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    William Maley

    Will also preview a new modular platform

    Infiniti will be debuting another electric concept at next month's Detroit Auto Show. The Japanese automaker has released a teaser showing off a curvaceous crossover. The details we can pull from this image include slim LED headlights, light-up badging, cameras taking the place of the side-view mirrors, and a sloping roofline.
    "The concept car we will show in Detroit is the beginning of a new era for INFINITI, and an illustration of where we want to go with the brand. Electrification and other new technologies have given us the opportunity to evolve our design philosophy," said Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI in a statement.
    The concept will also debut a new modular platform that was built with electrification in mind. The platform, expected to debut on a production model in 2021, will be able to use parallel hybrid and pure electric powertrains. 
    Source: Infiniti


    On Road to Electrification, INFINITI previews future fully-electric crossover, Showcases new EV platform
    North American International Auto Show world premiere of future fully-electric INFINITI crossover INFINITI to showcase a new EV platform INFINITI celebrating 30 years in 2019 HONG KONG – INFINITI will preview a vision for its first fully-electric crossover at The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January, revealing a new form design language for electrification, infused with Japanese DNA. INFINITI made its global debut 30 years ago at the NAIAS.
    The advent of electrified platforms heralds a fresh approach to what crossover and sedan platforms look like, both inside and out. With new exterior proportions, electrification also gifts interior space, enabling spacious, and lounge-like interiors, rich in welcoming and assistive technologies.
    In January, the company announced INFINITI would electrify its portfolio from 2021 onward, using either e-power (serial hybrid) or pure EV powertrains.
    "Thirty years ago, as a 24-year old designer in the audience, I saw the birth of INFINITI in person and am proud to be part of the journey of creating iconic luxury automobiles," said Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President for Global Design, Nissan Motor Co. "Now, 30 years later, Q Inspiration shows how new proportions triggered by the new electrified power of INFINITI has inspired a new direction, a new visual language. Alongside our Prototype 10 Pebble Beach Concept, both designs embody a deep simplicity inspired by the technology within and a new artistry inspired by our unique culture and of course our roots in Japan."
    The Q Inspiration, revealed at the 2018 NAIAS, and Prototype 10, seen at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d 'Elegance, both provided elements of a futuristic design language. At the 2019 NAIAS in January, these elements will come together to provide the clearest vision yet of the future of INFINITI in an era of electrified design.
    "The concept car we will show in Detroit is the beginning of a new era for INFINITI, and an illustration of where we want to go with the brand. Electrification and other new technologies have given us the opportunity to evolve our design philosophy," said Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI.
    "The industry is at a technological inflection point," said Roland Krueger, Chairman and Global President of INFINITI Motor Co. "As such, INFINITI has a compelling vision as a luxury challenger brand to bring a full portfolio of beautifully-designed electric vehicles to customers around the world. We will focus on developing the full portfolio of e-power and EVs."
    INFINITI recently reported the best November sales in the brand's 29-year history.

    William Maley

    Subaru is keeping mum on details, but we look towards previous models to speculate what's in store

    Subaru will be introducing a special edition of their hotted-up WRX STi next month at Detroit Auto Show called the S209. The company is keeping quiet on numerous details such as power figures and possible upgrades. But we can deduce some details by looking back at other S20(X) models.
    Back in 2000, Subaru introduced a limited-run Impreza STi called the S201 for Japan. Only 300 models were built and featured upgrades to the engine, suspension, and a wild body kit. Since then, Subaru has introduced a few more versions of the S20(X). The most recent was the S208 that used a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four with 325 horsepower. Other changes included an adjustable Bilstein front suspension, additional bracing, larger brakes, and an aggressive rear wing.
    For the U.S., we're expecting Subaru to upgrade the turbocharged 2.5L boxer-four (we don't get the 2.0L) to produce possibly 325 or more horsepower. Expect also changes to the suspension and braking system.
    Source: Subaru
    Subaru Tecnica International to Debut the STI S209 at 2019 North American International Auto Show
    Subaru Tecnica International announced today that it will reveal the limited-edition STI S209 at the North American International Auto Show on January 14th.

    Drew Dowdell

    Five days ahead of the official start of the Detroit Auto Show, Ford releases the 2020 Explorer

    The Ford Explorer is the all-time best-selling SUV in the US. So when Ford redesigned it the ground up, they made sure the 2020 Ford Explorer keeps a familiar face.  Now on a new rear-wheel-drive platform that improves interior space and towing capacity, the Explorer broadens the already strong brand Ford has built over the years. 
    Under the hood are one of two turbocharged engines. Offered on the Base, XLT, and Limited is a 2.3 liter Ecoboost 4-cylinder producing 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.  Standard on the Platinum is a 3.0 liter Ecoboost pumping out 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque when fed 93 Octane.  The 2.3 liter comes in either rear-wheel drive or intelligent four-wheel drive with front axle disconnect.  That same four-wheel drive system is standard on the Platinum.  Power is fed to the wheels through the now familiar 10-speed automatic also found in the Ranger and F-150.  3.0 liter equipped models can tow up to 5,600 lbs, a 12% increase over the existing 3.5 Ecoboost. the 2.3 liter powered models gain a massive 2,300 additional pound towing capacity, maxing out at 5,300 lbs when equipped with a class-III hitch.
    Update: Ford says that more information regarding a hybrid and a Ford Explorer ST will be coming on Monday at the North American International Auto Show.
    The interior of the Explorer is also all new and features and available 10.1 in portrait oriented center infotainment screen featuring Ford's Sync3 infotainment system. Wifi service is also available and can support up to 10 devices.  Charging those devices should be no problem with 4 USB ports, including new USB-C ports, available wireless charging pad, three 12-volt power sockets, and a 110-volt household style outlet.
    The overall silhouette of the Explorer doesn't change much and Ford maintained the blacked out  A and D pillars.  However, moving to a rear wheel drive platform allowed Ford to reduce the front overhang and give a more sloping roofline.
    Like on the new Ford Edge, Ford is including its suite of safety technology called Co-Pilot 360.  This suite contains safety items like adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition, pre-collision assist, automatic pedestrian braking, lane keeping system, automatic headlamps with automatic high beams, and more.
    The 2020 Ford Explorer will be built in Ford's Chicago assembly plant and will go on sale this summer. 
    All New Ford Explorer Press Release.pdf

    William Maley

    The big news at Detroit may not be a vehicle

    Ford and Volkswagen have spent a fair amount of 2018 talking about a possible alliance. We know that publically, the two have signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" focusing on commercial vehicles. But numerous rumors have been flying about saying this alliance could go further, such as autonomous technologies and electric vehicles. Nothing has been made official, that could be changing next week.
    Reuters has learned from two sources that Ford and Volkswagen will be making the alliance official next Tuesday during the Detroit Auto Show. It is unclear what the announcement will entail, possibly talking about commercial vehicles or more. The overall goal of the alliance is to reduce costs and streamline operations. Bloomberg is reporting that Volkswagen is expecting to hold a board meeting tomorrow to possibly green-light the alliance. Their sources say the talks between the automakers are progressing.  
    Automotive News adds more fuel to the fire as they note there is a “pending industry announcement” taking place at the main stage at 8:30 a.m. Organizers of the show declined to comment on what the announcement will be or which company requested it.
    Both Ford and Volkswagen declined to comment.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg , Reuters

    Drew Dowdell

    What's going to be shown at the North American Auto Show in Detroit for 2019?

    The Detroit Auto Show is smaller this year compared to years past. This year is also the last year for the show in the winter. As we've reported before, the North American International Auto Show will move to June for the 2020 show, so no more mucking about in the snow in downtown Detroit for @William Maley and I.
    Here's a rundown of what we can expect to see for Detroit 2019.
    Cadillac - 2020 Cadillac XT6
    The 2020 Cadillac XT6 will make its debut on Sunday, January 13th. We expect it will be based on the same chassis as the Buick Enclave and powered by the same 3.6 liter V6 and 9-speed automatic found in the XT5.  We could get a surprise engine option available which would be needed to take on the fantastic new Lincoln Aviator.
    Ford - Shelby GT500 and 2020 Ford Explorer
    The 2020 Ford Explorer was previewed at an event in Detroit on January 9th. We expect further trim information, including Explorer ST and an Explorer Hybrid to be released on Monday during the show.  We can't yet say what the hybrid powertrain will be, only that it will not be the same setup as in the Aviator.
    The Shelby GT500 will debut on Monday. Packing a supercharged, handbuilt V8, we expect between 600 and 800 horsepower to run with the Camaro ZL1 and the Challenger Hellcat
    GAC - Entranze Concept
    The Entranze Concept is a 7 passenger SUV that promises to add a lot of technology and comfort ergonomics.
    Hyundai - Unknown
    We can't say what Hyundai will be showing just yet. Last year they showed the Veloster N. We do hope a demo of their new augmented navigation system will be available to try. 
    Infiniti - QX Inspiration Concept EV
    Infiniti will be showing the QX Inspiration Concept. It is an electric vehicle that claims to reduce range anxiety, so expect an ambitious range estimate. It also showcases future design language for the Infiniti QX crossover and SUV lineup.
    KIA - 2020 Hyundai Telluride
    The Kia Telluride was shown at NY Fashion Week back in September, appropriately overdressed.  On Monday, we'll finally get to see the production model without all the fluff.
    Lexus - RC-F Track Edition, UX200 and UX200ht, Lexus LC Convertible Concept
    Lexus will be showing the Track Edition of their RC-F and some powertrain updates to the Lexus UX first shown in Geneva.  Lexus will also show off the LC Convertible Concept being considered for production.
    Lincoln - Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Edition
    We've seen the pictures of the 2019 Lincoln Continental Coach Edition, but now we'll get to see it in person. Lincoln is only building a limited number of these beauties, so get your reservation in now. 
    Nissan - EV Concept
    We're not 100% sure on this one, but we expect a new EV concept from Nissan.
    RAM - Heavy Duty Pickups
    Last January, RAM update the 1500 series pickups.  Now it is the Heavy Duties' turn. Expect most of the powertrains to carry over and some mild electrification. Update: We now have some teaser images of the 2020 Ram HD trucks
    Subaru - WRX STI 209
    Subaru will show a limited edition WRX STI called the S209. Expect bigger brakes, better shocks, bigger wings, and limited sales numbers.
    Toyota - Supra
    Last, but not least, the Toyota Supra will be making a return after a 17-year hiatus.
    Follow CheersandGears on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for more pictures from the show floor.

    William Maley

    Really pushing the definition of 'concept' here Lexus

    Previous Page Next Page The RC F Track Edition won't have all of the spotlight to itself at Detroit next week. Lexus has revealed today the LC Convertible concept that will be rolling out on the auto show floor next week.
    Lexus is really stretching the definition of what it means to be a concept. To our eyes, the LC Convertible concept looks like it is ready to sit in the nearest Lexus showroom. Changes from the standard LC coupe include a slightly longer rear deck to house the power folding-top (we're thinking its a soft-top) and massive 22-inch alloy wheels. No mention of what's under the hood, but we're betting its the 5.0L V8 with 471 horsepower.
    While there are officially no plans to add a convertible version of the LC, statements from various company executives hint that it is being considered.
    “A production version of this concept would be exhilarating in many different ways. You would see its dynamic lines as you approach, hear its engine when you started it up and feel everything around you once on the road. It would engage the senses in a way that is unique and exciting every time you got behind the wheel,” said Tadao Mori, chief designer of the LC Convertible concept.
    Source: Lexus
    Lexus LC Convertible Concept Makes World Debut in Detroit
    Open top concept suggests future direction of LC flagship Dynamic design positions LC concept as a halo for the rest of the brand DETROIT (January 11, 2019) – Lexus shocked the automotive world in Detroit three years ago with the debut of the LC coupe. It was a testament to the brand’s new sense of creative ambition, but it was only just the beginning. Since then, the Lexus design team has been exploring the brand’s evolution and the latest result of those explorations will make its debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show with the world premiere of the Lexus LC Convertible Concept.
     
    An open-air roadster that is an artful reflection of the LC coupe, the design goal of the Convertible Concept was the expression of “ultimate beauty”. From the rake of the windshield to the smooth contours of the rear decklid that houses the convertible top, every line on the LC Convertible concept was drawn to evoke an emotional response. A stunning design from every angle, the LC Convertible concept stands as an aspirational halo vehicle for the entire Lexus lineup.
     
    “This concept takes the unmistakable design of the LC coupe and reimagines it as a future convertible,” said Tadao Mori, chief designer of the LC Convertible concept. “It blends all the best aspects of the original coupe with the dynamic design of an open-air convertible.”
     
    Long, low and lean, the LC Convertible concept retains the athletic proportions of the LC coupe. It’s a shape that evolved naturally from the original LC design, yet still manages to stand on its own with a unique identity. It blends uniquely Japanese aesthetics with the promise of sensory satisfaction that only a convertible can provide.
     
    In addition to the visual appeal of the exterior sheetmetal, the LC Convertible concept attracts drivers and passengers alike with an allure of a cabin that caters to every need. From the comfort of its tailored seats to the feel of every switch and button, everything about this LC is designed to make even the most common trip feel like an occasion. Crisp white leather trim abounds while yellow accent stitching adds a pop of color without distracting from the subtle elegance of the overall design.
     
    More than just a grand tourer, the strong exterior lines of the LC Convertible concept reinforce its performance pedigree. Its short overhangs, 22-inch wheels and wide stance are all reminders of this car’s performance potential.
     
    “A production version of this concept would be exhilarating in many different ways. You would see its dynamic lines as you approach, hear its engine when you started it up and feel everything around you once on the road. It would engage the senses in a way that is unique and exciting every time you got behind the wheel,” said Mori-san.
    Previous Page Next Page

    Drew Dowdell

    Ram teases us with pictures of the 2020 RAM HD

    Ram released some teaser images on its website yesterday giving us a preview of the 2500HD and 3500HD that are due to be unveiled on Monday at the Detroit Auto Show.  The images look like they are primarily from the top zoot Limited model, but in any case, show an aggressive grille, an attractive set of multibeam headlamps, and a RamBox. They also released a video that gives you some other hints like a column mounted shifter and a large infotainment screen.


     
    The RAM press conference is at 9:10 am on Monday, January 14th in the Detroit Cobo Center.

    William Maley

    We like to thank Toyota Mexico for this early peek

    Toyota was hoping to keep the Supra under wraps until Monday when it makes its world debut at the Detroit Auto Show. However, the Japanese automaker's Mexico office had a different idea. Yesterday, Toyota Mexico tweeted out a video showing the Supra without any camouflage. The tweet, translated from Spanish reads,
    “Our new #Supra arrived in Japan!, and this is the story that #AkioToyoda tells us about its return.”
    The tweet was quickly deleted, but not before a number of people downloaded the video and post it to Facebook and YouTube - we have the video at the bottom of this story.
    The production model looks very much like the concept we saw a few years back with flowing curves, short roofline, and a long front-end. We're still not sold on the front with three vents and pointy nose.
    As we have reported previously, the Supra will be using two turbo engines from BMW; a 2.0L turbo-four (265 horsepower) and 3.0L twin-turbo inline-six (335 horsepower).
    We'll have more information, along with photos when the Supra debuts at 9:40 AM on Monday.
     

    Drew Dowdell

    Cadillac's 3-row crossover finally shows up.

    Cadillac released images and information on their all-new 2020 Cadillac XT6 today.  Based on the same chassis as the GMC Acadia, the new XT6 slots between the XT5 and the Escalade in terms of size and price.  Two trims are available, Premium Luxury and Sport.
    The XT6 is powered by the familiar 3.6 liter V6 with 310 hp. Active fuel management comes standard and allows the engine to run in 4-cylinder mode when V6 power is not needed.  All-Wheel Drive is available on the Premium Luxury and is standard on Sport. The Sport model's AWD is a more advanced active twin-clutch design.  Sport also comes with Continuous Damping Control (note: Not Magnetic ride control - DD) and a faster steering ratio for more enthusiastic performance.  Power is fed through a 9-speed automatic transmission with Electronic Precision Shift. 
    Inside the XT6 provides the driver and all passengers with "the best seat in the house". A contemporary interior aesthetic surround occupants with semi-aniline leather seating surfaces, carbon fiber trim on the Sport, and wood on Premium Luxury models.  Additionally available interior features include an in-cabin air ionizer, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats,  and a standard heated steering wheel. All models come with 6 USB ports for charging devices.
    Cadillac's CUE Infotainment system now includes 1-touch pairing with users' phones via near field communication and a new rotary controller with intuitive jog functionality. CUE will now allow drivers to store their profile in the cloud for customization across compatible vehicles. 
    Additional CUE features include:
    Updated navigation functionality with natural address entry. Capable of supporting SiriusXM 360L. 4G LTE Wi-Fi® hotspot (includes 3GB or three months of data, whichever comes first). Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for compatible smartphones. Next-generation, 15-watt wireless charging. Teen Driver. The 2020 Cadillac XT6  will be built in Spring Hill TN and will go on sale later this year.
    2020 Cadillac XT6 Debut.pdf

    Drew Dowdell

    Shown, but yet to be named.

    During the reveal of the 2020 Cadillac XT6, Cadillac also took the wraps off a yet to be named Cadillac EV.  This will be the first car on the new BEV3 platform that was announced just a few days ago at the GM Investors meeting. 
    The new BEV3 platform is capable of FWD, RWD, or AWD variants and can be spun into many different body styles as customer tastes change.  Technical details will be released at a later date

     


    William Maley

    This is as close as we'll get to an i30 N

    It has been talked about for quite sometime, but Hyundai is making it official today at the Detroit Auto Show. The Korean automaker introduced their first N-Line model, the 2019 Elantra GT N-Line.
    N-Line brings forth a number of the exterior design cues and changes to suspension found on the standard N models to the basic models. For the Elantra GT, N-Line will be taking the place of the Sport.
    For the exterior, the N-Line brings a unique front grille, lower front spoiler, blacked-out side mirrors, and 18-inch N-Line wheels. Step inside to find a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather sport seats with the ’N’ logo, updated instrument cluster, and red accents to help differentiate this model from the standard Elantra GT.
    Under the skin, Hyundai has given the Elantra GT N-Line’s suspension the once-over with stiffer springs, new engine mounts, thicker stability bars, and a set of Michelin PS4 summer tires if you get the six-speed manual. The seven-speed DCT sticks with a set of all-season Hankooks. Hyundai is retaining the turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet.
    Pricing for the 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line will begin at $24,185 for the manual and $25,285 for the DCT. Prices include an $885 destination charge. You can go to your nearest Hyundai dealer now to check them out.
    Gallery: 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line
    Source: Hyundai
    Hyundai Debuts First U.S. ‘N Line’ Model with 2019 Elantra GT Lineup
    N Line is an exciting new trim level in the Hyundai ‘N’ product portfolio N Line focuses on sporty design cues and refined powertrain/chassis dynamics FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Jan. 14, 2019 - Complementing the performance of Elantra GT is the announcement of the new 2019 Hyundai Elantra GT N Line trim. Elantra GT N Line is the first N Line model for the United States from Hyundai. N Line trims add sporty design elements and refined powertrain/chassis upgrades to existing Hyundai products. N Line is part of Hyundai’s ‘N’ product portfolio that includes the brand’s growing ultimate ‘N’ range of vehicles (Veloster N, i30 N, i30 Fastback N). The 2019 Elantra GT N Line replaces the 2018 Elantra GT Sport and signals more N Line models to come on future Hyundai products. Elantra GT N Line and the 2019 Elantra GT are on sale now.
    The 2019 Elantra GT continues to bring increased utility and enhanced driving dynamics to the compact hatchback segment. Elantra GT and the new N Line trim are poised to compete head-on with hatchback competitors and provide a fun-to-drive alternative to small CUVs. Elantra GT is the best of both worlds.  
    2019 Elantra GT Changes
    New Elantra GT N Line added to the lineup Elantra GT Sport is dropped from the lineup (replaced by the Elantra GT N Line) The entry-level Elantra GT is a carryover model   Panoramic sunroof and leather seating surfaces added to 2019 Elantra GT Style Package “Hyundai N models satisfy the needs of performance-oriented enthusiasts with exclusive, custom-tuned powertrain and chassis applications,” said Thomas Schemera, executive vice president, Hyundai Motor Group’s Product Planning & Strategy Division.” “N Line is designed for those buyers craving N’s sporty styling cues coupled with performance-tuned suspension upgrades, all at compelling price points.”
    Design Elements
    The Elantra GT N Line takes eye-catching design elements directly from the i30 N. At the front, the Elantra GT N Line has a lower front spoiler for increased aerodynamic efficiency and a unique N Line version of Hyundai’s Cascading Grille with a distinctive silver character line. At the side, blacked out side mirrors with turn signals, N Line badging, N Line 18-inch wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 225/40 R18 summer tires change the profile of the car (summer tires are only available with the manual transmission). At the rear, the unique bumper fascia further accentuates the N theme. 
    Standard interior trim for the Elantra GT N Line includes:
    Unique leather-wrapped perforated N steering wheel with metallic spokes N Line leather sport seats with N logo N Line gearshift features sporty metal accents and leather inserts A sporty instrument cluster and instrument panel accents Red stitching and accents differentiate the N Line from the standard Elantra GT N Line Sport Seats
    The N Line sports seats feature heated leather seating surfaces, N logos and red contrast stitching and side bolsters. They also keep the driver comfortable with power lumbar support and extendable seat cushions. 
    Elantra GT N Line mechanical improvements include:

    ELANTRA GT N LINE DRIVING EXPERIENCE
    As with the exterior and interior, the driving experience has been further enhanced for N Line duty with new suspension and steering tuning, revised powertrain mounts and summer tires. Additionally, Elantra GT N Line’s multi-link independent rear suspension with larger front and rear brake rotors improves noise, vibration harshness and driving performance. 

    The Elantra GT N Line includes a 1.6-liter turbocharged-GDI engine with six-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed DCT with larger steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. This drivetrain produces 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. torque to meet performance and fuel efficiency needs. 
    HYUNDAI SMART SENSE
    Advanced safety features contributed to a Top Safety Pick by IIHS for the 2019 Elantra GT. The following SmartSense features are available on the Elantra GT N Line models:
    Smart Cruise Control with start/stop capability  Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist High Beam Assist Lane Keep Assist Driver Attention Warning  INFOTAINMENT: AUDIO/VIDEO/NAVIGATION (AVN) 5.0 WITH HD TRAFFIC
    Available on the 2019 Elantra N Line is Hyundai’s AVN 5.0 infotainment system. This system features a fast processor for greater responsiveness, as well as an eight-inch screen. Using presets with AVN 5.0 is a snap because AM, FM and SiriusXM channels are combined on one screen. AVN 5.0 also includes HERE HD Traffic (without a subscription), bird’s eye view in Navigation maps and drivers get traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription via HD Radio.
    The Elantra GT N Line offers a technology package including the aforementioned feature as well as:
    Panoramic sunroof Eight-inch Navigation system (AVN 5.0) Blue Link Connected Car System Ventilated seats Power driver’s seat with lumbar support Infinity Premium Audio with seven speakers including subwoofer (deletes two-stage rear cargo floor) Wireless charging pad (Qi) Smart Cruise Control with start/stop capability Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist High Beam Assist Lane Keep Assist Driver Attention Warning Auto-dimming rearview mirror with Blue Link and HomeLink The Elantra GT N Line also includes a proximity key entry with electronic push button start as standard equipment. PRICING


    William Maley

    Vroom, Vroom, Let's go racing!

    Hyundai isn’t the first brand you think of being in the business of racing, at least in the U.S. Elsewhere in the World, the Korean automaker has been making its mark known in various series such as the World Rally Championship and the World Touring Car Championship with the likes of the i20 subcompact and i30 N. Soon, Hyundai will be taking on the U.S. Racing series with the introduction of the Veloster N TCR.
    The model was developed at Hyundai Motorsport Headquarters in Alzenau, Germany. According to the company, the Veloster N TCR shares about 85 percent of the core components with the i30 N TCR, including the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 350 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed sequential gearbox routes power to the front wheels. The TCR version of the Veloster N is wild beast in terms of looks with large fenders, lower grille, and a massive rear wing. 
    Hyundai has chosen Bryan Herta Autosport to campaign the Veloster N TCR in this year’s MICHELIN Pilot Challenge, along with handling the sales and support for those who want to purchase one. Bryan Herta Autosport has a fair amount of experience with Hyundai as they took home with the manufactures championship in the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge season with the i30 N.
    Pricing for the Veloster N TCR will begin at €135,000 with shipping (about $154,697 at the time of this writing) for those who want to campaign in their race series of choice. Those who want to see the car in action only need to wait a couple of weeks as the Veloster N TCR will be running at Daytona International Speedway for the first round of the MICHELIN Pilot Challenge.
    Gallery: Hyundai Veloster N TCR
    Source: Hyundai
    Hyundai Veloster N Race Car Makes World Debut at North America International Auto Show 
    Bryan Herta Autosport will race the new Veloster N in the 2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge series DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2019 – With a new generation of Hyundai owners buying the high-performance Veloster N as cars hit dealer lots, Hyundai fuels the excitement even further today with the debut the Veloster N TCR race car at the North American International Auto Show. The Veloster N TCR joins the fierce competition in the 2019 International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) MICHELIN Pilot Challenge. At North America’s premier racetracks, it will line up on the grid alongside the Honda Civic Type R TCR, Volkswagen GTI TCR, and the Audi RS3 LMS TCR.
    Hyundai Motor America adds the Veloster N TCR to its championship-winning customer motorsports program operated by Bryan Herta Autosport. Herta’s team will prepare two 350-horsepower Veloster N TCRs for the upcoming season. One car will be piloted by Hyundai TCR veterans Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins, while the team’s second entry will be driven by team newcomers Mason Filippi, age 20, and Harry Gottsacker, age 18. 
    "The Veloster is a perfect fit for the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge as we expand our motorsports efforts,” said Dean Evans, vice president, Marketing, Hyundai Motor America. “The all-new 2019 Veloster and Veloster N are playful, fun-to-drive cars, and thanks to Bryan and his team we’re excited to introduce them to racing fans across North America. In 2018, we won a manufacturer’s championship, so it is great to get back to racing with our proven veterans, a pair of great young drivers, and this brand-new car.”
    “The success we had last year with the i30 N TCR inspired us to expand Hyundai’s motorsports program and bring the Veloster N TCR into a tougher series with longer races and more experienced drivers,” said Bryan Herta, president and CEO of Bryan Herta Autosport. “Transforming the Veloster’s lightweight, rigid architecture into an endurance race car will help us build credibility for Hyundai’s growing N brand and bolster the reverse-halo effect that the Veloster brings to Hyundai’s diverse vehicle lineup. We can’t wait to get this new car out on the track and into competition.”
    2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Schedule
    The 2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge Season spans 10 rounds at tracks across North America. The season kicks off on January 25 at Daytona International Speedway.  

    Veloster N TCR Race Car
    The Veloster N TCR was designed by the same Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Team that developed the championship-winning i30 N TCR. Like its i30 stablemate, the Veloster N TCR is produced at Hyundai Motorsport Headquarters in Alzenau, Germany. The two cars share around 85 percent of their core components, including the 350-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
    The Veloster N TCR is part of the ongoing rollout of the Hyundai N brand globally, and addresses requests of Hyundai Motorsport customer teams in select national markets where the i30 N TCR race car was in competition, but the i30 N road car was not part of a region’s production-vehicle model range. The addition of the Veloster N TCR to the customer motorsports lineup gives teams in national markets where the Veloster N road car is available a more relevant platform for their respective audiences.
    Both Veloster N TCR and i30 N TCR are fully homologated for competition in officially sanctioned TCR series. Priority for initial Veloster N TCR deliveries, however, will go to customer teams in markets where the Veloster N road car is offered.
    BRYAN HERTA AUTOSPORT TO PROVIDE U.S. SALES AND TECHNICAL SUPPORT
    In the United States, Bryan Herta Autosport is the designated sales agent for Hyundai TCR customer race cars. The Veloster N TCR can be ordered for €135,000* plus shipping, with customer deliveries set to begin in March 2019.
    Bryan Herta Autosport will also provide technical assistance, spares, and parts support to teams campaigning Hyundai TCR models in the U.S.
    * NOTE: US pricing is dependent on exchange rates, which are subject to fluctuation. Based on current rates, for example, the Veloster N TCR would retail for approximately $155,000 plus shipping.
    HYUNDAI BACKS CUSTOMER TEAMS WITH CONTINGENCY AWARDS PROGRAM
    As Hyundai Motorsports heads into its second year of North American competition, Hyundai Motor America announces that it will support customer teams in the 2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge and 2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge with optional contingency awards programs in each series. Participating teams will be eligible for contingency payouts for each 2019 race based on IMSA or Blancpain GT World Challenge race results and eligibility requirements.
    In the IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge, both the Veloster N TCR and i30 N TCR are eligible. In Blancpain GT World Challenge, the eligible vehicles are the Hyundai i30 N TCR, Veloster N TCR, and, in the TC class, the Veloster N. 

    HYUNDAI VELOSTER N TCR TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    Engine
    Type:             Hyundai Motorsport 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged
    Power (Max):        350 hp @ 7000 rpm 
    Torque (Max):        332 lb.-ft. @ 3500 rpm
    Electronics:         Life Racing ECU and power management system

    Transmission
    Type:             Front-wheel drive
    Gearbox:         Six-speed sequential gearbox with pneumatic paddle-shift
    Differential:         Mechanical with external pre-load adjuster
    Clutch:             AP Racing Cerametallic twin-disc 

    Cockpit
    Seats:             Sabelt competition seats
    Belts:             Sabelt six-point HANS compatible
    Instrumentation:        Life Racing compact configurable driver’s display

    Chassis
    Front suspension:    MacPherson struts with adjustable dampers
    Rear suspension:     Four-arm multi-link with adjustable dampers
    Steering:         Hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion
    Front Brakes:     380mm ventilated brake discs with Hyundai Motorsport-branded six-piston Brembo calipers
    Rear Brakes:        278mm brake discs with two-piston calipers
    Handbrake:         Hydraulic control
    Wheels:     10x18 inch aerodynamic Braid rims, designed for Hyundai Motorsport 
    Bodywork
    Structure:         Hyundai Motorsport designed lightweight high-tensile steel roll cage
    Bodywork:        Steel and composite fiber panels 
    Length:            4,450mm
    Wheelbase:        2,650mm
    Width:            1,950mm
    Track Width:        1,610mm
    Fuel Tank Capacity:     100 liters
    Weight:         1,285kg minimum (including driver)*

    Price
    €135,000 (approximately $155,000 in U.S. per current exchange rates)
    *mandated by TCR regulations
     

    Drew Dowdell

    Ford adds ST and hybrid models to the Explorer Lineup

    Ford released a preview of the 2020 Ford Explorer last week at Ford Field and this morning added more to the announcement by showing off the ST and Hybrid trims.
    The 2020 Ford Explorer ST comes with a specially tuned 3.0 Liter Ecoboost V6 that produces 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. It's targeted top speed on the track is 143 mph. The transmission remains the same 10-speed automatic found in other trims. Upgrades include available ST Street Pack and ST Track Pack.  Each pack comes with its own unique 21-inch wheels, differing levels of performance brakes, larger vented rotors, and red painted calipers.  Explorer ST comes standard with a Class-3 towing package and Active Park Assist 2.0.
    The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid comes with 318 hp hybrid system powered by a 3.3 liter naturally aspirated V6. Driving range is said to be over 500 miles per tank.  An all-new 10-speed modular transmission sends the power to the wheels.  Customers who select a hybrid Explorer will not see reduced cargo space. A new liquid-cooled lithium ion battery is built into the Explorer's chassis directly below the second-row passenger seats.
    The ST and Hybrid join the Base, XLT, Limited, and Platinum being built at Ford's Chicago assembly plant and will go on sale later this year.
    Ford Press Release on Page 2


    DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2019 – Completing its broadest-ever lineup of Explorer SUVs, Ford today revealed two all-new models that will take Explorer drivers faster and further than ever before.
    The all-new Explorer ST and the all-new Explorer Hybrid complete a lineup that includes a variety of driver and passenger comforts, an array of technologies that improve every drive, and new powertrain options that deliver power and efficiency.
    The new Explorer family, which follows on the heels of Ford’s hot-selling new Expedition, goes on sale this summer. As America’s favorite SUV, Explorer will set the pace for the rest of the Ford’s utility lineup, which continues growing this year with an all-new Escape – and more.
    “This new generation of Explorer recognizes that every family – and every driver – is unique,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, product development and purchasing. “With an all-new ST and an all-new hybrid, there truly is an Explorer for every adventure.”
    These latest additions to the all-new Explorer family – built at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant – will join base, XLT, Limited and Platinum models in showrooms.
     
    ST thrills continue with all-new Explorer ST
    Continuing the expansion of the ST brand, the all-new Explorer ST is the most powerful and fun-to-drive Ford SUV ever.
    Engineered by the Ford Performance team, Explorer ST uses a specially tuned 3.0-liter EcoBoost® engine projected to achieve 400 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque. A top speed target for track drivers stands at 143 mph.
    “We designed it to be an ST from the beginning,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Performance chief functional engineer. “There’s no mistaking its ST DNA. It has a performance feel with sustained performance capability and wears an unmistakably ST appearance. More than anything, it's just a hell of a lot of fun to drive.”
    Explorer ST delivers an engaging driving experience with a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive with selectable traction control. Available upgrades include an ST Street Pack and an ST Track Pack. Both have 21-inch aluminum wheels with differing levels of performance brakes and feature larger vented rotors, red-painted brake calipers with stainless steel pistons, and larger brake pads for even better stopping power.
    As with Edge ST, Explorer ST offers a Sport mode for an exhilarating ride. When engaged via the selectable drive mode dial in the center console, the steering system tightens for sportier reaction, the gas pedal responds more aggressively, gears hold longer and shift quicker, and an enhanced engine note plays through the cabin.
    Visually, Explorer ST stands out courtesy of a black mesh grille insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside details, roof-rack side rails and skid plate elements. “EXPLORER” badging stretches across the front edge of the hood.
    Inside, a 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster is standard. A flat-bottomed, heated steering wheel embossed with an ST logo and unique floor mats are subtle cues exclusive to Explorer ST. Leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforation, City Silver accent stitching and ST logo complete the sporty feel.
    Explorer ST comes standard with a Class III Trailer Tow Package with Cargo Management System and Active Park Assist 2.0 – Ford’s new driver-assist parking system that takes control of the steering wheel, gas pedal, brake pedal and gear shifter during parallel and perpendicular parking maneuvers with a simple touch of a button.
     
    Explorer Hybrid offers no-compromise efficiency
    Ford is reinventing the standard for hybrids – introducing an entirely new generation of vehicles this year that bring out the best in hybrid capability with great performance and the freedom to go further.
    The all-new Explorer Hybrid, which features a 3.3-liter hybrid powertrain, is projected to produce a combined system 318 horsepower. An EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles between gas station fill-ups is targeted for the rear-wheel-drive model*.
    An all-new 10-speed modular hybrid transmission provides SUV capability. Unlike previous hybrid vehicles, a specially designed liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is built into the Explorer chassis below the second-row seats to preserve cargo and passenger space.
    “Reduced cargo space in hybrids is a thing of the past for Ford customers,” said Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer.
    Available in Limited edition trim, Explorer Hybrid comes with Active Noise Cancellation, Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+™ driver-assist technologies, leather seats with micro-perforation and accent stitching, second-row heated seats, a 14-speaker B&O premium sound system, wireless phone charging pad and 10-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats.
    *Actual range will vary. Final EPA-estimated ratings available in the 2019 calendar year.

    William Maley

    A little bit more power here, a little less weight there

    The LC Convertible concept was only the appetizer to what Lexus had for their main course at the Detroit Auto Show this morning. The 2020 RC-F and RC-F Track Edition are bringing some small improvements that will hopefully bring some big changes.
    Like the standard RC, the RC-F comes with an updated front and rear fascia, and new lighting. The 5.0L V8 engine gets a small bump in power to 472 horsepower and 396 pound-feet of torque (up five and six respectively). A new higher final drive ratio for the standard 8-speed automatic transmission and launch-control system drop 0-60 mph time to 4.2 seconds.
    That's nothing compared to the new Track Edition which drops 176 pounds from its curb weight due to a number of panels being swapped for carbon fiber, titanium muffler and tailpipes, carbon ceramic brake rotors from Brembo, and 19-inch forged wheels from BBS. The fixed rear wing adds 58 more pounds of downforce and reduces drag. 0-60 mph only takes 3.96 seconds.
    No word on pricing, but both RC-F variants go into production beginning in the second quarter. 
    Gallery: 2020 Lexus RC-F and RC-F Track Edition
    Source: Lexus


    2020 Lexus RC F and RC F Track Edition Debut in Detroit
    Refreshed 2020 Lexus RC F boasts improved performance and updated design New 2020 RC F Track Edition offers exclusive upgrades designed for hard core enthusiasts New launch control feature delivers 0-to-60mph time of less than 4.0 seconds on Track Edition DETROIT (Jan. 2019) – Freshly updated for the 2020 model year, the RC F coupe now boasts improved performance, revised styling and an all-new, limited production Track Edition. With the introduction of the RC F Track Edition, hard core driving enthusiasts no longer have to decide between a luxury car for the street and a serious performance car for the track. Blending the luxury and craftsmanship of Lexus with performance upgrades typically reserved for exotic sportscars, the RC F Track Edition is capable of turning hot laps all afternoon and being driven home that night. It’s the latest milestone for the F performance brand that will continue to evolve as an important pillar of the overall strategy at Lexus.    
     
    The Track Edition joins the standard Lexus RC F performance coupe which has been extensively updated for the 2020 model year. Improved aerodynamics, reduced weight, a retuned suspension and enhanced styling elevate the RC F to a new level of performance and refinement.
     
    “The new RCF and the Track Edition, in particular, benefit from constant development since their original launch.  With the latest improvements, these models help further distinguish the F brand by offering fast, durable, highly capable performance cars that rely on a range of technologies to help make their performance accessible to drivers of all skill levels,” said Koji Sato, Executive Vice President, Lexus International.
     
    The RC F Redefined
    The 2020 Lexus RC F coupe gets a wide range of changes designed to boost its performance and freshen its overall look. One of the first targets for the engineers was reducing weight without compromising the coupe’s sense of refinement and solidity. At the rear, hollow half shafts are now used in place of the previous solid shafts while up front a pared down intake manifold and a smaller air conditioning compressor remove weight from the front of the car. Changing to aluminum for the toe control brackets and upper suspension support brackets also reduces weight while maintaining stiffness.
     
    To further refine the feel of the RC F, there are now stiffer bushings for the rear suspension arms and steering rack mounts. More rigid engine mounts were also used to better transmit the power of the RC F’s normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, one of the last such engines available in a luxury coupe. It’s now rated at 472 horsepower (+5hp) and 395 pound feet of torque (+6 lb ft) thanks to a revised intake routing and lower rpm trigger point for the secondary intake opening (2,800 rpm vs 3,600rpm). An eight-speed automatic transmission carries over, but a higher final drive ratio (3.13 vs 2.93) has been installed to improve off-the-line response.
     
    For the ultimate in standing start acceleration, the RC F now includes electronic launch control as standard. With a push of the button on the console, the system automatically adjusts the traction and throttle control for maximum acceleration from a stop. All the driver has to do is press and hold the brake pedal, engage the system, floor the accelerator to bring up the engine speed and release the brake.
     
    Additional performance gains are delivered by new Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires designed specifically for the RC F. Compared to the standard Michelin specifications, the tires on the RC F utilize a unique profile shape, tread pattern and rubber compound. The changes are specifically designed to reduce understeer, improve overall lateral grip and increase durability under extreme conditions.  
     
    There are also subtle but substantive changes to the styling of the RC F that add familial traits to further refine its aggressive overall shape. Up front, the headlights have been updated to a design that features stacked LED lights and integrated daytime running lights. The shape of the signature grille has been altered by adding a lower lip opening that stretches across the bottom to create a visually shorter front fascia. At the rear of the car, new taillights integrate neatly into a reshaped bumper to give the RC F a cleaner, more chiseled appearance.
     
    RC F Track Edition: A Higher Degree of F
    More than a mere accessories package, the limited production RC F Track Edition features a precisely engineered set of upgrades that work together seamlessly to push its performance to a new level. Developed with input from Lexus race teams in the Super GT and IMSA series, the Track Edition is designed to deliver exceptional performance that enthusiasts can easily exploit in a wide variety of conditions. 
     
    Achieving that level of predictable performance was made possible by rigorous engineering and the assembly precision of Takumi masters who oversee production of every RC F. All aspects of the car were scrutinized for improvement, but the Track Edition doesn’t forego refinement for all-out speed. It remains an uncompromised luxury performance coupe with the ability to impress both on the track and off.
     
    A Smoother Shape and a Precise Diet
    One key area of improvement is the RC F Track Edition’s aerodynamic signature. Up front, the unique front splitter with canards is not only made from carbon fiber to reduce weight, it’s also designed to increase front end downforce for better grip and more precise steering. At the rear of the car, a fixed rear wing made from carbon fiber replaces the active spoiler offered on the standard RC F. The fixed wing is not only lighter, it does double duty by simultaneously reducing drag and adding downforce.
     
    To accomplish that paradoxical feat, the engineers started by shaping the wing in a way that smooths the airflow over the rear of the car to decrease drag-inducing turbulence. They then added a very slight angle of attack to produce downforce without compromising the overall airflow. The result is up to 58 pounds of additional downforce compared to the active rear spoiler.  
     
    Like the standard model, weight reduction was a key area of focus for the Track Edition. Preliminary estimates put the total reduction at 176 pounds compared to the previous RC F, but more importantly, the engineers focused on cutting weight that yields the most significant dynamic improvements. This led to keying in on unsprung weight since any weight that can be removed from the mass not supported by the suspension pays huge dividends in handling and steering feel.  
     
    With that goal in mind, every Track Edition model is upgraded with Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors. They are not only significantly lighter than their steel counterparts, they’re also better able to withstand the extreme heat cycling associated with performance driving. They are surrounded by a set of lightweight 19” BBS forged alloy wheels that feature a design derived from the RC F GT3 race car. Between the wheels, brake rotors and calipers, the Track Edition boasts a significant 55-pound reduction in unsprung weight on the front of the car alone. 
     
    Additional weight was removed by specifying carbon fiber for the roof and hood along with switching to a carbon fiber partition behind the rear seats and a carbon bumper reinforcement. Many of these carbon fiber pieces are made on the same line that supplied the Lexus LFA during its two-year production run. A standard titanium muffler and tail pipes is yet another area where the Track Edition sheds weight. Rarely seen on production cars, the use of titanium not only reduces the overall weight of the individual parts, it gives the Track Edition a polished look along with a unique sound. 
     
    That sound is worth enhancing, too, as the Track Edition uses the same 472hp, normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 found in every 2020 RC F. In fact, when combined with the Track Edition’s reduced curb weight, this RC F has the best power-to-weight ratio among its competitors. Couple that with the new electronic launch control system, and the RC F Track Edition is capable of launching from 0-to-60 mph in 3.96 seconds.
     
    In order to give the Track Edition a more exclusive look on the inside, a red leather interior comes standard along with Alcantara seat accents and red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard. Only two exterior colors will be available: Ultra White and Matte Nebula Gray, an exclusive color only available on the Track Edition.  
     
    Both the 2020 Lexus RC F and the RC F Track Edition will start production in the second quarter of 2019. Pricing will be announced closer to their on-sale dates.

    Drew Dowdell

    With 755hp, it's the most advanced Mustang ever for street, track, or dragstrip

    Previous Page Next Page In the fall of 2020, Ford will be releasing the Mustang Shelby GT500 with a supercharged 5.2 liter V8 producing more than 700 horsepower.  The handbuilt aluminum V8 features a lower center of gravity by inverting the intercooler into the valley of the engine V.  A structural oil pan reduces vibrations and has active baffles to keep oil where it needs to be.  
    All of that power is routed to a 7-speed TREMEC dual-clutch transmission capable of shifting in under 100 milliseconds.  Drivetrain mass is further reduced by the use of a unique carbon fiber driveshaft. The chassis features active technology and revised suspension geometry. Special Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires help bring it all to the pavement. 
    Read more about the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT from Ford's press release on Page 2.
    DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2019 – The all-new Shelby GT500 – the pinnacle of any pony car ever engineered by Ford Performance – delivers on its heritage with more than 700 horsepower for the quickest street-legal acceleration and most high-performance technology to date ever offered in a Ford Mustang.
    “Carroll was always working on the next faster Shelby, I think he would love this Mustang more than any other,” said Jim Farley, Ford president, global markets. “A takedown artist, the new Shelby GT500 will surprise supercar owners with its Ford Performance racing tech, supercharged engine and visceral swagger.”
    Arriving this fall to join its Shelby GT350 stablemate, Shelby GT500 is engineered to attack on all fronts. At the drag strip, it’s set to produce a projected 700-plus horsepower via its first-in-class dual-clutch transmission. At the track, performance improves even more thanks to its race-bred chassis, custom Michelin tires and the largest front brake rotors ever available on an American sports coupe. On the street, its menacing aerodynamic design and Ford Performance driver control technologies make every moment behind the wheel even more exhilarating.
     
    Most powerful Ford production car ever
    In the process of making the all-new Shelby GT500 the quickest street-legal Mustang ever, Ford Performance created an exclusive powertrain to deliver new levels of power and torque.
    “With its supercar-level powertrain, the all-new Shelby GT500 takes the sixth-generation Mustang to a performance level once reserved only for exotics,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance vehicle programs. “As a Mustang, it has to be attainable and punch above its weight. To that end, we’ve set a new standard among American performance cars with our most powerful street-legal V8 engine to date, plus the quickest-shifting transmission ever in a Mustang for all-out precision and speed.”
    Shelby GT500 starts with a supercharged 5.2-liter aluminum alloy engine built by hand. To keep the intake air cooler and deliver a lower center of gravity, the team inverted a 2.65-liter roots-type supercharger with air-to-liquid intercooler tucked neatly in the V8 engine valley.
    Like Shelby GT350, the aluminum alloy block features weight-saving wire-arc cylinder liners and high-flow aluminum cylinder heads, plus larger forged connecting rods, improved lubrication and cooling passages. Beneath that, a structural oil pan adds strength, reduces vibration, and features a patented active baffle system to keep oil where it’s needed.

    To channel power and torque to the unique carbon fiber driveshaft, Ford Performance leveraged learnings from the tuning of its Ford GT supercar’s dual-clutch transmission. The team selected a TREMEC® 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is capable of shifts in under 100 milliseconds – markedly faster than any manual gearbox. This dual-clutch transmission is designed for a number of drive modes, including normal, weather, sport, drag and track, and activates features like line-lock and launch control through selectable Track Apps.
     
    Next-evolution Mustang performance bred from Ford GT and Mustang GT4
    To harness the power and torque of the most powerful Mustang ever made for the street requires cutting-edge active chassis technology, track-bred Michelin tires and Brembo® brakes – all dialed in by Ford Performance.
    Shelby GT500 takes advantage of revised suspension geometry, a new electronic power steering unit and lighter-weight coil springs front and rear. Next-generation active MagneRide™ suspension is baked-in, along with the latest in advanced drive mode technologies from Ford Performance. The payoff is the highest-ever lateral acceleration from a Mustang for greater track performance and driver control.
    Putting all this chassis hardware to the pavement, custom Ford Performance-spec Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires and more aggressive Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires feature unique compounds and tread. To provide track-ready stopping power, massive 16-5-inch (420-millimeter) two-piece rotors are added – the largest of any domestic sports coupe – plus larger, stiffer Brembosix-piston calipers. With 20 percent more swept area than the Shelby GT350’s, these brakes have more than 30 percent additional thermal mass in the front corners.
    Two handling packages with increasing levels capability are offered for the all-new Shelby GT500. An available Handling Package includes adjustable strut top mounts and spoiler with Gurney flap. For the truly hardcore, an available Carbon Fiber Track Package features exposed 20-inch carbon fiber wheels with 0.5-inch-wider rear wheels (11.5-inch), custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, adjustable exposed carbon fiber GT4 track wing and splitter wickers with integrated dive plane. The rear seat is deleted to reduce weight.
     
    A functional, menacing design tuned with Ford Performance know-how
    Thanks to a cross-functional team of designers, Ford Performance engineers and motorsports collaborators, the 2020 Shelby GT500 has functional track-hero looks to match its performance capabilities.
    “With a double front grille opening and 50 percent more cooling pack airflow versus the Shelby GT350, along with the most advanced aero components and downforce we’ve ever offered, every millimeter of Shelby GT500’s fastback design is aimed at improving performance,” said Melvin Betancourt, Ford design manager.
    Those large angular grille openings and muscular hood combine for a menacing, aerodynamic-led design inspired by modern fighter jet aircraft. The car’s wider front fenders and stance housing Shelby GT500-specific 20x11-inch wheels proportionally align to its rear fenders that hug up to 20x11.5-inch wheels. A standard new rear spoiler and updated composite materials in the rear diffuser result in added thermal management.
    The team leveraged Ford’s motorsports technical center in North Carolina and its windshear rolling wind tunnel – where top-tier racing teams test – to perfect the design of the Shelby GT500. Front fascia openings are more than doubled versus the Shelby GT350, while six heat exchangers are stuffed in to increase cooling pack airflow by more than 50 percent. A massive 31x28-inch louvered hood vent features a removable aluminum rain tray for better air extraction and increased downforce.
     
    More craftsmanship, technology and driver comfort
    Shelby GT500’s purpose-built cockpit boasts race-inspired premium materials and unique finishes worthy of its world-class power. Premium touchpoints include an available exposed carbon fiber instrument panel appliqué and new door panel inserts in Dark Slate Miko® suede with accent stitching. Available Recaro racing seats with firm side bolstering and pass-throughs for safety harnesses offer the highest level of performance. For those looking for even greater comfort, power-adjustable seating with Miko suede inserts is offered.
    The all-new Shelby GT500 picks up a 12-inch full-color LCD instrument cluster, while a high-performance custom-tuned 12-speaker B&O® Play premium audio system is available. All of this is controlled via an 8-inch SYNC® 3 touch screen featuring SiriusXM and FordPass Connect™.
    New colors for 2020 include Red Hot, Twister Orange and Iconic Silver. Painted stripes are available for the all-new Shelby GT500 too.
     
    Building on the legacy of Shelby performance
    With a reputation for transforming Ford Mustang into dominant road racing machines, Carroll Shelby, American racer and entrepreneur, took his legendary Mustang GT350 model further in 1967 to craft the first-generation Shelby GT500 with a modified 428-cubic-inch V8 inspired by his team’s 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans.
    Carroll Shelby called the original Shelby GT500 “the first real car I’m really proud of.” Today, that legacy continues with the third-generation 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 – the most powerful and most advanced Mustang ever.
    Previous Page Next Page

    William Maley

    It has been a long wait

    After numerous teasers and various leaks coming out, Toyota rolled the Mk.5 Supra this morning in Detroit.
    Bringing the Supra to life required Toyota to bring in a partner. In this case, that happened to be BMW. That begins under the hood as there is a 3.0 twin-scroll turbocharged inline-six with 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. This is paired solely to an eight-speed automatic that routes power to the rear-wheels. 0-60 mph takes 4.1 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph. No mention of the 2.0L turbo-four as we have reported previously - we don't know if that's off the table or will be announced at a later date.
    Work done to chassis was done by both BMW and Toyota's performance group, Gazgoo Racing. The front uses a double-joint spring strut setup, while the back comes with an aluminum five-link independent suspension. Gazgoo has also done their own tuning to the springs and shocks, and stiffened up various parts of the structure. An adaptive variable suspension; variable-assist, variable-ratio electric power steering, large Brembo brakes, and a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sports complete it.
    The new model is quite the departure from previous Supras (something you could argue about the Mk. 4). Most of the design from the FT-1 Concept in 2014 is unchanged - see the double bubble roof and rear end treatment as key evidence. The noticeable changes are up front where the elongated nose has changed from a treatment featuring tri-bumper vents and pointed nose. 
    Inside, it is more BMW than Toyota. The dashboard, infotainment system, and seats are lifted from BMW. A 6.5-inch infotainment system with the standard iDrive controller is standard, while an 8.8-inch touchscreen with a touch-enabled iDrive controller is standard on higher trims.
    Pricing for the 2020 Supra is as followed,
    Supra 3.0: $50,920 Supra 3.0 Premium: $54,920 Supra 3.0 Launch Edition: $56,180 *Prices include a $930 destination chare.
    The Launch Edition will get some special touches including matte black 19-inch alloy wheels, red mirror caps, carbon-fiber accents, and a numbered, carbon-fiber plaque bearing the image of Akio Toyoda and his signature. Toyota will only be building 1,500 of these models.
    The Supra will arrive at Toyota dealers towards the end of summer.
    Gallery 2020 Toyota Supra
    Source: Toyota
    A Legend Returns: 2020 Toyota Supra Makes World Debut
    First New Supra in the U.S. in 21 Years First Global GR Model Developed by Toyota GAZOO Racing Design Inspired by Calty’s FT-1 Concept Two-Seat, Driver-Focused Cabin 335-HP Turbocharged Inline-Six-Cylinder Engine 8-Speed Transmission with Paddle Shifters Two Available Grades and Launch Edition Standard Active Differential and Adaptive Suspension DETROIT (Jan. 14, 2019) – In July 2018, in view of tens of thousands of spectators at England’s world-renowned Goodwood Festival of Speed, a low, long-hood sports car wearing full-body camouflage with mysterious “A90” markings blasted up the narrow, curvy hill-climb circuit. For Toyota enthusiasts, “A90” was the giveaway: the A40, A60, A70 and A80 that came before were Supras.
    The Toyota Supra was coming back!
    In January 2019, the fifth-generation GR Supra, the first global Toyota GAZOO Racing model, makes its undisguised world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, ending years of anticipation and speculation among sports car enthusiasts around the world. Behind the new Supra is a 50+ year lineage of unique Toyota sports and GT cars. Ahead of it awaits the world’s great driving roads, some of which were used to develop this all-new expression of Toyota pure sports car performance.
    The 2020 Supra goes on sale in summer of 2019 and will be available in two grades – 3.0 and 3.0 Premium, as well as a Launch Edition which will be based on the 3.0 Premium grade. Driving enthusiasts can look forward to an exhilarating blend of power, precision and agility thanks to a rear-wheel drive design that honors Toyota sports car heritage with its low center of gravity and optimal weight balance. There is a strong connection to Toyota’s 1967 2000 GT and 1993-2002 Supra in both design and mechanical configuration.
    Yet, the 2020 Supra is a fully forward-looking sports car, brimming with a cutting-edge powertrain, chassis and multimedia technology. Like the pinnacle of the previous Supra series, the 2020 model will be powered by a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. The new Supra’s 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbo six will produce 335 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque and will be teamed with a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Toyota projects 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.1 seconds, which makes this the quickest toyota-branded production vehicle to date.
    By defining specific performance and handling targets early in development, Toyota GAZOO Racing in Japan, with much input from Toyota Motor North America and Toyota Motor Europe, imbued the Supra with its own driving characteristics. While posting the kind of performance numbers that excite enthusiasts, the 2020 Supra will reward drivers of all skill levels with a thrilling sports car feel, even in everyday driving.
    Toyota President and Master Driver Akio Toyoda tested the Supra on the Nürburgring and other racing venues to give his personal feedback as a Master Driver to ensure this new model would exceed the expectations of Supra fans across the globe.
    Supra devotees have waited a long time for the next-generation model. They’ll find the 2020 Supra worth the wait.
    Shaped by Emotion … and Racing
    The 2020 Supra embodies its rich lineage at first glance, with a design that shows a particular kinship with the fourth-generation Supra built from 1993-2002, as well as the landmark 1967 Toyota 2000 GT. The resemblance is more than skin deep: the new-generation Supra also shares with those notable models the common traits of a short wheelbase, sophisticated chassis, and high-performance inline-six-cylinder engine.  
    Toyota offered a glimpse of the new Supra’s design theme in 2014 with the dramatic FT-1 concept car that emerged from Toyota’s Calty design center in California. Supra’s striking exterior design was inspired by the FT-1’s expressive form.
    Optimization of the FT-1 design onto the efficient, high-performance packaging of Supra was achieved by condensing the forms, reducing unnecessary elements and further enhancing the dynamic and powerful character. It focuses on core Supra attributes, such as its inline six-cylinder engine and rear drive layout, while enhancing other features, such as stretching the hood to highlight the engine, creating a taut, but spacious two-seat cabin that helps accentuate an ultra-wide stance. The result is a look unique to Supra internally referred to as “Condensed Extreme.”
    Functional by Design
    The Supra design delivers a 50:50 weight balance while optimizing front-to-rear aerodynamic balance. Toyota sports car heritage is evident throughout. The double-bubble roof design, for example, recalls the Toyota 2000 GT and it reduces drag by shaving the roof center to reduce the projected frontal area without sacrificing occupant headroom.
    The front fascia was inspired by the fourth-generation Supra, yet is even more expressive, with a prominent central grille section flanked by large air intakes. In the rear, the prominent, arching rear integrated spoiler, which helps to suppress aerodynamic lift, pays homage to the tall rear wing that was available on the fourth-gen Supra Turbo. The trapezoidal rear bumper shape conveys a dynamic sense of movement toward the tires.
    The six-lens LED headlights integrate both daytime running lamps and turn signal functions to create a distinctive lighting signature for the new Supra. The rear combination lamps feature a simple structure with the turn, tail, and stop functions integrated into the distinctive main ring shape. The backup lamps are LEDs located in the center of the lower bumper.
    Details Matter
    Expressive colors accentuate the emotional connection drivers feel with a high-performance sports car, which is why the 2020 Supra’s paint palette will include bold Renaissance Red 2.0, Nitro Yellow and Downshift Blue. The available Phantom Matte Gray adds a sense of drama to the Supra’s tautly curved surfaces by combining a matte finish and a hint of blue to create a metal-like texture.

    Other available colors include Absolute Zero White, Tungsten Silver, Turbulence Gray and Nocturnal Black.

    Fun fact: In the new version of the famous Supra logotype, the “S” was inspired by a racetrack s-bend.
    Cockpit Concept: Wrapping the Driver
    The 2020 Supra cockpit deftly blends traditional GT elements with ultra-modern functionality. The low, narrow-section dash gives the driver expansive forward visibility, ideal for precisely placing the car in corners.
    A high-definition color display forms the instrument panel, projecting a large-diameter, three-dimensional meter dial that seems to float over it. The single-meter design consolidates information necessary for performance driving, such as the tachometer and shift-timing indicator, enabling the driver to easily focus on critical control information through the small-diameter steering wheel.
    The display’s easy-to-read layout puts multimedia information, including audio and available navigation, on the right side. An available full-color Head-Up Display projects vital driving and navigation information ahead of the driver.
    Toyota designers took a fresh approach to designing the center console, giving it an asymmetrical shape that tightly envelops the driver, with a padded pillar that serves as a right leg bolster. The passenger’s side of the console, meanwhile, is open for a roomy feel, yet also features kneepads for bolstering in corners.

    The center console tightly groups controls for sports driving. The climate control panel protrudes from the center dash, easing operation without averting eyes from the road.
    Racing-Inspired Seats
    Toyota designed the 2020 Supra to be both an everyday sports car and an occasional track car. To that end, its sport seats, featuring integrated head restraints, were inspired by racing. The seats use a narrow main section combined with the shoulder bolsters to firmly hold the driver and passenger. The 3.0 Premium grade will feature heated, leather-trimmed seats, while the 3.0 will come with Alcantara power seats with memory.
    Supra’s smartly trimmed luggage area, accessed via a lightweight composite hatch, offers capacity for two people to pack for a weekend getaway. The compartment is shaped to accommodate long items, such as a track day toolkit.
     
    The 2020 Supra Performance Story
    The 2020 Supra will feature a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six that will produce 335 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. The torque comes on strong from very low engine speeds, thanks to a combination of a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct fuel injection and continuously variable timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts. Engine response is further enhanced thanks to the inline six’s variable intake valve lift system that adjusts intake valve timing and duration.  
    The 8-speed automatic transmission delivers quick up- and downshifts and features paddle shifters for manual control when desired. Short ratios for the lower gears and a Launch Control function enable powerful acceleration with maximum traction. Toyota estimates 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.1 seconds. Top track speed will be electronically limited to 155 mph.
    The 2020 Supra will offer two driving modes, Normal and Sport. Sport Mode provides track-driving capability by reducing intervention of the traction and stability control functions as well as sharpening throttle response, increasing steering weight, improving transmission shift crispness, more aggressive active differential tuning and amplifying exhaust sound.
    For performance driving enthusiasts, the Supra will have an active differential that uses an electric motor and multi-plate clutches to control lateral torque. The active differential precisely controls torque distribution between the rear wheels, with stepless variable locking from 0-100 percent. The differential can control torque distribution between the rear wheels when cornering under both acceleration and braking, enabling greater momentum through a corner. The active differential is also effective at ensuring neutral handling by reducing both understeer and oversteer.
    Chassis: Lessons from the Track 
    Toyota GAZOO Racing had a specific vision when developing Supra. High structural rigidity, a low center of gravity and 50:50 weight distribution were paramount to Toyota’s goal of achieving neutral cornering balance. For example, Toyota identified nine areas of the vehicle’s rear structure to be reinforced to increase rigidity.
    Toyota also specified spring and shock absorber tuning for the new double-joint spring strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. Likewise, Toyota set specific parameters for the Supra’s stability control system performance.
    The front suspension subframe and control arm mounting points are extremely rigid to yield precise cornering characteristics. Aluminum control arms reduce unsprung weight, resulting in superior agility and efficiency. High-performance wheel hubs feature increased stiffness and optimized kinematics. For precise handling, Supra features a variable assist and variable ratio sport-tuned electric power steering.
    The multi-link rear suspension with a five-arm construction consists of lightweight aluminum to reduce weight while steel is employed in key areas for added strength and durability. The rigid rear subframe, and the bracing that connects it to the body structure, helps ensure extremely precise wheel control. Supra will come standard with 19-inch forged alloy wheels. The rear wheels and tires are wider than on the front (rear tires: 275/35R19; front tires: 255/35R19) to enhance grip, and performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires are fitted. Brakes are large at all four corners, highlighted by 13.7-in. front rotors held by 4-piston Brembo calipers. 
    Standard on all Supras is Adaptive Variable Suspension. Adaptive Variable Suspension system instantly adjusts damping force in response to driver input and road conditions. Two settings for the suspension are available - Normal and Sport.
    Road and track development took place in France, Austria, Italy (including many winding roads through the Alps), Germany (including the Nürburgring track), Sweden (ice and snow road testing), the U.K., Japan, Australia, and the U.S. A global citizen, the new Supra will be assembled at Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria.
    GT Comfort, Maximum Multimedia
    Like its 1990s predecessor, the 2020 Supra will be equipped as a premium GT, with a deft balance of function and premium comfort and convenience features. Keyless Smart Entry, dual automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, rear camera, rain sensor windshield wipers, garage door opener, power folding mirrors, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel will be standard.
    Standard active safety features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beam and road sign assist. Additional active safety and convenience features available are adaptive full speed cruise control, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and rear end collision warning.
    The new-generation Supra will of course deliver a state-of-the-art multimedia and connectivity experience. The 3.0 grade features a 6.5-inch display that can be operated by the rotary controller on the console, as well as Bluetooth and iPod capability. The 3.0 Premium grade will get an 8.8-inch touchscreen display with navigation, rotary touch controller, Supra Connect telematics services, wireless Apple CarPlay, a premium 12-speaker JBL audio system, and wireless phone charging. The JBL audio system and navigation will be an available option on the 3.0 grade.
    50+ Years of Toyota Sports Car Heritage
    The 2020 Toyota Supra traces a 50+ year lineage to Toyota’s first sports car, the 1965 Sports 800. This sleek but tiny (140-in. long) coupe offered a little over 40 horsepower from an air-cooled, two-cylinder boxer engine. The Sports 800 weighed just 1,300 pounds and could reach 100 mph in racing trim. It was successful in long distance races where reliability and fuel economy worked to its advantage. Here’s one for car trivia buffs: The 800 Sports was the first production sports car to have a lift-out aluminum roof panel.
    2000 GT
    In 1967, Toyota stunned the sports car establishment with the limited-production, hand-built 2000 GT. This six-cylinder, two-seat coupe smashed three world records and set 13 new international records for speed and endurance. Just 351 of the 2000 GTs were made, about 60 of those left-hand-drive for export to the U.S.
    Nevertheless, many Americans saw the 2000 GT when a specially built roadster version was the automotive star in that year’s James Bond film, You Only Live Twice. Today, 2000 GTs can approach $1 million in collector-car auctions.
    Age of the Supra
    In 1978, Toyota introduced the first Supra (A40) as a premium, six-cylinder version of the popular Celica sports coupe. Four years later, Toyota began to separate the Supra from the Celica, with the second generation (A60) featuring a completely different front-end design and a striking Performance model with wider wheels and fender flares.
    With the debut of the third-generation model for 1986 (A70), the Supra became its own distinct car. The following year, the Mk. III, as Supra aficionados call it, debuted a Turbo upgrade model with 230 horsepower.
    Then came the icon: the fourth-generation Supra (A80, or “Mk. IV” to Supra buffs) arrived in 1993 and upended the global sports car / GT hierarchy. The Supra Turbo used twin sequential turbochargers to extract 320 horsepower from its 3.0-liter inline six. This utterly unique sports GT could accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in under 5 seconds, trouncing direct competitors, as well as some European models costing 2-3 times as much.
    The Mk. IV Supra left Toyota’s U.S. lineup after 1998 but was produced until 2002. It went on to become famous for new generations in video games and in the Fast and Furious film series, stoking an intensely loyal following that helped spur Toyota to develop the all-new, fifth-generation Supra for 2020.
    Toyota GAZOO Racing
    The 2020 GR Supra is the first global model developed by Toyota GAZOO Racing, the international umbrella for Toyota's global motorsport program. In just the past year GR won the Le Mans 24 Hours race and the FIA World Rally Champions. Its work is based on three pillars: developing people through taking part in motorsport; creating fans through the excitement of motorsport and producing fun-to-drive cars; and making ever-better cars by applying the knowledge gained from motorsport competition.
    This ethos has been fully embraced by both Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of Toyota, and Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation president, for its goal of “making ever-better cars.” Starting with this Supra, Toyota GAZOO Racing will transfer technical learnings from the race track or rally stage to the development of not just new generations of Toyota's sports-focused GR models, but also to its wider range of vehicles, driven by tens of millions of people around the world.
    With the 2020 Supra, Toyota is seeking to ignite automotive enthusiasts with fond memories of the Supra, as well as spark a new wave of sports car fans around the world. 
      
    2020 SUPRA PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
    Wheelbase    97.2 in.
    Overall Length    172.5 in.
    Overall Width    73.0 in.
    Overall Height    50.9 in.  
    Track Width Front    62.8 in.
    Track Width Rear    62.6 in.
    Curb Weight    3,397 lbs.
    0-60 mph    4.1 seconds

    Drew Dowdell

    Volkswagen refreshes the Passat

    While other companies are canceling their mid-size and full-size sedans, Volkswagen has refreshed their Passat for the 2020 Model year.  While it might count as just a mild refresh, the Passat gains some bolder styling and some upgrades under the hood. Standard features include: 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, full LED lighting, App-Connect, Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert. Available driver-assistance features: Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, Park Assist
    The 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder produces 174 hp and on most models offerest a boost in torque to 207 lb-ft. 
    Infotainment technology gets a boost in the 2020 Passat. In addition to a new glass-covered touchscreen, MIB II Composition Media infotainment with SiriusXM radio comes standard (three-month trial subscription included) and Discover Media with navigation is available. Every Passat comes with standard Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect technology, which integrates compatible smartphones with the three major platforms—Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink—making select apps accessible from the infotainment screen. For audiophiles, top-of-the-line models feature the Fender Premium Audio system.
    The 2020 Volkswagen Passat will be available in four regular trim levels and a launch-only Limited model. It is expected to begin arriving at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the Summer of 2019.
    Volkswagen press release on page 2
    New Passat offers more of what matters: bolder design, upgraded technology and enhanced access to  convenience and driver-assistance features
    New exterior has dynamic coupe-like profile, dramatic “tornado” line, and dominant grille
    Spacious interior features sophisticated new design and premium materials
    2.0-liter TSI® engine boosts torque to 207 lb-ft on most models
    Standard features include: 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, full LED lighting, App-Connect, Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert
    Available driver-assistance features: Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, Park Assist
    Available premium features include: heated rear seats, leather seating surfaces, the Adaptive Front-lighting System, and Fender® Premium Audio system
    Comes with America’s Best Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty,  with 6-years/72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) and transferable coverage  
    Detroit, Mich. – Today, Volkswagen of America, Inc., unveiled the new 2020 Passat at the North American International Auto Show. Eight years ago, Volkswagen completely overhauled the midsize sedan to cater specifically to American buyers, with more interior space and creature comforts combined with the company’s signature fun-to-drive nature. Building on the success of that model, today’s new Passat offers more of what matters: bolder design, upgraded technology, and enhanced access to convenience and driver-assistance features.
    “Passat is the only midsize sedan to offer German driving dynamics at an affordable price and has long resonated with buyers for its combination of comfort, reliability and driving dynamics,” said Scott Keogh, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen. “With this new model, we’ve stepped up the style factor and upgraded the technology to make it even more attractive. In addition, we’ve made desirable convenience and driver-assistance features more accessible.”
    While the 2020 Passat retains the underpinnings of the previous model, it has been completely restyled. A dynamic coupe-like roofline, dramatic “tornado” line, and dominant grille give the Passat a bold new look—at once, elegant and sporty. Standard slim LED headlights and taillights, along with more prominent Passat badging that runs the width of the trunklid, give the car a more premium look. Standard 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels enhance the sophisticated design, and 18- and 19-inch wheels are available.
    Inside, the Passat combines a sophisticated new design and upgraded technology with the spacious cabin that made the outgoing model popular. The cockpit features a horizontal design, incorporating air vents that flow across the dash in a style reminiscent of premium models. A new, more contemporary instrument panel has been fitted, along with a new glass-covered infotainment touchscreen. Complementing the new interior design are new colors and premium materials. Three interior décor designs are available, based on trim. Volkswagen’s V-Tex leatherette and Nappa leather seating surfaces are available in addition to the standard cloth seats, and offer four color options.
    Comfort, for both drivers and passengers, continues to be a key strength for the Passat. To help keep occupants comfortable, Passat offers available heated front and rear seats, power driver’s seat with memory, and dual-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control. Convenience features include available power-folding, heated side mirrors with memory, the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) with range control and cornering lights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start, rain-sensing wipers, KESSY® keyless access and push-button start, Voice Control, and Easy Open trunk.
    Infotainment technology gets a boost in the 2020 Passat. In addition to a new glass-covered touchscreen, MIB II Composition Media infotainment with SiriusXM® radio comes standard (three-month trial subscription included) and Discover Media with navigation is available. Every Passat comes with standard Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect technology, which integrates compatible smartphones with the three major platforms—Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®—making select apps accessible from the infotainment screen. For audiophiles, top-of-the-line models feature the Fender® Premium Audio system.
    Technology upgrades don’t stop in the cabin—the new Passat offers a comprehensive suite of standard and available driver-assistance technology. Every Passat includes standard Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), now with Pedestrian Monitoring, as well as Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert. Available driver-assistance features include: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Lane Keeping Assist (Lane Assist), which can actively help the driver steer the car back into its lane should the vehicle start drifting into another lane without using the turn signal; and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) including Park Distance Control. In addition, Passat offers a combination of both passive and active safety systems including the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.
    The new Passat continues to be powered by Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine, making 174 horsepower. A new torque converter, combined with new software, boosts output to 207 pound-feet of torque on most models (a launch trim will carry over the previous model’s powertrain). The power is taken to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic®.
    Every Passat model will come with the People First Warranty, America’s Best Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty. The warranty provides coverage for six-years or 72,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and the warranty can be transferred to a subsequent owner throughout the remainder of its duration.
    The 2020 Volkswagen Passat will be available in four regular trim levels and a launch-only Limited model. It is expected to begin arriving at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the Summer of 2019.

    Drew Dowdell

    Ram tows the benchmark higher with 1,000 lb-ft of torque.

    At the North American Auto Show in Detroit, Ram released the details for the 2019  Ram HD Trucks.  Ram jumps to the top of the class with a new 35,100 max tow rating and a 7,680 lbs. payload, the highest capacity for any diesel or gasoline pickup.
     
    The Ram HD boasts an optional all-new 6.7 liter 6-cylinder Cummins Turbodiesel featuring 1000 lb-ft of torque at just  1,800 rpm. Horsepower is rated 400 hp at 2,800 rpm. A second variant of the Cummins Turbo Diesel also gets a performance boost with 370 horsepower @ 2,800 rpm and 850 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1,700 rpm. The standard engine on the Ram HD is 6.4 liter Hemi V8 delivering 410 hp at 5,600 rpm and 429 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm. Ram 3500 Heavy Duty models equipped with the 1,000 lb.-ft. high output Cummins 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel employ the Aisin AS69RC electronically controlled six-speed automatic , while Ram HDs powered by the standard output Cummins 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel are equipped with a significantly upgraded version of the 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. RAM HDs powered by the Hemi V8 get a TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic.
    2019 Ram Power Wagon is the most capable production off-road truck in the industry. The Power Wagon features a unique suspension, factory suspension lift, locking front and rear differentials, disconnecting sway bar and a 12,000-lb. winch. New to the Power Wagon is a 360 camera, which includes forward-view camera gridlines to help navigate obstacles. An all-new and integrated front-mounted WARN Zeon-12 winch features a unique fairlead and fairlead retainer with a new synthetic line that cannot kink, does not fray and is more maneuverable. The new line also cuts weight by 28 lbs. A Power Wagon content package continues to be available on Tradesman, which includes all the off-road equipment but keeps the Tradesman design elements.
    For 2019, all-new features, technology and premium materials help the redesigned Ram Heavy Duty continue its interior leadership with quality, technology and luxury. Each trim level is uniquely characterized to reflect individual identity.
     
    The new instrument panel combines a strong, structurally interlocking appearance, pushing the central controls up and toward the driver, improving overall reachability of system controls. The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty features the Uconnect 4C NAV on a 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen, which can display one application, such as the navigation map, across the whole 12-inch screen, or can be divided in half, operating two different applications at once. Redundant HVAC controls and a new enhanced-ergonomic switch bank deliver improved feedback and appearance.
     
    The new 2019 Ram Heavy Duty features an available 7-inch, full-color, 3D animation-capable driver information display, with reconfigurable function that enables Ram truck drivers to personalize information inside the instrument cluster. The display is designed to visually communicate information, using graphics and text, quickly and easily.
     
    Across all trim levels, the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty features push-button start and a redesigned rotary e-shifter dial (HEMI V8 only). The new shifter area also intelligently groups new feature buttons, including Hill Descent Control, axle lock and transfer case controls, when equipped.
     
    An active noise cancellation system and acoustic glass reduce ambient cabin sounds by nearly 10 db – the quietest Ram Heavy Duty ever. The new HVAC system features 30 percent more air flow at lower noise levels, including larger front defroster vents for better performance. All-new in-duct electric heating elements on diesel models help speed cabin warmup on cold days, and larger system controls and new larger panel ducts work better with gloved hands.
     
    With up to 258 liters of interior storage volume on the exclusive Mega Cab including two bins behind the rear seats, the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty offers more than 120-percent additional storage capacity versus the closest competitor. A reimagined center console is a usable, complex piece of art with more than 12 different storage combinations. Up from 19.7 to 22.6 liters, the console includes a wider docking area with optional wireless charging, which can hold a small tablet or smartphone. A three-position sliding cup-holder tray can be stowed under the center armrest to reveal a deep storage tub designed to hold a 15-inch laptop
     
    To keep devices charged, five USB ports assist in the center console type-C ports for faster communication and charging. Up to three 115-volt household plugs are available (three-prong). One in the first row and one in the second row. All outlets now handle up to 400 watts to charge or power tools quickly.
    The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty is built at the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico.
     
     

    William Maley

    The three-row, eight-seat crossover will become Kia's flagship (for crossovers)

    Three years after Kia introduced the world to the Telluride concept, the Korean automaker introduced the production model at the Detroit Auto Show.
    Kia hasn't changed much in the Telluride's design. It retains the concept's boxy shape with an upright windshield, and stacked headlights. The interior is quite modern in its looks with a wide and flat dash, and brushed metal and matte-finished wood trim. A 10.25-inch touchscreen featuring the newest version of Kia's UVO infotainment system. There will be seating for up to eight passengers.
    Power is the same as you'll find in the sister Hyundai Palisade; a 3.8L V6 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice front- or all-wheel drive. Six drive modes (Eco, Smart, Comfort, Sport, Snow, and AWD Lock) vary the power-split between the front and rear axles (Ranging from 100 percent power going to the front wheels to equal split).
    Safety features include Blind Spot, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Surround View Monitor, Forward Collision Warning, and a head-up display. Rear occupant alert (similar to GM's rear seat alert) will alert you if you left a passenger in the back. Safe Exit Assist will lock the rear doors if the vehicle detects an object approaching from behind.
    No word on pricing, but the 2020 Telluride will be available in LX, EX, S, and SX trims. It will arrive at dealers next year.
    Gallery: 2020 Kia Telluride
    Source: Kia


    ALL-NEW 2020 KIA TELLURIDE OFFERS RUGGED LUXURY
    Big, Bold and Boxy, New Midsize SUV is Made for Adventures Largest Kia ever provides comfortable seating for up to eight occupants (includes the driver) Potent 3.8-liter GDI V6 with 291 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque Powerful exterior design and premium, well-appointed interior Loaded with technology to enhance comfort, convenience, utility and the driver and passenger experience DETROIT, January 14, 2019 – Large, bold, capable and comfortable, the midsize Telluride SUV opens the door to exploring in a whole new way. Imagined in America, designed at Kia’s design studio in California, and assembled in Georgia1, the Telluride is all about big skies, desert roads, mountain passes, shady forests, smooth highways, and long coastal drives. The largest Kia ever, it provides comfortable seating for up to eight, a powerful 291-hp 3.8-liter V6, available active on-demand all-wheel drive2, and an inspiring view of the world.  In short, the Telluride offers potential for exploration and adventure every time it’s on the road.
    Designed in America for America
    Telluride is the first Kia designed specifically for the U.S. and is a product of the Kia Design Center in Irvine, CA. From the first pencil stroke it was meant to convey the kind of presence associated with the original legendary SUVs – big, bold and boxy – and the go-anywhere, do-anything attitude their square, burly-shouldered shapes suggested. The Telluride’s sophisticated exterior accents also hint at its interior luxury. Main design cues include:
    Long, broad hood and wide grille Bold, stacked headlamps convey power and stability Upright windshield and clean side profile conveys muscular tension Inverted “L” tail lamps with LED stripes (standard on EX and SX trims) Elongated nameplates on the leading edge of the hood and on the liftgate provide distinctive identity for flagship SUV Sculpted rear skid plate with integrated twin exhaust tips reference  off-road ability and power (standard on S, EX and SX trims) The Telluride interior is designed to continue the impression of upscale exploration:
    Grab handles integrated into the center console suggest journeys off the beaten path Wide console with emphasis on the horizontal through artistic use of premium trim features to convey spaciousness  - more “luxe living room” than “utility vehicle” Spacious cabin for generous hip, shoulder, leg and head room, including in the third row Engineered to be Confident and Capable
    Telluride is engineered to be capable in a variety of driving conditions and provide a driving experience that is enjoyable and confidence-inspiring. Among the many factors that contribute to the Telluride’s composed ride and performance:
    Atkinson Cycle LAMBDA II 3.8L V6 GDI engine producing 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 262 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm 8-speed automatic transmission Four-wheel independent suspension Strong, stiff, and torsionally rigid body structure due to the monocoque shell that is composed of 59.4 percent advanced high-strength steel Self-leveling rear suspension. Ride height is automatically calibrated depending on vehicle load to optimize control and stability (optional on EX and SX) Choice of four drive modes – Smart, Eco, Sport and Comfort – each using different settings for powertrain, drivetrain, and steering effort mapping to provide the desired driving experience.  In addition to the four regular drive modes, drivers can select from two different settings, Snow and AWD Lock, for specific driving conditions.  Available active on-demand all-wheel drive2 helps provide enhanced driving performance by actively distributing torque between front and rear wheels depending on road conditions and driver input. The system utilizes electro-hydraulic AWD coupling to precisely activate the multi-plate clutch plate, constantly redistributing the amount of power transferred to the front and rear wheels. During normal driving, power is distributed according to the drive mode selected. “Eco” and “Smart” modes deliver 100 percent power to the front wheels. “Comfort” and “Snow” modes deliver 80 percent power to the front wheels and 20 percent to rear. Sport mode splits the power 65-35 percent between front and back. “Lock” mode delivers power evenly to all four wheels Standard towing rated up to 5,000 pounds3 Downhill Brake Control (DBC)4 maintains a controlled descent on steep roads TELLURIDE TECH – BELLS AND WHISTLES GALORE     
    As Kia’s flagship SUV, the Telluride can be outfitted with an array of advanced technology and driver-assistance systems. The following is a list of the available features that are firsts for any Kia SUV. These are in addition to the long list of tech and ADAS features listed under the “Brimming with Technology” section of this release below. Please see that section for complete descriptions.
    Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist Rear (BCA-R) Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA) Lane Following Assist (LFA) Safe Exit Assist (SEA) Highway Driving Assist (HDA) Head-Up Display (HUD) Driver Talk Quiet Mode Rear Occupant Alert Born for Adventure in Luxury
    Planning the Telluride interior, Kia designers set out to create an upscale cabin with an abundance of premium materials, attention to detail, and an array of convenient features including:
    Available double-stitched, quilted and extra-padded Nappa leather trim upholstery Simulated brushed metal and matte-finished wood Interior hooks to keep packs and bags off floor and away from feet Available heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats Ceiling-mounted second-row climate control HVAC diffusing ceiling vents provide wider spread of airflow for increased comfort Reclining third-row seats5 Leather-wrapped, tilt and telescoping steering wheel Available heated steering wheel Brimming with Technology — Advanced Connectivity, Safety Features, and Driver Assistance Systems
    Telluride is packed with high-tech, advanced automotive technology, including the “Kia Drive Wise” suite of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems, and a long list of standard and optional equipment, highlights of which are listed below:
    Available 10.25-inch color touchscreen6 with rear view monitor7 and parking guidance Available 630-watt, 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system (AM/FM/SiriusXM8) with  Quantum Logic9 Surround Sound and Clari-Fi10 Apple CarPlay11 and Android Auto12 Available wireless smartphone charging13 Available six total USB charging ports – two in each row. Five ports is standard Available multi-Bluetooth wireless connectivity14 allows two phones to connect simultaneously 7 airbags15 (dual front advanced air bags, dual front seat-mounted side air bags, side curtain air bags with rollover sensor, driver's side knee air bag) Vehicle Safety Systems16 Antilock braking Vehicle stability management Downhill brake control Electronic stability control Hill-start assist control Tire pressure monitoring system “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS)17 Forward Collision Warning (FCW) Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist  with pedestrian detection (FCA) High Beam Assist (HBA) (available) Lane Departure Warning (LDW) Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist-Rear (BCA-R)  Blind Spot View Monitor (BVM) (available) Driver Attention Warning (DAW)18 Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) Parking Distance Warning – Forward (available) and Reverse Surround View Monitor (SVM)19 (available) Highway Driving Assist (HDA)20: Uses radar systems to interpret lane markings so the vehicle can control steering, acceleration and braking to automatically adjust distance from the vehicle detected ahead. HDA is also designed to recognize speed limits on federal highways and adjust speed accordingly (available) Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist Rear (BCA-R): A camera is designed to track vehicle lane changes and, if it detects an object in the intended path, the BCA-R system applies brake pressure to the front wheel of the opposite side to help maintain the previous course Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA): An extension of Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW), RCCA may apply brakes if an impending impact is detected Lane Following Assist (LFA): When Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go is activated, LFA is designed to monitor lane markings to help keep the Telluride centered in its lane Safe Exit Assist (SEA)21: In certain situations, if the system detects an object approaching from the rear, SEA will override attempts to deactivate Electronic Child Safety Lock until the detected object has passed Head-Up Display22: Added information makes this system especially useful. Provides turn-by-turn navigation, speed and local speed limits, smart cruise control and blind-spot warnings (available) Driver Talk: Uses a microphone to enhance communication with second- and third-row passengers (available) Quiet Mode: Cuts audio output in second and third row so the audio choices of the front occupants are only heard in that row (available) Rear Occupant Alert23: Uses ultrasonic sensors designed to detect child or pet movement in the second and third row after the car’s doors have been locked and then can issue audible alerts to the driver Telluride is equipped with the UVO24 telematics system featuring an embedded modem that allows Telluride drivers to monitor and control a number of vehicle operations, including: Remote start and door lock (standard) Pre-condition the vehicle cabin temperature prior to use (only on EX and SX trims)25 “Send-to-Car” points of interest (POI) and waypoints: If the vehicle is equipped with navigation, owners will be able to plan a road trip remotely and send it to the navigation system Rear Occupant Alert26: Uses sensors designed to detect a passenger in the rear cabin. If a rear passenger is detected and the driver leaves the vehicle, the vehicle will follow a series of steps to notify the driver, initially through a vehicle cluster message, and then through vehicle alarm initiation and subsequent SMS/Push message to the owner’s smart phone if they are enrolled through the UVO app Assembled in America
    Telluride will be assembled at Kia’s manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia (KMMG) alongside certain trims of the Sorento and Optima. When it goes on sale this year (pricing will be announced near the on-sale date), Telluride will be available in four trims, LX, EX, S and SX with a choice of front-wheel or optional all-wheel drive.

    William Maley

    Unlike the last special edition, this one actually has more power

    Subaru has been keeping their S-series of WRX STI vehicles in Japan since the first model (the S201) was launched in 2000. But today at the Detroit Auto Show, Subaru has decided to treat us by bringing over the S209 to the U.S.
    Under the hood, STI has overhauled the EJ25 2.5L turbocharged boxer-four engine with an HKS turbocharger, revised intake system, forged pistons and con rods, and less-restrictive exhaust. Output has increased 310 to 341 horsepower. Torque remains at 290 pound-feet. In a nod to the 2004 to 2007 STI, Subaru has fitted an intercooler water spray system controlled via steering wheel paddles to cool down the intercooler. A six-speed manual routes power to all four wheels.
    For the chassis, Subaru has widen the track by 0.6-inches, upgraded the Bilstein dampers and bushings; added 0.8-inch rear anti-roll bar, fitted a handful of stiffening braces and bars, and a set of 265/35 Dunlop GT600A summer tires wearing 19-inch BBS wheels. Subaru claims this gives the S209 more than 1.00 g of lateral grip.
    The exterior is much more aggressive with wider fenders to allow for additional cooling, rear-fender vents to reduce drag, under spoilers all around the vehicle, and a large rear wing.
    No mention on price, but we're expecting it to be near or above the $48,995 for the last special edition WRX STI to grace our shores - the Type RA. There will only 200 models built for the U.S., either wearing WR Blue Pearl with gray wheels or Crystal White Pearl with gold wheels.
    Gallery: 2019 Subaru WRX STi S209
    Source: Subaru


    Subaru Tecnica International Unleashes Most Powerful Model Ever With Limited-Edition STI S209
    Debuts at 2019 North American International Auto Show First-ever STI-crafted S-line performance vehicle sold in the United States Limited production run of around 200 units Available exclusively in the U.S. 341-horsepower (est.) 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine Aggressive new look with wide fenders, front canards and rear wing Performance-focused chassis with flexible strut tower bar and draw stiffeners Exclusive 19 x 9-inch forged BBS® wheels with bespoke Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx® GT600A tires Brembo® brakes with new high-friction pads Available in two exterior colors: World Rally Blue Pearl and Crystal White Pearl January 14, 2019 , Camden, N.J. - Subaru Tecnica International (STI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation, today introduced the limited-edition STI S209, the first-ever S-line STI product produced exclusively for the U.S. market. As an S-line product, the STI S209 encompasses upgrades in power, handling, aerodynamics and driver engagement, and undergoes final assembly in Kiryu, Japan, where it receives engine modifications and bodywork alterations that in total require it to be homologated for the U.S. by STI; thus, the S209 is considered the first “STI-built” Subaru sold in the U.S. The S209 carries on a high-performance tradition that dates to STI-built models that were exclusive to the Japanese domestic market – the 2000 S201 through the 2018 S208.
    Designed with a focus on high-performance driving, the S209 draws inspiration and tech transfer from STI’s most formidable track machine: the WRX STI Nürburgring Challenge racecar, which won the SP3T class at the 2018 24 Hours of Nürburgring, marking the fifth time STI dominated the SP3T class at the grueling endurance race. The S209, like the Nürburgring Challenge racecar, wears an expanded wide-body exterior treatment, which extends the vehicle’s overall width to 72.4 inches, or 1.7 inches wider than a standard WRX STI. The bulging fenders accommodate wider front/rear tracks (+ 0.6 in front/rear) and 265/35 Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx® GT600A summer-only tires wrapped around lightweight 19 x 9-inch forged BBS alloy wheels. The all-new tires, developed exclusively for the S209 by Dunlop, are a significant contributor to the car’s tenacious maximum lateral grip of over 1.0 g. Vents on the front fenders provide additional engine cooling, while vents on the rear fenders rectify air turbulence to reduce drag. Brembo brakes, with cross-drilled steel rotors and 6-piston monoblock front calipers and 2-piston monoblock rear calipers, provide stout stopping force, thanks in part to upgraded high-friction pads that deliver improved fade-resistance.
    Underneath the S209’s broader body are specially developed Bilstein® dampers, stiffened coil springs, a 20mm rear stabilizer bar and pillow-type bushings for the front/rear lateral links. The S209 incorporates reinforcements to the front crossmember and rear subframes and, a la the Nürburgring racecar, a flexible front-strut tower bar and flexible front/rear draw stiffeners. The flexible tower bar, unlike a conventional rigid bar, is split and joined with a pillow ball joint in the center to be longitudinally mobile while helping laterally stiffen the body of the car. The result is optimum tire grip during lateral moments combined with compliant ride during longitudinal moments. Meanwhile, the draw stiffeners apply tension between the body and cross member to optimize chassis flex, improving stability when cornering and delivering better ride, handling and steering response. Other Nürburgring racecar tech that trickles down to the S209: front, rear and side under spoilers; front bumper canards; and carbon-fiber roof panel and rear wing.
    A thoroughly reworked version of the legendary EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine propels the S209. Featuring an STI turbocharger manufactured by HKS®, the EJ25 serves up an estimated 341 horsepower, thanks in part to a larger turbine and compressor (up 6 and 8 percent, respectively, compared to WRX STI) as well as maximum boost pressure that has been increased to 18.0 psi (16.2 psi for WRX STI). Proudly displaying an S209 serial number plate, the enhanced BOXER engine utilizes forged pistons and connecting rods that are both lighter and stronger. Midrange torque, too, gets a notable bump, up 10 percent at 3,600 rpm, delivering higher corner exit speeds when driving on track.
    For ultimate driver engagement, the S209 comes exclusively with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission that routes power to a full-time Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with front/rear limited-slip differentials, a Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD), Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control. A recalibrated SI-Drive system offers three modes: Intelligent (I) for improved fuel economy and smoother power control; Sport (S) for optimized power balance between response and control; and Sport Sharp (S#) for achieving the best acceleration times. STI engineers recommend Sport over Sport Sharp for circuit driving, as the less aggressive throttle map allows for greater driver control.
    To feed more air to the EJ25, the S209 uses a high-flow intake system featuring a new intake duct, induction box with conical air filter, silicone turbo inlet duct and, a nod from the 2004-07 WRX STI, an intercooler water spray system that lowers intercooler temperature via manually operated steering-wheel paddles. More air demands more fuel, so the S209 receives a new high-flow fuel pump, larger fuel injectors and an STI-tuned engine control module. High-performance mufflers deliver 17-percent less airflow resistance while larger hand-polished stainless-steel exhaust tips – 101mm in diameter – deliver aggressive appearance and acoustics.
    The S209 receives multiple tweaks to elevate it from other STI sedans. An STI badge replaces the traditional Subaru star cluster on the center of the D-shape steering wheel, which is wrapped in Ultrasuede® with silver stitching, a treatment that carries over to the lid of the center console storage box. An S209 serial number badge resides on the center console, and S209 badges adorn the passenger-side dash and the headrests of the Recaro® front bucket seats, which feature new silver-hued inserts. Outside, special S209 badges are affixed to the front grille and fenders as well as the rear decklid.
    Only around 200 units of the STI S209 will be built, earmarked exclusively for the U.S. Available exterior color/BBS wheel combinations will be WR Blue Pearl/gray wheels and Crystal White Pearl/gold wheels. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date in late 2019.

    Drew Dowdell

    This concept gives the passengers the center seat... literally.

    The Nissan IMs concept, with its revolutionary new proportions and stretched interior space – including a unique "Premier Seat" 2 + 1 + 2 seating architecture – is designed to create an entirely new vehicle segment, the elevated sports sedan.
    The pure electric all-wheel drive concept vehicle with full autonomous drive capability, made its world debut today at the 2019 North American International Auto Show.
    "This bold Nissan IMs concept represents the birth of an entirely new segment of vehicle – an elevated, electrified sports sedan," said Denis Le Vot, senior vice president, chairman of Management Committee, Nissan North America, Inc. Le Vot also announced that following last week's debut of the longer range 2019 Nissan LEAF e+ at the Consumer Electronics Show, Nissan will launch an additional seven electric vehicles by 2022.
    The concept's powertrain utilizes a high-performance all-wheel-drive (AWD) system powered by a pair of electric motors located at the front and rear of the vehicle. The result is an ideal front/rear weight balance, exceptional traction over slick driving surfaces and excellent cornering performance. Thanks to an advanced air suspension that adapts to different driving situations, the IMs concept possesses a silky, smooth ride quality and flat cornering character.
    The vehicle's electric powertrain consists of dual electric motors (front and rear) generates 483 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque and a 115-kWh battery provides an estimated range of 380 miles on a single charge.
    The IMs concept's standout exterior transforms the styling of a traditional sedan into a vehicle with provocative proportions, sporty character and excellent aerodynamics. Unique to Nissan, it also seamlessly marries futuristic high-tech qualities with timeless Japanese accents.
    Nissan's signature V-motion design language, which is incorporated throughout the 2019 Nissan model lineup, is emphasized on the IMs concept's grille-less front fascia through the shape and placement of the headlamps. The bold, thin V-shaped lighting design is both prominent and practical, giving the entire vehicle a futuristic yet distinctively Nissan look, while aggressive 22-inch wheels add to the vehicle's sporty attitude.
    In Autonomous Drive mode, the IMs concept's headlights and rear combination light turn blue and the lighting travels continuously from front-to-rear to notify pedestrians and other drivers of its autonomous status.
    Dominating the rear space is the innovative "Premier Seat," an oversized center seat that appears out of the three-across rear seat after the slim outboard positions are folded. The interior color treatment utilizes darker materials in contrast to the lighter, simpler exterior. Gold details are found throughout the interior, providing elements of light to the interior in the same fashion as Japanese paper door screens provide light for traditional Japanese tatami rooms.
    "This IMs concept is the latest example of how we envision the future of mobility as we head toward our goal of zero emissions and zero fatalities on the road. It is an advanced study in progressive proportions, which has resulted in a completely new type of elevated sports sedan" said Le Vot. "Combining a sleek and sexy exterior with a warm cavernous cabin, the IMs concept offers a fresh kind of driving experience, manually, autonomously and virtually."
     
     

    Drew Dowdell

    QX Inspiration concept combines an electrified all-wheel drive powertrain with SUV body and introduces a new INFINITI form language for the electrified era

    Making its debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show today, the INFINITI QX Inspiration mid-sized SUV concept serves as a precursor to the brand's first fully-electric vehicle. As a company with technological and powertrain innovation at its core, electrification is a natural next step for INFINITI, and the QX Inspiration design study previews the brand's plan to launch a range of high-performance electrified vehicles which promise an engaging drive and deliver range confidence.
    The all-wheel drive QX Inspiration concept signals a new era for INFINITI design enabled by technology, with a form language hinting at the potency and character of electrified powertrains. The new concept sets a direct precedent for the company's first fully electric production car, illustrating how new architectures and technologies are influencing modern INFINITI design. It also draws on the Japanese spatial concept of 'Ma', demonstrating how open spaces between lines create tension and builds anticipation.
    This Japanese DNA continues into the cabin. The interior of the QX Inspiration concept is hand-crafted using traditional techniques and a choice of materials inspired by a subtle Japanese sensuality. The development of new electrified vehicle platforms enables the creation of spacious, lounge-like interiors influenced by 'omotenashi', the Japanese approach to hospitality. Providing a seamlessly enabling and instinctive experience, the cabin incorporates technologies to create a welcoming environment, while assisting drivers and connecting occupants to the world around them.
     

    William Maley

    It is now official!

    It is official. Ford and Volkswagen announced this morning a new global alliance that will focus on developing "commercial vans and medium-sized pickups." Ford will handle the development of next-generation mid-size pickups (Ranger and Amarok), along with developing and building larger vans for the European market. Volkswagen for its part will work on a small city van.
    “Volkswagen and Ford will harness our collective resources, innovation capabilities and complementary market positions to even better serve millions of customers around the world. At the same time, the alliance will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness,” said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess.
    “Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society. It will not only drive significant efficiencies and help both companies improve their fitness, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility,” added Ford CEO Jim Hackett.
    The two also announced plans to explore "autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles," along with adding new vehicle programs.
    Source: Ford, Volkswagen


    Volkswagen AG And Ford Motor Company Launch Global Alliance
    Alliance leverages the two global automakers’ strengths to better compete, innovate and serve customers Alliance does not involve cross-ownership between the two companies Companies to first deliver medium pickup trucks for global customers, aiming to start in 2022, and intend to follow with commercial vans in Europe Van and pickup agreements are targeted to deliver scale and efficiencies for each company starting in 2023 Volkswagen and Ford also are committed to exploring potential collaboration on EVs, autonomous vehicles and mobility services DETROIT, Jan. 15, 2019 – Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company today announced the first formal agreements in a broad alliance that positions the companies to boost competitiveness and better serve customers in an era of rapid change in the industry.
    Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed that the companies intend to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. The alliance will drive significant scale and efficiencies and enable both companies to share investments in vehicle architectures that deliver distinct capabilities and technologies.
    The companies estimate the commercial van and pickup cooperation will yield improved annual pre-tax operating results, starting in 2023.
    In addition, Volkswagen and Ford have signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate collaboration on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles and have started to explore opportunities. Both companies also said they were open to considering additional vehicle programs in the future. The teams will continue working through details in the coming months.
    “Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society,” Hackett said. “It will not only drive significant efficiencies and help both companies improve their fitness, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility.”
    Diess added: “Volkswagen and Ford will harness our collective resources, innovation capabilities and complementary market positions to even better serve millions of customers around the world. At the same time, the alliance will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness.” 
    The alliance, which does not entail cross-ownership between the two companies, will be governed by a joint committee. This committee will be led by Hackett and Diess and will include senior executives from both companies.
    Commercial van and pickup collaboration
    Ford and Volkswagen both have strong commercial van and pickup businesses around the globe, with popular nameplates such as the Ford Transit family and Ranger as well as the Volkswagen Transporter, Caddy and Amarok.
    The companies’ collective light commercial vehicle volumes from 2018 totaled approximately 1.2 million units globally, which could represent the industry’s highest-volume collaboration as production scales.
    Demand for both medium pickups and commercial vans is expected to grow globally in the next five years. The alliance will enable the companies to share development costs, leverage their respective manufacturing capacity, boost the capability and competitiveness of their vehicles and deliver cost efficiencies, while maintaining distinct brand characteristics.
    Through the alliance, Ford will engineer and build medium-sized pickups for both companies which are expected to go to market as early as 2022. For both parties, Ford intends to engineer and build larger commercial vans for European customers, and Volkswagen intends to develop and build a city van.

    William Maley

    Nissan Previews The Next Maxima With The Sport Sedan Concept

    This is the Nissan Sport Sedan Concept and the automaker says it previews "a future production sports sedan," most likely the next Maxima.
    The Sport Sedan Concept is the third concept to show what Nissan has in mind for the designs in the future; the first two being the Resonance crossover concept and Friend-Me concept. Like the first two concepts, the Sport Sedan features what Nissan calls the V-motion grille, a large piece chrome shaped like a V. On either side of the grille are boomerang-shaped headlights. The Sport Sedan also features a floating roof, twenty-one inch alloy wheels, and number of curves flowing along the body.
    Powering the Sport Sedan Concept is a 3.5L V6 that has been retuned to produce over 300 horsepower. This is paired with a Xtronic CVT that delivers power to the front wheels.
    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
    NISSAN SPORT SEDAN CONCEPT MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT 2014 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    - Nissan provides an advanced look at a future production sports sedan
    - Offers bold and exciting sports car proportions with energetic styling, driver-oriented interior
    - Embodies next-generation Nissan design signatures, including V-Motion front aspect, distinctive "floating" roof and boomerang-shaped lamps
    Design has long been a differentiator between Nissan and its competitors – along with performance, innovation and technology. Now, as the company celebrates its 80th anniversary, it is doing so with the world debut of the Nissan Sport Sedan Concept at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    The Sport Sedan Concept, a design study with a particular emphasis on next-generation design and sporty style, was created to embody the essence of a true sports sedan – that rare execution of 4-door sedan with the aura of a real sports car. It previews a future production vehicle intended for owners with a passion for cutting-edge design and driving dynamics.
    "The Sport Sedan Concept shows a new, highly emotional and energetic design direction that takes Nissan's legendary approach of applying sports car principles to a sedan to the next level," said Nissan Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura. "The Sport Sedan Concept captures that essence with bold and exciting sports car design and proportions."
    Next-Generation Nissan Design Language
    The Sport Sedan Concept joins a trio of advanced concepts that share signature design aspects that will be adapted to all future Nissans. Along with the Nissan Resonance and Friend-ME concepts that were introduced in 2013, the Sport Sedan Concept shares the new V-Motion front aspect, "floating" roof and boomerang-shaped headlights and taillights.
    As demonstrated by the three diverse concepts, these distinctive design cues will be incorporated into a range of body types from sedans to crossovers.
    "Our new design direction mirrors the strength, power and capabilities of the engineering and innovation that serves as the foundation of every Nissan vehicle," said Nakamura. "Nissan is a brand for people seeking bold and passionate experiences, and who are willing to make choices outside of traditional boundaries. That's why Nissan is committed to breaking new ground in automotive design, as expressed in the stunning new Sport Sedan Concept."
    The exterior of the Sport Sedan Concept is marked by low, wide proportions, with a lowered hoodline and reduced ground clearance compared to traditional sedans – elements that would be right at home in a sports car.
    The "V-Motion" movement of the front end flows from the dramatic chromed grille up through the hood. The front of the Sport Sedan Concept also incorporates the large LED boomerang headlights, a deeply scooped front fascia and wide, sloped windshield.
    The profile of the vehicle is equally powerful, with its dynamic bodyside lines adding a strong sculptural feel and connecting the wheels and tires – which are pushed out to the four corners.
    There is a projection of motion, even when the vehicle is standing still. The Sport Sedan Concept rides on custom 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels mounted with low-profile 275/30R21 tires.
    The distinctive silhouette blends smoothly into the rear design, which is capped by the high deck, large chrome trunk accent and wide, deeply scooped rear fascia. As in the front, the boomerang rear combination lights accentuate the centered feeling and push outward to edges.
    The unique "floating" roof adds a sense of openness and lightness in contrast to traditional sedans' heavy cabin appearance.
    "The innovative roofline, which is also prevalent on Resonance and Friend-ME, makes it seem as if there are no pillars at all, enhancing the sense of athleticism and sportiness," said Nakamura. "The roofline also contributes to the Sport Sedan Concept's class-leading stance, which balances the look of the substantial lower body and a streamlined cabin."
    The final exterior touch is the unique "Strad Amber" paint that was inspired by the craftsmanship and rich finish of noted classic violins – instruments capable of producing vibrant intensity at times and at other times a soft stillness. The elaborate candy color paint finish is achieved through application of an orange-amber topcoat over a base of gold paint, creating a distinctive depth and bespoke richness.
    The Sport Sedan Concept's interior also offers cues to future production designs. Premium materials are found throughout, with the use of diamond-shaped graphics on the quilted seats, stitching and panels enhancing the sense of dynamic motion. Rather than traditional flat surfacing, the diamond treatment adds three-dimensionality. The edgy and geometric look was inspired by modern furniture, apparel and accessories. The interior also features high-contrast colors and facet metallic accents. All these aspects finely express Nissan's individual authenticity and modernity.
    The front-wheel drive Sport Sedan Concept is powered by a 300-plus horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine backed by a sport-tuned Xtronic CVT® and features an innovative suspension layout with performance dampers.
    The Nissan Sport Sedan Concept was created by Nissan Design America in San Diego, California and developed at the Nissan Global Design Center in Atsugi, Japan.

    Drew Dowdell

    Chevrolet will take the wraps off a concept electric car called the Bolt that will have a 200 mile range and a $30,000 price tag aimed squarely between the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3.

    On Monday, Chevrolet will be unveiling the next generation Chevrolet Volt. That car's powertrain will have the familiar Volt setup of an on-board regenerator. In addition to that, Chevrolet will be unveiling a concept car called the Bolt that can travel up to 200 miles on a single charge and has an initial price point of $30,000.
    Though the Bolt is a concept, it is set to go into production for the 2017 model year, so we could see it on the road in as little as 18 months.
    Chevrolet already builds a pure electric version of the Chevrolet Spark. It starts at around $20,000, has a range of 82 miles, and more pound-ft of torque than some full-size pickups, but it is currently only sold in California and Oregon for the sake of complying with those states' zero-emissions laws.
    The Bolt will be different though; General Motors is planning on offering the Bolt nationwide and globally with a particular eye on China with its smog problems. For domestic consumption at least, the Bolt will be built in the US at one of GM's existing plants.
    The $30,000 price point is no accident either. General Motors is targeting two prime targets, the Nissan Leaf which starts at $29,010 and has a 100 mile range, and the coming Tesla Model 3 which is said to be aiming for a $35,000 price point with a 200 mile range. If GM can meet both its price point and range target, the Bolt could become the Goldilocks electric vehicle offering both anxiety-free range and attainable price point.
    The speculation out there says that the Bolt will be a crossover hatchback, but beyond that, technical details are scarce.
    The Bolt will be revealed at a press conference that starts at 7:35am on Monday, January 12th. We will be on hand to bring you updates and pictures from the show floor.
    *Chevrolet Spark EV charge port shown in picture above courtesy of General Motors.
    You can sign up to follow all the stories from Detroit here, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
    Source: Green Car Reports and The Verge



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