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  • Detroit Auto Show

    William Maley

    Lexus announces the next LS will be shown in Detroit

    We're just only month away before the Detroit Auto Show kicks off and automakers are beginning to tease out what they'll be showing. Today, Lexus has announced that the next-generation LS will debut at Detroit. Not much is known about the next LS aside from it using the all new Global Architecture-Luxury (GA-L) that debuted on the LC coupe this year. It would not be surprising if we see the 5.0L V8 (473 horsepower) with the 10-speed automatic and hybrid powertrains from LC being used in the LS.
    Source: Lexus 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    New Lexus LS Flagship Sedan to Make Global Debut at the 2017 NAIAS
    TORRANCE, Calif. (December 8, 2016) -- Lexus announced today that the all-new, fifth-generation LS flagship sedan will make its world debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show next month.
    The introduction of the LS 400 in 1989 in Detroit made automotive history as a world-class car for the United States. Not only did the vehicle make its mark by offering the drive performance, quietness, and luxury that consumers expected from a premium vehicle, but its unveiling also heralded the birth of the Lexus brand.
    Now, 28 years later, the all-new LS sedan will be a world-class car for more than 90 countries around the globe, boasting a bold new look with a coupe-like silhouette. Built on the company’s all-new global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L), the premium rear-wheel drive platform—an extended version of that used in the LC 500—will offer a more dynamic experience on the road.  Inside the spacious cabin, luxurious appointments and visionary technology will provide drivers with the luxury experience they expect from a global flagship sedan.

    William Maley

    We Reported on the Vehicles That Made Their Appearance At Detroit, Now Its Time To Grade Them

    This year's Detroit Auto Show was somewhat down in terms of excitement. But considering last year's show was a 'once in a blue moon' event with a number of highly awaited vehicles and some surprises, 2016 was going to be somewhat a disappointment. Still, a number of automakers were willing to give it a shot and show off new models and concepts that would amaze all.
     
    It is time to see who is on the honor roll and who be heading to detention after the show.
     
    Acura Precision Concept: C
    Something I never thought I would say: I miss the shield grille. Also, were Acura's designers play too much F-Zero on the Super Nintendo.
     
    2017 Audi A4/A4 Allroad: C+/B+
    At first, I couldn't find the A4 sedan at Audi's booth. But after a moment and looking on the back on a number of their vehicles, I was able to find it. I never thought it was possible to self-plagiarize your design.
     
    At least, the A4 Allroad looks somewhat different than the current model. Also, the interior in both models is really sharp.
     
    Audi h-tron Concept: B+
    Finally, something that isn't an electric concept! Seriously, this is one really sharp looking concept.
     
    2016 BMW M2: A-
    I'll admit I wasn't interested in the M2 when I first wrote about back in October. But seeing it in person, I was intrigued. 0-60 times under 4.5 seconds from a revised turbo 3.0L inline-six and suspension tuning from M? This is something I want to drive.
     
    2016 BMW X4 M40i: C-
    So a 355 horsepower four-door crossover coupe thing with M bits for the suspension... WHY!? *Begins pulling hair out*
     
    Buick Avista Concept: A+
    And now for something surprising: Damn, that's a fine looking Buick. It helps there is a twin-turbo V6 and what many believe to be Alpha platform sitting underneath. Many want Buick to put this into production. But if past experience tells us anything, we could be seeing elements of Avista in a production model.
     
    2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback: A
    Mark Reuss said not bringing the first-generation Cruze was a mistake. GM hopes to fix this with the new Cruze Hatchback. After seeing it in person, I think Chevrolet has a real chance.
     
    2017 Chrysler Pacifica: A
    This could challenge the Kia Sedona for sexiest minivan on sale (yes, I know that is a contradiction). Also, the plug-in hybrid is a unique selling point. But why Pacifica? WHAT WAS WRONG WITH TOWN & COUNTRY?!
     
    2017 Ford Fusion: B-
    Postive: Refresh makes it look less like an Aston Martin
    Negative: Who wants to pay close to $40,000 for a Fusion?! (i.e. Platinum)
     
    2017 Ford Raptor SuperCrew: Incomplete
    Whoopie, there is a supercrew version of the Raptor... Ford, just go back to your room and think about why this warranted a show debut. Also, planning to release power figures soon?
     
    2017 Genesis G90: B+
    Somehow the new Equus, wait I mean G90 looks more frumpy than the model it replaces. The new engines and seemingly never-ending list of standard equipment make up for it.
     
    2017 GMC Acadia: A-
    How to drop 700 lbs out of a crossover? Make it smaller. With the Acadia, there is beginning to be some clear differentiation starting to appear in GM's large crossovers.
     
    2017 Honda Ridgeline: C+
    Now more truck like including a space between the cab and bed! Honda, you're not fooling anyone. At least, the in-truck bed is still there.
     
    2017 Infiniti Q60: A
    Keeps much of the design from the concept and brings some much needed new engines to Infiniti. Horray. Also Infiniti's direct steer system is optional which should quiet those folks who believe it is the worst thing to happen to cars (about five or six at last check).
     
    Kia Telluride Concept: Incomplete
    Uhh, hmm. I don't have any words for this concept.
     
    2017 Lincoln Continental: B-
    To quote my Instagram: "Lincoln... I really want to like you, but you are making it so hard to do so." Something on the design just seems off.
     
    2017 Lexus LC 500: A-
    The fact that Lexus made the LF-LC into a production model is shocking enough! Considering they didn't water it down is more shocking. But Lexus, we need to talk about building a V8 that is capable of 500-plus horsepower for this new coupe.
     
    2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: B+
    Mercedes-Benz has taken the Audi ideals when designing their vehicles; using the enlarge and reduce function on the copy machine. But I like what Mercedes is doing with their design on their current sedan lineup. The sharpness of the interior is an added plus.
     
    Nissan Titan Warrior Concept: B+
    Glad to see someone else take Ford on with a Raptor even if it's a concept. Quick Aside: Can someone build a muscle truck again?!
     
    Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept: C
    Whose bright idea at Volkswagen was; let's take the concept we showed at Frankfurt, add some offroad bits, and call it the GTE Active? Great Idea, right? No.
     
    2017 Volvo S90: A+
    Woah. Inside and out, the new S90 is a stunner. It also helps that S90 underneath is the same as the North American Truck of the Year - the XC90.

    William Maley

    Return of the Continental!

    It was almost eight months ago when Lincoln rolled out the Continental concept at the New York Auto Show, and today at the Detroit Auto Show, the production Continental was revealed.
     
    In its transition from concept to production model, the Continental hasn't changed much. The front end still features a rectangular mesh grille, but there are different headlights and less chrome. The side profile shows off 'Continental' nameplates on the front doors, and the door handles are integrated into the beltline.
     
    The interior is mostly the same as the concept in terms of design. The front seats boast 30-way power-adjustments, while leather and a mix of aluminum wood trim line the dash and door panels. Back-seat passengers will get a generous amount of legroom and the ability to recline. An optional Revel audio system will keep everyone entertained, while Active Noise cancellation and laminated glass will keep the outside world out.
     
    Lincoln has only announced one engine for the Continental; 3.0L twin-turbo V6 engine producing 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive will come standard. Expect more information on other powertrains to come out closer to the Continental's launch.
     
    The Continental will boast Lincoln Drive Control which offers the driver the choice of three modes that alter the behavior of the engine, suspension, and steering.
     
    The Continental arrives at dealers starting this fall.
     
    Source: Lincoln
     

     
    You can follow all of our 2016 Detroit Auto Show coverage here.
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    All-New Lincoln Continental Delivers Quiet Luxury: Elegant, Effortlessly Powerful, Serene
    Lincoln Motor Company introduces its elegant new flagship – the all-new Continental – coming this fall Effortless power comes from new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces a projected 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque1; advanced safety technology is also featured Serene interior offers the comfort of Lincoln's innovative Perfect Position Seat, spaciousness, rear seat amenities, Revel® audio system and top-grade materials

    DETROIT, Jan. 12, 2016 – Lincoln Motor Company heralds the return of its flagship – the all-new Lincoln Continental – an elegant, effortlessly powerful, serene full-size sedan that delivers quiet luxury to the industry’s most discerning customers.
     

    Beginning this fall, Continental offers first-class travel for clients in America and China, bringing warm, human touches and a contemporary design.
     
    The full-size sedan is designed to appeal to culturally progressive clients who define luxury on their own terms – craving superior quality, craftsmanship and safety.
     
    “The Continental name has long been associated with the ultimate in Lincoln beauty and luxury,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. “With the all-new model, we are focusing on creating more human, personally tailored experiences for our clients – providing what we call quiet luxury.”
     
    Elegance through design
    All-new Continental design is thoroughly modern, with Lincoln’s new signature grille and an athletic profile that is dynamic and progressive.
     
    Lincoln’s new flagship welcomes drivers with a brand-exclusive lighting sequence. As the driver approaches the car with the key, LED signature lighting in the lower front fascia and taillamps subtly engages, while signature lighting in the headlamps awakens in a fluid motion. Lincoln mat lights then brighten the pavement around the front doors, helping show any hazards, while select interior lights warmly illuminate the cabin.
     
    Continental door handles are designed to offer elegant and effortless entry with new E-latch door release. The release is discreetly integrated within the beltline, leaving the body side clean. With the gentle touch of a button, the vehicle’s doors pop open, then use available power-cinching technology to automatically close and secure.
     
    An elegant available panoramic sunroof covers nearly the entire roof area; the front half slides up and over the rear – creating a large open-air driving experience and an even greater feeling of spaciousness for up to five Continental occupants.
     
    Effortless power
    Continental offers available technologies that help create better and safer drivers.
     
    The all-new Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter V6 engine with twin turbochargers that produces a projected 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque [1] is designed for smooth, responsive, yet quiet power.
     
    Continental’s available all-wheel-drive system is paired with Dynamic Torque Vectoring that transfers torque on demand to the appropriate rear wheel when driving through corners – providing confident handling and stability.
     
    Lincoln Drive Control provides the driver a choice of three settings – comfort, normal and sport – adapting steering and suspension settings to tailor ride and handling. Available adaptive steering helps optimize steering response, enabling the vehicle to react more smoothly and precisely to driver input.
     
    Continental’s Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection is designed to enhance occupant safety. A system of cameras and sensors detects if a potential collision may occur, then automatically applies the brakes, bringing the vehicle to a full stop to help avoid or reduce impact. [2]
     
    Effortless assistance for the daily commute is available with optional adaptive cruise control, which can automatically slow Continental in stop-and-go traffic – resuming speed when traffic clears.
     
    To take the stress out of parallel and perpendicular parking, the new 360-degree camera system uses views from cameras mounted in the grille, decklid and 180-degree side mirrors, then seamlessly stitches these snapshots together to create an image in the screen so the driver can see around the car – as if a camera is overhead.
     
    Serene interior
    The all-new Continental interior is designed to help all occupants rejuvenate.
     
    One highlight is Lincoln’s new Perfect Position Seats – inspired by private jets and high-end office furniture – that can be adjusted up to 30 ways. The patented design allows the seat to adjust to an individual’s body shape and weight for optimal stretch and comfort. Available features of these seats include massage, heat and cooling; and independent thigh extensions to provide support.
     
    Rear passengers can enjoy first-class travel amenities, too, with such available features as audio and climate controls, sunshades, and reclining, heated, cooled and massaging seats. The streamlined interior provides generous rear legroom.
     
    Continental occupants also can enjoy an available Revel® audio system developed to work in concert with the interior design and acoustics, transforming the cabin into a personal amphitheater with three distinct listening modes – Stereo, Audience and On Stage. Use of the E-latch release enables optimal speaker positioning in the Continental doors, alongside the conveniently located seat controls.
     
    Innovations in managing vehicle noise and vibration, including Active Noise Control and acoustic laminated glass create a quiet, comfortable environment conducive to conversation or contemplation.
     
    For those seeking the highest expression of Lincoln luxury, three Lincoln Black Label designer themes are available – Chalet, Thoroughbred and Continental-exclusive Rhapsody.
    Inside, opulent materials include leather seating, leather-wrapped console and instrument panel, unique stitching, genuine wood or aluminum appliqués.
     
    All models feature new design details. Stitching on the seats is specified at six to seven stitches per inch for a couture-like appearance, and the slats of the center console door are laser-cut to maximize consistency of the grain pattern.
     
    The all-new Lincoln Continental will be produced at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan. The Lincoln flagship goes on sale this fall.

    Drew Dowdell

    The Acadia sheds 700lbs and almost 7 inches in length.

    At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this morning, GMC took the wraps off the 2017 GMC Acadia.
     
    The new Acada is being re-positioned in GMC's lineup as more of a mid-size model. For 2017, the Acadia sheds 700 lbs, drops 7.2 inches in length, and 6.4 inches in wheelbase. While it has lost some of its bulk, it will still offer up to 7 passenger seating with 5 passenger and 6 passenger configurations available.
     
    The top of the line Denali trim returns with its unique trim and wheel, and additional features like HID headlamps and a new continuous control dampening control suspension system. Joining the lineup is an All-Terrain model that adds additional modes in the All-Wheel drive system for advanced hill climbing, body colored grille, and unique interior trim. The All-Terrain model will only be available in 5-passenger configuration.
     
    Powering the 2017 Acadia are the familiar 2.5 liter 4-cylinder and 3.6 liter V6. The 4-cylinder, a first for the Acadia, produces 194 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm and promises to return 28mpg highway in front-wheel drive models. For additional fuel savings in the city, the 4-cylinder features automatic Start-Stop. The 3.6 liter V6 is a newer version of the previous V6. It gains 29 horsepower and 5 lb-ft of torque over the previous version (less of a gain over previous Denali). The V6 does not have an estimated EPA fuel economy rating yet, however expect it to be slightly improved on over the old model's 17 city / 24 highway in FWD configuration. Both engines are coupled to the familiar 6-speed automatic transmission.
     
    The all-wheel drive system is new and is the same active dual-clutch system that has recently been introduced on the Cadillac XT5, Buick LaCrosse, and Buick Envision. The all-wheel drive system has a 2x4 mode that disconnects power to the rear wheels for additional fuel economy. Correction: The Active Dual-Clutch system is only on the All-Terrain model. Other models get a single clutch system.
     
    The 2017 GMC Acadia goes on sale this spring and will be produced in Spring Hill Tenn.
     

     
    You can follow all of our 2016 Detroit Auto Show coverage here.
     




    GMC Introduces All-New 2017 Acadia


    700-lb. lighter, more efficient crossover aimed at heart of midsize segment Expanded range of available active safety features, including Front Pedestrian Braking and Surround Vision Camera New powertrains include a 2.5L I-4, offering a GM-est. 28 mpg hwy, and an available est. 310-hp 3.6L V-6 Acadia Denali with new, exclusive Continuously Variable Ride Control New Acadia All Terrain with an advanced AWD system with Active Twin Clutch On sale this spring

     

    DETROIT – GMC today introduced the all-new 2017 Acadia – a reimagined crossover aimed at the heart of the midsize segment, designed to offer great versatility and refinement, with more advanced safety technologies.
     
    The new Acadia offers more-efficient powertrains, while continuing to offer three rows of seating on most models. The premium Acadia Denali returns, along with a new All Terrain model offering enhanced off-road capability.
     
    “GMC is a strong, growing premium brand and the Acadia is a cornerstone of our success story,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “The all-new Acadia leverages GMC’s proven SUV experience to take on and shake up one of the largest vehicle segments, with a strong blend of design, technology and capability.”
     
    The new Acadia goes on sale this spring, almost a decade after its original introduction, and coming off of its strongest sales year ever in 2015 with 96,393 deliveries.
     
    “Typically, a vehicle’s sales can be illustrated on a bell curve during its lifecycle, but the Acadia’s success has defied convention with impressive sustainability,” said Aldred. “It’s a shining example of GMC’s momentum and we’re confident it will grow with the new Acadia.”
     
    New size, bigger advantages
    The strategic re-scoping of the 2017 Acadia offers customers a midsize crossover positioned between the compact Terrain and full-size Yukon. Depending on the model, it is available with five-, six- or seven-passenger seating, while offering greater maneuverability than the first-generation model.
     
    “The new Acadia captures a greater feeling of refinement, in everything from the responsive feeling behind the wheel to the way passengers interact with its intuitive features,” said Rick Spina, executive chief engineer for compact and crossover SUVs at General Motors. “It’s a vehicle that offers the functionality Acadia is known for, while delivering big advantages and balance to customers’ everyday lives.”
     
    The new Acadia is 700 pounds lighter than the current model, which pays dividends at the gas pump. A new, 2.5L engine is standard, offering an estimated 28 mpg on the highway for FWD models (EPA estimate not yet available; estimate is based on GM testing). City fuel economy offered is GM-estimated at 22 mpg (FWD) and is bolstered by GMC’s first application of Stop/Start technology, which enhances efficiency in stop-and-go driving.
     
    A new, available 3.6L V-6 engine is more powerful and efficient than the current model, while offering 4,000 pounds estimated trailering capability (with the available towing package). It is GM-estimated at 310 horsepower (231 kW) and 25 mpg highway (FWD models – EPA estimate not available).
     
    Both of the Acadia’s new engines feature direct injection and variable valve timing, and both are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions and an electronically controlled drive mode selector.
     
    Legacy of functionality and spaciousness
    The 2017 Acadia builds on a legacy of intuitive functionality, with new features such as a split-folding second-row seat that improves on the original Smart Slide feature of the current model. It offers greater flexibility, including the capability of the curbside seat sliding and tilting forward, even with a forward-facing child seat in place, while the driver-side section tips and slides forward for easier access to the third row.
     
    The 50/50-split third-row seat folds flat for a completely flat load floor behind the second row and when the second row is also folded, there’s 79 cubic feet (2,237 liters) of cargo room. Levers at the rear of the vehicle make it easier to fold the second- and third-row seats.
     
    Additional solutions range from simple to technologically advanced. The rear of the center console, for example, features a unique pull-out storage drawer. It is accessible to rear-seat passengers and allows items such as electronic devices and small toys to be stored out of sight, for greater security and reduced clutter.
     
    There’s also a new, standard rear seat alert that can remind the driver when an item may have been left in the second- and third-row seats. Additionally, all three rows offer USB charge ports for compatible electronic devices.
     
    Design evolution
    The new Acadia offers a greater emphasis on refinement, while remaining instantly recognizable with an evolution of the vehicle’s signature, professional grade design cues such as a chrome-trimmed grille, squared off and flared wheel arches and wraparound rear side windows with dark D-pillars.
     
    “It’s a confident design influenced by extensive customer input,” said Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design and User Experience. “The original Acadia was very truck-inspired, but the new model has a decidedly SUV influence conveyed in sculptural details, softened corners and a sleeker windshield angle.”
     
    New dimensional grilles and wraparound headlamps – HID lamps on Denali and halogen projectors on other models – reinforce the confident, refined appearance, while standard LED signature lighting on all models reflect GMC’s premium attributes. Complementing C-shape rear lighting graphics add a cohesive detail to the design.
     
    Premium cues distinguish the Acadia Denali. Like all Denali models, it features a dimensional chrome grille, along with integrated chrome side trim, chrome-accented door handles, a chrome lower-rear fascia and specific six-spoke wheels.
     
    Inside, all Acadia trim levels feature unique interior color and trim combinations and incorporate authentic aluminum trim.
     
    Latest safety and connectivity technologies
    As a contemporary crossover designed for families on the go, the 2017 Acadia offers the latest active safety features to protect them, as well as the latest technologies to keep them connected.
     
    The active safety features are designed to help make drivers more aware of their surroundings and potential crash situations. They are available depending on the model and include:
    New Front Pedestrian Braking New Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking (standard on SLT-2 and Denali) New Forward Automatic Braking (available on Denali) New Following Distance Indicator New IntelliBeam automatic headlamp high-beam control New Surround Vision camera system New Safety Alert Seat Forward Collision Alert Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert Front and Rear Parking Assist.

     

    An available Tow Vision Trailering system helps make hitching easier by employing a rear-vision camera, with dynamic guidelines, to help line up the Acadia’s hitch with the trailer, as well as offering views of the trailer while driving.
     
    And when it comes to connectivity, the Acadia is plugged in with available phone integration technology through GMC’s available IntelliLink system. It offers support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it easy to connect to some of the features smartphone users rely on most. (Vehicle user interfaces are products of Apple and Google and require a compatible smartphone and adherence to data plan rates, terms and privacy statements.)
     
    Additionally, an available OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial.
     
    New foundation and driving dynamics
    Built on a new, lighter body structure, the 2017 Acadia’s driving dynamics are more responsive, while its shorter length and narrower width enable greater maneuverability, for easier turning in parking decks and easier parking in home garages.
     


    Wheelbase (in / mm)


     
     

    Length


     
     

    (in / mm)


     
     

    Width


     
     

    (in / mm)


     
     

    Height


     
     

    (in / mm)


     
     

    Turning radius


     
     

    (ft / M)


     
     

    Curb weight


     
     

    (lb / kg)


     
     

    2017 Acadia


     
     

    112.5 / 2857


     
     

    193.6 / 4917


     
     

    75.4 / 1916


     
     

    68.7 / 1745 (w/o mast, w/ roof rack)


     
     

    38.7 / 11.8


     
     

    3956 / 1794 (est. - FWD)


     
     

    2016 Acadia


     
     

    118.9 / 3021


     
     

    200.8 / 5101


     
     

    78.9 / 2003


     
     

    72.6 / 1844 (w/o mast, w/ roof rack)


     
     

    40.4 / 12.3


     
     

    4656 / 2112 (FWD)


     

    The body structure incorporates press-hardened, high-strength steels, which allowed thinner components in some areas offering comparable or better crash performance than conventional materials. They also help reduce the base curb weight by 700 pounds (318 kg), compared to the current model.
     
    New splayed front frame rails also contribute to crashworthiness. They flare outward to provide effective folding and crushing performance during small overlap frontal crash situations.
     
    The new Acadia retains a front-drive layout with available all-wheel drive. All models feature a new drive mode selector, which allows the driver to alter chassis and powertrain attributes to suit a variety of driving conditions. Front-drive models offer Normal (2x4), Snow, Sport and Trailer/Tow modes, while AWD models offer 2x4 (AWD disconnect), 4x4, Sport, Off Road and Trailer/Tow modes.
     
    The AWD disconnect mode effectively disconnects the rear axle from the drive system to save fuel. On-demand AWD capability can be reapplied on the go by switching the drive mode selector to 4x4 mode.
     
    Additional chassis and driving dynamics features include:
    MacPherson strut front suspension Five-link rear suspension Rack-mounted electric power steering system Four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife rotors Electronic park brake Available electronically controlled continuous damping system.

     

    All Terrain
    The new All Terrain model matches distinctive design elements with enhanced off-road-driving ability.
     
    At the heart of the Acadia All Terrain’s capability is an advanced AWD system with Active Twin Clutch, which optimizes traction for every condition it encounters. And while it is engineered for optimal performance in wet, snowy and icy conditions, it also provides enhanced stability in dry conditions.
     
    It also has a specific All Terrain mode in place of the Off Road mode on the drive mode selector, which works with the model’s exclusive AWD system to offer enhanced hill-climb capability.
     
    All Terrain models are distinguished from the rest of the Acadia lineup with a body-color grille surround, black chrome trim and unique wheels. Inside is exclusive five-passenger seating, dynamic All Terrain interior accents and covered storage bins in the rear cargo floor in place of a third-row seat.
     
    Manufacturing
    The 2017 GMC Acadia will be produced at General Motors’ Spring Hill (Tenn.) assembly facility, with globally sourced parts.
     
    CONTACT:
    Megan Soule
    GMC Communications
    313-495-1297
    megan.soule@gm.com
     
    2017 GMC ACADIA PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
     
    Overview
    Models:
    GMC Acadia / Acadia Denali / Acadia All Terrain
    Body style / driveline:
    crossover SUV / front-engine; front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive
    Construction:
    body-frame integral
    EPA vehicle class:
    sport utility vehicle
    Manufacturing location:
    Spring Hill, Tenn.
    Key competitors:
    Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer; Jeep Grand Cherokee
     
    Powertrains
    Engine:
    Ecotec 2.5L DOHC I-4 (LCV)
    3.6L V-6 VVT DI (LGX)
    Displacement (cu in / cc):
    150 / 2457
    223 / 3649
    Bore & stroke (in / mm):
    3.46 x 3.97 / 88 x 101
    3.74 x 3.37 / 95 x 85.8
    Block material:
    precision sand-cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners
    cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners
    Cylinder head material:
    cast aluminum
    cast aluminum
    Valvetrain:
    DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuous VVT
    DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuous VVT, Active Fuel Management
    Fuel delivery:
    high-pressure direct injection and electronic throttle control
    high-pressure direct injection and electronic throttle control
    Horsepower
    (hp / kW @ rpm):
    194 / 145 @ 6300 (SAE certified)
    310 / 231 @ 6600 (est.)
    Torque
    (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):
    190 / 258 @ 4400 (SAE certified)
    271 / 367 @ 5000 (est.)
    GM-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy):
    22 / 28 (FWD)
    17 / 25 (FWD)
    Transmission:
    Hydra-Matic 6T50 six-speed automatic
    Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic
     
    Chassis / Suspension
    Suspension (front):
    MacPherson strut; continuous damping control (Denali)
    Suspension (rear):
    Five-link independent; continuous damping control (Denali)
    Steering type:
    electric variable-effort power steering with Active Return Assist
    Turning circle (ft / m):
    38.7 / 11.8
    Brakes:
    four-wheel-disc, variable brake system with power assist; Duralife brake rotors and low-drag brake calipers
    Wheel size and type:
     
    18-in. aluminum
    20-in. aluminum
    Tires:
    P235/65R18all-season
    P235/55R20 all-season
     
    Dimensions
    Exterior
    Wheelbase (in / mm):
    112.5 / 2857
    Overall length (in / mm):
    193.6 / 4917
    Overall width (in / mm):
    75.4 / 1916
    Overall height (in / mm):
    68.7 / 1745 (w/o mast, w/ roof rack)
    Track (in / mm):
    64.5 / 1638 (front)
    64.5 / 1638 (rear)
    Curb weight (lb / kg):
    3956 / 1794
     
    Interior
    Seating capacity:
    five, six or seven passengers (depending on model/configuration)
    Headroom (in / mm):
    front: 40 / 1016 (without sunroof)
    2nd row: 39.6 / 1006 (without sunroof)
    3rd row: 37.2 / 945
    Legroom (in / mm):
    front: 41 / 1042
    2nd row: 39.7 / 1008
    3rd row: 31.1 / 789
    Shoulder room (in / mm):
    front: 59.4 / 1508
    2nd row: 58.7 / 1490
    3rd row: 54.3 / 1378
    Hip room (in / mm):
    front: 55.7 / 1414
    2nd row: 53.3 / 1355
    3rd row: 42.9 / 1090
    Cargo volume (cu. ft. / L):
    12.8 / 362 (behind third row)
    41.7 /1181 (behind second row, third row folded)
    79 / 2237 (second and third rows folded)
     
    Note: Information shown is current at time of publication. Please visit http://media.gmc.com for updates.

    William Maley

    Honda Pickup, Take 2!

    Back from a short hiatus, the Honda Ridgeline made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show this afternoon.
     
    Compared to the last Ridgeline, the new model looks more truck-ish. The front end boasts a more butch version of the Pilot's grille and larger headlights. The side profile is very Pilot aside from the top half of the rear cut off.
     
    The bed is slightly larger than the previous Ridgeline with measurements of five feet wide and five feet, four inches long. Yes, the in-bed trunk is still here complete with drain plug. Also, the tailgate can fold down or swing out.
     
    Power comes from a 3.5L V6 and is paired with a six-speed automatic. Oddly, Honda didn't give out any power figures for the V6. But if this is the same engine as the Pilot, so it would not be surprising if the Ridgeline comes with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive with Honda's i-VTM4™ torque vectoring AWD technology is optional.
     
    Honda will begin sales of the Ridgeline sometime in the first half of 2016.
     
    Source: Honda
     

     
    You can follow all of our reports from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show here.
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    All-New 2017 Honda Ridgeline Pickup Truck Makes World Debut at 2016 North American International Auto Show
    Jan 11, 2016 - DETROIT
    2017 Ridgeline brings Honda innovation in technology, design and packaging to the midsize pickup truck market All-new Ridgeline delivers superior driving dynamics in combination with the largest interior space and most versatile bed in a midsize 4-door pickup Honda-exclusive features including In-Bed Trunk®, dual-action tailgate and the industry's first in-bed audio system make Ridgeline the ultimate tailgating vehicle

    Honda today unveiled the all-new 2017 Ridgeline truck at the North American International Auto Show, once again challenging conventional thinking in the pickup truck market with Honda-exclusive features, design and technology that help Ridgeline set new benchmarks for versatility, capability and comfort in a midsize pickup.
    "We are bringing our unique technology and original thinking to the market in a new and challenging concept for a Honda pickup," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We think we've got a better idea, a truck that uses its unibody construction and Honda packaging magic to deliver more of the things that many of today's truck customers want and need with none of the things they don't."
     
    Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the new Ridgeline will launch in the first half of 2016 with a combination of features and capabilities unlike anything else on the market today, including:
    Superior on-road performance – with the segment's best handling, ride quality, cabin quietness and all-weather traction capabilities – courtesy of its unibody construction, sophisticated chassis, and available i-VTM4™ torque-vectoring AWD system Class-leading space – with the largest and most versatile cabin and the only 4-foot-wide flat bed space in the midsize pickup segment, along with payload capacity rivaling top competitors Innovative and class-exclusive features, including an In-Bed Trunk™, dual-action tailgate and the industry's first in-bed audio system – making Ridgeline the ultimate tailgating vehicle Targeted top-in-class acceleration, EPA fuel economy ratings and third-party collision safety ratings, and featuring Honda's next-generation ACE™ body structure and available Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assist technologies Leading edge connectivity with 8-inch Display Audio featuring Apple Car Play® and Android Auto™ compatibility

    Advanced Chassis, Powertrain and All-Wheel-Drive
    The new Ridgeline is based on Honda's Global Light Truck platform with its rigid yet lightweight unibody construction, next-generation ACE™ body structure and sophisticated, fully independent suspension, delivering a higher level of ride and handling refinement than conventional body-on-frame designs. The Ridgeline will be powered by a 3.5-liter, direct-injected i-VTEC™ V-6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, providing top-in-class powertrain refinement and targeting best-in-class acceleration performance and segment-leading EPA fuel economy ratings.
     
    The Ridgeline also will be available for the first time in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations. All-wheel-drive models will utilize Honda's i-VTM4™ torque vectoring AWD technology, featuring Intelligent Terrain Management with Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud modes, providing robust medium-duty off-road and towing capability with superior on-road, all-weather handling, traction and performance.
     
    Sophisticated, Versatile and Spacious Cabin
    Inside, the Ridgeline boasts the largest, most versatile and sophisticated cabin in a midsize 4-door pickup, featuring high-grade materials and finishes, available leather trim and all the latest technologies that Honda has to offer, including tri-zone climate control, push button start, a full-color TFT center meter and available 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility.
     
    The Ridgeline's 60/40-split and folding second-row seat provides the ultimate versatility for people- and cargo-hauling utility. With the seats folded down, the Ridgeline will comfortably carry up to five people while still accommodating long items, like a set of golf clubs, under the rear seat. Folding up one or both sides of the 60/40-split seat bottom opens up the back to carry tall and bulky items.
     
    A Bed Like No Other
    The Ridgeline bed offers pickup users unmatched versatility in a midsize 4-door pickup. At 5' wide and 5'4" long (5.4 inches wider and 4 inches longer than the previous generation Ridgeline), the 2017 Honda Ridgeline has the only 4-foot wide flat bed space (with 48 inches between the rear wheel arches) in the midsize pickup class, allowing for flat hauling of items like plywood sheeting or drywall. The Ridgeline will also offer payload capacity rivaling top competitors, approaching 1,600 pounds, with final specifications to be released closer to launch.
     
    The composite, UV-stabilized and scratch-resistant bed also boasts a number of available Honda-exclusive features that add to its incredible versatility, including an In-Bed Trunk™, dual-action tailgate, available 400-watt AC power inverter and the industry's first in-bed audio system.
     
    The Ridgeline's standard, lockable In-Bed Trunk provides secure storage space with no compromise to bed utility and now features a fully flat floor while still including a drain plug for easier cleaning and evacuation of water from the trunk. The dual action tailgate is hinged both at the bottom and along its left side, opening down or to the side, which enables easier loading and unloading of heavy and bulky items without having to reach over the open tailgate. The bed also features eight 350-pound tie down cleats and an available 400-watt power inverter, located behind an access panel in the right bed wall, with the capacity to recharge power tools or energize a tailgate blender or flat screen TV.
     
    A first for any pickup, the new in-bed audio system, together with the In-Bed Trunk and available 400-watt power inverter, makes Ridgeline the ultimate tailgating vehicle. The new in-bed audio system utilizes six exciters located inside the bed walls, in place of conventional speakers, pumping out sound from the Ridgeline's audio head unit, with up to 540 watts of power.
     
    Top-Level Safety Performance
    Featuring Honda's next-generation ACE™ body structure, advanced airbag systems and available Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assist technologies, the new Ridgeline will target the highest available collision safety ratings – an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the IIHS. Honda Sensing™ technologies available on the 2017 Ridgeline include Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS). All Ridgeline models will feature a multi-angle rearview camera as standard equipment and upper trims will be available with either Honda LaneWatch™ or Blind Spot Information system.
     
    Ridgeline Development and Manufacturing
    Like the first generation Honda Ridgeline, the all-new 2017 Ridgeline was designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas and will be produced by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln, Alabama.

    William Maley

    How to usher in a new era at Lexus

    The theme of Lexus' press conference for the introduction of the LC 500 was 'New Chapter'. Phrases such as 'cars that fill the heart' were thrown around during the presentation done by Akio Toyoda today. Considering what the LC 500' intent is, it does mark something new.
     
    In terms of looks, LC 500 looks very similar to the LF-LC concept shown four years ago at Detroit. Yes, there is an imposing predator grille which will be likely sticking point for a number of people. But there are some other touches such as the fanged lights, intergrated door handles, and a rear end that makes a call back to the orignal SC from the 90's.
     
    The LC rides a new rear-drive platform that is purpose built for performance and handling. This new platform will underpin future vehicles.
     
    Before you think the LC is a competitor to the likes of the Porsche 911, it measures out to 188 inches in overall length. This means the LC is more a competitor to the likes of the BMW 6-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.
     
    Structurally, the LC boasts a combination of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, aluminum, and high-strength steel. There is the option of a carbon fiber roof to increase rigidity and cut weight. Lexus says the LC is the stiffest unibody structure they have ever created, and that's including the LFA.
     
    Power will come from 5.0L V8 that is found under the hood of the GS-F and RC-F. Power output stands at 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque. A new ten-speed automatic routes the power to the rear wheels. Lexus claims a 0-60 MPH time of 4.5 seconds.
     
    The interior features a large floating center stack that separates driver and passenger and the availability of leather and Alcantara for the seats.
     
    Lexus will launch the LC 500 next year.
     
    Source: Lexus
    Pic Credit: Lexus
     

     
    You can follow all of our reports from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show here.
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Global Debut of All-New Lexus LC 500 at the 2016 NAIAS Signals Dawn of a New Era for Lexus
    Alluring, expressively designed luxury coupe defines a new era for the global luxury brand The coupe’s styling, performance, and craftsmanship help position the vehicle as one of Lexus’ flagship products LC 500 utilizes the brand’s new architecture that promises enhanced dynamic capability and performance A symbol of an evolving vehicle development culture that embraces heightened collaboration between Design and Engineering teams

    DETROIT (Jan. 11, 2016) — When the Lexus LF-LC Concept debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the press, loyal customers, and enthusiasts wondered if the concept’s arresting styling and dramatic proportions could ever evolve into a production 2+2 coupe. Today, four years after the debut of the breakthrough concept that inspired it, Lexus has revealed the all-new LC 500 luxury coupe. This provocative, athletic flagship coupe makes the strongest statement yet about Lexus’ future product direction.
     

    The past five years have seen Lexus evolve rapidly with the creation of the luxury brand’s globally-focused organization, Lexus International. Exciting new models involving elevated levels of emotional styling and dynamic driving characteristics such as NX, RC, and IS have also helped Lexus’ brand shift with consumers. Akio Toyoda has been at the center of the Lexus global expansion, personally driving a heightened level of collaboration among design, engineering and marketing teams to help build a luxury brand better suited to meet the needs of the next generation of consumers.
     
    “The LC 500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally,” said Akio Toyoda, Chief Branding Officer and Master Driver for Lexus. “A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market. This flagship luxury coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally.”
     
    Design and Engineering Teams United
    Beyond its styling and impactful performance, the new LC 500 serves as a symbol of the achievement that can result from heightened collaboration between design and engineering groups and their commitment to help overcome each other’s hurdles. When Akio Toyoda challenged these development groups to produce this special car, it meant surpassing many manufacturing, design, material, and dynamic obstacles that could typically compromise a vehicle’s targets or design vision.
     
    The LC 500 was driven by a strong, appealing fundamental design target (LF-LC), and engineering teams worked tirelessly to find new solutions to maintain as much of the concept in the production car as possible. Likewise, vehicle designers were very involved from the earliest stages of the dynamic development process to understand the engineering targets and collaborate with design viewpoints and potential solutions. With LC 500, additional levels of prototype vehicle build also allowed both teams to better study design or engineering ideas and refine key elements. For Lexus, the LC 500 project became much more than simply the development of a new coupe. The LC 500, with the shift in engineering processes and design ideologies it represents, symbolizes the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand.
     
    “Design and engineering sides worked together on issues and obstacles that were overcome one by one. I feel we achieved something greater than simply preserving the spirit of the concept’s design,” said Chief Engineer Koji Sato.
     
    Exterior Design
    At first glance, it becomes apparent that the engineering and design team’s collaboration was highly successful, considering how much of the LF-LC’s design ideology the team was able to transfer into the new LC 500. The new production model shares many of the key design elements, proportions and visual dynamism of the concept car that inspired it. The LC 500’s visual appeal is defined by an athletic aerodynamic shape. It features sensual curves, emotional forms, an available flowing carbon-fiber roof (glass roof standard), helping create a low, wide imposing stance that comes together for a highly functional, passionate package.
     
    The LC 500’s front fascia features a powerful interpretation of Lexus’ distinctive grille, bordered by chrome on three sides and a radical new 3D mesh design that varies its visual tension. The “L”-shaped daytime running lights rest below a new Triple LED headlamp unit, specially designed to include one of the industry’s thinnest projectors enabling a low hood with a short front overhang. Functional venting also plays into the LC 500’s exterior design to help improve aerodynamic stability and cooling. The car’s athletic profile is characterized by its fast, sloped roofline, its wind-cutting silhouette, a long 2,870 mm (113 inches) wheelbase with compact front 920 mm ( 36.2 inches) and rear 970 mm ( 38.2 inches) overhangs and low hood height. The sexy curves and flowing lines maintain a consistent tension in sheetmetal through to the rear end that features slimly designed, multi-layered tail lamps with a unique lighting effect that helps convey a sequential L motif. A rear diffuser and available active rear spoiler also help manage airflow during performance driving. It rides on machined cast aluminum 20-in. or available 21-in. forged aluminum wheels.
     
    Interior Design
    The interior design of the LC 500 is influenced by the dynamic luxury theme of the exterior with a layout that is both cockpit-focused and elegant. The coupe’s driving position was calibrated to invite spirited, sporting driving, and help develop easier confidence with a more intuitive control layout. In fact, for LC 500, the driver’s hip point was engineered to be as close as possible to the vehicle’s Cg (Center of gravity) where feedback from the car is the most communicative to the driver. The front seats offer excellent support and comfort for long drives while available sport seats offer additional bolstering and lateral support during cornering. Lexus engineers put considerable effort into creating an engaging yet seductive atmosphere for the driver, focusing on details such as the size and angle of the steering wheel, the feel and positioning of magnesium alloy paddle shifters, and available supple leather and Alcantara seating surfaces. The LC 500’s exquisite door panels, center console and dash pad structures feature elements of Lexus’ world-renowned, detail-obsessed Takumi craftsmanship in their finish.
     
    “At an early stage, the designers collaborated with the engineers to understand their image for the LC 500’s driving dynamics, and they incorporated this into the design,” said Tadao Mori, the chief designer of the LC 500. “For example, we gave serious consideration to where the driver’s eyes would focus, and designed the surface shape in that area to help support a driver’s mindset. This project was one of the first times that designers were closely involved in the dynamic engineering development so we could understand the driving goals and support with the car’s design.”
     
    Chassis
    In helping to drive the future of the Lexus brand, the mission for LC 500 is to offer a dynamic driving experience and character unlike any Lexus vehicle prior to it. The pursuit of a sharper, more refined driving experience became the mission for the development team who also sought to maintain a superior Lexus ride quality befitting a flagship luxury sport coupe.
     
    The LC 500 is the first Lexus to use the brand’s all-new, premium rear-wheel-drive luxury platform and is part of the new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L). The underpinnings of this new coupe will become the blueprint for the company’s future front-engine/rear-wheel-drive vehicles. In an effort to sharpen the car’s handling, the LC 500’s engineers focused on the platform’s fundamentals by placing most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a position more centralized and lower in the chassis to improve the center of gravity.
     
    Internally, Lexus engineers referred to this menu of mass-arranging tactics as the “inertia spec.” The driver hip and heel points have been lowered, wheels have been pushed to the corners of the car with shortened overhangs, and the drivetrain mass has been located behind the front axle line to create a front mid-ship layout. The LC 500 also relies on run-flat tires to improve packaging, reduce weight (thanks to no spare), and help shorten overhangs to achieve dynamic targets. The 12-volt battery has been relocated to the trunk as part of the mission to redistribute weight.
     
    Other mass management measures include the available carbon fiber roof, aluminum door skins mounted to the carbon fiber door inner structure, and a composite trunk floor. The LC 500 also represents the Lexus brand’s most intensive use of high-strength steel. This provides enhanced rigidity while reducing—and ideally positioning—vehicle mass to optimize dynamics. As a result, the LC 500 is very balanced with a nearly ideal front/rear weight distribution of 52/48.
     
    To help achieve the level of chassis performance targeted for this new coupe, Lexus engineered the stiffest unibody the brand has ever produced. For LC 500, the strategic use of lightweight, high-strength steel helps make for a high degree of torsional rigidity that is more resistant to twisting forces than the exotic, carbon fiber-intensive LFA supercar. The platform design maintains a consistent level of resistance to flexural forces and stiffness across the vehicle’s wheelbase to help create consistent, predictable handling behavior and sharper steering responses. Special braces in the engine compartment (usually a more twist-prone part of the chassis), the adoption of stiff aluminum front suspension towers, and the addition of a ring structure near the rear fenders are all measures that help further bolster the strength of key chassis structures.
     
    Particular attention was devoted to the LC 500’s multilink suspension system. Double ball joints on the upper and lower control arms 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 create a more precise steering response with better initial effort. To help reduce unsprung mass and improve suspension response, all but one of the control arms are made of lightweight forged aluminum. Providing the grip on the show prototype car are concept versions of Michelin Pilot Sport tires with Premium Touch® sidewall technology: 245/40RF21 up front and 275/35RF21 at the rear. When all the handling elements come together, LC 500 becomes a world-class luxury sports coupe that exhibits razor-sharp reflexes, exceptional handling balance and rock-solid stability. This all-new platform will continue to undergo continuous improvement and enhancement throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle.
     
    Said Sato: “We spent more than triple the usual amount of R&D time to pursue linear steering and to find the sweet spot for road contact feel. We also focused our efforts on suspension rigidity and enhancing geometry. Thanks to advancements in product engineering, we are now at a world-class level for suspension rigidity, and performance when lateral g’s are applied.”
     
    Drivetrain
    The power delivery to the rear wheels for LC 500 is handled by a new, very well matched set of components that maximize output to the wheels. The heart of the new LC 500 is derived from the proven, high-revving 5.0-liter V8 that is found in the RC F and GS F. The naturally aspirated V8 was selected for its smooth, linear throttle response and emotional engine sound. The all-aluminum, 32-valve V8’s output targets 467 HP and 389 lb.-ft. of torque. The new engine is built for durability with lightweight, high-strength forged connecting rods and titanium valves that allow the engine to flourish at high rpm. This naturally aspirated engine makes an ideal pairing to a balanced sports coupe with its linear power delivery that allows easier control and exhilaration behind the wheel.
     
    The engine in the LC 500 uses a dual intake inlet that help improve breathing and allow the engine to produce its fantastic sound. The new coupe features an active exhaust that opens baffles in Sport mode to help give the car a more aggressive exhaust note even in start-up. In fact, even when the vehicle is in Normal mode the exhaust baffles open above 3500 rpm. During acceleration, a Sound Generator involving tuned acoustic plumbing enhances the engine’s raucous melody into an aural thunder that helps distinguish the LC 500 in its competitive segment.
     
    Helping power transfer to the rear wheels is a newly developed 10-speed automatic transmission—the first ever in a luxury automobile—with shift times rivaling those of a dual-clutch transmission. The component is smaller and lighter than some current 8-speed transmissions. The wide bandwidth of shifting afforded by 10 closely spaced gears is ideal for all forms of driving, providing an optimal gear in all conditions. This transmission is matched to a new electric control system with software that helps anticipate the driver’s inputs by monitoring acceleration, braking and lateral g forces.
     
    The new transmission is just one key element in a vehicle that has had all of its dynamic control elements such as power application, braking, and steering tuned to operate rhythmically in sport driving conditions. Drivers will feel the controlled balance between the quick, smooth shifting actions, the application of linear engine power, and the deceleration afforded by 6-piston front brake calipers (4-piston at rear).
     
    All of the platform and drivetrain engineering helped endow the LC 500 with performance and agility uncommon for a four-person coupe; the vehicle targets a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 4.5 seconds.
     
    Interior Electronics
    This flagship coupe will debut the 2017 Lexus Multimedia package that will feature updated, faster, more flexible software enabling future enhancements and a more inviting graphic user interface. Occupants also will be treated to an exceptional audio experience inside the cabin: in addition to the available audiophile-worthy Mark Levinson audio package, a new premium Pioneer audio system comes as standard equipment. Pioneer’s sound engineers worked in collaboration with LC 500 body and cabin designers to enhance interior sound performance within the cabin, studying the acoustic environment and driving structural changes to enhance sound performance.
     
    The LC 500 also will boast Lexus’ renowned safety technology, Lexus Safety System + , which integrates several of Lexus's active safety technologies: an All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (All-speed DRCC) that relieves stop-and-go traffic stress, the Pre-Collision System (PCS) helps prevent and mitigate collisions; Lane Keep Assist (LKA) helps prevent vehicles from departing from their lanes; and Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving.
     
    These technologies are part of a multi-faceted approach to active safety, the Lexus Safety System + package, and combines millimeter-wave radar with a camera to help achieve a high level of system reliability and performance.

    William Maley

    Here is what else made their debut at the Detroit Auto Show today

    Detroit is turning out to be a somewhat busy show with introductions seemingly every moment. But alas, we (Drew and myself) can't be at all of the press conferences. So this will be a summary of the other vehicles we didn't get the chance to see when they were revealed. We'll be updating this as the day goes on.
     
    Audi had two big showings for Detroit. First was the North American introduction of A4. When it goes on sale in the spring, it will come with a turbocharged 2.0L with 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed dual clutch automatic routes power to either the front or all four wheels via the optional quattro system. Pricing starts at $38,250 with a $950 destination charge.
     


    There will also be A4 wagon for the U.S. in the form of the A4 Allroad. The Allroad sets itself apart from the standard A4 with an increase of 1.3 inches in overall ground clearance, skid plates, flared out fenders, and a set of roof rails. For European markets, there will be a range of gas and diesel engines ranging from 150 to 272 horsepower. No word on what the U.S. will get, but it would be safe to assume the turbo 2.0L from the A4. The A4 Allroad arrives in European dealers this summer, with the U.S. following sometime after. 
    Then there was the h-tron concept. Looking somewhat similar to the e-tron quattro concept from last year, the h-tron features a 110 kW fuel cell powertrain with an electric motor on each axle. There is also a battery can add an additional 100 kW temporarily. Audi says the concept has a theoretical 0-60 MPH time of seven seconds and a range of 373 miles.
     





    Ford made some big headlines this morning with the reveal of the 2017 Fusion and Raptor. We'll start with the Fusion. As we saw in spy shots last week, Ford did some minor changes to the Fusion's exterior with a new grille and headlights being the big changes. Inside, a new rotary gear shift and SYNC 3 come as standard. The Fusion Hybrid and Energi get new software which is expected to improve efficiency, though Ford isn't saying how much. 
    But the big news is the introduction of two new trims; Sport and Platinum. Sport is rumored high-performance Fusion with a twin-turbo 2.7L V6 delivering 325 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive will come standard. Meanwhile, the Platinum trim sits above the Titanium and boasts a new grille, nineteen-inch wheels, and cocoa and Venetian leathers.
     
    The 2017 Fusion arrives at dealers this summer.
     
    Also making its debut for Ford was the Raptor Supercrew. The Supercrew is mostly the same as the standard extended cab model except in wheelbase. The Supercrew is about a foot longer to make room for the extra rear doors. The Raptor also boasts a Terrain Management System which allows the driver to choose from six different modes for various environments.
     
    Ford is still keeping quiet on performance figures and pricing till the launch which is expected to happen in the fall.
     





    Infiniti came next with the 2017 Q60 Coupe. As spy shots revealed last month, the production version of the Q60 keeps many of the design cues found on the concept from last year. Two engines will be on offer. 2.0L Turbocharged, Direct-Injected Four-Cylinder with 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. 3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 with 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque or 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.

    Either engine comes with only a seven-speed automatic (sorry manual fans).
     
    Infiniti's second-generation Direct Adaptive Steering system is optional on V6 models. Standard for V6 models is Infiniti's Rack Electronic Power Steering system that increase the effort to turn the wheel in cornering. Four-cylinder models stick with a speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion setup.
     
    The Q60 Coupe arrives at dealers this summer.
     
    You can follow all of our reports from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show here.

    William Maley

    The father of the minivan learns some new tricks

    Goodbye Town & Country, Hello Pacifica? No Chrysler isn't bringing back their crossover from the mid-oughts. That is the name of their new minivan which made its debut this morning at the Detroit Auto Show.
     
    In terms of design, the Pacifica is inspired by the 700C concept with a 200-esque front end and sloped windshield. Chrysler lowered the beltline and mounted the rear-view mirrors below it to increase the feeling of space. Wheel size goes up to 20-inches. The Pacifica is similar in size to the Town & Country - a tenth of an inch smaller in length, half an inch bigger in height, and an inch bigger in width.
     
    The interior borrows a lot from newer Chrysler models with flowing curves, different color and material choices, and the latest version of Chrysler's UConnect system. Rear seat passengers will get the option of UConnect theater which includes a pair of 10-inch touchscreens. No matter where you sit in the Pacifica, you'll definitely feel there is a lot of space thanks to 200 cubic feet of passenger space.
     
    For power, the Pacifica will come with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 with 287 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This will be paired with a nine-speed automatic. There will also be a plug-in hybrid version which gets a detuned version of the 3.6 (248 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque) paired with an electric motor and 24-kWh battery. Chrysler says the Pacifica plug-in can travel up to 30 Miles on a full charge and take about two hours to charge when plugged into a 240V outlet.
     
    Compared to the outgoing Town & Country, the 2017 Pacifica is much lighter thanks to a new platform and the use of lighter materials such as all-aluminum sliding doors.
     
    No word on pricing for the 2017 Pacifica lineup, but we would expect the base LX to be within the $30,000 to $35,000 ballpark. The 2017 Pacifica arrives at dealers this spring, with the plug-in hybrid following in the fall.
     
    Source: Chrysler
     


     
    You can follow all of our reports from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show here.
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


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

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

    As the original creator of the minivan more than 30 years ago, FCA US LLC has transformed the segment with firsts – notching 78 innovations through the first five minivan generations. With the introduction of the all-new Chrysler Pacifica, FCA US adds 37 minivan firsts to its portfolio for an unprecedented total of 115 innovations in the segment.
     
    "The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is truly a no-compromises minivan, giving customers everything they need or want," said Timothy Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands, FCA - North America. "We started from the ground up to design the most technologically advanced minivan, which offers bold styling, class-leading ride and handling, and unmatched fuel economy, with the Pacifica Hybrid delivering up to 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in city driving. The all-new Chrysler Pacifica was thoughtfully designed and engineered to provide unsurpassed levels of comfort, convenience, technology and functionality, making it the perfect combination for modern families."
     
    Engineering
     
    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica was re-engineered from the ground up on an all-new platform, delivering class-leading ride and handling and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Its body structure is the lightest and stiffest in its class, making it more responsive with lower levels of body roll and enhanced agility to absorb and distribute road inputs. Class-leading aerodynamics contribute to the Pacifica's unsurpassed fuel efficiency.
     
    The all-new Pacifica is engineered and executed to deliver a "vault-like" interior environment with low levels of wind noise, road noise and related vibration/harshness characteristics. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) is standard on all models to further heighten the Chrysler Pacifica's refinement factor during a comfortable daily commute or an extended road trip with family and friends.
     
    The Chrysler Pacifica boasts the largest interior volume in the segment, with clever storage, available eight-passenger seating, and – a requirement with all generations of FCA US minivans – the ability to fit an 8 x 4-foot sheet of plywood.
     
    Powertrain
     
    The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan features a choice of two powerful, efficient and advanced powertrains – the segment's first hybrid vehicle, and the next generation of the award-winning Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine, which is mated to a segment-exclusive TorqueFlite nine-speed automatic transmission.
     
    The Pacifica Hybrid, the industry's first electrified minivan, will deliver an estimated range of 30 miles solely on zero-emissions electric power from a 16-kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. In city driving, it is expected to achieve an efficiency rating of 80 MPGe based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.
     
    The pivotal technology behind the all-new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is its innovative electrically variable transmission (EVT). Patented by FCA US, the device features two electric motors, which are both capable of driving the vehicle's wheels.
     
    On the Chrysler Pacifica gasoline models, the latest iteration of the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine produces best-in-class horsepower (287) and torque (262 lb.-ft.), along with unsurpassed fuel economy. Enhancements such as two-step variable-valve lift (VVL), cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) and innovative weight-reduction strategies boost the engine's efficiency and performance, all while preserving the smoothness that remains a hallmark of the Pentastar brand. For added fuel efficiency, engine stop-start (ESS) technology is a standard feature on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (late availability).
     
    Design
     
    Featuring the face of the Chrysler brand, the all-new Chrysler Pacifica has a sculpted exterior with athletic proportions. A fast silhouette and sophisticated, fluid-like surfacing deliver a level of style not found in the minivan segment. The Pacifica's sliding door track lines are hidden under the rear-quarter side glass, making them virtually indistinguishable. With its long wheelbase, wide track, low ground clearance and available 20-inch wheels, the Chrysler Pacifica appears planted, with a capable stance.
     
    The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid features a unique front grille pattern and wheel design, as well as distinctive badging, differentiating it from the rest of the Pacifica lineup.
     
    The thoughtfully designed and beautifully crafted interior mixes high-tech elements with a sculpted, muscular feel. With horizontally drawn features, the interior's spaciousness is amplified, and the linear elements keep the eye moving throughout the cabin. The available tri-pane panoramic sunroof, with a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and a fixed glass pane over the third row, adds to the feeling of spaciousness.
     
    The Chrysler Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid are available in 10 exterior paint colors that accentuate the vehicle's surfacing: Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Molten Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Velvet Red Pearl Coat, Jazz Blue Pearl Coat, Dark Cordovan Pearl Coat, Tusk White Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat and Silver Teal Pearl Coat (available only on the Pacifica Hybrid and paired with an exclusive interior environment).
     
    Safety and Security
     
    The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica showcases the latest in advanced safety and security technology, offering more than 100 standard and available features. Available for the first time on the all-new Pacifica is the Surround View camera, which uses four cameras positioned around the vehicle to provide 360-degree views, including a bird's eye perspective of the vehicle and its surroundings. Other advanced features include:
    ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, which uses ultrasonic sensors to guide the driver into parking spaces Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Hold, which maintains the distance between the vehicle and the one in front of it, and can bring the vehicle to a controlled stop under certain circumstances Forward Collision Warning-Plus deploys the brakes to alert the driver if an impact appears imminent, and assists with driver response LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus leverages electronic power steering (EPS) by delivering a torque input to alert and assist the driver with corrective action

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

    The Chrysler Pacifica also boasts up to five seating positions that will accommodate LATCH child safety-seat installation – a capacity unsurpassed in the segment.
     
    Technology and Convenience
     
    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is the most technologically equipped vehicle of its kind, offering an all-new Uconnect Theater entertainment system, 7-inch full-color driver information display, 8.4-inch touchscreen, acclaimed Uconnect Access and an array of other features.
     
    With the all-new, class-exclusive Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment system, passengers can watch movies, play built-in games, connect personal devices to surf the Internet and stream content throughout the vehicle via two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens.
     
    The available KeySense programmable key fob places limits on speed and audio volume, mutes the audio when front seatbelts are not buckled, prevents the disabling of certain features like Forward Collision Warning-Plus and ParkSense rear park assist, and allows blocking of SiriusXM Radio channels.
     
    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica features the available easy-to-use Uconnect 8.4 system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, navigation, integrated voice command, and Uconnect Access, which keeps drivers and passengers connected with helpful information, such as fuel prices and movie listings
     
    For audiophile-quality sound, the Chrysler Pacifica comes standard with six speakers and Active Noise Cancellation. Premium audio systems, either a 13-speaker Alpine system or a 20-speaker Harman Kardon system, are also available.
     
    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is loaded with comfort and convenience features, including Keyless Enter 'n Go, remote start, and heated and ventilated seats. Other notable features include segment-first handsfree sliding doors and liftgate, which are operated by making a kicking motion under the sliding door or bumper to open or close the sliding doors or liftgate.
     
    For added convenience, the available Stow 'n Vac integrated vacuum powered by RIDGID provides easy access to all corners of the vehicle. The Stow 'n Go seating and storage system, a hallmark of FCA US minivans for more than 10 years, has been redesigned for added ease of use, and the addition of the all-new Stow 'n Go Assist feature helps to further simplify the process. With the press of a button on the B-pillar, the front seat moves forward to allow the second-row seat to be stowed into the floor tub. Once the seat is stowed, pressing the button again moves the front seat back to its starting position. In addition, the Easy Tilt second-row seats allow for easy access to the third row, even with an empty child seat installed in the second row.
     
    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is available in six models and the Pacifica Hybrid in two models. The Chrysler Pacifica will be available in dealer showrooms in spring 2016, with the Pacifica Hybrid arriving in the second half of 2016.
     
    The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is built at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
     
    First hybrid powertrain in minivan segment
     
    "Due to its large footprint and multiple daily trip patterns, the minivan is ideally suited for electrification technology," said Bob Lee, Vice President and Head of Engine, Powertrain and Electrified Propulsion Systems Engineering, FCA – North America. "The all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica lives up to this promise and then some, with efficiency, power and refinement."
     
    Launching in second half of 2016, the Pacifica Hybrid is the industry's first electrified minivan. With an estimated 248 horsepower, the vehicle will deliver an estimated range of 30 miles solely on zero-emissions electric power from a 16-kWh lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.
     
    In city driving, it is expected to achieve an efficiency rating of 80 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.
     
    When the battery's energy is depleted to a certain threshold, the Pacifica Hybrid becomes a part-time electric vehicle, like a conventional hybrid. Power to the wheels is supplied by the electric drive system or supplemented by a specially adapted new version of the award-winning FCA US Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 engine.
     
    The battery pack – neatly packaged under the second row floor in the new unique battery case – may be fully recharged in as little as two hours using a 240-volt plug-in system.
     
    The pivotal technology behind the all-new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is its innovative electrically variable transmission (EVT). Designed and patented by FCA US, the device features two electric motors – both of which are capable of driving the vehicle's wheels.
     
    Conventional electrification schemes dedicate one motor to serve as a generator and a second motor – usually much larger – to deliver torque to the wheels. But the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid uses a one-way clutch that allows the motor typically used only as a generator to deliver torque to the wheels, depending on driving conditions. The result is increased efficiency, refinement and improved component packaging.
     
    Unique hybrid engine
     
    Based on the newly upgraded Pentastar engine architecture, the new hybrid engine features an Atkinson cycle combustion system for improved pumping efficiency without compromising vehicle performance due to its hybrid electric motors working in tandem with the engine when full load performance is required.
     
    Unique "handed" pistons provide a compression ratio increase to 12.5:1 for further thermodynamic efficiency improvement.
     
    The front cover and front accessory drive system was re-engineered due to the elimination of the alternator and power steering pump which is common to most hybrid engines.
     
    Friction reduction improvements, along with ignition and fuel injection improvements found on the upgraded Pentastar V-6 are all part of the specially adapted hybrid Pentastar engine, while 2-step valve lift and cooled EGR have been removed with the addition of Atkinson cycle combustion system.
     
    Recharging
     
    Deceleration triggers the motor to turn into a generator, which creates electricity to send back to the battery pack.
     
    The 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is stored efficiently under the second-row floor, keeping the rear cargo area as roomy as ever and preserving the third-row Stow 'n Go seating and storage.
     
    The exterior charge port is located on the driver's side fender for quick and easy plug in after exiting the vehicle. On the inside, a charging indicator light is located on the instrument panel so owners can easily monitor the battery charge process.

    Drew Dowdell

    Some more clarity on the 2016 Envision

    A few days ago we reported that the 2016 Buick Envision would be sold in All-Wheel drive format only. This was both true and false.
     
    After the reveal of the 2016 Buick Avista concept, I sat down with a Buick representative to discuss the Envision for a bit. It is true that the 2016 model year of the Buick Envision will only be available in all-wheel drive, 2.0T engines, and premium group packages. However, it will be a short model run. The 2017 updates will follow a few months after launch when an additional engine, front wheel drive, and additional packages will be made available. Even after those updates, the 2.0T will still only be available with all-wheel drive.
     
    In China, the Envision offered with a 1.6 liter turbo and front-wheel drive. The rep from Buick indicated that it was unlikely that this powertrain combination is going to make the swim across the Pacific, so expect something in between the 200 hp 1.6T and the 260hp 2.0T offerings. We'll note that GM currently does not have any 4-cylinder offering in between those two powerplants in terms of power, so it could end up being an engine that is not yet released.
     
    We will have more details for the 2016 and 2017 Envision closer to launch time.
     

     
    You can follow all of our 2016 Detroit Auto Show Reports here.
     
    Buick Press Release from November 18 is on Page 2




    Buick Introduces Envision Luxury Crossover


    Clean-sheet approach yields luxury compact crossover designed for confident ride-and-handling performance Dynamic interior with high level of standard content, great attention to detail and latest technologies Strong, efficient performance includes stop/start feature on 2.0L turbo engine

     

    LOS ANGELES – Buick today introduced the 2016 Envision – an all-new, technology-infused luxury compact crossover that expands the brand’s portfolio with segment-challenging driving dynamics, advanced technology, connectivity and Buick’s trademark interior acoustics.
     
    It is a global vehicle, designed from the ground up as a Buick luxury compact crossover. It goes on sale in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2016.
     
    “The all-new Buick Envision is a modern, confident and responsive luxury compact crossover that combines the brand’s core characteristics with performance features never seen on a crossover,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. “That dynamic experience behind the wheel is complemented by Buick’s signature luxury, whisper-quiet cabin and connectivity features that make it a crossover that customers are going to love as drivers and passengers.”
     
    Vehicle highlights include:
    LED daytime running lamps and rear LED accent lights Efficiency-enhancing features including upper grille shutters that open and close to enhance aerodynamics on the highway and a body structure incorporating mass-reducing high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels – and a lightweight aluminum hood Standard heated front seats and standard heated rear seat Sliding, 60/40-split rear seat, offering the flexibility of more legroom for second-row passengers Kneeling cushions in the second-row seat enable a flatter load floor when the seat is folded 252-horsepower (186 kW) 2.0L turbo engine with stop/start technology, matched with Buick’s first crossover vehicle application of HiPer Strut front suspension and Buick’s first active Twin Clutch AWD system Standard Safety Alert Seat and Lane Keep Assist, as well as available Advanced Active Park Assist, and Surround Vision 360-degree camera system IntelliLink with 8-inch color touch screen, Text Messaging Alerts and Siri Eyes Free Available OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot Programmable power liftgate with hands-free operation Active noise cancelation.

    · Nineteen-inch aluminum wheels are standard.
     

    The Envision is also designed to carry more than its competitors, with more rear cargo space than the Acura RDX and the Lincoln MKC. It’s also roomier for passengers, with more rear legroom, front and rear shoulder room, and overall Environmental Protection Agency-rated passenger volume than the MKC.
     
    “The Envision rounds out a lineup of crossovers that has helped change customer opinions about the brand,” said Aldred. “Enclave was the cornerstone of the brand’s renaissance, while the Encore was an early entry among small luxury crossovers and has been an unqualified hit for Buick since its introduction.”
     
    Design rewards with attention to detail
    Designers and engineers were given a clean slate to develop the Envision and they employed supercomputer technologies to help make the most of the architecture for strength, stiffness and quietness. Every aspect of the vehicle’s design and its effect on refinement was taken into consideration – even the available panoramic moonroof was designed for lower wind noise when open.
     
    “The Envision represents a compromise-free design that enabled the development team to do the things luxury customers appreciate,” said Judy Brennan, chief engineer. “Our attention to detail yielded tremendous strength and stiffness of the platform, which is evident in exceptional ride and handling characteristics.”
     
    The clean-sheet design and stiff structure helped eliminate an estimated 22 pounds (10 kg) of add-on material to create whisper-quiet interior acoustics.
     
    And while those attributes lie beneath the Envision’s skin, the skin itself is instantly recognizable as a Buick crossover with contemporary proportions, flowing lines and detailed surface features.
     
    “There is tension in the Envision’s design that reflects elegant athleticism, rendering a planted stance that enhances driver confidence,” says Bryan Nesbitt, global executive director, Buick design. “It’s dynamic and youthful, with features that support the vehicle’s technologically advanced ambience.”
     
    Those features include Buick’s signature winged headlamps and standard heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators. Articulating Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps are available. There’s also a rear spoiler atop the liftgate designed to improve aerodynamic performance.
     
    The liftgate features standard programmable power assist and touchless activation. The user simply waves his or her foot near a sensor beneath the fascia to activate the power-assisted liftgate.
     
    Dynamic passenger environment
    The Envision’s interior features a “floating,” wraparound instrument panel sweeps into the door panels, for a flowing, organic and inviting appearance that complements the exterior. It houses a bold gauge cluster featuring two large binnacles with analog instruments and a central digital display for the speedometer and readouts of additional information.
     
    “To put it simply, the Envision’s cabin combines beauty with innovation,” said Nesbitt. “It telegraphs dynamism like nothing else in the segment. Everywhere you touch is a stitched, soft surface,” said Nesbitt. “And everything you touch is designed for intuitive, effortless functionality.”
     
    The large center console storage bin features damped dual wing-type doors that provide easier, less-obstructed access and allow the driver or passengers – even those in the rear – to access the storage bin without disturbing the other. Also, the heating and air conditioning vents are positioned at the bottom of the center stack, moving the climate and infotainment controls – as well as the eight-inch diagonal color touch screen – higher for easier, more intuitive operation.
     
    Additional interior features include:
    Passive entry and push-button start with standard remote start Standard eight-way power-adjustable front seats and four-way-adjustable lumbar – including available adjustable thigh support on some models that enhances comfort for taller passengers Standard heated front seats and standard heated rear seat Available cooled front seats and standard heated steering wheel Standard eight-inch-diagonal, reconfigurable color driver information center and available full color head-up display Dual-zone climate control with console-mounted rear-seat vents; and standard tri-zone climate control with rear-seat controls Standard Bose premium sound system Available panoramic moonroof.

     

    Technology and connectivity
    The new Envision offers Buick IntelliLink with Text Messaging Alerts and Siri Eyes Free, as well as available OnStar with 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
    Text Messaging Alerts for smartphone users with compatible Bluetooth technology reads incoming texts through the vehicle’s speakers, and Siri Eyes Free for iPhones running iOS6 or higher gives users enhanced connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity, to help keep phones in pockets and hands on the wheel.
     
    An eight-inch-diagonal IntelliLink color touch screen is the contact point for much of the Envision’s technology and connectivity. Itprovides intuitive operation of basic functions, yet is capable of linking up to 10 Bluetooth devices such as smartphones, as well as SD cards and MP3 players. Four USB ports, four 12-volt outlets and a 120-volt outlet are included.
     
    A new steering wheel for Buick debuts in the Envision, featuring thumb-operated toggle switches that make it easy to scroll through the IntelliLink menus and vehicle features in the driver information center.
     
    Powertrain and performance
    The 2016 Envision features a standard 2.0L turbo engine SAE certified at 252 horsepower (186 kW) and 260 lb-ft of torque (353 Nm), which is more standard horsepower and torque than an Audi Q5. It is paired with a third-generation six-speed automatic transmission with TAPShift revised to deliver more refined shift performance.
     
    Performance and efficiency is enhanced with Stop/Start technology – Buick’s first application on the 2.0L turbo engine. It seamlessly shuts down the engine when the Envision comes to a stop under certain driving conditions, such as a stoplight. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake.
     
    The 2.0L turbo engine is offered exclusively with AWD, giving the Envision performance consistent with vehicle’s ride and handling capabilities. The turbocharger features a twin-scroll design that helps the engine deliver a broad torque band, for a greater feeling of power on demand. Ninety percent of peak torque is available from 1,800 rpm to 5,500 rpm and the full 260 lb-ft of peak torque from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm.
     
    The engine is designed with refinement-enhancing features such as balance shafts and sound-attenuating components; and is isolated on a hydraulically damped substructure that helps quell noise and vibration. Four powertrain mounts are used rather than the conventional three.
     
    Ride and handling
    The Envision’s robust structure is the foundation for a balanced and confident driving experience. Buick’s HiPer Strut front suspension provides more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces. It’s a feature inspired by the athletic Regal GS sedan and that is not currently offered on any crossover vehicle, including competitors such as the Audi Q5.
     
    A standard four-link independent rear suspension is designed to minimize unwanted toe and camber effects during spirited driving maneuvers, enhancing stability. Isolating hydraulic mounts are used front and rear to further reduce noise and vibration that could reach the passenger compartment.
     
    The Envision features Buick’s first active Twin Clutch AWD system designed to make the most of handling and stability in all driving conditions. It is a fully automatic, on-demand system engineered to deliver sure-footed handling in low-grip conditions, while also contributing to a quieter and smoother ride with minimal torque transferred to the rear wheels when all-wheel-drive traction isn’t needed.
     
    It uses a hydraulically actuated, pump-based system that provides clutch-clamping forces before the vehicle even begins to move. For example, on wet surfaces when the vehicle pulls away from a stop, the system will have already engaged the clutches by looking at torque to analyze the driver’s intentions. The technology allows the vehicle to respond before a slip occurs, rather than just reacting to slip.
     
    Additionally, a premium, variable-effort electric power rack-and-pinion steering gear from Bosch Automotive Steering Systems enables effortless low-speed maneuvers and a higher degree of steering feel at higher speeds. The system also includes crosswind stabilization road-shake compensation that enhances smoothness.
     
    Safety features
    The Envision offers 360 degrees of available passive and active safety technology, including 10 standard air bags, available Automatic Park Assist, available Surround Vision camera system and Buick’s first use of Lane Keep Assist, which is standard. They complement a body structure composed of 63 percent high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, which forms a protective cage around the passenger compartment.
     
    Automatic Park Assist measures a suitable parallel or perpendicular parking spot and steers the vehicle into it, while Lane Keep Assist helps the driver keep the vehicle in the lane with an automatic steering adjustment when an inadvertent lane departure is detected.
     
    A rearview camera is standard, while the available Surround Vision provides an overhead view of the Envision that enhances the driver’s vision at low speeds, such as parking and reversing.
     
    Additional 2016 model year standard and available safety features include:
    Standard Side-curtain and knee air bags Standard Safety Alert Seat, which pulses to alert the driver about a possible crash Standard Front Park Assist, Lane Change Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Standard Following Distance Indicator Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control Standard Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution Standard Cornering brake control and brake assist. Available Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control Available Collision Mitigation Braking

     

    Safety and security features also include OnStar technology with Advanced Crash Response System, emergency assistance and more.
     
    2016 BUICK ENVISION PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
     
    Overview
    Model:
    2016 Buick Envision
    Body style / driveline:
    four-door, five-passenger compact crossover; front engine transaxle, all-wheel drive
    Construction:
    steel body frame integral (unibody) with front and rear crumple zones; galvanized steel front fenders, roof, door panels, one-piece bodyside outer panel, aluminum hood, thermal plastic olefin (TPO) bumper fascias
    EPA vehicle class:
    SUV
    Manufacturing location:
    Yantai, China
    Key competitors:
    Acura RDX, Audi Q5, Lincoln MKC
     
    Engines
    Type:
    Ecotec 2.0L DOHC I-4 VVT DI Turbocharged
    Displacement (cu. in. / cc):
    122 / 1998
    Bore & stroke (in. / mm):
    3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86
    Block material:
    cast aluminum
    Cylinder head material:
    cast aluminum
    Valvetrain:
    DOHC, four-valves per
    cylinder, continuously variable valve timing
    Valve lifters:
    hydraulic roller finger follower
    Ignition system:
    coil-on-plug
    Fuel delivery:
    high-pressure direct injection and electronic throttle control
    Compression ratio:
    9.5:1
    Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):
    252 / 186 (est.)
    Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):
    260 / 353 (est.)
    Recommended fuel:
    premium recommended but not required
    Max. engine speed
    (fuel cut-off):
    6800 rpm
    Emissions controls:
    close-coupled, catalytic converter, positive crankcase ventilation; evaporative system
    Additional features:
    extended-life spark plugs; extended-life coolant
    EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy)
    TBD
     
    Transmissions
     
    Hydra-Matic 6T70
    Type:
    six-speed transverse, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive
    Application:
    standard
    Gear ratios (:1):
     
    First
    4.48
    Second
    2.87
    Third
    1.84
    Fourth
    1.41
    Fifth
    1.00
    Sixth
    0.74
    Reverse
    2.88
    Final Drive
    3.17
     
    Chassis / Suspension
    Front:
    Specifically tuned coil springs, direct-acting stabilizer bar (hollow); hydraulic ride bushings; HiPer Strut suspension
    Rear:
    Four-link independent rear with hollow stabilizer bar
    Traction control:
    all-speed using engine torque reduction and brake intervention
    Steering type:
    electric rack-and-pinion power-assisted with cross-wind stabilization and road-shake stabilization
    Steering wheel turns lock-to-lock:
    2.67
     
    Turning circle, curb-to-curb
    (ft / m):
    39.5 / 12
    Steering ratio:
    15.6 to 1
     
    Brakes
    Type:
    four-wheel disc w/ABS and electronic stability control
    Brake rotor diameter – front
    (in / mm):
    12.6 /321
    Brake rotor diameter – rear
    (in / mm):
    12.4 / 315
     
    Wheels / Tires
    Wheel size and type:
    19-inch aluminum
    Tires:
    235/50R19 AL3
     
    Dimensions
    Exterior
    Wheelbase (in / mm) :
    107.9 / 2740
    Overall length (in / mm):
    183.7 / 4666
    Overall width (in / mm):
    72.4 / 1839
    Overall height (in / mm):
    66.8 / 1697
    Front track (in / mm):
    1575 / 62
    Rear track (in / mm):
    1575 / 62
     
    Interior
    Seating capacity (front / rear):
    2 / 3
    Headroom (in / mm):
    39.96 / 1015 (front)
    38.5 / 977 (rear)
    Legroom (in / mm):
    40.9 / 1040 (front)
    37.5 / 952 (rear)
    Shoulder room (in / mm):
    57.0 / 1448 (front)
    55.8 / 1417 (rear)
    Hip room (in / mm):
    54.4 / 1381 (front)
    53.1 / 1348 (rear)
    EPA passenger volume
    (cu ft / L) :
    100.6 / 2849
    EPA interior volume (cu ft / L):
    127.5 / 3610.6
    Cargo volume (cu ft / L):
    26.9 / 761 (behind rear seat)
    57.3 / 1622 (rear seat folded)
     
    Capacities
    Fuel tank (gal / L):
    17.3 / 65.5
    Engine oil (qt / L):
    6.0 / 5.7
    Curb weight (lb / kg):
    4047 / 183
    Trailering rating (lb / kg):
    1500 / 680
     
    Note: Information shown is current at time of publication. Please visit http://media.gm.com for updates.

    William Maley

    Same Sausage, Different Lengths, New Information

    Mercedes-Benz has officially revealed the 2017 E-Class tonight at an event before the start of Detroit Auto Show tomorrow. We've already given you the details on what it looks like inside and out thanks to a leak last week. Now we have more information to delve out.
     
    When the E-Class launches this summer, it will only be offered in the E300 trim. Power will come from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder (Really Mercedes? E300 for a 2.0L? I digress. -WM) producing 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A new nine-speed automatic routes the power to the rear-wheels. The power output seems a little underwhelming when you consider the size of the E-Class, but Mercedes has put the model on a diet. No mention of how much weight was taken out.
     
    Down the line, expect a twin-turbo V6, diesel, and a plug-in hybrid model. No mention of 4Matic all-wheel drive, but we expect to be announced at a later date.
     
    On the technology front, the E-Class will boast two 12.3-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system. The screens are setup in such a way that it looks like one continuous screen. The E-Class will also get a features from the larger S-Class:
    Distance Pilot DISTRONIC: An advanced cruise control system that can follow the vehicle in front up to 130 MPH. Steering Pilot: read and follow markings on the road up to 130 MPH

    Once the E-Class is launched, Mercedes will launch a system that can autonomously change lanes and park the vehicle without the driver.
     

    Source: Mercedes-Benz
     
    You can follow all of our reports from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show here.
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    The New Mercedes-Benz E-Class
    The most intelligent luxury sedan

    January 10, 2016
     

    Mercedes-Benz is taking a big step into the future with the new E-Class. The tenth-generation of the E-Class sedan delivers stylish highlights with its distinct, emotional design and high-grade interior. The new E-Class also marks the world premiere of numerous technical innovations, enabling enhanced comfort, a new level of safe driving, a new dimension in driver assistance and a new infotainment and control system. A new, optionally available AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension ensures outstanding ride comfort and driving dynamics. The sum total of these innovations makes the E-Class the most intelligent sedan.
     
    "The E-Class is the core of the Mercedes-Benz brand and in the past has repeatedly redefined the standards in the business-class segment. Now it carries this tradition into the future with a wealth of top-class innovations. The new E-Class takes another major step towards fully autonomous driving. In addition, it enhances efficiency, safety and comfort, reduces the stress level when driving and intensifies driving pleasure," says Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
     
    Powerful, coupe-esque design
    The new E-Class is sophisticated, confidently stylish and sporty. Compared with its predecessor, its wheelbase has grown by 2.6 inches (115.7 inches vs. 113.1 inches) and its overall length by 1.7 inches (193.8 inches vs. 192.1 inches). Its design features hallmark Mercedes-Benz sedan proportions. The elongated hood coupled with a coupe-esque roof flowing into a sensual, broad-shouldered tail end creates an exciting silhouette. The powerfully extended vehicle body is characterized by short overhangs, a long wheelbase, large wheels and taut, well-defined flanks displaying a fresh, stylish and dynamic interpretation of the feature line, all of which allows the E-Class to deliver the perfect take on the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of “Sensual Purity.”
     
    A muscular front end underlines the status to which the business-class sedan aspires, boasting a different look for each design and equipment line. The Luxury version features the classic Mercedes radiator grill with the star on the hood, while the Sport models are identifiable by the sport radiator grill with a large Mercedes star as its centerpiece. Each of the radiator grill designs lends the E-Class a distinct character, offering a unique degree of diversity that makes each model stand out.
     
    At the rear end, broad shoulders above the rear wheel arches lend the E-Class its unmistakably muscular character. Single-piece tail lights featuring a two-bar design framed by the vehicle body clearly identify the E-Class as a new member of the Mercedes sedan family. Rear lights provide additional levels of detail with an appearance designers refer to as the “stardust effect.” Making its debut on the new E-Class, this available "stardust effect" is created by innovative reflector technology with a specially configured surface structure for the tail lights.
     
    Next Level Interior Design
    The interior of the new E-Class embodies the synthesis of emotion and intelligence, poles that are defined by the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy – distinct forms with a sensual flow to them. The U.S. version of the E300 offers a next-generation high-resolution display, with a wide navigation display screen diagonal of 12.3 inches – a first in this segment, and a traditional gauge cluster behind the steering wheel, all integrated into one casing. Beneath its integrated glass frame, the display visually conflates into a wide-screen cockpit that seems to be hovering in thin air, creating a central element that emphasizes the horizontal orientation of the interior design.
    Touch-sensitive control buttons ('Touch Controls') on the steering wheel make their first appearance in a car. Like a smartphone interface, the Touch Controls respond precisely to horizontal and vertical swiping movements, allowing the driver to control the entire infotainment system without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. In keeping with the motto "hands on the wheel, eyes on the road," this new control interface minimizes driver distraction.
    Further controls for the infotainment system are provided by a touchpad with a controller which can recognize handwriting in the center console and a voice control system, accessible at the push of a button. For systems such as air-conditioning or various driver assistance systems, there are direct-access buttons located on the center stack.
    A new, intelligent graphic design with high-resolution animations, together with simplified logic, further enhances this all-new infotainment experience. At the same time, the occupants enjoy a spacious interior, which combines the elegance of the luxury class with sportiness.
    Intelligent material design
    High-quality materials define the E-Class’ interior style, including Natural Grain Ash wood, and wood with “flowing lines.” Another Mercedes hallmark clearly evidenced is the high-quality look and feel created through meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship.
     
    Interior materials and colors have been carefully selected, highlighted by various shades of brown, including several attractive, new color combinations which allow for an even more personalized interior design.
     
    Lighting atmosphere with 64 colors
    Interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology, even throughout the enhanced ambient lighting system. With 64 colors to choose from, the ambient lighting system offers a host of possibilities for personalization, adding touches of light to various trim parts, central display, storage on the center console, handle recesses, door pockets, front and rear footwells, overhead console, and tweeters (if the vehicle is equipped with the Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system).
     
    Seat design: first class
    A further highlight of the new E-Class is its seats. Their ergonomic and sculpted form combines Mercedes-Benz's hallmark suitability for long journeys with a refined, sporty look. Another new feature in this segment is a Warmth and Comfort package, which includes heated door armrests and center console, heated steering wheel and rapidly-heating front seats.
     
    The rear bench seat in the new E-Class sedan comes with a three-piece backrest with a 40% - 20% - 40% split, making it exceptionally versatile. Integral features of the center armrest include a storage box and two pop-out drinks holders. There is also the option of a holder for a tablet device for the rear passengers.
     
    New engine generation
    In the US market at launch, the new E-Class will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Further model variants will be added to the range after the market launch.
     
    Nine-speed automatic transmission
    All E-Class models available at market launch will be equipped with the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment. This advanced transmission enables both fast gearshifts and low engine revs while cruising, which provides improvements in both efficiency and interior noise levels.
     
    Suspension – sporty comfort
    The suspension on the new E-Class offers agile driving pleasure on twisting roads as well as the highest level of ride comfort in the segment. The E-Class sedan comes with a steel-spring suspension as standard. Two DIRECT CONTROL suspension systems with selective damping are available in conjunction with this suspension:
    DIRECT CONTROL Comfort suspension DIRECT CONTROL Sport suspension

    AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension
    Alternatively, the new E-Class can be equipped with a multi-chamber air suspension at all corners – the only car in its segment to offer this option. 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, in three stages, how firmly the suspension reacts to the road. In this way, the occupants enjoy a soft base suspension, together with the secure feeling of good handling stability as speed increases.
     

    Furthermore, the highly sensitive and fast-responding AIR BODY CONTROL air suspension features all-round self-leveling for excellent ride comfort even with the vehicle loaded. It automatically controls the ride height depending on the speed and reduces fuel consumption on the freeway, for example, by lowering the vehicle. When driving on rough roads, ground clearance can be increased at the push of a button.
     
    The multi-chamber air suspension is supplemented by a continuously operating, electronically controlled damping adjustment system, which automatically adapts the damping on each individual wheel to the current driving situation and road conditions. The system therefore delivers good road roar and tire vibration characteristics, excellent ride comfort and outstanding driving dynamics.
     
    A DYNAMIC SELECT switch in the cockpit enables the driver to select from four AIR BODY CONTROL modes: "Comfort," "ECO," "Sport" and "Sport+." The additional "Individual" option allows drivers to configure their vehicle to suit their own preferences.
     
    Next-generation driver assistance systems
    Mercedes-Benz's new assistance and safety systems take safety, comfort and driver assistance to a new level.
     
    Standard on the new E-Class is PRE-SAFE® Sound. This system is based on a protective human reflex in the inner ear, called the stapedius reflex. PRE-SAFE® Sound emits a short interference signal through the vehicle's sound system if the risk of a collision is detected. This signal can trigger the natural reflex and thus prepare the occupants' ears for the expected sound of the accident.
     
    Active Brake Assist, fitted as standard, is able to warn the driver of impending crash situations, provide just the right level of support during emergency braking and, if necessary, also apply the brakes automatically. In addition to slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles, it can also detect pedestrians crossing within the area ahead of the vehicle.
     
    Additional standard equipment includes ATTENTION ASSIST with adjustable sensitivity, which can warn the driver of inattentiveness and drowsiness, and Crosswind Assist, which can assist the driver by substantially mitigating the effects of strong crosswinds to prevent the vehicle from drifting too far off track.
     
    Highlights of the optional Driver Assistance Package Plus that make the E-Class the most intelligent sedan in its class include:
    DRIVE PILOT: This system represents Mercedes-Benz's next step along the road to autonomous driving. While on both freeways and country roads, Distance Pilot DISTRONIC is not only able to automatically maintain the selected distance from the vehicle in front, but, for the first time, it can also follow the traffic in front at speeds of up to 130 mph. This can make life easier for the driver, who no longer needs to operate the brake or accelerator pedal during normal driving and also receives plenty of steering assistance from Steering Pilot – even on moderate bends. Another unique feature of Steering Pilot is that the system can continue to actively intervene by taking account of surrounding vehicles and parallel structures, even if the lines are unclear or nonexistent, as they can be during road construction, even at speeds up to 81 mph. The system therefore makes driving much easier, especially in traffic jams or heavy congestion. Additional DRIVE PILOT innovations include, for the first time, Active Lane-change Assist. This radar-and-camera-based system assists the driver when changing lanes on multi-lane roads and can steer the vehicle into the lane selected by the driver – when overtaking, for example. Once the driver has indicated a turn for at least two seconds, Active Lane-change Assist assists with steering into the adjacent lane if it detects that the lane is unoccupied. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016. Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function: Compared with the standard version, this system has extended speed thresholds with respect to vehicles and pedestrians. Furthermore, it can detect crossing traffic at junctions and, if the driver fails to respond, apply the brakes autonomously. For the first time, it can also detect hazardous situations at the tail end of a traffic jam where there is no room to maneuver and initiate autonomous braking well in advance. Consequently, it is possible to completely avoid accidents at speeds up to 43 mph or substantially reduce the severity of accidents at speeds above this level. Evasive Steering Assist: This new system ideally complements the pedestrian detection function of Active Brake Assist. When the driver deliberately or instinctively performs an evasive maneuver in a dangerous situation, this function can assist by adding precisely calculated steering torque to support the movement of the steering wheel. This helps the driver to avoid, for instance, a pedestrian in a controlled manner while subsequently facilitating the straightening-up of the vehicle to allow the situation to be negotiated safely. Advanced assistance systems: The intelligent assistance systems in the new Driver Assistance Package Plus also include proven systems that have been further developed in terms of their mode of operation and the sensors they use. Active Lane Keeping Assist can help stop the driver from unintentionally changing lanes, this being done by corrective one-sided application of the brakes, including in the case of broken lines and risk of collision, e.g. with oncoming traffic or fast overtaking vehicles. Active Blind Spot Assist can now also warn of the risk of a lateral collision in typical urban traffic at low speeds. PRE-SAFE® PLUS can also protect against collisions with traffic following behind, reducing whiplash and other adverse effects on the occupants.

    The range of new features in the new E-Class also includes:
    Remote Parking Pilot: For the first time, this system allows the vehicle to be moved into and out of garages and parking spaces remotely using a smartphone app, enabling the occupants to get into and out of the car easily, even if space is very tight. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016. Car-to-X communication: The MY2017 E-Class will have the world's first fully integral Car-to-X solution going into series production. The mobile phone-supported exchange of information with other vehicles further ahead on the road, for example, can effectively allow the driver to "see around corners" or "through obstacles" well in advance. This means that the driver receives an earlier warning than previously in the event of imminent danger, such as a broken-down vehicle at the edge of the road or also in the event of heavy rain or black ice on the road ahead. In this case, the new E-Class simultaneously acts as a receiver and a transmitter, since warning messages are conveyed automatically by evaluating vehicle status or manually by the driver to the backend. More details will be offered at the time of the U.S. launch in summer 2016. PRE-SAFE® impulse side: This system is part of the Driving Assistance package PLUS. If a lateral collision has been detected and is imminent, it preventively moves the driver or front passenger away from the danger zone to the side. To do this, the system inflates an air chamber in the side bolster of the front seat backrest nearest the side of the imminent impact in a fraction of a second, thus increasing the distance between occupant and door while, at the same time, reducing the forces acting on the occupants.

    Three-dimensional listening pleasure
    Fitted as standard, the Mercedes-Benz Frontbass system in the new E-Class delivers a unique listening experience, utilizing space in the cross-member and side member of the body structure as a resonance chamber for the bass speakers. The E-Class is optionally available with two Burmester® sound systems, including the top-of-the-line Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system. If the vehicle is equipped with the optionally available Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system with 23 speakers, the occupants are treated to a listening experience reminiscent of the acoustics in a concert hall, as it includes a third dimension of sound courtesy of roof speakers.
     

    Robust yet lightweight bodyshell
    An outstandingly stiff body forms the basis for exceptional handling, astonishingly low noise and vibration levels and a high level of crash safety. To achieve this, the engineers opted for a bodyshell with a far higher proportion of aluminum and ultra-high-strength steel components than its predecessor. The front fenders, hood, trunk lid and large sections of the front and rear ends are made of sheet or cast aluminum. This lightweight design reduces fuel consumption while making for perceptibly sporty and agile vehicle handling.
     
    Against the wind
    Aerodynamic performance is one of the main reasons behind the outstanding efficiency of the new E-Class. To achieve this, the aerodynamics experts had to optimize numerous details and implement new ideas. The sophisticated aerodynamics also minimizes wind noise while making sure that the new E-Class is quieter than many luxury-class models.
     
    The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class will be available at US dealers in the summer of 2016.

    Drew Dowdell

    Buick brings out a sexy coupe concept that may make it to production.

    At a preview event ahead of the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Buick brought out a svelte concept coupe called the Buick Avista.
     
    The concept is powered by a 400 horsepower 3.0 liter, twin-turbo V6 that sends power to the rear wheels. The engine features stop-start technology and GM's cylinder deactivation to improve fuel economy. This engine may sound familiar to you as it is one of the engines that will be available on the 2016 Cadillac CT6. No transmission is mentioned.
     
    In styling, Buick went with classic flowing lines and left the B-pillar, the post at the rear of the front door, at home. The overall effect is sleek and sexy.
     
    While Buick would not disclose the platform the Avista is built on, the fact that the wheelbase is identical to Camaro (110.70") while front and rear tracks are nearly the same tells us that this is almost certainly an Alpha platform car.
     
    No word on official production possibilities, however both Holden and Opel are expected to get a similar vehicle in the mid-term future, so the chances of a production version of this car coming to pass are good.
     

     

     
    Source and Official Photos: General Motors
    Live Reveal Photos: William Maley
     
    You can follow all of our reports from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show here.
     
    Buick Press Release on Page 2



    For Release: Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, 7 p.m. EST
     


    Buick Introduces Avista Concept



    Design elegance, performance heritage conveyed in turbocharged 2+2 coupe


     

    DETROIT – Ahead of its public debut at the North American International Auto Show, Buick today revealed the Avista concept – a 2+2 coupe that pushes the brand’s contemporary design ethos and rekindles its historic performance roots.
     
    A sleek, sweeping proportion is the foundation for this vision of a contemporary grand tourer, with a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6 driving the rear wheels and a driver-focused cockpit offering a comfortable, connected center of control.
     
    “The Avista embodies the dynamic soul of Buick,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “It is a modern expression of the brand’s heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance.”
     
    The Avista’s uninterrupted body lines stretch front to rear, suggesting motion – resembling Buick’s design language introduced on the Avenir concept and carried into production on the 2017 LaCrosse. The absence of conventional B-pillars between the doors and rear side windows enhances the flowing profile.
     
    “There is elegant simplicity in the Avista’s surfaces, which speak to the purity of the car’s performance, and a timeless beauty that’s a hallmark of Buick design,” said Bryan Nesbitt, executive director Global Buick Design. “It was designed to capture the spirit of the perfect drive.”
     
    Marking the front and rear, Buick evolves its signature wing-shaped lighting with “soft curtain” elements that create illuminated “halos” around lamps’ edges, suggesting a three-dimensional shape and sculpture. Their design forecasts the evolution of Buick’s production lighting features, while the Avista’s grille features the brand’s new winged tri-shield insignia set against a three-dimensional mesh background.
     
    Additional exterior features include:
    A 110.7-inch (2,811 mm) wheelbase and 63-inch (1,601 mm) front/62.9-inch (1,598 mm) rear tracks for sporty proportions and an aggressive stance Twenty-inch aluminum wheels with color-toned accents match the car’s Dark Sapphire Jewel exterior Front fender vents with chrome accents evolve Buick’s signature fender ports.

     

    Performance-oriented, modern cockpit
    Like the exterior, the Avista’s 2+2 interior is defined by flowing, uninterrupted lines conveying elegance through simplicity – with intense technical and surfaces details, in everything from 3D-printed door and seat trim to a future vision of Buick’s IntelliLink, with touchscreen controls on a widescreen instrument panel display.
     
    The center console also incorporates touchscreen controls and extends to the rear seating area. Open side storage compartments built into the front of the console are enabled by the new Electronic Precision Shift, similar to the 2017 LaCrosse.
     
    A Superior Blue foundation color echoes the exterior and is complemented with Mist Gray leather seating inserts, console trim and door trim. Exposed carbon fiber and aluminum accents throughout reinforce the precision of the performance-oriented driving experience. The fading pattern on the seats, console and doors were inspired by waves receding at a beach’s edge.
     
    “Waves, whether from the sea or in the sand, are all about motion and flow,” said Nesbitt. “That’s exactly what this concept is all about – flowing design and the purity of the driving experience.”
     
    Buick designers enhanced the passengers’ sensory experiences with next-generation QuietTuning and air-quality control, including advanced noise cancellation technology, ionic air purifiers and aromatherapy.
     
    The Avista also advances Buick’s legacy of turbocharged performance, which carries forward in the 2016 Regal GS and other models. Similar to the 2017 LaCrosse, the concept twin-turbocharged 3.0L V-6 features fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and Stop/Start technology to complement its power with efficiency. The engine is backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission and Magnetic Ride Control delivers more precise body motion control.
     
    FAST FACT: The Buick Y-Job, introduced in 1938, is widely recognized as the auto industry’s first concept vehicle.

    William Maley

    Seems somewhat familar...

    You might be having a Deja vu moment when you see the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active concept and think, didn't Volkswagen have something similar last year? Yes they did. Back at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the German automaker introduced the Tiguan GTE concept that used a 1.4L TSI and two electric motors to produce 221 horsepower.
     
    As you might have guessed, the Active means it's built for off-roading. Compared to the Tiguan GTE Concept, the Active has an additional 1.8 inches in ground clearance, and maximum ground clearance is bounced up from 7.9 to 9.6 inches. Approach and departure angles are improved as well: 25.6 to 26.1 degrees at the front and from 24.7 to 29.9 degrees at the rear. A new 4Motion system includes six various settings programs that include on road, offroad, sport, snow, charge, and battery hold.
     
    The exterior is finished in a Dragon Red Metallic color and includes aluminum tow hooks, auxiliary lights, roof rack, and skid plates. A set of 245/70 16-inch off-road tires help the Active tackle the trails. The interior gets a virtual display for gauges and a large infotainment system that can be operated with gesture controls.
     
    You can follow all 2016 Detroit Auto Show news here.
     
    Source: Volkswagen
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN GTE ACTIVE CONCEPT MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
     
    Jan 10, 2016
     
    Extreme off-road version of second-generation Tiguan features plug-in hybrid drivetrain and gesture control-enabled infotainment system
    Based on the second-generation Tiguan Volkswagen’s first SUV to use the new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) Plug-in hybrid system has 148-horsepower gasoline engine and two electric motors Vehicle can travel up to 20 miles in zero-emissions electric mode Enhanced off-road performance and new 4MOTION Active Control drive programs New infotainment system has 9.2-inch display and can be operated by intuitive gesture control

    Wolfsburg / Detroit, January 2016 — The Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), in the country that popularized the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). The vehicle’s most striking innovation is its efficient plug-in hybrid system that uses two electric motors and a gasoline engine, which can supply all four wheels with power, either automatically or at the push of a button. This concept proves how much potential plug-in hybrid systems have. The all-wheel-drive system’s technology ensures that this SUV can offer supreme off-road performance, even in all-electric mode.
     

    The five-seat concept is based on the completely redeveloped second-generation Tiguan. The GTE Active Concept reflects the great technical versatility of the new SUV, which will arrive to the U.S. market in 2017 with a longer wheelbase and available seven-seat functionality. For Volkswagen, the new Tiguan marks the kickoff of an SUV product offensive that will significantly expand the range of vehicles offered, especially in North America.
     
    The concept car starts every journey in all-electric E-mode as a zero emissions vehicle. Normally, the rear wheels are driven, but if there is loss of traction, the front wheels are engaged within fractions of a second. Four-wheel-drive is also activated when the driver selects 4MOTION® Active Control or when GTE-mode is selected, for instance. The vehicle can cover up to 20 miles in all-electric mode. The driving range, based on a battery capacity of 12.4 kWh and a 16.9-gallon fuel tank, is 580 miles.
     
    Volkswagen has configured the design, packaging and technical features of the SUV to be as innovative as its plug-in hybrid drive system. The Tiguan is the first SUV to be based on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB), and demonstrates intelligent space utilization. The GTE Active Concept projects an authentic off-road look and makes a powerful impression with its stylish, taut proportions.
     
    Moreover, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is also equipped with safety systems such as Front Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking and pedestrian monitoring, an active hood for pedestrian protection, Lane Assist and the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Another highlight of the concept car is its infotainment system: the Tiguan GTE Active Concept features the top level of the latest generation infotainment systems and is equipped with a 9.2-inch touchscreen, gesture control (implemented for the first time in this class), an Active Info Display (fully digital instruments) and a head-up display.
     
    Drivetrain
    The Tiguan GTE Active Concept is equipped with a turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® gasoline engine that produces 148 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated to two electric motors. These make 54 hp at the front wheels and 114 hp at the rear. The total system power of 221 hp can supply all four wheels with propulsive force under off-road conditions and the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system also boosts traction and contributes to active safety on normal pavement.
     
    The Tiguan GTE Active Concept uses a 6-speed dual-clutch (DSG®) automatic transmission that was specially designed for hybrid use, with the front electric motor being housed inside the casing. Other plug-in hybrid components of the 4MOTION plug-in hybrid drive include: a 12.4 kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery that can be charged either externally or via the gasoline engine; power electronics for the front motor; a second module at the rear that converts the battery’s DC current into AC for the electric motors; and an on-board charger.
     
    Depending on the driving mode, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept can be driven by the front, rear, or by all four wheels. As a default, the concept car always starts off in zero emissions E-mode. If the battery is sufficiently charged, the rear electric motor powers the car by itself, while the TSI engine and the front electric motor are decoupled from the drivetrain and shut off to save energy. However, as soon as the driving situation demands it, or the driver manually activates a related mode, the front electric motor is engaged within fractions of a second. This means the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is a zero-emissions all-wheel-drive vehicle that can cover up to 20 miles on battery power alone. In E-mode, the Tiguan has a top speed of 70 mph.
     
    If the battery isn’t sufficiently charged and the system calls for the rear electric motor to be supplied with power for dynamic handling or for the Off-road program, the TSI engine is re-started and engaged (Hybrid mode). In this case, the front electric motor serves as a generator for the rear electric motor. Since the energy for driving the rear axle flows “by wire” and not mechanically, this is called an “electric driveshaft”. In Hybrid mode, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept may automatically use the TSI engine and/or the electric motors, depending on the energy level of the battery.
     
    The rotary/push-button switch for the new 4MOTION Active Control unit is located on the center console. The driver can use this control to select one of six driving programs: On road (Comfort or Eco); Offroad (Rocks, Sludge & Sand, or Gravel); Sport; Snow; Charge (battery is charged while driving); and Battery Hold (maintains a constant battery charge). When the Tiguan driver turns the switch to the left, the On-road, Sport, Snow, Charge or Battery Hold programs can be activated. When the switch is turned to the right, the user can access the Off-road programs. In off-road duty, the 4MOTION Active Control can adapt the assistance systems to the given driving situation within seconds, an added safety benefit. The same applies to the Snow program, which optimizes safety in winter road conditions.
     
    Drive modes: The E-mode and GTE mode are activated by separate buttons on the center console. When the driver presses the E-mode or the GTE-mode button a second time, the car switches back to Hybrid mode. As mentioned, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept may operate with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive in Hybrid mode and in E-mode. In the sporty GTE mode, the car automatically switches to all-wheel drive.
     
    The GTE mode is unique to plug-in hybrid Volkswagen vehicles. The transmission, accelerator pedal, engine mapping, and steering settings are sportier and the TSI engine and the electric motors work together (in kickdown/boosting) to allow the full system power of 221 hp to be available. When this happens, the Tiguan GTE Active Concept has a top speed of 120 mph and can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. Depending on the given driving situation, the system may use the TSI engine only or switch over to the additional “Coasting” or “Regenerative braking” hybrid modes.
    Coasting function. As soon as the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal, the engine and all motors are shut down and disengaged from the drivetrain, provided that the battery is sufficiently charged. This is known as “Coasting”. Regenerative braking. When the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal or brake and the battery is insufficiently charged, both electric motors work as generators and feed the energy generated during braking into the battery. In this case, the TSI engine is shut off and disengaged. Driving with the TSI engine. When the gasoline engine alone is powering the vehicle, only the front wheels are driven.

    Exterior Design
    The second-generation Tiguan is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) and shares the same long wheelbase, short overhangs, and exceptional packaging of other vehicles based on this architecture. The Tiguan GTE Active Concept is 176.9 inches long, 74.8 inches wide, 69.5 inches tall, and has a wheelbase of 105.6 inches.
     

    The team of designers and engineers responsible for the Dragon Red Metallic concept car developed it for extreme off-road use, building on an excellent base with the existing production vehicle. For instance, ground clearance under the axles increased from 7.1 to 8.9 inches and the maximum ground clearance under the body increased from 7.9 to 9.6 inches. The approach and departure angles were improved from 25.6 to 26.1 degrees at the front and from 24.7 to 29.9 degrees at the rear. The maximum ramp angle for overcoming road bumps grew from 20 to 24.7 degrees.
     
    Among the changes on the concept, there is a sturdy front skid plate that makes it clear that the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is designed for off-road excursions. The matte aluminum shield is equipped with four solid black polymer protectors which guard against contact with stones and bushes and can be easily replaced after an extreme trip through the outback. The front bumper is also trimmed in an all-terrain element made of “Dark Graphite” (matte anthracite-gray) durable polymer.
     
    If the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is needed to pull another vehicle in reverse, there are two aluminum-colored metal hooks in the front air intakes on the left and right sides. The standard LED headlights are complemented by C-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights, a signature of all Volkswagen plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. One sophisticated design element is the lateral continuation of the upper and lower bars of the radiator grille to the headlights, forming a single, wide and powerful unit.
     
    The roof section is also equipped with a dark all-terrain module that integrates high-strength cross-rails that can serve as a base support for skis or other equipment. They are made of aluminum that contrasts with the black roof. At the front, the roof also has two LED auxiliary spotlights, which are framed in matte aluminum.
     
    On the sides, the interplay of the all-terrain body elements and the distinctively profiled off-road tires clearly identify the Tiguan GTE Active Concept as an off-road vehicle. The 245/70 16-inch tires offer optimal traction on slippery surfaces due to their aggressive tread pattern. The Tiguan GTE Active Concept’s powerful presence is enhanced by “Dark Graphite” wheelarch extensions and sill protection that have been specially developed for the concept car. These sill trim pieces are protected by underbody guard elements made of matte aluminum.
     
    The rear of the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is also equipped with a solid underbody guard made of matte aluminum. Like the front end, four replaceable polymer protectors are used here as well. The lower area of the bumper is protected by anthracite colored all-terrain trim. Above this, the outside of the bumper is also trimmed in anodized anthracite-colored trim strips. The vehicle has two additional solid aluminum-colored metal hooks at the back for towing stuck vehicles or for removing obstacles that are blocking the trail.
     
    Interior Design
    The design team also customized the interior space of the Tiguan GTE Active Concept to coordinate with the all-terrain exterior. For instance, the trim strips of brushed, dark aluminum (“Blade” design) that wrap around the instrument panel and door trim panels match the materials used for the front and rear underbody guards and for the roof components. In addition, dark chrome (“Black Night”) accents on the steering wheel create a connection to the exterior design.
     
    Meanwhile, fine “Dragon Red” strips in the air vent frames repeat the color of the exterior paint. Another new design element is the two-tone Nappa leather upholstery: The seat surfaces, armrests and door inserts are all upholstered in bright “Rhodium Grey”, with “Dark Graphite” used for the side surfaces and seatbacks (outer surfaces). The leather surfaces have a three-dimensional pattern of rhomboidal shapes that transition in size from small to large, with the large rhomboids being embossed deeper and the smaller ones barely perceptible.
     
    The visually dominant technology inside the Tiguan GTE Active Concept is the digital Active Info Display (in front of the driver) and the newly developed, next-generation infotainment system. Directly beneath its large touchscreen—which can also be operated by gesture control—is the center console that houses the climate controls. All of the controls, even for the seat heaters, are designed as touch sliders. The center console itself is dominated by the high position of the gear shifter with an array of control buttons arranged around it, including the multifunction switch for the new 4MOTION Active Control.
     
    Next-generation infotainment system. The top level next-generation modular infotainment platform (MIB) is also featured on the Tiguan GTE Active Concept. Two exceptional features of this system are a large 9.2-inch high-resolution touchscreen (1,280 x 640 pixels) and gesture control functionality. All functions and displays utilize a sophisticated screen surface that is as clear as glass; facing the driver on the left are four sensor buttons (Menu, Home, On/Off and Volume). The 8.2-inch wide and 4.1-inch tall home screen consists of a large main window and two configurable tiles (positioned on the right side on the home screen), each of which is 1.7 inches tall and 2.3 inches wide. They can be filled with ten different types of content, such as Media (including song/album cover information) or Phone (including an image of the person to whom you are talking). In addition, it is possible to use the entire surface of the home screen for one function—for example, to show the navigation map in large format, to show special instruments for the Off-road program (steering angle, compass, altitude indicator) or to show, via Car-Net® App-Connect, the smartphone apps for Mirror Link™, Android Auto™ or Apple CarPlay®.

    William Maley

    The Cruze Hatchback is real!

    Chevrolet sold different variations of the Cruze around the world, including a hatchback. But you couldn't get it here in the U.S., despite the number of other automakers who offered one. GM's Mark Reuss said in 2013 that it "was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.”
     
    But then we got some hope. Last year, we reported that Chevrolet showed a next-generation Cruze Hatchback to its dealers. It was expected that we would see it introduced a year later. Next week at the Detroit, we'll get our first look at the 2017 Cruze Hatchback.
     
    The overall look is a mashup of the new Cruze sedan and Opel/Vauxhall's Astra. The hatchback shape makes the Cruze more practical with 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. This increases to 42 cubic feet with the rear seats down.
     
    Chevrolet will only offer the Cruze Hatchback in the LT and Premier trims, but either trim can be optioned with the RS appearance package. Power will come from a turbocharged 1.4L with 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. Standard equipment will include Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration through Chevrolet MyLink, blind spot monitoring, rear park assist, lane keep assist, and rear cross traffic alert.
     
    We'll have more on the Cruze Hatchback when it debuts on January 11th. In the meantime, you can follow all 2016 Detroit Auto Show news here.
     
    Source: Chevrolet
     

     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Chevrolet Introduces 2017 Cruze Hatch
     
    HERE’S THE STORY
    Ahead of its debut at the North American International Auto Show, Chevrolet today introduced the 2017 Cruze Hatchback. Developed with all the technologies and dynamic driving attributes of the all-new 2016 Cruze sedan, the new hatch adds a functional and sporty choice for customers. It joins Colorado and Trax as the latest Chevrolets to push into new segments.
     
    PRODUCT DETAILSThe Cruze Hatch has the same, class-leading 106.3-inch (2,700 mm) wheelbase as sedan models, but features a unique roof and rear-end structure – including wraparound taillamps and an integrated spoiler at the top of the liftgate. It opens to offer 18.5 cubic feet (524 liters) of cargo space behind the rear seat. With the rear seat folded, cargo space expands to 42 cubic feet (1,189 liters).
    ON SALE
    Fall 2016
     
    QUOTABLE
    “With 9 percent market growth in small hatchbacks last year, it’s the perfect time to bring the Cruze Hatch to America,” said Alan Batey, president, General Motors North America and Global Chevrolet. “As Cruze continues to set the tone for Chevrolet globally, it articulates the brand promise of offering cars with the latest technologies, more features and greater efficiency, performance and safety with fresh, distinctive styling.”
     
    ABOUT THE NEW CRUZE
    An all-new, more rigid and lighter architecture is the Cruze’s foundation for driving dynamism, while also playing a significant role in safety and efficiency. It is more than 200 pounds (91 kg) lighter than the previous-generation model due largely to a body structure that is 100 pounds lighter and an engine that’s 44 pounds (20 kg) lighter.
     
    The Cruze lineup in North America is offered in L, LS, LT and Premier – and a more expressive RS package, featuring unique front and rear fascias, rocker panels, rear spoiler, fog lamps and – on the Premier model – 18-inch wheels.
     
    The 2017 Cruze Hatch will be offered in LT and Premier trims, and with the RS package.
     
    KEY FEATURES
    Segment-exclusive standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility via the MyLink radio systems and available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot More standard safety features than any other compact car – including Corolla and Civic – with available adaptive features including Lane Keep Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Park Assist Available Teen Driver feature helps support safe driving habits and offers driving statistics for parents Standard 1.4L turbo engine with direct injection and Stop/Start technologies, electric power steering and, on Premier models, a Z-link rear suspension Interior with midsize-level roominess, including two inches greater rear legroom than Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra Available features include a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, Athens leather-appointed seating surfaces, true French seams and halogen projector-beam headlamps with LED signature lighting.

    FAST FACTS
    Cruze is Chevrolet’s best-selling car around the world, with 3.5 million sold since it went on sale in 2008 Since Cruze’s introduction, Chevrolet’s retail share of the segment has grown from 5.8 to 9.4 percent 35 percent of Cruze customers are new to Chevrolet In the U.S., Cruze is the segment’s second-best seller to customers under 25.


    Drew Dowdell

    No Front Wheel Drive For you! Buick Envision to be All-Wheel Drive only.

    Buick will be unveiling the 2016 Buick Envision on Sunday at a preview event before the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. One piece of information we dug up is on the drive configuration. According to the VIN card for 2017, the U.S. market Envision will only be available in All-Wheel Drive while we already know that Chinese market vehicles can be configured with just front-wheel drive.
     
    Knowing that VIN cards can change as products are finalized, I e-mailed a Buick rep to confirm. He got back to me quickly, confirming that yes, the Envision will be available in only two trim lines, Premium Group 1 and Premium Group 2, both only available in All-Wheel drive.
     
    Looking at other Buick models, the Premium Groups are the top of the line, coming standard with leather and lots of luxury features. The 2015 Buick Lacrosse with the Premium Group 1 package is a $7,134 upgrade over the base model. An Enclave with Premium Group is an $8,450 upgrade over base. While pricing hasn't been announced yet, with only Premium Group models available, expect the Envision entry price to be a significant jump in base price over the smaller base Encore.
     
    Part of the reason for the limited options groups is that Buick is only expecting to import about 60,000 Envisions per year from China. With most other Buick models skewing heavily towards the upper end of their respective ranges, it makes sense for Buick to send only the best equipped models.
     
    Back to the power train, the Envision will be available only with a 2.0 liter, direct injected turbo 4-cylinder which produces 260 lb-ft of torque over a broad RPM range and 252 horsepower fed through GM's standard issue 6-speed auto. The AWD system will be the same as in the coming 2017 Buick LaCrosse. It is a dual-clutch system that can transfer power from side-to-side in the rear wheels and Buick promises to be as fast acting as it is efficient. Also standard GM's HiPer Strut front suspension which when combined with the AWD means there is no torque steer.
     
    We will have more Buick Envision information for you as we get closer to its official unveiling on January 10th. In the meantime, you can follow all 2016 Detroit Auto Show news here.

    Drew Dowdell

    Kia teases us with a concept to debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show

    Looking like a cross between a Kia Soul and a Range Rover or Volvo XC90, Kia released a teaser for a surprise concept they will be showing next week at the Detroit Auto Show. This could signal Kia's return to the large SUV segment after the less than stellar sales of the 2009 - 2011 Kia Borrego.
     
    Kia says the concept will feature state of the art health and wellness technology and a new direction for Kia's design language. Little else has been released at this time.
     
    The Kia SUV concept will be officially unveiled at 2:15pm eastern time on January 11th.
     
    Stay tuned to CheersandGears.com for all of your 2016 Detroit Auto Show coverage

    Drew Dowdell

    Same Sausage, Different Lengths

    Mercedes Benz will be doing the full reveal of the 2017 Mercedes Benz E-Class on Monday, January 11th, however images of the car slipped out ahead of time. The exterior design of the new E-Class won't shock anyone as it now looks like a larger C-Class or smaller S-Class. The current E-Class is one of the oldest sedans in Mercedes' line-up and this move brings it up to date with the rest of the family look.
     
    Primary motive power is expected to come from a 2.0 liter turbo 4-cylinder and a twin-turbo V6. Alternative fuel minded customer will again have a diesel option this time with an all new 2.0 liter diesel while a plug-in hybrid will also join the line. AMG models are expected to produce around 600 horsepower. The transmission will be a standard issue Mercedes 9-speed and the 4Matic all-wheel drive system should be available on most variants. Fuel economy is rumored to be increased by up to 20% on certain models due to improved aerodynamics and 150 lb weight loss.
     
    A new autonomous drive system called Drive Pilot (Not DriveMatic Mercedes? I need that German consistency! - DD) will be available that will maintain lane position and speeds up to 60 mph without lane markings, and 120 mph with them. The driver will need to touch a sensor on the steering wheel every 2 minutes or so to keep the system active.
     
    Inside, the E-Class will have a posh new interior, again straddling the space and design features of the C-Class and S-Class.
     
    The 2017 E-Class will be officially revealed at 9:35 am eastern time on January 11th 2016.
     
    We'll have more for you as we get closer to the live reveal. You can follow this and all of the 2016 Detroit Auto Show stories on our North American International Auto Show page
     


    William Maley

    Honda Reveals What They'll Be Showing At Detroit

    Honda's showing for the upcoming Detroit Auto Show will be the 2017 Ridgeline pickup and today, the automaker released a teaser shot. Our first thought when we saw the picture was: Yep, that's a truck.
     
    Ok, maybe we are being somewhat snarky here. But it looks likes Honda is going for more of a truck shape than the previous Ridgeline.
     
    "Ridgeline will deliver everything you'd expect in a Honda from incredible packaging and fuel-efficiency to top safety technologies and innovative, segment-first features," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division.
     
    We'll have more details when the Ridgeline debuts on January 11th.
     
    Source: Honda
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    Honda Accelerates Sweeping Light Truck Makeover with New Ridgeline Pickup Set for Global Debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show
     
    Dec 18, 2015 - TORRANCE, Calif
    Honda will challenge conventional thinking in the midsize pickup segment with the return of the Honda Ridgeline truck, set to make its world debut at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday, January 11 at 1:15 p.m. EST. Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the all-new Ridgeline is the fourth new or significantly refreshed light truck model introduced by Honda in the past 18 months and will hit roads nationwide in the first half of next year.
     
    "We developed this new Honda Ridgeline to offer something new and fundamentally better suited to the way many buyers use their truck," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "Ridgeline will deliver everything you'd expect in a Honda from incredible packaging and fuel-efficiency to top safety technologies and innovative, segment-first features. We're honored to once again debut the Ridgeline in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show."
     
    Honda began the complete remake of its light-truck lineup in the fall of 2014 with the freshened 2015 Honda CR-V, America's best selling SUV. Earlier this year, Honda launched the all-new HR-V crossover, gateway to the Honda truck lineup, and the third generation of its popular Pilot three-row SUV. In 2016, Honda will continue the strengthening of its light-truck family of vehicles with the new Ridgeline and a fully redesigned Odyssey minivan.
     
    Calendar year 2015 sales of Honda light trucks are up 11.8 percent to 599,507 vehicles through the end of November and are on track to set a new all-time sales record for the brand, beating the previous best of 602,123 units in 2006.
     
    Like the first generation Ridgeline, which also debuted at NAIAS in 2005, the all-new Ridgeline was designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in its Torrance, California design studio and Raymond, Ohio, research and development center. The Ridgeline and its engine will be producedi by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, Inc., in Lincoln, Alabama.

    William Maley

    A Fresh Look for the Lincoln MKX

    Lincoln has revealed all of the information on the MKX before its official debut at the Detroit Auto Show today.
    Based on the next-generation Ford Edge, the MKX looks like a larger version of the MKC with a similar profile and design cues as the split wing grille and HID headlights with LEDs. Inside, the MKX is much more upscale than the Edge with such items as faux brushed aluminum accents and wood trim. The center stack now features actual buttons for the climate control and audio, along with a screen for the infotainment system. The option list includes such items as 22-way power-adjustable front seats, a 19-speaker Revel sound system, adaptive cruise control, and a lane-keeping assist system.
    As for power, the base engine is the 3.7L V6 with 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Optional as we reported earlier this week is the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 with 330-plus horsepower and 370-plus pound-feet of torque. An six-speed automatic is standard. Power is sent to the front-wheels, while all-wheel drive is an option.
    The Lincoln MKX will go on sale in the U.S. with pricing to be announced around that time. Following the U.S. launch, the MKX will be also sold in China, Canada, the Middle East, Mexico, and South Korea.
    Source: Lincoln

    Press Release is on Page 2
    ALL-NEW LINCOLN MKX DELIVERS PERSONAL LUXURY TO ATTRACT NEW GLOBAL CUSTOMERS
    All-new Lincoln MKX delivers an engaging and personalized drive experience. Available advanced 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost® V6, upgrades to body structure, chassis components help make this the most powerful, best-handling, quietest Lincoln MKX ever
    Dramatic, sculptured form defines all-new Lincoln MKX; redesigned interior combines stunning execution with luxurious materials
    Exclusive Revel® audio system – an automotive first – leads suite of new available features and technologies designed to enhance and personalize the luxury experience

    The all-new Lincoln MKX, debuting today at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, is designed to attract a wide range of customers in the United States and beyond by offering more technology, engine choices and personalization options.
    Lincoln MKX offers the first high-end Revel® audio system in a vehicle, an available advanced 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine and two all-new available Lincoln Black Label limited-edition designer themes.
    “We are focused on delivering engaging and refined luxury vehicles with innovative and thoughtful technologies,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. “The all-new Lincoln MKX reflects that focus.”
    The all-new Lincoln MKX goes on sale first in the United States this fall, followed by other markets including China, Canada, the Middle East, Mexico and South Korea.
    The Lincoln MKX further strengthens Lincoln’s position in the global midsize premium utility segment, which represents 11 percent of the global automotive luxury market and is expected to grow to 12 percent by 2018.* It is the one of the largest luxury segments in the United States, representing about one-quarter of the retail luxury automotive market.
    More power, greater agility
    Leading the engine choices for the new Lincoln MKX is the available advanced 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged Ti-VCT EcoBoost V6. It is projected to deliver more than 330 horsepower and more than 370 lb.-ft. of torque, based on preliminary test data.
    The standard engine is a 3.7-liter V6, projected to deliver 300 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, based on preliminary test data.
    Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with push-button shift and SelectShift®. Front-wheel drive is standard, with Intelligent All-Wheel Drive optional.
    The addition of the integral link rear suspension, upgrades to the body structure and chassis components, make the new model the best-handling, best-riding and quietest Lincoln MKX ever.
    Available Lincoln Drive Control, a suite of ride-enhancing technologies, optimizes performance and offers three distinct modes: Normal, Sport and Comfort.
    The Lincoln MKX has standard electric power-assisted steering and is the first Lincoln to offer adaptive steering.
    “The new 2.7-liter EcoBoost adds a new level of performance to the all-new Lincoln MKX,” said Chief Program Engineer Elaine Bannon. “The focus is on delivering a total personalized luxury experience for our client: performance, quiet ride, power and technologies that make life easier, all in an environment wrapped in rich materials.”
    A host of helpful driver aids and technologies are available, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping system, blind spot information system, cross-traffic alert and a height-adjustable hands-free power liftgate.
    360-degree camera, enhanced park assist
    Several available technologies, starting with the 360-degree camera, a first for Lincoln in the MKX, help make all kinds of low-speed parking situations easier.
    The available front camera deploys from behind the Lincoln Star badging between the two front grilles. The camera system also offers a 180-degree split view, which can be helpful in looking out in cross-traffic situations. The 360-degree view shows up to 7 feet all around the vehicle.
    Lincoln MKX has an ultrasonic sensing system with 12 sensors enabling the full range of available parking-assist features: front rear side sensing, perpendicular and parallel parking assist and park out assist.
    Key driver assist and safety innovations added
    The all-new Lincoln MKX adds pre-collision assist, which may help avoid or lessen the severity some frontal crashes with another vehicle or pedestrian in certain situations and conditions. If the system detects another vehicle or pedestrian, the system will first provide a collision warning and then the system will automatically apply braking if the driver has not taken any corrective action.
    Also new is the Auto Hold feature, which relieves the driver from having to press the brake pedal continuously to keep the vehicle stationary in traffic. Auto Hold releases the brakes when the accelerator pedal is pressed.
    First for Lincoln, to enhance driver visibility, available LED headlamps include a feature that adapts when accelerating from 0 to 35 mph by adding width to the low-beam pattern through the use of additional LED reflector elements.
    Elegance in motion
    The exterior design is dramatic, with a modern, contemporary silhouette and well-balanced proportions. Available adaptable full-LED front headlamps are subtly executed as blades, rather than projectors, aligned with the horizontal orientation of the split-wing grille.
    The interior design language creates an open yet cocoon-like environment that is as quiet as it is beautiful. The push-button gear shift creates a dramatic open suspension bridge that flows from the instrument panel to the center console, providing two tiers of open space.
    Elevated personalized luxury experiences
    New available 22-way adjustable front seats with active motion help reduce muscle fatigue in the upper legs and lower back through six adjustable air bladders in the cushion and five adjustable air bladders in the lower seat back.
    Further adjustments can be made through the four-way power head restraint and the power thigh extender. The thigh bolster deflates to make exit easier and reinflates after entry to the previous setting.
    Always-on, built-in connectivity is provided through an available embedded modem. Via a smartphone app that communicates with the vehicle, the available MyLincoln Mobile™ app gives owners the ability to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle, as well as schedule a remote start.**
    Exclusive Revel sound system
    Uncompromising acoustics and award-winning home theater audio quality comes to the Lincoln MKX through the available Revel audio system.
    The Revel Ultima system is standard on Lincoln Black Label editions and available on Reserve models. It features 19 speakers with point source architecture, positioning the tweeter and midrange speakers close together for superior audio quality.
    Further performance and refinement is provided by QuantumLogic® Surround Sound technology, which offers three listening modes – stereo, audience and on stage; patented Clari-Fi™ technology offering advanced, real-time music reconstruction for all compressed audio sources; and a 20-channel high-voltage hybrid amplifier for class-leading dynamics and optimized transparency.
    A 13-speaker Revel system designed for the ultimate audio quality experience is available on the all-new Lincoln MKX Select and Reserve.
    Two new Black Label themes
    Lincoln Black Label will be available at launch with four designer themes – two of which are all-new. One is inspired by the fashion, lifestyle and art scene of 1920s Paris, while the excitement, passion and pageantry of high-stakes thoroughbred horse racing create the vision for the second new theme.
    Modern Heritage and Indulgence also will be available on the new Lincoln MKX.
    Upgraded Lincoln Experiences
    When the driver with key fob is within approximately 9 feet, the lower LED daytime running lights gently brighten, while “welcome mat” is projected on the ground from the folded mirrors. Door handles are illuminated, too, tuned to the exterior color.
    Interior sequential lighting begins at the footwell, then illuminates the cupholders, pass-through, instrument panel, front door handles, front map pockets and rear doors. The lighting goes off in reverse order.

    William Maley
    Now to the big story of the Detroit Auto Show, the return of the Ford GT.
    The new GT is a mixture of the original GT40 and the 05-06 GT, while adding its own unique flavor to the mix. The front gets large air vents, a carbon-fiber front splitter, a massive air vent, and LED headlights. Around back are massive air ducts, two massive exhaust tips, an active spoiler, and the round taillights. The GT's interior is minimal in its layout with a flat-bottom steering wheel, a fully digital and customizable gauge cluster, and the new Sync 3 infotainment system. You can't move the seats due to seats being a key part of the carbon-fiber passenger, but Ford has made sure that the steering wheel and pedals are adjustable.
    Now onto the powertrain; a twin-turbo 3.5L EcoBoost V6 producing over 600 horsepower with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission getting that power to the rear wheels. A set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires hide a set of massive brakes to bring the car to a stop.
    The Ford GT will be going on sale late next year as a 2017 model year vehicle.We'll likely learn final performance specs by then.
    Source: Ford
    Picture Credit - Drew Dowdell and Ford

    Press Release is on Page 2
    FORD REDEFINES INNOVATION IN AERODYNAMICS, ECOBOOST AND LIGHT-WEIGHTING WITH ALL-NEW FORD GT CARBON FIBER SUPERCAR
    All-new Ford GT supercar sets new standards for Ford innovation through performance with advances in light-weighting, aerodynamics and ultra-efficient EcoBoost® engine
    Ford GT features the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever – a new twin-turbocharged Ford EcoBoost V6 producing more than 600 horsepower
    Ultra-high-performance supercar is Ford’s most extreme offering, infused with race-proven technology engineered to keep company with exotics when it goes into production in 2016

    Ford today unveiled the all-new GT, an ultra-high-performance supercar that serves as a technology showcase for top EcoBoost® performance, aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fiber construction.
    The GT is one of more than 12 new Ford Performance vehicles coming by 2020. It joins Focus RS, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R in the growing Ford Performance lineup.
    Beginning production late next year, the GT hits the road in select global markets to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.
    “As we at Ford drive innovation into every part of our business, it’s worth remembering that our first innovation as a company was not in a laboratory, but on the racetrack,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and chief executive officer, referring to Henry Ford’s win of a 1901 car race that inspired financial backers to invest in his company. “We are passionate about innovation through performance and creating vehicles that make people’s hearts pound.”
    The all-new GT supercar features rear-wheel drive, a mid-mounted engine, and a sleek, aerodynamic, two-door coupe body shell. It is propelled by the most powerful EcoBoost production engine ever – a next-generation twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 producing more than 600 horsepower.
    The GT makes extensive use of lightweight materials, including carbon fiber and aluminum – enabling outstanding acceleration and handling with improved efficiency.
    Ford’s commitment to and capability in delivering technologies typically offered only in elite vehicles is evident in the GT. These include advanced active aerodynamics, such as a deployable rear spoiler, and a host of material and technology innovations to help better serve the driver, such as SYNC® 3 – the latest version of Ford’s advanced connectivity system.
    “The GT is the ultimate execution of an enthusiast supercar,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “GT includes innovations and technologies that can be applied broadly across Ford’s future product portfolio – another proof point that Ford continues raising the performance bar while ultimately improving vehicles for all of our customers.”
    Carbon fiber innovation
    Few innovations provide a more wide-ranging performance and efficiency advantage than reducing weight. All factors of a vehicle’s capabilities – acceleration, handling, braking, safety, efficiency – can improve through the use of advanced, lighter materials.
    The all-new GT features advanced lightweight composites, which will help serve Ford’s entire product lineup moving forward. With the broad application of structural carbon fiber elements, the GT will exhibit one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car.
    Anchored by a carbon fiber passenger cell, the GT features aluminum front and rear subframes encapsulated in structural carbon fiber body panels. Carbon fiber is one of the world’s strongest materials for its mass – enabling an ultra-stiff foundation for chassis components, while creating a lighter overall package for increased dynamic performance and efficiency.
    Most powerful production EcoBoost ever
    Ford EcoBoost technology is available in every new Ford car, utility and light-duty pickup in North America beginning this year.
    EcoBoost engines power a growing number of Ford performance models, including the new Mustang, just-announced F-150 Raptor, as well as Fiesta ST and Focus ST.
    Based on the same race-proven engine architecture serving Ford’s IMSA Daytona Prototype endurance racing efforts, the next-generation twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 in the GT features a wide powerband with impressive time-to-torque characteristics.
    The engine demonstrates remarkable efficiency – a key attribute of its endurance racing-derived powertrain, where exceptional performance combined with efficiency is a critical competitive advantage.
    Ford’s twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 raced to three wins in its first season of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014, including a win in the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring, along with seven podiums over more than 15,000 endurance racing miles.
    The GT features an all-new, port/direct dual fuel-injection setup to improve engine response, plus a low-friction roller-finger-follower valvetrain. The twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 will be paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle for near-instantaneous gear changes and exceptional driver control.
    Aero innovation gets active
    Aerodynamic efficiency is at the heart of the GT design, actively reducing drag while aiding downforce and stability.
    From its optimum tear-drop shape to its aircraft-inspired fuselage and visibility-enhancing curved windshield, every slope and shape is designed to minimize drag and optimize downforce.
    Although each surface on the GT is functionally crafted to manage airflow, it also features fully active aerodynamic components to improve braking, handling and stability.
    An active rear spoiler is keyed to both speed and driver input, reactively deploying and adjusting its height and/or pitch angle depending on conditions.
    Designed for purpose
    While it shares a legacy with classic Ford racing and performance cars, GT is a fully contemporary and functional shape that communicates modernity and pure beauty.
    The state-of-the-art chassis is suspended by an active racing-style torsion bar and pushrod suspension, with adjustable ride height. The 20-inch wheels are shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires featuring a unique compound and structure designed specifically for the Ford GT. Multi-spoke wheels encircle carbon-ceramic brake discs at all four corners.
    The narrow-profile canopy reduces frontal area and caps a purposeful interior that provides state-of-the-art technology to ensure control, comfort and safety. The two-seat cockpit is accessed by upward-swinging doors, and features driver and passenger seats integrated directly into the carbon fiber passenger cell.
    This configuration significantly reduces seating hardware and weight, and provides a consistent and direct sensory connection to the chassis. The fixed seating is combined with adjustable pedals and steering column to accommodate a very wide range of driver statures.
    An F1-style steering wheel integrates all necessary driver controls, creating a stalkless steering column that allows uncluttered access to the transmission paddle-shift controls. A fully digital and configurable instrument cluster provides a wealth of driver-focused data. The display is configurable for multiple driving environments and different driving modes.
    “While we hope enthusiasts rejoice about this all-new GT, all Ford customers will benefit from the ultimate performance Ford and its new-generation innovations,” said Nair.

    William Maley

    The Volvo S60, Now In Relaxed Form

    Last June, we reported on Volvo's intention to bring over a long-wheelbase version of the S60. This marked an important milestone for the brand as this would be their first vehicle that would exported from China. Detroit saw the Swedish automaker introduce the long-wheelbase S60, but under a new trim. Meet the 2016 Volvo S60 Inscription.
    Compared to the standard S60, the Inscription gets an additional 3.4 inches between the B and C-pillars (182.5 for the standard S60 vs. 185.9 for the S60 Inscription). This is to improve rear-legroom which in the standard S60 is quite tight. The Inscription also gets nicer wood trim, larger sunroof, and unique 19-inch wheels that are exclusive to this model.
    Power will come from the T5 engine, though Volvo doesn't say which one. It could be either the older turbocharged five-cylinder or the new turbocharged four-cylinder Drive-E engine. Front-wheel drive will be standard, while all-wheel drive is on the option list. Knowing this, we're guessing the front-wheel drive model gets the Drive-E engine, while the all-wheel drive model sticks with the older T5.
    As a part of our revitalisation of the Volvo Brand in the United States we have undertaken extensive research reaffirming what our customers want and have come to expect from Volvo Cars. It goes without saying that the traditional strength of Volvo Cars product offering are still highly sought after – specifically leading-edge safety, low-impact, high-performance powertrains and standard connectivity across all models. What we have added to the S60 Inscription is a luxurious edge using the most natural materials, attention to detail and our iconic Scandinavian design language,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Car Group.
    Volvo says they plan on selling 2,000 S60 Inscriptions per year, with sales kicking off this summer. No word on pricing, but its safe to guess that it will be above the highest-end S60 which costs $47,875 with destination.
    Source: Volvo

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Volvo Cars’ S60 Inscription: tailored to the U.S.
    New Volvo S60 Inscription comes with extra spacious interior and high-end luxury design
    Focus on elegance and comfort
    Launches at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show

    Volvo Cars is stepping up to the plate yet again when it comes to delivering a luxury car experience with the launch of the S60 Inscription. Tailored to meet the discerning requirements of U.S. consumers, the S60 Inscription takes the S60 to a new level of comfort and rear passenger convenience, offering consumers 3.4 inches additional rear seat legroom, resulting in best-in-class rear accommodation.
    “As a part of our revitalisation of the Volvo Brand in the United States we have undertaken extensive research reaffirming what our customers want and have come to expect from Volvo Cars. It goes without saying that the traditional strength of Volvo Cars product offering are still highly sought after – specifically leading-edge safety, low-impact, high-performance powertrains and standard connectivity across all models. What we have added to the S60 Inscription is a luxurious edge using the most natural materials, attention to detail and our iconic Scandinavian design language,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Car Group.
    The choice of materials used in the S60 Inscription succinctly reflects the authentic Scandinavian origins of the Volvo Brand. Linear Walnut trim, silk metal detailing, spacious rear seating and a unique 19” wheels, combine to create a relaxing environment that exudes comfort. Additional enhancements include interior accent lighting and Inscription branded tread plates
    The 2016 model year S60 Inscription will come in two variants: Premier and Platinum. Premier will comprise leather upholstery, a sun/moon roof and the Sensus Navigation package. The S60 Inscription will be available with the T5 in both front-wheel drive and All-Wheel Drive.
    Platinum customers receive the above, plus the full Sensus technology package, a high-end Harman Kardon audio system, dual Xenon lights and a thoughtful convenience package, which puts the joy back into every day driving.
    “With the addition of a great sound system by Harman Kardon and full connectivity, Volvo is delivering a truly competitive offer in the mid-sized sedan segment,” added Lex Kerssemakers.
    The S60 Inscription will go on sale in the U.S. this summer.

    William Maley

    The Acura NSX is real! No really

    After three years and about 17 different concept variations (at least that what it feels like), Acura has finally revealed the 2016 NSX.
    The NSX is slightly larger than the original concept shown - about 3 inches longer and 0.6 inches higher, but retains the shape with sharp lines, a mean front snout, and sharp looking wheels. The body is comprised by a number of materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber, Inside is a minimalistic approach with a small number of controls for the infotainment and climate control.
    Power comes from a hybrid layout which is made up of a new twin-turbo V6 and three electric motors. Power output is estimated to be 550-plus. A new nine-speed dual-clutch automatic and SH-AWD system gets the power to the road. There's also a Integrated Dynamic System which adjusts the behavior of the engine, transmission, and drivetrain to produce an almost quiet car to one which will get your heart pumping.
    "Our commitment was to create an all-new NSX that is true to the heritage of NSX—a supercar that delivers a new driving experience, one where every part of the vehicle is respectful of the smartest part of the car, the driver. The soul of a car is the emotional connection it makes with the driver. With the NSX, that connection will be intense and immediate," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of the Acura division.
    Acura says ordering for the NSX will open up this summer, with deliveries late in the year. We'll likely have pricing around that time as well.
    Source: Acura

    Pic Credit - Michael Haldavnekar
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Jan 12, 2015 - DETROIT: Twenty-five years after the debut of the original, paradigm-shifting NSX supercar, Acura revealed the production version of its highly anticipated successor—the next-generation Acura NSX, developed and produced in the U.S.—to the world's auto media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show today. The production model, in a scintillating NSX Red finish, took the stage with a growl from its twin-turbocharged engine.
    The next generation NSX showcases the production styling, design and specifications of Acura's mid-engine sports hybrid supercar, and Acura announced key details of the all-new vehicle's design and performance. The company will begin accepting custom orders for the new NSX starting in the summer, with customer deliveries expected later in the year.
    Specifically created to bring a "new sports experience" to the supercar segment, the NSX challenges conventional beliefs about supercars — much as the first generation did a quarter century ago. The approach is realized through an all-new power unit—a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system—integrated with an ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with world's-first material applications and manufacturing processes. Developed under the concept of a "human-centered supercar,” a car that puts the driver first in every aspect of its design, the next-generation NSX will leverage its state-of-the-art hybrid supercar power unit, body and chassis to deliver exceptionally intuitive and immediate response to driver inputs.
    "Our commitment was to create an all-new NSX that is true to the heritage of NSX—a supercar that delivers a new driving experience, one where every part of the vehicle is respectful of the smartest part of the car, the driver," said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of the Acura division. "The soul of a car is the emotional connection it makes with the driver. With the NSX, that connection will be intense and immediate."
    As the pinnacle representation of Acura performance and prestige, the NSX was introduced at the auto show under the theme of "Precision Crafted Performance." The theme was the original tagline for the Acura brand, a guiding force behind the development of the original NSX and a critical component of its launch.
    The development of next-generation NSX, driven by precision crafted performance, has resulted in a clean-sheet design, which involved nearly three years of intensive development effort by a global design and engineering team led by engineers at the company's development center in Raymond, Ohio.
    "The NSX reflects Acura's American roots and makes a powerful statement about the strong role being played by our North American operations in envisioning and building the future of Acura," said Erik Berkman, executive vice president of the Acura Business Planning Office.
    "Our global team embraced the challenge to create a new sports car experience, leveraging new technology to deliver incredibly vivid performance in a vehicle that responds intuitively and immediately to the will of the driver," said Ted Klaus, chief engineer and global development leader of the new NSX. "The NSX delivers pinnacle supercar performance, with zero-delay acceleration and exhilarating, confidence-inspiring driving dynamics."
    Interwoven Dynamic Exterior Design
    "The new NSX is a product of what we term 'Interwoven Dynamic' design," said Michelle Christensen, NSX exterior design project leader. "It represents the ideal blending of exotic sports car form and supercar function."
    The NSX body features classic low and wide proportions married to modern and alluring surfacing, an aggressive front design, and tail lights that pays homage to the original NSX. The signature side intake and floating C-pillar collects air to feed the mid-mounted engine and directs airflow over the rear deck to increase downforce. To accommodate the new longitudinally mounted twin-turbo V6 and 9-speed DCT, the production vehicle was lengthened (+3 inches) and widened (+1 inch) with a slightly more cab-forward package, compared with the proportions of the NSX Concept shown in 2012.
    Every element of the exterior body design has been carefully fashioned for total airflow management for both stability-enhancing downforce and vehicle systems cooling. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at the company's state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Raymond, Ohio, leading to a number of significant changes from concept to final body design, including modified hood vents, new front fender vents, modified side air intakes, and an optimized deck spoiler.
    Human Support Cockpit
    "Consistent with the 'human-centered supercar' development concept, the NSX was designed from the inside out with an uncompromising focus on the driver," said Johnathan Norman, NSX interior design project leader. "Like the original NSX, we created a 'Human Support Cockpit' that provides exceptional driver control, visibility and packaging, but further advanced to meet the extreme performance expectations of a modern supercar."
    The NSX interior boasts exceptional forward visibility, simple and intuitive controls, and class-leading ergonomics—most notably the seat, which features top-class holding performance with outstanding comfort and easy ingress/egress.
    The NSX's instrument cluster features a dynamic TFT display that responds to changes in the driver-selectable Integrated Dynamics System with pertinent graphics and information. The center console holds the Power button that readies the sport hybrid powertrain, nested in the center of the new Integrated Dynamics System dial control. Interwoven under the handcrafted leather dash panel is the exposed midframe—a functioning chassis structural member that reflects the design aesthetic of a naked sport bike. An ultra-thin, yet super strong A-pillar design and low-mounted instrument panel minimize obstructions to the driver's view of the road.
    Sport Hybrid Power Unit
    In keeping with the foundational philosophy of the original NSX, the next-generation NSX is designed to provide a new sports car experience that maximizes the capabilities of the driver, delivering exceptionally intuitive and confidence-inspiring response "at the will of the driver."
    Acura engineers leveraged the company's expertise both with high-performance engine and hybrid electric-drive technologies, as well as its two decades of experience with industry-leading dynamic torque-vectoring technologies, including Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), to create the most sophisticated, technologically advanced and intelligent powertrain in the supercar universe.
    At the heart of the NSX's performance capabilities is an all-new mid-mounted, 75-degree, DOHC V6 engine with twin turbochargers mated to an Acura-developed 9-speed DCT. The V6 engine employs a race-inspired compact valve train and dry sump lubrication system to help lower the center of gravity. The all-new 9-speed DCT delivers synapse-quick gear changes and rev-matching downshifts. The rear direct-drive electric motor, housed between the engine and transmission, supports acceleration, braking and transmission shifting performance. The NSX's front wheels are driven by twin independent high-output electric motors which deliver instantaneous torque response and dynamic left-to-right torque distribution.
    The NSX uses its front electric motors for dynamic torque vectoring in addition to enhancing acceleration and braking performance. The result is an instantaneous "zero delay" launch performance and handling response that seems to anticipate the driver's desire. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at some of the world's most challenging race circuits, including the famed Nurburgring.
    Advanced Multi-Material Body
    Also in keeping with the legacy of NSX—the world’s first all-aluminum supercar—the new NSX features an innovative new multi-material body design with world's-first material applications and construction processes.
    The NSX body utilizes a space frame design—an internal frame constructed of aluminum, ultra-high strength steel and other advanced materials. Anchored by a carbon fiber floor, torsional and bending forces are taken up entirely by this ultra-rigid structure which also utilizes advanced joining technologies.
    The NSX features world's-first casting technology that combines the design and manufacturing flexibility of a casting process with the strength and elongation properties of a forged material, enabling significant weight reduction. The body panels are composed of a combination of aluminum and sheet molding composite (SMC).
    Advanced Sport Package
    The NSX features an "Advanced Sports Package" with placement of key powertrain components –the mid-mounted engine, twin front motors and Sport Hybrid battery pack and power control unit – optimized to concentrate vehicle mass low and toward the center of the vehicle, to further enhance dynamic response. The combination of this packaging concept and the lightweight body give the NSX the lowest center of gravity in its class.
    The NSX utilizes a fully independent, all-aluminum front and rear suspension and puts its considerable power down through ContiSportContact™ high-performance tires—245/35Z R19 front and 295/30Z R20 rear—mounted on 19x8.5 inch front and 20x11 inch rear aluminum alloy wheels. Powerful, natural and confident braking performance is provided by 6-piston front and 4-piston rear monoblock calipers squeezing ultra-high performance carbon-ceramic brake discs.
    Handling is greatly enhanced by Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD), enabling lightning-quick response to all driver inputs—steering, braking and throttle—along with the stability, control and launch performance of all-wheel drive. Agile Handling Assist (AHA) uses the subtle application of brake torque to further enhance yaw response and dynamic stability.
    The NSX's dial-operated Integrated Dynamic System features Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. The system adjusts engine, motor, transmission and chassis response, as well as the engine sound level, based on the needs of the driver and driving environment. Quiet mode enables electric-only driving at lower speeds for short durations. Dynamic vehicle responses become increasingly sharp as the driver moves from Sport to Sport+ mode and, finally, to Track mode, where the NSX reveals the full spectrum of its performance capabilities.
    The NSX also features a "launch" function to achieve the ultimate in "zero delay" launch performance, aided by both the engine and three electric motors.
    New Production Facility
    The NSX will be manufactured exclusively at the Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio, where approximately 100 highly-skilled associates will conduct full body construction, paint, and final assembly using domestic and globally-sourced parts.
    The PMC and its processes have been developed to perfectly blend associate craftsmanship and technology in a new approach to manufacturing. By in-housing the body construction, Acura maintains complete control over total body quality, including critical strength, suspension accuracy, and fit and finish—from initial construction all the way to final assembly.
    Associates will utilize innovative techniques to deliver next-generation craftsmanship and world-class quality in the realm of specialized, supercar vehicle production.

    Drew Dowdell

    Toyota updates their best selling Tacoma small pickup to better compete with fresh competition from General Motors and a soon to be refreshed Nissan Frontier.

    Toyota released all the details today on the coming 2016 Toyota Tacoma. We showed you some preview pictures of the 2016 Tacoma a few days ago, and we get the specs.
    Toyota's rebuilt Tacoma appears to be more of a strong refresh rather than the "all-new" that Toyota claims. The frame has been reinforced with high strength steel, body panels are now formed with a hot stamping method that increases strength while decreasing weight, and the suspension has been re-tuned for better on-road comfort while increasing off-road abilities.
    The 2.7 liter 4-cylinder carries over, but there is a new 3.5 liter, Atkinson cycle V6 that has both direct-injection and port injection. Both engines send power through a new 6-speed automatic. Those who prefer to row their own, will be happy to hear that the V6 will be available in a 6-speed manual. Naturally both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel-drive will be available.
    For off-roaders, there is an available automatic Limited-Slip and locking rear differential, hill start assist, active traction control, and craw control.
    The 2016 Tacoma will go into production in the middle of 2015.

    Press Release on Page 2
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    DOMINATE DIRT…OR ROCKS…OR PAVEMENT IN THE
    ALL-NEW 2016 TOYOTA TACOMA
     Toyota Tacoma Rebuilt Inside and Out
     New Engine, Transmissions and Suspension Tuning
     Legendary TRD Off-road Toughness
     Best-selling Mid-Size Pickup for 10 Straight Years
     Designed, Engineered and Assembled in North America
    DETROIT, January 12, 2015 - - Whatever the terrain, Tacoma is king of the hill. Rebuilt
    inside and out with an all-new powertrain and enhanced suspension tuning, America’s bestselling
    mid-size pickup for ten years running is Lord of the Rigs for dirt stomping adventurers.
    With a legacy of off-road victories and over seven million units sold since 1964, Toyota
    revitalizes the midsize truck segment with the introduction of the all-new 2016 Tacoma.
    “For the past 50 years adventure-seeking Americans have relied on Toyota trucks to
    take them places, on and off-road,” said Bill Fay, group vice president & general manager,
    Toyota Division. “The all-new homegrown Tacoma is a tough truck designed, developed and
    built for lifestyles of the young and young-at-heart.”
    Built from the Ground Up
    The new 2016 Tacoma was primarily developed by the Toyota engineering team at
    Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Starting with the frame, they added high strength
    steel to enhance rigidity and overall strength. Ultra-high strength steel was integrated into the
    body shell using a new hot stamping process that reduces weight.
    To create a truck to meet the needs of active drivers on a variety of tamed and untamed
    surfaces, the suspension was fine-tuned to help deliver a smoother on-road ride, while making it
    even more capable off-road.
    Get Your Motor Running
    The new Tacoma will be powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and an all-new,
    segment-first 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle V6 equipped with Toyota’s D-4S technology, featuring both
    direct and port fuel injection.
    -more2016
    TOYOTA TACOMA 2/2/2/2
    Both engines will be paired to a new six-speed automatic transmission with electronic
    shift delivering quick and easy shifting. The V6 can also be mated to a new six-speed manual
    transmission. The new powertrain makes the Tacoma more powerful and fuel efficient than
    ever before.
    Doing It With Style Inside and Out
    Serious, yet fun! This is the Toyota truck design DNA. The Tacoma and Tundra are
    amazingly capable trucks that are designed to reflect their capability. The Tacoma shares big
    brother Tundra’s more chiseled face, with a hex grille. From there, Tacoma expresses its own
    identity.
    Inspired by desert racing, CALTY designers in Newport Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor,
    Mich. made the new Tacoma all about recreational action and athletic agility. To achieve this,
    the new Tacoma’s wheel flares are strong and muscular for greater wheel travel and the high-lift
    image reflects its purposeful capability. Four new wheel designs range from 16 to 18 inches.
    The front end portrays an aggressive attitude with its bold upper grille and a taller, more
    muscular hood. Mounted high above the clamp-shaped bumper sits slim, high technology
    headlights that feature projection beam lamps with available LED Daytime Running Lights.
    From behind, the new locking tailgate emphasizes Tacoma’s wide stance and tough
    image. The tailgate features an integrated spoiler for improved aerodynamics and a stamped
    Tacoma logo. The tailgate also adds an easy lowering feature, which allows it to slowly retract,
    preventing it from slamming down. For the first time ever, Tacoma is available with a tri-fold
    hard tonneau cover for securing gear when you’re away from the truck.
    Tacoma’s tough exterior is complemented by an interior that conveys a sport truck
    image reflecting an athletic, go anywhere, off-road feel. Once inside, drivers will notice a
    “handlebar” design theme in the instrument panel for a more driver-focused experience. Softwrapped
    trim and metallic accents set the stage for a high-quality look and feel that is a starting
    point for an array of available premium features, including:
    - Qi wireless charging
    - Smart key with push-button start
    - Leather-trimmed seats
    - Power moonroof
    - Dual-zone automatic climate control
    - Enhanced touchscreen audio
    - Blind-spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    - And much more
    -more2016
    TOYOTA TACOMA 3/3/3/3
    In addition to offering more premium features, Toyota engineers also made the new
    Tacoma quieter than ever. To accomplish this, all seals were enhanced and a multi-layer
    acoustic windshield and sound-absorbing headliner were added. Finally, a floor silencer pad
    further reduces road noise.
    Making the Grades
    The new Tacoma will be available in five grades in both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations.
    Each grade will have its own personality and unique look. Tacoma grades include:
    - Work-ready SR
    - Iconic SR5
    - Athletic TRD Sport
    - Tough-as-nails TRD Off-Road
    - Top of the line Limited
    The two TRD grades are inspired by Toyota Racing Development’s more than 35-year
    history in desert off-road racing and a heritage of vehicles that have helped off-road enthusiasts
    conquer the toughest terrains in the most remote locations around the globe. Tacoma buyers
    will now have the opportunity to capture their global adventures on video as every Tacoma will
    come standard with a GoPro® mount located near the rear-view mirror.
    Traveling Off the Beaten Path
    Tacoma off-roading adventures will reach new levels of fun in the TRD Off-Road grade
    thanks to the addition of incredible technology. A Multi-Terrain Select system allows the driver
    to choose between different types of terrain such as loose rock, or mud and sand. Each input
    regulates wheel spin by adjusting throttle and brake pressure to provide maximum traction on
    almost any terrain.
    Additional off-road technology includes Automatic Limited Slip and Locking Rear
    Differential, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Clutch Start Cancel (manual transmission only),
    Active Traction Control, and Crawl Control. Engaging Crawl Control allows the driver to select a
    speed of 1-5 mph. The Crawl Control system takes over the acceleration and braking, allowing
    the driver to focus solely on steering.
    All Tacoma’s will continue to come standard with the Star Safety System.
    -more2016
    TOYOTA TACOMA 4/4/4/4
    A North American Story
    Tacoma is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio
    and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Baja California (TMMBC) in Baja California, Mexico. Both
    facilities play a major role in carrying on Tacoma’s legendary reputation for quality, durability
    and reliability (QDR), which has been instrumental in establishing its segment-leading owner
    loyalty rating. It’s QDR has also helped establish Tacoma as the highest rated vehicle in its
    class for resale value according to Kelley Blue Book. The all-new Tacoma builds on this
    tradition with improvement in every aspect over the current Tacoma including, design,
    ruggedness, and performance improvements in horsepower and fuel efficiency.
    50 Years and Counting
    Backed by 50 years of unwavering capability, an unbreakable attitude, and an off-road
    racing heritage, the all-new Tacoma is hungry for adventure and ready to tackle almost any
    challenge that it encounters. It is the ultimate tool for the outdoorsman that likes to get out there
    and go places.

    Drew Dowdell

    Nissan hopes to jump back into the fray with the 2016 Nissan Titan XD.

    At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Nissan revealed the 2016 Nissan Titan XD. Nissan has been trailing in the full-size pickup truck segment for a number of years and hope to change that with the new Titan.
    Easily the biggest news on the Titan is the new 5.0 liter turbo-charged V8 Diesel. This makes the Titan the only truck in the half-ton market with a diesel V8. The new 5.0 diesel is supplied by Cummins and produces 310 horsepower and a stump ripping 555 lb-ft. This gives the Titan towing and hauling abilities closer to those in a heavy duty pickup but in the size and price class of the light duty pickups. When appropriately equipped, the Titan can tow up to 12,000 lbs. For those with a gooseneck trailer, the Titan comes with an available integrated gooseneck hitch integrated into the frame.
    Displayed at the show is the Titan XD Crewcab. Closer to launch there will be two more cab configuration and one more frame size.
    More details will be made available from Nissan in future.
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    Press Release is on Page 2
    2016 NISSAN TITAN XD MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT NORTH
    AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
    • Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn unveils 2016 TITAN XD, marking Nissan’s
    aggressive return to the full-size pickup battlefield
    • All-new TITAN XD design, anchored by powerful Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel,
    carves out “new class” of full-size truck between current heavy-duty and light-duty
    offerings
    • Bold TITAN XD exterior and interior designs follow “powerful precision tool” theme –
    topped with new Warrior-inspired TITAN badging
    • Created for American buyers – with core planning, design and engineering
    conducted in Tennessee, California, Michigan and Arizona – new Nissan TITAN will
    be assembled in Mississippi, with engines from Tennessee and Indiana
    DETROIT (Jan. 12, 2015) – Nissan today debuted the all-new Nissan TITAN full-size
    pickup to a standing room-only crowd of international media at the 2015 North American
    International Auto Show. Presiding over the dramatic reveal was Nissan President and
    Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn, who stated, “With the 2016 Nissan TITAN XD, we
    weren’t just going for ‘best-in-class.’ Instead, we are offering the ‘Best New Class.’”
    The new TITAN XD, the first of the new generation of Nissan TITAN models, creates a new
    segment of the American market. It offers the effortless towing and hauling of the larger,
    more expensive heavy-duty trucks – yet has the fuel-efficiency and affordability of half-ton
    pickups. It is projected to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in late 2015.
    Powered by a new Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel rated at 310 horsepower and hefty 555
    lb-ft of torque, the 2016 TITAN XD will offer an available maximum towing capacity of
    more than 12,000 pounds (when properly equipped), along with available cutting-edge
    towing features such as an integrated gooseneck hitch engineered into the frame.
    Additional available TITAN XD utility features and convenience aids include RearView
    Monitor with Trailer Guides, Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection
    (MOD) and a Trailer Light Check system that allows one-person hook-up operation –
    including checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights from outside the
    vehicle. Also available are Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and a Front and Rear Sonar System.
    The wide range of available interior features includes front and rear NASA-inspired Zero
    Gravity seats and a large center console designed to serve as a mobile workstation.
    “The new TITAN will deliver toughness, capability and quality,” added Ghosn. “In addition
    to a range of cab configurations, the TITAN lineup will ultimately encompass multiple
    powertrain choices. These include an all-new workhorse gasoline V8, as well as our first V6
    offering in this class.” 2
    More details on the full Nissan TITAN lineup will be announced at a later date.
    The all-new TITAN, like the first-generation Titan, was developed with core Nissan
    planning, design, engineering and manufacturing teams contributing from Tennessee,
    California, Michigan, Arizona and Mississippi.
    The all-new TITAN also underscores Nissan’s commitment to localized production. Nissan
    has invested more than $5 billion in the United States in the past five years and has moved
    manufacturing for several models from overseas to its North American plants.
    “Our growing U.S. presence is bolstering our performance and helped to make 2014 a year
    of significant growth for Nissan in the U.S.,” said Ghosn. “Our operations, our network of
    partners, and – most importantly – our products are stronger than ever. Nissan is targeting
    10 percent market share in the U.S. And the all-new TITAN is a key part of our growth
    strategy.”
    The new TITAN XD Crew Cab is the first of three cab configurations, two frame sizes, three
    powertrain offerings and five grade levels to be available later in the Nissan TITAN lineup.
    More information on the full lineup will be available at a later date.

    William Maley

    The Bolt Is Alive.. ALIVE I TELL YOU

    Only a couple of days after first reporting about Chevrolet showing off the Bolt concept at the Detroit Auto Show, the automaker has revealed it for all to see.
    The Bolt is GM's attempt at building an electric car with a 200 Mile range for the price of around $30,000. Styling is a mixture of Spark and the BMW i3 with a large area of glass, and a high beltline. The Bolt's body features barely any front or rear overhang which in turn helps out in interior space. Materials such as aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber help keep weight down and improve range. Inside is very spacious with a light color theme which only adds to that feeling. The dashboard has a flowing look and comes with a 10-inch capacitive touchscreen.
    Unfortunately, GM hasn't released details about the Bolt's electric powertrain or how long it takes for to charge on either 120V or 240V.
    “The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity. Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
    Source: Chevrolet

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    Press Release is on Page 2


    Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept Signals Brand’s EV Strategy
    Affordable, long-range concept builds on brand’s electrification leadership

    DETROIT – Chevrolet today made a significant statement on its commitment to electrification with the introduction of the Bolt EV concept – a vision for an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle designed to offer more than 200 miles of range starting around $30,000.
    “The Bolt EV concept is a game-changing electric vehicle designed for attainability, not exclusivity,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra. “Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers.”
    Leveraging the electrification prowess established by Volt and Spark EV, the Bolt EV concept is designed to offer long-range performance in all 50 states and many global markets.
    Drivers will be able to select operating modes designed around preferred driving styles such as daily commuting and spirited weekend cruising, for uncompromising electric driving. The modes adjust accelerator pedal mapping, vehicle ride height and suspension tuning. The Bolt EV concept is also designed to support DC fast charging.
    “We have made tremendous strides in technologies that make it easier and more affordable for Chevrolet customers to integrate an all-electric vehicle in their daily lives,” said Barra. “The Bolt EV concept demonstrates General Motors’ commitment to electrification and the capabilities of our advanced EV technology.”
    The Bolt EV concept also pushes the envelope for crossover aesthetics. Its unique proportion, with practically no front or rear overhang, makes the most of interior space and was designed to create a roomy environment for four that feels expansive. Lightweight materials, including aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and even woven mesh, complement the design, while driving down the curb weight to help maximize range. Aero-optimizing features such as vented rear fenders also help contribute to range.
    “Form and function have never meshed so well together,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. “No compromises were made when it came to aesthetics and the elements that contribute to the Bolt EV concept’s range, resulting in a unique proportion that’s sleek, efficient and obviously a Chevrolet.”
    The Bolt EV concept’s airy interior ambience is enhanced with bold use of glass all around – as well as a full-length, frosted glass roof with unique, faceted design elements. A high beltline sweeps upward with the D-pillar, culminating in an integrated roof spoiler, for a lean, athletic stance. An advanced nano-composite rear hatch and wraparound rear window give the Bolt EV concept a distinctive appearance and flood the interior with more natural light.
    High-intensity, efficient light-emitting diode (LED) headlamp and taillamp elements are housed behind jewel-like faceted lenses in which translucent elements illuminate evenly to create the signature lighting effect.
    Airy, intuitive interior
    Inside, the Bolt EV concept has a large feel reinforced by generous headroom and legroom dimensions. A flat, flow-through floor adds to the roominess, while a contemporary, light color scheme adds to the feeling of an open, airy cabin and conveys warmth.
    The cabin’s airy, high-tech environment is reinforced with lightweight, slim-architecture seats mounted on exposed aluminum pedestals that create a floating effect. The minimalist center console “floats,” too, suspended from the front seats.
    “The Bolt EV concept’s interior is intended as a sanctuary, with materials and technologies that reinforce the airy ambience and help contribute to the vehicle’s overall efficiency,” said Welburn. “It also incorporates technology in a subtler and simpler manner, for a more soothing driving experience – particularly in busy, urban environments.”
    Chevrolet’s signature dual-cockpit interior layout incorporates easy-to-use technology designed to make the driving experience easier and more enjoyable. It wraps into the door panels and features a frosted and translucent appearance – and a subtle glow at night.
    The concept’s technological intuitiveness can be accessed via a smartphone with the concept Bolt EV Connect app, which is designed to:
    Allow a smartphone to perform as the key fob
    Allow ride-sharing management, including reservations, vehicle location, digital key and even payment processing via the smartphone
    Incorporate the concept automatic park-and-retrieval technology, which enables the driver to exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt EV concept to park itself – and when errands are completed, the Bolt EV concept can be summoned to return to the owner’s location.

    A large, color 10-inch-diagonal capacitive-touch screen, with interface features, complements the concept Bolt EV Connect app. It even allows the projection of all the application and other smartphone data onto the screen.

    Drew Dowdell

    Chevrolet takes the insulation off the 2016 Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle.

    At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today, Chevrolet unveiled the all new 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The biggest news is the increase in EV range from 38 miles to 50 miles and an increased combined range of up to 420 miles on a full battery and full tank of fuel.
    Under the hood is a new 1.5 liter, direct injected 4-cylinder producing 101 horsepower. The battery pack has lost 20 lbs and the range extender has lost 100 lbs. The battery capacity has increased to 18.1 kWh though the number of battery cells has dropped from 288 to 192.
    The Volt now no longer requires premium fuel. There is a new 2-motor drive unit that produces 294 lb-ft of torque. Overall, the Voltec system is now 12% more efficient. Acceleration to 30 mph has improved from 3.2 seconds to 2.6 seconds. The system features a Regeneration on Demand control that allows the driver to increase the regeneration via a control on the back of the steering wheel.





    2016 Chevrolet Volt interior, Click to enlarge


    Inside, Volt effectively maintains the 2+2 seating arrangement with the console on the floor between the two rear seats, though Chevy says you could put a third small person back there if they are willing to straddle the cupholder. The dashboard is completely redesigned. It has ditched the capacitive touch controls in favor of physical knobs and buttons. Chevy's Mylink system is displayed on an 8.0" diagonal touch screen. Chevy reduced the number of icons on the screen for easier use.
    The Volt will be built at GM's Hamtramck plant in Michigan with the batteries coming from Brownstown Michigan. The regeneration unit will initially be manufactured in Mexico before shifting to Flint Michigan. GM says that the Volt will be made of up to 70 percent US manufactured parts.
    The Volt comes out at a time when gas prices are plunging all over the U.S., not the best timing for a car that is sold on the premise of saving money on gas. However, the Volt may make a compelling argument as just a car that happens to save on fuel.
    The 2016 Volt hits the road this summer.
    Press Release on Page 2

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    Chevrolet Introduces All-New 2016 Volt



    New model features expressive, sleek design and delivers 50 miles of EV range


    DETROIT – Chevrolet today unveiled the all-new 2016 Volt electric car with extended range, showcasing a sleeker, sportier design that offers 50 miles of EV range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration.
    The Volt’s new, efficient propulsion system will offer a General Motors’-estimated total driving range of more than 400 miles and with regular charging, owners are expected to travel more than 1,000 miles on average between gas fill-ups.
    “The 2016 Chevrolet Volt provides our owners with a no-compromise electric driving experience,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “We believe our engineering prowess combined with data from thousands of customers allows us to deliver the most capable plug-in vehicle in the industry.”
    The 2016 Chevrolet Volt’s technology and range advancements are complemented by a design that blends sculpted, muscular proportions with aerodynamic efficiency, and an all-new interior with seating for five and improved functionality.
    Everything from charging the battery and checking the charge status, to the intuitiveness of instrument panel controls were designed for easier use.
    “According to independent surveyors, Volt owners are the most satisfied in the industry and they were our compass for developing the next-generation model,” said Batey.
    2016 Volt highlights:
    New two-motor drive unit is up to 12 percent more efficient and 100 pounds lighter (45 kg) than the first-generation drive unit
    Two-motor design enables 19 percent stronger zero-to-30 mph acceleration
    Battery capacity has increased to 18.4 kWh using 192 cells (96 fewer than current generation) with weight reduced by more than 20 pounds
    Regen on Demand™ feature enables driver control of energy regeneration via a convenient paddle on the back of the steering wheel
    New 1.5L range extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined GM-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 mpg (EPA estimate pending)
    Stronger body structure and quieter ride
    New braking system with improved capability and blended Regen feel
    New, five-passenger seating with available rear heated seats
    Location-based charging capability
    120V portable cord sethas a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location
    Available illuminated charge port

    The 2016 Volt goes on sale in the second half of 2015.
    Sleeker, sportier design
    The 2016 Volt has an all-new, muscular design that incorporates Chevrolet performance vehicle DNA inspired cues refined in the wind tunnel.
    New features, including active grille shutters, help balance design with efficiency.
    Volt’s flowing, dynamic shape is inspired by the toned physiques of athletes and even the natural shapes of wind-swept sands, with carved body sides and fenders that blend into the hood. The front-end appearance retains the iconic Volt identity, with bright upper and lower grille pads.
    Greater attention to detail in the design cues, materials and colors also lends a more premium, contemporary aura to its appearance. It also retains the distinctive Volt signature on the upper front doors, carrying over one of the first-generation model’s identifiers.
    Inside, the new Volt includes seating for five. Fresh colors exude an inviting upscale aura – complemented by blue ambient lighting – while the controls are more intuitively placed and simpler to operate.
    The Volt retains its signature dual digital color displays with an eight-inch-diagonal reconfigurable screen in the instrument cluster to relay driver information. An additional eight-inch-diagonal touch screen in the center of the instrument panel controls the Chevrolet MyLink system.
    Fewer icons on the center dash make it easier to operate. Separate climate control knobs and buttons below the center display offer clear, convenient operation.
    New Voltec propulsion system
    An all-new, second-generation Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system is the power behind the 2016 Volt’s increased all-electric driving range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. It was engineered based on the driving behaviors of first-gen Volt owners.
    “Volt owners complete more than 80 percent of their trips without using a drop of gasoline and they tell us they love the electric driving experience. Putting that experience at the center of the new Voltec system’s development helped us improve range, while also making the new Volt more fun to drive,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer. “We established a precedent when the original Voltec propulsion system debuted and this newest iteration sets the EV technology bar even higher.”
    The Voltec system includes the battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics.
    GM’s industry-leading battery technology has been reengineered for the next-generation Volt. The 2016 Volt will use an 18.4 kWh battery system featuring revised cell chemistry developed in conjunction with LG Chem. While overall system storage capacity has increased, the number of cells have decreased from 288 to 192 as the result of a revised chemistry. The cells are positioned lower in the pack for an improved (lower) center of gravity and the overall mass of the pack is 21 pounds (9.8 kg) lighter.
    Like the battery system, the next-generation Volt’s two-motor drive unit delivers increased efficiency and performance along with reduced noise and vibration. The drive unit operates up to 12 percent more efficiently and weighs 100 pounds (45 kg) less than the current system.
    Both motors operate together in more driving scenarios, in both EV and extended-range operation. The ability to use both motors helps deliver a 19 percent improvement in electric acceleration from zero to 30 mph (2.6 seconds) and a 7 percent improvement from zero to 60 mph (8.4 seconds). GM engineers designed the Voltec electric motors to use significantly less rare earth materials. One motor uses no rare earth-type magnets.
    More convenient location-based charging
    Using real-world experiences of today’s Volt owners, Chevrolet made the charging system in the next-generation Volt more convenient for customers to recharge the battery – and to check the charge status.
    The new and enhanced features include:
    GPS location-based charging
    “Owners will now be able to set their charging preferences exclusively for “home” charging and the vehicle will automatically adjust to that setting when it is at “home” based on GPS data,” said Farah, the chief engineer. “The new Volt will give owners greater flexibility for charging on their terms and make public charging easier.”
    This will allow owners to pre-set their 120V charging level (eight amps or 12 amps) and whether they wish to charge immediately, set a departure time for each day of the week, or set a departure time and a utility rate schedule to charge only at off-peak rates. These setting will only have to be programmed once and the Volt will default to them when the vehicle return to its home location.
    New, more intuitive charge status indicators
    The next-generation Volt makes it easier for owners to confirm their Volt is charging and gauge charge status. The new status system features a specially designed tone that indicates when charging has begun, with additional tones for delayed charging. It will even indicate if the charge port door was left open after unplugging but before entering the vehicle.
    With a glance through the windshield, an updated charge status indicator light on the on the top of the instrument panel will show the approximate charge level through a series of flashes. An available illuminated charge port makes it easier to plug in after dark.
    Portable cord set enhancements
    A new 120V portable cord sethas a simpler, compact design with more convenient storage location. The storage bin for the cord is now located on the left side of the Volt’s rear cargo area, above the load floor, for improved accessibility.
    Safety features
    The new Chevrolet Volt offers new standard and available safety features that work with an all-new body structure to provide crash-avoidance and passenger protection capability. Highlights include:
    Standard rear-vision camera
    Ten standard air bags, including driver and front-passenger knee air bags
    Available active safety features offering lane keep assist with lane departure warning, side blind zone alert with lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert with following distance indicator, front automatic braking, and advanced park assist with front and rear park assist (semi-automatic parallel parking)
    Expanded use of high-strength steel throughout the body structure improves strength and reduces weight
    More effective structural load paths in the frame, along with reinforced rocker panel structures and side structure reinforcements

    The new, active safety technologies and structural enhancements build on the Volt’s legacy of top safety performance, which include a 5-Star overall New Car Assessment Program rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the current model.
    Manufacturing
    GM is investing $435 million in the production of the next-generation Chevrolet Volt at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant and at the Brownstown, (Mich.) Battery Assembly Plant, where its lithium-ion battery pack is produced.
    The new drive unit will be manufactured at GM’s Powertrain plant in Warren, Mich., and the 1.5L engine will be manufactured at GM’s Toluca, Mexico engine plant for the first year of production, then shift to the Flint, Mich. engine plant.
    Since its introduction in late 2010, the Volt has established southeast Michigan as the hub of vehicle electrification development and manufacturing. The next-generation Volt will feature approximately 70 percent U.S. and Canadian components within its first year of production, a nearly 20-percent increase from the first generation.



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