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  • Detroit Auto Show

    William Maley

    That face!

    Toyota unveiled a redesigned Avalon today at the Detroit Auto Show. The previous-generation marked a turning point for the big sedan as Toyota added a bit more style and worked on improving the handling characteristics. The new model hopes to improve on both.
    The new Avalon is very polarizing in terms of its design, especially in the front with a large grille featuring slats or a mesh insert, and narrow headlights. The body features a number of creases and a coupe-like roofline. Overall, the new Avalon is larger - length grows by 0.7 inches, width by 0.8 inches, and the wheelbase by 2 inches. Some of the increase is due to Toyota moving the Avalon to their TGNA modular platform - the same one that underpins the Camry and Prius.
    Moving inside, Toyota is going with a minimalist approach with a clean dash layout and minimal brightwork. A new 9-inch screen comes with the latest version of Toyota's Entune and (finally) Apple CarPlay integration. Those wanting Android Auto are out of luck, but hopefully, Toyota will add that down the road. Other tech features include a Wi-Fi hotspot, JBL 7.1-channel audio system, QI wireless charging, and Amazon Alexa integration. 
    Power will come from two different powertrains, an updated 3.5L V6 and a brand new hybrid system with a 2.5L four-cylinder. Toyota isn't spilling numbers, but it would be safe to assume it would be similar to the Camry.
    3.5L V6: 301 Horsepower, 267 Pound-feet of Torque
    Hybrid: 208 Horsepower (Total Output)
    The V6 will come paired with an eight-speed automatic, while the hybrid makes do with a CVT.
    Under the Avalon's skin, Toyota has fitted a new multi-link rear suspension setup with thicker stabilizer bars and revised springs to improve handling. The top-line Touring gets an adaptive suspension.
    For safety, the Avalon comes standard with a number of active safety features including adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring,  lane departure warning with steering assist, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
    The 2019 Toyota Avalon arrives at dealers later this spring.
    Source: Toyota 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Attainable Premium, Actualized: All-New 2019 Toyota Avalon Beams Effortless Sophistication, Style, and Exhilaration at the 2018 North American International Auto Show
    Designed and Assembled in the U.S.A., Five Generations Strong New V6 and Toyota Hybrid System Powertrains Offering More Power and MPG New TNGA K Sedan Platform with Multi-Link Rear Suspension and Available Toyota-First Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) Standard Entune 3.0 with WiFi Hotspot, Qi Wireless Charging, Toyota Remote Connect with Smartwatch and Amazon Alexa Connectivity, and Apple CarPlay Standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) On Sale in Late Spring 2018 DETROIT, January 15, 2018 – The roads of Avalon, the mystical paradise that inspired Toyota’s flagship nameplate, have likely never seen a mid-premium sedan like this. Safe to say, neither has the North American International Auto Show. Until now.  
     
    Underpinned by a Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, and powered by a fuel-efficient 3.5-liter V6 or Toyota Hybrid System (THS II) powertrain, the 2019 Toyota Avalon embodies consumers’ overarching desire for high-caliber, design-centric, technologically-savvy modes of attainable, premium transportation.
     
    To its menu, Avalon mixes a bevy of Toyota-firsts such as standard Apple CarPlay and Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signals, available authentic Yamaha wood and aluminum cabin accents, and Engine Sound Enhancement. In addition, drivers will appreciate the standard passive and active safety benefits through Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), as well as athletic handling thanks to its available Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), also a Toyota first, that, quite positively, has Avalon out-performing its peers.
     
    Bar, you’ve just been raised.
     
    Flagship Makeover
     
    For its fifth generation, Avalon received an all-encompassing makeover by Toyota’s U.S.-based design, engineering, and manufacturing entities at Calty Design Research Inc. (Calty) in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Toyota Motor North America Research and Development (TMNA R&D) in Saline, Michigan; and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) in Georgetown, Kentucky, respectively. Spearheaded by Chief Engineer, Randy Stephens, and Calty President, Kevin Hunter, the brain trust masterminded an Avalon that represents multilateral progressiveness – for itself, its diverse group of drivers, and, for Toyota.
     
    The teams minded two keywords throughout their development paradigm: Authenticity and Exhilaration. Both were applied in every area of Avalon’s sophisticated essence, and throughout the four available grades: the athletic XSE (all-new) and Touring, as well as the more opulent XLE and Limited. Hybrid grades include XLE, Limited, and XSE.
     
    Hello, Technical Beauty
     
    A wealth of Calty signature elements cocoons Avalon’s long, low-slung TNGA musculature. Its expressive looks diligently reflect the mixture of all-encompassing, performance-focused personality, the invigorating driver experience, and a premium, spacious image.
     
    A philosophy of Technical Beauty permeates Avalon’s body lines and cabin landscapes. Technical, which aligns with Authenticity, represents purpose and performance – tangible elements of the sedan’s style. Beauty, which aligns with Exhilaration, represents onlookers’ emotional reaction to Avalon’s taut lines and sleek silhouette.
     
    Because of its adaptable TNGA core, the Calty team penned Avalon’s exterior to be longer, lower, and wider than before. Unique, never-before-accomplished stamping methods also aided in the deep draw panels that express distinguishable sculpted forms. Complex surfaces could now be shaped, like at Avalon’s door handles that coincide with its profile’s bold character line. A distinct, carved lower rocker panel behind the front wheels visually exemplifies the benefits of TNGA.
     
    Avalon’s dimensions echo the seductive physiques of high-dollar premium vehicles. Its cabin, however, keeps its characteristic low-profile heritage by extending the rear cabin farther by another 7 inches, and elongating side quarter glass and downward tapered C-Pillar by 2.2 inches. To finalize the ingenious profile, engineers and designers implemented a 0.31-inch radius corner – the tightest ever for Toyota – fore of the steep pillar.
     
    Avalon’s various height measurements have been trimmed: overall (by 1 in. to 56.5 in.), cowl (by 1.2 in.), and rear deck (by 0.8 in.). So too have front and rear overhangs (down 0.4 in. and 1.0 in., respectively). Along with its wider front (up 0.4 in.) and rear (up 1.5 in.) tracks, width (up 0.8 in. to 72.8 in.), and wheelbase (up 2.0 in.), Avalon’s premium aura and sporty stature are further emphasized.
     
    Nowhere is Toyota’s “Under Priority” brand identity (a direction that prioritizes aerodynamic efficiency, cooling, and pedestrian protection) more clear than at Avalon’s stunning face. Available slim all-LED projector headlights simultaneously speak to its sportiness and elegance. They’re but a piece of the façade’s compelling story, though, that depicts the intersection of three-dimensional surfaces and assorted functions – the aluminum hood’s longitudinal lines and lightweight build; the wide, modern grilles built for air-slicing sleekness; tangential vents at its lower portion crafted for the effective direction of passing air across the front tires and along Avalon’s buff flanks. The chiseled doors achieve a deeper character line thanks to TNGA prototype stamping applied at TMMK.
     
    Simple horizontal character lines slice across the backside, at the top, center, and lower portions. Its 72.8-in. width, in effect, is highlighted substantially by the distinct sectioning. Connected LED tail lamps shaped in a three-dimensional, “aero fin” style differentiate the landscape from the current iteration. They integrate backup, stop, and turn lights into a single harmonious, fluid form.
     
    Differences between the grades are clear. A dark gray front grille with chrome border, for instance, is a telltale sign of the XLE and Limited versions. So too are the machined-silver LED headlight bezels, body-color rearview mirror housings, and unique wheels ranging in diameter from 17 to 19 inches. Chrome badge letters, as well as dual exhaust with chrome tips individualize the grades.
     
    A more aggressive attitude is worn by XSE and Touring. A piano black mesh grille, machine-finish and Gloss Black wheels, as well as black outer mirror housings are special to the grades. Headlight bezels – also in black – create an engaging mystique never before possessed by Avalon. Rear traits include trunk lid spoiler and badging in black, and a grade-specific lower diffuser set above and between quad tailpipes.
     
    The lineup adopts two all-new Toyota colors: Opulent Amber and Harbor Gray Metallic. Carryover colors include Celestial Silver Metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, and Parisian Night Pearl; new-for-Avalon options include Wind Chill Pearl and Ruby Flare Pearl.
     
    Form follows function in Avalon. The tangential vents at the front, its rear spoiler, and the substantial underbody panel coverage, from front nose to tail, minimize aerodynamic inefficiencies and give Avalon a 0.27 coefficient of drag – besting the outgoing model’s 0.28 Cd.
    Enlightened Lighting
     
    Avalon’s available LED Vision Tech headlamps are the most advanced lighting realized by Toyota. The slim headlights employed by XLE and XSE grades utilize a cluster of three reflectors for Daytime Running Lights (DRL) and low- and high-beam functions, providing exceptional light disbursement in an array of situations, including foul, low-visibility weather.
     
    For Limited and Touring, each headlamp is comprised of thin lighting modules – one for low beam, another for high – plus, an Adaptive LED Cornering lamp and a Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signal. Each is a Toyota First. The innovative cornering lamps enhance visibility around corners and curves during low- and high-speed maneuvers, as well as when changing lanes or when reversing. The lamp fades in and out for seamless activations and transitions, and adds 60 percent more foreground width to the low beam’s pattern. The Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signal provides an added degree of noticeable visibility by activating each auxiliary diode in sequential fashion, rather than all on, all off.
     
    Another Toyota first intersects the trifecta of lighting elements within the headlamp: Signature DRL and Parking Light with Technical Laser Ablation. The technology allows light to transmit through its transparent areas encased by a laser-ablated, metallized inner lens. Laser ablation creates a specialized texture by way of intricate patterning.
     
    Avalon’s LED taillights also implement laser ablation on Limited and Touring’s units, as well as Dynamic Auxiliary Turn Signal. The lamps’ three-dimensional Aero Fin Jet makeup insets the reverse indicator below the rear lamp, effectively widening the look of the housing, and, in turn, the sedan’s muscular hips.
     
    Cockpit Meets Cocoon
     
    Avalon’s fluency in luxuriousness and exhilarating extroversions isn’t restrained to its provocative looks. Its TNGA platform’s thin structural pillars and broad windshield lend to the wide, open impression that passengers garner, be they seated in front or rear rows.
     
    Upon opening Avalon’s doors, an overarching simplicity and a purposeful placement of amenities and controls welcomes passengers. Authentic materials, such as the available Yamaha-sourced wood-trim and authentic aluminum pieces, accent arm rests, center console, and instrument panels.
     
    Soft-touch materials are noticeable throughout – around the flowing, low-profile center console decorated in piano black trim; on the slim, tiered instrument panel leading into the doors; in the rear compartment, where doors and console mirror the impressive craftsmanship seen in the front cockpit. A rear cup and device holder, accented in piano black and satin chrome-finish, folds up and down in the armrest between passengers. Ahead of their knees and within arm’s reach: air vents, controls for the available seat warmers, and essential USB charging ports. Deep curvatures in the doors’ armrests provide passengers with ample surface area and comfort during long commutes. Rear seat roominess is exemplified by Avalon’s segment-best measurements in three categories: shoulder room (57.1 in.), leg space (40.3 in. for V6; 40.4 in. for Hybrid), and headroom (37.5 in. for V6; 37.1 in. for Hybrid).
     
    Material differentiation between grades is minimal; engineered wood trim is found on XLE, while Limited features real wood trim. Aluminum pieces adorn Touring’s and XSE’s cabins. A mix of Perforated Ultrasuede wraps all seating in Touring and XSE; Softex seats within XLE receive artistic vertical stitching. Limited goes beyond this creative approach by adding a quilt pattern, special perforation, and two-color stitches – all unique to Toyota.
     
    New-for-2019 Cognac colored leather-surfaces highlights Limited’s upscale vibe. Joining Cognac in Limited’s color quiver are available gray and beige leather-trim; XSE and Touring can be had in either gray or black Perforated Ultrasuede; XLE receives a trio of color offerings with gray, beige, or black Softex.
     
    At the front seats, attentions are immediately fixated on Avalon’s slim center stack. The thin panel houses Avalon’s 9-inch multimedia system (MMS) displaying audio and navigation, and integrates the automotive climate control system. Satin chrome-finish decoration surrounds the center cluster panel that “floats” above the instrument panel, further emphasizing the balanced aura of the modern atmosphere. Below the panel, passengers have easy access to the slide-open eBin containing a 12-volt plug and the standard wireless Qi mobile device charger. A trio of USB power ports (making for five total) is located inside the center console. A part cup-holder, part phone cradle located atop the front console, sits adjacent to the gear selector; supple padding lines either side of the console’s lower tunnel at knee height.
     
    A three-spoke steering wheel welcomes drivers’ eyes and hands with smooth, satin chrome-finish accents and conveniently placed multifunction controls. Visually, the wheel’s aesthetic is neater, having a trimmed inner physique and smaller switch cluster, while hand grips have been enlarged. Cruise Control is now accessible on the wheel’s right spoke. Also for the first time in Avalon, the steering wheel can be wrapped in a two-tone leather-surface when outfitted in Cognac or gray.
     
    Past the steering wheel, a 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) shows vehicle information, turn-by-turn navigation, and various vehicle settings (including those pertaining to Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, available Intelligent Clearance Sonar, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Head-Up Display). Two new menus can be accessed by drivers, including a digital speedometer and, in Hybrid grades, a digital tachometer when its shifter is in “S” mode.
     
    On the MID’s left, there’s a tachometer with long bright white needles and updated typeface. On its right, a speedometer. Hybrid grades receive the same central 7-inch screen, but to its left sits a Hybrid System Indicator showing the vehicle’s regeneration status in CHG (charge), ECO (economy), or PWR (power) in real time. Save for XLE’s gauges, the tachometer/hybrid powertrain meter and speedometer on XSE, Limited, and Touring are surrounded by 3D Glow Rings. A chrome ring borders the entire meter cluster on all grades.
     
    Limited and Touring’s standard color 10-inch Head-Up Display (HUD) – the biggest in the segment – clearly projects important info, such as vehicle and engine speeds, turn-by-turn directions, audio settings, and drive mode, right onto the lower portion of the windshield. It helps drivers stay focused on the road ahead, and is one third of Avalon’s “driver control zone” made of MMS, MID, and HUD. All of them align seamlessly for optimum communication between occupants and vehicle.
    Mega Multimedia
     
    A JBL performance audio system is standard on Limited and Touring grades and is available on XLE and XSE grades. XLE and XSE passengers can listen to crisp tunes on a standard 8-speaker system having Entune 3.0 Audio Plus with Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link App and Entune 3.0 App Suite Connect, featuring new in-vehicle third-party applications. Apple CarPlay is standard on all grades.
     
    Entune 3.0 Toyota Connected Services include: Safety Connect and Service Connect with a 3-year trial period, and Remote Connect with a 6-month trial. Wi-Fi Connect Powered by Verizon trial with up to 2GB within 6 months and Entune 3.0 App Suite is subscription-free.
     
    The system’s new 9-inch capacitive touchscreen can be pinched and flicked, just like personal mobile devices – perfect for pinpointing your favorite pizza joint. Its refresh rate is quicker, its voice recognition is more perceptive, and it better recognizes users’ gestures.
     
    Avalon will also feature Toyota’s first integration of smartwatch or Amazon Alexa-enabled device connectivity, as part of Toyota Remote Connect. This innovative connection allows drivers to lock/unlock their doors, start their engine, or check their fuel level, all from the convenience of their smartwatch or Amazon Alexa-enabled device. It’s voice controllable too, and compatible with select Android or Apple devices. Toyota is among the first automakers to feature Amazon-enabled device connectivity capable of executing home-to-car and car-to-home interactions.
     
    With a standard 14-speaker system – the most speakers in the segment – and full suite of Entune 3.0 Premium Audio, passengers seated within Limited and Touring grades are treated to unprecedented aural and visual stimulus. Many Toyota-first applications with advanced software and hardware are optional for XLE and XSE drivers as well. They too can be equipped with embedded Dynamic Navigation.
     
    1200 Watts, Tailored by JBL
     
    Engineers benchmarked the best systems, two vehicle classes up, into the higher-priced premium large sedan segment. The result: a 14-speaker, 1200-watt, precisely-tuned 7.1-channel surround sound that leverages the benefits of a robust TNGA structure, and utilizes the top in hardware, structural engineering, and software technology.
     
    Key highlights:
    Hardware: Four 1-inch freestanding JB Horn Tweeters control the directivity of sound waves to maximize the optimal listening area at ear level One 12-channel next-generation, Class-D HID12 amplifier to pump 1200 watts of total power to the system, allowing for improved performance and unparalleled efficiency One 10-inch Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer to provide more powerful, deep bass response Two 6-inch Wide Dispersion Speakers in rear doors Two 8x9-inch Wide Dispersion Woofers in front doors Five 3-inch Wide Dispersion Midrange Speakers throughout Software: Clari-Fi rebuilds crucial audio signals lost during digital compression Quantum Logic Surround (Toyota First) to create an unprecedented 7.1-channel surround sound listening experience from any signal source Structure: Sealed inner doors for cleaner, more powerful bass JBL Branding, located on A-Pillar, door trim, and multimedia display The Toyota first Quantum Logic Surround combines individual signal streams of music by using patented filter bank technology and psychoacoustic modeling to create an immersive multi-channel listening experience with exceptional clarity, detail, and image specificity. Clari-Fi analyzes audio streams in real time, rebuilds key details lost in processing, and restores high-fidelity.
    Mid-Size Sedan Heart, Small Car Efficiency
     
    Hustle, athleticism, and fuel-efficiency. Each of these riveting traits has improved, in large part, because of two new TNGA powertrains: a punchy 3.5-liter V6 (2GR-FKS), and, a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) with 650-volt electric motor (A25A-FXS) and Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT). Avalon Hybrid continues to be the only full hybrid vehicle in the segment.
     
    The TNGA-derived V6 develops more power with less fuel consumption than ever before. Achieving the two took the application of D-4S direct injection, along with an updated VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) variable valve timing system.
     
    The VVT-iW system is employed on the intake cycle, with VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing - Intelligent) activated on exhaust. With VVT-iW in place, engineers ensured optimal torque creation at all engine speeds, and minimized pumping losses during the closing of intake valves, which furthered fuel efficiency. The use of Atkinson cycle, too, reduces the V6’s fuel appetite, particularly in cold climates or during wide-open throttle (WOT) situations.
     
    Other V6 specifications include a 11.8:1 compression ratio and bore (3.7 in.) and stroke (3.3 in.) dimensions.
     
    Gears for All Occasions
     
    An all-new TNGA 8-speed Direct Shift-8AT automatic transaxle gearbox (UA80E) channels power to the Avalon’s front wheels. It merges smooth, precise gear selection throughout the RPM range with an alacrity for fuel efficiency and on-demand power. Its revised logic control better matches vehicle speed, engine speed, and torque engagement, while also facilitating poised downshifts.
     
    Its eight gear ratios balance wide range and close ratios, therefore enhancing power application and fuel efficiency. A wider range, specifically at the increased 8th gear ratio, allows for improved high-speed cruising fuel economy. Close ratios at the mid-range gears improve passing power.
     
    A new torque converter provides a wider range of lock-up operation (versus the outgoing 6-speed automatic transmission) to imbue a more enveloping and direct driving feel. The converter contributes to low fuel consumption and passenger comfort, since engine revving is kept to a minimum.
     
    The most thrilling shifting experience, however, is reserved for XSE and Touring drivers, whose optional steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters up Avalon’s sportiness ante without question. The paddles give quick access to gear selection, and when downshifting, the gearbox automatically “rev-matches” for smoother shifts.
     
    Avalon Hybrid: The Most Fuel Efficient Avalon Ever
     
    A new TNGA 2.5-liter four-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine is more fuel efficient, runs cleaner, and is more powerful than previous iterations, and excels at dissipating thermal inefficiencies. Doing it all took the implementation of Toyota’s vast catalog of advanced engine technologies: Dual VVT-i with VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing intelligent system by Electric motor); D-4S (Direct injection 4-stroke gasoline engine Superior version) direct injection and laser-clad valve seats; longer stroke (4.07 inches; bore remains at 3.44 inches) and high compression ratio (14:1); multi-hole direct fuel injectors; a variable cooling system; cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system; and a full variable oil pump.
     
    Instead of oil pressure, its Dual VVT-i with VVT-iE variable valve system employs an electric motor to control variable valve timing, which aids fuel efficiency and promotes cleaner exhaust emissions (this is especially helpful in cold climates). The D-4S direct injection combines higher-pressure direct fuel injection (DI) and lower-pressure port fuel injection (PFI), and applies each method of injection based on specific driving parameters. Furthering fuel efficiency are new multi-hole nozzle direct injectors (six holes per injector).
     
    The Ultimate Happy Marriage 
     
    The four-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine is married to an all-new Toyota Hybrid System II powertrain that’s been engineered to inspire both spirited driving and fuel consciousness. THS II uses two electric motors – MG1 and MG2 – to supplement the charging of the hybrid system’s Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack, while MG2 assists the engine.
     
    New for 2019, the highly compact battery pack now resides under the rear passenger seat (instead of the trunk), as a result of improved TNGA packaging and for the betterment of a lower center of gravity. THS II’s new lighter, smaller Power Control Unit (PCU) packages microcontrollers within a power stack structure that’s located above the transaxle – all with the goal of lowering mass to better handling composure.
     
    Efficiencies on many levels are seen with the implementation of the new PCU. Energy loss in the conversion efficiency of the transaxle and electric motor is reduced by approximately 20 percent, and its cooling system’s energy loss is cut by approximately 10 percent. The PCU’s DC-DC converter – which converts a direct current from one voltage level to another – is optimized to reduce overall power consumption. Dimensionally, DC-DC converter’s output filter is smaller, lighter, and quieter for an improved passenger experience.
     
    Auto Glide Control (AGC), yet another of Avalon’s fuel-saving technologies, automatically calculates efficient coasting. When driving normally, engine braking will slow the vehicle down when the driver lifts off from the accelerator pedal. However, to avoid aggressive engine braking, AGC limits the loss of vehicle speed through an automatic drive setting that acts more like a neutral gear, allowing the vehicle to coast to the stoplight.
     
    A light indicating “AGC” is illuminated on the Multi-Information Display (MID) when AGC is active to alert the driver that less deceleration torque than normal is currently being used.  AGC can only be activated when the vehicle is being operated in the ECO drive mode setting.
     
    But who said all hybrids are docile?
     
    Adding more than a sprinkle of spark to Avalon Hybrid’s sporty skillset is the inclusion of a new Sport drive mode and Sequential Shiftmatic technology. The Sport drive mode applies power from the hybrid system for improved acceleration and, as a bonus, all drive modes, including Sport, can each be used while EV mode is activated. With Shiftmatic technology, XSE drivers can “shift” through the Continuously-Variable Transmission’s six simulated gears via steering-wheel mounted paddles or the gearshift.
     
    Piquing the Adventurous Side
     
    Complementing Avalon’s daring looks is a thrilling drive personality imbued by an array of available sport-oriented tools – which, together, represent a Toyota first. Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), Intake Sound Generator (ISG), grade-specific exhaust baffle tuning, Active Noise Control (ANC), and Engine Sound Enhancement (ESE) fully exemplify Avalon’s most adventurous zeal ever. A more comprehensive four-level drive mode selection – which includes Eco, Normal, Sport/ Sport+, and Custom – is available on Touring, too. All other grades receive a three-level drive mode selection (Eco, Normal, Sport).
     
    Touring’s standard Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) provides real-time damping control to maximize controllability and sharp handling. The astute setup reduces Avalon’s posture fluctuations under hard or sudden directional changes, limits body movements, and yet absorbs nasty road undulations for a comfortable, flat ride.
     
    AVS relies on three primary systems to accomplish its mission: shock absorbers at each corner that have solenoid control valves for independent wheel control; advanced front and rear G Sensors to comprehend the vehicle’s condition; and, an intelligent central ECU that reacts to the G Sensor’s observations by dictating exact damping adjustments to the shock absorbers’ solenoids.
     
    Levels of AVS’ damping force are continuously variable, with a maximum of 650 steps. Changes in solenoid force – which restrict absorber fluid and, thus, damping – happen in an incredible 20 milliseconds. Drivers can adjust Avalon’s ride feel with the simple depression of a button – Normal mode prioritizes comfort, while Sport+ emphasizes handling with tauter, highly responsive footing without diminishing Avalon’s celebrated ride suppleness. Progressing from Normal to Sport+ also benefits Avalon’s liveliness. For example, throttle response becomes quicker, the Electronic Power Steering’s (EPS) feel emphasizes feedback, and its engine sound is enhanced through ESE.
     
    The new multi-link rear suspension allows for the enhancement of many positive performance attributes, such as a wider rear track, lower center of gravity, and an aggressive stance. Revised trailing arms have been installed at a higher position to place the pivot axis of the tire rearward for better bump absorption. The setup’s shock absorbers are tilted forward, too, to realize a suppler ride. Bushings on the trailing arms and arm joints further mask passing road imperfections.
     
    Although not equipped with AVS, XLE, Limited, and XSE take full advantage of their innately sporty platform and multi-link rear suspension and, to them, add thicker stabilizer bars and stiffer spring rates for maximum handling dexterity. Spring stiffness, for example, is increased 25 percent when comparing XLE to Limited; stabilizer bar stiffness is up 38 percent and 62 percent, front and rear, respectively, when progressing from XLE to XSE.
     
    World Class Acoustics, Inside and Out
     
    Avalon’s refined acoustic repertoire spans inside and out. Through Sport+, passengers receive a concerto of exciting, natural sounds through a new exhaust system with sport modified baffles, an Intake Sound Generator (ISG), Active Noise Control (ANC), and Engine Sound Enhancement (ESE).
     
    ISG amplifies the engine’s air inhalation sound to create robust vocalization and, on the exhalation end, the all-new exhaust with baffle tuning ups the sound character at start-up, idle, and acceleration. ANC and ESE work to cancel any unwanted exterior noise while simultaneously enhancing engine sound via the JBL multimedia system’s in-cabin speakers. Exceptional engine notes at start-up are also enhanced; a hearty “flare” of sound occurs right before idle upon start-up. At wide-open-throttle acceleration, more engine grunt is heard throughout the rev range.
     
    For all its added energetic vocalization, Avalon never ceases to deliver a civilized, library-quiet interior, if desired. Road noise and engine droning have been culled while cruising quietness and engine sound have been improved. Its TNGA platform utilizes additional seals where front fenders meet front doors and where the doors merge at the B-Pillar. More sound absorption material is found in the engine bay, within the carpet pad, under the floor, and in the wheel well liners. The exterior rearview mirrors not only reduce drag, but also wind noise, making for an extremely quite environment for all.
     
    Top Toyota Safety Tech
     
    Avalon’s standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) suite of safety systems and technologies represents one step closer to achieving Toyota Motor Corporation’s ultimate goal of zero casualties from traffic accidents.
     
    TSS-P bundles cutting edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA); and Automatic High Beams (AHB). Additional standard safety technology includes Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Back Guide Monitor (BGM).
     
    Also available are Panoramic View Monitor with Alert (PVMA) and Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), which now includes a Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system.
     
    All 2019 Avalons have 10 standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. All Avalons also come equipped with a standard backup camera.

    Drew Dowdell

    Complete redesign of RDX is the first model to fully use Acura's new design language.

    Acura unveiled the 2019 Acura RDX prototype at the 2018 North American International Auto Show today in Detroit.  The 2019 RDX is a clean sheet redesign of Acura's smallest crossover and is the first Acura model to fully use Acura's new design language first shown on the Acura Precision concept.
    The 2019 RDX will become available in mid-2018 and will feature a 2.0T Turbocharged engine, SH-AWD,  a segment first 10-speed automatic, and an all new Acura exclusive platform. The 2.0T has been reconfigured to provide better low end torque than the outgoing model.  
    Inside the Acura receives upgrades like Napa leather and open pore olive grain wood.  The infotainment system features a 10.5 inch display controlled with a touchpad type system.  The infotainment system features an all new operating system which also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 
    The RDX will be assembled at Honda's plant in East Liberty, Ohio.
    Click here for more 2018 Detroit Auto Show News
    Click here for more Acura News
    Acura Press Release on Page 2


    2019 Acura RDX Prototype Debuts with Evocative Styling, Higher Performance, New Tech and Luxury Appointments
      Jan 15, 2018 - DETROIT Most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade signals the beginning of a new era for the luxury automaker Perennial top-selling, 5-passenger luxury SUV to launch this year as quickest, best-handling RDX ever Powerful 2.0L DOHC VTEC® Turbo engine, segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission and return of torque vectoring Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ Intuitive new True Touchpad Interface, panoramic roof and authentic, premium materials create a versatile cabin built for drivers New A-Spec variant available at launch The 2019 Acura RDX Prototype made its world debut today at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, providing a first look at the bold new design, advanced technology and luxury features of the luxury, five-passenger SUV, launching later this year. An established, perennial top-seller, the RDX has recorded five consecutive years of record sales and seven straight years of year-over-year sales growth1.
    The 2019 Acura RDX, presaged by the RDX Prototype, has undergone a clean-sheet, top-to-bottom remake and will be the first Acura model to fully embody Acura's new design language as envisioned in the Acura Precision Concept, and its new interior design and technology as imagined in the Acura Precision Cockpit. Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the all-new 2019 RDX will launch in mid-2018 with exhilarating performance, class-leading cabin and cargo space, and a host of groundbreaking new Acura technologies that will set a new standard in the entry-level luxury SUV segment. In addition, the 2019 RDX will be the first Acura SUV offered with an A-Spec trim, adding sport styling inside and out. The brand has announced that all core Acura models developed moving forward will receive A-Spec treatment.
    The all-new, third generation RDX has been reengineered on a new, Acura-exclusive platform featuring a lighter and dramatically stiffened body, a sophisticated new chassis and an all-new powertrain – a powerful, yet fuel-efficient 2.0-liter DOHC VTEC® Turbo engine mated to a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission. The 2019 model also will mark the return of Acura Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) to RDX, in its most advanced form yet, giving RDX the most sophisticated and capable torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system in its class.
    The 2019 Acura RDX Prototype also debuts a completely new, Acura True Touchpad Interface, designed from a clean slate, combining the best elements of a touchscreen and remote interface in one powerful system. 
    "The all-new RDX delivers a powerful statement about who we are and where we are headed as a brand," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura. "For our customers, the new RDX is a quantum leap forward in design, style and performance, with luxury features and technology that will elevate their ownership experience."
    Inspired and Evocative New Design
    In creating the new RDX, Acura designers worked from the foundations of the Acura Precision Concept, adapting its low, wide and sleek presence to a five-passenger SUV. The new RDX Prototype boasts more athletic stance and proportions with a wider track (+1.2 inches), longer wheelbase (+2.5 inches) and shortened front overhang, with wheels pushed to the corners.
    The new design flows outward from Acura's signature diamond pentagon grille, with RDX being the first model designed from the ground-up around the brand's bold new face. The distinctive front fascia is married to a sharply sculpted body with sharp and dynamic character lines and all-LED exterior lighting featuring the next-generation of Acura Jewel Eye™ LED headlights. 
    Powerful, Crisp Acceleration and Precision Handling 
    The RDX takes power from a new 2.0 liter, 16-valve DOHC direct-injected engine with a low-inertia mono-scroll turbo and DOHC VTEC™ valvetrain and Dual Variable Timing Cam (Dual VTC), delivering 40 percent more low-end torque than the outgoing RDX. The new engine is mated up to a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission (10AT) that responds quickly to the will of the driver, with crisp and refined shifts that capitalize on the 2.0-liter engine's flat torque curve.
    All-wheel-drive variants of the new Acura RDX will utilize the next generation of Acura SH-AWD® featuring a newly developed rear differential with a 150 percent increase in maximum torque capacity relative to the outgoing RDX, making it the most advanced and capable torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system in the segment.
    An available new Adaptive Damper System is tied into the NSX-inspired Integrated Dynamics System with four distinct drive modes; Sport, Sport+, Comfort and Snow. Like the NSX, a prominent drive mode dial is placed high in the center console, allowing drivers to quickly tune performance settings to suit their needs in every driving environment. 
     Modern, Spacious and Luxurious Cabin Built for Drivers
    The new exterior design of the RDX is carried through to its more spacious, sophisticated and tech-savvy cabin, which boasts a floating center console inspired by the Acura Precision Cockpit, newly designed power sport seats with a matching sports steering wheel, and contemporary detailing using authentic, high-grade materials throughout, including Napa leather, brushed aluminum and open-pore Olive Ash wood.
    The new RDX's longer wheelbase contributes to a larger passenger cabin with first-class comfort for five passengers, with class-leading cabin space, rear legroom and rear cargo space. The heated and ventilated front sport seats feature a more intricately sculpted and styled design covered in softer and more durable full-grain Napa leather, supported by 16-way power adjustment for both driver and front passenger.
    All 2019 RDX models will come equipped with a new ultra-wide panoramic sliding moonroof, the largest in its class.
    Acura True Touchpad Interface
    The RDX heralds the launch of Acura's all-new, True Touchpad Interface, which features an Android-based operating system projected onto a dual-zone, 10.2-inch full-HD display mounted high atop the center console close to the driver's natural line of sight, and an available interactive head-up display (HUD). 
    The system is designed to combine the advantages of both conventional touchscreen and remote-based approaches. A traditional touchscreen is intuitive and direct – what you see is what you press – but the placement of the screen is out of the driver's natural line-of-sight. A remote interface solves this problem, but the interaction between the remote and display is often clumsy.
    Unlike existing remote interfaces that operate like a computer mouse, every spot on the RDX's touchpad is mapped precisely – one-to-one – with the corresponding action on the center display – as the world's first application of absolute positioning in the driving environment. For instance, a tap on the top left corner of the touchpad corresponds precisely with the action on the top left of the center display. 
    All elements of the Acura True Touchpad Interface, including the new operating system with simple, clean graphics and menu structures, were designed in concert to work seamlessly with one another. Also debuting on the RDX, is a new natural language voice recognition system, which dramatically improves the ease and intuitiveness of voice commands in the vehicle.
    "Absolute positioning transforms the touchpad experience, making it personal, intuitive and particularly well-suited for premium, driver-centric, performance machines," said Ross Miller, senior engineer of user interface research. "It's also designed to be adopted quickly and easily, as drivers become acclimated and comfortable in minutes."
    Stand-out Features and Technology
    The 2019 RDX Prototype uses four ultra-thin, ceiling-mounted speakers to add a new dimension of sound and fidelity to the audio experience. The 16-channel, 710-watt Acura ELS Studio 3D system was developed by Panasonic and tuned by Grammy-winning music producer and longtime Acura partner, Elliott Scheiner.
    All 2019 RDX models will come equipped with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. Additional available connected-car and driver-assistive features include next-generation AcuraLink® with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Hill Start Assist, Surround-View Camera System, front and rear parking sensors, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor and Blind Spot Information system.
    Design, Developed and Manufactured in America
    Development of the 2019 Acura RDX was led for the first time by a U.S. R&D team, with styling by the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, California, and development by an engineering team in Raymond, Ohio. All RDX models for the North American market will continue to be built in the company's East Liberty, Ohio plant2. Its 2.0-liter DOHC VTEC Turbo engine will be made in Anna, Ohio2, in the same plant building the NSX's twin turbo engine. RDX's 10-speed automatic transmission will be manufactured in the company's Tallapoosa, Georgia plant2.
    For More Information 
    Additional media information including pricing, features and high-resolution photography is available at acuranews.com/channels/acura-automobiles. Consumer information is available at http://www.acura.com. Follow Acura on social media at https://acura.us/SocialChannels.
    About Acura
    Acura is a leading automotive luxury nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance, representing the original values of the Acura brand – a commitment to evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability
    The Acura lineup features six distinctive models – the RLX premium, luxury sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the 5-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, the seven-passenger Acura MDX, America's all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV and the next-generation, electrified NSX supercar as a new and pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance.

    William Maley

    Finally, We're getting an N model!

    Has it really been eight years since Hyundai revealed the Veloster? According to our calculations, the answer is yes. So today at the Detroit Auto Show, Hyundai debut not one, but two Velosters.
    We'll begin with the regular Veloster. The basic shape hasn't really changed, it has only been refined. The cowl and A-Pillar have moved slightly back to make way for a longer front end. The new grille that made its debut on the Sonata is present here on the Veloster. The dual door layout on the passenger side is present as is the center-mounted exhaust. Moving inside, the Veloster gets a major overhaul with a new asymmetrical design for the dash. A 7-inch touchscreen is standard, while an 8-inch is available as option. New for the Veloster is a heads-up display.
    The base engine is a 2.0L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder producing 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque - increases of 15 hp and 12 lb-ft over the current 1.6L four-cylinder. Next is a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet - same engine found in the Elantra and Elantra GT Sport. The 2.0 comes with the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic, while the turbo 1.6 makes do with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch.
    The Veloster uses the same underpinnings as the Elantra GT, meaning it gets an independent multilink setup for the rear. Hyundai has fitted a thicker anti-roll bar for the front and added one for the rear. The standard Veloster comes with a pseudo torque vectoring system (uses the brakes) and the Turbo comes fitted with a quicker steering rack.

    The second Veloster to make its debut at Detroit is the Veloster N, the first N product to arrive in North America. It begins with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder pumping out 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque - the latter is available between 1,450 to 4,700 rpm. This comes exclusively paired with a six-speed manual that comes with a stronger clutch and upgraded synchronizers.
    Under the skin, the chassis features "Power Sense” axle geometry that will cut down on torque steer and provide better steering feel. Also helping keeping the car in line is a limited-slip differential. Finishing off the changes for the chassis, N has fitted an adaptive suspension, thicker stabilizer bar, and upgraded brakes. A set of 18-inch wheels come wrapped Michelin Pilot SuperSports, while optional 19-inch wheels use Pirelli P-Zeros.
    The exterior of the Veloster N stands out with a slightly different front fascia with air intakes for the brakes, side skirts, larger rear spoiler, rear diffuser, and an exclusive “Performance Blue” paint.
    The 2019 Veloster arrives at Hyundai dealers in the second quarter of this year, with the N following in the fourth quarter.
    Source:  Hyundai
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Hyundai Reveals All-New 2019 Veloster and Veloster Turbo
    Veloster retains unique two-plus-one door asymmetrical bodystyle configuration Available 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque Generous cutting-edge infotainment and connectivity features Standard multi-link rear suspension for agile dynamics DETROIT, Jan. 15, 2018 – Hyundai today unveiled its all-new Veloster and Veloster Turbo models at the North American International Auto Show. The fresh design was a collaborative effort of Hyundai designers from Seoul, South Korea and the U.S. design center in Irvine, California. The new Veloster features a comprehensive exterior and interior redesign, powertrain enhancements, and a bevy of new and improved infotainment and connectivity features. The 2019 Veloster begins production in March 2018 in Ulsan, Korea, with U.S. market availability in the second quarter of 2018.
    “Our new 2019 Veloster represents an even more compelling offering for young and young-at-heart automotive enthusiasts with more expressive design, involving dynamics and cutting-edge infotainment features,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning at Hyundai Motor America. “When combined with Hyundai’s outstanding value and efficiency, the new Veloster is sure to attract a progressive new group of enthusiast buyers.”
    ALL-NEW DESIGN
    The Veloster merges the design appeal of a sport coupe with the versatility of an additional passenger side rear door in an asymmetrical two-plus-one configuration for easier rear-seat access. From the front, available LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights flank a striking new grille design. Functional air curtains add both a visual design cue and an active aerodynamic function. Hyundai’s signature cascade grille shape has morphed into a strong, three-dimensional design that sets the sport coupe apart.
    Much of the redesign is derived from enhanced proportions and volume; the new shape clearly conveys focused dynamic performance, even standing still. Its stance is more muscular, with higher-volume fenders and wheel arches for a more planted appearance. The cowl point and A-pillar are further rearward and now connect the hood line and belt line into an integrated, powerful gesture. Available 18-inch alloy wheels aggressively fill the wheelhouse openings. Further, the roofline has been lowered for a unique profile and a distinctive coupe-inspired essence. The fender line is also more coupe-like, and the rear now has a more aggressive integrated diffuser design. Available LED taillights help complete the rear view with a high-tech appearance.
    Also available is a full darkened roof treatment for a high-contrast performance appearance. Veloster’s dynamic rear design has a distinctive glass hatch and center-fascia chrome exhaust tips, with a single outlet for the 2.0-liter model and dual-outlets for Turbo and R-Spec models.
    INTERIOR
    The asymmetrical design carries through to the interior, with a driver-focused interior layout and on the Turbo Ultimate, a contrasting color environment that visually separates the driving cockpit. Each trim level has unique colors, materials, and accents, further differentiating each model with varying hues and textures.
    2.0-LITER NU ENGINE  
    The Veloster 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine uses the Atkinson-cycle for superior efficiency and lower emissions.
    The 2.0-liter engine delivers a peak output of 147 horsepower at 6,200 rpm (estimated) and maximum torque of 132 lb.-ft. at 4,500 rpm (estimated). The Nu 2.0-liter also features Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, an electronic throttle control, variable induction and innovative anti-friction coatings. The 2.0-liter engine is coupled with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission. Three driver-selectable modes include Normal, Sport, and Smart, according to changing driver preferences.
    GAMMA 1.6-LITER TURBOCHARGED ENGINE
    The 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder engine produces 201 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (estimated) and 195 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,500-4,500 rpm (estimated). Turbo models generate 201 horsepower on regular fuel, which represents a best-in-class specific output of 125.6 horsepower per liter. Further, there is an over-boost function that raises peak torque output to 202 lb.-ft. under maximum acceleration. Engine tuning maximizes low- and mid-range torque, for optimum acceleration under daily driving conditions.
    Veloster Turbo is paired with a standard six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT). Both transmissions were developed in-house by Hyundai. The Veloster Turbo seven-speed dual-clutch transmission features steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters and SHIFTRONIC® transmission gear control. In addition, all Veloster Turbo models feature Active Sound Design, which enhances intake and exhaust powertrain sound character inside the cabin for a more visceral driving experience, especially during spirited driving. Turbo models also offer three selectable driving modes, including Normal, Sport and Smart, according to driver preferences for engine, transmission and steering feel.
    TORQUE VECTORING CONTROL
    All Veloster models offer Torque Vectoring Control (TVC). This active cornering feature utilizing capabilities from the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and powertrain control systems, allows Veloster to improve dynamic cornering during more enthusiastic driving. TVC uses wheel-speed sensors coupled with ESC algorithms to apply precise braking force to the inside front wheel during spirited cornering. This active braking redirects power to the outside front wheel in the turn, reducing wheelspin for enhanced cornering grip and corner-exit acceleration. Overall, this provides Veloster drivers with an incremental margin of cornering precision during enthusiastic driving.            
    Further, Veloster Turbo features a quicker-ratio steering rack and a revised steering calibration to match, which gives drivers precise cornering, feedback and control.
    DCT TRANSMISSION
    Hyundai’s EcoShift DCT takes the benefits of a manual transmission, such as low fuel consumption, and blends these with automatic transmission benefits, such as high comfort levels and driving ease. In addition, the DCT enables direct connection for high efficiency and uninterrupted torque transfer during shifts. The DCT also incorporates Hyundai’s Hillstart Assist Control (HAC), designed to minimize rolling backwards on steep ascents.
    Veloster’s compelling combination of performance with efficiency is a formula many industry competitors are seeking to duplicate. Hyundai’s development focus on all the factors of efficient performance, such as small-displacement turbocharged engines, dual-clutch transmissions, comprehensive lightweighting, efficient aerodynamics, and reduction of parasitic engine losses through electric-powered ancillaries, have combined to yield simultaneous benefits in performance and efficiency to the consumer.
    TURBO MODEL SPORT-TUNED DYNAMICS
    Veloster Turbos are fitted with a McPherson strut front suspension, coil springs, gas shock absorbers and a 24-mm diameter front stabilizer bar. The rear suspension is a lightweight independent multi-link design with a 19-mm stabilizer bar to further control body roll. The rear suspension uses gas-pressurized shock absorbers for ride comfort with excellent control. Veloster features electric power steering that adjusts assistance to changing driving conditions while improving fuel economy over a conventional steering system. When equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, available 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted with Michelin® Pilot Sport 4 summer tires.
    ADVANCED STANDARD SAFETY
    Veloster offers advanced active safety features, including standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), which uses the car’s front-facing camera to detect an imminent collision and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking autonomously. Three additional systems also utilize the front-view camera to boost safety and convenience: Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), High Beam Assist (HBA) for the available LED headlights, and Driver Attention Warning (DAW).
    By sensing road markings, LKA helps to prevent accidental lane departure by helping to steer the vehicle as required. HBA automatically controls the high beam headlights by dimming and illuminating them automatically as needed with approaching traffic, while the Driver Attention Warning system monitors a spectrum of driver-related characteristics to detect driver fatigue or careless driving.
    Veloster radar systems also assist with the available Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) to detect approaching vehicles from the rear that may be obscured from view and alert the driver of their presence during lane changes. The Rear Cross-Traffic Collison Warning (RCCW) detects when another vehicle may have entered the car’s rearward path, such as when backing out of a parking spot, and provides a driver alert. Veloster Turbo also offers available Smart Cruise Control for additional driver convenience.
    All Velosters feature a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines fitted to all models for superior parking visibility. Velosters have an exceptional level of standard safety features for the sporty coupe segment highlighted by a Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, which optimally manages ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and the Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS).
    VSM works to control two effects. The first is when a driver accelerates or brakes on a split-mu surface (slippery on one side, dry pavement on the other) and the vehicle wants to pull in one direction. VSM detects this condition and sends a signal to the MDPS to apply steering assist to counter this force. VSM counters the pull and automatically provides counter steering. VSM reacts the same way during sudden lane changes or fast cornering.
    All Velosters feature six airbags—including dual front, front seat-mounted side-impact, and front and rear side curtain airbags. Velosters also features a state-of-the-art braking package. The package includes four-wheel disc brakes and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) including Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), to automatically adjust the braking force to front and rear axles based on vehicle loading conditions.
    ADVANCED INFOTAINMENT AND CONNECTIVITY
    Veloster offers a full suite of sophisticated technologies paired with user-friendly functionality to keep passengers informed and entertained. The premium infotainment system offers various advanced connectivity features, including standard Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™. Also available are SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio and next-generation Blue Link® LTE-powered connectivity. The standard seven-inch color LCD display includes AM/FM/MP3 touchscreen audio, auxiliary input, and Rear View Monitor. The available floating-design eight-inch touchscreen navigation display includes next-generation Blue Link, traffic flow and incident data via HD radio, and Infinity® premium audio with eight speakers, including a subwoofer and Clari-Fi ™ music-restoration technology. Smartphone integration is also included in the premium system.
    A Heads-Up Display system is available, projecting a virtual image onto the transparent panel mounted behind the instrument panel and helping the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road. With a generous projected-image size and outstanding luminance, the Heads-Up Display ensures both excellent day- and night-time visibility. Information projected includes speed, navigation instructions, cruise control, Lane Departure Warning and audio system information. When in Sport mode, the system projects more driver-focused information including RPM, MPH and transmission gear. Deployed vertically by a simple touch of a button beside the steering wheel, the display disappears into the dashboard when not in use.
    Customers expect to be connected to their electronics at all times, so Veloster comes standard with a multifunction seven-inch touchscreen display. Veloster audio/navigation systems also offer:
    Available Qi wireless-charging capability Available eight-inch display audio or audio/navigation system Multi-touch screen with menu swipe function Available HD Radio® capability “Eyes Free” Apple Siri® integration for iPhone Navigation map and music split-screen display function Navigation map with enhanced junction-view lane guidance Veloster Turbo features standard Infinity Premium audio with eight speakers, including a subwoofer, passive radiator and external amplifier. A SiriusXM® Satellite Radio interface is integrated into the head unit and features channel logos and data services.
    Veloster also offers available smartphone wireless charging. To charge a device, simply place a compatible smartphone on the wireless-charging interface located in the center console storage, recharging without the need for cables. The system indicates when the phone has fully charged, reminds occupants to remove their phone when exiting the vehicle, and detects when a foreign object is in the recharging area that could interfere with charging. The system is fully compliant with WPC’s Qi standard for ease of use.
    NEXT-GENERATION BLUE LINK® CONNECTED CAR SYSTEM
    Veloster offers Blue Link®, including three years of complimentary Blue Link services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and guidance services. Blue Link brings connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com web portal, the Blue Link smartphone app, the Amazon® Alexa Blue Link skill, and the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear™ and Apple Watch™ smartwatch apps. The latest release of the Blue Link smartphone app includes:
    Widgets for easy access to remote features Ability to send Point-of-Interest data to vehicle navigation system (if so equipped) Access to Blue Link notification settings COLOR
    Veloster is available in a variety of energetic exterior colors, including: Ultra Black, Chalk White, Sonic Silver, Thunder Gray, Sunset Orange, Racing Red, and Space Gray. Interior environments include cloth, cloth/leather combinations, and all leather.
    Hyundai Reveals First U.S. Market High Performance Model for New N Line-Up: 2019 Veloster N
    Veloster N model demonstrates performance potential for Hyundai N Line-up in the U.S. 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with up to 275 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque Electronically-controlled suspension with multiple track-tuned driving modes N model integrated body design details clearly differentiate from Veloster line DETROIT, Jan. 15, 2018 – Hyundai today unveiled its high performance Veloster N model for the U.S. market at the North American International Auto Show. Hyundai’s first U.S. market N model leverages the outstanding, new-for-2019 Veloster platform, showcasing an even higher level of performance appealing to the most discerning of automotive enthusiasts.
    Hyundai’s high performance N line-up was developed to make the driver’s heart beat faster whenever they’re behind the wheel. Instead of focusing on outright performance numbers, Hyundai chose to emphasize the N driver’s heartbeats per minute (BPM), rather than revs per minute (RPM). With fun-to-drive character as a top priority, Veloster N has been developed to deliver thrilling cornering ability coupled with everyday sports car drivability and race track capability.
    Veloster N was born in Namyang, Hyundai’s global R&D center, and was thoroughly honed at its Nurburgring-based testing center in Germany. The Veloster N begins production in September 2018 in Ulsan, Korea, with U.S. market availability in the fourth quarter of 2018.
    “Veloster N takes Hyundai to a new level of purchase consideration for true driving enthusiasts in the U.S. market,” said Albert Biermann, president and head of Performance Development and High Performance Vehicle Division, Hyundai Motor Group. “The Veloster N is another example of Hyundai Motor's capabilities, creating an exciting sports car with thrilling dynamics combined with a compelling affordability equation as key to the N high-performance concept.”
    The Veloster N offers a comprehensive degree of exterior, interior and mechanical differentiation even beyond the Veloster Turbo and R-Spec models.
    N EXTERIOR DIFFERENTIATION
    From the outside, Veloster N provides an exclusive N-design front fascia and grille with dedicated front air ducts for enhanced brake cooling.
    In profile, exclusive N-design rocker side sills and available lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels with a machined-finish dual-spoke star design clearly differentiate the N model from other Veloster models. Tires are of the ultra-high performance category, with standard 225/40R18 Michelin Pilot SuperSport summer tires for the 18-inch wheel design and exclusive-compound 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero summer tires for the available 19-inch alloy wheel.
    The rear of the Veloster N sports a larger N-design rear spoiler, rear fascia design with integrated diffuser, and performance-diameter, high-flow dual exhaust.
    N INTERIOR DESIGN
    On the inside, Veloster N offers exclusive N-design front cloth sport seats with performance-focused bolstering, N-design steering wheel, shift knob, N-logo door sill plates, and N-design instrument cluster. Interior details are accented by an N performance blue accent theme. As engine speed approaches redline, the N-design center cluster displays a progressive sequential shift indicator, alerting the driver of an impending shift point for maximum acceleration.
    N POWERTRAIN
    Mechanically, Veloster N offers a larger 2.0-liter, direct-injected turbocharged powerplant over the Veloster Turbo. The engine boasts up to an available 275 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (estimated) and up to 260 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,450-4,700 rpm (estimated) for responsive, thrilling performance at every RPM range. The turbo system intercooler is isolated from the condenser and radiator for even more efficient cooling of the intake charge. The system also benefits from a two-stage induction system for maximum output at all rpm ranges. The engine compression ratio is 9.5:1, high for a turbocharged engine. The high performance engine is backed up by a close-ratio, short-throw six-speed manual transmission with downshift rev-matching capability. The transmission uses carbon-coated synchro rings and gear material reinforcement for smoother operation and lower overall shift force coupled with a positive engagement feel. The Veloster N clutch also utilizes a double-layer facing clutch disc design for increased burst strength and torque capability. In addition, the powertrain sports a multi-mode, high-flow active sport exhaust system with a variable exhaust actuator. In N mode, this system yields an exhilarating engine over-run exhaust crackle during spirited-driving upshifts and rev-matched downshifts.
    N SUSPENSION GEOMETRY AND TUNING
    Generous torque from the turbocharged powertrain is smoothly and efficiently driven to the tarmac by an N Power Sense Axle design. Veloster N’s Power Sense axle geometry features a zero-scrub radius for more precise steering, quicker response, and a direct on-center feel, with increased steering linearity. The geometry is further optimized for linear torque build up and corner-exit precision. Roll angle is also decreased due to a shorter roll-moment arm, resulting in enhanced grip. The motor-driven power steering system is rack-mounted and secured at three locations for reduced flex and more direct handling, especially during high-performance driving. For even greater body rigidity and suspension precision under high dynamic cornering loads, a specially designed, unobtrusive rear strut brace reinforces the rear multi-link suspension mounting points.
    Unique suspension tuning is derived from a multi-mode electronically-controlled suspension with a track-focused N mode available. The suspension uses a load transfer control system that reduces dive during braking, enhances roll control during cornering and reduces rear suspension compression under hard acceleration.
    Outstanding cornering is further achieved via an available electronically-controled N Corner-Carving Limited-slip Differential. The N Corner Carving Differential improves launch performance, reduces acceleration slip understeer and increases maximum cornering speed via precise torque-vectoring.
    Veloster N offers a wide range of driver tuning preference via its N Grin Control System drive mode selection system. Modes include Normal, Sport, N, Eco and N Custom, differentiating engine throttle response, engine speed rev-matching, exhaust note, active differential tuning, suspension damping rates, steering feel and yaw-control characteristics. N Custom mode allows comprehensive driving character preferences via uniquely customizable settings for each tunable driving attribute.
    N BRAKING
    Veloster N available braking offers oversized 13.6-inch performance rotors on the front axle and 12.4-inch rotors on the rear, for confident, heat-dissipating braking performance coupled with a firm pedal feel. Standard Veloster N brake rotors are 13.0 inches in the front and 11.8 inches in the rear.
    N COLOR
    Veloster N models are available in four exterior colors for the U.S. market: Ultra Black, Chalk White, Racing Red, and N-exclusive Performance Blue, inspired by Hyundai Motorsport. Interior combinations are black with unique molding accent colors tailored to the exterior combination.

    Drew Dowdell

    Xmotion previews Nissan styling direction, and a probable future look for the Nissan Rogue.

    Previous Page Next Page At the 2018 North American International Auto Show today, Nissan unveiled the Nissan Xmotion concept.  This concept is a preview of Nissan's styling direction and in this specific case a possible preview of the next version of the Nissan Rogue.
    The strong styling takes some existing Nissan signature design elements and brings them to the extreme.  The Xmotion features giant boomerang style headlamps and Nissan's deep Vmotion grille.  The interior features exotic seats that are shaped like ships that float in the water.  Nissan even included a floor carpet pattern that resembles the waves of the ocean. The center console is meant to evoke a bridge over the water below. 
    Concept cars are a showcase for future technologies that the manufacturer would like to pursue and the Xmotion is no exception. The Xmotion features fingerprint start and a virtual personal assistant in the shape of a kaoi. The car will retrieve information from your smartphone and automatically bring up the navigation to set the destination.  The displays and infotainment can further be controlled by gestures and eye movement. 
    The Xmotion also signals Nissan's next level in autonomous driving. While in autonomous driving mode the virtual assistant kaoi will search for local attractions and suggest things to see while you are traveling. 
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    Nissan Press Release on Page 2
    DETROIT – Nissan today revealed the Xmotion concept, a design exploration for a potentially groundbreaking compact SUV, building on the company’s long history of cutting-edge crossovers and SUVs.
    Making its world debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the six-passenger, three-row Nissan Xmotion (pronounced "cross motion") concept fuses Japanese culture and traditional craftsmanship with American-style utility and new-generation Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology.
    "In the Xmotion concept, we explored the more rugged and powerful side of Nissan Intelligent Mobility. Bold and powerful forms and proportions are, upon closer inspection, contrasted with aspects of traditional Japanese craftsmanship expressed in a contemporary way," said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of global design at Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. "The exterior's combination of western and eastern concepts continues inside the Xmotion, where advanced connectivity and autonomous technologies mix with modern Japanese digital art and cultural craftsmanship. At a glance, Xmotion may appear to have a minimal design language, but a closer look reveals layers of detail that make this concept exceptional."
    Signaling the future of Nissan design, the Xmotion concept's stunning exterior features a powerful dynamic presence with understated sculptural beauty, including unique U-shaped highlights and a bold evolution of Nissan's signature V-motion grille.
    The visual simplicity of the Xmotion concept exterior is contrasted by the rugged, metal-crafted wheels and all-terrain tire design. Like the rest of vehicle, the mechanical tool-inspired wheels and all-terrain tires coexist as one piece, with the tire tread physically laminated over the 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Additional exterior features include a retractable "rooftop box" and a unique tail light design inspired by Japanese woodwork.
    With its long wheelbase, with wheels and tires pushed out to the extremes of the corners, the Xmotion concept allows for the creation of a fresh, "4+2" passenger layout. Featuring three rows of side-by-side individual seats, it's designed to provide a perfect space for a young couple, another couple and two children or pets in the third row.
    Inside, the Xmotion concept's crafted interior design symbolizes a Japanese landscape, honoring Nissan's roots while incorporating advanced graphic user interfaces and autonomous driving technologies.
    The interior itself was created with the imagery of a river on the floor, with the center console acting as a bridge. The console, the core of the interior design, uses a traditional Japanese architectural wood joinery technique, kanawa tsugi, found in the carpentry used to build religious temples and shrines.
    The Xmotion concept's instrument panel design is a modern interpretation of traditional kigumi wood joinery. By using the kigumi structure in the instrument panel and console, the vehicle's interior suggests a robust bone structure, creating a sense of strength and trust.
    The interior includes a total of seven digital screen portions. Three main displays and left and right end displays span the width of the instrument panel. There's also a "digital room mirror" in the ceiling and a center console display.
    The displays and infotainment system can be controlled by gestures and eye movements. Intuitive controls and a voice command system allow drivers to focus on driving, helping them access various information in a smart, easy and safe manner.
    "We envision the Xmotion concept to be a highly functional SUV that can be driven every day, yet can take the owners and friends to a national park or recreation area on a whim," Albaisa said. "With its combination of style and technology, this concept fulfills Nissan's mission of moving people to a better world."
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    William Maley

    All looks... Not sure about the substance

    After weeks of teasing us, Infiniti has finally spilled the details on the Q Inspiration Concept today at the Detroit Auto Show.
    The best way we can describe the Q Inspiration is the Japanese automaker's take on the Porsche Panamera. It features the classic proportions of a coupe with a long front end, sloping roofline, and short rear deck. The front is quite busy with a "double-arch" grille finished in white. Move inside to see the very minimalist and clean interior layout. The seats look quite futuristic with white leather upholstery and orange accents. 
    At first, we thought the Q Inspiration would feature an electric powertrain of some kind, due to the lack of tailpipes. Instead, the Q Inspiration uses the recently launched VC-Turbo engine found in the QX50. VC-Turbo for those who need a quick refresher automatically adjusts the compression ratio to improve performance or fuel economy. The concept also features Infiniti's ProPilot autonomous drive system that will allow for end-to-end autonomous capability.
    While the Q Inspiration will likely remain as a concept, the design ideas will be used on future Infiniti models.
    Source: Infiniti
    Press Release is on Page 2
     INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept: power beyond convention
    INFINITI reveals new form language for an era of advanced powertrains Minimalist and human-centric interior design Concept suggests future applications for world's first production-ready VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine New ProPILOT technologies liberate the driver from mundane and stressful drives DETROIT – Previewing a new generation of INFINITI vehicles, the Q Inspiration Concept proposes how an innovative VC-Turbo powertrain, next-level autonomous drive technologies, and a unique human-centric interior could enrich the experience of drivers in the mid-size sedan segment. The Q Inspiration Concept is meant to demonstrate future technologies and will not be available for sale.
    Representing the next step in INFINITI design, the exterior of the Q Inspiration Concept features clear and concise lines with dynamic and confident proportions. It is the first manifestation of INFINITI's new form language for an era of advanced powertrains. The concept eschews classical sedan forms with its coupe-like appearance and elongated silhouette, presenting INFINITI's design vision for vehicles in this segment.
    The cabin follows a minimalist approach, with a concise and clean interior design enveloping the driver and passengers in a serene and comfortable environment. The intelligently packaged four-cylinder VC-Turbo has liberated INFINITI's designers from the constraints of powertrain architecture to realize a spacious interior. Modern technology and craftsmanship merge inside the cabin, presented in a way that enables, rather than distracts, the driver.
    Powered by INFINITI's revolutionary VC-Turbo technology – the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine – the Q Inspiration boasts a powertrain combining turbocharged gasoline power with the torque and efficiency of a hybrid or diesel engine. VC-Turbo continually transforms, adjusting its compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency, resulting in the smart application of power for greater driver control. As a mid-size sedan concept, the Q Inspiration previews other near-future applications for INFINITI's variable compression ratio VC-Turbo engine technology.
    New ProPILOT functionality liberates the driver from mundane and stressful driving situations. Realizing the next stage in vehicle autonomy for INFINITI, ProPILOT enables drivers to delegate more stressful driving tasks to the car, and enjoy an enhanced ability to respond to hazards. With the system acting as a co-pilot, the driver always retains ultimate control.
    "The premium sedan segment has become rather conservative. The INFINITI Q Inspiration previews something that could appeal to a younger audience, who seek modern design and new technologies to inspire and empower them."
    Christian Meunier, INFINITI Global Division Vice President

    William Maley

    Goodbye Crosshair Grille, Hello Mild-Hybrid System

    Previous Page Next Page This year's edition of the Detroit Auto Show is all about the trucks as Chevrolet introduced a redesigned Silverado and Ford is bringing back the Ranger. This morning, Ram has completed the trifecta with the launch of the 2019 Ram 1500.
    As we first saw in a leaked photo a few days ago, the 2019 Ram loses the big-rig styling that has been part of its identity since the 1994 model. This is most evident on the front end where the crosshair grille goes bye-bye and is replaced by a new grille design with the "RAM" smack dab in the middle. The front fenders has been raised to give the front a more upright look. Depending on the trim, the headlights will either be the standard ones found on the current Ram 1500 or LED headlights that are slim. The rest of the truck is an evolution of the current model with a similar style for the cab and bed.
    Thankfully, Ram has made significant changes to other parts of the truck. The interior, for example, is a step forward with a modern design for the dash, bigger center console, and crew-cab models boasting one of the largest back seats in the class. Three version's of FCA's UConnect infotainment system will be on offer ranging in size from 5 to a new 12-inch system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability will be standard on the larger screens.
    Under the hood are a 3.6L Pentastar V6 and 5.7L HEMI V8. Power figures are the same as you'll find in the current Ram 1500; 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque for the V6, and 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet. The V6 comes standard with what Ram calls the eTorque 48-volt mild hybrid system. This adds 90 pound-feet of torque for short bursts. eTorque is available on the V8 where it adds 130 pound-feet. The mild-hybrid system also adds stop/start capability and regenerative braking. An eight-speed automatic comes standard for both engines. Those wondering where is the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6, you'll have to wait until the 2019 model year.
    The 2019 Ram 1500 is about 225 pounds lighter than the current model. This comes down to high-strength steel being used in the ladder-frame, an electronic parking brake, and a number of aluminum bits such as the hood and tailgate. 
    For the suspension, Ram retains the five-link coil suspension for the rear and coil-over springs for the front. A set of composite upper and aluminum lower control arms, along with the front stabilizer bar being moved behind the tires helps improve overall stability. New shocks feature frequency response dampening that adjusts the overall damping depending on the road conditions - a softer ride when driving over a bumpy road, stiffens up when cornering.
    Ram is increasing the amount of safety equipment fitted to the 2019 Ram 1500. This includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, around-view camera system, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.
    You'll won't be waiting too long for the 2019 Ram 1500 as the brand says it will launch sometime in the first quarter.
    Source: Ram Trucks
    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-new 2019 Ram 1500 – No Compromise Truck, Leading in Durability, Technology and Efficiency
     
    Engineering
    Overall weight reductions totaling nearly 225 pounds net when compared to previous model New frame features 98 percent high-strength steel to improve durability, weight and rigidity for improved handling Strongest Ram 1500 ever with most efficient frame in the segment – 100 pounds lighter with 98 percent high-strength steel Maximum payload increased to 2,300 pounds, and maximum trailer tow to 12,700 pounds New Ram 1500 is the segment’s most aerodynamic pickup with .357 coefficient of drag and features exclusive active aerodynamics: grille shutters, air dam and air suspension All-new Frequency Response Damping (FRD) shocks deliver the best combination of ride, handling and comfort in a pickup Next generation, class-exclusive air suspension enhances fuel efficiency, improves ride, and gives greater off-road capability, load-leveling and entry/exit convenience Largest front brakes in segment at 14.9 inches and new electric parking brake New 4x4 Off-road Package includes suspension with one-inch lift, electronic locking rear axle, tuned shocks and Hill-descent Control Powertrain
    2019 Ram 1500 delivers significant gains in fuel efficiency with eTorque mild hybrid system on second generation 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and legendary 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engines – widest use of mild hybrid technology in the segment eTorque combines belt-drive motor generator unit with 48-volt battery pack to enable start/stop function, short-term torque assist and brake energy regeneration eTorque adds up to 90 lb.-ft. of torque to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and up to 130 lb.-ft. to the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 Frame-mounted active tuned mass modules (ATMM) and Active Noise Cancellation in cabin expand use of Fuel Saving Technology cylinder cutoff on 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and enable quiet cabin at 67.1 db New generation of TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions provide improved efficiency with more powerful control computers New electronic locking rear differential is standard on 4x4 Off-road Package and Rebel, available on all models Heat exchanger system now includes industry-first thermal axle to quickly warm rear axle gear oil, maximizing axle during warm-up Uconnect
    All-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers innovative, state-of-the-art technology with award-winning fourth-generation Uconnect system and class-exclusive, 12-inch reconfigurable touchscreen display featuring split-screen capability for dual-application operation All-new SiriusXM with 360L personalized listening experience with more variety, smart content, recommendations and thousands of hours of on-demand audio Fourth-generation Uconnect system SiriusXM Guardian Connected Services delivers advanced in-vehicle connected services, including 4G Wi-Fi hotspot capability The most powerful audio system ever available in a pickup, Harman Kardon audio system with 19 premium speakers, 900-watt surround sound amplifier, 10-inch subwoofer and active noise cancelation 360-degree Surround View Camera with bird’s-eye perspective of vehicle New multifunction USB ports and optional integrated wireless charging pad Available navigation system accommodates one-step, voice-controlled destination entry and enhanced 3-D navigation map graphics Android Auto and Apple CarPlay enable link with Uconnect 8.4-inch and 12-inch touchscreens Design
    All-new 2019 Ram 1500 gears up for high-end with innovative design, highest quality materials and class-exclusive technology with “unbreakable interlocking” theme for enhanced appearance and aerodynamics The new face of Ram includes a chiseled Ram’s head logo and “RAM” grilles Most dramatic differentiation between models across six distinct price classes All-new full LED Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), including twin bi-functional projector headlamps, fog lamps and tail lamps Lighter, longer and wider, including an overall cab length increase of four inches, creating the most spacious interior for additional features and passenger comfort Nearly 100 percent more storage capacity versus closest competitor at 151.1 liters First FCA application of 12-inch fully configurable touch screen includes tailor-made graphics for various Ram models Reimagined center console with 12 different storage configurations offers never-before-seen customization for the most active interior real estate Second row includes slide reclining seats to eight degrees, a true flat-load floor with integrated RamBins with tie-down rings and expandable under seat storage All-new switch bank with dedicated toggle switches, wireless charging dock and up to five USBs, including four type C/A ports Safety and Security
    All-new 2019 Ram 1500 offers more than 100 safety and security features Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop, Go and Hold Forward Collision Warning-Plus warns the driver if impact appears imminent, and assists driver response by deploying brakes Ready Alert Braking and Trailer-sway Damping control LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus alerts and assist the driver with corrective action ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park and Hill-start Assist uses ultrasonic sensors to help the driver perform technical maneuvers AUBURN HILLS, MICH., JAN 15, 2018  -  The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 becomes the benchmark for durability, technology, efficiency and convenience with features never before offered in a pickup.
    Overall weight for the Ram 1500 has been reduced by 225 pounds. As the truck’s backbone, the frame uses advanced materials and engineering to eliminate 100 pounds while increasing stiffness and durability for 12,700 pounds of towing capability and 2,300 pounds of payload.
     
    An all-new eTorque system delivers improved fuel efficiency in both V-6 and V-8 configurations.
     
    As a segment disrupter, the new Uconnect 4C with a massive 12-inch touchscreen leads the pickup world with technology featuring split-screen capability, 360-degree camera views and exclusive content from SiriusXM with 360L.
     
    Active safety and security systems join the technology onslaught with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, Blind-spot Monitoring and ready alert braking.
     
    “The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers a no-compromise approach to the full-size truck segment with strength, durability, technology and efficiency,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand. “The Ram 1500 offers truck buyers leading-edge innovation with 225 pounds of weight reduction, 12,700 pounds of towing capability, a stunning Uconnect 12-inch touchscreen display and active systems that improve fuel efficiency and assist drivers. The Ram 1500 stands out as the benchmark in a very competitive segment.”
     
    Engineering
    The new Ram 1500 uses the longest, lightest and most efficient frame in the half-ton truck segment. The chassis has reduced weight by 120 pounds – 100 pounds from the frame alone delivering a maximum payload of 2,300 pounds and maximum trailer tow capacity of 12,700 pounds. The strongest Ram 1500 frame ever produced includes the same impact countermeasures across all configurations, and is made from 98 percent high-strength steel. Exclusive front splayed frame rail technology (patent pending) creates a highly efficient energy absorbing structure for all impact modes, including front-offset with frame integration forward of front tire. Also, frame-mounted high-strength steel tire blockers are placed behind the front tires to force wheels outward in the event of impact. Additionally, side rails are taller and fully boxed. To further improve NVH, new electronically controlled side-frame-mounted active tuned-mass modules (ATMM) work in harmony with an interior active noise cancellation (ANC) system on 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 equipped models to reduce ambient sounds down to a low 67.1 db – the quietest Ram 1500 ever. Rear cross members are double sheer welded to the inside and outside of the frame for improved durability and roll stiffness.
     
    Helping to create the most spacious cab in the segment, three new, longer frame lengths are offered: a 144.5-inch wheelbase on Crew Cab short beds and a 153.5-inch wheelbase on Crew Cab long beds – both four inches longer than their predecessors. The Quad Cab long bed has a wheelbase of 140.5 inches. Ram’s newest pickup offers a turning radius of just 46.2 feet, curb to curb.
     
    New independent front suspension components combine lightweight composite upper control arms, aluminum lower control arms and retuned geometry for improved responsiveness and handling. The front stabilizer bar is relocated behind the front tires, further improving roll stiffness by 20 percent. A new front coil-over shock design is standard equipment on all Ram 1500s regardless of configuration.
     
    The third generation, exclusive rear five-link coil suspension design provides better articulation over obstacles than a leaf spring system, and the new progressive coil springs are more than up to the task of handling a payload of 2,300 pounds and towing capability of 12,700 pounds.
     
    Frequency Response Damping (FRD) shocks
    Frequency Response Damping (FRD) technology has found its way into the 2019 Ram 1500 shocks on all four corners. When the Ram 1500 experiences a slower input, common during cornering and heavy braking, the bypass valve is closed for more aggressive damping, which provides additional stability and poise. When driving normally or exposed to faster shock inputs – which is common on rough roads or at higher speeds – the valve will open to soften the damping, giving the driver more comfort, confidence and control.
    Tailgate
    The new aluminum tailgate not only features damping during opening, it also integrates a lift assist measure. Unlike most competitors, Ram uses a nitrogen- and oil-charged strut, which gives consistent assist in even the coldest or warmest climates and consistent assist through the entire tailgate swing. The latch-and-lock mechanism is now electronic, reducing the amount of moving parts and allowing owners to drop the tailgate with the interior switch, remotely with the key fob or unlock/open with passive entry. Customers with arms full will appreciate the ability to easily access the bed on approach.
     
    Lightweight materials
    Reducing the weight of components on the new Ram 1500 improves fuel economy and allows for more content while raising payload and towing capability. By using effective high-strength steels, composites and aluminum, the 2019 Ram 1500 has dropped nearly 120 pounds from the chassis (100 pounds from frame alone) and nearly 225 pounds overall when compared to the previous generation. Additional weight reductions balance out added content to provide new comfort and fuel-saving content.
     
    The all-new Ram 1500 also takes advantage of lightweight aluminum for selective components, not just where possible but where practical. Although the Ram 1500 hood and select chassis components pioneered aluminum in 2009, the following chassis elements on the Ram 1500 made a notable reduction in weight by moving to aluminum in the all-new model:
    Tailgate Engine mounts Front axle center section Front suspension crossmember Transmission crossmember Steering system gear Lightweighting also involves substituting composites for metal – which offer high-tensile strength at very low weight while improving durability. The upper front suspension control arms (integrated with a steel structure), and the air dam structure are made from, or combined with, composite materials. The weight reductions allow for more convenience, comfort and entertainment features but also innovative fuel-saving technology, such as thermal management, eTorque and active aerodynamics.
    Aerodynamics
    Further demonstrating efficiency through engineering, extensive wind-tunnel testing honed the 2019 Ram 1500 exterior shape, resulting in continued, class-leading aerodynamics. Also, the cooperative application of active aerodynamics and modern styling led to a nine percent aerodynamic improvement on the new truck. The 2019 Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x2 coefficient of drag is .357.
    As the 2019 Ram 1500 approaches 35 miles per hour (mph), a standard active front air dam automatically extends downward 2.5 inches (non-air suspension and Rebel trucks). The optional air suspension system lowers the truck 0.6 inches improving overall aerodynamics and efficiency. The new Ram 1500 also employs an active grille shutter system, which automatically closes the airflow through the huge grille when cooling is least needed.
     
    The body of the new Ram 1500 is the product of design and engineering cooperation at its best. The new Ram 1500’s elevated hood better directs air away from the wiper area – improving overall aerodynamics and reducing wind noise. A new venturi roof design directs air back to the rear spoiler – making it the most effective pickup roof treatment to date.
     
    Significant time was dedicated to designing the truck bed itself to increase usability and aerodynamics. Bed rails are raised by 1.5 inches to reduce drag as does a new spoiler on the new aluminum tailgate. The bed-to-cab execution is sub-flush to reduce disturbance alongside the body. A wheel-to-wheel tubular side-step design offers aerodynamic improvements by allowing air to pass around the truck more smoothly. A segment-exclusive lockable tri-fold tonneau cover serves a dual purpose by improving fuel economy by 0.8 percent and adding security and weather protection for bed storage.
     
    Air suspension
    The segment’s best ride and handling gets even better with the addition of FRD shocks with air suspension. The 2019 Ram 1500 is the only full-size pickup available with a four-corner air suspension system for optimal ride and aerodynamic performance. Another benefit of the new air suspension is the load-leveling capability, which automatically detects load on the suspension from a trailer or payload. The gas pressure increases until the vehicle reaches normal ride height, leveling the truck and improving the loaded ride. Additionally, a separate button on the key fob gives the operator the ability to manually lower the truck, allowing for ease of passenger entry and bed loading.
     
    Off-road
    Ram now adds a robust 4x4 Off-road Package for the Ram 1500 on nearly every trim. The offering includes a one-inch suspension lift, with or without the available four-corner air suspension. An electronic-locking rear differential and 32-inch on/off-road tires on 18- or available 20-inch wheels provide additional grip. Hill-descent Control, an off-road-biased rear suspension geometry (Rebel and 4x4 Off-road Package) and unique off-road-calibrated shocks bolster trail capability. The package also includes robust skid plate protection (transfer case, steering, engine and gas tank) and tow hooks. Rear-fender decals denote trucks equipped with the 4x4 Off-road Package.
     
    Also new for 2019, the Ram 1500 Rebel is even more capable, now available in Quad Cab configurations and featuring new 18-inch wheels with 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires driven by an electronic-locking rear differential. The Rebel predecessor came standard with Ram’s Active-level four-corner air suspension and a one-inch suspension lift. While air suspension is still available, the new Rebel comes standard with coil spring suspension and a one-inch factory lift. Newly designed Bilstein shocks feature remote reservoirs to keep the shocks cool and work with unique rear suspension geometry (Rebel and 4x4 Off-road Package) to keep the tires in traction. Rebel also includes Hill-descent Control for more off-road prowess. Hefty tow hooks feature wide bumper openings to ease use and the underbody protection features skid plates on the transfer case, steering system, oil pan and gas tank.
    Brake system
    With 18 percent more pad area, the 2019 Ram 1500 features the largest front brake rotors in segment at 14.9-inches. A new electric parking brake eliminates 20 pounds from the previous system and works jointly with the truck to identify automatic engagement events.
    Electric power steering
    The next generation system reduces weight by six pounds and is tuned for lighter and quicker steering. By using an electric motor to power the truck’s rack-and-pinion steering system, the engine is relieved from the task of constantly turning a hydraulic pump, improving fuel efficiency up to 1.8 percent and adding 5 horsepower.
    Powertrain
    The addition of the eTorque mild hybrid system is one of several changes made to the powertrains for the 2019 Ram 1500. The goal: Improve performance, fuel economy, payload, towing capabilities and drivability. Other changes include upgraded TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions, strategic weight reductions and innovations, such as quickly heating lubricants to reduce viscosity-related efficiency losses.
     
    The eTorque mild hybrid system replaces the traditional alternator on the engine with a belt-driven motor generator unit that performs several functions. The motor generator unit works with a 48-volt battery pack to enable quick and seamless start/stop function, short-duration torque addition to the engine crankshaft in certain driving situations and brake energy regeneration, which improves responsiveness and efficiency.
     
    With the engine running, eTorque’s motor generator unit feeds 48-volt current to a 300 watt-hour lithium-ion Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC)-Graphite battery. The small-suitcase-sized, air-cooled battery pack mounts to the rear wall inside the Ram 1500’s cabin.
     
    In addition to spinning the engine for restarts, the eTorque unit also recaptures energy during deceleration and braking to feed charge to the battery pack.
     
    3.6-liter Pentastar V-6: 305 horsepower plus outstanding fuel economy
    The upgraded eTorque version of the Pentastar V-6 is the standard engine in most trim levels of the 2019 Ram 1500, specifically tuned for truck duty and rated at 305 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque.
     
    The newest Pentastar V-6’s advanced technologies, such as wide-range variable valve timing and two-step variable valve lift, deliver the optimal blend of power and fuel economy, based on the driver’s demand.
     
    Legendary HEMI power: 5.7-liter V-8 delivers 395 horsepower
    The brawny 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 combines the muscle of 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque – in a smooth, broad power band that avoids the hesitation and peakiness of turbocharged engines – with performance-enhancing and fuel-saving technologies that include variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation.
    With Fuel Saver Technology (cylinder deactivation), the engine control computer turns off fuel and spark, and closes the intake and exhaust valves on four of the engine’s eight cylinders during light load operation, such as highway cruising when full power is not needed.
    Variable camshaft timing helps maximize fuel economy by reducing the engine’s pumping work via a delayed closing of the intake valve, which increases the expansion process of the combustion event.
    The HEMI V-8 in the 2019 Ram 1500 benefits from a new 850-watt electric cooling fan using Pulse Width Modulation to tailor the fan’s energy draw to the cooling demand. Eliminating the traditional fan blade mounted to the front of the engine helps improve fuel economy by reducing parasitic losses and fan noise.
    TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions: The right gear at the right time
    Every 2019 Ram 1500 is equipped with a fully electronic TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission with a wide spread of gear ratios that keeps engine rpm in the right range for the task – whether putting in a full day of off-road work or highway cruising. Trucks equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 use an FCA-produced TorqueFlite 850RE transmission. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 uses an upgraded TorqueFlite 8HP75 transmission. Both transmissions use a new generation of computer controllers that process data faster and coordinate transmission operation with the eTorque mild hybrid system. There are more than 40 individual shift maps to optimize shift changes and points for fuel economy, performance and drivability.
    Thermal management
    Today’s Ram 1500 employs a production-first thermal management system that taps into heated engine coolant to speed up the warmup of automatic transmission fluid and engine oil to maximize the fuel saving benefits of those fluids.
    The 2019 Ram 1500 takes that strategy a step further with an industry-first application that uses heated engine coolant to warm up the rear axle lubricant of 4x2 trucks.
    The engine control unit manages a three-way valve in the engine cooling circuit. Heating the truck cabin always takes priority, based on the HVAC temperature setting. Once heated, the valve routes coolant to the rear axle, where it circulates through a cavity in the double-layer axle cover to warm the gear oil. The warmed gear oil is less viscous and brings the axle to peak operating efficiency faster. Also, the system helps prevent the rear axle from exceeding maximum temperatures during demanding conditions such as hauling and trailer towing.
    The 2019 Ram 1500 continues to use the thermal management system to bring the transmission fluid and engine oil to operating temperature quickly. The system also serves a cooling function under high load/high ambient temperature conditions to ensure the transmission fluid temperature is controlled.
    Transfer cases get upgrades
    The BorgWarner 48-12 for part-time 4WD operation with Hi and Low ranges; and the BorgWarner 48-11 for on-demand 4WD are available in the 2019 Ram 1500. Both transfer cases engage via a push-button control center-mounted underneath the rotary gear selector on the instrument panel.
    The transfer cases are upgraded internally for more robust performance in conjunction with the increased payload and towing capabilities of the new truck.
    Axles
    Powertrain engineers reworked the rear axle for the 2019 Ram 1500 with the aim of increasing performance, durability and efficiency.
    Front and rear wheels and hubs adopt a 6-lug bolt pattern. The new Ram 1500 is also fitted with a new electronic parking brake.
    Three final drive ratios are available on 2WD and 4WD models – 3.21, 3.55 and 3.92. Each combination is available with a traditional open or limited-slip differential, which automatically divides torque among the rear wheels to maximize traction available at each wheel.
     
    New for 2019 is an electronic locking differential, available on 4WD trucks with the 3.21 and 3.55 final drive ratio and lifted suspension, and 2WD and 4WD trucks with the 3.92 ratio with the base or lifted suspension (Rebel and 4x4 Off-road Package). The electronic system gives the driver the ability to lock or unlock the differential on demand, providing maximum traction to the vehicle when needed.
     
    Also new for 2019 is a Max Tow Package, an option with the 3.92 final drive ratio offering up to 12,700 pounds of towing capability. The Max Tow Package is based around a Dana Super 60 center section and open differential with a 256-millimeter gear set, and uses 35-spline axle shafts. It is available on 2WD trucks powered by the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with eTorque.
    Small changes help save fuel
    The V-6 and V-8 powertrains in the 2019 Ram 1500 also reduce fuel consumption with an Interactive Deceleration Fuel Shut Off (iDFSO) feature that pauses fuel flow to the engine cylinders when the vehicle is decelerating. For the 2019 model year, the iDFSO feature is improved to be active in third gear and higher.
    The exhaust system has been re-engineered to reduce weight. Changes such as optimizing the thickness of the exhaust pipes and using aluminum for the hanger brackets cut more than nine pounds from the system. Extensive tuning of system components enables the 2019 Ram 1500 to maintain its trademark throaty roar from the dual exhaust tips.
    A new, forward-facing air intake mounted behind the grille of the 2019 Ram 1500 feeds cooler air to the intake of the system of the Pentastar V-6 and HEMI V-8 engines for improved performance. The intake system for both powertrains includes a hydrocarbon adsorption filter to reduce evaporative emissions. The filter is good for the life of the vehicle and does not need regular maintenance.
    Uconnect
    Designed to be the most technologically advanced pickup ever, the company’s all-new Ram 1500 is loaded with an array of innovative and state-of-the-art technology combined with the award-winning fourth-generation Uconnect system that offers new features and connected services. The 2019 Ram 1500’s high-tech features include a new class-exclusive and easy-to-use 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen display; the first-time debut of the all-new SiriusXM with 360L; the most powerful audio system ever available in a pickup – 900-watt Harman Kardon with 19 speakers; personal device integration and in-vehicle connectivity.
    The bonded flush 12-inch reconfigurable touchscreen with tailor-made graphics for various Ram models makes personalization easy with the new split-screen, operating two different applications for desired configuration, such as Apple CarPlay and HVAC controls, or one application, such as navigation across the entire 12-inch touchscreen. Available for the first time on the all-new Ram 1500 is a 360-degree Surround View Camera system providing a birds-eye view via four cameras positioned around the vehicle to create a fully stitched image. Customers who prefer not to use the touchscreen for HVAC will find redundant controls located on both sides of the display for convenience. Uconnect systems with the class-exclusive 12-inch display also feature the next level of audio entertainment with the first-time debut of the all-new SiriusXM with 360L. The new Ram 1500 also offers Uconnect 4 with or without navigation on an 8.4-inch display and Uconnect 3 with 5-inch display.
     
    All-new SiriusXM with 360L
    SiriusXM is transforming the next generation of in-car audio entertainment with the debut of the all-new SiriusXM with 360L, delivering a personalized listening experience with more variety, smart content recommendations and thousands of hours of on-demand streaming audio.
     
    The 2019 Ram 1500 is the first vehicle to have access to the new SiriusXM listening experience, which showcases the features and functionality of SiriusXM’s next-generation platform.  SiriusXM’s new and enhanced experience for drivers and their passengers delivers SiriusXM content via both satellite and on-demand streaming to Ram truck models equipped the new fully configurable 12-inch touchscreen.  Owners will receive a one-year SiriusXM All Access subscription with the purchase of a properly equipped 2019 Ram 1500. 
     
    SiriusXM with 360L enables Ram truck drivers and passengers to discover more of what SiriusXM offers based on their listening preferences, including exclusive SiriusXM on-demand programming not previously available in the vehicle.
     
    Most powerful audio system in a pickup
    The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 offers four audiophile-quality audio systems to immerse passengers in the ultimate sound experience, including Alpine and a class-exclusive premium Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers and 10-inch subwoofer – the finest and most powerful audio system available in a pickup:
    Three 3.5-inch and one-inch coaxial speakers located in the instrument panel Two 3.5-inch and one-inch coaxial speakers located in the front doors Two 6x9-inch speakers located in the front doors Two 6x9-inch speakers located in the rear doors Two 3.5-inch and one-inch coaxial speakers located in the headliner One 10-inch enclosed subwoofer behind the rear seat (passenger side) One 12-channel boosted Class-D amplifier Four ANC microphones Compatible device connectivity
    To ensure that passengers remain conveniently connected, 2019 Ram 1500 owners can manage their personal device connectivity with a plethora of electronic charging options. Located in the reimagined center console, a wider docking area offers an all-new optional integrated wireless charging pad that can hug a small tablet or multiple smartphones. To keep devices charged, there are five USB ports (three are in front of the center console and two are in the back). Three of the USB ports are fully functioning and communicate with the Uconnect interface while the other two USB ports are charge only. Four of the five USB ports are new type C/A ports that allow devices to be charged up to four times faster than standard USB outlets. The remaining USB is type A.
    Exterior Design
    The all-new Ram 1500 is lighter, longer and wider. Ram 1500’s wheelbase and cab are up to four inches longer – giving the truck improved proportions and better aerodynamics. Width is increased by .5 inches. Bed height is raised by 1.5 inches.
     
    The 2019 Ram 1500 retains shapely body lines with a much larger and more aggressive, forward-leaning, front grille opening. The all-new frame with splayed rail ends connects repositioned tow-hooks that are more outward and down when compared to the previous generation.
     
    An interlocking theme reveals itself in the grille, headlamps and hood. Catering to a variety of buyers, the most elaborate grille designs in the auto industry are available in six different styles.
     
    Three headlamp variations are available: Halogen, full LED and full LED with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS). Above the lamps resides a new raised aluminum hood that builds on the Ram’s big-rig stance. The elevated hood also better directs air away from the wiper area – improving overall aerodynamics and reducing wind noise. A new badge finds itself interlocked with the stamping of the side hood pocket.
     
    Seamless surfacing flows with trademark Ram front and rear fender blisters artfully blended into the body. A drawn body-side character line stretches from front to rear with a styled creased line serving as the two-tone paint border. 
     
    All navigation, Wi-Fi, radio and SiriusXM tasks are handled by a new shark fin antenna – making the new 2019 Ram 1500 the first full-size truck without a mast antenna.
     
    A new 33.3-inch by 43.4-inch panoramic sunroof also is available, giving passengers a spectacular 10 square feet of sky view and additional natural light. The roof also receives aero treatments to flow air over the bed to the tailgate.
     
    Bed rails are raised by 1.5 inches, and are now aligned with the beltline of the body to create a stronger, consistent horizontal profile with aero benefits. Additional drag is reduced with a new spoiler on the aluminum tailgate.
     
    The all-new Ram 1500 continues to offer the best lockable bed storage in the segment with RamBox, now featuring a 115-volt outlet and relocated overhead lighting in the box lids to improve illumination. The industry-first RamBox cargo management system includes versatile, weatherproof, lockable, illuminated and drainable storage bins built into the bed rails.
     
    All-new tail lamps come in three different configurations: Halogen, LED and LED with Blind-spot Monitoring.
     
    A segment-exclusive full-width chrome stamped-steel rear bumper underlines the rear of the truck. The improved design integrates a larger stepping pad on the corners and creates a lower step-in height on the center of the bumper for easy access to the bed.
     
    Sixteen new wheel designs align with an increased lug pattern —from five to six —and are available from 18-inches to an impressive 22-inches in diameter.
    The 2019 Ram 1500 is available in 12 colors, including four new colors, and the first use of Tri-coat paint with Ram: Billet Silver, Tri-coat White, Patriot Blue, Diamond Black Crystal. Three two-tone color options carry through newly designed fender flares and the lower body.
    Interior Design
    Surrounding the largest cab in the segment, the interior design team brought unique colors and premium materials to each trim level of the 2019 Ram 1500. Modular design allows for more personification and customization. Each model makes its own unique “hero” statement.
     
    The 2019 Ram 1500 features the first application of Uconnect 4C NAV on a 12-inch fully configurable touchscreen, tailor-made for various Ram models. The touchscreen can house 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. An all-new toggle switch bank lies below the touchscreen giving physical control of specific features. An active noise cancellation system on 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 equipped models and acoustic glass reduce ambient sounds down to a low 67.1 db – the quietest Ram 1500 ever.
     
    New features gave designers the opportunity to reinvent the Human Machine Interface. Across all trim levels, the 2019 Ram 1500 features push-button start, an electronic parking brake and a redesigned rotary e-shifter dial. The new shifter area also intelligently groups new feature buttons, including engine stop-start from eTorque, Hill-decent Control, axle lock and transfer case controls, when equipped.
     
    The center stack has been raised and brought closer to the driver to accommodate the 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen and improve overall reachability of system controls.
     
    The new HVAC system features nearly 25 percent more air flow at lower noise levels, including larger front defroster vents for better performance. Improved vents give rear passengers 50 percent more airflow when compared to the previous generation.
     
    With 151 liters of interior storage volume, the 2019 Ram 1500 includes nearly 100 percent more storage capacity versus closest the competitor.
     
    The reimagined center console is a useable, complex piece of art with more than 12 different storage combinations. Center stage, a wider docking area with optional wireless charging 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. Lifting the lid of the center armrest also reveals an additional lined storage compartment sized to fit a tablet and/or hang a full-size file. At the rear of the console, there are two additional cup holders, which include a tablet holder for rear passengers. 
     
    To keep devices charged, five USB ports reside in the center console – three up front and two in back. Three of the USB ports, including one in the rear seating area, are fully functioning and communicate with the Uconnect interface. Two three-pronged 115-volt household plugs can be found in the first and second rows (one in the center stack and one at the rear of the center console). An additional 115-volt plug can be found in the RamBox, when equipped, tripling the number of outlets on the previous model, and now handling up to 400 watts.
    The redesigned upper glove box acts as an open shelf for smaller items. On higher trims, the upper glove box is covered by a wood and metal accent that can slide upwards, hidden in the dash. The Laramie Longhorn takes advantage of this space with an actual burned-in branded “Longhorn.”
     
    The 2019 Ram 1500’s cab length has increased a total of four inches inside. B- and C-pillars moved an inch rearward, and the rear of the cab is pushed an additional two inches. Thus, front and rear doors are now one inch larger on Crew Cab configurations, while the rear door is one inch shorter on Quad Cab models compared to the previous model.
     
    Along with the largest cab in the segment, the second-row features eight degrees of slide-recline with best-in-class leg room of 45.1 inches, passenger comfort and an exclusive SmartFold center armrest that creates a captain’s chair experience.
     
    A true flat-load floor provides increased rear passenger comfort and usability. Folding up the rear bench seat reveals 20 liters of additional contained storage space with under-seat compartments. With the clever fold out feature, contained storage doubles to 40 liters.
     
    Bookending the flat-load floor are two RamBins. Now 5.5 inches longer than the previous model, these covered in-floor storage bins can hold larger items, including up to a four-inch drop hitch – keeping cargo out of sight and the interior clean. On top of each Ram Bin are two tie downs to keep cargo secure.
     
    The all-new Ram 1500 key fobs also feature new design treatment and functions, including power release tailgate. The fob also features branding for higher trim levels and a battery life improvement of up to six years.
     
    Safety and Security
    With more than 100 available safety and security features, the 2019 Ram 1500 is available with the latest in advanced technology. As part of FCA US’s ongoing and continuous efforts to proliferate the most advanced materials engineering, the Ram 1500 frame and body structures feature 98 and 54 percent high-strength steel respectively.
    The new Ram 1500 features the most advanced frame in the segment with equal impact countermeasures on all configurations. Exclusive splayed and tapered frame rail technology creates a highly efficient energy absorbing front frame rail structure for all impact modes. Frame-mounted high-strength steel tire blockers are placed at front cab location to redirect
    the tire outbound in a front-offset impact.
    Some of newest features among more than 100 standard and available safety and security features in the all-new 2019 Ram 1500: 
    Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop, Go and Hold: Helps maintain a driver-adjustable distance between the vehicle and the one in front of it, and can bring the vehicle to a controlled stop and hold it there. This system works by decreasing the vehicle’s pre-set cruise-control speed when closing in on another vehicle in the same lane, or when another vehicle moves into the same lane. ACC will accelerate the vehicle back to the pre-set rate once the vehicle in front speeds up or moves into another lane, including full stop Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS): Points headlamps in the planned direction the vehicle is traveling using steering wheel input to point light around turns, driveways and parking lots Advance Brake Assist: If inadequate force is applied to brakes in response to signal from Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, Advance Brake Assist increases brake force automatically Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM): Uses dual ultra-wideband radar sensors to aid the driver when changing lanes or if being passed by or passing unseen vehicles. The system notifies the driver of vehicle(s) in their blind spot via illuminated icons on the side-view mirror. BSM also includes easy-to-use trailer coverage Brake assist: In an emergency brake situation, the system applies maximum braking power, minimizing the stopping distance Brake-throttle override: Allows driver to stop the vehicle when throttle and brake inputs occur simultaneously; electronic throttle control reduces engine-power output until vehicle stops or pedal inputs cease Electric parking brake (EPB): Utilizes parking brake switch mounted in the instrument panel, a motor on caliper (MOC) at each rear wheel and an electronic control module. Four modes of operation: static apply and release, dynamic apply, drive away release and safe hold Electronic brake-force distribution: Assists the driver to optimize stopping distances and control under all vehicle loading conditions by regulating braking pressure front-to-rear Forward Collision Warning-Plus: Utilizes radar and video sensors to detect whether the Ram 1500 is approaching another vehicle or large obstacle in its path too rapidly, and warns or assists the driver in avoiding/mitigating the incident Frequency Response Damping: New shock design features a two-valve system to properly adjust wheel movement depending on road input, with two valves, additional tuning helps keep tires to the ground on rough surfaces LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus: Leverages electronic power steering (EPS) to deliver a torque input to alert and assist the driver with corrective action Largest brakes in segment: The all-new Ram 1500 features the largest available front brakes at 14.9 inches for superb stopping distance ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist: Ultrasonic parking sensors on bumper guide the driver into the parking space. The system automatically controls steering-wheel angle, while the driver controls gear position, brake and accelerator. Parallel parking is possible on either side of vehicle by selecting the direction with the turn signal; for perpendicular parking, vehicle backs itself into space ParkSense park assist with reverse stop: The system utilizes ultrasonic sensors at low speeds in reverse to detect stationary objects. The system provides haptic feedback to the driver, with an application of the brake before releasing if a collision is imminent. At speeds below 4 miles per hour, the system will bring the vehicle to a stop before releasing. The forward system utilizes ultrasonic sensors at low speeds to detect stationary objects in front of the vehicle Rear Cross Path (RCP) detection: In parking lot situations, this system warns drivers backing out of parking spaces of traffic moving toward their vehicle. It activates any time the vehicle is in Reverse. The driver is notified of vehicle(s) crossing behind the vehicle via illuminated icons on the side-view mirror and with an audible chime Surround View Camera: Uses four cameras positioned around the vehicle to provide a bird’s-eye perspective of the vehicle and its immediate surroundings. Driver can also select other views, including front or rear cross path Tire blockers: Frame-mounted high-strength steel tire blockers are placed at front cab location to redirect the tire outbound in a front-offset impact Most advanced frame in the segment with exclusive splayed frame rail: All Ram 1500 frames feature 98 percent high strength steel and technology (patent pending) that creates a highly efficient energy absorbing front frame rail structure for frontal impact modes 9-1-1 Call/Assist Call: Mirror-mounted buttons for emergency services, roadside assistance, Uconnect Customer Care and non-collision related emergencies SiriusXM Traffic: Works with the vehicle’s navigation system to display traffic speed and flow information, along with accident information to assist drivers in routing around congested areas SiriusXM Travel Link: Real-time local fuel prices, weather conditions, sports scores and movie locations and times all featured in this subscription-based system provided by SiriusXM Radio Tailgate power release and Passive Entry: Allows the operator to release the tailgate using the key fob or unlock automatically with combination of key fob presence and hand motion under tailgate handle Tailgate ajar notification: Notifies the operator the tailgate is not fully closed with a warning light in the gauge cluster Tilt-and-telescoping steering column: Allows steering column to tilt and move toward or away from the driver to achieve a safe and comfortable distance from the advanced multi-stage front driver air bag, if deployed Tire-fill alert: When adding air pressure to tires, a new tire-fill alert system chirps the horn once you have reached the recommended pressure Uconnect Access voice-to-text: Enables cloud-based text-message dictation via compatible Bluetooth-enabled cell phones; available to registered Uconnect Access subscribers Uconnect Drag and Drop menu bar: Drivers can drag key usage buttons and move them to their Uconnect system’s main menu bar for easier access Previous Page Next Page

    William Maley

    It actually has some style!

    While crossovers are beginning to take up more of Volkswagen's attention, the German automaker knows they have to keep their eye on their passenger cars. Around the world, that is Golf. But in North America, that honor falls to the Jetta sedan. On the eve of the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled the all-new 2019 Jetta.
    One change that we're happy to see is the Volkswagen has given the all-new Jetta some style. The front end reminds us of the European-spec Passat with the hexagonal grille and sculpted hood. The side profile shows off a distinctive character line and a somewhat coupe-like roof. Volkswagen says the Jetta is bigger in all dimensions, but only mentions the number for the wheelbase increase, 1.3 inches.
    The interior appears to be worlds better than the outgoing model with a similar design to the new Tiguan and higher-quality materials. All models get a touchscreen infotainment system, while the SEL and SEL Premium also get Volkswagen's digital cockpit that allows drivers to configure the layout to their liking.
    The turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder is sticking around for the new Jetta. Output is rated at 147 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque. The base Jetta will get a six-speed manual as standard, while higher trims get a new eight-speed automatic. Under the skin, Volkswagen has finally moved the Jetta to their MQB platform.
    Volkswagen will offer the Jetta in five different trims when it launches in the second quarter of this year - S, SE, R-Line, SEL, and SEL Premium. Pricing will begin at $18,545.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2
    ALL-NEW 2019 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

    Jan 14, 2018
    The all-new Jetta raises the bar in the compact sedan class, with bold design, innovative technology features, and a transferable, 6-year/72,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty Jetta is now based off the award-winning MQB architecture Sleek coupe-like exterior design features shorter overhangs and a bold new face Upscale driver-centric interior features premium materials and modern design 1.4-liter TSI engine is paired with six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions Aluminum-alloy wheels, App-Connect and full LED lighting are standard Available driver assistance technology  includes: Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, and Light Assist Available premium features include: Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, 10-color ambient lighting, panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated leather seats, and 400-watt BeatsAudio® system The People First Warranty, with 6-years/72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) coverage Pricing starts at $18,545, less than the outgoing model Detroit, Mich. – Today, Volkswagen of America, Inc., unveiled the all-new 2019 Jetta at the North American International Auto Show. The Jetta is one of the world’s most successful sedans, with more than 17 million models sold worldwide since it was introduced in 1979: more than 3.2 million of those vehicles have been sold in the United States. Now based off the award-winning MQB platform, the 2019 Jetta offers bolder design, more interior space than the outgoing model and new technology. Despite all the additional premium features and technology, the all-new 2019 Jetta pricing starts at $18,545, less than the outgoing base model.
    “The Jetta has long been Volkswagen’s best-selling vehicle in the United States,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, “and we expect that this all-new car will continue to resonate with buyers in the compact sedan class. With its combination of great technology, fuel-efficient drivetrains, sporty styling, upscale interior and amenities, and fun-to-drive nature, we expect that the Jetta will make a huge splash in the compact sedan market when it goes on sale.”
    The Jetta is based on Volkswagen’s Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture. Compared with the current car, the new Jetta grows outside in every direction. It offers a longer wheelbase—105.7 inches compared to 104.4 inches—with shorter overhangs, and is longer, wider and taller than the outgoing model. The increased exterior proportions add up to more interior space than the previous car as well.
    Outside, the all-new Jetta marks an evolution in Volkswagen’s clean and timeless design DNA, with modern lines and a refined appearance. The combination of large front grille and sharper lines exudes a bold character, while the addition of more chrome and standard LED lighting lend a premium feel. A fast-sloping roof line creates a sportier, coupe-like profile without compromising the usability of the rear seat.
    Inside, the Jetta’s fully redesigned interior combines high-tech features with everyday usability and refined fit and finish. High quality soft-touch materials throughout and new trapezoidal design elements give the vehicle an upscale, yet modern feel. The 2019 Jetta sports new fabric colors and designs for the seats and door trim as well as optional 10-color customizable wrap-around ambient lighting. To keep occupants comfortable, Jetta will offer available heated and ventilated front seats, power driver’s seat with memory functionality, leather seating surfaces, and dual-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control. A new center storage console is 5-liters—large enough to fit a standard iPad.
    The driver-oriented cockpit features an infotainment screen placed high in the dashboard, to make all vehicle information easily accessible to the driver. Every Jetta offers standard Driver Personalization with up to four driver settings. Dependent on trim, customizable features include: driver seat memory, driver assistance system preferences, temperature, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit arrangement (if equipped), ambient lighting color, radio presets, navigation view, and more.
    Jetta SEL and SEL Premium models feature a standard Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, offering drivers a reconfigurable display of key data and the ability to position navigation data front and center for easy viewing. The available Volkswagen Car-Net® system provides a suite of connected vehicle services, including standard App-Connect technology that offers compatible smartphone integration with the three major platforms—Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®.  The new Jetta is the first Volkswagen in the U.S. to offer an available 400-watt BeatsAudio® system.
    The Jetta’s technology upgrades extend beyond the cabin to include a comprehensive suite of available driver assistance technology. A rearview camera comes standard and available features include: Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), upgraded for use in stop and go traffic; High Beam Control (Light Assist); and Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist), which actively helps the driver steer the car back into its lane should the vehicle start drifting into another lane without using the turn signal.
    In addition, the 2019 Jetta offers a combination of both passive and active safety systems that are engineered to meet or exceed current crash regulations. These systems include the class exclusive Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.
    The new Jetta will continue to be powered by Volkswagen’s 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine, making 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the highest in the compact sedan class. The power is taken to the front wheels via a new standard six-speed manual transmission, with an eight-speed automatic transmission optional on the base model and standard on higher trims. Automatic transmission models come standard with a Start/Stop system designed to improve fuel efficiency. This technology stops the engine during idle when the brake pedal is held (such as when waiting at a stop light). When the brake pedal is released, the engine restarts.
    Every Jetta model will come with the People First Warranty, America’s best bumper-to-bumper new vehicle limited warranty. The warranty provides coverage for six-years or 72,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and the warranty can be transferred to subsequent owners throughout the remainder of its duration.
    The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will be available in S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trim levels and is expected to arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the second quarter of 2018. An R-Line trim will join the lineup at launch and features sportier styling, exclusive interior and exterior design elements, R-Line badging, and the XDS® electronic differential.

    William Maley

    Eight different models, six different powertrain combinations including a diesel

    2018 is a special year for Chevrolet as it marks 100 years of building pickup trucks. What better way to commemorate this anniversary than to introduce the next-generation Silverado. Chevrolet has already revealed one version of the Silverado last month at an event in Texas, the Trail Boss. The bowtie also revealed the new Silverado would be using a mix of materials such as steel and aluminum.
    Tonight at an event in Detroit, Chevrolet has spilled more details on the 2019 Silverado. Despite the truck growing in overall length (1.6 inches) and wheelbase (3.9 inches), Chevrolet says the new Silverado has a weight reduction of up to 450 pounds. Some of this comes down to aluminum being used for the doors, hood, and tailgate.
    Chevrolet is making a big about the Silverado's bed. The bed floor is about seven inches wider which allows for the Silverado to boast more cargo volume than the competition. For example, the short-box will offer 63 cubic feet of volume - up to 20 percent more than what Ford or Ram offers. Other traits that Chevrolet is boasting about include 21 tie-downs (12 fixed and 9 moveable), 120-Volt outlet, and a power tailgate that can be operated from the keyfob.
    The interior looks to be an evolution of what is found in the current Silverado. There is a revised center stack layout with what appears to be an updated version of Chevrolet MyLink. Chevrolet has stretched out the cab to provide more interior space. This is quite noticeable in the crew cab where the back seats have three inches of additional legroom. There is also more storage with bins integrated into the seatbacks of the back seat, and a large 24-liter storage tray under the back seat.
    For power, Chevrolet will be offering updated versions of the 5.3L and 6.2L V8s with a new cylinder deactivation system that can actively turn off any number of cylinders to boost fuel economy. Yes, that means the Silverado's V8 could just be running on one cylinder technically. A new 3.0L Duramax turbodiesel inline-six will be available. Chevrolet is keeping quiet on power figures for the three engines and it is unclear if a gas V6 will be on offer as well. The turbodiesel and 6.2L V8 will come paired with a new 10-speed automatic that was jointly developed by GM and Ford. We're guessing the 5.3L will have an eight-speed automatic. 
    When the 2019 Silverado hits dealers this fall, it will be offered in eight different trims, ranging from the base Work Truck to the luxurious High Country. New for 2019 is the introduction of the RST that adds body-colored trim, full LED lighting, and up to 22-inch wheels.
    Source: Chevrolet
    Press Release is on Page 2


    INTRODUCING THE ALL-NEW 2019 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
    Most functional bed of any full-size truck, including class-leading cargo volume Up to 450 pounds lighter from mixed materials use for improved performance Six engine/transmission choices, including an all-new Duramax 3.0L inline-six diesel Eight models, each with distinct personalities for different truck customers DETROIT — Chevrolet introduced the next-generation Silverado today, exactly 100 years after the brand delivered its first trucks to customers in January 1918. The all-new Silverado sets the course for the next century of Chevy Trucks with the most functional bed of any full-size truck, weighs up to 450 pounds less for increased performance and offers a broad range of trims and engine/transmission combinations to help each customer find their ideal truck.
    “With the all-new Silverado, we've taken the best truck on the road and made it even better,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “It has a longer wheelbase, more passenger and cargo volume, and yet, thanks to our mixed materials strategy and mass reduction expertise, the new truck is 450 pounds lighter than the current model."
    Larger, more functional and more capable bed
    “Truck customers value capability and functionality above all else,” said Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer of Full-Size Trucks. “Every truck — including the luxurious High Country — is a work truck with a job to do. As such, we set out to create the best tool for the job at hand, one that makes work more productive and more enjoyable, no matter what they call ‘work.’’’
    The bed is the defining trait of every pickup, and bed construction has long been a strength of Chevy Trucks. To improve upon that strength, the 2019 Silverado 1500 bed features:
    Best-in-class cargo volume: The 2019 Silverado offers the most cargo volume in every bed length, with the short-box offering 63 cubic feet of volume — up to 20 percent more than a competitor’s short-box. Most of that volume was created by widening the maximum width of the bed floor nearly seven inches. Chevrolet Accessories will offer storage bins that fit over the wheel wells, offering nearly seven cubic feet of lockable cargo space for short-box models, while easily accommodating a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood flat on the cargo floor. Higher-strength steel floor: As before, the Silverado has a roll-formed, high-strength steel bed floor. For 2019 a higher-grade steel is used, with yield strength increased from 340 to 500 megapascals of pressure for optimal strength and mass. More and stronger tie-downs: Silverado now has 12 fixed tie-downs, and their strength has doubled to 500 pounds of force before bending. Silverado also has nine moveable tie points for even more cargo flexibility. More features: Silverado will be available with a class-exclusive power up/down tailgate that can be operated from the key fob, interior button or by hand. Other changes include available task lighting, a 120-volt power outlet and larger cutouts in the class-exclusive CornerStep bumpers to better accommodate steel-toed boots. With class-leading cargo volume and class-exclusive features, the new Silverado offers the most functional bed of any full-size truck, and more convenient hauling for cargo of virtually any size or shape.
    Larger, lighter and more agile
    The 2019 Silverado is larger than before, including a wheelbase that is up to 3.9 inches (100 mm) longer and an overall length that is 1.6 inches (41 mm) longer, enabling both more cargo volume and more interior room for all cab lengths. Remarkably, it’s also lighter, weighing 450 pounds (204 kg) less than today’s truck when comparing crew cab V-8 models.
    The weight savings comes from extensive use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing processes throughout the next-gen truck. This allowed Chevrolet to use the right material for the application and optimize every component for mass, durability, safety and functionality to meet our customers’ needs.
    For example, the body is 88 pounds (40 kg) lighter than before due to mixed materials use. All exterior swing panels (doors, hood and tailgate) are made of aluminum while fixed panels (fenders, roof and bed) are made of steel. The underlying safety cage uses seven different grades of steel, each tailored for the specific application.
    The fully boxed steel frame is also 88 pounds (40 kg) lighter than its predecessor, while offering 10 percent greater torsional rigidity. Eighty percent of the frame is made of high-strength steel varying from 2 to 5 millimeters in thickness, and every millimeter is optimized for performance using a variety of processes, including hydroforming, roll forming, conventional stamping and tailor-rolled blanking. As a result, frame sections, gauges, grades, processes and materials strategically vary to maximize strength, durability and stiffness without adding unnecessary mass.
    Mixed materials also play a part in the all-new suspension. The front independent short/long arm suspension features new forged-aluminum upper control arms that are lighter and provide better wheel alignment than the stamped component they replace. The live-axle rear suspension is also redesigned, including new carbon-composite second-stage springs on LT models that save about 12 pounds (5 kg) per side over the steel springs they replace.
    The 2019 Silverado will be available with six engine/transmission combinations, giving customers more combinations of performance, efficiency and value to best fit their priorities. This includes new 5.3L and 6.2L V-8s with industry-first Dynamic Fuel Management that actively shuts off any number of cylinders, in a variety of combinations, depending on immediate needs to optimize fuel economy. The result of this industry-first technology is instant power when called for, and impressive efficiency.
    The Silverado will also be available with an all-new Duramax 3.0L inline-six turbo-diesel. Chevrolet offers diesel engines in more segments and models than any other brand, including Equinox, Cruze, Colorado, Express, Silverado 1500, Silverado HD and upcoming Silverado medium-duty models.  
    Both the 3.0L diesel and 6.2L engines are paired with a new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission as well as start/stop technology to improve fuel economy for optimum performance and efficiency.
    No “one size fits most” trucks
    “Truck customers told us they want the perfect truck for them and not a ‘one size fits most’ truck, compromised for the masses,” said Mike Simcoe, vice president, Global Design, General Motors. “That insight shaped our design strategy with eight distinct models, each with a unique personality to fit different customers, from the affordable Work Truck to the luxurious High Country.”
    All models introduce a modern, powerful design with a strong dose of Chevy Truck DNA. For example, the “CHEVROLET” name stamped on the tailgate recalls iconic Chevy trucks of the 1950s and ‘60s, while the integrated dual exhausts and up to 33-inch tires reflect modern customer preferences.
    The Silverado’s bold, modern design is also surprisingly aerodynamic. Key elements of the front grille are front functional air curtains, similar to those introduced on the sixth-generation Camaro, that reduce aerodynamic drag by routing air around the front wheel wells. The powerful side profile further enhances aerodynamics, including an integrated spoiler at the rear edge of the cab that directs air onto the tailgate lip, reducing wind drag from the bed. Changes like these result in a 7 percent increase in aerodynamic efficiency.
    The 2019 Silverado offers eight trims (see descriptions, next page), designed for three distinct buyer profiles:
    “High Value” customers want the capability of a full-size truck at a great value. “High Volume” customers represent the heart of the truck market, requiring the capability of a full-size truck as well as the creature comforts of a passenger vehicle. “High Feature” customers represent the fastest-growing part of the truck market and want luxury-car refinement and appointments without sacrificing capability or durability. The eight trims also reflect another key differentiator for truck buyers: chrome.
    “Chrome has become more polarizing, and more personal, than any other aspect of truck design,” said Rich Scheer, director, Exterior Design, Chevrolet Trucks. “Some customers want no chrome at all and only body-color or blacked-out trim. Others feel a truck isn’t a truck without a chrome bumper, but feel extra chrome can be too ‘flashy.’ Others want as much chrome as they can get.”
    Accordingly, the eight trims are tailored to give customers a wide range of features and levels of chrome, enabling customers to choose the best truck for their personal preferences.
    More functional and more connected interiors
    The interior design was also strongly influenced by customer feedback. Because truck owners use their vehicles for both hauling cargo and transporting people, customers’ top priorities were more comfortable seating, more interior cargo storage and more functional, easy-to-use controls.
    Accordingly, the cab has been stretched, with crew-cab models now offering 3 inches of additional rear-seat legroom for an impressive 44.5 inches of front legroom and 43.8 inches of rear legroom.
    New available storage options include two 10-liter bins integrated in the second-row seatbacks for holding small items like gloves or tie-down straps, as well as a large 24-liter storage tray under the second-row seat that can secure everything from gallons of milk to fishing rods and tackle boxes.
    Every surface has been designed for function and ergonomics, from the rotary knob textures to the infotainment screen angle. Even the luxurious High Country is subjected to stringent durability tests, including 100,000 seat-slide tests to make sure the supple seats meet the expectations of our toughest owners.
    The Silverado was already the first pickup to offer 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, wireless phone charging and OnStar safety and security features. For 2019, that leadership will be improved with new safety and convenience features to be announced later this year.
    Making the Most Dependable, Longest Lasting full-size trucks even more so
    “Truck customers told us they depend on their trucks for much more than just transportation,” said Herrick. “Many use their trucks to earn a paycheck, or to do what they enjoy most when they’re off the clock. Given how important trucks are to our customers, we set a lofty goal for exceeding the dependability and longevity of the current Silverado.”
    To do so, the engineering team doubled many of the key validation metrics for the next-gen truck, making it the most-tested vehicle GM has ever produced. That includes accumulating a staggering seven million miles of real-world testing before the first Silverado is delivered to customers.
    The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado will be on display at the North American International Auto Show through Jan. 28 in Detroit. Production of the 2019 Silverado will begin at the Fort Wayne, Indiana Assembly plant, ranked the highest-quality plant in North America by J.D. Power and Associates, with customer deliveries beginning this fall.
    2019 Silverado 1500 Trim Levels
    High Value:
    Work Truck features “CHEVROLET” graphic across the grille and tailgate, blacked-out trim and 17-inch steel wheels for maximum durability. The interior features durable vinyl or cloth seats and 7-inch color touch screen. Custom features a body-color styling theme, 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, LED signature taillamps and available integrated dual exhaust. Custom Trailboss (new for 2019) adds off-road equipment to the Custom, including a 2-inch suspension lift and the Z71 Off Road Package with a locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires. High Volume:
    LT features chrome accents on the bumpers, front grille and mirror caps, Chevrolet bowtie in the grille, LED reflector headlamps and signature daytime running lights. The interior features an 8-inch color touch screen and available leather seating surfaces RST (new for 2019) brings a street-performance appearance to the LT, with body-color trim, full LED lighting (foglamps, headlamps and taillamps) and up to 22-inch wheels with all-season tires. LT Trailboss (new for 2019) adds off-road equipment to the LT, including a 2-inch suspension lift and the Z71 Off Road Package, including locking rear differential, skid plates, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires. High Feature:
    LTZ features chrome accents on the bumpers, front grille, mirror caps, door handles and hockey-stick beltline as well as power folding and heated outside rearview mirrors. Leather interior trim is standard equipment. High Country features an exclusive front grille design with two-tone chrome and bronze finish, body-color accents plus chrome assist steps from wheel to wheel. It also includes the power up/down tailgate as standard equipment.  Note: Class-exclusive claims based on product information available at the time of publication.

    Drew Dowdell

    Ford is getting back into the mid-size truck game.

    Ford released information and pictures of the 2019 Ford Ranger today ahead of the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    The 2019 Ranger is now a mid-size truck, growing up substantially from the rather compact Ranger that went out of production in 2011. The new Ranger will be equipped with Ford's 2.3 liter Ecoboost 4-cylinder and a 10-speed automatic transmission mounted on a high-strength steel frame.  An FX4 package will add skid plates, upgraded tires, off-road shocks, and some additional computer controlled terrain management systems.
    Three trim levels will be offered in SuperCab or SuperCrew Cab configurations.  In those cabs will be an available 8 inch touch screen when equipped with SYNC3 system, while the information cluster has two LCD screens for driver information.  SYNC3 includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Ford+Alexa, and optional navigation. 
     The Ranger will share a platform with the forthcoming Ford Bronco and both are expected to be built in Ford's plant in Wayne Michigan. 
    Ford Press Release on Page 2
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    An American Favorite Reinvented: New Ford Ranger Brings Built Ford Tough Innovation to U.S. Midsize Truck Segment • Built Ford Tough: Ford answers the call from truck customers looking for an affordable, rugged, and maneuverable midsize pickup that’s Built Ford Tough; torture-tested alongside Ford F-150 trucks, Ranger quality starts with a rugged high-strength steel frame backbone, proven Ford-built 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine and class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission • Ready for adventure with innovative technology: New features make driving easier and more fun, both on- and off-road; available FX4 Off-Road Package adds protective skid plates, upgraded tires, off-road-tuned shocks and suspension, while Terrain Management System™ and Trail Control™ help navigate challenging conditions; a suite of innovative technologies includes standard Automatic Emergency Braking to help avoid collisions • Strong new choice for midsize truck fans: Ranger brings American truck lovers an all-new choice; production begins late this year at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant as the U.S. industry sees continued growth in midsize pickups DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2018 – Ford today reveals the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger for North America, bringing midsize truck fans a new choice from America’s truck sales leader – one that’s engineered Built Ford Tough and packed with driver-assist technologies to make driving easier whether on- or off-road. Production begins late this year at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant as customer demand is growing for midsize trucks. U.S. sales are up 83 percent since 2014 as a new generation of midsize truck buyers seek more maneuverable, fuel-efficient pickups. The 2019 Ford Ranger answers the call with an all-new midsize pickup featuring a new exterior design, chassis and powertrain developed specifically for North American truck customers. Powerful and strong, with a high-strength steel frame, Ranger is equipped with a proven 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine mated to the only 10-speed automatic transmission in the segment. “Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing. “The all-new Ranger is designed for today’s midsize truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends.” Ranger comes in entry-level XL, mid-level XLT and high-level Lariat trim series with available Chrome and Sport appearance and FX Off-Road packages, and in SuperCab or SuperCrew cab configurations. Built Ford Tough Built Ford Tough is engineered in Ranger’s DNA – from its high-strength steel frame backbone to its frame-mounted steel front and rear bumpers. Ford engineers put Ranger through the same torture testing as the legendary F-150 goes through. Even its design is tough. Ranger’s muscular body features a high beltline that emphasizes strength, while a raked grille and windshield provide an athletic appearance – designed to aid in aerodynamics and reduce wind noise. Short overhangs are functional off-road for clearing obstacles. From the rear, the Ranger nameplate stamped in the tailgate conveys strength, and the tailgate itself is designed to handle people and cargo. A rugged steel bumper with an available integrated trailer hitch receiver helps make towing campers, ATVs or watercraft a breeze. Inside, Ranger blends comfort and functionality with room for up to five people, their gear and accessories. A center stack includes an 8-inch touch screen for the available SYNC® 3 system, while the instrument cluster features dual LCD productivity screens for real-time vehicle, navigation and audio information. Ranger’s twin-power dome hood houses its 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine designed for efficiency and capability thanks to direct fuel injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger and 16-valve design. For added durability, the engine features a forged-steel crankshaft and connecting rods, and chain-driven dual overhead cams. “Ranger’s proven 2.3-liter EcoBoost provides a torque target on par with competing V6 engines, but with the efficiency of a four-cylinder,” said Thai-Tang. “When you pair that with its 10-speed transmission, you’ve got one of the most versatile, powerful and efficient powertrains in the segment.” Adventure-ready Ranger is designed for a new generation of midsize truck customers who head off-road to recharge. Ranger prioritizes ground clearance to help climb over off-road obstacles. The FX4 Off-Road Package provides additional trail capability with off-road-tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, a framemounted heavy-gauge steel front bash plate, frame-mounted skid plates and FX4 badging. To give customers a great all-terrain driving experience, Ranger’s FX4 Off-Road Package features an innovative Terrain Management System™ similar to the F-150 Raptor’s. It includes four distinct drive modes – normal; grass, gravel and snow; mud and ruts; and sand. The system can shift on the fly to automatically change throttle responsiveness, transmission gearing and vehicle controls to tailor traction, driveability and performance to any given terrain or weather condition. The FX4 Off-Road Package introduces Ford’s all-new Trail Control™ technology. Like cruise control for the highway but designed for low-speed, rugged terrain, Trail Control takes over acceleration and braking – sending power and braking to each individual wheel to allow drivers to focus on steering along the course. Power is distributed through Dana® AdvanTEK® independent front and solid rear axles on both 2WD and 4WD models with an available electronic-locking rear axle (standard on FX2 and FX4) for increased all-terrain traction. Ranger four-wheel-drive versions feature 2-high, 4-high and 4-low. Innovative technology Ranger incorporates smart driver-assist, passenger convenience and connectivity technologies. Advanced driver-assist technologies include standard Automatic Emergency Braking, while Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, a Reverse Sensing System and class-exclusive Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage are standard on XLT and Lariat trim levels. Additional driver-assist technologies standard on Lariat include Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control. Available SYNC® 3 features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Ford+Alexa personal assistant functionality and optional navigation. An available FordPass™ Connect 4G LTE modem provides Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices. Available AC power outlets allow for charging of laptops and USB outlets provide more options for passengers to connect. Available B&O PLAY premium audio is specially tuned for the Ranger cab to deliver a rich and engaging listening experience. Additional features include optional LED headlamps and taillamps. Optional exterior lighting includes puddle lamps and lighting for the cargo bed,

    William Maley

    We're sure someone is not happy at FCA today

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles was hoping to a make a splash next Monday with the debut of 2019 Ram 1500 at the Detroit Auto Show. But someone spoiled the surprise.
    A user on Reddit posted a picture of a 2019 Ram 1500 inside a Fiat Chrysler plant - our hunch being the Warren, MI plant. The 3/4 shot gives us our best look at the truck and matches up with previous spy photos.
    The most apparent change that will sway your decision to liking to disliking the truck is the new grille. Ram appears to be doing away with the crosshair grille that has been a design trademark since the 1994 model. Instead, there is a smaller, octagonal grille with 'RAM' nestled in the middle. We're expecting this will be one of many grille designs on offer.
    Other details we can tell is the 1500 designation has moved from the doors on to the hood. The side profile looks similar to the current Ram 2500/3500 HD models.
    Here is what else we know about the upcoming Ram 1500
    Engines to include a 3.6L V6, 5.7L HEMI V8, and 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 Aluminum hood and tailgate Possibly a split tailgate Newest version of FCA's UConnect Source: Reddit
    Pic Credit: Eisenj on Reddit

    William Maley

    Looks like a bigger GLI with V6 punch

    Back in August, we reported that Volkswagen was planning to send the Passat GT concept shown at the 2016 LA Auto Show into production. The concept was Volkswagen's attempt at making the Passat become a bit more exciting with numerous cosmetic changes, a VR6 engine, and slight tweaks to the suspension. Next week at the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen will show off the production model.
    The exterior of the Passat GT matches up with the concept as there are a blacked-out honeycomb grille, red accent striping, blacked-out trim, 19-inch wheels, and a black decklid spoiler. Only four colors will be available on the GT; Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey, and Deep Black. Inside, Volkswagen has added a fair amount of piano black and carbon fiber trim; two-tone leatherette upholstery for the seats, and aluminum GT-badged sills.
    Under the hood is the venerable 3.6L VR6 producing 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque - the same power figures as you'll find in the Passat V6 Premium. This is paired with a six-speed DSG. The GT will also feature a sport suspension that lowers the ride height. 
    Volkswagen will begin selling the Passat GT in the second half of 2018 with a base price of $29,940 (includes an $850 destination charge).
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2


    VOLKSWAGEN UNVEILS SPORTY 2018 PASSAT GT SPECIAL MODEL AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    GT combines the powerful VR6® engine with a lowered suspension and design enhancements to create the most aggressive looking Passat yet Limited-run model adds more than 20 sporty interior and exterior enhancements to Passat 3.6-liter VR6 engine is paired with a lowered suspension and sport exhaust Designed at Volkswagen’s Engineering and Planning Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. Pricing starts at $29,090 Detroit, Mich. – Today, Volkswagen of America, Inc., debuted the 2018 Passat GT special model at the North American International Auto Show. The production model, previewed by a concept at Automobility LA in 2016, was designed by the company’s North American engineering hub in Chattanooga, Tennessee, based on extensive feedback from U.S. customers and dealers.
    “The Passat GT illustrates how the North American Region can shape Volkswagen vehicles specifically for the U.S. market,” said Dr. Matthias Erb, Chief Engineering Officer, North American Region, Volkswagen. “Combining a local perspective with our global engineering expertise allows us to create vehicles that meet the needs and desires of customers here.”
    The Passat GT joins the Passat lineup for model year 2018 as a limited-run special model based off the R-Line® trim. It will be available in four exterior colors—Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Grey, and Deep Black.
    Starting at the front, Passat GT differentiates itself from standard Passat models with standard LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs). It borrows the R-Line® bumper and adds a honeycomb grille, GT badge, and a red accent line, reminiscent of the high-performance Golf GTI. A sport suspension gives it a more planted stance and cements the aggressive look.
    Moving around the side of the vehicle, the GT receives sporty touches from top to bottom. A black roof is complimented by black mirror caps and black window and door trim. Two-tone 19-inch “Tornado” wheels are accentuated with red-painted brake calipers, another nod to Volkswagen’s performance heritage.
    At the back, the Passat GT’s accents continue with a black spoiler and blackened LED taillights. The rear fascia also includes black bumper trim and a double exhaust with an acoustic package.
    Inside, the GT features piano black center console and vent trim, carbon fiber optic décor, black headliner, and aluminum GT-badged sills. Seating surfaces are black leatherette with Moonrock Gray inserts and contrast stitching. Standard interior comfort features include: a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 8-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, dual-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control, and heated side mirrors.
    To keep passengers connected, the Passat GT features a Composition Media infotainment unit with 6.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display and standard Bluetooth® for compatible devices, Voice Control, and Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect technology that offers compatible smartphone integration with the three major platforms—Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®.  GT models feature two USB ports—one in the center console and one in the rear seat console. SiriusXM® Satellite Radio is standard and includes a three-month trial.
    The new Passat GT will be powered by Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter VR6® engine, making it a true sport sedan. Producing an impressive 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm with regular fuel, it offers power and luxury-class driving comfort with surprising fuel economy—EPA estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Shifting is handled by a standard six-speed DSG® automatic transmission with Tiptronic®, which features steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
    Every 2018 Passat model comes with the People First Warranty, America’s best bumper-to-bumper new vehicle limited warranty. The warranty provides coverage for six-years or 72,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and the warranty can be transferred to subsequent owners throughout the remainder of its duration.
    The 2018 Passat GT is expected to arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the second quarter of 2018. Pricing for the Passat GT starts at $29,090. The destination charge is an additional $850.

    William Maley

    Arrives this summer

    The Honda Insight has never really made any inroads when it comes to dedicated hybrid vehicles. But the Japanese automaker is hoping the mantra of 'third time is the charm' will work out with the 2019 Insight debuting next week at the Detroit Auto Show.
    The Insight will slot between the Civic and Accord in Honda's lineup. Unlike previous Insights, the 2019 model is more conventional in its design. The front end has a lot of influence from the Accord with a large grille opening and narrow headlights. The side profile mimics the Civic sedan with a sloping roofline and similar glass area.
    Inside, Honda is promising the Insight will have best-in-class passenger volume. An eight-inch touchscreen provides infotainment functions, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air updates, and most important, an actual volume knob! The instrument cluster will feature a 7-inch LCD that will be customizable.
    Honda is keeping a lot of the information on Insight's powertrain in the dark. The automaker says the hybrid system is comprised of a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder and a new two-motor hybrid system. Honda expects a combined fuel economy rating of 50 mpg.
    The Honda Sensing suite of active safety features will be standard on all Insights and includes adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, and traffic sign recognition. Honda's LaneWatch camera system will be stand on EX and above.
    "The new 2019 Honda Insight signals we are entering a new era of electrification with a new generation of Honda products that offer customers the benefits of advanced powertrain technology without the traditional trade-offs in design, premium features or packaging. The Honda Insight is anticipated to receive fuel economy ratings competitive with the best hybrids in the segment, with styling that will have universal appeal inside and out and best-in-class passenger volume," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales and general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
    The 2019 Honda Insight goes on sale this summer.
    Source: Honda
    Press Release is on Page 2


    All-New Honda Insight Prototype Redefines Segment while Expanding Honda's Electrified Vehicle Lineup
    Jan 11, 2018 - DETROIT
    All-new 2019 Honda Insight will offer universally appealing styling in a roomy five passenger sedan with fuel efficiency competitive with the best in the segment Powered by Honda's innovative, industry-leading two-motor hybrid powertrain Insight nameplate returns as the next phase in the Honda Electrification Initiative The all-new Honda Insight Prototype will make its world debut on Jan. 15 at the North American International Auto Show, giving consumers a first glimpse of the latest model in Honda's growing lineup of electrified vehicles. Launching nationwide later this year, and positioned as a premium compact above Civic in the Honda passenger car lineup, Insight elevates itself above other compact hybrid models with its sleek sedan design, roomy five-passenger cabin, and refined driving performance, along with high fuel efficiency.
    "The new 2019 Honda Insight signals we are entering a new era of electrification with a new generation of Honda products that offer customers the benefits of advanced powertrain technology without the traditional trade-offs in design, premium features or packaging," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales and general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The Honda Insight is anticipated to receive fuel economy ratings competitive with the best hybrids in the segment, with styling that will have universal appeal inside and out and best-in-class passenger volume."
    The Insight Prototype boasts a sleek design with a low and wide stance, highlighted by Honda's signature "flying wing" grille and bold fascia, low-profile LED headlights and taillights married to sharp and dynamic character lines and a sweeping, long coupe-like roofline.
    With its long wheelbase platform, the 2019 Honda Insight will offer class-leading passenger space and a host of premium features including available perforated leather seating, an 8-inch Display Audio capacitive touchscreen and a 7-inch digital LCD driver's meter. More intuitive, smartphone-like features and functionality including customizable app tiles and home-screen shortcuts, along with available Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ integration and Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates, further enhance Insight over its compact hybrid competitors.
    The Insight will deliver class-leading power while still receiving an anticipated EPA fuel economy combined rating in excess of 50 mpg, competitive with other compact hybrid offerings. Powering the model will be a version of the third generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system, featuring a highly efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine, a powerful electric propulsion motor and lithium-ion battery pack. In most conditions, Insight operates on electric power only, drawing energy from the engine (operating as a generator) or battery pack. The hybrid batteries located under the rear seats provides for a full-size trunk with the flexibility of available 60/40 split and folding rear seats.
    The 2019 Honda Insight will include Honda LaneWatch™ on EX and above and Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and new Traffic Sign Recognition.
    The Insight will be manufactured at Honda's Greensburg, Indiana plant, alongside Civic and CR-V using domestic and globally sourced parts. Arriving later in 2018 as the fifth electrified vehicle launched by Honda over the past year, Insight will join the Clarity series (Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid) and the all-new 2018 Accord Hybrid, arriving at dealerships nationwide early this year.
    At the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Honda announced its Honda Electrification Initiative and the intention to make two-thirds of its global vehicle sales to be electrified vehicles by 2030, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell vehicles.

    Drew Dowdell

    Some teaser renderings of the forthcoming 2019 Kia Forte

    Today Kia released some teaser renderings of the 2019 Kia Forte ahead of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This third generation Forte adopts a sleeker fastback sedan design intended to remind people of the Kia Stinger.  Up front is a deeper interpretation of Kia's Tiger Nose grille and an aggressive lower air intake. 
    Around back are some impressive light-piped tail lights with an additional cluster for turn signals and reverse lights lower in the bumper. 
    Inside, the Kia has gone very minimalistic with few buttons and dials.  A large freestanding infotainment screen dominates the center stack.
    The 2019 Kia Forte will be officially unveiled at 11:35 am on January 15th at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

     

     

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    William Maley

    New look and added boost

    Yesterday, we told you about a teaser dropped by Ford for a new ST model. We had a number of guesses ranging from the Focus to the Explorer. Earlier this morning, Ford has revealed the mysterious ST model is the 2019 Edge ST. 
    Taking the place of the Edge Sport, the ST retains the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 but gets a slight power boost - 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque vs. 315 hp and 350 pound-feet found in the Sport. This will come hooked up to a new eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Ford isn't revealing performance specs, but we're assuming it will slightly quicker to 60 mph than the Sport - hitting 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. The Edge ST also comes with a retuned suspension, tweaked stability control system, and optional performance braking package.
    The Edge ST's exterior is more aggressive with a mesh grille, 21-inch wheels, new side skirts, and dual exhaust tips. Moving inside, Ford has installed new seats with increased bolstering and a steering wheel with ST badging.
    “Edge ST puts a new animal on the road – a performance SUV with a track mentality. From a performance standpoint, and with its SUV silhouette and versatility, it sets a new standard Edge fans will love to drive,”  said Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing in a statement.
    The rest of the Edge lineup sees a number of changes for 2019. Outside, the Edge gets a wider grille, LED headlights, reshaped hood, and slightly tweaked rear tailgate. The interior features a new center console design with a rotary gear selector. Under the hood, the 2.0L EcoBoost gets a 5 horsepower bump to 250. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and a stop-start system. Ford has also made a number of active safety features standard such as blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, pre-collision assist, and automatic high beams.
    No word on pricing, but the 2019 Edge will arrive at dealers this summer.
    Source: Ford
    Press Release is on Page 2


    REVVING UP: FORD DRIVES ALL-NEW EDGE ST INTO SHOWROOMS, ACCELERATING ITS SUV SALES MOMENTUM
    Following Ford’s best-ever U.S. SUV sales in 2017, Ford further steps up the game by introducing first performance-enhanced ST to its SUV lineup with the all-new Edge ST Edge ST features superior handling and braking, ST-tuned sport suspension, Sport Mode, new quick-shifting 8-speed transmission, standard all-wheel-drive, and the most powerful V6 engine in its class New Edge SUV lineup is Ford’s smartest ever, offering more standard driver-assist technology than any other midsize SUV and introducing to the segment new available technologies such as Post-Collision Braking, Evasive Steering Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2018 – Ford begins introducing the coveted ST brand to its SUV lineup with the unveiling of the all-new Edge ST today, building on its best-ever SUV sales year in the U.S.
    The all-new Edge ST – Ford’s first SUV to be tuned by the Ford Performance team – features the most powerful V6 engine available in its class with a specially tuned 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost® engine pumping out 335 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque.
    It’s also outfitted for dynamic handling with a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive with selectable traction control, an available performance brake package, and ST-tuned sport suspension.
    “Edge ST puts a new animal on the road – a performance SUV with a track mentality,” said Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing. “From a performance standpoint, and with its SUV silhouette and versatility, it sets a new standard Edge fans will love to drive.”
    A new Sport Mode allows Edge ST drivers to experience more aggressive throttle response and shifting patterns that hold gears near redline through cornering maneuvers, sharper engine braking, and a more resonant exhaust tone. Drivers can also manually shift using the steering wheel-mounted SelectShift® paddle shifters while firmly positioned in unique Edge ST seating with additional bolstering.
    To complement its performance abilities, Edge ST features new front and rear styling, a wide mesh grille for optimal cooling, deep side skirts and dual-exhaust outlets. Unique 21-inch wheels are available and interior design cues on the steering wheel, seat backs and scuff plates provide a subtle reminder that this five-passenger SUV is something special.
    Smart Vehicle for a Smart World
    The new Edge – including all-new Edge ST – is Ford’s smartest SUV ever, and every model comes standard with more driver-assist technology than any other midsize SUV. This includes Forward Collision Warning and Dynamic Brake Support; Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection; BLIS® with Cross-Traffic Alert; Lane-Keeping Alert; Lane-Keeping Assist; Auto High Beams; and Hill-Start Assist. In addition, standard safety features include AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ and Curve Control, and 911 Assist®.
    For 2019, Edge introduces the following first-for-Ford and first-in-segment features as either standard or available equipment:
    Post-Collision Braking: Helps reduce the impact of a potential secondary collision by automatically applying moderate brake pressure when an initial collision event is detected; slowing the vehicle can potentially lessen injury to occupants and damage to the vehicle Evasive Steering Assist: Helps drivers steer around stopped or slower vehicles to help avoid collisions. Designed to operate at city and highway speeds, it uses radar and a camera to detect slower-moving and stationary vehicles ahead and provides steering support to enable drivers to maneuver around a vehicle if a collision is imminent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering: Helps the vehicle maintain a comfortable driving distance from vehicles ahead and helps reduce stress during long, light-traffic road trips by helping keep the vehicle centered in its lane “Edge drivers expect a sophisticated, modern driving experience,” said Cristina Aquino, Edge marketing manager. “Bringing a host of new technologies as standard and introducing these segment-first features helps ensure customers feel more confident behind the wheel.”
    Dual-stage airbags, side-curtain airbags, rain-sensing wipers, rear view camera and an innovative active glove box knee airbag are also standard, while front and rear ultrasonic sensors, 180-degree front and rear cameras and Enhanced Active Park Assist are offered as available equipment.
    Technology for a Connected World
    Inside, drivers will find an available wireless charging pad nestled in the forward media bin, and they can opt for an upgraded audio experience, HD Radio™ and a 12-speaker B&O PLAY™ Premium Audio System by HARMAN specially tuned for Edge.
    Standard on all Edge models is FordPass® Connect, with a Wi-Fi hotspot that gives internet access to up to 10 devices. Using the FordPass™ app, drivers can also use their smartphone to start, lock, unlock and locate their Edge.
    SYNC® with AppLink™, an enhanced voice-recognition communications and entertainment system, is also standard. This system supports the new Ford+Alexa app, giving users access to their favorite media content, daily appointments, smart home controls, and the ability to search for nearby points of interest and even shop for everyday items, all from the road. Drivers can also upgrade to SYNC 3 with an 8-inch touchscreen for enhanced in-vehicle experience.
    A powerfully sophisticated ride
    The new Edge comes standard with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that offers a 5 horsepower increase and improved fuel economy over the outgoing model.
    It is mated to a newly designed 8-speed transmission with Auto Start-Stop technology that efficiently turns the engine off when the vehicle is stopped and idling, then seamlessly restarts in milliseconds when the brake is released.
    Inside, a redesigned center console is accentuated by an all-new rotary gearshift dial that frees up space, allows easier access to the wireless charging pad and enhances the vehicle’s modern, sophisticated feel.
    With a wider grille and freshened fascia that create an athletic, modern appearance, the new Edge maintains the reputation for sophistication it’s carried for more than a decade. Full LED headlamps are standard, LED fog lamps and signature lighting are available and a redesigned hood imparts a wider, more planted stance.
    Built at the Oakville Assembly Plant in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, the new Ford Edge and all-new Edge ST are due to arrive in showrooms this summer.

    William Maley

    There's a new ST and possibly a new Mustang Bullitt

    Many of us thought that Ford's showing at the Detroit Auto Show would be the upcoming Ranger. But it seems the blue oval has other plans.
    First up, Ford is teasing a new ST model. In a video dropped on various social media outlets, the former Stig, Ben Collins is seen walking past various performance models including the GT and Raptor. He then stops at a mysterious ST model. Guesses about the new ST range from the new Focus ST to possibly a crossover - the EcoSport and Edge being prime contenders.
    But that's not all. Automotive News has learned that Ford will be debuting a new version of Mustang Bullitt. Rumors about this have been going around since last year when spy shots caught a dark green Mustang taking part in a commercial being filmed in Chicago.
    "We don’t have any Mustang news to share today but we love the interest in America’s favorite muscle car," said Ford spokesman Mike Levine when asked about the Bullitt.
    Source: Ford, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
     
     

    William Maley

    See if you can spot the changes!

    Mini will be using next week's Detroit Auto Show to debut refreshed versions of the Cooper Hardtop and Convertible models. At first glance, the changes don't seem apparent as the new models look like the current ones. But you'll need to get a bit closer to see the changes. Up front, the 2019 Coopers feature a new headlight design and updated logo. Around back, Mini has fitted a new set of LED taillights with a Union Jack pattern.
    The interior sees some minor changes with Bluetooth and a 6.5-inch infotainment screen becoming standard. An 8.8-inch system with navigation is available as an option.
    The U.S. will miss out on one change that Mini is making for the Cooper in other markets - a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
    No mention of when the 2019 Cooper Hardtop and Convertible will go on sale.
    Source: Mini 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Fresh update for the original: the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door, the new MINI Convertible.

    Detroit, MI,  January 9, 2018. The British premium automobile manufacturer strengthens the progressive character and appeal of its models in the small car segment with a stylishly refined visual appearance and extensive technological advancements. The update for the MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the MINI Convertible includes fresh design accentuations, innovations in the field of drive technology, additional customisation options and an expansion of the digital services available as part of MINI Connected.
    The upgrading of the original product substance in the premium segment of small cars highlights the mature yet distinctive charisma of MINI, which in its current model generation is now available for the first time with three body types for hallmark driving fun in urban environments. This is due to such elements as an extended range of standard features, newly designed headlights and rear lights, additional body finishes and cutting-edge connectivity technology for convenience and infotainment.
    MINI Hardtop 2 Door, MINI Hardtop 4 Door, MINI Convertible: overview of new features.
    LED rear lights in Union Jack design. New MINI logo, new body finishes, Piano Black exterior. New light alloy wheels. Extended range of leather trim, interior surfaces and Color Lines. Unique individualisation with MINI Yours Customised. Multifunction steering wheel and radio with 6.5-inch colour screen, USB and Bluetooth interface as standard. Optional radio and navigation systems with touchscreen monitor. Telephony with wireless charging. MINI Connected and MINI Connected XL with new functions. MINI logo projection from the exterior mirror on the driver's side. Bright and dazzle-free: LED headlights.
    A modified design for the characteristic circular headlights make the hallmark front view of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible even more powerfully expressive. In the standard halogen headlights, a striking accentuation is added by means of a black panel. In the LED headlights available as optional equipment items, the high-quality technology is underscored by means of an entirely newly design of the light sources. The latest generation of the LED modules for low and high beam offers increased brightness. The LED daytime driving light and the turn indicator light are generated by a ring which surrounds the entire contour of the headlight,
    Very British: rear lights in Union Jack design.
    The rear lights also feature a new design in conjunction with the optional LED headlights. As a clear reference to the brand's British DNA, the upright light units at the rear of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible now appear in a Union Jack design.
    The striking flag motif is recreated in the structure of the light functions. The turn indicators are horizontally arranged and the brake lights are vertically aligned, with the tail light additionally representing the diagonal lines of the British flag. In order to ensure a particularly harmonious lighting effect, all light sources forming the Union Jack graphic use LED technology.
    New MINI logo: reduced to the essentials.
    The new MINI logo is clear and authentic in style, appearing on the bonnet, tailgate, steering wheel, central instrument display, remote control, and optional driver’s side puddle lighting all models. It is a re-interpretation of the existing logo and now features a two-dimensional "flat design". As such, the MINI logo reflects the new brand identity with its focus on the essentials – namely key values such as driving fun, distinctive design, premium quality and emotional appeal.
    Three new exterior paint colors, premiere for Piano Black Exterior.
    The extensive range of exterior paint colors available for the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible now adds three variants: Emerald Grey metallic, Starlight Blue metallic, and Solaris Orange metallic.
    What is more, the list of optional equipment items features an additional means of customizing the exterior design. With the option Piano Black Exterior, the surrounds of the headlights, rear lights and radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black instead of chrome.
    The selection of optionally available light alloy wheels has been expanded, too. The 17-inch light alloy wheels in the design styles Roulette Spoke 2-tone and Propeller Spoke 2-tone are now available for all body variants of the new MINI. The likewise 17-inch light alloy wheels in Rail Spoke 2-tone design have also been newly added to the program.
    New leather trims, interior surfaces and Color Lines.
    A broad selection of seat surfaces, interior surfaces and Color Lines add a touch of individual style to the interior of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible. New features for the MINI Hardtop 2 Door and the MINI Hardtop 4 Door include supple Malt Brown Chesterfield Leather upholstery.
    In addition, the new option MINI Yours Interior Style Piano Black with illumination includes a backlit decorative panel on the passenger side of the dashboard, likewise finished in Piano Black as well as bearing a stylised Union Jack motif.  The color of the backlighting matches the ambient lighting selected by the driver. This option also adds high-gloss Piano Black surfaces in the area of the doors and center console., 
    Maximum individualization: MINI Yours Customised.
    The MINI Yours Customised program now raises hallmark brand individualization to a whole new level. It includes retrofit products that can be designed by customers themselves, which are then produced precisely according to these individual specifications. The MINI Yours Customised range will include side scuttles, decorative strips for the interior on the passenger side, LED door sill finishers and LED door projectors.
    MINI Yours Customised products can be designed and previewed through a specially created Online Customiser. Here customers can choose between various colors, patterns, surface structures and icons, as well as contributing their own texts and adding a touch of personal style to the design. This offering enables MINI fans to turn their vehicle into a unique specimen that bears the stamp of their own personality. The individualized products are manufactured using innovative production techniques such as various 3D printing methods and laser engraving.
    New infotainment systems and features
    A new 6.5” display is included as standard, and features an updated and optimized user interface, Bluetooth mobile phone integration, and support for Bluetooth audio streaming. In addition, customers can specify a new 8.8” touchscreen navigation system with new user interface and greatly expanded features.  
    New options: telephony with wireless charging, MINI logo projection.
    The innovative optional equipment for the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible includes a wireless charging option. A storage compartment integrated in the centre armrest enables wireless charging of mobile phones which offer this capability. This option also adds a second USB port in the front section of the center console.
    For the first time, the MINI Hardtop 2 Door and MINI Hardtop 4 Door are available with a MINI logo projection feature. When the vehicle is opened and closed, the new MINI logo is projected onto the ground in front of the driver’s side door from a light source in the exterior mirror and can be seen there for 20 seconds, or permanently if the door is left open.
    MINI Connected: a range of digital services that is unique within the segment.
    With the new MINI Connected functions, MINI offers a diverse range of digital services at premium level that is unique in the small car segment. New features include Advanced Real Time Traffic Information with 4G LTE connectivity, support for Apple CarPlay, Connected Services, and intelligent emergency call.
    The personal mobility assistant feature of the MINI Connected smartphone app now enables drivers of the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible to integrate their vehicle and mobility planning seamlessly into their day-to-day digital routine. For example, MINI Connected can draw on calendar entries and contact data entered in a smartphone to plan a route and determine the ideal time to set off based on real time traffic data. The Send-to-Car function enables planned routes to be sent to the MINI navigation system, while Remote Services allow the driver not just to display vehicle location, fuel level and other vehicle status details on their digital end device, but also activate the headlight flasher, horn, ventilation and door lock/unlock function.
    Intelligent networking of the MINI is via a SIM card integrated in the vehicle: this now complies with the mobile communications standard 4G. It also enables the use of MINI Teleservices and the Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic detection of vehicle location and accident severity.
    Services now available in the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the new MINI Convertible for the first time also include MINI Find Mate. This consists of so-called tags with a wireless tracking function that can be attached to frequently used objects and travel items such as bags, cases, key rings and rucksacks. Their position can not only be displayed on the on-board computer but also in the MINI Connected App on a smartphone. In this way, MINI Find Mate helps prevent personal items getting lost or left behind.

    William Maley

    How to make a GLS extra fancy

    Mercedes-Benz has decided their largest SUV, the GLS-Class isn't fancy enough. That's why at the Detroit Auto Show next week, the German automaker will introduce the 2018 GLS Grand Edition.
    Most of the changes for the Grand Edition are inside with Porcelain and Espresso Brown Nappa leather on the seats and dash, open-pore wood trim, velour floor mats, and ambient lighting. Outside, the GLS Grand Edition comes with LED headlights, 'Grand Edition' badging and different wheels - 20-inches for the GLS 450 and 21-inches for the GLS 550.
    Mercedes is keeping mum on the pricing for the Grand Edition models, but said it will arrive at dealers towards the middle of this year.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition
    Jan 9, 2018 – Detroit: The Mercedes-Benz GLS combines luxury with impressive levels of comfort, agile dynamics and extensive safety systems. New for 2018, the Grand Edition, featuring luxurious interiors and edition-exclusive components will be available for both the GLS450 4MATIC and GLS550 4MATIC SUVs. The GLS Grand Edition will make its premiere at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2018, and will be available in U.S. dealers by mid-2018.
    The Grand Edition features exclusive interior and exterior elements. A highly luxurious interior features Porcelain / Espresso Brown and designo Nappa leather seats with exclusive diamond quilting and special Budapest-design piping. The interior is finished with an open pore brown ash trim with light stripes and a Nappa leather dashboard. The special edition is also standard equipped with ambient lighting and Espresso Brown velour floor mats.
    The elegant exterior of the Grand Edition on the GLS450 4MATIC features 20-inch 10-spoke two-tone wheels and an advanced LED Intelligent Light System. The GLS550 4MATIC is standard equipped with 21-inch wheels and Active LED headlamps. Both models are finished with the special "Grand Edition" badging.

    William Maley

    Only 2 percent of G-Class buyers will take advantage of it

    Mercedes-Benz has been releasing a surprising amount of information on the upcoming 2019 G-Class before its debut at the Detroit Auto Show. Last month, the German automaker dropped some information concerning the interior. This latest batch of information deals with the off-road capability, something that only a small number of G-Class owners will take advantage of.
    Mercedes says the 2019 G-Class will retain a ladder-type frame, three differential locks, and a low range ratio. The front features an independent suspension setup with double wishbones on the axle. The rear retains a solid axle with four longitudinal control arms on each side. Ground clearance is slightly higher than the current G-Class  - 9.49 vs. 9.26 inches. 
    The 2019 G-Class will also come with 'G-Mode' that automatically adjusts the engine, transmission, suspension, and steering to improve off-road performance. G-Mode will automatically come on when one of the differential locks is engaged. A 360-degree view camera system helps with driving in difficult terrain.
    Mercedes will be fitting the G-Class with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Aside from improving fuel economy, the transmission will make driving the G-Class more comfortable and quieter.
    For now, you can look at pictures of a camouflaged 2019 G-Class tackling Austria's Schõckl Mountain test track.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class: The legend on the Schöckl: More control, more comfort
    Every G-Class has to conquer the Schöckl. Mercedes-Benz uses the 1,445 metre high local mountain near the Austrian city of Graz as a test track. The 5.6 km route includes gradients of up to 60 percent and lateral inclinations of up to 40 percent. During the development stage, a "G" has to endure a good 2,000 strenuous kilometres on this very demanding course. The new G-Class masters the route with noticeably more control and comfort.
    The primary goal of development was to make the new G-Class even more effective off-road. The G thus remains a true G – thanks to its standard ladder-type frame, the three 100-percent differential locks and LOW RANGE off-road ratio. Its suspension is the result of collaboration between Mercedes-Benz G GmbH and Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The result is an independent suspension with double-wishbone front axle in combination with a rigid rear axle. During development work, the engineers had the task of fighting for every millimetre, because off-road capability also means maximum ground clearance. The raised axle with independent suspension decisively contributes to this, and additionally increases the stiffness of the body with a strut brace.
    Agile off-road as well
    The components of the double-wishbone front axle are directly fixed to the ladder-type frame without a suspension subframe. The attachment points on the frame of the lower wishbone in a Z-direction are positioned as high up as possible. This arrangement ensures good driveability beyond the asphalt. Specifically for the G-Class, the new front axle is designed in such a robust way that the off-road performance and off-road capabilities of its predecessor are maintained and partly even surpassed. The new rigid rear axle is guided with four longitudinal control arms on each side and a Panhard rod. The off-road vehicle stays on track more robustly, and is agile and effortless in off-road applications.
    The exceptional handling characteristics and driving safety on account of the driver's high level of control can only be experienced first hand. The following figures, however, clearly show that every little detail to improve the off-road characteristics has been checked and optimised where possible.
    As before, high ground clearance and long suspension travel form the basis for the further improved off-road characteristics of the G-Class. The figures speak for themselves:
    Slope climbing ability of up to 100% on suitable surfaces Ground clearance between the axles, 241 millimetres, plus 6 millimetres maximum fording depth now 70 centimetres in water and mud passages, plus 10 centimetres Driving stability at angles of 35°, plus 7° Angle of departure: 30°, angle of approach: 31°, plus 1° Breakover angle: 26°, plus 1° Suspension travel: Front axle: Spring/rebound travel of 85/100 millimetres; rear axle: Spring/rebound travel of 82/142 millimetres The new "G-Mode" paves the way where there are none
    One of the prerequisites for the improved off-road handling characteristics is the new "G-Mode". The G-Class changes to "G-Mode" independently of the chosen drive program as soon as one of the three differential locks has been activated or LOW RANGE has been engaged. This off-road mode adapts the adjustable damping of the chassis and the steering as well as the accelerator characteristic, avoids unnecessary gearshifts and ensures maximum off-road capability. A small "G" icon discreetly lights up in the instrument cluster. The G simply swallows up major bumps, and even in extreme terrain the driver does not have to frantically hold on to the steering wheel to effortlessly manoeuvre.

    New automatic transmission on board
    For the power transmission, the 9G‑TRONIC automatic transmission with torque converter was specifically adapted to meet the needs of the off-road icon. The developers have managed to reduce the shift and response times of the 9-speed transmission by means of a dedicated software application. The wide transmission ratio not only makes driving quieter and more comfortable especially at low engine speeds, it also simultaneously contributes to reducing fuel consumption.
    The new transfer case is flange-mounted directly on to the 9G-TRONIC. It is adjusted in such a way that 40 percent of the drive torque reaches the front axle and 60 percent reaches the rear axle. The permanent all-wheel drive ensures maximum traction.
    The low-range ratio can be engaged via the LOW RANGE switch in transmission mode N at speeds of up to 40 km/h. The gear ratio of the transfer case is then changed from 1.00 in HIGH RANGE to 2.93. It is possible to switch from LOW RANGE to HIGH RANGE at speeds of up to 70 km/h. The gear ratio of the transfer case is 2.93 and thus significantly shorter than in the predecessor model (2.1), which becomes noticeable particularly when pulling away on an extreme gradient.
    All-round visibility from a bird's-eye view is possible thanks to the optional 360° camera, the reversing camera and three further cameras. This means that obstacles located below the window line or in front of the vehicle such as a hill crest do not remain hidden. The information is presented clearly in full HD in a choice of different views on the multimedia system's display. Dynamic guide lines show the road and the width of the G-Class. In addition, the off-road screen specially designed for the G-Class also displays data such as height, gradient, angle, compass, steering angle and activated differential locks.
    Furthermore, for particularly arduous applications, 18-inch all-terrain tyres are available.

    William Maley

    It has a name!

    Just a few weeks ago, Infiniti dropped a teaser for their showing at the Detroit Auto Show. We didn't know much aside from the deep-cut in the hood and a different grille design. Today, Infiniti dropped another picture and some more information on their concept.
    The Q Inspiration looks to be Infiniti's take on the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera with a sloping roofline and hatchback shape for the rear. Fenders are flat slabs of metal and there is a large vent behind the front wheel.
    "We aim to take traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution. The Q Inspiration offers an alternative form; something more flowing in appearance and muscular in stance, with an unusually long and balanced cabin. Experimenting with new proportions in an established segment with the arrival of smarter, compact powertrains, the Q Inspiration features a shorter hood and elongated body, with all the benefits to interior wellbeing, comfort and space that this layout entails," said Karim Habib, INFINITI Executive Design Director in a statement.
    The "smarter, compact powertrains" has us wondering if the Q Inspiration will get a version of Infiniti's variable-compression engine that debuted in the QX50 or go pure EV. We'll likely have the answer when the Q Inspiration debuts on January 15th.
    More of our Detroit Auto Show Coverage can be found here.
    Source: Infiniti
    Press Release is on Page 2
    INFINITI hints at future design with Q Inspiration Concept

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  INFINITI has released the first image of its new Q Inspiration Concept ahead of its debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    Representing the next step in INFINITI design, the exterior of Q Inspiration features clear and concise lines and eschews classical sedan forms with its elongated silhouette. It is the first manifestation of INFINITI's new form language for an era of advanced powertrains and presents a design vision for vehicles in this segment.
    "We aim to take traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution. The Q Inspiration offers an alternative form; something more flowing in appearance and muscular in stance, with an unusually long and balanced cabin. Experimenting with new proportions in an established segment with the arrival of smarter, compact powertrains, the Q Inspiration features a shorter hood and elongated body, with all the benefits to interior wellbeing, comfort and space that this layout entails."
    Karim Habib, INFINITI Executive Design Director

    Drew Dowdell

    Concept will debut Infiniti's new design language.

    Infiniti will debut a new concept car at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.  Today the company released a teaser image of the coming concept sedan.
    Unlike most teaser images that show a silhouette or just a glowing headlight, Infiniti opted for a white car on a white background.  This allows us to see a little bit more detail.   The current Infiniti signature grille appears to be gone, replaced with a deep sulking one with a finely finned intake somewhat reminiscent of the front turbine on a jet engine. Inside rests a prominent and very three dimensional Infiniti logo.  Behind that are deep cut-lines in the hood that flow back into the fender. 
    Infiniti says that this concept will evolve the traditional sedan formula around new compact engine architecture, allowing for a longer cabin, balance proportions, and muscular stance.
    The Infiniti Concept will be unveiled in the Cobo Center in Detroit on January 15th 2018 at 12:35 pm est.
    Click here to follow all 2018 Detroit Auto Show News
    Click here to follow all Infiniti News


    William Maley

    Acura's smallest crossover for the U.S. enters the 3rd-generation

    Acura dropped both a teaser photo and video of the 2019 Acura RDX Prototype. The RDX is an important vehicle for Acura as its the second-best selling model for the brand - the larger MDX is the best selling model.
    The teaser image doesn't reveal much about the RDX Prototype's design aside from a distinct character line running along the doors and rear fender and a lowered roofline. The video, on the other hand, gives us some more clues. The front loses the beak grille and will transition to the shield grille that debut on the Precision concept back in 2016. Inside, the RDX Prototype features an infotainment screen jutting out from the top of the dash and what looks to be a push-button transmission selector.
    Acura says the new RDX was "designed and developed for the first time in America" and will use a new platform that is exclusive to the brand. No mention of power, but we wouldn't be shocked if a turbo-four is under the hood.
    We'll have more details when the RDX Prototype rolls out on January 15th.
    Click here to follow all 2018 Detroit Auto Show News
    Click here to follow all Acura News
    Source: Acura
    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-new Acura RDX Prototype Teased Ahead of Detroit World Debut

    Dec 20, 2017 - TORRANCE, Calif.
    Teaser video highlights sleeker, more evocative exterior styling and a completely new interior design of perennial top-seller Most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade Best performing, most premium RDX ever to debut January 15 at 11:05 a.m. EST at North American International Auto Show Reveal to be Live Streamed through Acura social media channels Facebook.com/Acura, YouTube.com/Acura and Twitter.com/Acura The third-generation Acura RDX Prototype will make its world debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on January 15 at 11:05 a.m. EST. Representing the most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade, the new RDX is the first in a new generation of Acura products inspired by "Precision Crafted Performance" and signals the beginning of a new era for the luxury automaker.
    Designed and developed for the first time in America, the new RDX will be built on a new, Acura-exclusive platform and incorporates key design elements of two recent concepts – the Acura Precision Concept and Acura Precision Cockpit. The exterior styling adapts the low, wide and sleek presence of the Precision Concept to an SUV, and features strong character lines that run along the entire profile of the vehicle. From the Precision Cockpit, the third-generation RDX features an all-new interior design, user interface and operating system designed from a clean sheet.
    The Acura RDX is a perennial best-seller in the premium-entry SUV segment, which is on pace to unseat entry-premium sedans as the highest volume segment of the luxury market. The RDX has recorded five consecutive years of record sales and seven straight years of year-over-year sales growth.

    Drew Dowdell

    Back to Front

    The drips of teasers leading up to the 2018 Detroit Auto Show are picking up steam.  Last week Lexus released a teaser of Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept rear hatch area.  Today Lexus released a frontal image plus a short video of the light up sequence. (See gallery below)
    Lexus says that the LF-1 Limitless Concept will redefine the boundaries of luxury and would be a flagship crossover for the brand. 
    The Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept will be revealed at 8:35 am on January 15th at the Cobo Center, Detroit.
    Click here to follow all 2018 Detroit Auto Show News
    Click here to follow Lexus News

    Drew Dowdell

    BMW's little new city crossover.

    BMW released the details and pictures of the 2018 BMW X2 back in October, but the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit is where the official world debut will happen. 
    The 2018 BMW X2 (officially named X2 xDrive28i) is a sportier take on the company's existing X1 crossover.  Unlike the X3/X4 and X5/X6 pairs, the X2 does not get a more coupe-like profile, keeping things more upright like a standard crossover.  Ostensibly, this is to keep headroom usable on an already snug vehicle, overall however, the X2 roof is 2.8 inches lower and 3.2 inches shorter than the X1.
    The X2 is powered by an updated version of BMW's 228 horsepower 2.0 liter 4-cylinder. It is capable of 258 lb-ft of torque from 1,450 - 4,500 rpm. Power is routed to all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic. No manual transmission is being offered at this time.  The all-wheel drive system runs in front-wheel drive mode most of the time. When slip is detected an electronic clutch engages the rear wheels. 
    Along with the X1, the BMW X2 shares a platform with the BMW 1-series sold only in China and 2-series sold in Europe, and the Mini Countryman and Clubman. 
    The 2018 X2 xDrive28i will arrive in dealerships in spring of 2018.  The official unveil is scheduled for 9:35 am on January 15th at Cobo Center, Detroit.
    Click here to follow all 2018 Detroit Auto Show News.
    Click here to follow BMW News.
     
     

    Drew Dowdell

    Honda is planning a third generation Insight

    Updated: 3:10 pm est with additional pictures
    Honda released a teaser image today, ahead of the 2018 North American International Auto Show, of a prototype of the forthcoming Honda Insight. 
    This will mark the third time Honda uses the Insight name.  The original Insight was the first hybrid offered in the US.  A small two-seater, the Insight never caught hold.  The second time around, Honda went for a Prius-shaped compact hatchback and the CR-Z sporty hatchback hybrid, still customers stayed away.
    The new teaser image reveals little, beyond the new Insight's shape.  The prototype shares a profile now more closely related to the Civic sedan, though perhaps a bit more swoopy in the rear. 
    The new Insight will be a five passenger sedan positioned above the Civic in the lineup.  We expect the Insight to be powered by the same hybrid system as the larger Accord Hybrid.
    The Honda Insight Prototype will be revealed on January 15th.
    Click here to follow all 2018 Detroit Auto Show News.
     
    Click here to follow Honda News.

    Drew Dowdell

    Jeep updates the Cherokee to a more conventional look.

    Ahead of the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Jeep released images of the refreshed 2019 Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.
    By far the largest change is the face which now more closely resembles the Jeep Grand Cherokee and new Jeep Compass.  The front light clusters have been merged into a single unit and are no longer low in the bumper with turn signal "brows" in a separate cluster.  The rear hatch is no longer a giant flat slab, gaining more contouring and updated tail light clusters.  Interior of the Cherokee looks to be a carry over.
    Jeep hasn't released any information on powertrain. The current Jeep Cherokee is powered by either a 184 hp 2.4 liter 4-cylinder or a 271 hp 3.2 liter V6.  A new 2.0T 4-cylinder from the 2018 Jeep Wrangler that debuted at the 2017 LA Auto Show could make an appearence.
    The 2019 Jeep Cherokee will be fully revealed on January 16th at the Cobo Center in Detroit.
    Related: Quick Drive Review 2017 Jeep Cherokee Overland, Review: 2017 Jeep Compass Limited
    Click here follow all 2018 Detroit Auto Show news.


     





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