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  • Detroit Auto Show

    William Maley

    See if you can spot the changes!

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


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

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

    William Maley

    Possible sneak peek into the next Altima

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


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

    William Maley

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

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


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

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

    William Maley

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

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


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

    William Maley

    One design, three sizes to choose from now

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


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

    William Maley

    Nine years on, a new Traverse is introduced

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

    William Maley

    New look and added boost

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


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

    William Maley

    Microbus, Take 4,789,134

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


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

    William Maley

    Looks like a Veloster

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

    William Maley

    Looks like a bigger GLI with V6 punch

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


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

    Drew Dowdell

    Like an Audi Q7, but sleeker.

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

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

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

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


    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.

    Drew Dowdell

    Kia tries to shine a Stinger halo on the Forte

    Kia released an all new version of their Kia Forte compact sedan at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.  Kia wants to be more than just another basic entry in the compact sedan market and is bringing the Forte style and substance up market.
    Aiming for a more sophisticated design, the new Forte pulls on design cues from the Kia Stinger.  A sharper and deeper version of Kia's Tiger nose grille gives way to more expressive hood and fender styling. Inside, the dashboard has been updated to a minimalistic design with a large floating center screen an restrained use of buttons.  An updated infotainment system is now available which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 
    The power train consists of a new, more efficient 2.0 liter 4-cylinder which runs on Atkinson cycle rather than the more common Otto Cycle. Atkinson cycle engines are typically reserved for hybrid-vehicles. The 2.0 is estimated to produce 147hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or a new CVT.  This in-house developed CVT claims to address the issue of "rubber-band feel" often cited as a complaint in other CVTs.  Kia programmed the CVT to have a stepped feel similar to a standard automatic when in heavy acceleration situation.  The new engine and CVT combined contribute to a preliminary estimate of a 3mpg increase in fuel economy combined. 
    Click here for more 2018 Detroit Auto Show News
    Click here for more Kia News
    Kia Press Release on Page 2
    ALL-NEW 2019 FORTE MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
     
    Compact Sedan Levels Up with Sophisticated Yet Sporty Design, Advanced Technology, and All-New Efficient Smart Stream IVT
    Forte evolves into a more refined compact with design cues inspired by Stinger Kia’s first in-house designed and built Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) introduces new line of Smart Stream technologies designed to help increase fuel efficiency and deliver an estimated 35 combined MPG Standard 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and Advanced Driver Assistance technologies join Forte’s tech roster DETROIT, January 15, 2018 – Today at the North American International Auto Show, Kia Motors America (KMA) hosted the global debut of the all-new 2019 Forte which enters its third generation with a more sophisticated design and desirable features that transforms one of Kia’s best-selling vehicles into something more than a compact car meant for getting people from one point to another. Thanks to a number of improvements, Forte now offers drivers a higher level of comfort, fuel efficiency and advanced driver assistance technologies that are aimed to make the journey – whether  a short commute or long haul – a more rewarding and decidedly upscale experience.
    The Forte has evolved with a number of visual and feature enhancements, inside and out. The cabin is now more comfortable and “class above,” and integrates new driver assistance technology. In addition, the Forte ups its MPG game with an all-new powertrain that utilizes Kia’s first IVT, set to deliver an estimated 35 MPG combined1.
    “The compact sedan segment is highly competitive, but with all the improvements the new Forte brings to market for the 2019 model year, it is more than prepared to take on the toughest the segment has to offer,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. “As one of our top-selling models, the all-new Forte follows some large footsteps, but enhancements in styling, packaging and content make it even more attractive to drivers seeking a compact sedan that can accommodate their versatile lifestyle.”
    Standard features and desirable amenities in the compact sedan segment continue to be available across three trims – LX, S and EX – with the model line continuing to expand throughout its lifecycle.
    Sophisticated Yet Sporty Design
    While the third-generation Forte retains its sporty and youthful image, it has graduated to a more sophisticated appearance thanks to a number of sleek and dynamic styling cues inspired by the Stinger fastback sport sedan. Lauded in the auto industry for its excellence in design, the Stinger is a product fueled by Kia’s bold and adventurous spirit and Peter Schreyer’s global team of designers translated elements of the Stinger’s design language onto the compact to give it a commanding road presence. Enthusiasts know that the right proportions are key, and like the Stinger, Forte’s long hood and short deck lend it an overall fastback-like shape. The cowl point was moved back five inches, creating a more athletic stance that makes the Forte appear well-planted to the ground.
    Creases in the hood contribute to the Forte’s muscular appearance and distinctive design traits on the front fascia, including a fresh approach to Kia’s signature tiger nose grille and an aggressive black lower valance, enhance its presence and individual character.  The front clip is flanked by a Stinger-esque headlamp design and layout. Separate turn signal indicators are mounted below on the front bumper, where air curtains improve aerodynamic performance and enhance the Forte’s technical appeal. Around back, the rear bumper gets the same treatment with separate reverse and turn signal indicators located beneath available LED taillights. Similar to the Sportage compact crossover, a sleek horizontal trim piece connects the taillights.
    Comfortable Cabin
    Creating the fastback shape strengthened the Forte’s exterior appearance, but it also gave engineers an opportunity to expand the occupant compartment in several key areas so passengers are treated to a comfortable space no matter how long the journey. Overall length has increased by 3.2 inches to 182.7 inches, allowing for more legroom and additional cargo in the trunk. With 15.1 cu.-ft., cargo room is among the largest in the segment and generous enough to accommodate gear for a group of friends on a road trip or a growing family managing a busy schedule. Additional headroom results from increasing the overall height nearly a half inch to 56.7 inches, while the overall width has grown to 70.8 inches.
    While the extra 0.7 inches of width may not be noticeable to the naked eye, the layout of the dashboard paints a picture of a wide interior space. Again drawing inspiration from the Stinger, a horizontal theme creates a sense of openness and avoids clutter with clean lines and minimal buttons that are intuitively placed below an 8-inch color touchscreen. Aeronautically inspired spoked circular vents adorn the dash and increased soft-touch points create a comfortable and visually appealing cabin. Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate easier ingress and egress, plus improved outward visibility.
    Strong Foundation
    Building upon an already solid structure that helped the current 2018 Forte sedan achieve an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick Plus rating2, the all-new 2019 Forte strengthens its bones with additional hot-stamped components and 54 percent Advanced High-Strength Steel. Stronger seat frames are lightweight and provide a more comfortable seating position with increased lumbar support and denser seat foam for more pleasurable long-distance drives. The all-new Forte offers projection or full LED headlights and is targeted to receive the highest ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and IIHS.
    Because body stiffness plays a major role in NVH performance, engineers worked to increase rigidity for a quieter cabin and better handling tuned to match the Forte’s sporty and dynamic exterior appearance, resulting in a 16 percent stiffer body in white. New subframe designs help to improve lateral responsiveness, while steering feel is upgraded compared to its predecessor’s thanks to enhancements within the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) system that reduce artificial steering feel and friction. Reworked suspension geometry provides a quick and nimble behind-the-wheel feel and evolutionary improvements were made to throttle and brake feel performance, yielding a smoother initial response at tip-in and a shorter stopping distance than the previous model.
    A More Efficient Powertrain
    Housed underneath the Forte’s longer hood is a second-generation 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder engine that benefits from Atkinson Cycle technology and a cooled EGR system. Typically applied to hybrid and electric vehicles, the Atkinson Cycle and cooled EGR technologies are designed to help boost fuel efficiency. The new powerplant can be paired with either a six-speed manual or Kia’s all-new Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The engine and in-house-built IVT are the first of a new line of highly efficient “Smart Stream” powertrains that will make their way into the Kia lineup in the future.
    Waiting before developing Kia’s own continuously variable transmission (CVT) allowed engineers to research issues often associated with CVTs and apply their findings in the application used in the Forte.  One of the main criticisms is that they can create a rubber-band-like feel, and in an effort to address this issue, engineers built the IVT with adaptive style shift logic with a chain-type belt instead of push belt, a first in the compact class. This results in smooth and linear acceleration, and for a more enjoyable and sporty driving experience, a step-shift-like feel mimics a conventional automatic at wide-open throttle or when more acceleration is needed.
    Noise is another issue CVTs can sometimes face and engineers worked hard to reduce this in the Forte by wrapping the transmission case in a sound-insulating cover to help quiet the typical “drone” associated with this tech from other OEMs. In doing so, NVH levels are also reduced by 5dB.
    Horsepower and torque are expected to remain unchanged from the 2018 Forte, delivering an estimated 147 HP and 132 lb.-ft. of torque. Efficiency was the top priority and the IVT, together with the 2.0-liter engine, is estimated to return up to 35 MPG combined, about a 3 MPG improvement over the current vehicle.  Official EPA fuel economy ratings will be announced closer to the Forte’s arrival in the U.S. later this year.
    Brimming with Technology
    Staying connected with advanced technology and infotainment features allows the driver to dedicate their important attention to the road ahead. In that regard, the Forte comes standard with an 8-inch color touchscreen with Android Auto™3 and Apple CarPlay®4 that’s integrated neatly on the dash and within the driver’s line of sight. With select smartphone devices, the system also has the capability to read SMS texts aloud through Bluetooth®5.  Eliminating the need for a charging cord is an available wireless charging6 tray perched up on the center stack for compatible Android7 devices, as well as Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X.8 
    Another welcome and surprising feature in this segment is an available 320-watt premium sound system developed with Harman Kardon that pumps out music through a unique speaker hole pattern on the door panels and throughout the cabin.
    Kia’s suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)9 offered in many of the automaker’s more expensive vehicles make their way down into the Forte, making it an even more value-laden option for cost-conscious shoppers. In addition to Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW)9 and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)9, the all-new Forte is available with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA)9 and Smart Cruise Control (SCC)9.Smart Cruise Control is designed to maintain a pre-set distance between the Forte and the vehicle in front and can slow the vehicle slows with traffic in certain circumstances.

    Drew Dowdell

    Jeep updates the Cherokee to a more conventional look.

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


     



    Drew Dowdell

    Jeep refreshes its polarizing Cherokee to something more conventional looking.

    When Jeep released the 2014 Cherokee, much of the automotive press panned its polarising appearance.  However, the buying public disagreed and went on to buy 220k Jeep Cherokees in 2015, its second full year on sale. 
    For 2019, Jeep is updating the Cherokee to soften those polarizing looks and bring some new refinements to the Cherokee brand.
    First up is the front facia; The headlight clusters have been moved higher, up and out of the bumper and into a more conventional location in the upper fenders.  The pointy grille has also been softened into a more versatile piece.  Around back, the liftgate has new contouring in contrast to the giant flat surface of the outgoing model. The tail lights have been revised as well.    The interior of the Cherokee largely carries over with just some minor repositioning of the USB outlets.  Jeep did manage to find another 3 inches of width in the rear cargo area bringing the total to over 27 cubic feet. 
    Jeep's UConnect system has been updated to the latest version and now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 
    As for motivation, the two existing power trains carry over and a new one joins the lineup.  The 2.4 liter Tigershark multi-air produces 180 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque.  Jeep changed some components out for less weight and less NVH.  Customers can also select the 3.2 liter Pentastar V6 with 271 horsepower and 231 lb-ft of torque. This engine gives the Cherokee a best in class tow rating of 4,500 lbs.   Both engines include electronic start-stop for improved fuel economy around town. 
    New for 2019 is a 2.0 liter turbo direct-injected 4-cylinder that first debuted in the 2018 Jeep Wrangler at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.  In the Cherokee, the 2.0T is rated for 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque and also features electronic start-stop.  The engine features a twin scroll turbo with an electronically activated wastegate. Jeep saved 3 1/2 lbs of weight from the engine by using hollow camshafts. 
    All three of these engines are fitted to a 9-speed automatic transmission that has received additional software updates for 2019.
    Naturally it would not be a Jeep without available off-road capability. The three 4x4 systems from the previous model carry over.
    The 2019 Jeep Cherokee will arrive at dealers in early 2018.
    Click here for more 2018 Detroit Auto Show News
    Click here for more Jeep News
    Jeep Press Release on Page 2


    2019 Jeep® Cherokee: Authentic, Premium Jeep Design and New Advanced Global Turbo Engine Enhance Evolution of Renowned Mid-size SUV
    New, more premium design stays true to iconic Jeep® styling All-new front fascia, hood, LED headlamps, daylight running lamps and fog lamps New lightweight, handsfree power liftgate Five new wheel designs, including premium 19-inch wheel on Overland models Open-air freedom with available dual-pane sunroof Premium, refined interior functionality and design with new Satin Chrome and Piano Black high-gloss accents Improved rear cargo volume and more convenient storage space All-new 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque equipped with engine stop-start (ESS) technology to optimize fuel economy and minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine with ESS technology delivers 271 horsepower and 239 lb.-ft. of torque and best-in-class towing capability of 4,500 lbs. Fuel-efficient 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 engine with ESS technology delivers 180 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque Enhanced nine-speed automatic transmission tuned to match the performance of all-new 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine Best-in-class Jeep Trail Rated capability: Enhanced four-wheel-drive systems set benchmark for mid-size SUVs All-new Jeep Active Drive I with next-generation rear drive module reduces weight while enhancing fuel efficiency and performance Jeep Active Drive II with two-speed Power Transfer Unit (PTU) and low-range gear reduction Jeep Active Drive Lock with two-speed PTU, low-range and mechanically locking rear differential Jeep Selec-Terrain traction control system with up to five customized modes – Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock Up to a 51.2:1 crawl ratio Fourth-generation Uconnect system includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the choice of 7.0- or 8.4-inch touchscreens with pinch-and-zoom capability Packed with more than 80 available advanced safety and security features Interactive website for 2019 Jeep Cherokee January 16, 2018 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - The new 2019 Jeep® Cherokee – the most capable mid-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) – boasts a new, authentic and more premium design, along with the addition of an all-new, advanced 2.0-liter direct-injection inline four-cylinder engine that enhances performance and fuel efficiency.

    Jeep Cherokee’s evolution offers more interior comfort and convenience, delivering everyday practicality with outstanding ride and handling characteristics, independent front- and rear-suspension systems with world-class body torsional stiffness, a choice of three different engine offerings mated to an enhanced, high-efficient nine-speed transmission and more than 80 safety and security features.

    “A stunning, more premium design and the addition of our new fuel-efficient 2.0-liter turbo engine make the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee even more desirable in the mid-size SUV segment,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “In addition, Cherokee builds on its benchmark 4x4 capability and on-road dynamics with refinement and style, a host of new attributes, powertrains and the latest technology that is perfectly situated for consumers worldwide.”

    Available in five different trim configurations – Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited, Overland and the rugged Trail Rated Trailhawk, the 2019 Jeep Cherokee is manufactured in the United States at the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois. It will arrive in Jeep showrooms in the first quarter of 2018.

    As the newest mid-size SUV from Jeep, it competes in the largest SUV segment in the United States with more than 2 million sales annually.

    AUTHENTIC JEEP DESIGN

    Exterior
    The 2019 Jeep Cherokee features an extensive new exterior design that highlights a completely fresh appearance and includes a major restyling of a number of signature components.

    Drivers and passengers will command road presence with an all-new front exterior that is consistent with classic Jeep design. The Jeep design team has created a distinguished new look that aligns on the premium side of the Jeep family, along with iconic Jeep styling. Complete with a new fascia, lightweight hood, LED headlamps, daylight running lamps (DRL), fog lamps and liftgate, the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee is a vehicle that offers a fresh look, and maintains its unmatched capability in all weather conditions, on the road or trail.

    The 2019 Jeep Cherokee stays true to its heritage with a wide and commanding stance and an aggressive wheel-to-body proportion for a distinctive identity. Aggressive approach and departure angles contribute to best-in-class capability. A main feature is maintaining the signature waterfall hood mated to the seven-slot grille. As a single piece, the sloping new lightweight aluminum hood projects clean visual lines that separate from the front fenders, further contributing to the distinctive, premium look.

    The latest and most advanced LED lighting technology is prominent on the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. New front Bi-LED projector headlamps incorporate its signature Cherokee DRLs, which have been refined as one fixture, providing a fresh look.

    The new re-sculpted front fascia completes its wide stance with dual LED fog lamps surrounded by bright trim details and adaptive cruise control radar sensor positioned below. Overland models receive new standard bright chrome steel tow hooks.

    Consumers will also appreciate new features, such as a new push-push fuel door and capless fuel fill that eliminates the need to touch and turn the vehicle’s gas cap when refilling – keeping their hands clean of fuel smell.

    A new contemporary look highlights the 2019 Jeep Cherokee rear profile with re-sculpted design cues, creating a more harmonic flow to the rear of the vehicle.

    The new Cherokee’s tail lamps remain an integral part of the rear backlight graphic, which includes a signature red “Feature Light” – a thin homogenous LED light strip that wraps individual stop, turn and reverse tail lamp applications.

    A new and redesigned lightweight composite liftgate includes an integrated light bar with release handle repositioned higher for added customer convenience. Additionally, the available handsfree liftgate is operated by making a kicking motion under the bumper to open.

    The new Trail Rated 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model offers unmatched off-road capability within the segment with a redesigned aggressive front fascia, improved approach angle,anti-glare hood decal and standard red tow hooks. Customers can embrace adventures on rugged terrain as Trailhawk models include protective steel skid plates underneath, which complement its rugged exterior appearance, exemplary departure angles, higher fender flares and ride height plus dedicated 17-inch off-road tires for class-leading 4x4 capability, resulting in the most capable mid-size SUV in the market.

    Cherokee stays true to Jeep open-air freedom by offering the dual-pane sunroof with motorized sunshade that minimizes glare.

    The new 2019 Jeep Cherokee standard lineup receives five new wheel offerings in its portfolio including a 19-inch premium polished aluminum wheel on Overland models.

    Consumers will have a choice of 12 different exterior colors: Blue Shade, Sting-Gray, Velvet Red, Firecracker Red, Olive Green, Hydro Blue, Light Brownstone, Granite Crystal, Billet Silver, Diamond Black Crystal, Pearl White and Bright White.

    Interior
    The updated interior of the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee receives a fresh and elegant touch while remaining a practical and comfortable environment. Premium hand-sculpted forms tie signature Jeep design cues and high-quality materials together with precision craftsmanship. A driver-oriented cockpit loaded with easy-to-use, useful technology, clever, thoughtful storage features and more than 80 available safety and security features – including eight standard air bags –provide occupants everything they need for any adventure they undertake.

    Drivers and passengers will immediately notice refined and elegant features in the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee. The use of new high-gloss Piano Black, complemented by premium Satin Chrome tracer accents, add a delicate touch around the radio, air vent, and gear shifter bezels, creating a tailored and harmonious look. The electric park brake button has also been enclosed around the center shifter bezel for ease of operation.

    The resculpted center console front media center hub (USB port and 115-volt outlet) has been repositioned rearward creating additional space with the enlargement of the front storage pocket, perfect for placing mobile smart phones and other devices next to the integral USB port for easy access to connected services.

    Cherokee maintains premium materials abound through the door panels, armrests and upper instrument panel. Interior trim that is soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye is found throughout the cabin. Designers also freshened the interior with lighter color tones on lower trim panels that match seating and create a pleasant and welcoming environment.

    Ergonomically designed seats that support the contour of the body are trimmed with premium cloth or quality Nappa leather and come available as power adjustable, heated/ventilated seats with memory. Premium cloth fabrics include a unique “Hex” interlocking graphic. The available 60/40 split second-row seats adjust fore and aft for increased passenger comfort and cargo flexibility.

    Unique features such as the available heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, plus much more will delight both drivers and passengers alike.

    Rear cargo capacity has also been increased over three inches in width and now totals more than 27 cubic feet, offering additional storage space that can easily accommodate golf clubs or groceries for every day adventures.

    The new Cherokee interior adds two new color themes, which were inspired by adventurous locations throughout the world and aligned with the Jeep DNA blueprint and foundation of lifestyles that inspire Jeep customers across the globe.

    Available in Latitude and Latitude Plus models, the new Storm Blue interior was inspired by Iceland with its dark volcanos and black ash contrasted with blue skies. That is reflected in the black seats that are contrasted with Storm Blue stitching throughout. Also, available on Cherokee Overland models, a new Dark Sienna interior theme offers earth tones that were inspired by the earth’s clay and outdoor freedom reflective of unmatched off-road capability that only Jeep can provide.

    New 2.0-liter direct injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with engine stop-start (ESS)
    The 2019 Jeep Cherokee offers a practical and dependable choice for everyday adventures with premium on-road manners and impressive fuel efficiency – courtesy of three engine offerings. One of the most technologically advanced engines in the automotive industry, the all-new 2.0-liter direct injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine is rated at 270 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a high-efficient nine-speed automatic transmission. Benefits of the new engine include outstanding fuel economy with engine stop-start (ESS) technology, low emissions, quick 0-60 miles per hour (mph) launch performance, and enhanced drivability.

    The all-new 2.0-liter I-4 features a twin-scroll, low inertia turbocharger with an electric actuated waste gate for exceptional responsiveness and performance, even while traversing over difficult terrain. The turbo is mounted directly to the cylinder head to reduce emissions and improve durability. A dedicated cooling circuit lowers the temperature of the intake air, throttle body and turbocharger.

    The 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine is part of the Global Medium Engine architecture family and features double overhead camshafts (DOHC), dual independent camshaft timing, and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (C-EGR) system. This is the first time that the combined use of a twin-scroll turbocharger, C-EGR system, central direct injection and the independent liquid cooling intake of air, throttle body and turbo have been employed together. This combination of technologies enables the high levels of performance and reduces fuel consumption.

    Direct injection, coupled with turbocharging, enables more efficient combustion, reduced emissions and increased performance. The 2.0-liter I-4 engine’s fuel pump supplies the engine’s 2,900-psi high-pressure common-rail injection system. These high pressures produce better fuel atomization and allow for more precise fuel delivery than port fuel-injected systems, which in turn improves both performance and efficiency.

    The cast aluminum alloy cylinder head features a central injector and high tumble intake ports. This combination provides high charge motion and balanced air flow to improve fuel efficiency and performance. Integrated into the cylinder head is a water-cooled exhaust manifold to reduce emissions while providing increased engine reliability.

    The 2.0-liter I-4 engine features a low-pressure, sand cast-aluminum block with cast-in iron liner with an 84mm bore and 90mm stroke for a total displacement of 1,995cc. Cast-aluminum pistons, with a 10:1 compression ratio, have four valve pockets to accommodate the dual variable-valve timing [VVT] system. Each cylinder bore is fitted with gallery-mounted piston oil cooling jets to limit piston temperatures, reduce spark knock and increase piston durability.  Select-fit main and rod bearings enable reduced clearances to help lower system oil demand and oil pumping effort. In addition, floating piston pins utilize diamond-like coating (DLC) for reduced friction.

    The high-energy ignition system includes a high-energy ignition coil for better fuel efficiency. Precious-metal spark plugs with iridium and platinum provide lasting durability. Located in the center of the cam cover, the spark plugs are easily accessible when service is required. Sodium-filled exhaust valves and plasma-coated piston rings also help extend the engine’s life and bolster durability.

    A variable displacement two-stage oil pump provides high oil pressure under high speed but switches to a low-pressure mode for improved fuel economy during typical driving conditions.  The piston cooling is also managed by the two-stage oil pump to enhance fuel economy under normal driving conditions while improving durability under demanding, high-load engine operation. A large capacity oil cooler extends the oil change interval and ensures engine durability.

    An inverted tooth primary chain drives both the intake and exhaust camshafts and minimizes noise. Camshafts are robotically assembled using hollow shafts and have polished cam journals to reduce weight and improve durability for engine stop-start operation. The use of hollow shafts provides a 3.5-lb. weight reduction when compared to an equivalent solid shaft.

    High-efficient powertrains
    Two additional high-efficient engines options are available in the 2019 Jeep Cherokee: the 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 and 2.4-liter PZEV Multiair2 Tigershark I-4 – both mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

    3.2-liter Pentastar V-6
    The 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine is available across the Cherokee lineup producing 271 horsepower, 239 lb.-ft. of torque and delivering best-in-class V-6 towing of 4,500 pounds. The engine blends a balance of efficiency, power and refinement from the same innovations that earned its larger displacement predecessor industry-wide acclaim, while reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) for occupants.

    The engine retains its individual exhaust-manifold runners that are integrated into the aluminum cylinder-head casting and are a key Pentastar-family differentiator. This feature not only reduces weight and produces packaging benefits; it also increases manufacturing efficiency.

    The 24-valve engine’s 10.7:1 compression ratio aids in lowering fuel consumption and improves performance while the variable-displacement oil pump further reduces parasitic losses to maximize fuel economy. The pump is programmed to operate as needed, staying in low-pressure mode at rpms below 3,500, and then bumping up pressure as demand follows engine speed.

    2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 
    The fuel efficient and refined 2.4-liter PZEV MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine is standard in the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee. The 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine produces 180 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft. of torque.

    For 2019, engine oil heater and weight-reduced components were achieved, which improved fuel economy during warm-up cycles. Also, changes to air intake applications have resulted in noise vibration and harshness (NVH) improvements.

    The acclaimed electro-hydraulic fully variable valve-lift system uses a column of oil in place of the traditional mechanical link between the camshaft and intake valves. It delivers precise control of the intake-valve events – beginning and end – delivering reductions in engine-pumping losses and increases in volumetric efficiency.

    In addition to reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, MultiAir2 accounts for a fuel-economy boost of up to 7.5 percent, compared with engines with conventional valve trains.

    Nine-speed transmission
    The 2019 Jeep Cherokee benefits from an upgraded TorqueFlite nine-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox features new software that further refines drivability.

    The nine-speed transmission delivers numerous benefits, including aggressive launches, smooth power delivery at highway speeds and improved fuel efficiency versus a six-speed automatic transmission.

    The transmission is engineered to ensure the vehicle is always in the appropriate gear. Its 4.71 first-gear ratio contributes to launch performance, while the small steps between mid-range gears ensure smoothness.

    Higher gears enable lower engine speeds – a primary operating condition for superior fuel efficiency.

    The gearbox also contributes to design efficiency. Its nested carrier configuration affords packaging advantages.

    Superior on-road performance
    A front independent suspension with MacPherson struts and a rear independent multi-link suspension absorb on-and off-road obstacles while providing superb comfort for vehicle occupants. The front suspension provides 6.7 inches of travel, while the rear suspension provides up to 7.8 inches of travel for better articulation. The isolated rear cradle, high-strength, low-alloy front crossmember and superior torsional rigidity all contribute to the quieter, smoother ride and superior handling characteristics drivers will experience in the Cherokee.

    The 2019 Jeep Cherokee is equipped with an electronic power steering system (EPS), which improves fuel efficiency and contributes to the Jeep Cherokee’s nimbleness with a turn circle radius of more than 37 feet in 4x2 models and approximately 38 feet in 4x4 models. With EPS, the power assist is provided via an electric motor system rather than a traditional hydraulic system. Because the system is fully electronic, the driver experiences optimal steering effort at all vehicle speeds, and there is less noise and better fuel efficiency since there is no parasitic loss from a power steering pump. This technology also enables active safety features, such as LaneSense Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist and ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist.

    Unmatched Jeep 4x4 capability
    The 2019 Jeep Cherokee highlights a choice of three innovative 4x4 systems that have been enhanced for unmatched 4x4 capability for all weather conditions. Jeep Cherokee maintains its place as the benchmark mid-size SUV with rear-axle disconnect technology that results in reduced energy loss when 4x4 capability isn’t needed, while improving fuel efficiency. The rear-axle disconnect seamlessly switches between two- and four-wheel drive for full-time torque management and does not require input from the driver.

    Jeep Active Drive I
    Available on the Cherokee Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited and Overland models, Jeep Active Drive I features an all-new design for Cherokee. Jeep engineers set out to reduce weight and enhance efficiency of the next-generation rear drive module (RDM), which is fully automatic and delivers seamless operation in and out of four-wheel drive at any speed. The result of this new state-of-the-art technology is reduced weight of nearly 17 lbs., and a reduction of low-speed system drag torque by 50 percent, which improves fuel savings. The system does not require any driver intervention or feedback, delivers yaw correction during dynamic events, and improves during both understeer and oversteer conditions.

    Jeep Active Drive II
    Available on the Cherokee Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited and Overland models, the recalibrated Jeep Active Drive II includes a two-speed Power Transfer Unit (PTU) with torque management and low range. The 4-Low mode locks the front and rear driveshafts for low-speed power or towing. Low range provides a 2.92:1 gear reduction that allows for enhanced climbing ability, as well outstanding crawl ratios for severe off-road conditions. The 2019 Jeep Cherokee with Jeep Active Drive II gives the off-road adventurer a ride height increase of one inch, a crawl ratio of 51:2:1 when powered by the 2.0-liter direct injection turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, and a crawl ratio of 48.3:1 when powered by the 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6 engine. Also, the system has a Neutral state that allows for flat-towing with all four wheels on the ground.

    Jeep Active Drive Lock
    Jeep Active Drive Lock includes all the features of Jeep Active Drive II and adds a locking rear differential for superior low-speed traction for severe off-road conditions. Jeep Active Drive Lock is standard on all Trailhawk models.

    All 4x4 systems feature the Jeep brand’s renowned Selec-Terrain traction control system, which allows the driver to choose the on- and off-road setting for optimum performance. Five customized settings are offered: Auto, Snow, Sport, Sand/Mud and Rock. Through the use of algorithms that enable unsurpassed control and capability, Selec-Terrain electronically coordinates and optimizes up to 12 systems on any terrain, providing enhanced vehicle control including: drivetrain control module, electronic brake controller, electronic stability control (ESC), transmission controller, powertrain controller and Selec-Speed Control (Hill-ascent and Hill-descent Control).

    Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk: Trail Rated
    Jeep 4x4 capability is at the forefront of the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. Featuring an aggressive look and stance, it exemplifies trail readiness as the most capable mid-size SUV in the segment. Loaded with Jeep off-road hardware, the Trailhawk includes standard equipment, aggressive approach and departure angles with unique front and rear fascia, one-inch factory lift. Its unmatched 4x4 capability is produced with Jeep Active Drive Lock and its locking rear differential, skid plates and signature red tow hooks. The locking rear differential is selectable in any low-range terrain mode to maximize tractive effort at the tire patch that can support it.

    The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk boasts an approach angle of 29.9 degrees, a departure angle of 32.2 degrees and breakover angle of 22.9 degrees. Running ground clearance is 8.7 inches.

    Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk models with the standard off-road package are Trail Rated. The “Trail Rated” badge on the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk indicates that the vehicle is designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation and water fording.

    World-class architecture
    The new 2019 Jeep Cherokee is built on the proven Compact U.S. Wide (CUS-wide) platform’s modular architecture that results in better quality and reliability, as well as lower costs, less development time and tooling. The architecture Cherokee is built on is comprised of common, modular and interchangeable components and allows for modularity of the wheelbase, front track, rear track, front overhang, length and width across vehicle lines.

    The 2019 Jeep Cherokee’s body structure has a high-strength steel content of approximately 65 percent.  Hot stamped-, high-strength- and ultra-high-strength steel are used to construct a strong, lightweight, solid vehicle architecture.

    Fourth-generation Uconnect systems
    The new 2019 Jeep Cherokee receives the latest Uconnect systems, which include easy-to-use features, enhanced processing power, faster start-up times and touchscreens that display high-resolution graphics.

    Consumers will have the choice of 7.0-, or 8.4-inch touchscreen displays in the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee.

    The Uconnect systems available in North America are: Uconnect 7.0 Uconnect 8.4 Uconnect 8.4 NAV
    Available features and services include: Handsfree phone calls or texts Built-in radio options, which allow drivers and passengers to stream internet radio through Bluetooth or plug-in compatible personal devices in to USB or AUX ports Uconnect Navigation with turn-by-turn directions Touchscreen with customizable menu bar, using the Drag and Drop feature Drag and drop the most used app icons to the main menu bar for one-screen usability SiriusXM Radio, Travel Link, Traffic and SiriusXM Guardian connected services provide real-time information and a variety of entertainment options: The vehicle can be commanded from virtually anywhere, allowing owners to remotely lock, unlock doors or start their vehicles via a smartphone app In the event of a minor collision, medical or other emergency, the occupant can press the SOS button located on the rearview mirror to be connected to a trained call center agent who can send emergency assistance to the vehicle’s location Send & Go sends the destination directly to the Uconnect Navigation system before entering the vehicle. Should the vehicle run out of fuel, get a flat tire or need a tow, pushing the Assist button can pinpoint vehicle location, sending help as quickly as possible
    2019 Jeep Cherokee models equipped with the Uconnect 7.0, 8.4 or 8.4 NAV systems include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: Apple CarPlay provides drivers with a smarter, simpler way to use an iPhone inside a vehicle. Apple CarPlay seamlessly integrates an iPhone with the car’s built-in display and controls in addition to featuring Siri Voice control. iPhone-equipped drivers can make phone calls, access music, send and receive messages, receive voice-guided navigation optimized for traffic conditions and more, while staying focused on the road Android Auto automatically provides drivers with a safer way to use Android phones while driving. The system will share useful information when driving and makes it easy to access the best of Google. It features Google Maps with free voice-guided navigation, live traffic information, lane guidance; on-demand access to 30 million songs with Google Play Music; the ability to place phone calls or send and receive messages while keeping hands on the wheel; and the ability to ask Google to search any question. Android Auto also makes it easy to access popular apps and content from the Uconnect system’s touchscreen
    The world-class thin-film transistor (TFT) LED 3.5-inch grayscale or 7-inch full-color reconfigurable instrument cluster allows the driver to enjoy a customized user experience and receive information and vehicle feedback in the format they prefer while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

    The easy-to-use instrument cluster displays the basic information for drivers at their fingertips, but also allows them to add information they desire.

    Drivers can select from a multitude of information, which can be displayed in the center of the gauge cluster, including turn-by-turn navigation, speed, real-time fuel economy, safety warnings, available Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, audio information and Jeep-specific features, such as Selec-Terrain.

    The available ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist System is displayed in the center of the gauge cluster and operated with buttons on the steering wheel and the shifter. The graphic walks drivers through the steps necessary to utilize the park assist system. A Jeep designer’s passion for the brand shines through in the park assist screen, which features a 1941 Jeep Willys graphic on each side of the open parking space.

    Safety and security
    The new Jeep Cherokee was engineered with more than 80 available safety and security features. The Jeep Cherokee starts with a strong foundation constructed with 65 percent high-strength steel. Engineers then added both active and passive safety and security features, including ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, and LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus; SOS button; Electronic Stability Control (ESC); Electronic Roll Mitigation; Blind-spot Monitoring; Rear Cross Path detection; ParkView rear backup camera with dynamic grid lines and eight standard air bags.

    The ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist feature remains a highlight in the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee. Using ultrasonic parking sensors on the bumper the system will find and guide the customer into an available parking space when the driver initiates the parking maneuver. The parking guidance system controls the steering angle automatically and the driver controls the gear position, brake, and accelerator. Parallel parking is possible on either side of the car.  During perpendicular parking, the vehicle is backed into the space.  Additionally, a new side-distance warning feature now adds greater awareness to drivers of side objects while the vehicle is at low speed and in a parallel parking sequence.

    Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus is significant for its ability to bring the vehicle to a complete stop without driver intervention, in certain conditions. Radar and video sensors identify the locations of vehicles traveling ahead of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. The sensors also help ensure the vehicles are separated by a gap determined by the driver. If the gap is dramatically breached, the ESC system can aggressively deploy the vehicle’s brakes to affect a full stop, even if the driver never touches the brake pedal. To resume travel, the driver need only press a button on the steering wheel or tap the accelerator pedal.

    Forward Collision Warning-Plus addresses traffic-gap changes when Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus is inactive. When radar and video sensors detect a fast-closing obstacle ahead, the system pre-fills the brakes to prepare for emergency driver intervention. If collision risk remains, Forward Collision Warning-Plus correspondingly ratchets up the response with: audible and visual warnings a brief brake deployment to alert the driver a 1.5-second brake deployment to quicken the driver’s reaction time deployment of Advanced Brake Assist, if the driver is not braking aggressively enough
    Lane Departure Warning-Plus uses a camera-based vision sensor to establish the Jeep Cherokee’s position on the road. If an unintentional lane drift occurs, determined by trajectory change and the absence of turn-signal activation, the system will deliver a visual warning and a haptic warning – the subtle introduction of torque from the electric power steering (EPS) system. If the driver unintentionally drifts too far, the system provides a secondary visual warning.
     
    About Jeep Brand
    Built on more than 75 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.

    The Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Cherokee, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Renegade and Wrangler. To meet consumer demand around the world, all Jeep models sold outside North America are available in both left and right-hand drive configurations and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options.

    William Maley

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

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


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

    William Maley

    It has a name!

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

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

    William Maley

    It actually has some style!

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

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

    William Maley

    How to make a GLS extra fancy

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


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

    Drew Dowdell

    Honda is planning a third generation Insight

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

    William Maley

    Goodbye Crosshair Grille, Hello Mild-Hybrid System

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

    Drew Dowdell

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

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

    William Maley

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

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

    William Maley

    Finally, We're getting an N model!

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

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


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



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