Jump to content
  • Detroit Auto Show

    William Maley

    Looks like a Veloster

    Hyundai's big showing for the Detroit Auto Show next month will be the redesigned 2019 Veloster. Thanks to a spy photographer, we have gotten our first look at it without the camo.
    The pictures were captured during a shoot for a commercial or a video that might be shown during the unveiling. Despite the blurriness of the pictures, we can make out a number of details. For one, this looks to be the high-performance 'Turbo' model due to large, round, center exhaust tips and faux diffuser. The front end features a smaller mesh grille and aggressive bumper with deep cuts. One report says the roofline is lowered, though we can't really see that in the pictures. 
    We're expecting the turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder from the Elantra Sport and Elantra GT Sport to be on offer, along with another engine. A hotter N version is in the works as well, but we're expecting that to debut at a later time.
    Source: Autoblog, AutoGuide

    Drew Dowdell

    Toyota isn't giving up on the full-size sedan market just yet.

    Full-size family sedans have been on the ropes lately. The Hyundai Azera has been canceled.  There is no planned replacement for the Ford Taurus. The Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 both have uncertain futures.
    Toyota however is about to put a pile of chips on the table with a fully redesigned 2019 Toyota Avalon.  They released a teaser picture ahead of the January 15th release at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. 
    The picture, which only shows the front left corner of the car shows a very expressive look with a broad lower intake and a somewhat Lexus shaped grille.  We expect the new Avalon to ride on a longer variant of the 2018 Toyota Camry platform that was released at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.  The new Camry platform shaved significant weight over the prior model and that will likely carry over to the new Avalon as well. That should make for some impressive performance numbers as the Avalon is already one of the lightest vehicles in the class.
    We will have more details and on-site reaction for you as we approach the full release of the 2019 Toyota Avalon at the Detroit Auto Show.
     


    William Maley

    Wow, the next Jetta gets some style!

    Volkswagen has dropped some new sketches of the upcoming 2019 Jetta that will debut next month at the Detroit Auto Show.
    Compared to the current model, the redesigned Jetta looks to be more upscale. The front end comes with a hexagonal grille shape, sculpted hood, and angled headlights. Along the side is a pronounced character line and lowered roofline. The back comes with an integrated spoiler for the trunk and a dual exhaust system with chrome accents - likely on higher trims. Inside, the Jetta looks to be somewhat luxurious with an improved design for the dash, optional digital instrument cluster, and a large infotainment screen that is angled to the driver.
    Power will come from a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder producing 150 horsepower - the same engine found in the current Jetta. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic.
    Source: Volkswagen
     

    Drew Dowdell

    Lexus previews a concept crossover to be shown in Detroit in January 2018.

    Lexus released teaser images of a concept crossover that will be shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  The crossover was created by the Toyota's CALTY design studio in Newport Beach, California.   The concept, called the Lexus LF-1 Limitless will preview Lexus' interpretation of a flagship luxury crossover, one they claim will redefine the boundaries of luxury.
    We will have more in the Lexus LF-1 Limitless from the show in January.
    Click here follow all Detroit North American International Auto Show News


    Drew Dowdell

    The oldest designed vehicle on the market finally gets a re-do.

    Mercedes-Benz released a preview of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class due to be released at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  The images, all of the interior, show a significantly updated G-Class with an interior now at the level customers expect from Mercedes-Benz.  Critics of the current G-Class point out the severely outdated build quality of the current model that does not fit its high price tag.
     
    The new G-Class gets the double-wide 12.3 inch displays found on other Mercedes-Benz models like the S-Class and E-Class. New steering wheel controls respond to finger gestures similar in operation to the screen of a smartphone. Much of the rest of the interior switchgear is lifted straight out of Mercedes-Benz's other models, while the seats and trim finally get the plushness expected at a $123,000 price level.
     
    If you're expecting the G-Class to look different from the current model, don't.  The exterior will largely look the same as the current model. The new G-Class will go on sale late 2018.
    Additional details will be released as we approach the North American International Auto Show in Detroit starting January 15th.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz Media Relations
     
    Press Release on Page 2


    It is an off-road legend and the ultimate benchmark for so many fans of cross-country driving: the G-Class. Since 1979 more than 300,000 vehicles have allowed their owners to experience adventures that would have been unachievable with any other vehicle. Outwardly, the "G" has changed very little. But in fact this  very  special  off-roader  has  constantly  reinvented itself. With its completely updated interior and numerous new features, the G-Class has now undergone the  most  significant  transformation  of  its almost 40-year career, in technical as well as stylistic terms - while staying  true to itself.
    Iconic elements continue to serve very specific purposes, now as then, and to give the G-Class its unique appearance. All these are still to be found in the new G-Class: the distinctive door handles and the characteristic closing sound, the robust exterior protective strip, the exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent indicator lights. It is extraordinary features like these that combine with the off-roader's angular lines to define its special look.
    Interior: as luxurious as it is authentic
    That this is a contemporary interpretation of a legend is also evident, for example, from the car's clear, geometric lines: climbing aboard the G-Class reveals styling elements from the exterior transposed into the interior. The shape of the round headlamps, for instance, which is reflected in the air vents on either side. Or the design of the iconic indicators, found again in the shape of the loudspeakers.
    Hallmarks of the G-Class include the grab handle in front of the front passenger and the chrome-highlighted switches for the differential locks, positioned in clear view. Both have been meticulously optimized and retained as characteristic features.
    G-Class drivers are able to control the full infotainment system without taking their hands off the steering wheel. The touch-sensitive Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel respond to swiping motions in the same way as the surface of a smartphone. Thanks to haptic impulses and additional feedback from the onboard speakers, the driver can use the touchpad without looking away from the road. The input options are rounded off by shortcut keys in front of the Controller for frequently accessed operating tasks, and by the optional control array for the driving assistance systems above the rotary light switch. The driver sits up close to the windscreen and enjoys good all-round visibility from behind the wheel.
    The very clearly laid-out and completely redesigned instrument panel features timeless tube-look analogue dials as standard. In other words, fans of classic round instruments will certainly not be disappointed in the new G-Class. As in the new E and S-Class, an alternative instrument panel in the form of a large display screen showing virtual instruments in the driver's direct field of vision and a central display above the center console is available as an option. Two 12.3-inch displays blend visually into a wide-screen cockpit beneath a shared glass cover. Drivers can choose between three different styles for the displays – "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive" – and also configure relevant information and views according to their individual needs.
    High-quality materials and added comfort
    With its unmistakable character and high-quality appointments, the G-Class has always managed to combine off-road capability and luxury in a particularly harmonious way. Even in its standard specification, the G-Class's timeless and authentic open-pore wood trim gives it an air of classical elegance. Its stylish details include the generous use of high-quality metal or carbon fiber trim, and its leather seats.
    "Every G-Class must be put to the test on the Schöckl." And this was the motto that headed the list of requirement specifications when it came to redesigning this classic among off-roaders. It refers to the Graz plant's local mountain, used by Mercedes-Benz for its hard – and some say even merciless - testing, and which each off-roader must be able to conquer. Which is why every "G" bears a certification mark in the form of a "Schöckl" badge at the base of its B-pillar.
    The doors are very solid, clear evidence of that hallmark "G" functionality. The stowage space concept has been thoroughly overhauled, with numerous new
    storage areas ensuring that everything has a home. Under the armrest, for example, is an illuminated compartment for small items. In front of the touchpad in the center console are two removable cup holders. The rear doors are each capable of accommodating a 1-liter water bottle. The rear bench seat has a freestanding backrest, so allowing maximum variability and better visibility through the rear side windows.
    The standard audio system features seven loudspeakers. The Burmester® surround sound system with 16 speakers and a 590 watt amplifier with Digital Sound Processing is available as optional equipment.
    The revised dimensions of the now larger G-Class do not only benefit the driver, but also the passengers in the second row.
    The most important data at a glance:
    Description
    Difference
    Legroom - front
    + 1.5 in (38 mm)
    Legroom - rear
    + 5.9 in (150 mm)
    Shoulder width - front
    + 1.5 in (38 mm)
    Shoulder width - rear
    + 1.1 in (27 mm)
    Elbow room - front
    + 2.7 in (68 mm)
    Elbow room - rear
    + 2.2 in (56 mm)
    The rear seats can be folded down to 60, 40 or 100 percent. The seats in the G-Class are equipped as standard with numerous convenience functions such as the Memory function for the driver's seat, seat heating front and rear, and luxury head restraints in the front. As well as the special multicontour seats, features range from massage functions, climatized seats, fast seat heating and electrically adjustable lumbar supports for the driver and front passenger. The side sections of the seat cushions and backrests of the active multicontour  seats include integrated air chambers that fill or empty on a continuous basis according to the driving dynamics, so providing better support for the seating positions of driver and front passenger and, for example, offering more lateral support during cornering. The front seats of the Active Multicontour Seat package are recommended by experts from the German spinal health organization "Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V.".
    Extras for the G-Class: two exclusive equipment packages
    There are so many variants for the new G-Class that it is extremely rare for any two cars to be exactly alike. This wide range of equipment options is made possible by the fact that features from the designo manufaktur range have already been integrated into the standard equipment variants.
    Passengers are accommodated on seats in Lugano leather in Black, Nut Brown or Macchiato Beige. There is furthermore a choice of two top-class equipment packages: Exclusive Interior and Exclusive Interior Plus. The Exclusive Interior is available in a range of seven colors. Three of these are elegant combinations of nappa leather in black and one of the designo manufaktur colors Platinum White, Yacht Blue or Classic Red. The package also includes a black designo roof liner in DINAMICA microfiber, along with air vents in silvershadow. The Exclusive Interior Plus comprises additional elements in Nappa leather such as the door trim, sections of the center console, the instrument panel and all the upholstery. A particular feature here is the seat design with dynamic diamond- pattern quilting. With this package, customers have a choice between the designo shades of Black, Espresso Brown and Classic Red. For the first time it is also possible to order a light-colored interior throughout, in Macchiato Beige – encompassing everything from the flooring to the roof liner.
    An off-road legend since 1979
    The G-Class is the top model among luxury off-road vehicles. It is not only by far the passenger car model series with the longest production run in the history of Mercedes-Benz, but also the forefather of all SUVs to bear the three- pointed star – this is why all Mercedes off-road models feature the upper-case G in their name.
    What began in 1972 with a collaboration agreement between the then Daimler- Benz AG and Steyr-Daimler-Puch in the Austrian city of Graz is now a story peppered with superlatives and significant milestones. As it was back then, the G-Class is still built largely by hand in Graz.
    Right from the very first design, this was no ordinary cross-country vehicle. Product planners, designers and engineers designed a vehicle that offered a compelling combination of reliability, robust build and superb off-road performance, which nevertheless appealed to customers as a fully-fledged, comfortable and, above all, safe, exclusive automobile for recreational purposes.
    At the time of its market launch, in the spring of 1979, it was available with a choice of four engine variants covering a performance spectrum of 53 kW / 72 hp to 115 kW / 156 hp. Customers had the option of a Cabriolet with a short wheelbase or Station Wagon models with short or long wheelbase. In 1989, the vehicles in the model series 463 marked the beginning of an evolutionary process for the off-roader that was not just about keeping pace with technical progress. It was an evolution that also brought a steadily expanding fanbase and emphasised its character as an exclusive vehicle for any occasion. And, since 1993, a vehicle with an official name: the G-Class.
    The 25th anniversary of the G-Class was marked by the arrival of a very special model on the market, honed by Mercedes-AMG: the G 55 AMG Kompressor. Its eight-cylinder power unit (350 kW / 476 hp, 700 newton meters of torque) gave the robust off-roader an unprecedented level of performance and demonstrated  the tremendous potential of the G-Class.
    The G-Class's 30th birthday was celebrated in 2009 with a series of new equipment features, enhancing primarily the comfort and exclusivity of the interior. The ergonomically optimized front seats offered more support, while new designs and climatized seats made the veteran beast even more luxurious. Sales of the G-Class have increased continually ever since. Thanks to the  strong growth rates, the forefather of the SUV achieved a new sales record in 2016, with almost 20,000 units being sold within a year.
    New AMG engines, a markedly expanded range of appointments, an even higher-quality interior, careful exterior modifications and safety features such as DISTRONIC Plus as well as the parking aid PARKTRONIC ensured further enhancement of the off-roader in 2012. A year later, Mercedes-Benz expanded the product portfolio with the G 63 AMG 6x6: a three-axle off-road vehicle that combined the "best of three worlds", featuring as it did all the developments of the new G-Class generation, the robustness of heavy off-highway vehicles and the superior engine technology of Mercedes-AMG.
    The G550 4x4² added not only a luxurious interior to the equation, but also ground clearance of 45 centimeters and impressive on-road performance. Since 2015 designo manufaktur has offered customers the possibility to individualize their G with exclusive equipment variants. The extraordinary G 650 Landaulet made its own very special mark in 2017. It was the first of its type to emerge under the Mercedes-Maybach name and only 99 vehicles were built. With its superlative V12 engine, portal axles, electrically operated fabric top and exclusive equipment specification in the rear compartment, this  variant of the "G" was aimed at customers who want their open-top driving to be as exclusive as it is stylish.
    The summer of 2017 saw the 300,000th G-Class roll off the assembly line in Graz – a Mercedes-Benz G 500 in designo Mauritius Blue Metallic with black leather seats and contrasting white topstitching. Equipped with a range of off- road features including all-terrain tires mounted on black 16-inch rims and a sturdy roof rack, the anniversary vehicle embarked this summer on a new adventure. G-Class fans around the world determined the vehicle specification by voting for their favorite equipment and appointments on the official
    G-Class Facebook page. The future road trips of the 300,000th G-Class can also be followed on social networks.
    The new G-Class will be celebrating its world premiere at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and will go on sale in the U.S. by late 2018.
    Please note this information is preliminary; additional information will be provided at the time of the product reveal in January.

    William Maley

    We see what you're trying to do Infiniti

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

    William Maley

    Yes, that is a Camry.

    The Toyota Camry isn't what you would call exciting. Bland and boring, yes. But the Japanese automaker hopes to change that perception with the introduction of the 2018 Camry.
    Toyota allowed their designers to go somewhat crazy with the Camry and it shows. There is a bit of Prius and C-HR in the design of the new Camry with a more aggressive nose, lower hood and beltline; and a very short rear deck. Moving inside, Toyota has revamped the design of the dashboard to make it more flowing. Seats have been resculpted to provide better comfort.
    The Camry is the latest model to use Toyota's TNGA platform which the company describes as “a structural reform movement for the entire company that will result in cars that are more dynamic, athletic, and fun to drive.” You may laugh, but as I can attest, this platform is the real deal when I drove the Prius - the first model to use TNGA. Toyota has also lowered the center of gravity and added a multilink rear suspension.
    For engines, the Camry boasts a new 2.5L four-cylinder and 3.5L V6 with D-4S Fuel Injection. Oddly no power figures were given for either engine. Both will come paired with an eight-speed automatic. A hybrid variant with the new 2.5L four will also be available.
    The 2018 Camry arrives at your local Toyota dealer this summer.
    Source: Toyota
    Press Release is on Page 2


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

    William Maley

    It may not look different, but there are some big changes for the 2018 Odyssey

    Honda's codeword for the 2018 Odyssey is consistency. Debuting today at the Detroit Auto Show, the 2018 model may not look all that different from the current model aside from a new front grille, more distinctive character line, creases along the side, and an updated rear end.
    But there are some clever ideas Honda has fitted into the Odyssey. First are the Magic Slide seats in the second-row. When you remove the middle seat in the second row, you can slide the outer two seats together thanks to lateral tracks. This also allows for easier access in to the third row. The seats can also tumble and fold, but not into the floor. Other ideas include,
    CabinWatch: An infrared camera allows you to keep tabs on rear passengers during the day or night CabinTalk: Microphone above the driver allows for communication with the second and third-row passengers through speakers CabinControl: Smartphone app that allows you to send directions to the vehicle, along with control of the rear-seat climate control and entertainment system. Rear-seat entertainment system that can stream PBS Kids, Spotify, and more through an integrated 4G LTE connection. Social Playlist: App where eight people can upload their music from their smartphones to the audio system (though we can expect some arguments coming up with some of the music choices).  7-inch color screen (LX) or 8-inch touchscreen (EX and above) Power comes from an updated 3.5L V6 with 280 horsepower. This can be paired with either a nine or new ten-speed automatic transmission. Honda says the ten-speed along with weight decrease of 100 pounds should increase fuel economy figures, though official numbers aren't out at this time.
    Safety-wise, the Odyssey EX and above will get Honda Sensing (their suite of active safety features) as standard. This includes adaptive cruise control with automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and road-departure mitigation.
    Honda says the 2018 Odyssey will arrive at dealers this spring.
    Source: Honda
    Press Release is on Page 2


    All-New 2018 Honda Odyssey Minivan Makes World Debut at 2017 NAIAS; Takes Family-Friendly Design, Performance and Technology to the Next Level
    Jan 9, 2017
    Advanced connectivity and entertainment with new Display Audio, CabinWatch, CabinTalk & streaming video with 4G LTE Wi-Fi New CabinControl app enables smartphone control of key vehicle systems, audio and rear entertainment features New Magic Slide™ second-row seat provides the ultimate in family-friendly versatility and comfort New 10-speed transmission joins DI V-6 engine in powertrain lineup Honda Sensing™ standard on trims expected to represent 95 percent of sales DETROIT – Honda today took the wraps off a sleek, sophisticated and innovative new 2018 Odyssey minivan, launching at dealerships nationwide this spring. Already the most popular minivan with individual American car buyers for seven years running, the next-generation Odyssey brings a host of new features and technologies for 2018, including a uniquely versatile new Magic Slide™ second-row seat; new CabinWatch and CabinTalk technologies; new Display Audio touchscreen with Honda-developed OS; 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity; new Rear Entertainment System with streaming video; and Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technologies, now offered standard on EX and above trims.
    "This new Odyssey raises the stakes for family-friendly packaging, performance and technology in the minivan segment," said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "In all aspects of its design, the new Odyssey is made to keep every member of the family happy, no matter the seating position, no matter the destination."
    Sophisticated and Family-Friendly Design
    The Odyssey's sophisticated and modern new styling adopts Honda's signature flying wing front grille flanked by available LED front headlights. The bold and sporty front fascia also conceals a new Active Shutter Grille for improved fuel efficiency when cruising. The Odyssey's signature lightning bolt beltline now provides an even more elegant design element with the sliding door tracks hidden in the lower portion of the rear quarter windows. At the rear there are LED taillights and an available new hands-free power tailgate with foot activation.
    Inside, the new Odyssey features high-grade materials including a soft-touch instrument panel. The driver's meter features a new 7-inch, full-color TFT display, and in the center of the dash there is an available 8-inch high-resolution Display Audio touchscreen interface (EX and above). In upper grades, stain-resistant leather first- and second-row seating surfaces and door trim and black carpeting and black seatbelts are designed to conceal stains, while a new grooveless tambour lid on the spacious and versatile center console resists the accumulation of crumbs and debris.
    In-vehicle Connectivity
    In-vehicle connectivity is taken to a whole new "family connectivity" concept.  Old-fashioned family connectivity – sometimes called a conversation – is made easier than ever with the quietest cabin in the class, and is augmented with a multitude of new connected-vehicle features and technologies, including:
    New Display Audio – featuring a new Honda-developed operating system, more intuitive menus and customizable app tiles, this 8-inch high-resolution (720P) touchscreen interface serves as the nerve center for a multitude of new audio and telematics options, including Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility, and adds a physical volume knob for improved usability. System updates – users can download available updates to the Display Audio operating system and rear entertainment system at their convenience via 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, or USB. CabinWatch – using a camera, CabinWatch lets the driver and front passenger keep tabs on passengers both day and night via the 8-inch Display Audio screen. CabinTalk – enables the driver to talk to second - and third-row passengers though the second-and third-row speakers and rear entertainment system headphones. Connected Rear Entertainment System – second- and third-row passengers can enjoy streaming video on the ceiling-mounted, 10.2-inch WSVGA Rear Entertainment System, including PBS Kids, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more, through the available in-vehicle 4G LTE Wi-Fi, public Wi-Fi or user's cellphone data plan. A new "How Much Farther?" app lets passengers track the family's trip progress. CabinControl – using a downloadable app, users can use a smart phone to control the rear entertainment system, rear cabin heat and air conditioning, and send destinations to the embedded Honda navigation system. Social Play List – part of CabinControl, Social Playlist operates like a virtual jukebox, allowing up to eight family members to upload their music choices to the audio system via their smartphones. Cabin quietness is enabled by new features and technologies including triple door seals, available acoustic front and side glass, and increased use of sound deadening materials under the floor, in the engine compartment and under the fenders, along with standard Active Sound Control technology.
    New Magic Slide™ seats
    A major innovation to family-friendly cabin seating flexibility is the Odyssey's new Magic Slide™ second-row seat, easily reconfigurable for optimal passenger comfort, people- and cargo-hauling flexibility, and easy access to third-row seating – even when one or two rear-facing child seats are placed in the second row. Use modes include:
    Easy Access mode – with the center seat removed, the outboard seats slide laterally through five selectable positions, allowing for easy access to the third row even with one or two rear-facing child seats installed in the second row. And with the center-most seat slid forward, a child is put within easy reach of the front seat occupants. Super mode – like Easy Access mode but with the driver's side seat set to walk-in position (slid full forward with the seatback tilted) for maximum access to the third row. Wide mode – with the center seat removed and two outboard seats in their outer most positions, providing a wide center walkthrough to the third row (and no more "Dad, he's touching me again!"). Buddy mode – with the center seat removed and two outboard seats abutting one another in the center of the vehicle, putting two people in close proximity and within easier reach of the front seat occupants. Safety for the Family
    All 2018 Odysseys in EX and above trims, expected to comprise about 95 percent of all Odyssey sales, will feature the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS™), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Combined with the Odyssey's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and advanced airbags, including new driver and front passenger knee airbags, the Odyssey targets the highest available safety ratings – an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating.
    Additional Features and Technologies
    Additional new standard and available features include LED headlights, heated and ventilated front seats, heated side mirrors and steering wheel, auto high-beam headlights, rain-sensing wipers, blind spot information (on all models with Honda Sensing), front and rear parking sensors, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, Electric Parking Brake with Brake Hold, three-zone automatic climate control, wireless device charging, multi-zone audio, Sirius 2.0, Pandora compatibility, HD Radio™, and HondaVac® in-vehicle vacuum.
    Advanced new powertrains, body and chassis
    The 2018 Honda Odyssey will be powered by a 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC™ V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™). Peak engine output is 280 SAE net horsepower (+32 HP) and benefits from the advanced capabilities of its two available new transmissions – a 9-speed automatic and, for upper grades an all-new, Honda-developed 10-speed automatic, the first of its kind in a minivan, providing more confident and refined performance.
    These advanced new powertrains, together with a more rigid and lightweight body, new chassis technology, and Odyssey's sleek and aerodynamic new design are expected to result in class-leading performance and top-in-class EPA fuel economy ratings. Honda's Intelligent Traction Management system adds normal and snow modes and combines with Agile Handling Assist and a more powerful braking system for improved all-weather traction and control.
    Advanced new body and chassis
    An all-new body and chassis design underpins the new Odyssey's incredibly quiet cabin and class-leading steering precision, handling prowess and ride comfort. The Odyssey body utilizes advanced materials, including ultra-high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium to simultaneously minimize weight and improve body rigidity. Vehicle weight is down by up to 96 pounds, depending on trim, and torsional body rigidity is up 44 percent from the outgoing model.
    New chassis features include a highly-responsive new Dual-Pinion Electric Power Steering (EPS) with .44 fewer turns lock-to-lock for increased response and easy maneuverability; and a compact new trailing arm rear suspension with stabilizer bar that not only enables improved handling and ride comfort, but also provides for the most spacious rear cargo area in the class.
    Design, Development and Manufacturing
    The all-new 2018 Honda Odyssey was designed and developed by Honda R&D in North America. The Odyssey and its 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine will be manufactured exclusively at the company's Lincoln, Alabama plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. The new 10-speed transmission will be produced at the company's transmission plant in Tallapoosa, Georgia. The 2018 Odyssey is the second generation Odyssey to be designed and developed in North America and the fourth generation to be manufactured exclusively in North America.

    William Maley

    Possible sneak peek into the next Altima

    Nissan says the Vmotion 2.0 concept revealed today at the Detroit Auto Show previews the future of their sedan designs. We hope so since the Maxima is the only good looking model out of their current sedan crop. 
     
    The V-Motion grille that we have grown accustomed to on a number of Nissan models has been enlarged to up most of the space on the front end. There are deeply recessed bumper vents and steeply raked headlights on either side. Around the side, sharp character lines, deep cuts in the doors, and the floating roof that Nissan has been using on some of their vehicles. The concept rides on an 112.2-inch wheelbase (2.9-inches longer than the wheelbase on the Altima and Maxima) and overall length comes in at 191.3-inches (about half an inch shorter than the Altima).
    For the interior, Nissan has provided seating for four people and a large amount of glass to make it feel bigger. The wide instrument cluster stretches into the center stack area.
    The Vmotion 2.0 also follows the latest trend with concept cars of offering autonomous driving. For the Vmotion, Nissan is using the newest version of their ProPilot system which can navigate itself pm highways and through city intersections without any human involvement. The front emblem and rear diffuser will light up to notify other drivers that the vehicle is in autonomous mode.
     
    Source: Nissan
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
     
    Nissan unveils Vmotion 2.0 at 2017 North American International Auto Show
    Nissan Vmotion 2.0 is an exciting new concept for tomorrow’s busy professionals Created to showcase Nissan’s new sedan design direction – futuristic, dynamic, and more cabin-focused Showcases the evolution of the signature “V-motion” front design seen on many of today’s Nissan products Provides hints at the future of “Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” including a future vision for ProPILOT functionality, one which allows autonomous driving on urban roads and in intersections with the latest HMI DETROIT – Nissan today revealed Vmotion 2.0, a new concept vehicle that signals the company’s future sedan design direction and Intelligent Mobility technology. It combines a high sense of style, emotional design, roominess, comfort and technology to make the mobility experience seamless for busy professionals constantly on the go. The vehicle was revealed during a press conference at the 2017 North American International Auto Show.
    Nissan Vmotion 2.0 is the evolution of the “V-motion” front design signature seen on many of today’s Nissan products, such as the Murano mid-size crossover and Maxima 4-door sports car. Vmotion 2.0 takes the design a step further by forming an intelligent three-dimensional shape to create the volume and architecture of the vehicle. In this concept, the V-motion grille becomes the main fuselage, allowing for extremely sharp yet expressive surface language, accented by crisp character lines that resonate throughout the body.
    Providing hints at the future of “Nissan Intelligent Mobility” – Nissan’s roadmap to achieve zero emissions and zero fatalities – the lighting around the front Nissan emblem glows to indicate when the vehicle is in ProPILOT mode, which is envisioned to provide autonomous driving support technology on urban roads and at intersections. Wrap-around rear glass and the floating C-pillar also provide an impression of intelligent and efficient aerodynamics.
    The car’s silhouette is characterized by a “floating roof,” with a line flowing seamlessly from the steeply-raked A-pillars to the trunk lip. A unique carbon finisher with thin silver threads accents the roof line. An extended wheelbase shows off the car’s generous cabin, while the distinctive body surface is defined by Nissan’s “Emotional Geometry” design language.
    The rear of the vehicle exudes class and strength. The signature boomerang-style taillights emphasize the width of the vehicle. Similar to the grille, the rear diffuser glows when the car operates in ProPILOT mode. The dynamic high-tension body is crafted in a warm silver paint with copper undertones. With a layered effect for the paint finish, a glimpse of the body at different angles reveals a subtle but different hue.

    Drew Dowdell

    A new engine and suspension add even faster capability to the SQ5.

    Previous Page Next Page Coming for Spring 2017, Audi took the covers off the updated SQ5 for the 2018 model year.  The primary changes are a more powerful 3.0T engine producing 354 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, enabling the SQ5 to get to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. 
    Further enhancing the driving feel is a new lighter weight suspension featuring a 5-link setup in the front. Available for the first time is a height adjustable air suspension allowing the driver to select a lower mode for sporty driving or a raised mode when additional ground clearance is needed. 
    2018 SQ5 models will also get an available dynamic steering setup that varies steering ratio depending on speed and driver setting.
    Audi Press Release on Page 2
     
    The perfect balance of performance and functionality, all-new 2018 Audi SQ5 makes world debut at NAIAS
     
     
     
    ·        The all-new SQ5 with 3.0-liter TFSI® engine produces 354 hp and sprints from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds
    ·        Available for the first time with an adaptive air suspension, which allows for ride height and firmness adjustability, enabling a more dynamic drive
    ·        The high-performance, sporty variant rounds out the Q5 family and will be available Spring 2017
     
     
     
    HERNDON, Virginia, January 9, 2017 – With increased power, a new turbocharged V6 engine and a more progressive, sporty design, the all-new Audi SQ5 makes its global debut at the North American International Auto Show. New for 2018, the second-generation SQ5 offers a full suite of available driver assistance systems and advanced infotainment features, combined with a dynamic driving experience, to set a new standard in the luxury performance crossover segment.
     
     
     
    2018 Audi SQ5
    Featuring an all-new 3.0-liter TFSI® V6 engine, the Audi SQ5 produces 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, between a broad 1370 – 4500 rpm range. The eight-speed tiptronic® transmission is well suited for the low-end torque of the turbocharged V6 and its eight gears provide quick, smooth shifts. 
    Every Audi SQ5 is standard-equipped with quattro® all-wheel drive, offering high-precision and dynamic handling through active torque distribution to both axles. As part of the available S sport package, the SQ5 with quattro® sport rear differential can offer an even more dynamic driving experience by actively splitting torque between the wheels of the rear axle, with the ability to direct nearly all torque to one wheel, helping maximize driving dynamics.
     
     
     
    CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
    For 2018, a newly developed front and rear suspension allows for both a sporty driving experience and more comfortable ride for long distances. The new front five-link suspension with lightweight construction offers greater steering precision and excellent handling through optimized steering-rack placement direct at wheel centers. 
    The available S sport package also includes, for the first time on the SQ5, a sport adaptive air suspension, which lowers vehicle height by 30 mm (when in auto mode) compared to the standard adaptive suspension. The air suspension system allows for adjustment of both the ride height and the firmness of the dampers, and is controllable via the standard Audi drive select. 
    Along with the standard four drive select modes – comfort, auto, dynamic and individual – the available sport adaptive air suspension also adds both an allroad and a lift/offroad mode, which raise the air suspension for increased ground clearance when needed. 
    Also available on 2018 SQ5 models is dynamic steering, which offers a variable steering ratio that adjusts based on vehicle speed and the Audi drive select setting. At higher driving speeds, dynamic steering helps to improve straight-line stability, and at lower driving speeds, a more direct steering ratio is utilized to help increase steering response for easy maneuvering.
     
     
     
    DESIGN
    The 2018 SQ5 mirrors the Q5’s distinctive Audi “Q” SUV design language, with a flat, coupe-like roof line coupled with a strong, wave-design shoulder line and pronounced wheel arches which emphasize the standard quattro® all-wheel drive. 
    The SQ5 is characteristically recognized by its sporty design differentiators including a platinum gray Singleframe® grille with aluminum optic double horizontal blade bars, aluminum optic exterior side mirrors, and S model rear roof spoiler. Sculpted, three-dimensional LED headlights flow in harmony with the clamshell hood to the wider horizontal rear of the vehicle and LED taillights with dynamic turn signals. 
    The interior offers improved space compared to the previous generation, with more rear legroom and shoulder room, as well as increased cargo capacity with the second row seats folded down. The SQ5 is also standard equipped with a three-spoke multifunction flat-bottom sport steering wheel, sport front seats with available diamond stitching, standard matte brushed aluminum inlays or available carbon atlas inlays and standard stainless steel door sill inlays with S badging. The asymmetrical center console of the interior creates a driver-focused cockpit while a small number of controls with expanded functionality helps bring a greater ease of operation into the SQ5. 
     
     
     
    INFOTAINMENT & DRIVER ASSISTANCE
    The new SQ5 also offers advanced infotainment options including MMI® touch® with handwriting-recognition technology, Bang & Olufsen® sound system with 3D sound and standard Audi smartphone interface, which provides Apple CarPlay™ and Google™ Android Auto integration. Also available is the Audi virtual cockpit, which helps make viewing and navigating via the large Google Earth™ images supported with 4G LTE (where available) easier on the driver’s eyes. Unique to SQ5, the virtual cockpit features a “sport” display mode, which brings the tachometer and speedometer to the front and center of the display and adds a boost gauge and lap timer. Also available is a full-color head-up display which projects relevant driving information directly in the driver’s field of vision. 
    In addition to infotainment and connectivity features, the SQ5’s advanced driver assistance systems are designed to help drivers navigate the road and traffic with increased confidence. Standard Audi pre sense® city, an automatic emergency braking system, can help detect stationary vehicles and pedestrians, and if necessary, initiate full braking at speeds of up to 52 mph when a potential collision is detected. Standard Audi side assist provides blind spot monitoring via LED indicators on the exterior mirror housing and includes rear cross traffic assist, which supports the driver when reversing out of perpendicular space, and pre sense rear which helps monitor the traffic following the vehicle. 
    Also available is adaptive cruise control with stop & go automatically maintains distance from the vehicle in front, including braking and accelerating. Between 0-40 mph, traffic jam assist combines acceleration, braking and steering guidance, which can help decrease the stress of driving in congested traffic.
     
     
    Always pay careful attention to the road, and do not drive while distracted. 
    Driver assistance system availability and some available options may differ at launch. Driver assistance features are not substitutes for attentive driving. See Owner’s Manual for further details, and important limitations. 
    Audi connect should only be used when it is safe and appropriate. Audi connect services and features are optional, provided with the support of authorized affiliated and third party service providers, and may require additional subscriptions with separate terms and conditions. Services are subject to change, and Google Earth and Street view services may not be available after December 2017.  Certain services collect location information, see Terms of Service for information about how to disable and for other details. 
    2018 EPA estimates not available at time of publication. See www.fueleconomy.gov for updated information. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors including your driving habits and vehicle condition.
    Previous Page Next Page

    Drew Dowdell

    Like an Audi Q7, but sleeker.

    Previous Page Next Page At North American international auto Show in Detroit today, Audi unveialed the Audi Q8 Concept, Audi's attempt at making a full size crossover into coupe shape. By taking the 8 moniker like the A8, the Q8 once in production form, will stand at the top of the Audi crossover lineup. 
    Up front, a very large honeycomb grille in an octagon shape makes the trademark Audi look even bolder. Narrow headlights and tail lights using laser technology give the Q8 a serious look. 
    Powering the Q8 is Audi's plug-in hybrid system using a 333hp / 368 lb-ft 3.0 liter TFSI engine coupled to an electric motor capable of 243 lb-ft of torque. Total system power is 442 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, enabling a 5.4 second run to 60 and a 155 mph top speed. In true Audi fashion, all of that power hits the ground through their all-wheel drive Quattro system.  A full charge of the 17.9 kWh battery enables an electric range of about 37 miles. 
    The Q8 Concept rides on the same platform as the Q7 and roughly shares its wheelbase, but only seats 4. 
    The production version of this vehicle should launch in 2018.  
     
    Audi Press Release on Page 2
    Full-size SUV in coupe design:Audi Q8 concept
     
    ·     Luxury seating for four, new control concept with large touchscreens
    ·     Plug-in hybrid with 330 kW system output and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque
    ·     Production model based on concept to launch in 2018
     
     
     
    HERNDON, Virginia, January 9, 2016 – Dynamic, highly efficient and extremely comfortable: Audi presents the Audi Q8 concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2017. With this model the premium manufacturer is tapping into a new segment for the full-size class – an elegant alternative to the robust presence of a classic sport utility vehicle. The Q8 concept stands for maximum prestige. It combines the spaciousness of an SUV with the emotional lines of a coupe. Propulsion is provided by a powerful, yet highly efficient plug-in hybrid with 330 kW of system output and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. The concept car is the basis for a production model that Audi will launch on the market in 2018.
     
    At 5.02 meters (16.5 ft) long, the Audi Q8 concept is an impressive presence in the full-size class. Thanks to a wheelbase of three meters (9.8 ft), the show car offers plenty of space for passengers and luggage. Despite the sloping, coupe-like roofline, even the rear-seat passengers enjoy ample head and shoulder room. The control concept uses large touchscreens in the cockpit and is rounded out by an expanded version of the Audi virtual cockpit and a contact-analogue head-up display. The latter uses intelligent augmented reality technology that merges the real and the virtual worlds.
     
     
     
    “The Q8 concept is an Audi in peak form. It demonstrates the strengths of our brand in both technology and design while providing a glimpse at a future full-size, production SUV,” said Dietmar Voggenreiter, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “With its next-generation display and control solutions, we are enabling customers to experience connectivity in a whole new way.”
     
     
     
    Dynamic lines and digital Matrix laser technology: the front end
    The front view of the 2.04-meter-wide (6.7 ft) Audi Q8 concept is already impressive. The distinguishing feature here is the octagonal Singleframe with honeycomb insert. It is sculpted and significantly wider than in today’s Audi production models. Six upright double bars structure the radiator grille while simultaneously emphasizing its height. A mask painted in a contrasting color frames the grille. The outer air inlets have a deep and dynamic appearance like the intakes of a turbine. A distinctive aluminum blade forms the bottom edge of the bumper.
     
     
     
    The flat, wedge-shaped headlights of the Audi Q8 concept are integrated progressively into the exterior and connected from a design perspective to the surrounding air inlets. The individual lighting units have glass covers, but the headlights as a whole are open. This creates the impression that they are free in space. The aluminum housing for the headlights carries over the sculpture of the Singleframe. The clear geometry gives the Audi Q8 concept a determined look. An x-shaped, blue laser light signature highlights the digital Matrix laser technology used for the low and high beams. Broken down into more than one million pixels, their light can illuminate the road in high resolution and with precise control. Located below the edge of the engine hood is a narrow LED light guide that emits the light for the dynamic turn signals and the daytime running lights. It wraps around the outside of the headlights, where its ribs create an innovative e-tron signature. All lighting functions are dynamic.
     
     
     
    Athletic and powerful: the side view
    The silouhette of the Audi concept car also evokes tautness. The doors do not have window frames, thus contributing to the flat roofline. The Audi Q8 concept is 1.70 meters (5.6 ft) tall. All lines on the body climb upward dynamically toward the rear – the bottom edge of the side window, the shoulders, the dynamic line and the sill lines. The surfaces of the fenders, doors and side panels are athletically curved. The lower section of the doors form a deep fillet. Other design features are the quattro logo milled below the rear doors and also the exterior mirrors with their multifaceted edges. The doors are opened via touch sensors. As soon as the door detects hand contact, it opens easily and swings to a defined opening angle.
     
     
     
    The extremely flat and very wide C-pillar is reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro from the 1980s, as are the strongly flared shoulders over the wheels. This places the concept car in a logical line with the show cars of the Audi Prologue series. The balanced proportions of the Audi Q8 concept emphasize the front and rear wheels equally – that too is typical quattro. The strongly accentuated wheel arches feature a double design. The sill region of the doors shines in brushed aluminum for an intriguing contrast to the show car’s Bombay blue paint finish.

    Flat and compact: the rear
    A long roof edge spoiler shades the extremely flat rear window of the Audi concept car. A double spoiler lip below the window forms a distinctive contour on the power luggage compartment hatch. The strip of lights extending over the entire width of the rear end is part of a distinctive e-tron light signature. It serves as both the tail and brake light as well as the dynamic turn signals. The four outer lighting elements are set in aluminum blades and reflect the semantics of the headlights. The individual elements of the tail lights are also open, and all lighting functions are dynamic.
     
     
     
    The license plate of the Audi Q8 concept is located on a black trim strip between the lights – a typical feature of the Audi Ur-quattro. The diffuser is made of aluminum; its clasp of high-gloss Carbon Atlas. This combination of materials is also used around the headlights to demonstrate sportiness.
     
     
     
    Luxury seating for four: the interior
    The interior of the Audi Q8 concept offers opulent spaciousness for four persons and their large suitcases. The luggage compartment has a capacity of 630 liters (22.2 cu ft). Widely stretched lines lend the cockpit a sporty as well as elegant ambiance. Virtually floating above the center tunnel is a console for the shift-by-wire lever, with which the driver controls the eight-speed tiptronic transmission purely electronically. The console’s appearance resembles the stern of a sailing yacht.
     
     
     
    The wrap-around begins in the front doors. This large, horizontal arc runs along the lower edge of the windshield and frames the driver’s and front passenger’s seats without hemming in the occupants. The sport seats as well as the two individual seats in the rear are made up of segments that appear to be separate geometric bodies, from the pronounced side bolsters to the head restraints. A horizontal aluminum clasp divides the backrests at the height of the window shoulder line.
     
     
     
    The instrument panel with its distinctly horizontal character descends in steps toward the interior. The central control and display surfaces are integrated into the so-called “black panel” – a glossy black strip framed by an aluminum clasp. When switched off, the monitor is invisibly embedded in the surface and the lines flow harmoniously. When the display is in operation, it assimilates perfectly into the design line. In the front passenger area, the black panel encircles
    a graphical quattro badge. The arrow-shaped inlays in the doors pick up the expressive design. Filigree aluminum bars integrated into them serve as door openers. When dark, LED light guides illuminate the interior with white light.
     
     
     
    The colors and materials in the Audi A8 concept provide for a cool and sporty atmosphere. One highlight is the three-dimensional, engineered grain on the instrument panel, doors and floor. High-gloss carbon applications with a new, abstract fabric structure as well as aluminum strips and frames set accents. Their brushed finish is relatively dark. Brightness increases gradually from the headlining to the center console in graduated shades of gray from steel gray to pastel silver.
     
     
     
    The technical materials in the Audi Q8 concept contrast with the soft surfaces. The seats are covered in a combination of Fine Nappa leather and Nubuk leather, both in pastel silver. The upholstery is pulled around the clasp that divides the backrests – the inside becomes the outside at this point. The head restraints are covered with a structured textile of a color similar to that of the leather elements.
     
     
     
    New ways: controls and displays
    The elegant interior architecture of the Audi Q8 concept merges with a groundbreaking control and display concept. Information and commands are passed primarily through touch displays augmented by the Audi virtual cockpit and a contact analogue head-up display. All displays feature a new “digital design” that concentrates systematically on the most important things.
     
     
     
    The contact analogue head-up display projects important displays onto the windshield in the driver’s direct field of view, seemingly placing them in the real environment. A navigation arrow, for example, appears in the same position as an actual arrow on the road – an intelligent application of augmented reality. The notifications from the driver assistance systems also merge the virtual and physical worlds.
     
     
     
    The Audi virtual cockpit future is even more dynamic thanks to new functions, and with a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels displays graphics with more detail than ever before. In “auto” display mode, the 12.3-inch TFT display offers generous space for maps, lists and additional information. The top-down map view visualizes the selected route. When zooming in, the current position and surroundings are displayed in 3D. Through the buttons on the steering wheel, the driver can switch to “performance” mode. The needles of the speedometer and powermeter now appear in a foreshortened, three-dimensional display.  
     
     
     
    All other monitors in the Audi Q8 concept are touch displays. The great strength of this principle is the direct, fast and intuitive operation. Drivers select each function exactly where they see it. Audi was also able to reduce the number of buttons, switches and levers thanks to the touchscreens. The interior now appears even neater and cleaner.
     
    The MMI monitor in center of the dashboard is used to control the infotainment system and for vehicle settings. A display for the climate control system is integrated into the diagonal section of the center console. The driver’s wrist rests comfortably on the low selector lever of the eight-speed tiptronic while using this display. If the sensors in the seat detect a front-seat passenger, the touchscreen displays their climate control settings. This function is not available when the driver is traveling alone. Another touchscreen is reserved for the lighting functions.
     
     
     
    Powerful and highly efficient: the drive system
    The Audi Q8 concept uses production technologies for the drive system and suspension. The plug-in hybrid combines sporty performance with high efficiency. The combustion engine is a 3.0 TFSI producing 245 kW (333 hp) and a maximum of 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque. The electric motor generates 100 kW of power and 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft). Together with a decoupler, it is integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic. The complete system produces 330 kW and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. The Audi Q8 concept accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). According to the standard applicable for plug-in hybrids, it consumes just 2.3 liters of fuel (102.3 US mpg) per 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) in the NEDC, corresponding to 53 grams CO2 per km (85.3 g/mi).
     
     
     
    The lithium-ion battery located in the rear consists of 104 prismatic cells. With a capacity of 17.9 kWh, it enables an electric range of 60 kilometers (37.3 mi), and the total range with the TFSI engine is up to 1,000 kilometers (621.4 mi). A full charge with 7.2 kW output takes about two and a half hours.
     
     
     
    When driving, the hybrid management system controls the operating states of the
    Audi Q8 concept intelligently and flexibly. The full-size SUV can boost, coast and recuperate as appropriate for the situation. The predictive efficiency assistant, which in production models supports the driver, provides the hybrid management system with highly detailed information about the near surroundings for this purpose. Route data from the navigation system and Audi connect Car-to-X services are also considered.
     
     
     
    The driver controls the Audi drive select system via a prismatic satellite button on the flat-bottomed steering wheel, just like the start-stop system. There is a choice of three driving modes: “EV” mode prioritizes electric driving, while in “hybrid” mode the decision regarding the drive type is left largely to the hybrid management system. In “battery hold” mode, it saves the available electric energy for a later time.
     
     
     
    High-tech from production models: drivetrain and suspension
    In the Audi Q8 concept, the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system delivers the power of the hybrid drive to the road with supreme control. At the cornering limit, it works closely with the wheel-selective torque control. This minimally brakes the inside wheels, which further enhances dynamics and stability. 
     
     
     
    The concept car also uses high-end production solutions for its wide-track suspension. The adaptive air suspension sport – an air suspension system with controlled damping – allows a wide range from cushioned cruising to firm and tight handling. In addition, it sets the ground clearance in two levels, with 90 millimeters (3.5 in) height difference, to the ideal level in each case. The front and rear suspensions are engineered as lightweight five-link designs. 
     
     
     
    Audi mounts 305/35-series tires on the large 11J x 23 wheels. The five intertwining Y spokes project a filigreed, three-dimensional and powerful image. Ceramic brake discs measuring 20 inches in diameter effortlessly decelerate the Audi Q8 concept.
    Previous Page Next Page

    William Maley

    Ford decides to fess up, says Bronco and Ranger are coming.

    It has been no secret that Ford is planning to bring back the Ranger and Bronco - thank you UAW. But Ford has been mum on it, saying no comment and the like when asked about it. But they have finally come clean today. During their press conference this morning at the Detroit Auto Show, Ford announced that the Ranger and Bronco will be coming.
    “We’ve heard our customers loud and clear. They want a new generation of vehicles that are incredibly capable yet fun to drive. Ranger is for truck buyers who want an affordable, functional, rugged and maneuverable pickup that’s Built Ford Tough. Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize 4x4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas.
    The Ranger will debut in 2019, while the Bronco will follow a year later. Both models will be built at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI. They'll take the place of the Focus and C-Max which will move to Mexico.
    Details are slim for both models, but Ford's Executive Chairman Bill Ford noted that the Bronco will use the T-6 midsize truck platform (what underpins the Ranger).
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    Almost three decades on from the introduction of the first LS, Lexus introduces the newest one

    Almost three decades ago at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota shocked the establishment with the introduction of Lexus and LS 400 flagship. Lexus hopes with the 2018 LS introduced this morning in Detroit is able to recapture some of that shock.
    The look of the 2018 LS is familiar and somehow different. The profile is the similar to the current LS, but Lexus made a number of changes to make it stand out. There is a more aggressive take on the spindle grille, a crease running along the doors, lower ride height, and larger wheels. The new GA-L platform that made it's debut last year on the LC coupe underpins the LS. It has been stretched and widened to provide measurements of 206.1-inches long 74.8-inches wide, and 57.1-inches tall. This makes it about the same size as a BMW 7-Series long-wheelbase.
    Power comes from an all-new 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine with 415 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with a new ten-speed automatic. Lexus says the LS with this engine will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It is unknown whether or not a V8 or hybrid option will be introduced down the road. The front and rear multilink suspension setup from the LC is employed on the LS. An air suspension system is optional.
    The interior takes some ideas from the LC with a similar instrument cluster with traction control and drive mode selectors sitting on either side. The seats have been redesigned and now feature 28-way power adjustments for those sitting up front. Rear seat passengers can get reclining seats, an ottoman, and Shiatsu massage functionality. Tech-wise, there is a new version of Lexus' remote touch system with a 12.3-inch infotainment system and optional 24" color heads-up display which the automaker claims is the largest in the world.
    The 2018 Lexus LS is expected to go on sale towards the end of the year.
    Source: Lexus
    Press Release is on Page 2


    With the All-New 2018 LS, Lexus Reimagines Global Flagship Sedan
    Radical new design with coupe-like silhouette, yet spaciousness of prestige sedan New platform for greatest-ever LS agility and comfort All-new twin-turbo V6 with 415 horsepower 10-speed automatic transmission All-new available Lexus Advanced Safety Package New level of flagship luxury in every aspect Interior inspired by traditional Japanese aesthetics On sale in U.S. near the end of 2017 DETROIT, January 9, 2017 — It is possible that no single automobile has, upon introduction, upended its category as decisively as the first Lexus LS did when it launched the luxury brand 28 years ago. The 1990 LS 400 was the original luxury disruptor, winning critical acclaim and astonishing customers by setting new benchmarks for comfort, powertrain performance and smoothness, quietness, build quality, attention to detail, and dependability. The brand supported that groundbreaking vehicle by setting and maintaining new standards for customer service and satisfaction.
     
    Now, Lexus is about to repeat history with the introduction of the all-new, fifth-generation LS flagship sedan for 2018, unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Inside and out, the new LS reflects a strong, uniquely Japanese identity and approach to luxury. Yet, the LS was designed to be the brand’s latest global citizen, available in about 90 countries.
     
    “Not only will the LS symbolize the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new-generation luxury car embodying Japanese tradition and culture,” said Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the new LS. “As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury car.”
     
    Longer, Lower, Wider – and More Exciting
     
    Longer and lower than the sedan it replaces, the all-new LS debuts a strikingly bold design with a coupe-like silhouette punctuated by the Lexus design language. A new driver-centric performance feel comes from building the LS on the company’s all-new global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L). This premium rear-wheel drive platform, an extended version of the one used for the stunning new Lexus LC 500 coupe, will offer a more dynamic experience on the road while further elevating renowned Lexus comfort. 
     
    The original Lexus LS won acclaim by anticipating what luxury customers would want, rather than simply amplifying what established luxury automobile brands offered at the time. In that spirit, the 2018 LS sedan’s spacious cabin, unique appointments and visionary technology will once again surprise customers by resetting expectations for a global flagship sedan.
     
    “We set previously unheard of targets and resolutely pushed ahead towards these ambitious goals,” said LS chief engineer, Asahi. “The customers who are going to want to own a Lexus flagship are already surrounded by luxury on a daily basis, people who have a sharp eye for authenticity to begin with. We wouldn’t turn their heads with a conventional premium product.”
     
    A Flagship Reborn
     
    Just as the original LS launched the Lexus brand, the all-new 2018 LS continues the brand’s more dynamic direction. Each generation of LS sedans leading up to this iteration advanced luxury, craftsmanship, performance and safety in their own way, with the most recent also introducing a far more emotional design and engaging on-road performance.
     
    To create the all-new LS, Lexus took the approach of starting from new, reimagining what a flagship sedan should be, as if launching the brand all over again. The goal was not to improve on what Lexus has done, but to exceed expectations of global luxury customers.
     
    A common thread going through all LS models remains: Omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality. Applied to a luxury automobile, it means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and helping to protect them from hazards.
     
    Vehicle Dynamics
     
    More than ever before, luxury sedan drivers demand greater handling agility and performance feel without sacrificing comfort. It’s one of the most difficult balances to achieve in a vehicle, yet the new Lexus global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L) meets the challenge. The new platform debuted in the LC 500 coupe and now, with a longer wheelbase, underpins the new LS. To enhance center of gravity height and weight distribution, the new LS has a wide and low design.
     
    The GA-L platform is the stiffest in Lexus history, setting the stage for enhanced handling, ride smoothness and cabin quietness. The 123-inch wheelbase is 1.3-inch longer than the current LS long-wheelbase model.
     
    Helping to provide the uncanny ride and handling balance in the new LS is the latest generation of a chassis control technology known as Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM). This system implements cooperative control of all vehicle subsystems – braking, steering, powertrain, and suspension – to control basic longitudinal, lateral and vertical motion as well as yaw, roll and pitch. Optimal control of these motions helps to enable exceptional ride comfort, enhanced traction and safety and handling agility. Handling can be further enhanced by active stabilizer bars and the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) System with independent front and rear steering. VDIM is capable of aiding stability when the car is traversing split-friction surfaces, such as dry pavement and ice.
     
    In creating the new LS, engineers used lightweight materials including ultra-high tensile steel sheet and aluminum to carve over 200 pounds from the current LS platform and body. These savings, along with the implementation of the new V6 engine and enhanced body rigidity, allow for a more dynamic driving experience. 
     
    Critical to its driving performance, the new platform lowers the car’s center of gravity by placing most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a position more centralized and lower in the chassis. Special braces in the engine compartment, stiff aluminum front and rear suspension towers, and other features help bolster the strength of key chassis structures.
     
    The LS has a history of outstanding suspension compliance, yet Lexus saw opportunity for new gains in this realm as well. For example, the multilink suspension employs double ball joints on the upper and lower control arms to help allow for control of the smallest movements from the driver inputs and road conditions. Beyond sharing workload, a dual ball joint arrangement helps optimize suspension geometry to increase wheel control and yield more precise steering response with better initial effort. To reduce unsprung weight and therefore aid agility and comfort, aluminum is used extensively in the suspension.
     
    LS Performance and Smoothness Redefined: Twin-Turbo V6 and 10-Speed Transmission
     
    For both high power and excellent fuel efficiency, Lexus designed an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine specifically for the new LS with all-new twin turbos developed through the company’s F1 technology. This new engine in the LS is indicative of the more dynamic approach being taken by Lexus, offering V8-level power without sacrificing fuel economy—all while minimizing noise and vibration. The new LS engine offers the output one would expect in a flagship sedan: 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, sizeable gains over the current LS model’s V8. The long stroke and optimized stroke-to-bore ratio contribute to high-speed combustion and the efficiency of the twin turbos, which assist the LS with a projected 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds (RWD).     
     
    Perhaps more critical is how Lexus tuned the engine and transmission to deliver instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the engine’s redline.
     
    A ladder frame structure in the cylinder block, redesigned engine mounts, electric wastegates and numerous other features help ensure the remarkable powertrain smoothness, a Lexus hallmark. The driver will be able to tailor powertrain response and feel by choosing from Normal to Sport to Sport+ modes, and just enough of the exhaust note can be heard to enhance the sporty feel.
     
    The first-ever 10-speed automatic transmission for a premium passenger car, having already debuted in the Lexus LC 500, is also used in the new LS flagship sedan. It is a torque-converter automatic, yet with shift times that rival those of dual-clutch transmissions. The wide bandwidth afforded by ten closely spaced ratios is ideal for all forms of driving, helping to provide an optimal gear for all conditions.
     
    Shifting via paddles is available, yet many will prefer the advanced electronic control system, which anticipates the driver’s input. The system chooses the ideal ratio by monitoring the acceleration, braking and lateral-g forces.
     
    For starting acceleration, the close ratios of the low gears and the shortened shift time enable a rhythmical and exhilarating acceleration feel. The high torque of the twin-turbo engine matches ideally with the higher gear ratios for effortless, serene highway cruising, yet very quick downshifts yield direct acceleration with no lag in G response.
     
    Torque converter lock-up activates in all ranges except when starting off to provide a direct feel, while also supporting fuel efficiency.
     
    Crafting a Unique Identity
     
    “The LS is the flagship of the Lexus brand,” said chief designer, Koichi Suga. “More than any other model, it embodies the history and image of Lexus and serves as a symbol for everything the brand stands for.”
     
    Following the “Yet” philosophy that has been passed on since the first-generation LS, Lexus created a design offering the room and comfort of a prestige “three-box” sedan, yet with the stylish silhouette of a four-door coupe that holds stronger appeal for younger luxury customers.
     
    Lexus designers took full advantage of the new platform, with its lower profile and length on par with that of a prestige long-wheelbase sedan, to give the new LS a stretched, ground-hugging appearance. Compared to the current LS, the new model is about .6 inches lower, while the hood and trunk are approximately 1.2 inches and 1.6 inches lower, respectively. The new LS is the first Lexus sedan with a six- side window design. Also a first for a Lexus sedan, the flush-surface windows smoothly integrate with the side pillar.
     
    To preserve headroom with the lower profile, the new LS features an outer slide-type moonroof. The unique rendition of the spindle grille mesh, with a texture that seemingly changes in different light, is the result of both intense CAD development and hand-adjusting thousands of individual surfaces.
     
    The LS debuts five wheel designs, including two new 19- and three 20-inch wheel designs. The 20-inch premium wheels employ a brilliant appearance created using an electroplating technique known as sputtering. All but one of the wheel designs feature a hollow rim structure that helps reduce the resonance sound generated by the tires.
     
    Progressive Comfort with Traditional Inspiration
     
    Creating a new standard of flagship luxury is not simply a matter of adding more features. Inspired by the omotenashi principle, Lexus sought to instill the new LS cabin with luxury that welcomes and envelops the occupants while treating the driver like a partner.
     
    “I suggest that you simply open the door and experience that immediate, intuitive sense that you’re looking at an interior that is unlike any luxury car before,” said chief designer Suga.
     
    New seating designs, including available 28-way power front seats that feature heating, cooling and massage, exemplify this approach. The organically shaped dash design clusters information displays at uniform height to support the “seat-in-control” layout that emphasizes the driver’s ability to operate all systems without the need to change posture.
     
    While making the new LS even more of a driver’s car, Lexus also lavished attention to the rear seat, developing a design that creates seamless, enveloping continuity between the trim and seatbacks for passenger egress.
     
    Options for heating, cooling and massage make the rear seat a welcoming environment. The available power front and rear seat with Shiatsu massage and a raised ottoman, part of a wider rear seat luxury package, offers the most legroom of any previous-generation LS. In addition, the seat behind the front passenger in this optional package can be reclined up to 48 degrees, and can be raised up to 24 degrees to help assist the rear-seat passenger in exiting the vehicle.
     
    Because the new LS is lower than previous versions, Lexus, for the first time, equipped the available air suspension with an access function. Activated by unlocking the car with the smart key, access mode automatically raises the vehicle and opens the seat bolsters to welcome drivers behind the wheel.
     
    The Intersection of Tradition and Technology
     
    Lighting and attention to detail express a unique aesthetic in the LS. A new approach to creating trim elements again turned to Japanese culture, combining traditional Japanese aesthetic with advanced manufacturing techniques. This is reflected in signature touches, such as beautiful interior ambient lighting inspired by Japanese lanterns and armrests that appear to float next to the door panel.
     
    Inspired by Shimamoku wood patterns, the new forms that combine the artistic combination of natural woodwork and application of Japan’s sophisticated sliced wood and laser cutting manufacturing technologies can be seen in the new LS. New patterns include Art Wood Organic, Art Wood Herringbone, and Gray Sapele Wood with Aluminum. Compared to the straight-grain Shimamoku pattern, the new LS cross-grain is a larger pattern featuring bolder contrasts between light and dark, giving the wood a more vibrant appearance.
     
    The Sounds of Near Silence – or Great Music
     
    Lexus tuned the LS exhaust to convey a more authoritative tone, yet also designed the cabin to ensure utterly quiet cruising. New sound suppression methods further hush the environment compared to previous LS models. Active Noise Control quiets the cabin even more by detecting the sound of the engine coming into the vehicle and cancelling certain frequencies using antiphase sound from the audio speakers.
     
    The serenity of the LS cabin provides an ideal stage for the standard premium audio system or the audiophile-worthy available 3D surround Mark Levinson audio package with in-ceiling array speakers. The package features a more inviting graphic user interface. Its next-generation remote touch is designed to mimic smartphone operation, also supporting handwritten input. In addition to its 12.3-inch wide navigation display, the LS can incorporate an optional 24-inch color heads-up display (HUD)—the largest in the world—that projects a variety of information onto the driver’s forward view.
     
    Advanced Safety Features and Driver Support
     
    Structurally, the all-new Lexus LS offers a high degree of passive safety for occupant protection in collisions. Lexus has also equipped the LS with technologies that can possibly help prevent crashes from occurring or mitigate their effects.
     
    The LS will feature the brand’s Lexus Safety System + and offer the Advanced Safety Package, which features the world’s first system with Intuitive Pedestrian Detection with Active Steering within the lane. With this system, if a pedestrian is detected in the lane ahead and a collision is imminent, the LS is designed to automatically brake and potentially steer around the person while staying in the lane. The available color HUD is utilized in alerting the driver.

    William Maley

    Nine years on, a new Traverse is introduced

    The current Chevrolet Traverse has been with us for nine years and it was time for a replacement. This morning at the Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet introduced the 2018 Traverse.
    The new Traverse's shape carries the spirit of the last-generation GMC Acadia. The shape is boxier with both the front and rear being squared-off. Chevrolet's new dual grille design and narrow headlights are present. In terms of size, the Traverse has grown with overall length measuring 204.3 inches long, riding on a 120.9-inch wheelbase. This makes it slightly bigger than a Chevrolet Tahoe (203.9 inches long, 116-inch overall wheelbase). Despite the increase in size, Chevrolet was able to slice off 351 pounds from the new Traverse (note: comparing front-wheel drive models).
    Inside, Chevrolet promises best in class head and legroom for those sitting in the second and third-row seats. This does come at a price as cargo space does decrease. Behind the third-row, the Traverse will offer 23 cubic feet, which beats the likes the Ford Explorer (21 cubic feet). Fold both rows and space increases to 99 cubic feet. Other interior details include either seven or eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility; OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi, and USB ports for all three-rows.
    Most Traverse models will come with the existing 3.6L V6 producing 305 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This has us scratching our heads since this engine was one our biggest issues with the current Chevrolet Traverse (and Buick Enclave). The new Traverse RS will use a new 2.0L turbo-four making 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Again, this is slightly odd as the RS is being positioned as the sporty-looking model with blacked-out elements. Both engines will come paired with a nine-speed automatic and front-wheel drive. The V6 will only have the option of all-wheel drive. Speaking of all-wheel drive, the top-line High Country will come with the twin-clutch all-wheel drive system found in the Cadillac XT5. This system can decouple the rear-axle to help with fuel economy.
    The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse arrives at dealers this fall.
    Source: Chevrolet
    Press Release is on Page 2
    The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse will arrive at dealers this fall.
    Chevrolet Introduces the 2018 Traverse
    Bold, refined new look with expected segment-best cargo space, third-row legroom DETROIT — Chevrolet today introduced the all-new 2018 Traverse. Wrapped in bold and refined styling, the completely redesigned Traverse offers technologies to help keep passengers of all ages and lifestyles comfortable and connected.
    Traverse will deliver what is expected to be best-in-class third-row legroom, maximum cargo room and passenger volume with an enhanced roster of available active safety features. 
    “The all-new Traverse offers the ultimate in style and convenience for the segment, with the versatility customers need and a thoughtful, spacious design they’ll love,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and brand chief, Global Chevrolet. “It’s the midsize SUV designed to help keep you safe, comfortable and connected.”
    When it goes on sale this fall, the 2018 Traverse will be the fourth updated crossover or SUV from Chevrolet within a year, joining the Trax, Bolt EV and 2018 Equinox, further strengthening the brand’s crossover and SUV lineup.
    “Nobody in the industry offers a broader, fresher lineup of SUVs and crossovers than Chevrolet,” said Batey. “From the all-electric Bolt EV to America’s longest-running nameplate, Suburban, we’ve got something for every customer and lifestyle.”
    Bold and refined 
    The 2018 Traverse has a new look inspired by Chevrolet’s full-size SUVs, with purposeful proportions complemented by premium cues such as chrome accents, LED signature lighting and available D-Optic LED headlamps.
    Chevrolet is adding two new trim levels for the 2018 Traverse — the sporty RS and luxurious High Country — to offer customers more choices for a personalized appearance.
    The new RS package includes unique, blacked-out exterior cues with a black chrome grille, black bowtie, 20-inch wheels and more.
    The High Country trim features premium content and technology, including a unique interior trim featuring Loft Brown leather appointments with suede accents, 20-inch polished wheels, High Country badging, D-Optic headlamps, standard twin-clutch AWD and power-fold third row seats.
    “The all-new Traverse blends Chevrolet’s characteristic SUV cues with capability and refinement,” said John Cafaro, executive director, Global Chevrolet Design. “Inside and out, it offers style with a purpose.”
    With available seating for up to eight and a longer wheelbase than the current model, the Traverse has few peers when it comes to capacity and roominess. In fact, the new Traverse is expected to offer best-in-class passenger volume as well as max cargo room at 98.5 cubic feet (2,789 liters), while greater storage options and larger bins throughout the ergonomically optimized cabin are designed to enhance convenience and versatility.
    Loading the Traverse is a breeze with a new Chevrolet bowtie logo lamp feature illuminating the ground to show where drivers need to place a foot to activate the available hands-free power liftgate.
    A new split-folding second-row seat improves on the Traverse’s original Smart Slide® feature. The curbside seat is capable of tipping up and sliding forward, even with a forward-facing child seat in place, to provide open and easy access to the third row.  Third-row legroom is expected to be the most spacious in the segment at 33.7 inches (856 mm).
    Connected and protected
    The 2018 Traverse offers purposeful technology designed to help keep passengers safe, comfortable and connected.
    Chevrolet’s latest connectivity technologies include available 7- and 8-inch-diagonal MyLink infotainment systems designed to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as an available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are products of Apple and Google and their terms and privacy statements apply.  Requires compatible smartphone and data plan rates apply.)
    Passengers will have access to USB charging ports in all three seating rows, available wireless charging and steering wheel-mounted phone and audio controls. Chevrolet’s Rear Seat Reminder feature is standard on all trim levels.
    When it comes to helping to protect passengers, a comprehensive suite of available safety technologies and adaptive crash-avoidance features offers ease of use and added peace of mind, with new available features including:
    Surround Vision D-Optic LED headlamps (standard on High Country and Premier) Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Front Pedestrian Braking Forward Collision Alert Low and High-Speed Forward Automatic Braking. Teen Driver is standard, allowing parents to set certain controls and review performance in order to help encourage better driving habits, even when parents are not in the vehicle. 
    Performance and efficiency
    A new 3.6L V-6 and nine-speed automatic transmission form the standard propulsion system, expected to offer nearly 10 percent more horsepower than the current model and a GM-estimated 25 mpg highway (FWD). The combination also supports an estimated 5,000-pound (2,268 kg) trailering capacity when properly equipped.
    Sporting the new RS trim, the Traverse will exclusively feature a 2.0L turbocharged engine that provides a unique driving experience, with more maximum torque than the V-6. It is also paired with the nine-speed automatic transmission.
    Both engines feature new intelligent stop/start technology that determines the best times for fuel-saving engine-stop events, based on a variety of driving factors.
    New Traction Mode Select is standard on all models and allows the driver to make real-time adjustments to the vehicle’s driving mode to account for varying road conditions. On available AWD models, it also allows the system to be completely disconnected from the rear axle, which helps save fuel and enhances refinement.
    High Country’s exclusive Advanced AWD system employs twin-clutch technology that optimizes traction for every condition it encounters. It is engineered for optimal performance in wet, snowy and icy conditions, while also providing enhanced stability in dry conditions.

    William Maley

    One of Nissan's popular European models arrives in the U.S.

    It seems that rumor was true. The Nissan Qashqai will be coming to the U.S. later this year, but under a different name, the Rogue Sport.
    The Rogue Sport boasts the same shape and design cues as the larger such as the V-shape grille. We'll admit we find the Sport much better looking than the Rogue thanks to the smaller size - more than a foot shorter. The wheelbase is 2.5-inches shorter than the Rogue.
    Power will come from a 2.0L four-cylinder - the same engine found in the Sentra. Power figures 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Like most Nissans, the Rogue Sport will come with a CVT. Front-wheel drive comes standard and all-wheel drive will be on the option list. On the plus side, the Sport will boast a more sophisticated suspension layout than the Rogue - a multi-link independent setup in the rear.
    Nissan says the 2017 Rogue Sport will arrive at dealers this spring.
    Source: Nissan 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    2017 Nissan Rogue Sport takes the stage at NAIAS today – joins record-breaking Rogue lineup this spring
    "Right sized" Rogue Sport slots just under popular 2017 Rogue, Nissan’s #1 selling vehicle in the U.S., and further expands Nissan’s extensive SUV lineup Brings Intelligent Safety Shield technologies, fun-to-drive performance and affordability to young, urban compact sport utility vehicle buyers DETROIT – The new 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport, which is designed to expand the audience for Nissan’s top-selling Rogue crossover when it goes on sale this spring, is set to make its auto show debut this morning at the North American International Auto Show.
    The redesigned Rogue broke Nissan’s all-time U.S. single month sales record for an individual model in December 2016 with sales of 40,477 units. Rogue also passed Nissan’s longtime sales leader, Altima, for the 2016 calendar year Nissan U.S. sales crown.
    The new Rogue Sport will be joined on stage by a new Nissan sedan concept. Presenting the two new vehicles will be José Muñoz, Chief Performance Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.; Chairman, Nissan North America, Inc., and Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    "The new Rogue Sport is a perfect addition to the red hot Rogue lineup, which is also adding a first-ever Rogue Hybrid model for 2017," said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "With Rogue Sport’s slightly smaller dimensions and sporty maneuverability, it’s ideal for singles or couples without kids – or empty nesters – who want a sportier vehicle and can live with a little less cargo capacity than the current Rogue offers."
    Rogue Sport has a 2.3-inch shorter wheelbase and a 12.1-inch shorter overall length than Rogue, helping make it more maneuverable in city traffic and an ideal size for tight city parking spaces. Other helpful city adventure features range from up to 61.1 cubic feet of cargo space (2nd row seat folded) and available innovative Divide-N-Hide® Cargo System to the Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD)1.
    Rogue Sport offers available Nissan Intelligent Safety Shield technologies including Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection2, Intelligent Cruise Control3, Rear Cross Traffic Alert4 and Forward Emergency Braking2.
    Rogue Sport is offered with a standard 141-horsepower 2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) system engine and Xtronic transmission. It goes on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide – in a choice of S, SV and SL grade levels – beginning in spring 2017.

    William Maley

    2018 GMC Terrain, now with less box

    The GMC Terrain has become one of the most important models for the brand. It is the second-best selling model - one of out six models sold is a Terrain. How do you a second act while trying to retain it as one of the best-selling models? Tonight at an event before the Detroit Auto Show, GMC gave the answer.
    GMC used the template of the Acadia crossover when designing the Terrain. But GMC also added some unique touches as well. The most apparent is the floating roofline that has been used on the Nissan Murano. There is also a large hexagonal grille and c-shaped head and taillights. Like the Chevrolet Equinox revealed last year, the Terrain has gone down in size. It is 3.2-inches shorter and rides on a wheelbase that has been cut by 5.2-inches. On the plus side, GMC was able to drop a few hundred pounds from the new model.
    The interior follows the Acadia's design with the same dash layout. It appears the Terrain will be getting a new version of GMC's Intellilink infotainment system along with a push-button transmission selector. The downsizing does mean a decrease in cargo space. With the rear seats up, the Terrain offers 29.6 cubic feet of space (down 2 cubic feet from the current model) Fold the rear seats and space measures out to 63.3 cubic feet (down 0.4 cubic feet).
    The big news are the engines. There will be three turbocharged engines on offer,
    1.5L four-cylinder: 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque 2.0L four-cylinder: 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque 1.6L four-cylinder diesel: 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque Both gas engines will come with a nine-speed automatic, while the diesel retains a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive comes standard and all-wheel drive will be optional.
    The 2018 GMC Terrain will hit dealers this summer.
    Source: GMC
    Press Release is on Page 2


    GMC Introduces Modern, Bold Design on 2018 Terrain
    Confident appearance, accommodating interior and turbo engines elevate new premium compact SUV DETROIT — GMC today introduced the all-new 2018 Terrain and unveiled the next chapter of GMC design via a boldly styled and intelligently engineered successor to the brand’s popular compact SUV. The Terrain offers greater refinement and versatility to adapt to customers’ unique needs, and it’s packed with more available advanced safety technologies than ever before.
    GMC offers customers the widest range of choices yet, with three all-new available turbocharged propulsion systems, including a new turbo-diesel. Two new efficiency-enhancing nine-speed automatic transmissions are matched with the gas engines — a first application for the GMC lineup.
    Continuing the momentum of owning 25 percent of GMC’s overall retail sales, Denali returns to the Terrain with greater exclusivity than ever, offering a distinctive range-topping design and uniquely refined features.
    “GMC’s strong growth over the past decade is due in large part to Terrain,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of global GMC Sales and Marketing. “The all-new Terrain builds on that success, leveraging GMC’s proven premium SUV experience to shake up the largest vehicle segment, with a strong blend of design, functionality and engineering excellence.” 
    The 2018 Terrain goes on sale this summer in SL, SLE, SLT and Denali models, maintaining the momentum created by the first-generation model, of which more than 700,000 have been sold in North America since it went on sale in 2009.  
    Bold, modern design
    The new Terrain’s bold exterior signals the next chapter of GMC’s design language, evolving the brand’s signature cues with stronger, sharper and more sculpted elements such as the grille and lighting features. Its shape was refined in the wind tunnel to help ensure the distinctive profile cuts through the air with optimal efficiency and quietness.
    “It is a striking design with functional beauty,” said Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design. “There’s confidence and optimism in its stance, with exceptional attention to detail that speaks to GMC’s rise as a premium brand.”
    Elevating GMC’s new design, the all-new Terrain Denali will feature its signature chrome grille along with Denali-specific accents including body-color fascias and lower trim, plus chrome roof rails, door handles, side mirror caps and body-side molding. Additionally, LED headlamps and 19-inch ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels are standard on Denali.
    All other models feature signature LED daytime running lamps and tail lamps. Bi-functional HID headlamps are standard on SL, SLE and SLT. Additionally, 17-inch wheels are standard on SL and SLE, with 18-inch wheels available on SL and SLE, and standard on SLT.
    Turbocharged propulsion choices
    A range of three all-new turbocharged engines, including an all-new 1.6L turbo-diesel, provides more choices when it comes to performance, efficiency and capability in the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain. New 1.5L and 2.0L turbocharged gas engines are matched with two unique new nine-speed automatic transmissions, with the 2.0L turbo engine offering stronger acceleration and a higher degree of performance than its 1.5L counterpart.
    GMC’s new Electronic Precision Shift enables more storage room in the center console by replacing the conventional transmission shifter with electronically controlled gear selection consisting of intuitive push buttons and pull triggers.
    The Terrain comes standard with GMC’s driver-controllable Traction Select system, which has choices for different driving conditions. Elements such as the throttle responses are optimized for the selected driving mode. AWD models include a FWD mode that disconnects the AWD system to minimize drag and optimize fuel economy, while the AWD mode offers all the benefits of an active AWD system.
    Refined, versatile and purposeful interior
    Like the exterior, the new Terrain’s interior makes a statement and serves as a fundamental component of the vehicle’s heightened emphasis on refinement and functionality. Elements such as authentic aluminum trim, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and doors and standard active noise cancellation are premium features seamlessly integrated into the interior design for a luxurious customer experience.
    The Terrain Denali heightens the GMC experience throughout the new interior with a unique trim tint color and Denali-specific logos and piping on the front seats. Denali customers will benefit from additional standard features including a heated steering wheel, navigation, Bose premium 7-speaker sound system and a hands-free programmable power liftgate.
    An expanded center console with pass-through storage underneath and side-by-side cupholders adds to the Terrain’s functionality. A new fold-flat front passenger seat and flat-folding rear seat help Terrain offer greater versatility for stowing longer items and make it easier to load cargo. There are also new under-floor compartments in the cargo area for more secure storage.
    GMC keeps passengers connected with 7- and available 8-inch-diagonal infotainment systems, featuring compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality and a standard OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (data plan purchase required after limited trial period) that can accommodate up to seven mobile devices. Owners can also manage their vehicles remotely with the industry-leading myGMC mobile app via their compatible smartphones. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, and require a compatible smartphone.
    Every new Terrain comes standard with five years of the OnStar Basic Plan[1] at no additional cost. Among other benefits, this connectivity plan features OnStar Smart Driver, an opt-in service designed to help GMC owners maximize their vehicle’s overall performance, reduce wear and tear, monitor fuel efficiency and become better drivers — all factors that add to the overall ownership experience.
    Expanded range of safety features
    An expanded range of available active safety technologies is designed to enhance driver awareness and even help make it easier to park and maneuver in low-speed situations. The features include radar- and camera-based adaptive technologies that can provide alerts to potential crash threats, allowing the driver to react and make changes to potentially avoid them, including:
    New Surround Vision New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator New Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert  Rear Cross Traffic Alert New Safety Alert Seat The new Terrain also features GMC’s new Rear Seat Reminder[2] and Teen Driver[3]. Rear Seat Reminder alerts drivers to check the back seat as they exit their vehicles under certain circumstances, while Teen Driver allows parents to set controls and review an in-vehicle report card in order to help encourage better driving habits, even when adults are not in the vehicle.

    William Maley

    What would a modern Microbus that powered by electricity look like?

    As we accurately judged a few weeks back, Volkswagen's concept for the Detroit Auto Show is another Microbus. But don't call it that, instead call it the I.D. Buzz.
    Volkswagen is clear in their press release that the I.D. Buzz "is not a retro design on 22-inch wheels." We're not fully sure on that because it looks like Microbus with the large Volkswagen emblem up front, two-tone paint, and a large area of glass. The only point you can give Volkswagen about it not being a 'retro design' is the front end not being so blunt. The interior can seat up to eight people and there are some nice details such as a wooden floor and LED ambient lighting. Technology features include a removable tablet for passengers, augmented reality heads-up display, and a steering wheel that retracts when the vehicle is put into an autonomous driving mode.
    Like the first I.D. concept, the I.D. Buzz uses Volkswagen's upcoming Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). For the Buzz, the MEB platform is extended to house a 111-kWh battery pack and two electric motors. Volkswagen says output stands at 369 horsepower while range is estimated at 270 miles on a "predicted US driving cycle". As we mentioned a moment ago, the I.D. Buzz will have the autonomous capability thanks to four onboard laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors, and a number of camera around the vehicle.
    The question of course when it comes to Volkswagen and their Microbus concepts is will it go into production or not. In the case of the I.D. Buzz, that is a maybe. We know Volkswagen is working on an electric van due out sometime between 2020-2025 and this could be the one. But given Volkswagen's track record, we're not fully counting on it either.
    Source: Volkswagen
    Press Release is on Page 2


    I.D. BUZZ CONCEPT MAKES ITS WORLD DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW IN DETROIT
    Versatile, zero-emissions, all-wheel drive vehicle is a Microbus for the future All-electric driving range of up to 270 miles, comparable to gasoline engined cars Maximum flexibility: I.D. electric drive system allows seating for up to eight and two luggage compartments Focus on people: in the fully autonomous “I.D. Pilot” driving mode, the driver’s seat can be turned 180 degrees to face the rear Traction for any terrain: electric all-wheel drive with two motors and 369 horsepower Head-up display projects information via augmented reality Vehicle features fully autonomous driving capability Flexible center console with tablet display and Beats® Bluetooth® loudspeakers can be used outside the vehicle Detroit, January 2017 — The era of electric mobility has begun, and Volkswagen will be shaping it with the I.D. BUZZ concept presented at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A Microbus for a new era, the electric concept forges links between the origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future. The I.D. BUZZ, like the compact I.D. presented at the Paris Motor Show, is another new Volkswagen vehicle that gives compelling design to electric mobility and reflects a transformation of the brand and its models. 
    Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand, says: “The Volkswagen brand’s big electric offensive begins in the year 2020 with a completely new vehicle architecture. That is when we will be launching an entirely new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market. By 2025 we want to be selling one million of these vehicles annually. We are making electric mobility the new trademark of Volkswagen.”
    The I.D. BUZZ zero-emissions vehicle conceptually follows the new Volkswagen brand strategy. Its claim is: “We make the future real.” Four fields of innovation form the basis for this strategy: 
    Smart Sustainability—Volkswagen is advancing the development of innovative high-volume electric car models Automated Driving—Volkswagen will make cars even safer and more comfortable by means of autonomous driving Intuitive Usability—Volkswagen is focusing on cars that are intuitive to operate and feature new display and control concepts Connected Community—In the future, Volkswagen will interconnect humans, cars and the environment with a Volkswagen user identity Volkswagen is showing just how multifaceted electric mobility can be in Detroit with the I.D. BUZZ concept vehicle—maximum space utilization with all-wheel drive, electric motors at the front and rear axles, a fully autonomous driving mode (“I.D. Pilot”) and a new generation of display elements and controls.
    The “I.D. BUZZ” name was hardly an arbitrary choice. I.D. stands for “Identity,” “Idea,” “Individual,” “Intelligent” and “Iconic Design”. BUZZ, on the other hand, is a phonetic word play on “bus” and refers to the silent “buzzing” of the drive system. 
    “The I.D. BUZZ is a next-generation vehicle based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), offering comfort and plenty of space,” says Dr. Frank Welsch, Volkswagen Member of the Board of Management responsible for Development. “The overall concept of the I.D. BUZZ points the way to the future. This concept vehicle is the world's first electric multi-purpose vehicle to be equipped with a fully autonomous driving mode. It carries the feeling of freedom of the Microbus over to a completely new era of mobility.”
    Thanks to its MEB underpinnings, space utilization is better in the I.D. BUZZ than in any other electric vehicle. An excursion with two families over the weekend? A gig with the band in another city? A vacation trip with bikes and boards? Driving to a business meeting with colleagues who need to prepare on the way? None of these scenarios pose a problem with the multi-variable seating layout and interactive networking of the I.D. BUZZ. Using an extended MEB-XL platform, this concept vehicle—which is 194.6 inches long, 77.8 inches wide and 77.3 inches tall—offers an extraordinarily spacious interior for its class.
    The I.D. BUZZ is not only huge inside, but its technical concept makes it one of the world's most comfortable cars. It has a silent drive system and an extremely long wheelbase of 129.9 inches. The floor-mounted battery lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity and delivers ideal weight distribution. The suspension layout—including multi-link rear suspension with integrated drive units and decoupled subframes at front and rear, as well as air suspension at the rear axle using electronically controlled dampers—delivers premium class comfort, high cornering power, and ideal acoustics.
    The zero-emissions all-wheel drive system has a total output of 369 horsepower and an NEDC electric driving range of 600 kilometers (270 miles on a predicted U.S. driving cycle). One electric motor at the front axle and one at the rear each deliver a power output of 201 hp, distributed between the two axles by an “electric propshaft.” The I.D. BUZZ shown in Detroit can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5 seconds, with a governed top speed of 99 mph. 
    The vehicle’s 111 kWh battery can be charged to 80 percent of its capacity within 30 minutes using the Combined Charging System (CCS) or an inductive charging interface, with a charging rate of 150 kW. As an alternative, the battery can be charged from any conventional household outlet and at charging stations. The all-wheel drive configuration is just one of several that are conceivable. Thanks to the MEB, it would be just as easy to equip the I.D. BUZZ with a rear-wheel drive setup producing up to 268 hp and a smaller 83 kWh battery, depending on the region and purpose of use.
    Automated Driving 
    The I.D. BUZZ is the world’s first fully autonomous multi-purpose vehicle. A slight push on the steering wheel makes it retract and merge into the instrument panel, switching the I.D. BUZZ from manual control to the fully autonomous “I.D. Pilot” mode that could make it into production by 2025. In this mode, the wheel is decoupled from the steering gear via a newly developed steering column system. The ambient lighting then switches from white light (“Drive”) to mood lighting that is warm and relaxed. At the same time, the distribution of ambient lighting is extended to the rear seating area. Simultaneously, the status of the I.D. BUZZ can be seen at all times on the tablet and the augmented reality head-up display.
    Now driving on its own, the zero-emissions concept has already activated its onboard laser scanners. Four of them extend from the roof in “I.D. Pilot” mode. The cleanly styled roof sensors call attention to the fully autonomous mode by indirect lighting.
    The I.D. BUZZ is not only able to detect other road users with its laser sensors, but also with the assistance of ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors, side area view cameras and a front camera. Traffic data is also continually acquired and compared with the vehicle data via the cloud. Fully autonomous mode is deactivated by touching the steering wheel or by pressing the brake or accelerator pedal.
    Volkswagen User-ID 
    I.D. knows who will be at the wheel, thanks to the Volkswagen User-ID. This is an individual profile that stores the personal seat and air conditioning settings, favorite radio stations and songs, sound system settings, exterior sound, configuration of the navigation system, type of ambient lighting and contact information for the driver’s friends and business associates. This profile can be retrieved securely via the cloud. 
    Consequently, the I.D. BUZZ also recognizes which person is entering the car or wants to take the steering wheel at any given time via the authorized user’s smartphone—the Digital Key. As soon as a person approaches the vehicle, the sensor surfaces for opening the door light up. If the person’s hand is very close to the surface, that individual door is opened. Using the Volkswagen User-ID and a relevant smartphone app, passengers in the vehicle can also control infotainment functions and input intermediate destinations into the navigation system. The route is shown on a tablet. 
    Exterior Design  
    The original Microbus is a legend all over the world and forms a global community. Although the I.D. BUZZ is designed for a new era, it would fit in perfectly with its predecessors.
    Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen Head of Design, says: “The I.D. BUZZ is not a retro design on 22-inch wheels; rather, we have taken the logical next step forward in development using what is in all likelihood the most successful design of its kind in the world. The entire design is extremely clean with its homogeneous surfaces and monolithic silhouette. The future and origins of Volkswagen design DNA combine here to create a new icon.”
    The best example of the interplay of familiar and new elements is the front end with its characteristic ”V” and likeable ”face”—it’s clearly a Microbus, but a completely new interpretation. Oliver Stefani, Head of Volkswagen Exterior Design, says, “Instead of the round headlights used in the original model, in designing the I.D. BUZZ we opted for slender LED systems, which not only turn night into day, but also interactively communicate with other road users and pedestrians.” Similar to the compact I.D., the bumpers also integrate a matte aluminum honeycomb design, with illuminated outer sections.
    Extremely short body overhangs also define the vehicle. This applies equally to the roofline with its charismatic front overhang and three stylized air vents in the rear roof pillars, a small tribute to the T1. Each detail has, however, been re-interpreted and implemented in a new context.
    At the front, wrap-around ambient lighting forms a new era equivalent of chrome trim. It is actually an accent strip made of matte aluminum that is embedded in what designers call a sharp undercut. Indirect ambient lighting has been integrated into this full wraparound undercut, which also forms the ”V” of the front hood. When it is dark outside, this creates a unique light signature together with the backlit front and rear VW logos and the lighting elements in the front bumpers.
    The I.D. BUZZ is also unmistakable from the rear. Here, the slender full-LED lights and large painted surfaces make up the iconic design. The tailgate extends far down into the bumper to give a low load sill height of just 23.6 inches. Thanks to its compact electric drive, the I.D. BUZZ not only offers a rear luggage compartment of between 23.3 to 162.5 cubic feet, but also a front trunk of 6.1 cubic feet. The doors and trunklids are power operated: opening the tailgate, front doors and rear sliding doors is initiated by sensors outside the vehicle. Thanks to the Digital Key, all the user needs to do is hold his or her hand over a marked area for entry.
    There are clear design parallels to the I.D. shown in Paris. The front LED lights, wrap-around LED taillights, homogeneously integrated bumpers, side sills stylistically raised at the center of the door area, laser scanners on the roof and the aluminum-alloy wheel design combine to form the design insignia of Volkswagen’s future electric mobility.
    There are few cars in the world that look as good in classic two-tone paint as the Microbus, which is why it was a must for the new I.D. BUZZ. The car is painted in Silver Metallic above the seam that integrates the ambient lighting and in Cyber Yellow Pearl Effect below that line. The yellow hue is also found on the sidewalls of the tires, while the 22-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are painted in Galvano Gray Metallic.
    The I.D. BUZZ communicates with its surroundings via the LED lighting at the front end. The LED headlights interactively mimic the gestures of the human eye and thus interact with other traffic. The concept vehicle masters these light scenarios:
    Parking. When all systems of the I.D. BUZZ are shut down it looks from the front as if its “eyes” are closed. When the I.D. BUZZ is parked, just a narrow, small LED strip is visible in the headlights. Opening. When the I.D. is “awakened”, it greets its driver and passengers with a 360-degree light show. First, the Volkswagen logos light up. This is followed by the wrap-around ambient lighting. In the final phase of this light show, the I.D. BUZZ opens its “eyes.” Driving. The Volkswagen logos, wrap-round ambient lighting, Daytime Running Lights and the LED headlights are always active while driving. As the car accelerates, the “eyes” adjust to the higher speed by adopting a more dynamic light signature. Automated. A distinctive feature of the fully autonomous driving mode is that the laser scanners in the roof are extended and illuminated. As the car speeds up, the LED “eyes” look ahead, giving the car a sportier appearance. In addition, the “eyes” are interactive in the fully autonomous driving mode. If the I.D. BUZZ wants to turn, for instance, the LED headlights look in the direction the car is going to turn. To top it off, if the vehicle detects people at the side of the road, it looks at them. Through this interaction, the Volkswagen alerts pedestrians and cyclists to its presence. Interior Design 
    “The design of the concept places people as the focus; it should appeal to them and invite them to come in,” says Klaus Bischoff. Awaiting them there is an interior that combines the world of the automobile with the atmosphere of a lounge. Tomasz Bachorski, Head of Interior Design of the Volkswagen brand, explains the next era of interior design: “From now on, we will be networking the vehicle much more intensively to make it more interactive. The interior will become a sort of family room, a mobile place where you feel at home.” 
    As a result, the classic cockpit no longer exists in the I.D. BUZZ. In place of traditional instruments or controls is an intuitively operated cockpit consisting of:
    Touch-sensitive steering wheel (multifunction steering wheel with capacitive surfaces) Augmented reality head-up display “I.D. Box” center console (including a tablet usable outside the vehicle) In the “I.D. Pilot” mode, the front seats can be electrically unlatched and rotated so they face the rear, after the “I.D. Box” multifunctional center console is moved rearward. The seating system is flexibly designed to be like the living space at home or a lounge area. This versatility is based on a seat rail system that is integrated in the flat floor and on adjustable and folding seats. The seatbacks of the individual second row seats can be folded to form tables. At stops, the third row can be made into a bed, enabling the I.D. BUZZ to be used for overnight voyages. When the trip is resumed, clever detail solutions make travel more pleasant, such as softly padded rear side sun visors that can be moved and are designed so that a passenger can lean on them. Individually placeable cushions also underscore the cozy atmosphere of the interior, which is flooded with light thanks to its large windows and two-part panoramic roof.
    The warm interior colors are also in keeping with the lounge character. For instance, the dashpad in front of the driver and front passenger transitions from Magnet Metallic to Moon White Metallic, and the dashpad and door panel structures are illuminated by the ambient lighting as well. Stylish details include:
    Wood floor. The floor is made of fine, Silver Birch wood. The bright color underscores the cozy character of the interior. In the rear seating area, aluminum inlays in the wood take up the honeycomb pattern of the dashpad and touch-sensitive steering wheel as well as the front bumper. Door trim. The top sections of the doors are covered with sophisticated metallic leatherette. The interplay of color is underscored by the transition from the darker driver’s area to the brighter passenger zone. The designers have upgraded the lower sections of the door trim panels with a cream-colored knitted fabric throughout the rear seating area. Seat fabrics. Seats are covered in an innovative knit fabric that features a graduated honeycomb pattern. The refined knitting technique used to produce the individual diamond shapes allows a light metallic background material show through. Accentuated yellow details such as piping and seat belts showcase the fresh look of the I.D. BUZZ while creating a connection between exterior and interior. As soon as the driver’s seat is occupied, the steering wheel, which is retracted into the dashpad in parking mode, extends out, and the indicators and buttons on the steering wheel light up simultaneously. In parallel, the I.D. BUZZ activates the augmented reality head-up display and the tablet in the “I.D. Box.” The ambient lighting also greets the driver. Close the doors, buckle up, press the brake pedal and select a gear and the I.D. BUZZ is immediately ready to start. The concept car is shut off by the “P” button on the steering wheel. When finished, the steering wheel retracts flush into the cockpit panel.
    The steering wheel of the I.D. BUZZ does not have any spokes. The wheel, trimmed with Nappa leather, is more of an interactive touchpad. This touch-sensitive steering wheel is a new concept, which allows the driver to operate the drive modes (P, R, N and D), turn signals and various menu functions as well as settings for the head-up display via touch-sensitive areas on its surface. 
    The outer region of the touchpad has a honeycomb-like light signature, as does the dashpad ahead of the driver and front passenger. Pressing on the illuminated VW logo in the middle of the touch-sensitive steering wheel initiates a switch between the “Drive” mode and “I.D. Pilot” mode; the steering wheel then retracts or extends accordingly. 
    The “I.D. Box” fits the character of the I.D. BUZZ perfectly. When the vehicle is being driven by someone, the I.D. Box is positioned between the front seats. In this case, the integrated tablet in the console is positioned to serve as a display and control surface for the driver and front passenger. The I.D. Box is also equipped with loudspeakers from Beats®, which are interconnected with the passengers’ smartphones and the sound system via Bluetooth®. When the driver switches to the “I.D. Pilot” mode, the entire “I.D. Box” moves towards the rear. Other console features include cupholders and a folding table. The console tablet (like the Beats speakers) is easy to unsnap and remove from the vehicle.
    The Volkswagen I.D. lets the I.D. BUZZ know who the driver is. The individual vehicle settings are configured accordingly, and features such as the person’s calendar are shown on the tablet. The I.D. BUZZ also knows the driver’s friends via the Volkswagen I.D. Based on this information, the car might recommend meeting with friends or suggest activities that would fit into the day’s schedule. 
    In “I.D. Pilot” autonomous mode, the system informs the driver on the tablet about changes to the calendar, for instance. If the I.D. BUZZ passes one of the driver’s favorite shops or a favorite restaurant, the car informs the driver via the tablet about the current offerings at these personal points of interest. A new era of interactive and personalized online services is beginning with the I.D. BUZZ.
    Like the compact I.D., the I.D. BUZZ is equipped with an augmented reality head-up display. Information such as navigation directions are projected as virtual images from 23 to 49 feet ahead of the car. The effect is astonishingly realistic. Directions are projected via augmented reality to show exactly where the driver is heading. Thanks to the head-up display, the navigation instructions are now part of three-dimensional surroundings that the driver can experience. Drivers can use the touch-sensitive steering wheel to modify the type and amount of information shown, adapting the system to their individual needs.
    Three levels of information density are available here:
    Level 1: “Navigation,” “Speed” and “Battery indicator” Level 2: Level 1 plus “Phone” (in “Drive” mode) and “Local offerings” (in “I.D. Pilot” mode) Level 3: Levels 1 and 2 plus “Friends” along the route (in “Drive” mode) and “Messages” (in “I.D. Pilot” mode) There are no rearview mirrors in the I.D. BUZZ. Cameras and a display have taken over that function. Where there would normally be a rearview mirror, there is a screen called the e-Mirror. Here, a monitor combines data from the exterior mirror cameras on the left and right of the vehicle and from a camera that faces directly rearward. Doing away with the side mirrors improves the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
    The lighting mood of the interior also changes according to the mode. In “Drive”, illuminated elements are lit in white. When the driver activates “I.D. Pilot”, they switch over to a warm mood color. In addition, the ambient lighting and touch-sensitive steering wheel assume warning and indicator functionality. In “Drive” mode, if the driver wants to change lanes while another vehicle is alongside, a warning signal is shown on the relevant side of the dashpad. This means that the LED warning indicators for the Blind Spot Monitor, which are located in the door mirrors in today’s vehicles, migrate into the interior where they are even more obvious to the driver.

    William Maley

    The outside may have slightly changed, but it's what under the hood that is very interesting. 

    For 40 years, the Ford F-Series has not only been the best-selling pickup in the U.S., but also the best-selling vehicle. In 2016, Ford moved 820,000 F-Series models. Ford wants to keep this going and tomorrow will introduce a heavily refreshed version of the F-150.
    The big news is the introduction of a 3.0L PowerStroke turbodiesel V6, something we have been reporting on for the past year. The V6 is a result of a joint-venture between Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroën, along with being used in some of Land Rover's models. Ford is being tight-lipped on the power figures, but we should note the engine produces 254 horsepower and 440 pound-feet in Range Rover Td6. A 10-speed automatic transmission will come standard.
    That isn't the only change for the F-150's powertrain lineup. The base engine will be a new 3.3L V6 that is expected to produce the same 282 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque as the outgoing 3.5L V6. This will come paired with a six-speed automatic. Next, the 5.0L V8 and 2.7 EcoBoost V6 feature a number of improvements that will improve horsepower and torque (though Ford isn't saying how much). The 3.5L EcoBoost V6 which was updated last year will continue on without any changes. The V8 and EcoBoost V6s will also get a 10-speed automatic.
    Outside, Ford's designers bring some of the ideas from F-Series Super Duty for the F-150. That includes new grilles for the various trims, larger headlights, six new wheel designs, and a sculpted tailgated. Ford hasn't changed much in the interior aside from new color choices for the seats. In terms of tech, there will the option of 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Bang & Olufsen audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability; adaptive cruise control with stop-start technology, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
    The 2018 F-150 lineup arrives at Ford dealers this fall. If you want the diesel, you'll need to wait until 2018.
    Source: Ford 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    FORD RAISES THE BAR AGAIN: NEW F-150 PICKUP IS EVEN TOUGHER, SMARTER, MORE CAPABLE
    Even tougher: Featuring bolder Built Ford Tough style and segment-first high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body Even smarter: Available class-exclusive Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection can automatically apply F-150 brakes to help prevent a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian, plus available WiFi hotspot can help you stay connected Even more capable: F-150 features the best towing ever – thanks to more powerful, efficient engine offerings that include standard Auto Start-Stop across the range, all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke® turbo diesel and expanded availability of segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission New F-150 is being previewed today during the 4 p.m. EST FOX NFL Wildcard Pregame Show – Ford is the Official Truck of the NFL – and revealed on Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 8, 2017 – Ford, America’s truck leader, introduces the new 2018 Ford F-150 – now even tougher, even smarter and even more capable than ever.
    Three years after first introducing the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy-bodied Ford F-150, the new F-150 arrives with bold new front and rear styling, advanced technologies – including available Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – and improved engines. The new engines include an all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke® V6 turbo diesel and enhanced V6 and V8 gas engines.
    “Truck customers are constantly looking to improve their productivity, for work and for play,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford President, The Americas. “Since 1977, we’ve been America’s favorite truck, and we’ve never taken that leadership for granted. This new F-150 is our latest example of Ford’s commitment to going further for our customers through continuous innovation.”
    The 2018 F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series truck lineup, America’s best-selling truck for 40 consecutive years and America’s best-selling vehicle for 35 years.
    Ford is previewing the new truck today during the FOX NFL Wildcard Pregame Show, which airs starting at 4 p.m. today. Ford is the Official Truck of the NFL. The truck will be revealed on Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
    Even tougher
    The new F-150 delivers on its Built Ford Tough promise through a segment-exclusive combination of advanced materials that are durable and inhibit corrosion.
    A high-strength steel fully boxed ladder frame and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body save weight and add capability, helping F-150 tow heavier trailers than ever and deliver best-in-class payload ratings.
    The 2018 F-150 lineup is new with even tougher looks. From XL to top-of-the-line Limited, all Ford F-150 models receive new grilles, headlamps and bumpers that create a visually wider and more planted stance and maximum differentiation between the series. On the Sport Package-equipped Lariat F-150, the signature twin bars are painted body color for a custom athletic appearance.
    Further enhancing its “milled from a block of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy” look, the F-150 features six all-new wheel designs, ranging from 17 inches to 22 inches in diameter.
    A new sculpted tailgate with deeper accent form and stamped “F-150” are flanked by new tail lamp designs. For further style differentiation, a tailgate applique adds a horizontal element to King Ranch, Platinum and Limited versions.
    F-150 also brings two new seating trim colors – Dark Marsala for F-150 Platinum, while top-of-the-line F-150 Limited offers a Navy Pier environment. New trim offerings including carbon fiber appearance appliques on F-150 XLT Sport and Lariat Sport models, while the famed F-150 King Ranch features new Kingsville Appointed seats.
    Even smarter
    Ford F-150 advances the light-duty pickup truck segment again with segment-first and class-exclusive technologies that improve productivity, efficiency and driver confidence, while keeping occupants connected to the world around them.
    New enhanced segment-first available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality allows drivers to set a cruising speed. They then use radar and camera technology to monitor traffic ahead to maintain a set distance between vehicles – even following a vehicle down to a complete stop. New, segment-first available Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection helps the driver avoid or mitigate collisions with vehicles and pedestrians. With a new available embedded 4G LTE modem for a Wi-Fi hot spot, customers can connect up to 10 mobile devices at one time, virtually anywhere. New B&O PLAY available audio system takes advantage of high-end speakers, sound and tuning to deliver a richer, more engaging listening experience. These technologies join existing segment-exclusive driver assist and convenience features that include:
    Available SYNC® and SYNC 3 with FordPass enables compatibility of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – plus mobility services to help customers move more efficiently Available 360-degree camera technology helps improve driver confidence when parking and can help reduce stress when connecting a trailer – allowing customers to see more so they can focus on specific tasks such as lining up a hitch Available lane-keeping system is designed to help reduce unintentional drifting of the vehicle outside the intended lane Available Blind Spot Information System with trailer tow technology is optimized for F-150 to include the length of a trailer up to 33 feet; BLIS® uses radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor areas that may not be visible to the driver Even more capable
    Ford builds on its performance leadership by offering the most advanced F-150 engine lineup ever, plus the best towing capability of any F-150 ever.
    The new F-150 introduces an all-new, standard 3.3-liter V6 engine, with direct-injection for increased efficiency. The 3.3-liter V6 is expected to offer the same 282 horsepower and 253 lb.-ft. of torque as the previous model’s standard 3.5-liter V6.
    An all-new second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine features advanced dual port and direct injection technology, reduced internal friction and improved robustness – all for improved levels of output, efficiency, quality and durability. Like the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost will be paired to the segment-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission for 2018.
    The 5.0-liter V8 also sees improvements in 2018, as the naturally aspirated engine features significant upgrades for increased power and torque. It’s also paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission for the first time.
    The 2018 F-150 also adds an available all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine, designed, engineered and tested in-house and paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s the first-ever diesel engine offered for F-150.
    In addition to the segment-first 10-speed automatic, the Ford F-150 is now the first full-size pickup truck to add automatic start/stop as standard equipment across all models and engines.
    The new 2018 F-150 goes on sale this fall. It will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

    William Maley

    The V90 arrives in North America

    Next week at the Detroit Auto Show, Volvo will unveil the V90 wagon for North America. Completing the 90 series lineup, the V90 will be available with the T5 or T6 powertrains, and in either Inscription or R-Design trims. The V90 also marks a first for Volvo. Unlike other 90 series models, the V90 will be sold exclusively as custom order vehicle. You can do this through Volvo’s Online Concierge or Overseas Delivery service.
    "The V90 is a fantastic vehicle for the true wagon enthusiast. As we now introduce the most luxurious wagon ever, we choose to do so giving our customers a range of personalized customer order production alternatives like the Volvo online concierge and Overseas Delivery. This way we provide the fullest range of options to wagon lovers" said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Car USA in a statement.
    Pricing will be announced sometime next month.
    Source: Volvo
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The Volvo V90 Arrives in America
    The Volvo V90 is coming to the United States in 2017 and builds on over 60 years of wagon heritage that started with the Volvo Duett. The V90 will make its North American debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and will be available as a model year 2018 later this year.
     
    “Wagons are an important part of Volvo’s history” said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO of Volvo Car USA, “after successfully launching the XC90 SUV, S90 sedan and most recently V90 Cross Country, we complete our 90 range with the introduction of our new luxury wagon.”
    The V90 has received international praise for its combination of style and utility. Based on the new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and the new Volvo design language, the V90 will share interior design attributes with the award-winning XC90, such as the 12” Sensus Connect Touchscreen, open-pore wood trim and Nappa leather. Like the S90 the V90, drivers can expect the feeling of relaxed confidence and sedan-like driving dynamics with the storage capability of a crossover.
    The V90 will be available with both T5 FWD and T6 AWD powertrains in either Inscription or R-Design trim. To provide a full range of options and personalization, the V90 will be sold exclusively as custom order vehicles starting soon via Volvo’s Online Concierge or Overseas Delivery. Both options offer unique buying experiences. Vehicles will be delivered to customers in summer 2017.
     
    "The V90 is a fantastic vehicle for the true wagon enthusiast. As we now introduce the most luxurious wagon ever, we choose to do so giving our customers a range of personalized customer order production alternatives like the Volvo online concierge and Overseas Delivery. This way we provide the fullest range of options to wagon lovers" said Kerssemakers.
    With Volvo Concierge, customers can choose the vehicle’s features online with a Volvo representative, who will personally guide customers through the ordering process. The vehicle will be delivered to their local Volvo retailer where customers can complete the purchase.  With Overseas Delivery, customers can pick the color, interior, trim and engine with their Volvo retailer and receive two paid airline tickets and hotel accommodations to pick up the vehicle at Volvo’s Torslanda, Sweden factory.
     
    “Luxury buyers seek to fully customize their vehicle while enjoying a personalized experience,” said Bodil Eriksson, Vice President, Product, Marketing and Communication. “The Volvo V90 attracts buyers who are determined to oversee every detail and customer order production via Concierge allows them to realize this.”
     
    Currently, the S90 sedan, XC90 Excellence and S60 and V60 Polestar can be ordered through Volvo Concierge. The V90 wagon is the first carline exclusively available through Volvo Concierge or Overseas Delivery. Pricing and trim details will be announced next month.

    William Maley

    Another crossover with a coupelike roofline

    Audi is the latest automaker to tease their reveal for Detroit Auto Show. This is the Q8 Concept which will be going into production in the next few years as the brand's flagship SUV. 
    Up front is a large, octagonal grille and narrow headlights. The side profile features a coupelike roofline and bulging fenders. Audi says the design is reminiscent of the famed ur-quattro coupe from the 80's. We can see some of it in the side, but not in other areas.
    “With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige. What’s more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line,” said Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte in a statement.
    Source: Audi
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Audi Q8 concept car to be revealed at the 2017 North American International Auto Show - Featuring the next generation of Audi SUV design language
    December 22, 2016 | INGOLSTADT/DETROIT
    Study unlocks new segment for the full-size SUV category Spaciousness of an SUV with elegance of a coup Distinctive front end, with design echoes of the Ur-quattro Audi will start the new year with a sensation: At the January 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the brand will debut the Q8 concept. The study represents a synthesis of the emotional styling of a coup and the spaciousness that typifies an SUV. With this move, the brand is unlocking a new segment for the full-size category.
    “With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige,” said Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte. “What’s more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line.”
    The concept’s front end is imposing. The octagonal Singleframe is considerably wider than that in Audi’s current production Q models. Enhancing the forward positioned stance, is dynamic three-dimensional sculpting. Many design elements of the Q8 concept are reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro of the 1980s. They include the extremely flat but very wide C-post and the prominent, flared shoulders above the wheels. These balanced proportions give equal emphasis to the front and rear wheels – typically quattro.
    More information on this exciting new concept will release during the NAIAS Audi press conference, January 9, 2017 at 8 a.m. EST.

    William Maley

    Microbus, Take 4,789,134

    We were a bit worried about Volkswagen's showing at Detroit was only going to be the long-wheelbase Tiguan. But there is another vehicle that will be shown alongside.
    Volkswagen has released some teaser shots of the next I.D. concept and it looks like it will be a van - something akin to the Microbus judging from one of the pictures. The concept will be using Volkswagen's upcoming MEB (Modular Electric Drive) and use two electric motors - one up front and another in the back. This will provide all-wheel drive. 
    This concept will also feature self-driving technology where a driver can press a button and steering wheel will retract. Various sensors, cameras, and lasers to analyze the road ahead and allow the vehicle to drive itself.
    https://www.cheersandgears.com/gallery/album/1343-volkswagen-id-concept-2/
    Source: Volkswagen 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    ICON OF THE NEW ERA OF ELECTRIC DRIVE: VOLKSWAGEN PRESENTS ANOTHER I.D. FAMILY MODEL IN DETROIT
    Show car has two electric motors and all-wheel drive Design icon features multi-functional, flexible interior Wolfsburg, 22 December 2016, 8AM –At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS, 8 to 22 January) in Detroit, Volkswagen will present a new I.D. family model – a multi-functional vehicle for a new era. The concept vehicle forges links between the legendary origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future. Like the I.D., this concept is also based on the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), and so it shows the potential and bandwidth of the MEB.
    Since the presentation of the I.D. at the Paris International Motor Show in September of this year, these initials have stood for a new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles from Volkswagen. The I.D. also stands for purity in design language, form, and character as well as typical Volkswagen attention to detail and ideal use of interior space.
    This I.D. concept vehicle will also be able to drive fully autonomously in the future. Press lightly on the Volkswagen logo, and the electrically retractable steering wheel disappears into the dashboard. While the driver relaxes, laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors and cameras monitor other road users and the surroundings.
    The I.D. concept vehicle in Detroit forges links between the legendary origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future. Its overall concept is revolutionary. It combines ample space for travel with a long electric driving range, to usher a new feeling of freedom – with zero emissions – and a new era of mobility.

    William Maley

    What does a longer Volkswagen Tiguan look like?

    Next month, Volkswagen will be introducing the long-wheelbase Tiguan (Allspace in North America, Tiguan L in China) at the Detroit Auto Show. The only picture we have seen so far was a teaser sketch showing the Allspace looking like the Tiguan being sold in Europe at the moment. Thanks to a Spanish automotive site however, we have gotten our hands on leaked media photos of the model.
    The model shown in the pictures in the Chinese-market Tiguan L. There isn't much difference between the L and standard Tiguan aside from longer rear doors and flatter roofline. In terms of measurements, the Tiguan Allspace/L is 4.3-inches longer than the standard model. This extra space will go towards a third-row seat in North American models. 
    We're expecting a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder to be the only engine on offer. Front-wheel drive and Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive will be the available drivetrain choices.
    We'll have more details on the Tiguan Allspace when it debuts next month.
    Source: autonocion.com via Motor1

    William Maley

    Under a cloak of darkness, Chevrolet teases the next Traverse

    Chevrolet has released a teaser for the next-generation Traverse that will debut next month at the Detroit Auto Show. Judging from the teaser, it appears the Traverse will share front and rear end styling of the new Equinox. Chevrolet says in a press release the Traverse will boast "the segment’s best third-row legroom and maximum cargo space." Other details are being kept under the cloak of darkness till its reveal at Detroit. But we wouldn't be surprised if there is an updated 3.6L V6 under the hood.
    Source: Chevrolet 
    Press Release is on Page 2
    ALL-NEW 2018 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE TO DEBUT JAN. 9
    Bold new look expected to offer segment-best cargo space, third-row legroom DETROIT — Chevrolet will complete the transformation of its crossover and SUV lineup with the introduction of the next-generation Traverse on Jan. 9 at the North American International Auto Show.
    The all-new Traverse features a bold and refined design with seating for up to eight passengers. It’s expected to offer the segment’s best third-row legroom and maximum cargo space.
    Premium interior and exterior design cues and new technologies abound, including available exclusive D-Optic headlamps that provide a natural daylight effect with a seamless light quality. 
    The 2018 Traverse will be Chevrolet’s latest crossover/SUV offering, joining the 2017 Bolt EV and Trax, the 2018 Equinox revealed in September and the full-size Tahoe and Suburban.
    “Nobody in the industry offers a broader, fresher lineup of SUVs and crossovers than Chevrolet,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and brand chief of Global Chevrolet. “From the all-electric Bolt EV to America’s longest-running nameplate, Suburban, we’ve got something for every customer and lifestyle.”

    William Maley

    One design, three sizes to choose from now

    This year at the Detroit Auto Show saw Mercedes-Benz introduce the new E-Class sedan and this kicked off a year-long introduction of other E-Class variants such as the wagon and AMG models. Next year at Detroit, Mercedes will finish up the E-Class with the all-new coupe.
    The E-Class coupe follows the same design formula as the C and S-Class coupes. This means a diamond-shaped grille up front, a b-pillarless side profile, and an uncluttered rear end. Inside is the same as the E-Class sedan with two screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system, uncluttered center stack, and seats wrapped in leather. Space is said to be increased for passengers thanks to a 4.4-inch longer wheelbase and a 2.9-inch increase in width.
    For the U.S., the E-Class coupe will only come with a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 (E400) producing 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. This will come paired with a nine-speed automatic. There will be a choice of either rear-wheel or 4Matic all-wheel drive. Don't be surprised if there are AMG variants coming around the corner.
    Mercedes will begin E-Class coupe deliveries to dealers this summer.
    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2


    December 13, 2016 - Stuttgart
    With its expressive proportions, clear and sensual design and long-distance comfort for four people, the new E-Class Coupe combines the beauty and classic virtues of a grand tourer with state-of-the-art technology. It also offers the intelligence of the E-Class family with full smartphone integration, a widescreen cockpit and the latest driver assistance systems. A powerful engine and comfortable suspensions with selective damping guarantee a sporty and agile driving experience.
    Following the introduction of the world's most intelligent sedan and wagon, the E- Class family now welcomes another new member: the E-Class Coupe. "With its clear, aesthetic lines, our new E-Class Coupe appeals equally to the heart and mind. It combines contemporary luxury, agile sportiness and high-tech engineering into an automotive personality with spirit, offering exclusive, refined driving pleasure," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
    Based technically on the sedan, the sportily exclusive Coupe marks a further step in the evolution of the Mercedes-Benz design language. With its attractive proportions, the new Coupe exhibits a puristic, surface-accentuated design with reduced lines and sensual forms. Both hot and cool, the reduced design idiom represents beauty and elegance while emphasizing the Coupe's sporty and luxurious  personality.
    The coupe proportions typical of Mercedes-Benz are characterized by a distinctive front end with a low-positioned sport grille and central star, a long hood with power domes, a rearward-shifted, elongated greenhouse and a muscular rear end. The dynamic looks are underlined by four frameless side windows and the absence of a B-pillar. With these clear forms, the design of the Coupe conveys an air of luxury and style alike.
    Thanks to innovative crystal optics, the taillamps also have a brilliant stardust appearance similar to the glow of a jet engine.
    Sporty, luxurious interior with refined details
    The interior of the new E-Class Coupe embodies the synthesis of sporty emotion and luxurious intelligence.
    The Coupe comes standard with a central 12.3-inch high-resolution COMAND® display. Another optionally available 12.3-inch widescreen instrument cluster– unique in this segment – is merged under a single lens to produce a widescreen cockpit that appears to float in space. The key design element emphasizes the width, as does the fascia-spanning trim. Positioned in the driver's direct field of vision, the digital instrument cluster shows virtual instruments, which can be selected by the driver in three different styles, "Classic," "Sport" and "Progressive," depending on which information and views the driver desires.
    A decidedly sporty note is set by the air vents, the form of which is heavily influenced by the look of a turbine engine. They are styled down to the smallest detail and finished in silver shadow.
    Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel enable the driver to control the instrument cluster and multimedia system using finger swipes without having to take their hands off of the steering wheel. Additional controls come in the form of a touchpad and controller in the center console, which can also recognize handwriting, plus the voice control system. There are also direct-access buttons for controlling the air conditioning, for example, and for convenient activation and deactivation of certain driver assistance systems.
    The highly luxurious seats in the Coupe take their cue from the sedan. A wealth of extremely high-grade design details bear witness to the high standards required of a sporty luxury coupe.
    High-grade materials and contemporary colors come together to create a sporty, contemporary luxury look. Especially for the E-Class Coupe, there is a choice of two new innovative, light wood trim packages in natural grain and high-gloss finishes. Precisely executed seams emphasize the seat design of each equipment line. The impressive range of exterior paint finishes is harmoniously matched to the contemporary interior color scheme.
    The interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology in the standard enhanced ambient lighting with 64 color options to choose from.
    Diversity to suit every taste
    The standard equipment on the base E400 Coupe is abundantly configured. Additionally, the optionally available Sport Package adds edgier detail to such features as front and rear bumpers as well as side skirts and larger AMG-style wheels. The blocks in the diamond-block grille are chrome-tipped, and the interior boasts such features as an AMG leather sports steering wheel.
    Larger and more luxurious
    With a length of 190 inches, a width of 73.2 inches (without mirrors) and a height of 56.3 inches, the new E-Class Coupe clearly outstrips its predecessor in terms of length, width and height.
    Exterior dimensions
     
    E-Class Sedan
    E-Class Coupe
    Predecessor Coupe
    Difference
    Vehicle length (in)
    193.8
    190.0
    185.2
    +4.8
    Vehicle width (in)
    72.9
    73.2
    70.3
    +2.9
    Vehicle height (in)
    57.8
    56.3
    55.0
    +1.3
    Wheelbase (in)
    115.7
    113.1
    108.7
    +4.4
    The significantly larger footprint compared with the previous model is also to the benefit of passengers with extra spaciousness and comfort. They profit especially in terms of rear legroom, front and rear shoulder room as well as rear headroom. In each of the four fully fledged seats with coupe-specific individual seat character, the driver and passengers enjoy genuine comfort on long journeys as well as the classic virtues of a grand tourer.
    Performance with high-tech
    A powerful and efficient 3.0L V6 biturbo engine, equipped with ECO Start/Stop, provides lively performance and great fun behind the wheel.
    The U.S. E-Class Coupe model line-up at a glance:
     
    E400 Coupe
    E400 4MATIC Coupe
    Number of cylinders/ arrangement
    V6
    V6
    Displacement (cc)
    2,996
    2,996
    Rated output (hp @ rpm)
    329 @ 5,250 – 6,000
    329 @ 5,250 – 6,000
    Rated torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
    354 @ 3,500 – 5,250
    354 @ 3,500 – 5,250
    Acceleration 0-60 mph (sec)
    5.2
    5.5
    Top speed (mph)
    130*
    130*
    *Electronically limited
    Both the E400 and E400 4MATIC Coupes are equipped as standard with the 9G- TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission, which allows fast gearshifts along with lower engine speeds. This has a particularly beneficial effect on efficiency and noise.
    Suspension – sporty comfort
    The suspension on the new E-Class Coupe offers agile driving pleasure on winding roads together with exceptional ride comfort. The Coupe features a standard lowered suspension with selective damping.
    AIR BODY CONTROL suspension
    Alternatively, the new E-Class Coupe can be equipped with multi-chamber air suspension, including all-round roll/pitch/heave stabilization. Advantages of this system: three chambers of different sizes in the spring struts of the rear axle and two in the spring struts of the front axle make it possible to control the hardness of the suspension in three stages. In this way, the occupants enjoy a soft basic suspension, along with the secure feeling of good handling stability at higher speeds.
    The multi-chamber air suspension is augmented by a continuous, electronically controlled adaptive damping system. The damping at each individual wheel is adjusted fully automatically to suit the current driving situation and condition of the road – such as in the case of evasive maneuvers or on rough tracks. The system therefore delivers good ride comfort along with excellent driving dynamics.
    DYNAMIC SELECT – choose your own driving characteristics
    The standard DYNAMIC SELECT system not only makes it possible to select the suspension characteristics in combination with AIR BODY CONTROL, but it also enables the driver to influence other vehicle settings – such as throttle response, ECO Start/Stop function, transmission shift points and more. DYNAMIC SELECT provides the following transmission modes: “Comfort,” “ECO,” “Sport,” “Sport +” and “Individual.” The "Individual" mode allows the driver to configure their own preferred transmission modes.
    Full smartphone integration
    A new era of connectivity and digitalization is marked by the multimedia system in the E-Class Coupe with standard COMAND Navigation. This includes effortless integration of the smartphone into the vehicle's infotainment system by means of wireless pairing and wireless charging, eliminating the need to find a plug and connect a cable.
    Apple CarPlayTM and Android Auto
    If the vehicle is equipped with COMAND Navigation, it is possible to use Apple's CarPlay as well as Google's Android Auto. If a compatible smartphone is connected by USB, the customer can, if desired, switch to the CarPlay or Android Auto interface.
    mbrace Concierge: personalized attention
    A further comfort highlight is the Concierge Service, which is available on all carlines for customers with mbrace Connect and mbrace Secure. For participating customers, the range of services includes a host of personalized assistance options: from making a restaurant reservation to obtaining tips about tourist routes, information on cultural and sporting events and bookings through to sending navigation destinations directly to the vehicle.
    Access is straightforward - registered mbrace subscribers can call up the Concierge Service either via the iCall button in the vehicle or on the Mercedes me app. The personal assistant takes care of everything else.
    E-Class innovations on board
    As a member of the current E-Class family, the new Coupe is significantly more intelligent than its predecessor. It comes with many of the optional driver assistance features of the E-Class Sedan, the most intelligent sedan ever. Active Brake Assist comes as standard and is able to warn the driver of an imminent collision, provide optimum support with emergency braking and, if necessary, can also autonomously apply the brakes. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing in the danger zone ahead of the vehicle.
    Other highlights include DRIVE PILOT: this system represents Mercedes-Benz's next step along the road to semi-autonomous driving. With Distance Pilot DISTRONIC®, it is not only able to keep the car at the correct distance behind vehicles in front on all types of road, but, for the first time, it can also automatically follow them at a speed of up to 130 mph.
    The E-Class Coupe is also optionally available with other intelligent technical systems, including:
    High-resolution LED Intelligent Light System. These headlamps, each with 72 individually activated high-performance LEDs, automatically activate and deactivate the high beams and illuminate curves. MAGIC VISION CONTROL® (standard on the E400 4MATIC Coupe) - an intelligent and highly efficient wash/wipe system for the windscreen. The wiper blade always delivers washer fluid directly in front of the wiping edge, via the water feed line integrated into the blade – and it does this in both wiping directions. The result is that there is no surge of water when fluid is sprayed, which can impair the driver's vision, and at the same time the maximum cleaning effect is achieved. The complete MAGIC VISION CONTROL system, including the wiper blades, is heated at low temperatures to prevent snow or ice from sticking in winter.
    E-Class Coupe with tradition
    As an exclusive and sporty coupe, the latest member of the E-Class family can look back on an almost fifty-year history. Its first ancestor was unveiled by Mercedes- Benz in 1968 (at that time known as the "Stroke Eight" coupe). Further model series followed – for a while also under the name CLK. Each generation combined superb design with agile sportiness and contemporary luxury at a high level.
    The all-new model year 2018 E-Class Coupe will have its World Premiere at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, and will go on sale in the U.S. in summer 2017.

    William Maley

    FCA heads to CES to debut a new vehicle, not Detroit

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will not be debuting any new products Detroit Auto Show, instead announcing that it will be debuting a vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
    “As with any international auto show, sometimes product cycle launches do not coincide with show dates,” said Rod Alberts, NAIAS executive director to the Detroit Free Press.
    Stephanie Brinley, senior analyst at IHS Automotive agrees with Alberts. FCA is right in the middle of developing the 2018 Jeep Wrangler and next-generation Ram 1500. Both models are expected to be revealed within the next 12 to 18 months.
    “Not having a car in Detroit is much more about FCA's product development life cycles than anything else. I am certain it's not a decision that was taken lightly," said Brinley.
    This isn't the first time that Chrysler skipped debuting a new vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show. Back in 2010, the company was beginning to recovery from bankruptcy.
    FCA isn't saying what they'll be showing at CES, but sources tell Bloomberg that it will be an electric vehicle based on the Chrysler Pacifica.
    Source: Detroit Free Press, Bloomberg
    Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers and Gears



About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...