX50 Concept's grille adds a greater sense of presence to the front of the car. At the rear of the vehicle, the leading edge of the crescent-cut D-pillar is higher than on any current INFINITI production car, further extending the visual length of the roofline.
      The interplay of the exterior lines and surfaces is accentuated by a newly-created Forged Bronze paint finish, with three times the amount of metal flake compared with standard production paint finishes.
      In profile, the hood is shaped like the rise of a snake's head, with a pair of sharp creases extending upwards from the base of the A-pillar, then plunging down the hood, leading into the edges of the expansive 'double-arch' grille. These lines disguise the hood's relatively short length, suggesting how the appearance of a production car could be adapted for a more compact engine, such as INFINITI's VC-Turbo, applying power to the road through an intelligent all-wheel drive powertrain.
      Functionality is a necessity in the mid-sized crossover segment and is central to the QX50 Concept's design. More practical than its QX Sport Inspiration progenitor, the QX50 Concept has a 'cabin-forward' silhouette and a slightly more vertical rear hatch, both reference points for a versatile and accommodating interior. The new shape of the crescent-cut D-pillar provides clearer over-the-shoulder visibility for the driver and a better view out for rear passengers.
      Interior: Challenging conventional thinking on premium cabin design
      Concept cabin demonstrates new direction of thinking with premium materials and craftsmanship Authentic materials and artistic design execution is at the heart of the concept's carefully curated cabin Driver-centric, yet passenger-minded, the cabin places similar importance on both form and function Blending progressive design with elevated levels of modern craftsmanship, the cabin of the QX50 Concept demonstrates INFINITI's desire to challenge and reinterpret conventional thinking on premium crossover interior design and material usage.
      In the place of high-gloss woods and soft-touch plastics, the interior of the QX50 Concept features a more modern application of wood, leather and stitching. Each material is treated and applied in a way to establish new trends in the design of premium crossover interiors.
      Deliberately articulating a sense of advanced human artistry, the QX50 Concept's cabin espouses a handmade feel and is the result of two Japanese approaches to craftsmanship – 'mitate' (pronounced "mee-ta-teh") and 'shitate' ("shee-ta-teh"). 'Mitate' relates to the practice of curating and bringing together the best possible selection of materials. 'Shitate' is the desire to tailor the chosen combination of materials, bringing out the best. With fine attention to detail and finish, such an approach creates an appearance and ambience throughout the cabin greater than the sum of its parts.
      The combination of materials and the way in which they have been applied has allowed INFINITI designers to demonstrate some of the highest levels of craftsmanship ever seen in a crossover in this segment.
      The QX50 Concept is wrapped in a variety of different leathers – genuine, semi-aniline, and synthetic nubuck – for a rich variety of textures and visual depth. The eyes naturally follow each different surface as it flows around the cabin. The QX50 Concept's cabin hints at a widening range of interior finishes for INFINITI customers to choose from, including a carefully selected three-tone color scheme.
      Adopting different leathers for the interior allows INFINITI to imagine how this three-tone cabin could look. Rich, brown leather lines the upper layer of the cabin, contrasted with white leather for the lower dashboard, door trim and seats. Between the two runs a line of navy blue synthetic nubuck, which also finishes the front center console. A line of close twin stitching runs along the top of the dashboard and doors, and around the seats.
      INFINITI has applied for a patent for a new 'dot quilting' method for the leather that lines the doors and seats. Inspired by classic buttoned leather sofas, dot quilting is sewn into place at individual points. The physical characteristics of the leather produce a more informal interpretation of the diamond lozenge shape that gives classic Chesterfield lounge chairs their distinctive appearance.
      Where many expect premium vehicle interiors use high-gloss wood surfaces to create the perception of quality, the QX50 Concept is trimmed in real, open-pore ash. The wood is treated to retain its natural, and sometimes irregular, characteristics in texture and appearance. Running a hand over it, the grain of the ash is still present, providing an authentic, modern appearance and enhanced tactility.
      The natural, flowing shapes of the cabin harmonize with those of the QX50 Concept's exterior, contrasting with the technical, linear – even austere – designs of other vehicles in the segment. A blend of positive and negative surfaces adds a level of visual depth to the cabin, with a complex interplay of light and shade. The organic lines of the cabin follow a similar form to the interior of the QX Sport Inspiration, referencing how they could be progressed from the original concept to a production car.
      Both 'driver-centric' and 'passenger-minded,' the layout of the QX50 Concept's cabin is divided into distinct zones for the driver and passengers. Consistent with its conceptual predecessor, the dashboard is focused on the driver, using its form and appearance to engender a true sense of confidence at the wheel.
      The horizontal forms of the dashboard wrap around the driver and passenger, with twisting, uninterrupted character lines flowing from the center console, along the dashboard and out to the rear of the cabin. The seats feature an ergonomic hexagon motif, for a wide and welcoming appearance, and maximum back and shoulder support for occupants.
      The QX50 Concept places form on the same level as function, with utility at the heart of its remit.
      In moving the base of the A-pillar further forward than on the QX Sport Inspiration, and shortening the hood to accommodate a more compact engine, the QX50 Concept's cabin-forward design creates a longer, more spacious passenger compartment. The upright stance of the rear hatch – more vertical than its forebear – is designed to give the QX50 Concept exceptional cargo space. The Concept's cargo bay is, for instance, long enough to store a stroller, suggesting how such a vehicle could suit a young family.
      The QX50 Concept's Graphic User Interface shows how new technologies could be incorporated into future INFINITI vehicle cabins.
      The center of the dashboard features a wide touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface). As well as displaying navigation and infotainment features, the QX50 Concept's touchscreen could display to occupants the current status of other technologies in the vehicle. The dashboard could display to all occupants the status of the vehicle's various driver assist technologies, as well as how the VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine adapts as it shifts seamlessly between offering greater fuel efficiency and performance.
      INFINITI engineers continue to develop autonomous driving support technologies
      INFINITI's future autonomous drive support technologies will allow the driver to  retain ultimate control over their vehicle Future package of technologies will take a proactive approach to driver assistance and delegate elements of driving to the car The INFINITI QX50 Concept's driver assist system is part of the company's development of autonomous driving support technologies.
      The development strategy for all future INFINITI autonomous drive support systems is that they should ensure the driver retains control over their vehicle – in keeping with INFINITI's focus on driver engagement.
      In the future, INFINITI autonomous drive support technologies will continue to make driving less stressful – such as navigating stop-start traffic on the highway or keeping track of the positions of surrounding vehicles.
      Since its inception in 1989, INFINITI has brought pioneering driver-assistive technologies to the customer. The company has been responsible for a series of world-first technologies, including Predictive Forward Collision Warning, drive-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering® and Active Lane Control.
      The QX50 Concept's INFINITI driver assistance technologies preview the first production-ready incarnation of this package.
      With a proactive approach to safety, the QX50 Concept assists the driver in identifying and responding to other road users and potential hazards. Future technologies will draw on inputs from a network of laser scanners, radar and cameras to read the road ahead and monitor the vehicle's surroundings, allowing the car to react accordingly.
      This framework of sensors will be developed in future production models with a series of new functionalities.
      VC-Turbo – the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine
      QX50 Concept suggests a potential application for INFINITI's VC-Turbo engine Packaging benefits for a mid-size crossover, powered by a compact engine with high specific power and efficiency INFINITI engineers target a 27-percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to V6 gasoline engines The INFINITI QX50 Concept demonstrates a potential production application for INFINITI's advanced new VC-Turbo engine. INFINITI has yet to confirm which of its future vehicles could benefit from its variable compression ratio engine, though a mid-sized crossover could be one of the ideal applications for the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo power unit revealed by the company in 2016.
      The QX50 Concept's packaging efficiency and spacious cabin are due in part to a compact, space-efficient engine bay design. With its proportionately shorter hood, the QX50 Concept suggests how the 2.0-liter gasoline engine could power a front-biased intelligent all-wheel drive system.
      INFINITI's production-ready 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine represents a compelling alternative to diesel powertrains, particularly in the mid-sized premium crossover segment. The VC-Turbo engine is able to adapt its compression ratio according to driving conditions to deliver optimal levels of performance and efficiency. It challenges the notion that hybrid technology and diesel are the only powertrains capable of offering high efficiency and torque. For its application in the QX50 Concept, the human-machine interface (HMI) demonstrates to the driver and passengers how the VC-Turbo is adapting according to driving conditions. The HMI displays the engine's current status as it intelligently chooses appropriate levels of performance and high efficiency.
      With a downsized capacity and high power and torque, the 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine boasts an impressive specific power output – higher than many competing four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines, and close to the performance of some V6 gasoline powertrains. In time for the engine's production debut in 2018, INFINITI engineers are targeting a 27-percent improvement in fuel efficiency over V6 gasoline engines of similar power output.
    • By William Maley
      The Toyota Camry isn't what you would call exciting. Bland and boring, yes. But the Japanese automaker hopes to change that perception with the introduction of the 2018 Camry.
      Toyota allowed their designers to go somewhat crazy with the Camry and it shows. There is a bit of Prius and C-HR in the design of the new Camry with a more aggressive nose, lower hood and beltline; and a very short rear deck. Moving inside, Toyota has revamped the design of the dashboard to make it more flowing. Seats have been resculpted to provide better comfort.
      The Camry is the latest model to use Toyota's TNGA platform which the company describes as “a structural reform movement for the entire company that will result in cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive.” You may laugh, but as I can attest, this platform is the real deal when I drove the Prius - the first model to use TNGA. Toyota has also lowered the center of gravity and added a multilink rear suspension.
      For engines, the Camry boasts a new 2.5L four-cylinder and 3.5L V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection. Oddly no power figures were given for either engine. Both will come paired with an eight-speed automatic. A hybrid variant with the new 2.5L four will also be available.
      The 2018 Camry arrives at your local Toyota dealer this summer.
      Source: Toyota
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Ante Raised: All-New 2018 Toyota Camry Gains Emotionally-Charged Design and Performance Experience
      Best-selling car in America... assembled in America, by Americans, for Americans Aggressive exterior character lines and low center of gravity Spacious interior with advanced driver focus New gas and hybrid powertrains generate more horsepower and greater estimated MPG Standard Toyota Safety Sense-P DETROIT, January 9, 2017 - It almost isn’t fair.  Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America for the past 15 years, is about to ruffle some feathers. The eighth-generation sedan has gone through a total evolution, from a proven, dependable and safe car to one that also possesses a more exciting and emotional character, thanks to its newfound sporty performance and style.
      The new Camry utilizes TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) which represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and packages its vehicles. TNGA retains all of Toyota’s traditional values of superlative build quality and safety while injecting a fun driving experience that plays on all the senses. The physical manifestation is the usage of a new engine, transmission and GA-K platform.
       “The all-new 2018 Camry is, without a doubt, the most captivating mid-size sedan we’ve ever produced,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations.  “It delivers on everything Camry owners have come to expect from America’s best-selling car, and adds to it, jaw-dropping design, more advanced technology, cutting-edge safety systems, and stirring performance that raises it to an unparalleled level of excitement.”  
       “In order to create something that stirs people’s soul, we’ve laid out the concept of a new sedan that provides fun and excitement behind the wheel,” said Masato Katsumata, the Chief Engineer of the new Camry. “In developing the next-generation Toyota Camry, we were able to start with a clean slate, which allowed us to create a true driver’s car.”
       
      Design Backstory 
      The Camry development team aimed for a styling design concept that achieves strong harmony between refinement and a sensual athletic image, creating a new approach to the market. The result is a new signature design language that takes the car into a beautiful and futuristic new direction.
        
      There were three primary design goals when penning the all-new Camry: a distinctive, low center of gravity that results in a firm wide stance; a practical-yet-emotionally styled cabin profile, and a sporty and upscale image both inside and out. These design goals have resulted in a new type of sedan that’s both exciting to look at and, more importantly drive, reestablishing itself as the new standard in the midsize-sedan category.
       
      An Exterior with Unexpected Attitude
      The new Camry’s face is accentuated by a two-piece grille comprised of flowing thin and thick treatments – key elements of the Camry’s “Keen Look” design philosophy. The curvaceous 1.6-inch-lower hood sits neatly above the grille’s uppermost section which accommodates a commanding Toyota emblem. For the hybrid model, the emblem is tinged a distinct blue hue. This fashionable trifecta of grille, hood, and emblem blends flawlessly into the A-pillar, and produces a stance that is undoubtedly more aggressive than that of any predecessor.
      The 2018 Camry has a sleeker profile than the current model. By lowering the hip points of the occupants (nearly 1.0-inch in the front and 1.2-inches at the rear), and therefore their seating positions, the design team was able to reduce the car’s overall vehicle height by approximately one inch  from the current model and incorporate a lower roofline, without sacrificing interior space. This invited the designers to pursue a wind-cutting shape and improve aerodynamics. Striking character lines around and along the body augment the aggressive front and rear fenders, giving the reimagined Camry a sportiness that’s never before been perceived on this model.
      The lower hip point, shoulder line, roof line and hood height gives the new Camry the appearance that it has a low center of gravity, which it does.  The design team knew the TNGA platform provided them with a great opportunity to pen a very expressive sedan, and they took advantage of this by getting the lines close to the ground and forming an energetic silhouette. They incorporated a strong stance that can be seen as you walk around the car.
      Like the front of the vehicle, the rear features an athletic motif that melds flowing lines and complex shapes to form a sculpted landscape. Looking closely at the C-pillar’s detail reveals a multitude of surfaces that reflect light from all angles. A distinct crease extends from the slim multicolor taillights down to the bumper, effectively “pushing” the wheels outward in appearance to create a wide posture akin to that of a premium sports sedan. The exclamation point here is provided by a newly designed Camry logo that gives the car an upscale identity.
      Camry will again be available in four grades: LE, XLE, SE and XSE.  The new Camry’s “Sport” SE and XSE grades wear a noticeably different body style than the entry level LE and premium XLE grades, highlighted by a sculpted rocker panel, new 19-inch black machined-finish alloy wheels (XSE only)  a subtle rear spoiler lip, aggressive front bumper, and rear bumper with an integrated lower diffuser. The face is much more distinctive with large side intakes flanking the lower bumper’s unique “Catamaran” accents, a high and slim upper intake encompassing the
       
      central Toyota badge, and a powerfully expressive mesh grille. A revised rear bumper with distinctive corner lines and smoke-tinted rear combination lamps highlight the changes at the rear.
      The Camry design team sought to make the new Camry sport models instantly recognizable and appear different from the other models from as far as 200 yards away.
       
      Striking and Comfortable Cabin
      The completely redesigned interior is a fusion of functionality, futuristic styling, and a high degree of personal space and craftsmanship.  While the driver is situated in a sporty cockpit-type environment having gauges angled toward his or her direction, the front passenger is treated to a sense of openness and freedom that results from the innovative dashboard design. A key visual element of this driver-focused design concept is a sweeping yet elegant new character line that flows down from the instrument cluster and bisects the center console waterfall. The design of the entire front console strikes a smooth connection between the ease of use of all controls/systems and a handsome and modern sculptural look that is pleasing to the eye. All surfaces throughout the cabin—dashboard, instrument panel, center console, door trim, etc.—employ the highest grade of soft touch and premium materials. Using an approach typically used in home furnishings, the design utilizes a mix of tones and hues throughout a space rather than a strict color profile. The result is a cabin space having diverse colors and materials, and that enhances passenger comfort and visual satisfaction.
      The front seats have been completely reengineered with improved ergonomics, providing maximum comfort with a newfound level of ease and engagement to match the new Camry’s elevated performance and athleticism. Rear-seat accommodations are more refined than ever with improved roominess and ergonomics. Exquisite stitching on the front- and rear-seat surfaces is but one example of the high level of craftsmanship found throughout the vehicle.
       
      High Interaction, Minimal Distraction 
      The new Camry features Toyota’s latest Human Machine Interface (HMI) whose next-generation display technology offers a unique level of integrated information with minimal distraction. It relays information through three interlinked displays: available interlinked displays: a 10-inch color Head-Up Display (HUD); a seven-inch multi-information display within the instrument cluster, and an eight-inch audio/navigation display and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) control panel that’s seamlessly integrated into the center console in a modern, flush-surface design. Convenient and highly intuitive operation is assured through customizable features and smart phone-like touch screen icons that create a seamless connection and user workflow between the HMI system and other digital media.
        
      Full Utilization of Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)
      The 2018 Toyota Camry fully incorporates the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). At its foundation, TNGA is a structural reform movement for the entire company that will result in cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive.
      By extending the wheelbase by two inches, as well as bringing down the roof and hood height (by approximately 1.0 and 1.6-inches, respectively), the development team lowered the center of gravity and created a wider and more composed vehicle. The new platform also allows for an ideal seating position for the driver, now lower and near the center of the car for enhanced feedback, along with adjusting the overall seating position for all the vehicle’s occupants. A lower heel point provides more foot room and ease of movement. The range of steering column adjustment has been increased from the current vehicle, while the hood, cowl, and dashboard height have all been lowered for enhanced outward visibility.
      The driver and front passenger will experience an unprecedented sense of outward visibility, thanks to a more compact design for the instrument panel and a lowered beltline. The reimagined position of the A-pillar and side mirror sections results in enhanced lateral visibility and creates a noticeable sense of openness when the driver sits behind the wheel.
       
      All Gain With No MPG Pain 
      Three new powertrains will be available on the new 2018 Camry: They include a new 3.5-liter V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection and an all-new 2.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine, which comes paired to a new 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission (8AT), and a next-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS II).
      To match the chassis’ increased handling and performance capability, Toyota engineers have developed the TNGA-inspired all-new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine to make the most of the platform’s enhanced designs, packaging and rigidity. This new generation engine focuses on higher torque, higher power and lower fuel consumption in total use range. This is accomplished by achieving rapid combustion due to higher tumble air flow. With its long-stroke and high compression ratio, multi-hole direct fuel injectors, variable cooling system and the latest version of Toyota’s Variable Valve-Timing-intelligent Electric (VVT-iE), this high-output powerplant takes the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine to a new level with world-leading thermal efficiency of 40 percent. Along with enhanced performance characteristics, the new engine is also expected to be extremely fuel efficient, and is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy. It comes mated to the newly developed Direct Shift-8AT transmission that provides direct-lock up from gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter, executing shifts like a high-performance automated manual gearbox.
      The new hybrid system has also been engineered to provide the ideal balance of energy efficiency with superior power output to maximize driving performance and enjoyment. The next-generation Toyota Hybrid System has been engineered to work in concert with the new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine setup offering significantly more driving excitement than before. The hybrid’s Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) features a new Sport Mode setting that allows the driver to execute smooth yet quick “gear” shifts of the simulated 6-speed sequential shift transmission. The SE grade adds paddle shifters for increased fun and a more sporting driving experience. The Sport Mode setting also improves acceleration and feel thanks to an electric power boost from the hybrid system. Furthermore, to help enhance the vehicle’s handling capability, the hybrid system’s battery pack has moved from the trunk to beneath the rear seat for a noticeably enriched handling feel, thanks to the vehicle’s much improved lower center of gravity—yet another benefit of the TNGA platform.
      In addition to its enhanced handling and driving performance, the hybrid version of the new Camry is anticipated to achieve best-in-class fuel economy ratings, with Prius-like city/highway driving efficiency.
       
      A New Experience Focused on Vastly Superior Driving Dynamics
      At the foundation of the Camry’s sporty handling and enhanced ride quality is its high-strength body/platform structure. Through the increased use of ultra-high-tensile steel and the application of a new molding technology it delivers enhanced structural rigidity.
      Further aiding performance is an innovative new double wishbone rear suspension system that imbues the chassis with responsive handling and precise steering control while simultaneously delivering ride quality on par with premium luxury vehicles. A new four-point engine mounting system adds to the vehicle’s civil road manners as it greatly reduces unwanted noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) from permeating into the passenger compartment.
      The biggest challenge for the Camry engineering team was to figure out how to convey the driving dynamics of a soul-stirring sedan.  Driving dynamics were always at the forefront of the engineering philosophy for the new Camry.  They wanted a new Camry in which the driver will be highly impressed with the handling capability and composure of the new design.  So much so, that drivers will notice the dramatic improvements within the first few seconds of driving.
       
      Toyota Safety That Makes Sense
      Among the many safety features on the 2018 Camry is standard Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P). This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB). Select models will also come with standard Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
       
      All 2018 Camry’s have 10 standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System™, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology®. All Camry’s also come equipped with a standard backup camera.
       
      Ever Better Entune™ 3.0 Multimedia For Everyone
      Camry drivers will be the first to enjoy enhanced connectivity and entertainment through the new Toyota Entune™ 3.0 multimedia system.  The new 2018 Camry will feature Entune 3.0 on all models, offering an enhanced set of connected vehicle technologies.  
      The Entune 3.0 system will feature navigation and App Suite Connect for everyone.  All Camry four-cylinder and hybrid models will come standard with the Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link with Moving Maps.  Camry V6 models will offer the new Dynamic Navigation system, providing improved map accuracy.  The wireless map updates provide over-the-air map downloads of recently added roads and point-of-interest not contained in the existing head unit map.  
      Entune 3.0 delivers several new technologies including available Remote Connect, which provides remote start and door unlock capability, vehicle status notifications, a guest driver monitor, and vehicle finder.  Keeping up with your vehicle’s health status has never been easier.  Available Service Connect will provide up-to-date vehicle information on fuel level, maintenance alerts, and more.  Entune 3.0 will also offer available WiFi Connect, allowing up to five mobile devices to connect using 4G LTE.
      The new 2018 Camry will also offer a JBL premium audio system that features new advancements in sound quality.  Sound enhancements include Sound Staging, which positions speakers directly in front of the listener to help emulate a live concert venue; Low Frequency Sounds, made possible by an added 10.1-inch subwoofer; Clari-Fi, a technology that “un-compresses” music to help restore an audio track’s dynamic range; and nine speakers that are specifically tuned to the Camry’s cabin dimensions and materials.  

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